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Goddard

Remove Restrictions and let this game breath

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The restrictions placed on PoE 1 to me made it less fun and restrictive.  I know the argument is attempting to balance encounters, but coming from IE, or GemRB it just feels very limiting.  

 

For example what is the logic of not being able to drink a potion or cast a spell before a big fight that logically to the characters is imminent.  Why does it seem like all the spells are the same, but just "does 5 more damage".

 

Why is resting limited?  I can carry 50 swords but can't carry resting supplies.  Also isn't the whole limiting resting is more apt to a massively online multi-player game?

 

The enchanting seems like it would introduce some more dynamic character builds, but then the game creators remove that dynamic character builds by limiting stacking of effects to a fault.  Like, I am already limited to wearing two rings even though I have 10 fingers and hell 10 toes if we get down to it.  I say the enchanting of items makes more sense in a massively online multi-player game, but seems out of place in a single player game and even more so since you aren't playing online at all and it actually kind of takes away from the in game items you find from fighting a "boss".  It seems like none of the items are truly epic.

 

Wouldn't it push the engine further to open up the system and allow more interactions and more craziness?  Instead of limiting everything wouldn't it make more sense to have more intelligent AI systems?

 

Also dancing and puking and all that other animations adds nothing to a single player game.   Maybe in NWN it made sense.  You could role-play with other humans.  I mean maybe in a few situations it will make sense so you can have some people dance in a tavern and things can feel more alive, sure.  

 

Please consider this constructive criticism because I really do love this style of game.

 

Maybe all this will change in PoE 2, but figured I would give my perspective and experience.

Edited by Goddard

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For example what is the logic of not being able to drink a potion or cast a spell before a big fight that logically to the characters is imminent.

Hmm, because players would start prebuffing before every 2nd fight. Which could lead to two possible outcomes:

- the game becomes too easy. Obsidian buffs enemies. Prebuffing becomes almost a must, and basically a chore.

- the buffs are nerfed, because you no longer have to choose between casting a damaging spell or a buff instead of it during combat, i.e. the cost of casting a buff becomes lower, and thus it's effect is being reduced to match it.

 

Why does it seem like all the spells are the same, but just "does 5 more damage".

The existence of status effects and DoT mechanics kinda proves you wrong on the "all the spells" part.

 

Why is resting limited?  I can carry 50 swords but can't carry resting supplies.  Also isn't the whole limiting resting is more apt to a massively online multi-player game?

Resting is a mechanic that limits the impact of vancian casters, and thus is a matter of balance.

Ability to carry 50+ swords is a matter of convenience.

 

Tbh be careful what you are wishing for. We could end with the ability to carry only 2 camping supplies, and just like 12? swords ;)

Edited by MaxQuest
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Currently some fights enemies pre-buff already.  They instantly have a spell applied to them, cast an AoE spell and then summon something.  Also the most effective effects are used continuously.  paralyze or knock down is essentially what fighting this game boils down to.  

 

The buff spell is not lowered.  It is increased because now you have to decide if you can kill the enemy before it can reach you or should you defend yourself.  So instead of using a wide array of spells and having the spells be more powerful you substitute grinding.  It is not fun.  If I wanted to grind I would play Diablo. 

 

What is wrong with people using the spells they know how to use?  It doesn't make sense.  It just restricts use cases and makes fighting linear.  You play a character that is continuously caught off guard basically.

 

No one casts dispel magic, no one has any magical resistance deduction spells cast on them.  No tactics are really used.  We have no abilities that have to be countered.  We basically only have party formations before a fight and using walls and doors.  Those things aren't bad by themselves, but then you limit it that removes the dynamics.

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Also dancing and puking and all that other animations adds nothing to a single player game.   Maybe in NWN it made sense.  You could role-play with other humans.  I mean maybe in a few situations it will make sense so you can have some people dance in a tavern and things can feel more alive, sure.  

 

Things like dancing and puking is excatly what single player games need. A bustling tavern, an organic living city is so much more important when you're alone in a game. It's a vital part of a great single player rpg. 

Edited by TheisEjsing
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It is pretty low on the list of important things in my opinion when considering all the other problems was my point.  Obviously an interactive environment is always fun, but having the creature pass out, dance, or puke on themselves doesn't add much when that can easily be added to some text.  Obviously if you have the budget/time to focus on the more trivial pieces then awesome.  

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The restrictions placed on PoE 1 to me made it less fun and restrictive.  I know the argument is attempting to balance encounters, but coming from IE, or GemRB it just feels very limiting.  

