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Editting Thread 2 - Proof-reading

Discussion in 'The cRPG Player's Handbook' started by felipepepe, May 22, 2014.

  1. Servo Arcane

    Servo
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    The codex is filled with useless posts anyways. Like this one.
     
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  2. HiddenX The Elder Spy Patron

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    Why is nobody working here? :mca: lazy sunny saturday afternoon? :)
     
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  3. felipepepe Prestigious Gentleman Codex's Heretic Patron

    felipepepe
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    Ok, I collected the feedback and checked with the author a small change in the end of the Banner Saga review to make more sense. Here's how we stand:

    Of Orcs and Men
    Show Spoiler

    Purely from a writing standpoint, this is one of the most overlooked gems of the RPG genre. If you love story driven RPGs, I highly suggest considering this game. Tons of games talk about “Mature Themes," but this one really hits the nail on the head--not just with the adult language (which there’s a lot of, but it fits the game’s themes well). The story covers racism, slavery, political ambition, violence, and betrayal. This is not the clichéd story of a hero setting out to stop a great evil that threatens the world. The war between Orcs and Humans has been decidedly one-sided and, in a desperate bid to prevent the enslavement of all Orcs, an elite Orc military unit receives orders for a suicide mission: kill the Human emperor.

    The plot also contains a few unexpected and well developed twists, which turns the original plan into something much greater. I feel that both of the main characters are well-written and that it is interesting to see how their interactions with each other change as the story progresses. A berserking Orc and a stealthy, smartass rogue make for a very intersting duo.

    The developers have also done a good job connecting the characters' personalities to their fighting styles. In combat you can switch back and forth between characters at-will, but before it begins you have the opportunity to go into stealth with Styx, the Goblin, and attempt to sneak up behind an enemy for an assassination. The Orc, Arkail, is a great embodiment of the berserker type warrior, and not just in the writing. The combat system actually contains a rage meter that fills when he takes damage. Once full, he literally goes into an uncontrollable rage. It can turn the tide of a battle in your favor due to the damage boost, but can also cost you a battle thanks to the lack of defense and potential to KO the Goblin, making this unique mechanic both interesting and potentially frustrating. On the other hand, it fits the character profile perfectly.

    Sadly, the game is really linear and there is almost no exploration. The maps are very railroaded with minimal detours to occasionally find some loot. There are a handful of side quests, but they need to be done right then and there. And there’s pretty much no choice & consequence--the game is going to play out a certain way no matter what option you pick.

    Of Orcs and Men is definitely not for everyone, but if you enjoy story-driven RPGs there’s a very good chance you’ll find yourself sucked in wanting more of the amazing characters and world.


    Defender's Quest
    Show Spoiler
    Defender's Quest is simply a great game. This is definitely not the type of game I would normally play. In fact, I had never played a tower defense game before or since. What really appealed to me about the game were the RPG elements, and it didn't fail to deliver. The story combines with the combat and character development to make a surprisingly inspired game.

    There is an actual story to this game that drives everything forward. The main character, Azra, is infected by a plague and thrown into a pit from where she must escape. As the story unfolds you'll discover the driving force behind the plague and seek to put an end to it. I really enjoyed the writing, and, while the humor was a bit offbeat, there were several occasions where I literally laughed out loud. There's the clichéd, somewhat dumb warrior (who has some priceless lines), a sarcastic archer, a noble knight, and a greedy egotistical dragon. It's a great mixture that allows for all kinds of comedic interactions.

    The game is fairly straightforward: you have to protect your main character and defeat all the waves of attacking enemy forces. This is achieved through carefully positioning your characters at choke points on the map. Adding some tactical depth to the gameplay are the class system and magic spells. There are six different classes, which all have unique skills with varying areas of effect, so careful positioning is the key to victory. As characters level up, you spend points in their skill trees to unlock new abilities or improve existing ones. Azra is immobile during battles, but can spend mana to summon allies or on various spells to assist in eliminating the hostile hordes. Coming up with strategies to leverage your army's abilities towards victories, preferably flawless ones, is the real beauty of the combat system.

    All the maps have four levels of difficulty to choose from (with the harder tiers obviously netting better rewards), and there's a NG+ mode that adds a new type of currency for the best items. The game is also surprisingly long, clocking around 20 hours.

    Believe me, even if this isn't something you'd normally play, it is very capable of engulfing you with its charm. I loved it so much I didn't even hesitate to pre-order Defender's Quest II.


    The Banner Saga
    Show Spoiler

    The Banner Saga is a planned episodic game with beautiful hand-drawn artwork. The game is heavily story-driven with a nice smattering of choice & consequence and turn based combat.

