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Interview Kevin Saunders interview at Iron Tower

Discussion in 'News & Content Feedback' started by Elwro, Aug 27, 2008.

  1. Mefi Cipher

    Mefi
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    I always enjoyed that kind of thing. Do you wear the chainmail and get frostbite but adequate protection or do you wear the furs and be rather disappointed to find out that you start to resemble a pincushion?

    More choice, more decisions. But more micromanagement is evil now, and so I'll just take my +10 to defence plate boots as there's no real consequence to wearing them.
     
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  2. Vault Dweller Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

    Vault Dweller
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    It wasn't?

    You need new friends.

    Doesn't look like it. The combat was easy. Once I realized that I made me a charismatic rogue to get more dialogue options and stopped worrying about my rogue's life expectancy.

    That's what I said.
     
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  3. Xard Novice

    Xard
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    No, it isn't. It is true for me and it is true for you and I'd say for most people here at Codex, but overall (and overall doesn't merely mean adding biowareans to the mix) claim combat was universally or for majority easy doesn't hold.

    I was merely giving my support for what Saunders said:


    Boldings by me of course. For many players who know the principles of D&D and are familiar with D&D games, but weren't exactly battlehardened D&D veterabs of many years of dice rolling, MotB's combat was quite ideally challengeable. They (and newbs if they remembered to tune down difficulty to normal or something) got the ideal mix of interesting enough basic fights and some tough challenges to crack. They enjoyed the combat. For same people some of NWN2 OC's reaper (or whatever those bone guys are) encounters were interesting when it came to difficulty.

    Saying MotB is easy as universal truth is demonstrably false. But claim that it is on easy side of spectrum is true IMO.

    As I said there was some fights that were genuinely interesting for me in first playthroughs, but such fights were honestly hard for many.

    There is truth in saying D&D 3.5 E is bit too intimidating and complex system for beginners. In epic levels balancing problems become nigh-unsolvable unless you want to aim for Really Hard or Really Easy. I don't think Obz could've done MotB's this aspect much better without making hard combat their number one target - something they admitted wasn't the case.

    Nahh, they're cool guys and have been players for ages. I too was late waker when it came to CRPG's - I played strategy games on PC and mostly console games - up to 2003 or so when I started to dig in genre that would eventually become my favourite.

    But those guys who phailed really were noobs. Their only previous D&D experience had been Kotors and NWN2. And considering how vastly complex 3.5 E is it is no wonder they sucked at char building. Heck, who doesn't suck at character building in first times when one plays D&D?

    I haven't been to Bio boards in ages because people there are... scary :?

    Anyway, back in the day when MotB came out such threads were common - most usual encounters were not very surprisingly the vampires

    For me combat got gradually easier more I played the game. First time was hardest because I made oddball character I hadn't yet tested much. And that character mostly used new base class I wasn't familiar with at all (Aasimar fighter/spirit shaman with weapon focus on spears) contributed too

    Ultimately MotB is easy for sufficiently experienced players - and you're more than sufficiently experienced. Once you know your D&D it is really hard if not impossible to make tough epic level campaign. Esp. after scouring through IWD's, BG's and older games like SSI's.

    That's anecdotal and not universal *shrug*

    Yeah, and I agree. But I don't think it is general rule with people playing MotB for reasons I already talked about. :)

    you left the "but not that easy" part out :wink:
     
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  4. thesheeep Arcane Patron

    thesheeep
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    I played both. And obviously, the evil one was a bit harder on that matter, but on both I found the "sense of urgency" rather disturbing.


    Couldn't agree more, but that is still no justification for having that urgency for a whole game.

    Well, you are wrong. It bothered me on both playthroughs. Not so much that it would have made the game bad or sth, but enough to be noticed as bothersome.
    I like to take my time, exploring the landscape and searching for the last bit of XP there is. I still managed to do so, of course, but it would have been a lot more enjoyable if I wouldn't have been under pressure all the time.

