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15/1/14 Stream Impressions and Feedback


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I fell asleep for the stream today so I'm going to sit down and watch it and write notes/feedback as I go. Then I'll write a short conclusion at the end

 

The texture on Eder's shield is badass.

 

The wood panels for the Stronghold/Shop etc interface need to be a lot less noisy - text looks really bad on them. It's the same in every interface that uses them, been meaning to bring it up for a while. Also not so sure their general color is good for white text either. I have perfect eyesight, but it doesn't look very nice to look at and might be hard to read for some people.

 

EPwz2mv.jpg

 

The flat grass texture used for the Stronghold is much better than using heaps of tall grass. It's much better for character/unit visibility and you don't get the nasty sorting issues with shorter characters and stuff. 

 

I enjoyed the dialogue and companion conversations. However gaps between the companion ambient dialogue are too long, and I don't like the new 'backing' for the ambient dialogue either, it looks bad. The ambient text fading also probably needs to be adjusted/tuned as well.

 

The encounter design in the Stronghold Xaurip area was quite disappointing, just seemed like a copy paste of a few patrolling mobs here and there without much thought into the enemy composition, gear or positioning and it was just the same few enemies over and over again. Quite lackluster compared to the encounter design of Durlag's Tower / some of Dragon's Eye / Watcher's Keep etc.

 

The unique armor find was nice, but other than that I think loot also could have been a bit better in that area. Josh didn't seem to find any consumables or anything like that (perhaps he just didn't look hard enough, dunno).

 

I did like how the Combat HUDs are now not always visible. I think that's a good change. However I think being able to always tell when party members are in recovery is important since there is no feedback given for when a character is idle in the combat stance or in recovery so moving the combat idle to recovery time would be a good idea to give that visual feedback.

 

Much like the beta areas, characters and creatures look really murky and washed out in interiors, as well as in Gilded Vale and Heratige Hill. It's something that lots of people have been complaining about since the first version of the beta, and not really anything has been done about it other than fixing a bug with ambient maps early on. I still think units need to stand out more.

 

This is a good idea:

 

84KRwWv.jpg

 

I am very apprehensive about the removal of Accuracy from the attribute system. I know someone or possibly multiple people on the forums suggested it, but I think that it's not a good idea. I can already see how the upcoming system will be just as bad, if not worse than the v257/v278 Attribute system - I will try it, but I have a feeling results are not going to be good. Good thing is, is that Attributes are really easy to change.

 

I saw some new Grimoire icons, they looked cool (so did the new ability and talent icons) - and I like how when you mouse over an item it now also shows their item properties too - like Fine, Pierce Proofed.

 

The ability over the head thing is interesting, sometimes it looked like it was the ability that the unit was going to use and sometimes not, I'm not sure, either way I'll investigate it in the next version. Looked like a possible good change though. However it shouldn't obscure the unit itself like in this image:

 

aLiHXUy.jpg

 

I see enemies still attack the invulnerable party pet tongue.png

 

When characters arrived in Gilded Vale from the south they arrived at a strange position on the screen. Just a niggle, but consider moving it so they actually look like they just arrived from that road or whatever.

 

Still really don't like the arrows and the "click to drag and navigate" helper features on the area map. I find those super annoying. Looks like it stays up the entire time you've navigating the map now? Which is even more annoying. It would be easy to add an option like "Show Area Map Hints" or something, and unticking them disabled it. 

 

Sagani portrait is beautiful. All the companion portraits so far have been quite nice.

 

When you initiate dialogue with a character, it looks jarring that the character does not turn to face you for the conversation (shown in image below). There were a few instances where I saw this. In the beta it has not been as noticeable because most people are already facing you for the convo. But here, the conversation with Sagani and the Crucible Blacksmith - they were facing away from the player. They probably need to turn when you select them to initiate dialogue.

 

T3eHASN.jpg

 

I like the look of Copperlane, and it actually does feel like a proper BG1 or BG2 City Map. However as others have pointed out here and other places - it's definitely lacking buzz. I think someone mentioned that sound files were not playing or something, but there's a distinct lack of walla, NPC cries (eg. "APPLES, APPLES ONE COPPER!" from a nearby Merchant), random NPC ambient dialogue and it just seemed a bit empty as well. I think someone mentioned that the devs mentioned memory issues with NPCs - that shouldn't be a problem after a proper optimization pass is done though.

