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khermann

Pretty disappointed, this launches in December?

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So let me try this again. I apologize in advance for the cynicism below, but I am compelled to say my piece.

 

This game is supposed to launch at the end of the year, is that right? "Winter 2014" , "December 2014"

 

I can't see how that is possible given where the game is at today.

 

Bugs, giant, glaring, basic gameplay bugs are everywhere. Subscribe to the Bug forum and you'll see, or better yet, just play the game. I'm old by gamer standards, older than some of the developers, and I've playtested my share of games. I expected more from a game that is only a few months away from release, a lot more.

 

It's impossible to play the game and feel like the backers are THE QA for this game, yet we're not even given a bugtracker, only a forum that buries threads in to oblivion.

 

The fit and finish is abysmal for a beta, in my opinion, with notable exception to the obviously heavy investment in aesthetic backgrounds and some assets. There obviously has been a heavy emphasis on developing the story archs and dialogs, too, which is great. But having core mechanical issues like pathfinding, from this team, is hard to excuse - this should be a slam dunk, not to say that pathfinding is easy, but look at who we're talking about here... this should have been a priority.

 

The outdoor scale is off. I know IW games don't do 1:1 scaling in outdoor environments but it is just off, walking around town feels like a group of giants romping around a dollhouse-scaled town. I may be in the vast minority in this, but for me it's enough to disrupt immersion. 

 

The feeling I get is that the development has wandered down paths of priorities that they were most interested in, making "cool looking stuff" and "cool stories" - which is awesome! Don't get me wrong, but while working hard to generate content, the game mechanics have been relegated to "just do enough so we can see our content, we'll work out the playability issues later once we get our playtesters (backers) in"

 

I hate to sound so cynical, I want this game to be a huge success, but I'm not really interested in struggling through broken game after broken game the throwing "bug reports" down a forum black-hole. I would be spending almost as much time documenting problems as I would playing. I didn't back this game for the "insider" honor to be a primary playtester and bug reporter.

 

So take this all as "wah wah don't play if you can't handle it and don't want to contribute to the quality of the game" (thought I already HAVE contributed to the quality of the game, quite a lot, thank you very much), or, to be more fair : that I'm simply not a good candidate for this backer beta and am disappointed with the technical acumen applied thus far to the mechanics and stability so close to release.

 

I hope the team is skilled and managed well enough to get in the coverage needed before launch .. from my perspective, however, it doesn't look promising. I truly hope I am surprised and would be so delighted to be wrong.

 

I'll probably check back in after a patch or two, but until we get a bugtracker and the game isn't constantly telling me to search the bug forum, see if the bug has been reported, and enter a 'new'  bug or add to that thread, I simply won't be participating in bug reports.

 

Good luck everyone, for what it's worth the parts of the game that do work predictably I am reasonably pleased with it and the content.

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The indoor/outdoor thing was a "problem" in all the IE games too. Its anoying but imo not that big of a deal. The only really gamebreaking bug without a workaround right now is the missing item bug.

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All the time spent on the bestiary could have been spent on making interesting items and sketches of said items(BG2 style). Instead we get this ****.

 

edit: Don't get me wrong, it's a cool feature and I like it, but item sketches should have been priority.

Edited by Seari
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am gonna wait and see how much progress is made with the first patch. keep in mind that many o' the issues you observe were known issues Before beta release, so is not as if obsidian only started working on fixes.

 

that being said, we is not optimistic about a december release, but we don't genuine care either. if it takes an extra month, or longer, to get game well and fully stable and to adjust based on player feedback (not the xp system, 'cause that ain't changing,) then so much the better. is no publisher that need be satisfied by getting game figuratively on the shelves by thanksgiving or some fiscal quarter target to satisfy quarter report expectations. let it cook a bit longer if it is needed. 

 

have good game in january or february, as opposed to december, is not a problem for Gromnir.

 

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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Nailed it.

 

I'd be happy for them to push back the release another year, if it meant getting an awesome successor that we've been waiting fifteen-odd years for.

 

As PrimeJunta said, we won't know for sure whether the project is a train wreck till we see another patch. But the build isn't everything--as you point out, the lack of a good feedback/reporting system and a dearth of developer communication combined with a buggy build raises plenty of doubts.

