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Company News Obsidian reportedly about to be acquired by Microsoft

Discussion in 'RPG Codex News & Content Comments' started by Infinitron, Oct 10, 2018.

  1. AwesomeButton Cut a deal with the authorities Patron

    AwesomeButton
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    That's a good point - people are after the same experience, not after the same title with a number incremented by one.
     
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  2. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    Which is what POE tried to do. It tried to provide an Infinity Engineish experience with its own twist. Which it did. You can dispute that all their twists sucked balls, but it's pretty out there to say that, in a world of Skyrims, DAIs, Underrails, Divinity games, that POE is not an IE-style game through and through. Hell, you have someone knocking Sawyer in the previous page about how his new system ended up being D&D lite!

    It's just weird to obsess for years about how Sawyer hated IE and tried to sabotage it or that he is some megalomaniac god wreaking destruction on AD&D... when the obvious alternative explanation is that he tried to make a nice, original, IE-style game (and, for some, failed horribly).

    The obsessive psychoanalysis of Sawyer doesn't really tell us anything about his RPGs or RPGs as a whole at this point. It's basically spam in the tubes. It's easy enough to see what Deadfire did wrong, for example, without my needing to know what his toenail growth rate is.
     
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  3. Volourn Pretty Princess Pretty Princess

    Volourn
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    "I've been playing A/D&D for 28 years, 2nd Ed. for 11 of those, and this is the first time I've seen someone describe 2nd Ed. as flexible."

    2E is hella flexible and anyone who thinks otherwise is retartet. The PHB gives you OPTIONAL rules for FFS. That's not counting splat books like Player Options, Spells & magic, et al.

    A lot of the 'basics' in 3E were already introduced in 2e. Hell, some of it was in use in earlier editions.

    SO FUKK OFF.
     
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  4. FeelTheRads Arcane Patron

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    I'm pretty sure that's meant to be sarcastic. As in he doesn't call the fact that people modify it flexibility, he calls is bad design.

    It's completely bullshit, everything he writes, I swear. He's like a dumbshit dispenser. On one hand he says that people are never unhappy unless they house rule, on the other hand he says house ruling is bad. Meaning of course that all systems ever are shit. Thankfully he's there to.. well, to do nothing but even shittier systems.
     
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  5. Trans-Financial-Man Savant

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    Best case, Fergus is selling and evacuating. Somehow MS puts more competent people in to manage everything and Obsidian resume making GOAT RPGs (Even in best case I'd doubt they'd hire Chris because of him being a wistleblower.) But that's not what's gunna happen. Realistically Fergus will leave and take IP and key staff with him. MS will work Obsidian like Milton Keyes prostitute until the bland slop they end up making fails. Then MS will take Obsidian to see the rabbits. If you know what I mean. No more Outer Worlds. No more games.
     
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  6. Prime Junta Arcane Patron

    Prime Junta
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    I very much doubt anyone would buy Obz without also buying the IPs.

    I know people here make a big conspiracy about the Pillars IP being in a technically different company. That’s to protect the owners from losing it in a bankruptcy situation, not a planned exit. If Obz is sold, the paper entity that owns the IPs will most likely be sold with it.
     
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  7. Ismaul Citizen First Class #3333 Patron

    Ismaul
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    Hmm, that's news to me. Maybe he meant that the main rules, aside from the options, are rigid? Such as race limitations on min/max attribute scores and class levels, class attribute requirements, etc. Saying that the game isn't flexible in those respects wouldn't be false, despite the fact that the game is meant to be house ruled and had mass options. Most groups play RAW or with a very small number of minor changes, surveys leading to 3e showed (which is why 3e re-iterates explicitely and in many places that table/GM-rules > RAW).

    I'm not specifically a fan of Sawyer, but I do like reading his musings about system design, as much as I like reading D&D designers's thoughts. And I do know he does not juge 4E as shit like many others.

    Having GMed every edition and sub-edition since AD&D for years, I found that while 4E had its flaws which where very apparent, it had solid strengths and improvements. It was the best to GM, you could design an encounter with homebrewed adversaries on the fly and you'd know how challenging it would be at a glance -- no leveling monsters with useless abilities beacuse of standard progression, just focussing on the mechanics of the abilities they will use. Combat was the most dynamic yet, very mobile and tactical; etc. But discussing 4E isn't the point here.


    I don't remember if the campaign never referred to 3.5E. I seem to remember it being assumed at the very least. It was clearly Sawyer's starting point. But maybe it wasn't explicitly stated.

    The thing is though, the end result is very much like 3.5E and BG/NWN, yet not enough like it for you. Me I wouldn't have minded at all if it had been even more different. Anyways, it's RTwP, expectations were very low on my part, except for the promise of a PST-lite story. Turns out I didn't hate the gameplay so much and was interested to see how the differences in the design played out, but the story/C&C was a missed opportunity to capaitalize on the "souls are real" idea -- they played it as safe as the system design. It's not terrible though, it's far ahead of NWN and BG in terms of area/quest design and writing.
     