 

For example what is the logic of not being able to drink a potion or cast a spell before a big fight that logically to the characters is imminent.  Why does it seem like all the spells are the same, but just "does 5 more damage".

 

I don't really know the GemRB games, but I'm guessing it's the Enhanced Editions? 

 

Anyway, I really can't see this argument. Fights in IE relied on maybe a hard CC or two, hard countering layers upon layers of spell protections once in a blue moon, or just attacking with copious amounts of pre-buffs. Rarely did fights require any sort of real tactical considerations. Which is fine, don't get me wrong. Knowledge of the game and applying the correct buffs is a valid way to play. But it's not what I want out of a game like this. 

 

Similarly, I don't even know what spells you're referencing with the "does 5 more damage" comment. Most spells that are upgrades of lower level spells add more than just damage, such as new damage types, AoE, sometimes a CC effect. Each of which adds a lot of tactical considerations. The Minoletta's Missles series is an example where you don't always just wanna pick the highest level spell for more damage. 

 

Why is resting limited?  I can carry 50 swords but can't carry resting supplies.  Also isn't the whole limiting resting is more apt to a massively online multi-player game?

 

Because of Vancian casting. With the removal of Vancian casting now in Deadfire, I understand they're completely revamping the rest system. How, I don't know, but it's supposed to change. 

 

 

The enchanting seems like it would introduce some more dynamic character builds, but then the game creators remove that dynamic character builds by limiting stacking of effects to a fault.  Like, I am already limited to wearing two rings even though I have 10 fingers and hell 10 toes if we get down to it.  I say the enchanting of items makes more sense in a massively online multi-player game, but seems out of place in a single player game and even more so since you aren't playing online at all and it actually kind of takes away from the in game items you find from fighting a "boss".  It seems like none of the items are truly epic.

 

Because of balance? Which really does matter in single player games. I rarely, if even replay the IE games these days because whenever I create a character I like playing (straight Fighter, Barbarian, or similar) I keep thinking "Well why bother with this. I might as well play a Fighter/Cleric instead." Similarly, if I do play that, I think "Well why bother with this, I win the fights without trying too hard anyway." 

 

By allowing a ****-ton of enchants on everything at all times, the power-levels available to the player will rise real fast. And then you end up with the scenario MaxQuest mentioned: 

 

-snip- 

Hmm, because players would start prebuffing before every 2nd fight. Which could lead to two possible outcomes:

- the game becomes too easy. Obsidian buffs enemies. Prebuffing becomes almost a must, and basically a chore.

- the buffs are nerfed, because you no longer have to choose between casting a damaging spell or a buff instead of it during combat, i.e. the cost of casting a buff becomes lower, and thus it's effect is being reduced to match it.

 

Either the game is too easy and we have no fun. Or we have to do it and it all becomes a chore. Balance matters for fun. 

 

Wouldn't it push the engine further to open up the system and allow more interactions and more craziness?  Instead of limiting everything wouldn't it make more sense to have more intelligent AI systems?

 

A common criticism of PoE was it was too crazy with too much going on all at once. It's hard to read once the screen gets too cluttered with effects and actions.

 

On the other hand if you're speaking about power levels, then that's a whole 'nother thing. With crazy power levels, the feel of the game can spin out of control pretty fast unless the world and story are made for it. Like Diablo 3. Power levels are crazy from the beginning, and the world acknowledges it. That's nice. 

 

Final Fantasy Tactics, on the other hand, you can be absurdly powerful and clean out maps on your own, but the game treats you like a wimp without allies. Creates a disconnect Obsidian are aware of and trying to avoid. 

 

Finally, programming AI is one of the toughest things to do. This isn't a game with infinite resources. Saying "well, they could just program smarter AI" in fundamentally misunderstands some of the challenges Obsidian are facing as a developer

 

 

Finally: 

 

The restrictions placed on PoE 1 to me made it less fun and restrictive.  

 

And many of these restrictions made the game more fun to me. Whose opinion shoulder matter more?

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Currently some fights enemies pre-buff already.  They instantly have a spell applied to them, cast an AoE spell and then summon something.  Also the most effective effects are used continuously.  paralyze or knock down is essentially what fighting this game boils down to.  

Yes, and they are designed to be fought with un prebuffed party. If you want to prebuff you have food. If prebuffing would be allowed than either you could cheese those fights by prebuffing or their starting buffs would need to be harder for a fair challange. 

