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The 'Sidian Tyranny thread

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If there is one area where Obsidian seems to falter consistently, and didn't back in the Black Isle days, it is in the voice acting for me. I look at the likes of Baldur's Gate II and Planescape: Torment and their voice-acting was pretty much perfect... Yet I can't think of any game in Obsidian's catalogue where it's anywhere short of patchy. Some good performances in all of them, sure, but a myriad of horrible, forced counter-examples elsewhere. In Pillars of Eternity, for every Edér or Hiravias there's an Urgeat, Grieving Mother or Galawain. Not sure who's to "blame" here, but it is well worth looking into for future projects.

 

Rose tinted glasses and all that. Torment's voice acting was quite uneven and not everyone in BG2 was David Warner.

 

I have played both again earlier this year, and did not find this the case at all. Would you help me out with some examples?

Edited by algroth

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If there is one area where Obsidian seems to falter consistently, and didn't back in the Black Isle days, it is in the voice acting for me. I look at the likes of Baldur's Gate II and Planescape: Torment and their voice-acting was pretty much perfect... Yet I can't think of any game in Obsidian's catalogue where it's anywhere short of patchy. Some good performances in all of them, sure, but a myriad of horrible, forced counter-examples elsewhere. In Pillars of Eternity, for every Edér or Hiravias there's an Urgeat, Grieving Mother or Galawain. Not sure who's to "blame" here, but it is well worth looking into for future projects.

 

I think Mask of the Betrayer was the best one overall in regards to voiceacting. Alpha Protocol was also good/great (Thorton himself was a bit bland but I can understand their thinking).

 

Funny thing is that those two, along with Vampire Bloodlines (which is *fantastic* in terms of voice acting) had voice talent that were directed by one Margaret Tang. Someone needs to get a hold of her for the next games because she seems to do a great job with the actors.

 

Agreed with Mask of the Betrayer, it definitely stands out the best in my mind. Alpha Protocol I have not yet played.

 

Funny about the former is that I've read a lot of criticism thrown at its characters and voice acting, calling it lifeless and flat and whatnot. It was closer to the opposite to me: they frequently felt more detailed, complex and natural than those in the original campaign, and if their parts were underplayed all it did was to help smoothen out all the silly, histrionic acting that was present in the main game.


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Currently playing: Fallout

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Sooo . . . nobody else is going bare knuckle? I suppose I'm alone in my punching fetish.

Me! Although I've only just finished creation so I have no idea if unarmed was horrible mistake or not...


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Sounds like combat is going to keep me away from this for a while. Never picked up PoE, but Tyranny picked my interest right before its release. Now that interest is fading.

 

If there is one area where Obsidian seems to falter consistently, and didn't back in the Black Isle days, it is in the voice acting for me. I look at the likes of Baldur's Gate II and Planescape: Torment and their voice-acting was pretty much perfect... Yet I can't think of any game in Obsidian's catalogue where it's anywhere short of patchy. Some good performances in all of them, sure, but a myriad of horrible, forced counter-examples elsewhere. In Pillars of Eternity, for every Edér or Hiravias there's an Urgeat, Grieving Mother or Galawain. Not sure who's to "blame" here, but it is well worth looking into for future projects.

 

I think Mask of the Betrayer was the best one overall in regards to voiceacting. Alpha Protocol was also good/great (Thorton himself was a bit bland but I can understand their thinking).

 

 

Funny thing is that those two, along with Vampire Bloodlines (which is *fantastic* in terms of voice acting) had voice talent that were directed by one Margaret Tang. Someone needs to get a hold of her for the next games because she seems to do a great job with the actors.

 

I think Bloodlines' voice acting is more of the exception than the rule. Alpha Protocol had a mix of good and bland, as you mentioned, and Tang also worked with Sleeping Dogs, which falls into the same bland/not bad/not great territory. I wager it was the whole team and its creative efforts that put Bloodlines above them all, rather than one person, though she helped.

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All right, I liked how the spell crafting works, but it turned out it's just boring. I can have single-target close-range fire thing, single-target close-range ice thing, long-distance slight-AoE fire thing, long-distance slight-AoE ice thing and in an extremely exciting twist of events a single-target close-range thing that freezes people and puts them on fire and long-distance slight-AoE thing that also freezes people and puts them on fire. (don't ask, I have no idea how does that work.)

 

In comparison, my lvl1 mage in Pillars of Eternity could summon puddle of oil, shoot fire from his hands in a cone which was powerful but required careful positioning, could cast a powerful shield on himself, summon a slow-damaging area of ice, buff friends, debuff oponents and that's just one magic casting class. I always felt like I've had a ton more options, which also made me feel more in control, yet fast pace of combat ensued that timing was of the essence. In Tyranny I'm just... Waiting for cooldonws to expire so that I can cast again.

