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Arkane Dishonored 2 - Emily and Corvo's Serkonan Vacation

Butter

Arcane
Joined
Oct 1, 2018
Messages
4,942
I just started playing this and I'm already getting pissed off. There's this fucking annoying vignette effect whenever you're crouched, they somehow broke leaning such that it doesn't go back to normal when you unpress the button, and there's still no light meter in a stealth game.
 

Butter

Arcane
Joined
Oct 1, 2018
Messages
4,942
Was it the same in Dishonored 1? I swear I played that game a month ago, but then I went back and spoiled myself with Thief Gold and TMA.
 

Raskens

Learned
Patron
Joined
May 7, 2020
Messages
113
They say in the tutorials (or perhaps the manual) that lightning affects your visibility in both games, but I never noticed any difference at all. Same for Deus Ex.
 

HansDampf

Arcane
Joined
Dec 15, 2015
Messages
1,300
I just started playing this and I'm already getting pissed off. There's this fucking annoying vignette effect whenever you're crouched,
Just a few posts above:


they somehow broke leaning such that it doesn't go back to normal when you unpress the button
This can be changed in control options.
 

HansDampf

Arcane
Joined
Dec 15, 2015
Messages
1,300
Obligatory post after finishing the game (Emily, non-lethal ghost, "very hard"):

First, I'm happy to confirm this game is indeed better than Dishonored 1, thanks to the level design. The Clockwork Mansion, A Crack in the Slab, and The Grand Palace are the bestest. You could make an entire game with the time piece gimmick. A shame the final level is a big empty grey castle and a cakewalk compared to the mission before. I consider The Grand Palace the real "final boss" of the game. It was the most difficult to beat with non-lethal ghost restrictions. Which brings me to the second point.

You have to set your own challanges, or else the game becomes too easy even on the highst difficulty setting. That's not surprising, since the game allows you to play without magic, and therefore every level has to be balanced for non-magic users. You can also customize the difficulty to your preferences. But that always feels as if I'm doing the developer's job. And how am I supposed to guess the ideal configuration before my first playthrough?

Playing non-lethal ghost has the unfortunate side effect that half of the skills are useless. But that's to be expected. Of the remaining skills, Bonecharm Crafting is an essential one to take, plus the Trait Synergy upgrade. Being able to stack the same trait 4 times seems almost broken. Upgrading this skill any further however is pointless. Crafting a charm with 4 traits has a "high chance" of corruption, but what does "high chance" mean in numbers? Maybe I got lucky, but it can't be more than 50%. And even if it does happen, you can either try again or just deal with it. For example, I crafted a corrupt charm with 4x Swift Shadow, which let me sneak as fast as walking speed (and walking speed was already increased by another crafted charm, so it's even faster). The downside? Reduced lung capacity under water. Oh no, the horror! And if I really needed more lung capacity for a swim section, I could just take it off temporarily.

The one major issue, imo, is mana regeneration, which is enabled by default in all difficulty presets. If I had known better, I would have disabled it. It leads the player to rely mostly on skills that don't consume more mana than is regenerated, Far Reach and Dark Vision. I can leave the wallhack on for as long as I want without ever losing mana. The cost of the occasional use of other skills is negligible. I was always stacked with potions. Worse, when you are teleporting around with Far Reach, you'll always want to wait 5 seconds between jumps until your mana has filled up again, breaking the flow of the game.
If I play this again, it will probably be without mana regeneration, and also Iron Man (or one save per mission) instead of the self-imposed non-lethal ghost restriction. Playing without powers would be taking the fun out of the game.

Btw, the Dark Vision effect sounds like the alien signal in Contact.
 

Raghar

Arcane
Joined
Jul 16, 2009
Messages
16,007
I tried this recently and I after 4th mission can't understand who wrote this.

B movie like story.
For some reason they added random black captain to stay around in every mission.
Peoples personalities are WAY off. Do you remember crazy Sokolov when he was in cage with RATS? Well they mentioned it, and they mentioned it by different way than "boneheaded Sokolov needed a little scare by rats to get a clue and help the country".
Female captain in entry sequence. White female captain murdered, black female captain one handed with ship falling apart. Combining these two would net one functional ship with crew of first captain, who would complain that black captain is asshole when compared to theirs previous white captain. Or, they could simply remember while in history female captains are not impossible, they were uncommon. For woman, going regularly for several months to sea was really killing her social circles. Funnily the gang member Paolo would work well as a smuggler captain who is helping them, for a writ of amnesty for him and his gang members.

Outsider who was doing "funny" stuff to overseers in Dishonored I, and wondered what would drive them crazy, is acting like primitive moron.

After this 4 missions, and lot of thought why I'm playing it, and about what went wrong with the game. I'd base changes in story on Sokolov rat phobia, and main character love to use summoned rats to eat people alive, and create a nice secret optional end of story. Aka low chaos ending, high chaos ending, and you didn't wanted this ending.