 

What is wrong with people using the spells they know how to use?  It doesn't make sense.  It just restricts use cases and makes fighting linear.  You play a character that is continuously caught off guard basically.

 

No one casts dispel magic, no one has any magical resistance deduction spells cast on them.  No tactics are really used.  We have no abilities that have to be countered.  We basically only have party formations before a fight and using walls and doors.  Those things aren't bad by themselves, but then you limit it that removes the dynamics.

 

Yes, and that is why spellcasting has been changed to per encounter, instead of per rest. It should make for a more interesting combat.

 

I didn't find dispel magic all that fun - as win spell to make enemies beatable. Obsidian tried to fix the problem with no ability to dispell already cast buffs and shortening their duration. It certainly could use some more work. They are making changes for Deadfire. We will have to wait until beta to see how it plays.

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If you allow prebuffing you must balance for prebuffing, and then all players must prebuff. So there is no more choice than before, only hassle.

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If you allow prebuffing you must balance for prebuffing, and then all players must prebuff. So there is no more choice than before, only hassle.

Allowing something doesn't mean it is required.  You are allowed to kill anyone(almost) in the game.  That doesn't mean you do it always.  Freedom adds to playing styles for a role playing game.  The ability to do things in the game that make sense makes things unpredictable and more fun.

 

If people decide to play more hardcore, or for example a checkbox to allow or disallow pre-buffing adds to the level of difficulty in the game.

 

I played BG on GameSpy and we would sit in lobbies and brag about being 100% legit and other requirements to one up each other.  We knew if you did some super munchkin cheese style you could "cheat" at the game.  That isn't the point.  In a single player game no one is going to be hurt by "cheating" besides the person playing.  Even in multi-player we talked with people in the lobby and then launch the game.  If they did something stupid we would just boot them and start over.  It isn't a big deal.

 

Allowing more play styles lets people enjoy the game how they want to enjoy it.  I am saying it is better not to force people to play this kind of game how you want.

 

People figure out ways to make things difficult or new in these types of games.

 

My friends and I played as Bards, or some of the weakest characters just to see if we could for fun.  Sometimes we would play as Mage/Fighter/Theif and totally destroy dragons solo. 

 

Being able to play a character that is weak and almost a commoner and a godly character is role playing.  It is fun.  Not everything in the game needs to be controlled.

Edited by Goddard

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Couldn't disagree more with OP. The first time I played PoE I didn't get very far because I soon realised the best tactic was to sneak up on the enemy, cast tenuous grasp and run out of range before I activated. Some enemies had good defense versus it but what does it matter if the chance is low when there is zero risk of doing it?

I look to break games when I play them and abuse mechanics, even in single player. Hence since I enjoy being challenged games need to challenge me or I quickly lose interest. Obisdian patching out the abuse and extreme tedium of prebuffing/casting spells made the game playable for me.

 

I've seen this argument a million times about games and the other side always says "well don't do this and don't do that and you'll be challenged". Yeah I can play chess vs  my nephew and let him win, what's the fun? I do that for his sake not mine. If I play a single player game alone I do it for my sake, I don't let the AI win to amuse it, it doesn't care, it has not feelings one way or the other, it would just be a complete waste of time as far as I'm concerned.

Edited by Gliese581
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If anything, I found Pillars to be less restrictive then the IE games. Ability to play any class with any race? Check. Ability to use any item on any character? Check. Ability to apply any enchantment to any item? Check. The power levels attainable in Pillars if you powergame are pretty significant. If you are especially keen on prebuffing, cast an AOE disabler as an opening move and prebuff for the duration—but chances are you won’t need it.

Edited by AndreaColombo
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"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

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If anything, I found Pillars to be less restrictive then the IE games. Ability to play any class with any race? Check. Ability to use any item on any character? Check. Ability to apply any enchantment to any item? Check. The power levels attainable in Pillars if you powergame are pretty significant. If you are especially keen on prebuffing, cast an AOE disabler as an opening move and prebuff for the duration—but chances are you won’t need it.

 

So much this.

 

You want a wizard dwarf wearing plate mail, you make one.

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It would be of small avail to talk of magic in the air...

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If you allow prebuffing you must balance for prebuffing, and then all players must prebuff. So there is no more choice than before, only hassle.

Allowing something doesn't mean it is required.  You are allowed to kill anyone(almost) in the game.  That doesn't mean you do it always.  Freedom adds to playing styles for a role playing game.  The ability to do things in the game that make sense makes things unpredictable and more fun.