    Seriously, give your gamers a break. Pressure with relaxing time after that is good. Constant pressure is bad. Simple as that (not taking the 5% of hardcore guys into account...)


    I miss them, too, but they can't be compared. In those games, you could just buy food and water and be done with it. Or you could go hunting, etc. One way or another, you could collect what you need before you need it. Not possible with souls.
    Also eating and drinking are natural things. No one will be completely surprised that his character will have to eat and drink. But the spirit meter, as intelligent and necessary as it was introduced, still was artificial.
     
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  5. Deamus Novice

    Deamus
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    The main problem with the spirit meter was that it actually encouraged resting. The best skills were only usable once per rest so if you fought for too long without resting your spirit meter dropped a lot more then you could replenish using those skills. If you rested before every battle with a spirits you always had access to them and you would have lost less spirit between two uses, enabling you to play without ill effects. This annoyed me because my character was capable of going on for a long time without resting if it wasn't for the spirit meter.

    The thing that annoyed me must however was how the game automatically assumed your character was good if you wanted to avoid being addicted to devouring spirits. Can't it just be that an evil character figures it wouldn't be advantageous to give in?
     
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  6. ricolikesrice Arcane

    ricolikesrice
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    ...

    i do think the main problem with NWN2 combat is that its mostly about character building.

    take the red dragon in the NWN2 OC. he will tear through an unprepared party of suboptimal characters just like a prepared party of proper characters will tear through him.

    the fight in itself requires really little input however, you either have it or you dont.

    and thats how all fights in NWN2 go. first time encountering the vampires in MOTB ? got my ass handed to me. next time with a proper setup ... easy as a walk in the park.

    heck with the correct buffing (or equipment) you basically turn your melees invincible. ridicoulus AC so they can only hit you 5% of the time : easily achievable. immunity against all kinds of effect thats otherwise mess up your combat plan (knockdown, mind control etc.) ? easily achievable.....


    maybe i m missing something but to me its especially those immunities from spells or items that take any challenge out of the game.

    i m all for spells buffing your resistance against knockdown or mind control so you have a better CHANCE to avoid them. but the keyword is CHANCE. in NWN2 however there are no chances, there s flatout immunities instead.

    also i think there should be something in place to stop the ridicoulus power of buffs. something like you can only have a certain number of them going on at one time.
    i remember anarchy online had some kind of system like that.

    barskin, stoneskin, etc etc. .... might as well call them godmode.

    and especially for melee and ranged characters combat is just click and watch the numbers fly by. no special attacks apart from the occasional knockdown, nada.

    positioning is basically completely unimportant unless you re facing enemies with sneak attack (then again there s enough feats, spells and items to counter that....) or AE spells (enough feats, spells and items to counter that)

    seriously, play drakensang. no, its not the hardest game either but most of the time the combat requires you to actually do something aside from buffing beforehand.

    i m having little hopes for SoZ in terms of combat. sure, they said there will be less magic items but with the retarded immunities from spells one quick reload will turn any battle into a snorefest when you adjust your buff-lineup.
    and since there was no word of additional combat feats either combat will probably remain just as boring as well.
    only hope i have is better AI (tony k s) coupled with many encounters where you have enemy mixed parties. but even then its probably just a question of how many buffs you apply before combat.
     
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  7. thesheeep Arcane Patron

    thesheeep
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    You do know that your texts are a bit hard to read?


    Anyway....
    About all your rants.
    Winning a fight by a proper setup is actually called "strategy" or "plan".
    And yes, superior builds make it easier than inferior ones.
    Same goes for equipment.
    Reloading allows you to actually come up with a plan if you failed without one. Realistic? No. Necessary gameplay decision? Most likely.
    And you can still win fights with a bad setup, inferior builds and weak equipment. It is just damn hard. And it should be that way.
    Other than that, I would recommend you not to play any D&D game.

    And yes, Drakensang requires a bit more of strategy in some fights. But less in others.
     