Edited by PrimeHydra
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Some fair points, actually. Re the outdoor scaling, I don't get the same feeling of 'giants', but what I find vastly different are the actual sizes of the outdoor areas. Compared to BG1, they're tiny.

 

I have moments where I worry about the state of the game come year end as well, but I chalk that up to me not being a game dev. I think they have a pretty good grasp of what they can do in what amount of time with the engine they're using. I'm trusting them on this. I think the real test is going to be seeing how much improvement is shown in the first couple beta updates.

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am gonna wait and see how much progress is made with the first patch. keep in mind that many o' the issues you observe were known issues Before beta release, so is not as if obsidian only started working on fixes.

 

have good game in january or february, as opposed to december, is not a problem for Gromnir.

 

HA! Good Fun!

 

I have no doubt most of the major bugs were known, that's the nature of a Beta, but it's the volume and types/areas where they are that are my concern.

 

Regarding the release date - my main concern is they will hatch this in a "we'll patch as we go" mode and deliver something substandard - that would be a disaster and I doubt they would do this given their experience, but who knows how much money is left?

 

They didn't get a whole lot to support this long of a development cycle (it adds up FAST). The concern would be that they release the game because they simply have to for financial reasons - sh*t gets real, you know? It doesn't only happen when publishers are breathing down dev's neck to wrap it up; everyone has to eat and take care of their families.

 

Edited: a word

Edited by khermann

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Yeah, those outdoor areas, they are like a few groves, some patches of tall grass, interrupted by stone formations, and not comparable to what I felt in BG1, for instance, that I actually explored wildernesses. I did replay it not too long ago, the EE, and I had expected them to feel bigger: extended, expansive, heck, even vast (it's an illusion, of course).

Edited by IndiraLightfoot
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*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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This game is supposed to launch at the end of the year, is that right? "Winter 2014" , "December 2014"

 

I can't see how that is possible given where the game is at today.

 

Second!

 

The outdoor scale is off. I know IW games don't do 1:1 scaling in outdoor environments but it is just off, walking around town feels like a group of giants romping around a dollhouse-scaled town. I may be in the vast minority in this, but for me it's enough to disrupt immersion.

 

Word!

 

I'm starting to hope for postponement.

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OP: Which games have you playtested? Were they triple-A games with "open betas"?

 

Cuz you know - not the same thing.

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oh, we know there is only so much money in the kitty for this game, but this is a new IP from obsidian. feargus and others has made this point a few times. there is a great motivation for them to get this game to fans in reasonable condition particularly as they would like to make more PoE games in the future. am far less concerned about them rushing this product out the door than if there were a publisher involved. would you not agree?

 

*shrug*

 

am currently not concerned. we haven't seen improvements to beta, and the december target doesn't matter much to us regardless... though technically they can lawyer up the release nonsense and claim that winter 2014 ends in late march.

 

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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I can't see how that is possible given where the game is at today.

I am not optimistic about this as well.

 

I expected more from a game that is only a few months away from release, a lot more.

Agree.

 

yet we're not even given a bugtracker, only a forum that buries threads in to oblivion.

A master bug list or something would be nice, like the DotA 2 Dev forums.

 

The outdoor scale is off. I know IW games don't do 1:1 scaling in outdoor environments but it is just off, walking around town feels like a group of giants romping around a dollhouse-scaled town. I may be in the vast minority in this, but for me it's enough to disrupt immersion.

No it's not just you, I agree. I also think that the run speed is too quick, you absolutely plow through areas.

 

Good luck everyone, for what it's worth the parts of the game that do work predictably I am reasonably pleased with it and the content.

A lot of the things like UI Design (aesthetics are p. cool though <3 Kaz) and some of the systems make me frown a little bit. Same with the abhorrence of some of the things the IE games did perfectly fine.

 

I think we will be able to get a better gauge of how they are tracking for release after a patch or two. The first patch may give a massive increase in playability.

 

Black Isle generally opted for smaller maps overall for their games whereas Bioware usually did pretty large exterior maps. It is disappointing that "Wilderness Areas" like the Dyrford Crossing are so tiny.

 

However I know that the Dyrford was THE first settlement area they made for the game, and the Dyrford Crossing was one of the first Wilderness Areas made for the game (during the Prototype). It will be a shame if the other outdoor areas are all so small though. I know there are some 8x8 maps but I'm not sure how many.