 

If people decide to play more hardcore, or for example a checkbox to allow or disallow pre-buffing adds to the level of difficulty in the game.

 

Playing effectively is not part of roleplaying. What is roleplaying difference between your character entering battle with all the protection spells already cast and him casting the very same spells after the combat starts? People have a natural drive to win, and they will abuse mechanics if they have a chance even if that makes the game more engaging. Hell, in Baldur's Gate 2 I killed Dragons many times by casting area of effect outside of their range and waiting for them to die. I didn't find it fun. But why would you challange yourself more than once, if you can cheese your way through.

 

I will say the same thing I said regarding request to unrestrict how many party members you can take with you: it's up to the game designers to set rules which give player flexibility but also force him to make interesting choices. Rules come with limitations. 

 

I really don't see a reason to add prebuffing. Why do you want to prebuff? To make combat easier? There is difficulty slider for it. 

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Because of Vancian casting. With the removal of Vancian casting now in Deadfire, I understand they're completely revamping the rest system. How, I don't know, but it's supposed to change.

The question is basically if deadfire will use random ambushes as a rest mechanic like in baldurs gate. Josh answered that he doesn't like random mechanics like these where you can easily reload if you don't like the outcome (Except of course in Trial of Iron). Now the last paragraph is really interesting and I try to translate it as accurate as possible:

 

"Our rest-mechanic uses food to cure injuries and to give bonuses (he is unsure if it is the right word for gaming). You can often rest, but the best food is expansive or rare. If you rest too often, sooner or later you will fight with bad bonuses."

 

The word "Essen" might be a rough translation for supplies instead of food, but they are clearly changing something.

 

:lol:

 

Source.

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That is pretty stupid.

 

You can reload if you don't like the outcome of anything.  That is the nature of this style of game.  It is also an easy way to see the different outcomes from a choice.  The thing that makes you want to avoid that frustration of reloading is you try and rest in inns or safer places.

 

It is especially frustrating when you are playing with a few friends in multi-player in BG.

Edited by Goddard

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It is especially frustrating when you are playing with a few friends in multi-player in BG.

 

Newsflash: there is no multiplayer here.

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It would be of small avail to talk of magic in the air...

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I don't like pre-buffing because it's freaking booooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooriiiiiiing!!!!!!!! And tedious. Have buffs strategically placed during fights is the best way to go.

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Pre-buffing is an essential tactic.  Knowing what location you are in and what monsters you will face based on that fact adds more options to a game.  You have to modify your spell book.  Go to a store to get specific potion/scrolls you might need.  It actually adds a lot to a game.  Removing pre-buffing removes lore.

 

Imagine if a game actually included lore based area checks and provided extra clues of the surrounding area based on intelligence or reflexes or something.  It makes sense and is pretty normal in most D&D games I have played.

 

Also the restrictive nature of a game that makes you have powerful spells you cannot use except in situations they want is limiting and is the opposite of "infinity" in my opinion. 

Edited by Goddard

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Pre-buffing is an essential tactic.  Knowing what location you are in and what monsters you will face based on that fact adds more options to a game.  You have to modify your spell book.  Go to a store to get specific potion/scrolls you might need.  It actually adds a lot to a game.  Removing pre-buffing removes lore.

Removes a lot, yes. A lot of chore that is! Come on, playing tabeltop vs computer game is big difference. It can be excited in a tabletop DnD session but it sounds annoying in a videogame. Unless the game focuses on monster hunting. Pillars of Eternity: Monster Hunter ξερωγώ.

Now that I think of it, I think Witcher 3, a game 50% about hunting monsters removed the bre-buffing mechanic of the 2nd game too. Though I'm not 100% sure of it.

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My favorite is Infinity Engine games and it has pre-buffing and it made the game fun to me.  Granted the intelligence of the creatures at time left room for cheese(which is completely on you), but with a spiritual successor I was hoping they would add more power to the game.  I mean before they had a good reason to let the creatures be slightly more dumb.  It required more CPU cycles whereas now we can afford those cycles and I would much rather have freedom along with intelligent encounters over a puking animation, or item enchanting any day.

Edited by Goddard

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My favorite is Infinity Engine games

Oooh... you're from that group of people. I see... a bit late to the party :p

In all seriousness now, I used to like pre-buffing and I remeber specifically enjoyed it in NWN2, mostly because I liked the visual effects of the shield spells hehe. But it got tiresome after a while just as did the resting, even in NWN2 were it lasted literally 5 seconds.