    Although the story is fairly linear, which characters remain alive at the game’s conclusion depends greatly on player choices throughout. The Banner Saga is built on the concept of an apocalypse, and the developers had no problems presenting the harsh choices that such an event would entail. The game gives a good framework of events and then allows the player to tailor how their individual journey plays out. Major plot points will be the same, but the pieces that will fill in the blanks will be customized and often memorable. The map is also crammed full of lore information for people who really want to dig into the world, but it’s not imposed on players who don’t.

    The story is told from the perspective of two different groups who start at opposite ends of the country, and the point of view jumps between these two groups. Some people complain that this makes the plot hard to follow, but if you can follow Game of Thrones this shouldn’t be an issue for you. Because the world is ending supplies are limited and required to prevent your caravan from starving, NPCs from leaving, morale plummeting, and battles becoming more difficult as a result. You can buy supplies with renown, gained from battles, but it is also needed to upgrade troops or buy items. You will not be swimming in renown, or supplies, so careful management of resources can make a big difference.

    The combat is turn-based, and there’s a variety of classes with specialized skills creating opportunities for a variety of tactics. You can also move your characters’ stat points around between 6 different attributes allowing for true customization of roles and play-style. For example, you can spend points making a unit into a specialized armor breaker or boost the number of times they can perform a special ability. One of the attributes units have is called Will Power which dictates a unit’s ability to go above and beyond their typical limits. These points can be spent on moving further than normal, or to boost an attack, and do not naturally refill. As you kill units, you begin to fill up your war horn. These charges can be expended to refill a unit’s Will Power and can provide the boost needed to push through a tough encounter. Exertion determines how much Will Power a unit can use in one turn preventing a large one time boost unless a unit is specifically built to fufill that role.

    The unique mechanic that separates The Banner Saga’s combat from other games is the shared health/strength pool on units. Damaging an enemy reduces the damage they can do to you. However, outright killing a unit might not be in your best interest because the game uses an “I go, you go system” allowing for full strength units to act more quickly. Therefore, it can be valuable to leave heavily damaged units, who do little damage, alive to prevent full strength units from getting more turns and quickly turning the tables against your army. All units also have an armor value which reduces incoming damage, as well as chance to be hit, so sometimes it’s better to knock this down before attempting to damage a unit.

    Each member of your party can equip an item that will also influence how you approach battle. The size difference between the jarls and humans is also clearly evident in combat with the giants taking up sections of 2x2, making them useful for blocking approaches for enemies, especially larger ones. The only drawback of the combat system is the limited number of enemy types, many of which lack special abilities, which does erode the tactical depth of the AI a bit.

    Despite some minor complaints, I thoroughly enjoyed the story and the mechanics. If the remaining episodes continue the dark, but engrossing, story and Stoic builds on the foundations of the combat system, then this series could easily turn into an epic masterpiece fans of story driven games won’t want to miss.


    Is this ok to everyone?
     
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  4. Ninjerk Arcane

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    I think the consensus is that the race names in Of Orcs and Men don't require capitalization. The third paragraph in there also looks bad to me now. It's a bit of a run on.
     
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  5. HiddenX The Elder Spy Patron

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    I would change the end of Banner Saga to:

    I don't understand the word 'Stoic'

    Okay it is: Stoic Studios
     
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  6. felipepepe Prestigious Gentleman Codex's Heretic Patron

    felipepepe
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    True, but the game title itself capitalizes them...

    That would completely change what the author thinks. :?

    Stoic is the name of the developer.
     
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  7. HiddenX The Elder Spy Patron

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    I thought this are his minor complaints. The quality of the story is praised later again.

    In any case it is more objective and sounds better. Never use "complaints" in a conclusion.
     
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  8. HiddenX The Elder Spy Patron

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    New try:
     
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  9. felipepepe Prestigious Gentleman Codex's Heretic Patron

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    From my reading, his biggest complaints are regarding combat, not linearity or length...
     
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  10. HiddenX The Elder Spy Patron

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    He begins with
    In fact he means exploration (story has many c&c and is NOT linear. Example: several party members can die depending on your choices, but you cannot choose the way = No exploration)

    If he would complain about the combat, he cannot praise the game mechanics at the same time.
    Combat is a big part of the game mechanics.

    The game has only 8-12 hours of gameplay.

    PS:
    I think you have to ask greywolf00 again, what he really means in the bottom line.
     
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  11. felipepepe Prestigious Gentleman Codex's Heretic Patron

    felipepepe
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    8-12 hours isn't all that short, and the game intended as an episodic release, as he stated at the start. Also, I prefer calling it linear story than linear exploration... you don't actually get to walk around and explore anything, and although the deaths change with your choices, you still get the same story & ending... it only changes who did stuff & is dead.

    Besides, I don't think we should be interfering with things outside the grammar and comprehension of the reviews. If no one has anything else on this, I would like to close this batch and move on...
     
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  12. HiddenX The Elder Spy Patron

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    At least use "linear main story" or "linear main plot", linear story is simply wrong.