A dialogue that would hint about possible third path:
Sokolov asked: Did he lost his powers?
-Yes, but Outsider gave him rune back, and he's slowly learning powers back.
Sokolov: Rats.
-He learned power with rats as one of first.
Sokolov jumped 5 meters away: I don't want to be with him on the same ship.
-But these rats are harmless, he's trying to improving it.
Sokolov: Improving, that's one of things I was afraid about.


And this would be part of ending scene.
Main character is lying in middle of circle of rats that are singing cute song in woman voice.
Sokolov is running around in circles and is irritating: See? I told you this would happen.
Hypatia: Meagan be nice to grannies.
Meagan: And who are you?
Hypatia: I'm Hypatia's more..., less childish personality.
Meagan satisfied with answer said: OK, and moved cigar away from Sokolov, back into her mouth.

Before ending, Sokolov rat phobia would be firmly established, and it would be obvious Sokolov is saying something between common sense, and delusions. However it's impossible to find how blabbering he was before things happens.
I'd write Meagan as extremely calm woman who after she got her ship, she has what she wanted and don't give a shit about weird stuff that happens to people around her. (That would make far more sense than what they did.)

And I'd also write far more text and some choices and consequences in dialogue.
 

Donut Touch

Scholar
Edgy
Joined
Oct 29, 2020
Messages
546
Location
Free Market Paradise
there's still no light meter in a stealth game.

There's no light/shadow mechanic with stealth, at all. It's all line of sight. It's more a Deus Ex style game than a pure stealth game as well. A hybrid method of play is best.
Incredible, the sneaky game they made is dogshit when it comes to stealth, but their kicking orcs down cliffs simulator made in the source engine had not just a shadow system but also footstep sounds and that game wasn't at all focused on any kind of stealth. Arkane truly died as a company when they were gobbled up by Bethesda.
 

Child of Malkav

Liturgist
Joined
Feb 11, 2018
Messages
1,478
Location
Romania
I tried this recently and I after 4th mission can't understand who wrote this.

B movie like story.
For some reason they added random black captain to stay around in every mission.
Peoples personalities are WAY off. Do you remember crazy Sokolov when he was in cage with RATS? Well they mentioned it, and they mentioned it by different way than "boneheaded Sokolov needed a little scare by rats to get a clue and help the country".
Female captain in entry sequence. White female captain murdered, black female captain one handed with ship falling apart. Combining these two would net one functional ship with crew of first captain, who would complain that black captain is asshole when compared to theirs previous white captain. Or, they could simply remember while in history female captains are not impossible, they were uncommon. For woman, going regularly for several months to sea was really killing her social circles. Funnily the gang member Paolo would work well as a smuggler captain who is helping them, for a writ of amnesty for him and his gang members.

Outsider who was doing "funny" stuff to overseers in Dishonored I, and wondered what would drive them crazy, is acting like primitive moron.

After this 4 missions, and lot of thought why I'm playing it, and about what went wrong with the game. I'd base changes in story on Sokolov rat phobia, and main character love to use summoned rats to eat people alive, and create a nice secret optional end of story. Aka low chaos ending, high chaos ending, and you didn't wanted this ending.

A dialogue that would hint about possible third path:
Sokolov asked: Did he lost his powers?
-Yes, but Outsider gave him rune back, and he's slowly learning powers back.
Sokolov: Rats.
-He learned power with rats as one of first.
Sokolov jumped 5 meters away: I don't want to be with him on the same ship.
-But these rats are harmless, he's trying to improving it.
Sokolov: Improving, that's one of things I was afraid about.


And this would be part of ending scene.
Main character is lying in middle of circle of rats that are singing cute song in woman voice.
Sokolov is running around in circles and is irritating: See? I told you this would happen.
Hypatia: Meagan be nice to grannies.
Meagan: And who are you?
Hypatia: I'm Hypatia's more..., less childish personality.
Meagan satisfied with answer said: OK, and moved cigar away from Sokolov, back into her mouth.

Before ending, Sokolov rat phobia would be firmly established, and it would be obvious Sokolov is saying something between common sense, and delusions. However it's impossible to find how blabbering he was before things happens.
I'd write Meagan as extremely calm woman who after she got her ship, she has what she wanted and don't give a shit about weird stuff that happens to people around her. (That would make far more sense than what they did.)

And I'd also write far more text and some choices and consequences in dialogue.
I mean, no one is playing these games for the story or writing.
 

