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Vampyr - vampire action-RPG from Life Is Strange devs

Discussion in 'General RPG Discussion' started by Morgoth, Jan 20, 2015.

  1. Üstad Educated

    Üstad
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    Türkiye
    This is not 2008 and I'm not a teenage girl with daddy issues. So I'm not gonna buy it.
     
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  2. Irxy Arcane

    Irxy
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    Project: Eternity
    I'd rather prefer this to be a teenage vampire drama than what it actually is, you can have some fun with those at least.
     
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  3. daveyarsegallant Learned

    daveyarsegallant
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    Its not a bad game, but the idea of the gameplay becoming more difficult if you want to go for a max humanity run is not very well implemented. Boss fights become an utter slog as your under leveled character chips away at titanic health bars. There are no real interesting tactics you can use to spice up the fights either. Its just dodge, counter and heal until the boss dies.

    Going for a full bloodshed run make the problem of the respawning enemies even worse. The more civilians you kill to level up, the more enemies spawn in the districts, making travelling to and fro even more tedious. The plot completely forgets that its there halfway through the game.

    Great atmosphere though.
     
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  4. Funposter Savant

    Funposter
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    Well, I've been playing this for about 21 hours now, which includes the first 6 or so of an aborted playthrough due to lost hints, and regretting the choice I mad at the end of Chapter 2.

    This is quite a frustrating game, primarily because of how much I'm enjoying the setting and atmosphere, and for the fact that I rather admire some of the more daring gameplay decisions such as the NPC reactivity and C&C, especially with how they interact with levelling system on Hard difficulty. Unfortunately, most of its good qualities are hampered by some questionable design decisions, including its adherence to a strict autosave system in a sort of "IronMan Playthrough"-esque fashion. I understand the point of the save system, but I can't help but feel that it limits player experimentation and mainly serves to breed resentment among players who have either accidentally clicked through dialogue, or made an relatively minor mistake without thinking about it.

    A great example of the former is the ability to permanently lose hints (barring the fortune teller) by clicking the incorrect option in dialogue, when the player's choice for what Reid says is limited to three six-word previews, which often barely reflect what is actually said. For the latter, I recently experienced my first unintended citizen death, and googlign revealed that it had occurred to many other players. When the player hits chapter 4 and gains access to the West End area, they will find a citizen in need of assistance, guarded by a rogue Vampire, who is Level 27 (at least on Hard). The final boss of Act 3 is Level 21, so I'd say it's safe to say most players would be around that level. I know I was. Having died to this Level 27 Vampire, I decided to go use my banked 4,500 EXP to go and level up, only to facepalm immediately upon making this decision - the citizen in distress had died as a result of letting a night pass. This was not an act of neglect on my part, but rather I was trying to actually engage with the game's content and was punished for it. This particular NPC is also important for a later side quest which I am now locked out of finishing.

    So that's annoying, but if that were the only flaw with the game, I'd heartily recommend it and just warn players to be careful. Unfortunately, it suffers from many flaws, the primary one of which is that it's not REALLY an RPG in any meaningful sense of the word. John Reid is an established character with a particular set of thoughts and beliefs, and the player can very rarely (if at all) do anything to contradict what the developers had in mind. This creates some fantastic instances of ludonarrative dissonance, which I'll cover mainly using examples from characters in the Pembroke area. I'm sure anyone who has read about this game probably knows that the poz is frontloaded, with racemixing and gay couples presented to the player almost immediately if they follow any of the side quests. When presented with these facts, the player is given a three-pronged dialogue option. "Fantasic", you might think, "a chance to do some roleplaying~" but all three of these options are basically saying the exact same thing in a different order. All options amount to "I don't mind, but be careful, because the rest of society might not like it!!!" because John Reid has all of the sociopolitical opinions of a 21st century progressive liberal. Reid's opinion on these matters are of course undermined by the player's ability to eat these characters for a juicy EXP bonus, a decision which is never really expanded upon or requires any justification beyond vampires getting hungry.