    To be exact:
    Banner saga has a linear main plot (main story).
    Banner saga has linear/no exploration ("game on rails").
    Banner saga has a non-linear story (narrative) with quite a few choices and consequences along the way.
     
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  13. HiddenX The Elder Spy Patron

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    I asked greywolf00 himself:

    with minor complaints, he means:

    He agreed to my summerization in terms of linearity: (greywolf00: "seems like a very accurate summerization to me")
    felipepepe I'm a system analyst, it's my job to understand people, to analyze processes and complex technical specifications and find inconsistencies and remove errors before I start to program. I want everything to be as good and exact as it can be.
     
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  14. muds_animal_friend Arcane Patron

    muds_animal_friend
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    [​IMG]

    ... because titles follow different, and quite arbitrary, rules on capitalization. Now all the big kids are going to laugh and poke fun at the book for improper use of case. Is that what you want felipepepe? Because that's what will happen.

    One little thing in Of Orcs and Men: "In combat you can switch back and forth between characters at-will". "At-will" is a legal term. It should read "at will". And, this is probably my fault, the first paragraph in The Banner Saga uses the term "turn based combat" while the fourth paragraph uses "turn-based". It should be "turn-based combat" in the first paragraph for consistency.
     
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  15. felipepepe Prestigious Gentleman Codex's Heretic Patron

    felipepepe
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    That's emotional blackmail bro. :cry:

    No, I don't want people to laugh at me, we'll change.

    BTW, wouldn't be easier if you and the rest of the grammar nazis made a reference guide on stuff like "turn-based"?

    The german system analyst and the brazilian marketing devil... heh, would be hard to find more different personalities.

    The problem is that personal reviews like this will never be "exact" bro, that's why user scores and such suck so much. I think one would go mad trying to make all the +250 reviews be perfectly objective, especially with so many different authors. I'm more for an "overall tone" approach, but I respect your intention to help and improve the book, and I'll be more strict on my editing with the authors.

    But I won't contact them back every time something isn't "exact", ok? ;)
     
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  16. HiddenX The Elder Spy Patron

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    Ok, ok "exact" is too much ;) But if something is clearly wrong or given to misunderstanding you should contact the author.
    In the case of Bannersaga: greywolf00 said: "Thanks for the feedback", and that he kind of rushed the reviews and in case of the "linearity" that he wasn't sure how to express it right.
    Most authors like to get feedback (before the release of the book). Specifically non native speakers that have sometimes problems to express something in another language. Me included btw.
    My chat with greywolf00 was about 5 min. We editors were discussing his review without him here much longer speculating what he is trying to say.
    The author always knows best what he's trying to say. Unfortunately sometimes he cannot transfer his thoughts to paper.


    My best projects in the past were projects with very different peronalities and skills in the team. Sometimes you'll damn me to hell and I want you into some kind of abyss, but in the end -our product- the book will be better. :)

    And I will not intervene on everything, I was, for example, very pleased with Jaz' reviews.
    (and I played only 159 of the 264 games on the current list - I will not comment on things I don't know - so there's only a 60% chance... )


    PS:
    It would be really nice if terms like "turn-based combat", "cRPG", "role-playing elements", "c&c", "p&p" would be consistent over all reviews. We could make a glossary for such recurring terms with small explanations, too.
    I have tons of small explanations for terms of the role-playing genre, just tell me what terms should be in the glossary and I'll find something and write it together.
     
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  17. Darth Roxor Prestigious Gentleman Wielder of the Huegpenis

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  18. HiddenX The Elder Spy Patron

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    :)

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. felipepepe Prestigious Gentleman Codex's Heretic Patron

    felipepepe
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    I asked the author for a rewrite:

    Everyone satisfied with this?

    I only wanted to make a book!
    :negative:

    Oh god, the debate on the glossary term for "RPG"... let's leave that for later, ok?
     
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  20. HiddenX The Elder Spy Patron

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    Glossary:

    cRPG: A genre of personal computer games that focus on role-playing
    p&p: Short for "pen and paper" - the traditional form of role-playing
    turn-based combat: each party/character can make combat choices per turn

    ...

    easy :) -> no need for big definitions in a Glossary and a debate about it


    Very good - see how well we work together!
     
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  21. Servo Arcane

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    Yes.

    No.

    Also I prefer CRPG (why should the leading C be lowercase? It's an acronym FFS), C&C and P&P.

    Are we going to set up a system like this for the next batch?
     
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  22. Servo Arcane

    Servo
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    I expressed three opinions and asked one question in my previous post. Which received fisting?
     
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  23. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

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    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Your previous post did.
     
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  24. felipepepe Prestigious Gentleman Codex's Heretic Patron

    felipepepe
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    All 3 of them, at least from me.

    Next batch should be easier, as was from a professional writer. I'll set it up now. ;)
     
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  25. HiddenX The Elder Spy Patron

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    The best I can give you as a short answer is:
    If you need more look here:
    CRPG Analyzer
     
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