Child of Malkav

Liturgist
Joined
Feb 11, 2018
Messages
1,478
Location
Romania
For me, the story gives a context and a reason to do stuff. I assume most people play these games for the gameplay, sim elements, freedom that these games offer, level design etc.
And why is it a false dichotomy? Generally, when a game has a bad story, it instead has good, solid mechanics and gameplay. Look at Phantom Pain for example.
If a game has bad gameplay, it has a good story, voice acting, good writing, good atmosphere etc., which turns the game into an interactive movie. See Until Dawn for example, or hell, most console games in the past 5 years or so.
Each game has an underlying focus and it can be observed the more you play the game or it's obvious from.the trailers, demos etc.
Appreciating gameplay and story is already done by everyone while playing a game (that's why people can remember how good the gameplay was in Phantom Pain but not remember what the hell was happening in that game story wise) but it's about that underlying focus I mentioned above, which permeates the game in its entirety and makes certain aspects of it more memorable that others.
 

Zombra

An iron rock in the river of blood and evil
Patron
Joined
Jan 12, 2004
Messages
10,198
Location
Black Goat Woods !@#*%&^
Make the Codex Great Again! RPG Wokedex Strap Yourselves In
Generally, when a game has a bad story, it instead has good, solid mechanics and gameplay. If a game has bad gameplay, it has a good story.
That is a very weird generalization to make. This is not a causal relationship. Bad mechanics don't somehow create a good story, or vice versa.

"The gameplay needs a little more punch, let's fire the writer and hire someone worse."

I doubt you would deny there are one or two games out there with bad gameplay and bad writing.

It's more accurate to say that excellence in general is rare.
When a game has truly good gameplay, it is a remarkable treat and we're lucky to be able to play it.
Unrelated to that, when a game has truly good writing, it is a remarkable treat and we're lucky to be able to play it.
For a game to have truly good gameplay and truly good writing is even rarer, as you have to hit the combination of two rare things in the same room.
But it can happen, and there's no reason one must be sacrificed for the other.
 

DalekFlay

Arcane
Patron
Joined
Oct 5, 2010
Messages
14,118
Location
New Vegas
For me, the story gives a context and a reason to do stuff. I assume most people play these games for the gameplay, sim elements, freedom that these games offer, level design etc.

I think story is important, but I don't think that means cutscenes. With videogames I would include things like lore, world-building, context and other such things as part of the "story." I don't think Dishonored excels at dialog or cutscenes really, but I do think it excels in those other areas a lot of the time.
 

Raghar

Arcane
Joined
Jul 16, 2009
Messages
16,007
Does that puzzle on that door was supposed to be hard? I wrote it right first try after I found the doctor title can be a woman title.
 

Butter

Arcane
Joined
Oct 1, 2018
Messages
4,942
Does that puzzle on that door was supposed to be hard? I wrote it right first try after I found the doctor title can be a woman title.
In the Dust District? I believe that's randomly generated, and wasn't particularly challenging.
 

Raghar

Arcane
Joined
Jul 16, 2009
Messages
16,007
All that bullshit about story

Who the fuck cares

I didn't give much of a shit about the story beyond "These people plotted to get me removed from the throne so I kill them/neutralize them non-lethally". This game is all about the top notch level design.
I care. When that old scientist is for some reason transporting you to the coast instead of captain, he talks and animations are like you were carried by that old geezer who shot you in Dishonored I. Either they were lazy and reused animations, or someone had brain fart.

Games are not about, pay hundred bucks, then rappidly click buttons and you have results, or observe a movie. Games are art that need decent story (when the game is sequel of STORY based action game).
(In fact D2 writing feels like writers didn't play D1 and just had some abbreviated synopsis and watched few streams.)


As for that level design I wanted to post an image from Royal Conservatory. With question "who can see it as well?". I didn't save it, thus you will evade question about ELEMENTARY room design.

But lets look at level design. I expected, in Royal Conservatory before that first wall of light, well it's long into the game people who used blink to move on roofs would likely specialized into it to get longer reach version, the other would need to use alternative solution like disabling wall... But, no. They used the same cookie cuter solution of n paths each easily accessible. If you don't want to use speedruner tactics, you have hard time, but a lot levels are easily solved in trivial way.
In comparison to Dishonored I, rooms are cramped, feels like someone made them only to provide challenge for a player, not that people are actually living there.

Edit:
KCPA9S7.png

There you have a nice puzzle.


When I'd write review, with my current experience with Dishonored 2, I'd write:
In contrast to Dishonored I which managed to provide consistent long story, Dishonored 2 is based on doing several disjointed missions with main goal killing current villain of the week.
 
Last edited:

AwesomeButton

Proud owner of BG 3: Day of Swen's Tentacle
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Nov 23, 2014
Messages
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At large
PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Insert Title Here RPG Wokedex Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
Am I a bad person for playing a couple levels of this and completely losing interest?
Same with me though I played at least 5 levels until I was completely assured that this is Thief for kids with disabilities.
 

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