    If this were a game from a decade ago, it would probably have some moronic karma system akin to a Bioware game, Fable or Fallout 3, but at least this would provide some ability for the player to engage in roleplaying. A token "evil" option of disapproving of these characters' sexual proclivities, the ability to play Reid in a more aristocratic manner, contrasting with the default "good" options of his current progressive liberalism. Mass Effect did it - you always have to player Shepard, and Shepard is always a Lieutenant Commander of the Systems Alliance, but there's room there to play as a hot-headed hardass, xenophobic towards aliens (Renegade), a more gentle a cooperative soul (Paragon), or something in-between (people who didn't spec into Charm/Intimidate). I'm not asking for Reid to be David Duke or something, but it seems weird to present the player with fake choices in these situations that never amount to anything.

    (As an aside, Reid also basically agrees with anythign and everything that the various communists, anarchists and trade unionists in the game say. Again, this isn't meant to be right-wing LARPing, but it actually DOES add more replayability and room for player expression if Reid is able to disagree or argue with these people, especially since he is a fucking surgeon from the West End, and the son of a BANKER.)

    Furthermore, the game's "RPG mechanics" are completely focused on combat, and levelling up has no impact on the extremely frequent dialogue. This game is very dialogue-heavy, by the way. It's a bizarre choice, because it means that any and all build variation has next to no impact on the actual replay value of the game, simply influencing how difficult certain mob encounters and boss fights will be. The ability to embrace and kill NPCs is based entirely upon how far into the game you are, and your "Charm" options in dialogue will ALWAYS work on any NPC, no matter what. Even Skyrim has a Speech skill, for Christ's sake, which really shows how barebones the roleplay options in this game are.

    It's weird. I like this game, I really do, but it's just frustrating. There's no real room for player expression in any significant way, and embracing certain NPCs invariably leads to better or more interesting content than others. It's the sort of game that would improve massively with a sequel and more fleshed out mechanics, but they're probably not going to do it. I really struggle to think of who I would recommend this game to. It's not actually an RPG, so it's no use recommending it to RPG fans. Maybe storyfags will like it, but even on Easy difficulty, I imagine there's way too much running around and dealing with trash mobs to make it interesting for those kinds of people. It's a pseudo open world, third person action game, with a heavy emphasis on choice and consequence, and NPC reactivity. Also it only has Autosaves, so you're fucked if you make a mistake and really, really don't like what happened. Play it if you think vampires are cool. That's it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2019
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  5. rusty_shackleford Arcane

    rusty_shackleford
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    Manually back the saves up.
     
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  6. Funposter Savant

    Funposter
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    This is a bandaid solution, and more trouble than it's worth. I would rather the developers had simply implemented a save system similar to the one present in literally every western RPG developed in the last twenty five years.
     
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  7. Rahdulan Arcane Patron

    Rahdulan
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    True. For what a massive role they play in the game I think dialogs come off as incredibly dull. Sure, I think part of that was somewhat theatrical presentation, but if you don't skip line deliveries you can easily find yourself for 10+ minutes continuously just talking to someone. I actually got burned by the choice system in one of the chapters because game is really coy about the fact "charm" isn't merely persuasion the way you may have been lead to believe previously and can, in fact, be used to scramble someone's brains entirely.
     
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  8. cruel Savant

    cruel
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    Funny, exactly same thing happened to me with this Citizen in trouble in West End. Went to level up and he was gone. Bad game design.

    Still, I enjoyed the game overall, but flaws are many, and it cannot be rated more than 7/10. It could have been much better game with some capable creative director, holding the game design together.

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A6013 using Tapatalk
     
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  9. Funposter Savant

    Funposter
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    I actually liked the fact that you could scramble Crane's brains, but I think it came too early on in the game, and even with the collectable letting the player know that using Charm can have adverse effects, I think implementing this on a Pillar of the Community was quite cruel. The dialogue options throughout the game until that point teach you that using Charm is always correct, so it's condemning most players to have a less stable Whitechapel because of what the game taught them to do.

    I think that, ideally, the ability to break an NPC's mind with Charm should have been demonstrated in an earlier side quest. Then, you should have gone to the Docks first, where charming Sean Hampton is the absolute correct choice for maintaining community stability. Now that it's been established that, 1. charming people can genuinely be harmful and isn't just a lore tidbit, and, 2. charming someone turned out to be the best course of action, you can have the player weigh up their available choices when they confront Nurse Crane.

