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I am a big admirer of classical Infinity-based CRPGs, and I would like to thank the Obsidian team for the efforts they put in Project Eternity.

The overall impression of the beta after playing it for 30 minutes is quite positive.
However, I would like to point out certain things that could be improved (in my opinion):

GRAPHICS AND UI

  • Colours (especially grass and trees) are too bright. If they were dimmer, the scenes would look nicer.
  • Battles. They are very cluttered, it's difficult to understand what is going on. In infinity based-games, they looked better to me.
  • Pop-ups that show up in battles when holding TAB are too heavy-weight.
  • I think it would be better to show just character names and their health status in the pop-ups.
  • It's better to avoid zooming in 3d-models too much (like in the character generation screen for instance).

GAMEPLAY

  • Please, please and one more time please - when hit points go down to zero, the characters must DIE! Regardless of difficulty level. Becoming unconscious and magically getting up after the battles is so "consolish"...
  • I am sure many hardcore players do not like the idea of hit-points regeneration when you walk. Only healing spells, potions and rest should restore them.

OTHER

  • I understand that we live in an age of ubiquitous political correctness, but come on - selecting female gender by default is too much.

... to be continued.

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I hope that a fog of war is planned for the final game, similar to the Infinity Engine games. So areas that we haven't yet explored would be blacked out when we first enter them, and then revealed as we explore them. This makes it easy to know at a glance which buildings/characters/etc. we have already encountered.


Windows 7 64-bit SP1

Core i7 3770 @3.5 GHz

nVidia GTX 680

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These are just a few loose thoughts. I plan on doing a longer post later on. . .probably tomorrow.

 

The first thing I noticed that I found annoying was the cursor selection. It scrolls with the screen if you are near the edge of it; this means that you lose your original placement of the corner of the selection. Not the biggest deal, and I honestly cannot remember how the IE games did it, but I find it annoying.

 

Also, as someone who is planning on playing ironman, permadeath, and expert mode upon release, I feel that aoe range indicator should be a toggle even on expert. Again, just my opinion, but that seems like an extremely difficult thing to judge. I agree with the other choices.

 

The autopause options are awesomesauce, and anyone that hasn't tried them, I would highly recommend it. Overall, loving what I see. I think these next few years are going to be good ones for the genre.

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I thought health/stamina would be too cumbersome. It's the perfect balance of health regen and non.

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Super first impression - the title screen and music. I love the main theme's melody. However the piece sounds very synthesized and the instrument library doesn't sound very high quality.

 

Is there going to be a different version of the main theme (read: live orchestra) or is this it?

 

Good job for getting to this point! It looks very impressive on the whole and I can't wait to explore more.

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I'm loving it!

This game <3 when most(/all) bugs have been weeded out... this game :)

Edited by Osvir

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Yeah first impressions as I couldn't spend that many time on it. The game seems to offer what I expected and, yes, that's a good thing. Combat feels right, some things lack feedback, though, like rogue abilities.

 

I'll share my thoughts on the chanter: the mechanics are intrguing but he clearly lacks some feedback on his abilities, make it more apparent that he is chanting either visually(floating notes come to my mind, not necessarily only on the character but also in the area of effect as a semi translucent filter) or, even better, audio-feedback. Also the UI of the chanter, I daresay the UI in general, needs alot of work but that's something you're most probably aware of. At least it seems very much WIP.

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First impressions are very positive!

  • The background music and incidental sounds are really great—evocative, nostalgia bombs that don't demand enough active attention to be distracting.
  • The ease of moving back and forth between the character creation steps is a godsend. No more backtracking and losing everything to see what difference one different choice makes.
  • It's hard to see the full scope of the effects attributes and reputations have on dialogue, but I'm a big fan of what I've seen so far.
  • Some of the textured backgrounds (behind dialogue & in the character creation screen) are a little too obtrusive for my taste, but this might be a familiarity thing. After a couple of hours of play I hardly notice it under the dialogue anymore.
  • Combat seemed impossibly fast at first but, again, quite easy to get used to even without using slow-mo.
  • There are a lot of trivial cosmetic issues like awkward text wrapping or overlapping, *Missing String* text, etc. I'm not sure if keeping a list of them is likely to be helpful or superfluous.
  • Loot and enemies (and party characters sometimes) can be hard to pick out from the backgrounds, especially long grasses.

I guess that's more critical than effusive points, but I'm having a lot of fun and really looking forward to playing more.

 

Postscript:

 


OTHER

  • I understand that we live in an age of ubiquitous political correctness, but come on - selecting female gender by default is too much.

 

I understand that we live in an age of ubiquitous men's rights activists, but come on - selecting male gender by default is too much.

