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Company News Obsidian reportedly about to be acquired by Microsoft

Discussion in 'News & Content Feedback' started by Infinitron, Oct 10, 2018.

  1. Cosmo Arcane

    Cosmo
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    Project: Eternity
    Both are true IMHO. The caster classes have too many spells, making them unwieldy (after all, it's a brand new system for the player to get acquainted to), and i imagine a sinkhole to implement. But i think it's also the case for the more melee focused ones : i would have really preferred less abilities, but for them to be upgradeable or modular (think feat chains for example) to suit my needs and stay light on the management side. Nothing of value would have been lost if certain classes had been made kits instead of being whole new systems and the numerous abilities had been culled (or at least hadn't tried to ape D&D).
    On the last point i see an added benefit, in that less abilities means that the AI that can be way easier to hone to perfection : Knights of the Chalice is a great testament to that fact (Begue trimmed the D&D spell repertoire a great deal, and the AI uses it really intelligently)...
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2018
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  2. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

    ERYFKRAD
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    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    :x
     
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  3. Roguey Codex Staff Sawyerite

    Roguey
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    The downside of this is that people did in fact flip out when they found out the original scope of the game was just five classes when Obsidian announced the first stretch goal. It doesn't matter how well-developed they could have potentially been, having a "mere" five was outrageous given all the RPGs they played that had far more.
     
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  4. Riddler Magister Patron

    Riddler
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    Bubbles In Memoria
    I still maintain that one of the primary issues with PoE combat is that it has a system where you have fairly intense maintenance for 5-6 characters while in BG you had it for only like 2-3 in a conventional party.

    The combat system is designed as if you play a single character, or like it is turn based (in which case 6 characters might be too much anyway due to combat speed), while in reality the combat system it apes after (BG) is much more like an RTS and should be designed as such(which was the base BG was built on). It is real time with pause, not pause with real time...

    Giving everyone a shit-ton of (poorly though out) abilities, that you need to actively use, grinds things to a halt and turns resource draining encounters(filler) into an absolute chore.
     
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  5. Cosmo Arcane

    Cosmo
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    Project: Eternity
    True, but turning those classes into kits would have been a good middleground IMHO, although i doubt Josh's german sense of ethics would have let him skew some clear kickstarter promises.
     
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  6. Roguey Codex Staff Sawyerite

    Roguey
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    Build your characters passively, pal. :M
     
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  7. Riddler Magister Patron

    Riddler
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    Bubbles In Memoria
    Whether something technically is possible and what the game is designed around are two very different things.

    You can play a party of 6 wizards in BG but 99.9% of players won't.
     
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  8. Roguey Codex Staff Sawyerite

    Roguey
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    Josh specifically designed passive options for every non-spellcaster class to take specifically because of a demand for less micro-intensive parties. This is how I played myself; I gave actives to my main character and went as passive as I possibly could on everybody else.
     
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  9. IHaveHugeNick Arcane

    IHaveHugeNick
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    No it doesn't, you just build your party that way. It's not a problem with the system, the problem is between your chair and your keyboard.

    I hate RTwP combat with passion so I always build my party with a goal to limit the amount of micro. On launch despite poor AI scripts it was perfectly possible to only micro the guys in your backline. Now that they've added AI behaviors you can pretty much build a party that is entirely passive including no active healer.
     
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  10. Cross Erudite

    Cross
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    The problem with PoE's abilities and spells is that most of them are superficial variations of each other, and usually boil down to 'do damage in a needlessly convoluted manner' or 'minor stat (de)buff for a few seconds'. PoE has far more abilities and spells than Baldur's Gate, but very few of them are meaningfully different from each other.

    D&D has a Magic Missile spell that always remains useful, because the amount of missiles increases as you level up and it's one of the few spells that has no saving throw, meaning it can't be resisted. PoE has an entire line of 'Minoletta's missiles' spells, all of which are quickly outclassed by other spells. It's all bloat.

    A cynical person might think this was done on purpose to create the illusion of a deep ability/spell system, because programming lots of unique effects for spells and abilities is very resource-intensive. But I think it has more to with Sawyer being a bad designer, or at least not understanding what makes fantasy RPGs fun to play.
     
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  11. Safav Hamon Self-Ejected Village Idiot The Real Fanboy

    Self-Ejected
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    Abilities scale as you gain power levels in Deadfire
     
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  12. Fairfax Arcane

    Fairfax
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    Agreed. In terms of spells/abilities, PoE was way more ambitious than BG, by the way. BG1 (without Tales) had 96 spells across all casters. PoE's wizard alone had ~70 spells at launch, and Priest, Druid, and Cipher had ~30-40 each. Then you have the chants, invocations, shapeshifting, and all the active abilities from martial classes.

    That's the 4E/Sawyer special. Everybody needs a bunch of not-spells so they can feel more powerful and not suffer from Wizard Envy.
     
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  13. Roguey Codex Staff Sawyerite

    Roguey
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    The original design for PoE was that lower spells levels would eventually become per-encounter instead of per-rest. If the damage spells scaled with level, they'd be the only thing people would use all the time. Instead slicken and the like became the only thing people used all the time, so it was changed.
     
