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Was the backer beta a good idea?

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I'm not saying he's a dictator. I'm saying that XP for combat was not up for discussion, ever.

 

I have not posted on the issue since the 2012 thread, because I understand that it is simply not up for discussion ;)

 

Yea that's been my reasoning as well and I basically just jumped on the train couple weeks ago. That's really something I immediately realized was a "no go" so I just let it drop.

 

Wusses. ;)


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

 

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Don't want to start a huge thing. But on combat/xp - it fits with making different characters, and sticking to role-playing them, doesn't it.. I mean, when you come from a role-playing background, this stuff always annoys you in crpgs. In a game, an actual Druid, or true neutral characters, would hardly gain any experience at all, for example. They would never resolve any conflicts on their own, they would avoid combat, they would talk a lot and discover secrets - but never actually use them for anything. A good wizard would collect the hidden scroll - and.. teleport back to the library, and stay there for a month, and mechanically gain nothing. Unfortunately, the thief always is a mass-murderer, no matter how skilled, etc.

 

So in games, you don't play a neutral character. You choose one because of alignment restrictions. And then the game requires the Druid of the hidden leaf to murder thousands of critters for no reason, etc. And the design simply allows you to add small "alignment" addons in conversations, but not really let people role-play them. Even if you managed to sneak past everyone, the xp penalty is crippling.

 

I'm just thinking that I'm sure Obsidian simply choose this because it broadens the role-playing options they can put into the game. Now the pirate can sneak into the stronghold, hold up the boss, and resolve the situation without bloodshed - and that's a good solution to the quest, like any other. The Druid can avoid exterminating the spiders and ruining the ecosystem forever - and sympathetically confront the Ogre as a fellow creature deserving of life no less than anything else.. without having to wash off the spider-goo from the armor first, etc. 

 

..No one ever reacted to that in an rpg, by the way? The story demands that there's a crazed druid with a scar in his soul running around killing people. And you sort of want to tell the guy that: yeah, but that's all right. I've killed 100000 people so far, and it doesn't bother me at all! You should really just stop worrying so much!

 

And then the game has you bash the guy's head in, after your animal companion rips his arms off, for the good of nature's balance.

 

Crpgs as they are usually done aren't very deep. It's usually one type of character, just with different labels. And they shouldn't be like that.

 

There's just no reason for it, right..? Unless you somehow want to make the point that having less role-playing options, makes the game more "accessible". Or something of that sort.

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@nipsen

 

This is simply not such a game, your druid will have to fight. He will even kill creatures of the forest.

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Yes the Backer Beta is a good idea.

 

No, participating in it does not (or should not) spoil participating in the final project.  To say that it does, means that no designer or developer could ever enjoy something they created because they saw all the bugs behind the scenes.  It would be the same as saying no one who worked on a movie could enjoy watching it because they saw all the issues.  As someone who has been on both sides of the design/development process I can truly say that the feeling you get from designing/developing something and seeing it come true is much more positive than just experiencing a finished product.  We, just like the devs, are seeing pieces of it right now.  Seeing the final synthesized offering will be a different experience.

 

Maybe part of it is mindset.  I participate in the beta... I do not play in the beta.  My mind set is one of evaluating and testing the various systems to see what does/does not work conceptually and what does/does not work mechanically.  We are not playing with early access - thats an entirely different thing. I  think some people confuse the two.  We are now part of the (unpaid) development team.

 

So I participated in 257 and now 278.  I am already very pleased with how many of the issues I pointed out were broken in my rather lengthy review of 257 have now been addressed in 278 and how much tighter PoE feels overall.  Is it perfect yet?  Of course not, but release is many months away and they actually made a ton of progress.  And dont worry, I am not saying only I pointed those things out.  This is not about me. Just saying I feel good.

 

We all knew this would be IE-like with some twists.  Some may or may not like the twists.  While thats ok, having those twists is part of design and there may be little we can do about the design at this point.  We are now in development.  Fixing, optimizing, etc the twists and the core systems is where we are at now. 

 

Also, I am glad there are reportedly no spoliers in the beta.  This was a wise decision for both us and the dev team.

 

EldrtichSong

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I'm treating it like a beta, not an early access.

 

I think it was a great idea to do the backer beta. There has been some incredibly well thought out feedback from the community. 

 

 

Honestly, despite the bugs and some poorly tuned systems, I'm enjoying the beta. It's going to take time to get the game tuned and polished, but I can see the potential.

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Wow this insider posts from people that really know what's going on inside Obsidian! Impressive! Sawyer sure is a dictator... /sarcasm

 

Any prof to show otherwise? This street goes both ways. We are offering our opinions from interactions with Josh. You are just spamming.