 

One thing I did notice though is that quest-givers seem to be the ones with ambient dialogue. They like holler at the party. I can see how that would make them stand out more, but as you guys have said - you expect people who play this game to want to read, so I think people will notice a quest giver in between the ambient commoner lines. I never had that issue in the IE games.

 

The leader of the NPC group hired by the Dozens slides across the floor at the beginning of the cutscene where he begins to talk to the party.

I also think that that area showcases how weird/strange the method of revealing NPCs from the fog of war is, they sort of fade in and out, which I think needs to be revised because it looks silly/not great - especially when it happens for a lot of them at once.

 

Was cool to see the NeoGAF Inn. I chuckled when I saw what Bishop looked like - it was exactly how they requested in the email hahahah.

 

Backer NPCs could use a line of ambient dialogue when clicked on.

 

I'm surprised at how thin the Brackenbury district is. Areas already look strange because of being in 16:9 and aren't as 'fun' to navigate from top to bottom - that just magnifies it.

 

Those miss sounds from the guys training in the Crucible Keep really need to be only heard when you're near the room they're in, or in the room. 

 

The dialogue window could better position itself so that the NPC's name / top line of dialogue is not fading out at the top of the window (shown in image below). There's plenty of space below the character responses for it to be centered properly. Also it needs to be able to be reset to default after being resized.

 

LB9TcxE.jpg

 

Pathfinding still noticeably needs work, doesn't look like it's been improved since v392 (that I can tell, anyway). I have a bug report/issue report here with a bit of research, if it hasn't been checked out yet - hasn't been replied to anyway.

 

Overall, the stream was good. I think Josh could have talked a bit more about what or why he was doing stuff - and actually used his per-encounter abilities wink.png I'm excited to explore those areas in the full game. Still think the combat is pretty meh, but characters, dialogues and areas are cool.

Edited by Sensuki
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Not much to add here, pretty much agree with all that. Except that I think the combat is pretty fun even if I still have the damndest problem with the visuals of it.

I think I especially have to agree with the city areas feeling a bit sterile though. I'm sure the sound will help a lot but yeah, some areas (I mean within the area itself, the streets and so forth) just look too big considering that there's not a lot going on in them. It feels a bit empty. Gives me a feeling of Neverwinter from NWN2 or Imperial City in Oblivion which is, frankly, something that would be really disappointing to have in this. IE cities were always some of the best RPG cities (probably the best) in terms of bustle and feel.

 

Hopefully the mega-dungeon will get more interesting further down. I think they probably have to pace it a bit, having it more mundane at the top to have an "arc" through all the levels. It felt like Josh was playing through it a bit faster than I would, maybe due to it being a stream.

The game really looked too easy for Hard though. I only tried out the current BB on Normal but Josh seemed to have little-to-no problems even while doing some pretty big mistakes and while not really using abilities to their fullest. Of course, it depends on what levels everything is vs the party level as well so...

 

I loved that the companions seemed pretty talkative. And they seem pretty interesting.

 

The game looks really beautiful all in all. Can't wait, only two months now. Hard to believe!

Edited by Starwars

Listen to my home-made recordings (some original songs, some not): http://www.youtube.c...low=grid&view=0

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Different creatures and tuning. Wurms are also in the beta and I don't think any of them have ever done more than like 5-9 per hit damage against a party member.

 

Current BB - enemy parties, wolves and wurms are probably the easiest creatures. Josh said he tuned creature damage down recently.

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Have to agree with everything Sensuki said.

"Time is not your enemy. Forever is."

— Fall-From-Grace, Planescape: Torment

"It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question, and he'll look for his own answers."

— Kvothe, The Wise Man's Fears

My Deadfire mods: Brilliant Mod | Faster Deadfire | Deadfire Unnerfed | Helwalker Rekke | Permanent Per-Rest Bonuses | PoE Items for Deadfire | No Recyled Icons | Soul Charged Nautilus

 

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Sensuki it's 2015 friend.

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Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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Can't say I really agree with much of anything you're complaining about, except the text on the wood texture.