    The design and narrative were at odds with each other there, and I think that they often are. Even when you spend all of your free time eating people, Reid maintains his outspoken, progressive and humanitarian worldview. The only explanation is that he's actually a vampiric Patrick Bateman.

    Edit: Also, the unrelated side content locked off in West End when the citizen dies CAN be accessed. The door he was behind is supposed to open, since you can loot his corpse etc. but due to a bug, this appears to rarely happen. The solution for me was to clip through the door by walking into it and attacking with a two-handed weapon (very stable game), quit out, and then reload. The door was now open. People have recommended NOT clipping through and grabbing the items before quitting out, as the autosave can trap you inside the building forever.
     
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  10. cw8 Arbiter

    cw8
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    Started a Hard-pacifist game, playing for the first time. So far the higher level mobs will absolutely destroy me in seconds. I've been able to cheese to start of Act 3 by using the 2H barbed crudgel to stun an enemy, proceed to suck blood since it gives invincibility frames, do the Shadow Mist AE, dodge away and repeat.
    Any advice for the "pacifist" playthrough for the rest of the game?
     
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  11. lukaszek the determinator

    lukaszek
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    yeah, dont play on hard
     
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  12. Rahdulan Arcane Patron

    Rahdulan
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    I did it on my first playthrough because I thought that's how the game should be experienced so you balance embracing people for experience with keeping them alive, but the problem is you're perpetually under-leveled on hard, there's very few alternate ways to scrounge experience and combat is a chore since you don't get experience from it and enemies respawn. Deadly combination in a game that requires you to backtrack on the regular AND upgrades enemies to higher tiers after story progression. That's not even going into bosses where it will come to nailing the laborious execution down as you fight the level difference.

    In the end I really wouldn't recommend it, playing on hard that is, but if you do make sure you have a way to restore blood without biting aka have blood steal on weapons. Also cover all damage types since enemies can and will be immune/resistant to one or more. Healing people with medicine on nightly basis is how you'll get bits of experience, but you need to ransack everything for ingredients.
     
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  13. Funposter Savant

    Funposter
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    Hard seems to balance out at about 6-7 embraces. With 4 NPC's killed (the maximum amount allowed for the non-pacifist "good" ending), I was Level 29 by the end of the game, which meant I was always out-levelled by bosses and even generic vampire enemies in the endgame portion. 35 is where the game seems to max out by default, with the exception of the very end boss, and as far as I can tell the amount of damage dealt and taken by the player is based entirely upon their level, at least for melee attacks. A full genocide playthrough is a complete cakewalk, especially in the endgame, as you outlevel everything by 10-15 levels, meaning you can do things like kill the penultimate boss in about 10 hits. Weapons that are supposed to deal 400-500 damage will be dealing damage in the 1200s. Comparitively, a Level 29 player is dealing damage closer to the high 200s or early 300s with those same weapons. So if you want an easy time, you have to deal with getting a crappy ending.

    Edit: of course you could only embrace NPCs worth 5,000+ EXP to make endgame easier and still receive a good ending, but that means you would have to suffer through an even shittier early game.
     
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  14. cw8 Arbiter

    cw8
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    Just whacked the Nurse Crane as a level 12 when she's level 20+. Just kept dodging, waiting for the ultimate CD to finish. Can't touch her as she inflicts some burning shit on me that kills in seconds.
    You'd think the Charm option would be the best one, turns out it's the worst one. Embracing her wouldn't be as bad as turning her into an undead, only to kill her off in the end. It's like putting salt in the wound.
     
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  15. GentlemanCthulhu Scholar

    GentlemanCthulhu
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2019
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    732
    Location:
    The Deep End
    Does anyone know how to hide the compass in this game without making the rest of the UI invisible (to make it clear, i know there are cheat engines that hide the entire UI, but i only want this done for the compass)? This is one of those rare games where NPCs give clear enough directions as to be able to play it without the help of the compass and map. I would like to play it in that way.
     
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  16. Zombra An iron rock in the river of blood and evil Patron

    Zombra
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    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    You don't need cheat engine to turn off the UI; it's right there in options. However it does turn off the whole thing. I also wanted to turn off most elements but leave a couple things on as combat is a lot harder without hp/mana bars.
     