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  8. Xard Novice

    Xard
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    well, it was only 1 point aligment change that feels justified by nature of spirit eater curse

    You could use your skills 10 times before having to rest. It was just there was 5 min or something cooldown. (I would've made it tops 2 minutes)
     
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  9. ricolikesrice Arcane

    ricolikesrice
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    no

    i really didnt know, thanks

    wow, really ?

    didnt know.

    thanks for sharing.

    cool.

    ah okay.



    what exactly did this have to do with my post by the way :?:
     
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  10. Murk Arcane

    Murk
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    Good interviews VD, both were well done on your part and very informative from the Dev's pov
     
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  11. thesheeep Arcane Patron

    thesheeep
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    lol?

    You were complaining that giving your characters a proper build, setup and buffs before the fight made them too strong.
    I was merely saying that all this is either called "strategy" or part of how D&D works.
     
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  12. Deamus Novice

    Deamus
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    Uses after the first one increased craving so it worked best if used once per rest. Suppress worked once per rest. If you rested often enough you could do with these and never increase your craving. I feel that this encouraged resting rather than the opposite, at least for characters that wanted to avoid devouring souls. Even the 10 uses weren't really enough and forced you to rest more often then needed when playing a character giving in to the craving.

    This also had a much larger impact on alignment than any other element in the game and basically meant those who give in to the craving are evil and those who don't are good no matter what the reasons for it where. Not that strange alignment point allocation is anything new.
     
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  13. Elwro Arcane

    Elwro
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    I agree with ricolikesrice's point that especially the OC offered by NWN2 was close to the "initial setup is all that matters in a fight" style. I do not remember many fights which were not won/lost purely because of (lack of) buffs etc.
     
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  14. ricolikesrice Arcane

    ricolikesrice
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    no you played captain obvious - why d you assume i dont know what strategy means ?
    my "rant" was that in NWN2 its ALL about that - the preparations BEFORE a fight. with the actual combat being all about watching shitty combat animations.

    a good combat system would have its equal share making a good battle plan beforehand .... and then adapting this plan in battle as the situation changes.

    easy basic example. say you are fighting some big and mean monster. obviously you d want your best warrior at the frontline while the ranger and mage stay outside of danger. a good plan, no ?

    but oh no.... that big and mean monster might knockdown your best warrior, so your plan suddenly falls into pieces and you have to adapt and keep your ranger and mage alive while the warrior is on the ground and the mean monster is running rampage.

    NWN2 solution: knockdown immunity from item/spell/feat

    challenge: having a character with a knockdown immunity spell / item.

    such a deep game, amazing...... :roll: (lets not even talk about how in NWN2 your properly buffed ranger/mage might just as well play with the big mean monster since he s basically just as invulnerable as your warrior, if you only get hit 5% of the time it doesnt really matter whether you have 100 or 300 hp - that is unless the monster hits for 101 damage ^^ )
     
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  15. Edward_R_Murrow Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Edward_R_Murrow
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    Time limits and other hurrying effects are usually a good thing, and more games need them. Not because of what happens on the player's side, but because of what happens on the developer's side. A time limit basically forces the devs to design the game with less useless bloat, and more densely packed good content. Compare Fallout and Oblivion. With Fallout's time limit, they couldn't pepper the world with dungeons, because it would have been completely contrary to the time limit's design. It would get the player's Vault killed because they'd be to busy going OCD on everything in sight. Not to mention, with a limit on the time, that puts a limit on how much content the developer can expect he player to see. This makes it so the developer is forced to have a much higher ration of good stuff to boring shitfests to make sure the player sees worthwhile things.

    Whereas with no time limits, the developer is free to throw in as much poorly made crap as possible, diluting the experience. It doesn't work to break the game, so they let it in because they feel it won't hurt the game for a majority of players.