 

There is no "both ways". The burden of proof fall on you, as you are the one presenting the theory.

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I've come to burn your kingdom down

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There is no "both ways". The burden of proof fall on you, as you are the one presenting the theory.

 

Not a theory but an opinion, my proof are Josh's own post.

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If he's the project lead he should get final say otherwise he wouldn't ever really be empowered and Feargus would just be micromanaging and I doubt that would work or that he'd stay in such a situation.

 

I don't think Obsidian's culture is like that. I have no doubt that they discuss it then JE has the final say and gives his explanation why....at least that's how it works in Dev shops with any sort of decent culture.

 

I doubt JE goes over and tells the tank team what to do and I don't suspect that happens to him either. 

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why hasn't any of them including Q&A mentioned their concerns with things like rest spamming. This was one of the degenerate things Josh criticised in the IE games.

 

I don't think Josh's "degenerate rest spamming" complaint against the IE games is about having to rest too often due to low health.

 

On the contrary, I think he just dislikes that fact that players could (and were in some ways encouraged to) game the system by resting arbitrarily often even when their health didn't require it, just to get back per-rest spells and abilities.

 

His solution was to introduce camping supplies as a limited resource (which makes rest spamming less feasible), and make more abilities per-encounter (which makes rest spamming less tempting).

 

At least that's how I understood it...

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"Some ideas are so stupid that only an intellectual could believe them." -- attributed to George Orwell

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I'm just thinking that I'm sure Obsidian simply choose this because it broadens the role-playing options they can put into the game. Now the pirate can sneak into the stronghold, hold up the boss, and resolve the situation without bloodshed - and that's a good solution to the quest, like any other. The Druid can avoid exterminating the spiders and ruining the ecosystem forever - and sympathetically confront the Ogre as a fellow creature deserving of life no less than anything else.. without having to wash off the spider-goo from the armor first, etc. 

 

There's actually some real cool outcomes for the Ogre quest that are not available in the beta :)

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I certainly think the beta was a good idea if only because it allow a lot of the die hard enthusiasts a chance to play the game before they start selling it and thus vent their rage that the game is different from their dream game before the vast hordes of new players and casual gamers hit the forums. :getlost:

 

Let the rage, anguish, vitriol, and silliness of the hard core vanish in to the mists of time and forums before the newbies arrive...

 

 

In all seriousness there is value in getting input from a wider community it's easy to get so close to something you don't see all the flaws, at least letting us have a play and rant about the game allows a different view point and some people will undoubtedly spot a few things the developers hadn't noticed and provide a few useful suggestions, they'll unfortunately just have to wade through a lot of vitriol to get to them. Also it's a pretty good test on the stability of the Unity engine and the changes they've made to it, over a massive range of hardware and software configurations (that alone is valuable). I've actually been very impressed with the apparent lack of Crash to Desktop bug reports in the bug forum. Suggests there underlying code is excellent and stable and it's just minor issues, balance and interface they need to work on, which is worth knowing.

Edited by aeonsim

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why hasn't any of them including Q&A mentioned their concerns with things like rest spamming. This was one of the degenerate things Josh criticised in the IE games.

 

I don't think Josh's "degenerate rest spamming" complaint against the IE games is about having to rest too often due to low health.

 

On the contrary, I think he just dislikes that fact that players could (and were in some ways encouraged to) game the system by resting arbitrarily often even when their health didn't require it, just to get back per-rest spells and abilities.

 

His solution was to introduce camping supplies as a limited resource (which makes rest spamming less feasible), and make more abilities per-encounter (which makes rest spamming less tempting).

 

At least that's how I understood it...

 

 

In PoE, you can game the system by rest spamming. And when you're resting quite often, daily powers become nearly encounter powers due to so much resting. Especially when you're very close to the side of a map or even in the town. And due to the maps being small (maybe it's just the areas we're in and there will be larger maps in the final game), you can cross a map very quickly and get to town to rest.

 

In the IE games, if I was in a town map and buying/selling items, I wouldn't necessarily trot off to the nearest inn and rest if I still had a large assortment of healing spells. PoE does encourage you to do so when you are in town. If only one of my characters has 80% or 90% health, I'll just rest to get it to 100%. PoE encourages me more to rest spam than the IE games ever did. And with 4th ed encounter powers, when you cherry pick stuff like encounter and daily powers from 4th ed but leave other stuff out like healing, the system will be flawed.