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OTHER

  • I understand that we live in an age of ubiquitous political correctness, but come on - selecting female gender by default is too much.

... to be continued.

 

First of all, I am offended by this remark, you are coming across as sexist. Secondly, you are wrong about it being default. Its random every time you start a new character.

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I am very much against the way the conversation system notifies the player of a possible conversation choice that they could choose if 'x' stat were high enough (the options that are colored red in-game).

 

This seems wrong on a number of levels. Primarily because it acts as a spoiler of sorts for future playthroughs with characters using different builds. A lot of the joy of discovery is lost if you already know every dialogue option that is available whether you can currently select it or not.

 

In addition, I'm also not a fan of notifying us of the dialogue options we can choose because we have a certain number of points in 'x' stat. I know that this has become something of a standard feature in most RPGs, but I really feel that it works to keep me at arms distance from the game world, so that I never become completely immersed because of these constant reminders that it's all just numbers and stat-checks.

 

I understand if the developers want to keep this format in place for players who prefer it, but at least make it a toggleable option.

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Windows 7 64-bit SP1

Core i7 3770 @3.5 GHz

nVidia GTX 680

16 GB RAM

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I am very much against the way the conversation system notifies the player of a possible conversation choice that they could choose if 'x' stat were high enough (the options that are colored red in-game).

 

This seems wrong on a number of levels. Primarily because it acts as a spoiler of sorts for future playthroughs with characters using different builds. A lot of the joy of discovery is lost if you already know every dialogue option that is available whether you can currently select it or not.

 

In addition, I'm also not a fan of notifying us of the dialogue options we can choose because we have a certain number of points in 'x' stat. I know that this has become something of a standard feature in most RPGs, but I really feel that it works to keep me at arms distance from the game world, so that I never become completely immersed because of these constant reminders that it's all just numbers and stat-checks.

 

I understand if the developers want to keep this format in place for players who prefer it, but at least make it a toggleable option.

Uhhh...it is an option, go to the "game" options under the ESC menu.

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Uhhh...it is an option, go to the "game" options under the ESC menu.

 

 

The developers are way ahead of me, it seems. Thanks for pointing that out.

 

In this case, I guess my only suggestion would be to make "Show unqualified interactions" toggled off by default. I can't even really think of a reason someone would want to know of these choices if they couldn't select them anyway.

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Windows 7 64-bit SP1

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I don't really like the Paladin's Flames of Devotion. Conceptually I love it, but would prefer a smaller % damage increase for a n amount of time instead of a powerful one shot attack.

i haven't tried fiddling with it yet, do you by chance know if that ability when not in melee will affect a fire spell you might cast? Like scrolls or that fireball necklace.

 

The text gave me that impression, that you could do that but the game crashed loading and nearly killed my laptop closing PoE so I'm giving it a rest for now.

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Okie dokie. This is a beta, so if Gromnir sounds critical it is with full awareness that we don’t have a finished product. Even so…

 

Game is difficult to play at this point, at least for us. Meredith(sp?) fight were our first combat and she got stuck in an endless and seeming infinite repeating sneak attack loop that slowed game down to a molasses-like drip. In that same battle we noticed that our priest and wizard party members were disarmed, which made it impossible for the wizard to cast spells.  Our warrior comp had been knocked prone at some point during the battle and he were unable to move afterwards (a reload solved the immobility issue, but only after combat ended.) Using mouse button to zoom in and out were kinda disappointing as we were not able to get zoomed in particular close or pull back particular far. Lack o’ zoom were an issue in part ‘cause distinguishing friends and foes and different enemies were not particular easy—allow us to give different party members different colored indicator circles would help a bit to identify party members. Oh, and at some point during the Meredith battle, zoom stopped working. Reloading and/or entering a new area fixed zoom as we were limited to increasing and decreasing the fog-of-war with zoom after the Meredith encounter. Oh, and cursor over our characters did not accurate reveal our stamina/health— those numbers were seeming fixed at max/full. Again, keep in mind these were problems during our first combat.

 

We started a new game ‘cause as stated already, our mage were completed useless w/o a grimoire. Our second attempt at fighting Meredith did not result in the sneak attack slow down or missing gear from priest and wizard. Huzzah.  Character 1 were a human cipher. Character 2 were a dwarf cipher.  

 

Is perhaps not a problem, but the knockdown sound effect is a bit excessive. Am knowing josh is a fan o’ Dune, but the thumper-like sound effect for knockdown were threatening to attract giant sandworms to our computer. Fear us, for we is the kwisatz haderach! No?