    A good comparison of this is between the PS2 Shinobi and it's godawful, abortion of a sequel Nightshade; both action games with a similar engine, but only one with a "time limit". Shinobi had a mechanic where your sword ate souls (either yours or the enemies), so you needed to keep killing things and moving through the level to stay alive. This basically forced the developers to do a lot of things, including making the levels very action oriented, make you constantly doing the fun stuff (setting up "tates", or multi-kills), removing anything that wasn't fast and intense because it would get the player character killed, and make bosses as fair and consistent as I've ever seen in an action game. All this was to "accommodate" for the time limit. Now Nightshade on the other hand, ditched the soul sucking sword because people bitched about it. So there was no time limit. And this caused a lot of awful things to pop up. For one, there were many empty, long corridor sections in the game. Bosses were cheap as all hell, sometimes never opening up for attack in 20 minutes. Generally it was also very slow in a lot of areas. Instead of the developers having to test to see if players could reasonably make it through the levels and cut the fat like in Shinobi, all they had to do for Nightshade was just make sure it worked, which let all this bloat in. Though the lack of a time limit wasn't the only problem Nightshade had, it sure caused a lot of crap.
     
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  16. thesheeep Arcane Patron

    thesheeep
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    The combat IS easy, yeah. But removing immunity wouldn't solve it. More would be needed in order to make fights in NWN2 actually challenging.

    And if you can't live with immunity, why do you use it? If you think it is too strong, don't equip/cast. Problem solved for you.

    Immunity is simply a part of D&D, easy as that. And in that interview the Obsidian guy stated that it was their design decision to make combat easy.
    You don't need to like that, but I don't see sense in ranting when you can solve the problem by simply not using that stuff.
     
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  17. Mefi Cipher

    Mefi
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    Isn't this a reflection more on DnD rules than anything fundamentally flawed with a game based upon them?

    God knows I dislike the NWN series but at the same time, I see the same thing in ToEE. In DnD, preparation is all. With a DM, you don't get to rewind and start again - but with a PC game, ya do. Unless you're playing Ironman and it's your first run through that part of the game.

    It's a problem which is never going to be solved if your character/party can be reloaded and you have prior notice of what is ahead. So I see little point bitching about 'easy' fights.
     
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  18. Skald Novice

    Skald
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    Yeah, that too.

    On MoTB :
    I'm replaying it right now, been in a tight spot recently, with no obvious sources of spirit of energy near me and the death seemed imminent - such experiences don't let us forget that curse is always there, waiting...I don't think they could've conveyed the feeling of hunger any better.

    Modern games have spoiled us - there's usually no challenge involved.
     
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  19. LastAngryBat Novice

    LastAngryBat
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    Nethergate innovative?

    I thought it sucked because he tried to shoehorn the celts and romans into generic fantasy.

    I mostly liked the spirit meter. It would have been better without the ability use caps, a
    couple of times I had to rest in order to feed, Which felt wrong to say the least.
     
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  20. youhomofo Augur

    youhomofo
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    The spirit meter never gave me any trouble. I didn't feel the need to rush or anything. I explored every nook at my leisure. Of course, I swallowed every available soul I came across. Guess I'm a glutton.
     
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  21. Trash Pointing and laughing.

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    MOTB was awesome not because the combat and rpg system. It was awesome in spite of it. The DnD roleplaying system itself is rather silly and geared towards munchkinism. Therefore games using it tend to do the same. However sometimes they manage to be more then the sum of their parts.
     
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  22. Skald Novice

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    I hope the fact that MotB was great will help to reinforce the idea that a story and dialogues make the game, rest is jut a nice addition. It should never be the other way round.
     
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  23. buccaroobonzai Scholar

    buccaroobonzai
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    Re: ...

    Thats why I like to play mages, druids or spellcasters in NWN, I have dozens of choices to cast different spells for each encounter. Not only that, I have to change tactics as the dynamics of the battle change....My summoned dire bear just got walloped, now I have to expeditious retreat, or go stealth, or run and shoot etc. I never get bored using mages or multiclassed magelike combos.
     
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