 

Anyway, you quoted me with the obsidian devs and Q&A not bringing up their concerns with rest spamming that we've seen in the latest video with Rose's play which is the core part of my quote. Nice selective quoting and response.

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As a software developer as well as a gamer, the backer beta and the flood of feedback really got me thinking. By involving the customer base, which is a potential fan base in case of the game, into the development process at this stage, Obsidian has on one hand gained a lot more feedback than it would have otherwise, so they can polish the game to the testers' specific liking in addition to fixing more bugs. On the other hand, the players now had a look at a truly unfinished product. In some cases, a very thorough look. The beta players have developed an eye for inconsistencies, rule flaws and bugs.

 

I think the beta players will not be able to enjoy the game upon its release (or after the first one or two post-release patches ;) ) the way they would have otherwise. Instead of looking for and finding PoE's strengths, they will look for and find its weaknesses. All the other players will be profiting from the work the beta players put into the beta, but this part of the potential fan base will probably not turn into actual fans of the game.

 

What do you think about that aspect? How do you work against such tendencies in your own attitude towards Pillars of Eternity? Or am I just over-analyzing things only related to my own point of view?

 

As a fellow software developer I think the backer beta could have been a good idea but was poorly executed.

 

InXile released their beta a year before release, created a bug submission tool for backers to send bugs and feed back.. and gave themselves time to adjust their game to meet backers expectations..

 

Obsidian cashed the check.. told us they know whats best.. released a backer beta as a semi marketing tool and to fullfill their kickstarter promise.. then ignored us while fixing bugs to ship the game on time.

 

One company acted in a above and beyond ethical way and made me more excited to play Wasteland 2.. and one company told us to stfu Josh knows best and be happy with what ships.

 

FYI beneath all the Brian Fargo hype.. you see a man who has true dedication to his craft.. he kicked in his own money and sold some more games on discount on steam AND pushed the release date of the game back almost a year to ensure we got something amazing.. it wasn't a cash out for him.. maybe some people won't like the game but I was totally surprised by how they handled it.

 

Even though PoE was my most anticipated game.. I just get more disappointed and pissed off every day. :lol:

[/opinion]

Edited by Immortalis
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From George Ziets @ http://new.spring.me/#!/user/GZiets/timeline/responses

Didn’t like the fact that I don’t get XP for combat. While this does put more emphasis on solving quests, the lack of rewards for killing creatures makes me want to avoid combat (the core activity of the game) as much as I can.

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I'd have to agree Immortalis. There's been some decisions throughout these two years that seem like fly by the seat of your pants stuff and leaving things right at the last minute. I was really looking forward to PoE and WL2 was going to be something I would play later. I haven't followed the development of WL2 as much as PoE but it feels it was handled better and now I'm looking forward to WL2 more. I find WL2 fun to play and really enjoying it. It shows betas are good ideas and the way they're handled are also important.

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I don't know if the beta is a good idea or not, although I know that including the beta in the kickstarter phase undoubtedly netted Obsidian more money.  I don't agree with every design decision, but I tell you one thing, from my perspective, the beta backer has bolstered my confidence *considerably.*  I only played a tiny amount the first time, and I was not particularly impressed.  Of course, I almost always hate betas/demos/unfinished products so I wasn't worried.  After the patch, I decided to really sit down to play it.  Once you ignore obvious bugs, most of which are already known and which folks have already reported, this is a fun game.  When you get a handle on it, the combat is a lot of fun.  Yeah, I wish it weren't quite so brutal on sleeping, and I think some of the special effects are annoying (especially the fast acting beetle poison), and I think Might is a stupid name for something that grants both magical damage bonuses as well as physical ones, but all the warts on balance have not hindered my enjoyment.  I have become much more enthusiastic about the game because of the beta.  ...And, sure, the voices of complaint are louder in this forum.  When have they not been?  It's good that folks complain.  Maybe they'll win over the devs, maybe not, but at least they can't claim they were stifled or that they didn't know what was coming.  From my perspective, I'm glad they included the beta, and I didn't even think I'd try it until I read that they weren't going to include spoilerish stuff.  I'm especially happy with the cultish dungeon thing whatever it is.  Some really good stuff in there and I've already made one dialogue decision that dead ended the conversation.  I didn't go back.  I didn't reload.  I figure that I'll play through more than once and what I miss now I'll get later.

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I'd have to agree Immortalis. There's been some decisions throughout these two years that seem like fly by the seat of your pants stuff and leaving things right at the last minute. I was really looking forward to PoE and WL2 was going to be something I would play later. I haven't followed the development of WL2 as much as PoE but it feels it was handled better and now I'm looking forward to WL2 more. I find WL2 fun to play and really enjoying it. It shows betas are good ideas and the way they're handled are also important.