 

The reason the Backer Beta is now is because of Gamescom. Obsidian decided they were going to Gamescom ages ago and decided they were going to have a playtest at Gamescom. This meant the backer beta had to be soon after as to not make backers grumpy. This is why we are doing this now.

 

I think personally I am damaging my own overall enjoyment and enthusiasm for the game by doing the beta testing, but I do want the game to be better overall, so it's a bit self-sacrificial.

Edited by Sensuki
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Nailed it.

 

I'd be happy for them to push back the release another year,

 

No.

I'm beggining to think some people are enjoying the anticipation of this game more than the reality. They've been pretty consistent and adamant that the game is coming out Winter 2014 and that's when it should come out. Obsidian are a business, budgets aren't bottomless and it's generally a good idea to do something when you say you are going to do it.

Like we've been shown what is a very promising actual game and you would prefer to keep longing after some Platonic ideal of an IE game for another year?

Pillars cannot meet expectations you've been nurturing for fifteen, that's ridiculous.

How are people not excited for an actual impending release of an isometric RPG but arguing for its continued delay? I seriously don't understand.

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They didn't get a whole lot to support this long of a development cycle (it adds up FAST). The concern would be that they release the game because they simply have to for financial reasons - sh*t gets real, you know? It doesn't only happen when publishers are breathing down dev's neck to wrap it up; everyone has to eat and take care of their families.

 

 

 

 

This is the primary variable here, I believe.  It's like digging the Panama Canal(or any works project). It might take a year longer than projected, planned and budgeted to make it as wide and the locks as deep as would be ideal, but who's paying?

 

 

 

 

 

Regardless, I'm confident they have their ducks in a row. They've entirely redone their pathfinding system in a very short amount of time(it's waiting for deployment, I believe), so that's a moot point. The scale is, beyond a certain point, a done deal, I believe(given the number of variables that would have to be shifted to change it significantly), so that falls into something you don't like rather than a bug.

 

Things like tweaking movement speed, weapon/spell damage, VO, abilities, attribute values, encounter placement and composition, UI tweaks and fixing all the bugs that you deliberately ignore over the course of development(you do know they save that for the end, right?) are some of the easiest changes to make relative to the rest of the project, and that's why they're left for last. Every area that's going to be in the game is already in the game, and has been for some time now(this has been directly confirmed). This is not a time in the development cycle where they're still adding that kind of content.

 

Infinitron is on the money about the "state" of the beta. It's an honest-to-God BETA, not an early access. This is a side of the game that only the developers typically see, and I think that's caused a lot of anxiety among the consumers. But they're a relatively large, very professional studio that has planned and budgeted for a certain release window and I think it's silly to think they'll have either the money or the inclination to significantly deviate from that unless they hit one hell of a pothole. Companies can't just significantly overshoot release targets because they don't have a publisher breathing down their neck(though in this case, they surely must have some obligation to Paradox to hit their mark so Paradox can hit theirs).

Edited by Panteleimon
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OP: Which games have you playtested? Were they triple-A games with "open betas"?

 

Cuz you know - not the same thing.

 

RuDZLyh.jpg

 

It's a beta, I get it.

 

I get that, and yes some open betas, some closed, and to be fair only a few isometric RPGs, most notably Platnetscape Torment years ago, and most recently Shadowrun: Dragonfall (what a great game, btw) which also had good bug reporting support. SR:D obviously benefited from the stability inherent to an expansion, so that is not a fair comparison, i get that.

 

I'm just one voice, these are just my opinions. I'm still a fan, and I still want the game to be good - but Obsidian isn't making it easy for us to help them and yet there appears to be a long way to go working on core elements before they get to final polish.

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"Planetscape"? ;)

 

I'm not attacking you. Just saying the definition of "beta" varies. You've probably heard of the Steam Early Access program. Obsidian seemed unwilling to put this beta up for sale there, and at the time we didn't understand exactly what they were so afraid of. Well, now we know - it's clear that their definition of "beta" is something that isn't really suitable for a mass audience. At least, not at the beginning.

Edited by Infinitron
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I think personally I am damaging my own overall enjoyment and enthusiasm for the game by doing the beta testing, but I do want the game to be better overall, so it's a bit self-sacrificial.