I think there's a reason that every game moved away from pre-buffing and that is the repetitive nature of the mechanic. That's why resting is off from most games as are trash encounters, grinding, etc.

And, tbh, I appreciate the freedom gives in character builds and gameplay more than not letting you pre-buffing or casting outside fo combat etc. The former matters more than the latter.

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I played NWN2 and didn't like it nearly as much as Infinity Engine games.

 

NWN2 had a much better story then NWN, but NWN had many more great D&D aspects that made it something you could play for ages and yet NWN still had the problem that the graphics were horrible and I think it is just the nature of isometric games.  I won't mention more about how badly NWN2 was hurt with its mod size restrictions at the start.  Isometric games are beautiful and leave a lot to the imagination.  At the time they forced the game creators to be imaginative instead of adding a bunch of graphical pieces.  Like in PoE I think the times you have to jump, or fly through a tunnel is awesome.  That is an improvement.  When you click on a trap it sends the best man for the job.  That is awesome.  Things like that make sense to me.  I could list off a ton of things I like about PoE so again this is just constructive criticism. 

 

I also really loved the graphics and buffing had a direct impact on your stats sheet you could visualize.  D&D games in my experience are all about the character, party, and story.  Also if you were really into BG the whole entire "tiresome"ness bit you speak about could of easily been put into a macro like in NWN also you would only ever have to go all out in the most difficult of battles.  I can understand how it would be easier for game developers to control things, but that is why I am saying.  Less restriction and more intelligence is more fun.

 

I for one don't want to do things just because the industry is doing them.  That makes a game exactly like ever other game.  Why is that fun?  I got this game because I like Infinity Engine games and not NWN2 or the Witcher or whatever.

 

Why is it people still play a 20 year old game today?  Because it is awesome and it has aged extremely well.  Now that we have the enhanced edition it works on everything.

 

In most RPGs the whole entire premise of this fantasy land is usually built around you being a hero.  Being hero and being powerful, smart, strong, or cunning all mean you empower the player. 

 

The idea of the fantasy land is you are in the land and you control your character and the party and you can do whatever you want in this land.  Not being able to cast your own spells in this land is a strange restriction to make along with the other things I mentioned previously.

 

In most games especially single player games it is extremely easy to cheat.  You can use a cheat console, write your own scripts, open a hex editor, alter packages, change library files, alter the binary itself.  It makes no sense to limit a single player game in my opinion.

 

The cool thing about the Sword Coast is the fact it is high magic.  High powers which means more fun to explore and play with the game.

Edited by Goddard

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Why is it people still play a 20 year old game today?  Because it is awesome.

 

And because it is 20 years old. The others are not that old yet :p

Anyway, Pillars is not an IE game, even though it takes inspiration from them. It's a different thing and it's trying modern things, things that are working better than those in 20 year old games. If you can't like change then I guess you'll have to stick to those 20 year old games, that gonna be 30 year old games and so on. They were good for the time, they might be fun to play now if you can cope with their chores, but there are reasons developers dropped many of their mechanics.

Edited by Sedrefilos
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You want to talk about a chore.  How about enchanting items.  How about having to sell 500 shields, swords, and other crap items.  The idea that this was done because you wanted to avoid a "chore" seems out of place considering more chores that were introduced.

 

Here enchant this item, you have 5 things to pick from and an arbitrary limitation that isn't based on the skill of the player or anything.  

 

How about killing a dragon and getting a very vanilla two handed sword you could of found at a merchant and enchanted yourself.

Edited by Goddard

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And because it is 20 years old. The others are not that old yet :p

 

 

Anyway, Pillars is not an IE game, even though it takes inspiration from them. It's a different thing and it's trying modern things, things that are working better than those in 20 year old games. If you can't like change then I guess you'll have to stick to those 20 year old games, that gonna be 30 year old games and so on. They were good for the time, they might be fun to play now if you can cope with their chores, but there are reasons developers dropped many of their mechanics.

Well, IE games are still fantastic. That said changes introduced by Obsidian I see and fixes to issue Baldur's Gate and Co. had. Unlimited resting was one of them, bad spell balance (including prebuffing) was another. It seems Deadfire aims to be a sequel and improvement over PoE rather than recapturing nostalgia which hopefully will result in a better computer RPG all together. Time will tell. I would certainy like to see an interesting way of using character abilities and spells outside combat, but prebuffing isn't one of them. I think Divinity did a good job thanks to its turn based systems. Spells would decay very quickly in real time so you could cast a spell before initiating combat but it wasn't as crazy as IE. 

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