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  8. Zeriel Arcane

    Zeriel
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    If you are a developer who has worked on a game series you are trying to clone and your clone ends up less authentic to the games you are trying to clone than some other random studio with no connection to the series efforts (i.e, Kingmaker), you're either not really trying to make aforementioned clone, or you suck at your job.

    Sawyer is either incompetent or a liar. I don't really care which, but let's not pretend otherwise. Unless that's what you are saying? But if so, just shorten your post to, "Sawyer sucks as a game developer."

    Both of those titles were either mostly finished or completely finished before the acquisition, according to ancient articles that seem mostly taken as fact. So really there is not a single truly "good" effort by Bioware that was developed fully after the acquisition.
     
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  9. Kyl Von Kull The Night Tripper Patron

    Kyl Von Kull
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    The same could be said about nearly any video game Kickstarter pitch.

    They were asking for money. Of course they tried to sex up the pitch as much as possible. They didn’t take the money and run. They delivered a game, a RTwP RPG even! It was only, what, a year or so late? It’s playable from start to finish. That’s gotta put POE near the top tier of crowdsourced games, although admittedly this is not a high bar.

    I don’t buy this argument that people here would’ve cancelled their pledges if Obsidian had been more candid (besides, it sounds like they didn’t really have much of a plan anyway). What Black Isle fanboy could resist? To the extent there was a bait and switch it was less about the mechanics and more about MCA and Tim Cain’s level of involvement. But, again, overhyping Chris Avellone’s involvement has become a Kickstarter cliche.

    Obsidian: no more dishonest than your average game developer begging for Kickstarter money.*

    *unless you go into business with us.
     
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  10. ArchAngel Arcane

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    I didn't even pledge to the KS originally because I didn't trust they would make a good game since they didn't make a good game since Kotor 2 and NWN2 (somewhat good). So I waited.
    Then when beta came around and people were neutral to neutral positive and their website backer thing was closing I cashed out 30$ for a copy. If the pitch from the start was truthful I for one would have never gave them any $.
     
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  11. Invictus Arcane The Real Fanboy

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    Do after beign a good source of entertainment what happened to the “imminent deal” was it just rumor mongering trying to get the pulse of the genre’s fans?
     
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  12. Bohr Arcane

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    Always knew the Dex was influential :salute:


    [​IMG]
     
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  13. mondblut Arcane

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    These are not "nostalgia fans", these are traitors for whom Fallout 3 was made. :obviously:
     
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  14. AwesomeButton Cut a deal with the authorities Patron

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    I'm not an authority on D&D editions, but isn't D&D4 the one which tried to turn the rules as close to a classless system as possible?
     
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  15. Ismaul Citizen First Class #3333 Patron

    Ismaul
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    D&D's design has always been class-based, it's part of its core identity. But classless games have been made on the basis of the 3e system, mostly because of the OGL.

    No, 4E is sometimes known as the MMOisation of D&D that uniformised classes ('balanced' to speak Sawyer), such that every class gains the same number of powers at each level (usually). Fighters got stances and shit but Wizards got shafted with just a very smalll number of spells (still double than other classes but nothing like the possibilities in other editions). Powers could be described as "attack vs X defense, do Y damage + some effect (mobility, buff, debuff, more damage, aoe)". Despite this uniformity in progression and presentation the classes actually played very differently and had specific mechanics that defined their gameplay. But overall the balancing frame was too restricting unless you houseruled some, which is why with 5E they loosened it up, and tired to keep the good stuff from 4e while presenting it like 3e. (Which is in many ways the same approach Sawyer took with PoE.)
     
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  16. ArchAngel Arcane

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    It was worse than this. They basically killed vancian casting, split abilities and spells into at will, encounter, short rest and long rest version. Many abilities between classes were same but would attack different enemy defense. Most did same damage at same levels no matter the class it used them. They would just be given a different name and a minor mechanical difference. Also those abilities had very strict number definition, almost no descriptive text and were basically unusable outside combat without lots of house ruling.
    Monsters were just as bad or worse. They were turned into short stat blocks for combat with almost nothing beyond that.

    5e only kept from 4e small attack and AC values, less rules connected with full attack actions (which allowed more mobility for melee classes, something that was sorely lacking in 3.Xe) and a bit less dependence of having a cleric in a party.
    But I would say 5e took more from AD&D (2e) than it did from 4e. It is a mix of 2e and 3e with some influence from 4e.
    Only really new mechanic that 5e has is the concentration thing where you can only have one spell active that needs concentration which was a good way to prevent combat turning into who prebuffed more like 3e works.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2018
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  17. AwesomeButton Cut a deal with the authorities Patron

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    This all sounds like changes made in order to answer the unwashed masses' question "which class is the best?"
     