 

That is why I am not touching it until it's halfway decent.

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Regardless, I'm confident they have their ducks in a row. They've entirely redone their pathfinding system in a very short amount of time(it's waiting for deployment, I believe), so that's a moot point. 

Where did you hear this? See, that's what we're talking about in terms of their communication needing work.

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am gonna wait and see how much progress is made with the first patch. keep in mind that many o' the issues you observe were known issues Before beta release, so is not as if obsidian only started working on fixes.

 

have good game in january or february, as opposed to december, is not a problem for Gromnir.

 

HA! Good Fun!

 

I have no doubt most of the major bugs were known, that's the nature of a Beta, but it's the volume and types/areas where they are that are my concern.

 

Regarding the release date - my main concern is they will hatch this in a "we'll patch as we go" mode and deliver something substandard - that would be a disaster and I doubt they would do this given their experience, but who knows how much money is left?

 

They didn't get a whole lot to support this long of a development cycle (it adds up FAST). The concern would be that they release the game because they simply have to for financial reasons - sh*t gets real, you know? It doesn't only happen when publishers are breathing down dev's neck to wrap it up; everyone has to eat and take care of their families.

 

Edited: a word

 

If it comes to that they will release it at Steam as Early Access. That would cover the cost of additional months of development, even a full year. And to be honest i hope they do since i want the final release game to be awsome and sell 2 million copies.

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I think personally I am damaging my own overall enjoyment and enthusiasm for the game by doing the beta testing, but I do want the game to be better overall, so it's a bit self-sacrificial.

 

That is why I am not touching it until it's halfway decent.

 

 

Yeah I am in this camp. I'll peek at the patches, but if I don't see significant improvement I'm just going to wait for 1.0 and hope for the best.

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Wasteland 2 was more playable than this on the release of their "Beta" (which was really an Alpha) but they had some deepset design issues and the UI was re-done several times, and the content wasn't even finished.

 

There were a lot more Wasteland 2 testers though because it was offered at $55. Here it seems like there's not too many active beta testers that post on the forum in comparison.

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Thing is: The veil's already breached for me. And I can't wait to try all those classes out when combat does work one or two patches ahead. And it would be sweet if I got to see them level up for the first time too.


*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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Wasteland 2 was more playable than this on the release of their "Beta" (which was really an Alpha) but they had some deepset design issues and the UI was re-done several times, and the content wasn't even finished.

 

There were a lot more Wasteland 2 testers though because it was offered at $55. Here it seems like there's not too many active beta testers that post on the forum in comparison.

Sensuki: How scathing were the criticisms for WL2's alpha (beta) version early on compared to what you've seen here?


*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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"Planetscape"? ;)

 

I'm not attacking you. Just saying the definition of "beta" varies. You've probably heard of the Steam Early Access program. Obsidian seemed unwilling to put this beta up for sale there, and at the time we didn't understand exactly what they were so afraid of. Well, now we know - it's clear that their definition of "beta" is something that isn't really suitable for a mass audience. At least, not at the beginning.

 

heh. Sorry if i sounded combative - wasn't the tone I was going for.

 

To be fair, most of my experience is in the FPS genre for testing, and I know the development process is much different for an iso-RPG. On the other hand, I've been working with software development and integration for 20 years and occasionally I make logical jumps that make sense to me but may not be justified. Occupational hazard. This may be a case of unjustified expectations on my part and they are going to get things is working order much more quickly than I envision.

 

The lack of a bugtracker is a very reasonable concern, though. It makes me feel like my time isn't valued and they just propped up a forum because that is always the easiest and quickest thing to do in order to give folks a place to vent their problems, if not particularly effective for the game or continuity of the beta.

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Sensuki: How scathing were the criticisms for WL2's alpha (beta) version early on compared to what you've seen here?

Umm, on the RPGCodex we were scathing a little bit and saying that it wasn't a beta, but an alpha. I made a video demonstrating how **** the camera design was and it was pretty much just shot down by the Line Producer Thomas Beekers, who reacted very negatively to a lot of my criticism. Stopped bothering after a while.

 

The WL2 Forums were a mix, there was a lot of "This is great" Wasteland fans, and a lot of "THIS SUCKS" Fallout fans.

 

I'd say PE and WL2 were received similarly on the Codex, but different aspects are being criticized.

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