 

 

Let me summarize what you said with some blatant misquotes:

 

- Gaps between ambient dialogue too long

- And it looks bad, and you don't like it

- And the fading "needs" to be adjusted

 

- Encounter design was bad and disappointing

- No thought put into it

 

- you didn't like the loot

 

- you like the HUDs not being visible

- but you don't like that you can't see the information the HUDs showed (seriously wtf?)

 

- you say characters look washed out and murky

 

- you say attribute system is bad, and worse than before

- you say "I will try it" like you're doing someone a favour

 

- not happy with character positioning after map travel

- map is bad and annoying

 

- NPCs need to stop whatever they are doing and turn and face you immediately, because you are grand poo-bah sensuki, how dare they talk to you with their back turned

 

- you say "combat is meh"

 

 

 

Maybe you're right about some of this, but I think you just like to complain a lot 'cause it makes you feel smart. The way you deliver it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. So much pedantic complaining, an aloof tone of implied superiority. It's almost like you've spent a lot of time on codex.

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Great feedback as aways salute.gif

 

 



Maybe you're right about some of this, but I think you just like to complain a lot 'cause it makes you feel smart.  

 

:aiee:

 

 

It's almost like you've spent a lot of time on codex.

 

No ****, Sherlock.

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gotto agree with stash sound effect is really nail on a wood. Specially when looting multiple corpse. Its very loud and sudden. Hope It wont be at final version.

About the murky look I think Obsidian tries a pastel look for art design perhaps thats why It looks that way. I dont think they look bad though.

but Overall there are quite a few evidently bugs and glitches everywhere. Kinda worry about game relase day hope they hurry up ;(

Edited by ruzen

Kana - "Sorry. It seems I'm not very good at raising spirits." Kana winces. "That was unintentional."

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I have three observations.  First, I definitely agree that the wooden panels and the white text could be cleared up. Second, I liked most of the portraits, and I definitely enjoyed the companion dialogue options with regards to the reputation system (clever, cruel, etc).  I know that a lot of discussion focuses on combat and UI, but I think I am most excited for the reputation system (and story).  Third, I really hope that the non-combat pet bug gets fixed.  The bug makes the pets ( baby dragon, pig, etc) immortal tanks that distract one or two mobs. 

 

That being said, the stream rekindled some of my hype for the game again with the story companions.

 

Also, I am not sure whether I missed it, but did the enemy priest buff his allies at all?

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Wanna hear something funny?

Those light wooden panels with white text on them was the very first thing I reported in as bad and almost unreadable in the earliest beta, and they are still in.

 

I just can't wrap my head around why.

 

Voice of Reason: *Pst! It's because you're just a backer, and not a game dev at Obsidian*

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

 

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Really like what they've done, I'm happy that they pushed the release to march because there's a really big difference from novemeber/early december. I can't see that many bugs, just a few minor ones like the one floor glitch and weird line going from the letter "s" to "t". Love the change in character style and animation. 

Here's a link to the livestream video on YouTube if anyone's interested: 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfz0hu8Zjqg

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At 54:01 in the Youtube version, we see Josh clicking to use a big gate as an area transition, and it doesn't work as smoothly as we should expect it to!

 

(This is also something I've been reporting since the very start of the beta, btw)

 

Josh does what we all do (and he must have played the game lots and lots - he approaches the closed gate and hovers somewhere reasonably in the middle of the gate in the hope of finding the small, round little door icon - and it all ends up rather wonky and stuttering.

My suggestion has always been: A click on such an area transition works straight away - easy as a Sunday morning.

 

As things are now, we have to mouse-hover-fondle every area transition for hitting a small round hitbox that's actually hidden until you mouse it over, an extra headache, mind you.

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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At 54:01 in the Youtube version, we see Josh clicking to use a big gate as an area transition, and it doesn't work as smoothly as we should expect it to!

 

(This is also something I've been reporting since the very start of the beta, btw)

 

Josh does what we all do (and he must have played the game lots and lots - he approaches the closed gate and hovers somewhere reasonably in the middle of the gate in the hope of finding the small, round little door icon - and it all ends up rather wonky and stuttering.

My suggestion has always been: A click on such an area transition works straight away - easy as a Sunday morning.