WL2 is certainly a lot more stable and is generally more enjoyable to play due to this.

 

However, the beta was a great idea because it gives us a chance to help out with bug-stomping, and (more importantly) we can give feedback on what we think. But I do think it's laughable at this point how half the board thinks that the attribute system is going to be completely overhauled if they complain loud enough.

 

To me, having the beta was a great idea because, like my OH, it shows a complete lack of willingness for people to let go of the old IE games and embrace a new system. Although, I am not saying it's without it's flaws.


You read my post.

 

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To me, having the beta was a great idea because, like my OH, it shows a complete lack of willingness for people to let go of the old IE games and embrace a new system. Although, I am not saying it's without it's flaws.

 

Alternatively, it shows a completely slavish adoration for novelty despite the obvious flaws in the new system.

 

Look, nobody thought this was going to be BG3. It's a bit unfair to keep flinging that around. If you like what others see as glaring design flaws, borne out by actual game play, then good luck to you. There's a nasty streak of censorious snark towards sceptics on this forum. It stifles discussion, even the sort of strident discussion you clearly don't favour.

 

You need to live with it and take it in your stride. The forums are awash with shills and fanbo1s, people who would dig anything Sawyer came up with. I take them in my stride. let them have their say --- but they do seem to be the ones knocking the other side personally.

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If it makes anybody feel better, I can guarantee you that there are people who loathe Wasteland 2 just as much as you do Pillars of Eternity.

 

There isn't a single Kickstarter that doesn't have a vocal "betrayed backer" contingent.

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I don't loathe it. I want to like it. I'm just struggling. I do wonder if shrugging off criticism using the logic that "heh, you always get people who are angry" is totally helpful though.

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I am all for discussion. But as you say (and I do agree I'm guilty of this) there seems to be an extremely partisan divide on the various issues around the game. Admittedly I'm not a number crunch so as long as something isn't completely ruined and I can enjoy the game I don't really care.

 

To me, PoE feels like a successor to the IE games. Yes the whole Might thing is a little odd but I really don't get who'd have a wizard swinging a GS at the front. Maybe I'm just reading too many threads with posters who have different opinions to me! XD

 

I tried the WL2 forums for a bit, without knowing a thing about WL1. I think I made about 10 posts and ran.

Edited by Ashen Rohk

You read my post.

 

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I haven't followed the development of WL2 as much as PoE but it feels it was handled better and now I'm looking forward to WL2 more. I find WL2 fun to play and really enjoying it.

 

WL2 was horrible when the 'beta' came out. Truly it was bad. However it was bad in a different way to how the PE beta isn't that great atm. WL2 does look like it's come a long way (I stopped playing the beta pretty early on), so hopefully PE can do the same.

 

 

 

To me, PoE feels like a successor to the IE games

 

Sure there's no doubt it tries to be. It has the broad strokes - iso/axo 2D backgrounds, Generally similar art style, IE style dialogues and an attempt to get the gameplay to feel very similar. It's number four that's arguably the most important for many of us beta testers (like myself), and I would say that to reach the levels of enjoyment that I got from playing the Infinity Engine games (or even exceed some of them) it has a ways to go.

Edited by Sensuki
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I'm just thinking that I'm sure Obsidian simply choose this because it broadens the role-playing options they can put into the game. Now the pirate can sneak into the stronghold, hold up the boss, and resolve the situation without bloodshed - and that's a good solution to the quest, like any other. The Druid can avoid exterminating the spiders and ruining the ecosystem forever - and sympathetically confront the Ogre as a fellow creature deserving of life no less than anything else.. without having to wash off the spider-goo from the armor first, etc. 

 

There's actually some real cool outcomes for the Ogre quest that are not available in the beta :)

 

I hope, so very much, that I can convince it to eat the entire f'n town.

 

And that I can feed the nobleman with a slow burning cave-fungus poison so the Ogre dies in the end.


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There's a nasty streak of censorious snark towards sceptics on this forum. It stifles discussion, even the sort of strident discussion you clearly don't favour.

 

 

 

The forums are awash with shills and fanbo1s, people who would dig anything Sawyer came up with.

 

HMMMM.


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There's a nasty streak of censorious snark towards sceptics on this forum. It stifles discussion, even the sort of strident discussion you clearly don't favour.

 

 

 

The forums are awash with shills and fanbo1s, people who would dig anything Sawyer came up with.

 

HMMMM.

 

 

 

I have no idea where those quotes come from, but clearly proves me that the ignore list is working as intended.


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