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  17. cruel Savant

    cruel
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    I can't imagine playing a pacifist run on hard. Good luck with certain boss at the cemetary.

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A6013 using Tapatalk
     
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  18. lukaszek the determinator

    lukaszek
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    combat isnt even fun in this game, nor is backtracking that brings... more combat

    also, pacifit ending is basically emo/incel playthrough, it gets worse the mroe you play. You have been warned.
     
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  19. GentlemanCthulhu Scholar

    GentlemanCthulhu
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    Right, the option was not present on launch. It seems like they only half-managed to understand what the fanbase actually wanted. Back in the day there was a vocal minority wanting the option to SPECIFICALLY TURN OFF THE COMPASS. Fucking gaming industry idiots.
     
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  20. cw8 Arbiter

    cw8
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    Well seems like combat gives minuscule xp. So technically u could grind on low level mobs repeatedly till you are blue in the face for pacifists when you can just embrace a person for same xp in minutes.
     
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  21. cw8 Arbiter

    cw8
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    My Nurse Crane turned into a Skal and I killed her. Does that mean I'm locked out of the Pacifist achievement?
     
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  22. Van-d-all Savant

    Van-d-all
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    This sounds pretty much like jRPG to me. Preset character, railroaded story and combat only stats. I don't mind, I guess, but it's good to know, because I expected otherwise.
     
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  23. cw8 Arbiter

    cw8
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    Just killed certain boss at cemetery in the first try. The boss is a textbook case of MMORPG 101, don't stand in the fire, learned it well since vanilla WoW. And since you can teleport in nearly limitless amounts, you can easily escape the "fire". Blood barrier slashing, couple of ultimates and a few shotgun blasts at the end finished boss off, all the while dodging like crazy.
     
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  24. Puukko Arcane

    Puukko
    Joined:
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    2,080
    Location:
    The Khanate
    I've been playing this nonstop for a few days now, just reached the graveyard boss. First attempt at level 20 on hard didn't go well - I think I'll have to diversify my weapon selection a bit since I've just been whacking away with a twohander club for the past 10 levels.

    I haven't dug through the thread but reading this last page gave me a much better understanding of the issues people have had with the game - it really baffled me why this game only had 72 on Metacritic. I know for a fact that I'm just a massive sucker for vampires and this game arguably beats VTMB in the social intrigue front which is my favorite part of the whole theme. I think this may be what causes me to be very lenient on the game - all my gripes so far are minor ones. I don't much mind the save system even.

    I do agree that it is a bit of a missed opportunity that character building focuses exclusively on combat and that there is only one method of persuasion, but it's not like the game is lacking in dialogue. For the most part it depicts the different factions at play well but I do wish Reid wasn't as much of a bleeding heart progressive at times. I'm a vampire, the rules and stakes are different, in the end you're all chess pieces in my game and I couldn't give a shit that you two war buddies became gay for each other or that you're in an interracial relationship with the nurse. And don't even get me started with the commies - I'd much rather have a vampire for a neighbor. Naturally, this makes my choice of who to embrace very easy.

    Also, I though the end result of what happens with Sean the pillar was handled a bit oddly, I certainly didn't see that outcome happening when I picked the option to let him live. I had the option to "cure" him which would have cost EXP, so I opted to not do that. I had just seen a society of fairly normal Skals and saw that they could be reasonable and peaceful, and Sean despite his rather overbearing religiousness seemed good and trustworthy. So I went to bed and noticed an exclamation point on the map and went to investigate, and the place was like a flesh offering of a dozen people had just taken place, with Sean and one of the sisters I didn't kill turned into frenzied Skals, in one night. I mean, they were fat XP and I even killed the sister despite her being lvl 30. Ah well.

    Besides that, there's some minor issues regarding the believability of the world - there's armed vampire hunters on the streets and many people live just a block away from Skals yet it seems regular people are completely oblivious to the fact that vampires exist. I'm also a bit confused as to the rules of how new vampires are created. The game uses the term "embrace" for simply bleeding mortals to death, and they seem to stay dead, except with this particular boss who got turned into a vampire. This may be explained later but so far the theme seems to be that it works either way depending on what's more convenient.
     
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  25. Twiglard Savant

    Twiglard
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    You get to talk to people but can't ever do anything. The game's so depressing.
     
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