 

On bright side, locations in Tyranny are really impressive-looking. They're sadly a lot smaller than in Pillars and exploration is a lot less of a factor, but oh well. Writing also feels quite a bit more interesting.

Edited by Fenixp
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I prefer Pillars of Eternity combat over this, no questions asked.

 

-I don't like cooldowns on abilities.

-4 man party feels restrictive.

-Not a fan of the learn-by-doing system.

-Pathfinding during combat is worse than PoE.

-Combat was a cluster**** until I deactivated companion "AI".

-Combat AI for companions is non-existent.

-Armors/weapons aren't that fun.

-Encounter design is worse than PoE.

-Combat UI is inexcusably bad.

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Sounds like combat is going to keep me away from this for a while. Never picked up PoE, but Tyranny picked my interest right before its release. Now that interest is fading.

 

If there is one area where Obsidian seems to falter consistently, and didn't back in the Black Isle days, it is in the voice acting for me. I look at the likes of Baldur's Gate II and Planescape: Torment and their voice-acting was pretty much perfect... Yet I can't think of any game in Obsidian's catalogue where it's anywhere short of patchy. Some good performances in all of them, sure, but a myriad of horrible, forced counter-examples elsewhere. In Pillars of Eternity, for every Edér or Hiravias there's an Urgeat, Grieving Mother or Galawain. Not sure who's to "blame" here, but it is well worth looking into for future projects.

 

I think Mask of the Betrayer was the best one overall in regards to voiceacting. Alpha Protocol was also good/great (Thorton himself was a bit bland but I can understand their thinking).

 

 

Funny thing is that those two, along with Vampire Bloodlines (which is *fantastic* in terms of voice acting) had voice talent that were directed by one Margaret Tang. Someone needs to get a hold of her for the next games because she seems to do a great job with the actors.

 

I think Bloodlines' voice acting is more of the exception than the rule. Alpha Protocol had a mix of good and bland, as you mentioned, and Tang also worked with Sleeping Dogs, which falls into the same bland/not bad/not great territory. I wager it was the whole team and its creative efforts that put Bloodlines above them all, rather than one person, though she helped.

 

 

I still think something like Alpha Protocol (or indeed Mask of the Betrayer) had stronger performances though and it actually felt like... I dunno, they had stronger direction somehow. In PoE and Tyranny, I don't buy these characters at all (well, I liked a few in Pillars, like Thaos and Edér). It really feels to me like actors just reading lines "over" the game so to speak. Like Sagani in Pillars... there is nothing wrong with the line readings per say, but that voice just brings nothing to the table when it comes to Sagani's history, where she was brought up, the harshness of the land etc.

 

I thought about whether it could be a "disconnect" with the isometric view but I don't think so. And New Vegas had some similar problems with a lot of characters.


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I actually can't tell if that post is satire or not. Especially the points about combat, writing, and "sawyerisms" (whatever that even means)


I hate Unity.

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Let him be, poor guy was traumatised by something or other and now believes Sawyer is personally conspiring to steal his babies and eat them with red onions.

 

I expected the simplified combat, but I'm disappointed to hear from some quarters that character development also seems to be a bit of 'push big level up move on'. Are there not many interesting choices to make?

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Let him be, poor guy was traumatised by something or other and now believes Sawyer is personally conspiring to steal his babies and eat them with red onions.

 

I expected the simplified combat, but I'm disappointed to hear from some quarters that character development also seems to be a bit of 'push big level up move on'. Are there not many interesting choices to make?

Eh, so far every choice is to kill someone or not. Honestly I'm having a hard time playing through Act II. The combat is pretty bad, but Act I had me engaged because you were playing this sort of Judge Dredd character laying down Tunon and Kyros's will, which was cool. But then comes Act II and you're suddenly turned into a bitch boy running errands for one faction. Finding it real hard to struggle through this, but I guess I must persevere with hope that better things are coming.

 

PS: I completely forgot. There are some "points of interest" in some areas where there's a guard harassing an NPC (usually a trader or a prisoner) and you can intervene. If you tell them you can be the judge of the situation, they'll agree to abide by your decision and you can ask each of them for their version of the story, then you decide on what happens. Those segments are really cool. Also there's fun ways of killing people, like throwing them off a tower, or beating someone up for acting like a smug ****y **** and disrespecting you. 

Edited by mindswayer

I hate Unity.

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Tyranny makes a fantastic first impression. The Conquest sequence is probably the coolest feature I've seen in an RPG. And I'm only saying "probably" because I know someone will point out some game from the 90s I missed with something better.

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I have played both again earlier this year, and did not find this the case at all. Would you help me out with some examples?