 

So we make our way back to the inn after the fight. More weirdness. There is a “container” near base of the stairs leading to the second floor. Is looking like a generic loot pile and it contains a fine sword.  Is also three weapons that we cannot interact with on the floor in front o’ the bar—axe, mace and sword? Odd.

 

Had a hard time not clicking through sid exposition. Does his “story” make better sense if we had played full game up to this point? Keep in mind that we didn’t pay much attention to many o’ the lore updates as we wanted to experience such stuff in the game, but we were not following sid particular well… he simple weren’t engaging. 

 

We noticed that we were able to access a dialogue with the nobleman at the inn that required a lore o’ 4 and a intellect o’ 14. Our character didn’t have a lore o’ 4. Is skill checks party based or main character focused? If is main character only that generates skill/ability checks, then perhaps it were a bug we encountered. 

 

Used world map to travel south to a map with bugs and wolves. After a fight with wood and stone bugs, our cipher’s armour had disappeared leaving us rather naked. Am thinking the evaporating armour were the fine brigadine we had looted following our second Meredith battle. We fought some wolves and sure enough our warrior comp once again got stuck after being knocked prone. We discovered golden celery, quite by accident. The vegetation were not being revealed via the tab feature but rather became illuminated by us accidental brushing with our cursor. Is vegetation discovered through pixel hunting? If so, why? 

 

Game is rough. Got random thoughts.

 

- Lack o’ traits were something ‘bout which we were forewarned, but am admitting disappointment in absence o’ any chooseable so far. 

 

-The spell icons look nice and is reminiscent o’ ps:t style, but am admitting that am not certain we gotta grasp on spell casting. We seem to be able to generate focus via ranged weapons. Is that the way is ‘posed to work? We read somewhere that focus were only generated through melee, but it don’t seem to work thus. Am having more than a little difficulty predicting focus building.

 

- Is no way to speed-up mouse speed? 

 

-we opted for auto-pause when attacked, but that resulted in a pause every single time we were attacked. A First attack auto-pause would likely be sufficient.

 

-boob armour does not aid in distinguishing characters. We mentioned above, but different colored indicator circles for each party member would not complete alleviate the seeming perpetual Charlie fox combat situation, but it could help.

 

-foliage and water look nice. *shrug*

 

-am still not certain how secondary stats is generated or how to be figuring out combat mechanics. Dual wielding doesn’t change the displayed accuracy modifier on our character sheet, so am not certain what penalties and bonuses we incur by dual wielding or by equipping different weapons. Am sure we can puzzle out by looking close at combat feedback, but that ain’t the only way to puzzle out combat numbers, is it? 

 

-the various casters we has played during our extreme brief session were varied and intriguing. Am admitting that without traditional healing, am not quite certain how to be using our priest effective at this point. As we don’t genuine understand all the factors that go into generating fatigue (or loss o’ stamina, or… whatever) am not quite certain how to use priest buffs.  

 

We will come up with more positives later, but as we said, our first few hours o’ play were very rough.

 

HA! Good Fun!
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"Those who won our independence by revolution were not cowards. They did not fear political change. They did not exalt order at the cost of liberty. To courageous, self-reliant men, with confidence in the power of free and fearless reasoning applied through the processes of popular government, no danger flowing from speech can be deemed clear and present, unless the incidence of the evil apprehended is so imminent that it may befall before there is opportunity for full discussion. If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."--Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

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A few of the subrace bonuses do seem very minor at first glance. The Pale Elves, for example:

 

"The damage threshold for all Pale Elves are increased by 20% for all Burn and Freeze damage."

 

Unless there are frequent encounters throughout the game with these types of damage, this seems like a bonus that would never be noticed by the player, at least compared to other bonuses like the Nature Godlike's 25% faster stamina regeneration.

 

That is only a first-impression obviously, without having experienced any significant play time. It's just something I thought when I was looking through the class options.


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Core i7 3770 @3.5 GHz

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Hmm, game has some moments that require unnecessary clicking/micromanaging.

Like, if you have whole party selected, you have to select single character to do lockpicking since if you try to do it with all of them, the closest to the door or chest tries to do it.

This is double annoying since you have to double click portraits if you want to select character that way.

 

Then there is that loot thing where if all party members are already full, you have to click stash icon to take everything instead of "take all" automatically putting them in stash when everyone else is full.

 

Do people like clicking for minor things like that? <_<

 

 

 

That is only a first-impression obviously, without having experienced any significant play time. It's just something I thought when I was looking through the class options.

 

 

Seems like lots of traps involve fire, so it might be actually pretty good I suppose?*shrugs*

Edited by BrokenMask

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Love the writing. Love the way it looks and feels. Could use more portraits. LOL at "waning scepter."