 

As things are now, we have to mouse-hover-fondle every area transition for hitting a small round hitbox that's actually hidden until you mouse it over, an extra headache, mind you.

I actually prefer "find the hitbox" to accidentally transitioning somewhere. It's not that big of a deal when all it does is bring up the world map, but in some games it means staring at the screen for 5 minutes as it loads back and forth.

t50aJUd.jpg

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Perhaps a UI toggle for this issue is in order?

 

A compromise for me would be that the little round icon is already up and clickable - it certainly isn't an immersion-breaker in my eyes.

A small hitbox is OK in that case.

Edited by IndiraLightfoot

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

 

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Josh takes on a few Xaurip skirmishers and wyrms in a special dungeon at about 19:30-20:50.

And he claims he's in trouble, but something is very wrong and grating in that encounter.

If you take a look at the bottom centre of the screen, you'll see a north-south-going line of three wyrms and in turn a trapped Xuarip behind them (that's half the enemies in that encounter),

and these don't move at all. The first wyrm blocks the other two, and they just don't move at all for over a minute. Is this all due to bad pathfinding? Is the wyrm blocking the entire archway?

Mind you, the three wyrms and that Xaurip are not afflicted by any spells and they are hostile.

It is so bad that they are just standing until one of Josh's character walk up to the first Wyrm and begin to slaughter it, and then nothing much of a resistance is going on.

 

What gives?

Edited by IndiraLightfoot

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

 

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Loved this stream. Combat seemed much more enjoyable/balanced and the depth of the story and multitude of options is incredible. I found myself roleplaying my own character when he went into the keep, thinking about what it would be like to join up with the knights. Background art etc is mindblowing. 

 

- Agree that the white text on wooden panels is poor.

- Would like a little border around the square icons for the selected trait during level up screen as well as the item being created in the crafting screen.

- Pathfinding is better but causes a problem on one occasion in combat as alluded to by Indira.

 

Question - What is the max resolution we can play this game on where it will scale accurately as intended. If you put it on 4k will everything be stuck at super zoomed out?

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It was awesome! I was watching in Full-Screen. Seeing everything, the areas, the characters, voices, it was exciting. I did remove my earphones and sometimes closed my eyes because spoilers and lots of exploration and adventuring I wanted to do myself first hand but... wow :D I want to rewatch it yet I don't want to. 1-hour showcase, that's about how long it'd take for me just to talk to everyone in one populated City area xD or explore it entirely differently too.

I did frown to the first sentence containing "Fu", in the dungeon (a scroll/book/note... Fara... Curse?), but it sound good/acceptable for the NPC voice ex-Crucible Knight in the AH *shrug* I guess it sounds good, but didn't look good in the writing.

Sound levels didn't feel right at all, though Voice Levels were often good in the context of the rest of the sound. I presume that more ambience will be added or is in process of being added (windy/mystical/watery in dungeon~ etc.). Crickets worked fine, and they were super loud in combination with that there was no sound in the dungeon (I think? I couldn't hear anything) and then transitioning, the whole thing that happened on the Stream (lol) was also an... experience xD

Combat felt like a fuzzy fast clutter in the demonstration, as if it was done quickly with a super optimized party and to show as much content as possible within 1-hour. I will most likely play differently, splitting+positioning+scouting and preparing. Josh playing all the cards right, as he knows the system pretty well. I don't know, I didn't quite follow it all the time, but the Monk was awesome and stood out (part main character, part Monk fighting style+animations).


It looked and felt a bit like how combat feels in the Beta too. Fast, hectic. I still wish the attack speed (arm-swing+creature bite/slash/hack etc.) had more frames or slowed down. But the Monk fighting style was awesome to see :D

... is "Hey Lady" potentially the 9th Companion+Forton 2.0? :D

All of the areas are stunning, gorgeous, and I can't wait to reveal all that black fog! Lots of characters to talk to and engage in. The "Adventurer's Hall" (name's don't stick to me much yet) was an awesome looking place, probably my favorite.

The undead place reminds me of NWN2, and I'm wondering whether it is predictable or not... (Is it one of the Deities... or is a Chanter or Chanter group ressurecting the dead?)...

Gaaah! The game looks fantastic! I want it now! T-T :p looking forward to March 26th!

Edited by Osvir
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