 

BG2 voice-acting was pretty darned good throughout: I'm not sure how somebody could argue against that, with the ridiculous amount of work that was put into it. Maybe a few miscellaneous characters could've been better, but on whole, quality generally ranged from serviceable to good and sometimes even great. It's a little absurd to think of just how many little soundsets for all the different types of monsters and character types they bothered to make. If I had to pick out a weakness, actually, it would actually be that some of the main playable characters...think Cernd and maybe Viconia...fell into the "merely serviceable" end of the spectrum...but because if you have them stick around for so long, it can easily get to feel like they fall below that after hearing them too much.

 

Planescape: Torment I am less sure about, mainly because it's my impression that there wasn't nearly as much voice-acting in PST as there was in BG2, and so it's harder for me to remember and gauge it.

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Are the graphics that superior to PoE's?  I'm curious why there's such a leap in system requirements between the two games.


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Are the graphics that superior to PoE's?  I'm curious why there's such a leap in system requirements between the two games.

There's certainly improvements made to models and dynamic elements in the 2D backgrounds.


I hate Unity.

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I don't know what you have against writing. The companions are more fleshed and interesting than PoE ones, but I think I never saw worst written companions than in PoE. And the overall quality I find better. If I would to describe I would say that PoE was written by whiny emo/goth kid who wants to be "dark". And Tyranny by an adult who wants to explore the theme of being evil.

Overall writing seems to be better than in Pillars. And the world is more interesting. But no, if Pillars of Eternity was written by whiny emo/goth kid who wants to be dark, so is Tyranny. (This just proves you didn't spend a lot of time reading stuff that emo/goth kids actually write. Pillars is not particularly dark even when compared to modern fantasy literature at large, and emo/goth kid writing is a different league altogether.)

 

I think I never saw worst written companions than in PoE.

Oh I take it you didn't play Baldur's Gate *ducks*

 

Combat is enjoyable. There isn't a crappy "soft" counters that maybe will work, but actually don't. You actually see what every character is doing and who he fights with. And I had no problem with AI, the tank tanks, dps dpses, support supports and healer heal :). At the beginning you don't have much skills but thats every rpg ever so no problem. In some time you have your skills from level up, reputation ones, items ones, companions combo skills (with PC and each other!) so you have all the versality you want.

You're right, you can always see what everybody is doing, but you could also see that in Pillars of Eternity. Well as long as you sport a pair of eyes that is - altho being colorblind could cause an issue I suppose. Otherwise, the combat in Tyranny is just ... Massively dumbed down when compared to Pillars. Pillars offered layers upon layers of options, and even tho it could have done with *some* streamlining, this just took it into territory of complete triviality. Positioning doesn't matter, spell selection hardly matters, engagement mechanics seem to have been rendered into a bit of a joke... Click the buttons when cooldown ends. Since drinking potions no longer even costs an action, you just click those when you get in trouble. And you win. It's... God it's bad. And that's all combined with the horrible UI.

 

It does one thing better tho - it explains its mechanics more precisely it would seem.

 

And also unlike PoE your character attributes actually matters in and outside of combat, not only class and class skills like in PoE.

No, attributes don't matter at all in Tyranny, because you can constantly change them. One thing I loved in PoE was that you were locked to your combination of attributes outside of item bonuses and buffs for the rest of the game, your selection actually mattered. Tyranny is, on the other hand, fairly generous with levels, and each allows you to increase an attribute. Meh. (and the whole "attributes don't matter in Pillars of Eternity" thing people sometimes keep pulling out of their sleeve is just ... Ridiculous. It's correct that they don't matter as much as in many other RPGs, but they're still damn important, especially for specialized builds.) Edited by Fenixp

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I don't know what you have against writing. The companions are more fleshed and interesting than PoE ones, but I think I never saw worst written companions than in PoE. And the overall quality I find better. If I would to describe I would say that PoE was written by whiny emo/goth kid who wants to be "dark". And Tyranny by an adult who wants to explore the theme of being evil.

Overall writing seems to be better than in Pillars. And the world is more interesting. But no, if Pillars of Eternity was written by whiny emo/goth kid who wants to be dark, so is Tyranny. (This just proves you didn't spend a lot of time reading stuff that emo/goth kids actually write.)

 

Yeah, stuff like Age of Decadence! *ducks*


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I've just played for a couple of hours, and I'm really enjoying Verse. So far she appears to be a psychopath with an earnest enjoyment of bloody violence but obviously there's more there than meets the eye. The writing in general seems quite good, and I feel engaged and conflicted in the choices I have had. to make.

 

I really like the art design even if everything seems to be on the brown side of the spectrum, so far.

 

I've majored in dual wielding with a minor in lightning magic, but I haven't experienced much of the combat mechanics, so far. Reading through the ability descriptions it does seem like a step in a different direction when compared to PoE. I'd say it might be a middle ground between Dragon Age and Pillars: Heavy on the cooldowns, but still a healthy variety to the combat options, perhaps. It will depend on the variety of the opposition, of course, but it won't hard to be better than DA in that respect.

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