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  18. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

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    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    But the answer is Barbarian, why do people have a difficulty with this question?
     
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  19. Ismaul Citizen First Class #3333 Patron

    Ismaul
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    The idea was to make every character equally capable in combat and in non-combat encounters, rather than for example having the rogue be the king of skills and non-combat encounters, the fighter great at combat at low levels and shit later, and the wizard, the opposite. Also, they tried to make every character have interesting mechanical decisions in combat, rather than the casters having a huge list of options while melee guys only have "I attack". Those are not bad goals for a game where the rules, the design, and the gameplay expect that there's going to be combat regularly. But the execution was too constricting for those who follow the RAW.

    Vancian casting, while many have come to embrace it as default, is not really that great and not simulationist at all. It makes no sense that you'd forget a spell after it is cast, except in Vance's world. 3E was already experimenting a lot on how to go beyond that system, with many classes having alternate spell casting systems (sorcerer, warlock, psionics), and 3.5E diminishing the restrictive vancian scheme of the wizard where you had to know exactly what you'd need for the day when you woke up and couldn't change what you have memorized during the day.

    But it is true that the strict separation in 4E between combat abilities and non-combat ones was problematic. People expect to use their powers/spells ouside of combat to solve problems, but the system didn't explicitly allow for that. You needed a good GM to bridge that gap.

    In the case of monsters though, I have no problem with the combat stat blocks, they made combat fun and dynamic, easy to reference and concise yet the powers they had were impactful on the battlefield. You just had to change mindset, where the stat block is not everything that a monster/NPC is and can do, but is rather just a shorthand for what he will do in this combat encounter. That's very unlike 3E, where a "stat block" told you everything about a dude, rather than what he'll do now. In that respect 3e was very simulationist, while 4e is gamist in its approach. So in 4E if you wanted to use the monsters/NPCs outside of combat, you'd design an entirely different thing, focus on the skills they have, list motivations and goals, maybe build a negotiation challenge if you're into that mechanic. In my campaign, I had recurring NPCs which used different powers in different combat encounters (aka a partially different stat block), depending on what they were trying to do. 4E was flexible enough to do that, and the mechanics were easily manipulable that if you needed to add an ability or power during an encounter, it was very easy to do. The designers did the same in the published adventures, the same NPCs having different stat blocks at different moments, or a list of motivations etc. for non-combat encounters. But I guess the gamist approach, which was great for a GM, didn't work that well when people took it as a simulationist account of all that a monster/character is.
     
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  20. Volourn Pretty Princess Pretty Princess

    Volourn
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    Vancian casting is fukkin' awesomesauce. You don't like it you piece of shit. PERIOD.
     
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  21. Ismaul Citizen First Class #3333 Patron

    Ismaul
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    Pretty princess gotta have her way.


    "Don't criticize game mechanics I like, what do you think this is, the RPG Codex?"
     
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  22. Zeriel Arcane

    Zeriel
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    What's the point of removing Vancian casting when its a distinctive part of your brand, though? It's short-sighted self-destruction. Imagine if McDonalds had stopped serving burgers because, "Burritos are what's popular now."

    Someone who hates what D&D is already has plenty of alternative options. Are you really going to seduce them by making it like another ruleset, and while doing so is guaranteed to turn off customers you already had? At a certain point when you're as big as D&D and your brand is established there isn't much to gain by messing with it much beyond fine-tuning.

    I get the real reasoning driving these changes, though, which is that they have to justify making new rulebooks to make money, but there's got to be a better way.
     
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  23. Lycra Suit Arbiter

    Lycra Suit
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    I wish they had, actually, mirrored Baldur's Gate 2.
     
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  24. DeepOcean Arcane

    DeepOcean
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    Lets remove vancian and make all the fights an ability spam fest where I just spam my Nuke abilities over and over and over again without regard or real limits, that will improve the system, guaranteed.:roll:
     
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  25. Fairfax Arcane

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    I do think it's false. The heavy use of well-defined archetypes used to be one D&D's pillars. That sort of complaint implies that allowing any character to be anything should be the default state, but that's a different approach, not something inherently superior.

    Yes, but that was a 3E thing. The game's design promoted that, despite what the DMG said. AD&D was different, and pretty much everyone (including Gygax) played with multiple house rules.

    I'd say it's a streamlined and more balanced 3E. I did bring back some of the old "rulings, not rules" philosophy, which is great, but the mechanics and style are still very much modern D&D.

    Concentration itself isn't new, the difference is in how they implemented it.

    They wanted to double down on pleasing a specific part of the audience. It required making a very different game, but they'd never give up the benefits of calling it D&D. As a result, it alienated most of the original audience, and the crowd it wanted to please eventually turned to Pathfinder.
     
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