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Sugarfluff's Beta Experience: First Impressions/Extended Displays


Sugarfluff

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Alright, so this is basically a walkthrough of my experience. As such its kind of long and I don't expect many other regular players to get much out of it. But if you want to read on: Great!I really should have proofread this before posting it, but I'm far too giddy and can't wait to get back into the game. So without further [insert french word I can't be bothered to look up the spelling of].
 
Lo and behold! It is finally here. Not in the Blizzard sense of "it's finally here after all these delays", but rather "I can't believe it's finally here; I've waiting so ****ing long." So I was pretty pumped going in. But also terrified--unrelated, I had my drivers test in an hour--luckily they chose a really soothing loading screen and very soon I was accompanied by birdsong. LOVING that, by the way, makes me feel like I'm leaving Candlekeep all over again; looked over my shoulder half expecting Imoen to be running after me. So yea, the nostalgia was heavy pretty much immediately.
 
Alright new game! Character creation, always super fun. So I'll move right along to the character creation screen and my impressions. First impression was very good, reminds me more of NWN 2 than any other game I think, but nothing wrong with that. A whole lot of reading ensues since there are a lot of new races. Nothing wrong with that either, in fact, it makes me feel right at home. I ended up picking Godlike, cause that dude was ****ed up. 
 
Having already grown attached to my partially complete character I was reluctant to change from the death aspect chosen for window shopping; not saying the fire, moon, and nature Godlikes weren't cool, far from it. Immediately after pressing next I knew I'd made the right call: body types! Let me tell you, Death Godlike Orlan is the cutest little monstrosity ever. I don't how I'm going to play as anything else.
 
Next onto the classes. No short list, which is great. I was going to read through all of them, but time was running short (again, drivers test). As I scrolled through the text, on my laptop without a mouse, I realized the arrow keys don't do anything. I think they should be able to scroll the text. It's obviously a minor thing (most people play with mice I'm willing bet) but I don't see a downside to implementing it--also it doesn't seem that difficult, although what the hell do I know, really, I barely passed JavaScript back in highschool. Now I'm pretty sure I'm going to play through all the classes, so I wasn't too worried about picking the right one. I ended up choosing the Cipher. I liked his pants and I was curious about the class.
 
Abilities were fun, more reading (speed reading at this point). Then attributes. Got to say I was a little saddened I didn't get to roll for my stats, but I never expected that feature to make it into the new game so I quickly moved on. And immediately ran into a more pressing concern: I had no idea what attributes were important to a Cipher. I reread the class and read all the text on the attributes and came to the conclusion that I probably needed intelligence, but for all I knew resolve might be more important. I also felt that strength was going to be important--I was holding a sword after all--and if that was the case constitution was also needed. I ended up not maxing anything and sort of half assing a lot of stuff. I feel like a little bit more information might have been helpful at this point.
 
For my culture I chose Old Vailia, it had the coolest outfit (a rapier! are you kidding me!? can't say no to that). My background became Drifter, because there seemed to be no bonuses or penalties and I no longer had time to read everything. Not much to say about the rest, spent some time trying different color schemes like the good old days; debated whether to give my little monstrosity a female voice; same old same old.
And off into the game I go! Now this next section isn't going to have anything about gameplay. It's about my first impressions of the user interface other stuff and later a wishlist with some options.
 
INTERFACE
 
One thing before I really get into all the super exciting real UI stuff: first impression of in game. Everything seemed too big. No surprise there really, it's the nostalgia coming back again wanting everything to be exactly like Baldur's Gate. I'd be willing to bet I get accustomed to the new scale pretty quickly. The selection rings though. They're to thick and blue isn't the best color. The very first thing I noticed in game was the rings, not the party members or the awesome terrain, it was those huge rings, reminding me immediately that I was only in a video game. The bright green from the earlier games wasn't exactly a subtle color, but it usually matched the majority of the screen, allowing for ample opportunity to immerse yourself and get you used to them before moving you into areas where they would stand out against the terrain, also it was pretty thin. It might seem a small issue but I really would change both thickness and color.
 
Luckily you can disable the rings in the options menu, which I will give a standing ovation with an A+ if only because I laughed my ass off when I tried the "Big Heads" option (Death Godlike Orlan with a big head is just priceless), no but seriously the Options Layout is fine. I had no trouble quickly finding what I wanted and no confusion except for initially wondering what the hell "Big Heads" was.
 
I'll come back to Options in some other post if I find something I feel needs attention, I don't like just sitting down and making my way through Controls and Graphics and everything until I see a need in the game to change something.
 
Inventory! Always a crowd pleaser, and something I'll get back to when I've got stuff to put into it. Kinda hard to judge it until such a point.
The UI overall actually feels really clean. I never liked the "MMO action bars" that NWN2 adopted (although I recognize that as the minority opinion, most people seemed fine with it). None of that here. Everything you need is all along the bottom of the screen, leaving a large wide area completely free. Great for immersion, and I can't speak as a combat veteran yet but it seems nothing has been sacrificed in terms of accessibility.
 
More on interface as the situation develops. (Sidenote: From the main menu, when in options, the selections: Auto-Pause, Game, Graphics, Sound, Controls will not be shown in their boxes (their boxes are blank) when Game, Graphics, or Sound is selected.)
 
DUAL SCREEN COMPATIBILITY (or extended display compatability)
 
An important area for me. I almost always run dual screens and few games try to be compatible.
Right off the bat I notice that the cursor flies off the left side of my screen, making scrolling to the left a pain. Attention: while in fullscreen mode: PLEASE LOCK THE SCREENBORDERS. Sorry for flying off the handle like that, but it really needs to be implemented. Either as an option or just straight up. If it isn't I'm going to have to change my screen settings every single time I want to play this game (yea, first world problems I know) and it's just annoying. Sidenote: Tried out windowed mode, it really should be an option there too, more understandable if it isn't but you know... you're already getting it for fullscreen so what's the big deal really. Maybe it's the added euphoria of passing my drivers test (yea, whooo!) but I feel hopeful that you guys will fix this little thing.
 
The great news is that the game doesn't shove everything on the other screen to the side (a surprisingly common problem when dual screening), also VLC doesn't freeze on the other screen when the game is running, so you know, that's always a plus. 
 
I don't want this thing to get too long, and I really want to sit down and do some actual playing now, so I'll stop here. I'll make more posts about gameplay and all the good stuff in the days to come.
 
KEY BULLETPOINTS

 

  • Make the arrowkeys in Character Creation scroll through the textbox.
  • More information about which class might want what attributes.
  • Change the selection rings (size and color).
  • Lock screenborders for us dual screeners.

 

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