 

That's all for now.


I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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I kinda feel that the game's encounter system needs re-balancing. Every battle feels the same difficulty wise. I don't feel every encounter should require so much micromanaging; it's kind of mentally draining.

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"Good thing I don't heal my characters or they'd be really hurt." Is not something I should ever be thinking.

 

I use blue text when I'm being sarcastic.

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+ Beautiful, character creation, dialog is well written, promising

 

- Static environment, characters look cartoony, pathfinding is suspect, little lighting on any 3d elements, double click NEEDS to move the camera ala BG. 

 

 

First impressions are positive, not great, but positive.

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 I don't feel every encounter should require so much micromanaging; it's kind of mentally draining.

Agreed on micromanaging in general, which is why I'm annoyed that in the thread where I complained about it people are like "Noo, don't change it, this is all what rpgs are about"

 

<_< Its darn confusing, do they dislike modern games for not making you micromanage opening doors?

 

I'm fine with combat though, don't mind it that it requires you to think

Edited by BrokenMask

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The static vegetation does stand out, though. I would love to see the grass and trees sway in the breeze.

 

I'm agree with you.

I love how it looks now because it's exactly as it was in the infinity engine...but just small movements form the grass/trees will help a lot to give something less static.

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- Sweet music

 

- Great art design

 

- Enjoyable ambient sounds

 

- Good writing

 

- Only thing I wish for is most options when creating a character (More portraits, More hairstyles, etc..)

 

keep up the good work Obsidian, so far so good!

Edited by kozzy
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Gonna use a 10 point scale for this because there's so. Much. to. comment. on.

 

Scored: 10

 

--Atmosphere/Art/the visuals: Nailed it! Best part of the entire thing. For a game advertised as a 'spiritual successor' for another set of games, it sure does a good job beating its predecessors outright. At least in this part of its design.

 

--Dialogue/Writing/game world lore: Nailed that too. But I expected no less from an Obsidian product. I'm seeing a few people on this forum say that they haven't bothered reading the lore books and such. Big mistake! When you've got some time in these next few months while you're waiting for the full game to come out, I'd highly recommend immersing yourself in the flavor stuff. It's quite good so far.

 

 

Scored: 8

 

---The Chargen - You can very much customize a character in this game. the number of classes, races, backgrounds, attribute points is Breathtaking! (this scores an 8 instead of a 9 or 10 simply because it's hard to tell in just this demo how much all this customizable stuff matters, if anything, to gameplay.)

 

--The UI - feels remarkably familiar. and *right*. I had no trouble whatsoever figuring out the controls. Also, little discovery: Pressing the "alt" button shows the threat ranges of your characters and enemies (or at least I think that's what those circles are)

 

--Music/audio - Probably should have just lumped this in with Atmosphere, but it's good enough to be focused on by itself. I'm impressed.

 

 

Scored: 5

 

--The inventory - I said this 2 years ago, and it still rings true even as I play this beta. It is needlessly complex. You, Josh Sawyer, were the Lead Designer of Icewind Dale 2... the last of the infinity engine games. The ONE infinity engine game that cured the inventory headache once and for all. So Why did you feel the need to overhaul perfect? Poe's Inventory suffers from all sorts of pointless over-design. The individual character inventories are too small; I have found no use for the quick item slots; the deep stash feels ironically constrictive and rules-driven even though it's bottomless. One can't even pick up money from the bodies of looted enemies without having to decide who's inventory it goes into. And we'll discuss the interaction between merchants and your inventory below.

 

 

Scored: 3

 

-Merchant interaction - Did an entire thread on this already so I won't spend much time on it here. It's wrong. It copies Skyrim's "every merchant is almost broke when you meet them" design philosophy, and then adds an addition/subtraction trading mini-game on top of it. FAIL.

 

 

Scored: 1

 

--Combat. I'm going to be reasonable and assume the entire system is still in Alpha. It's a mess. Combat in this beta can be summed up in 6 words: What the hell is happening here? It's way way too fast. It's chaotic, and whatever tactical/planning you have usually goes right out the window because the game does not give you time to carry out any tactics. Pathfinding is fatal. the total party wipes that occur are NOT because players suck, but because combat sucks; Unless there's only 1 enemy (which is rare in this beta) it's almost impossible to tell who's attacking whom and with what. (and no, the auto pause settings don't help. They just cause combat to pause every 2 seconds making things feel even less fluid.)

 

 

This is of course just a Beta, so all of the above should be interpreted as stoic observations, rather than angry proclamation. I'm positive that a couple more months of polish will make things so much better. Good luck guys.

Edited by Stun
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