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  14. IHaveHugeNick Arcane

    IHaveHugeNick
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    But that's the thing. If you were to make a post-apo game that has swing soundtrack from the 1950s and smiling fella in blue-jumpsuit in a logo, you would be sued seven days back to Sunday. But Myth guys could easily make a Black Company game without license from Cook. Just call it something else and go for the same vibe, because vibe is the only thing really distinctive about the books.

    Cook was huge innovator in his day but by now his innovations became nearly as entrenched in the fantasy genres as elves orcs and hobbits.

    I still gotta read Dread Empire though.
     
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  15. undecaf Arcane Patron

    undecaf
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    Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2
    They've been playable. Not great or groundbreaking, but playable. For the most part.

    I'm mostly looking at the potential they have; it's a tad better to live with hope than without.

    Anyways... meh. What happens, happens.
     
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  16. Riddler Magister Patron

    Riddler
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    Bubbles In Memoria

    I feel like both you and Roguey misunderstand my point. The point is that it is very easy to make the main gameplay loop fairly unenjoyable and I am willing to wager that practically every remotely non-hardcore player did.

    Why is this? Probably because Josh dislikes RtwP and don't understand what makes it enjoyable and therefore designed a game where it is possible to build a party where the core gameplay loop is enjoyable rather than that being the strong default.

    You should not have to make fucking AI scripts in order to make the main gameplay enjoyable, if players even want that then you have failed catastrophically.
     
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  17. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    There's some 20/20 hindsight here IMO. From the vantage point of 2012, an era of micromanagement-heavy MOBAs and after years of cooldown-clicking in Dragon Age and World of Warcraft, the idea that a modern RTwP RPG should have lots of abilities didn't seem that outrageous. Josh Sawyer picked a direction and maybe it was ultimately the wrong one, but it was a 50-50 proposition, not a no-brainer. He was fully aware of what he was doing. Unfortunately the questions he was asked about this at the time were mostly on the defunct Formspring site and have been lost.
     
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  18. Roguey Codex Staff Sawyerite

    Roguey
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    There was a strong demand for fighters who can do more than just auto-attack even here, but especially elsewhere.

    Josh agrees, but if you see see things to take on level up and you see passives, modals, per rest, and per encounter abilities, and you keep choosing the per encounter active abilities on everyone, the fault is with you :M
     
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  19. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
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    The market expectation for what counts as "enough hours", "enough classes", "enough companions", etc., etc., is fucking stupid, and it has been a thorn in the side of many a game. (No, it's not the "primary cause of everything wrong with POE".)

    If every retard that kept saying "why isn't this game 100 hours?!?!??!" or "why do we only have 8 companions!!!" shut the fuck up, then more developers would be able to actually set the scope to what they think is reasonable for their game. Devs themselves will still feature creep, but often you find devs being torn to promise/do more than they think is sensible because of the market expectation.

    Anyway, for a lot of this, hindsight really is 20/20:
    • Nobody was complaining about the strong callback to IE games when the initial kickstarter was pitched, people loved it. I always thought the game would be better off the more it was its own thing, but this made some people have the completely unrealistic idea that this was going to be Baldur's Gate 3 with "I Can't Believe It's Not D&D".
    • Plenty of people were theorycrafting for years about how to make fighters more interesting relative to "8000-spells-in-ma-book" wizards, and many other things about IE games or other RPGs. It's moronic to whine about the fact that Obsidian tried to discover and contribute something new to the table. (It is totally fair to argue that what they did do was stupid and shit.)
    • As MCA & Fairfax describes, POE1 was far too ambitious because it was trying to do what BG did and more, without having D&D to piggyback, and had stretch goals. But I always wonder, if they released without Twin Elms, kept it to level 1-8 or so, cut the stronghold mechanics, maybe even cut a couple classes, then what would have happened? It would probably have raised less money, so that the reduced total budget means they're working against the clock anyway. Would it still have sold a million copies? I suspect I would have been happier with it, but would the franchise have a better or worse reputation generally?
     
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  20. Shadenuat Arcane

    Shadenuat
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    Yeah I don't really see anything wrong with players expecting bigger and better games with advancement in craft and cheaper (or even free) engines and assets, or base their expectations on classic titles.
     
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  21. IHaveHugeNick Arcane

    IHaveHugeNick
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    Look, in the old days melee classes were either pure meatshields or sneaky-stabby guys. Modern audience has different expectations for frontline characters. It's the influence of MOBA genre, where melee guys typically are the playermakers who lead the entire team and they require intense, living on the edge kind of playstyle.

    That's quite all right if people have different expectations, but end of the day RtWP is not a MOBA. If you build your party like it's some kind of single-player League of Legends where you control the entire team against the AI, you're gonna have bad time. You're not wrong, it is very easy to make a build that becomes labor intensive. But like Roguey already pointed out, it's not Josh Sawyer making that shitty build. It's you.

    To take an example from my most recent Deadfire party, both of my frontliners have only 3 active skills on them. Everything else is passive. And most of those active skills I never execute manually anyway.

    Pallegina is a Palladin/Chanter, I click her on the nearest enemy and then she is scripted to spam chanter paralyze invocation on the biggest enemy group in range. This is literally all she does, unless someone gets knocked out, then I take over and use the revive spell. Eder runs to the nearest enemy dude and then he is scripted to spam his knockdown spell. Again, this is all he ever does, I only take over if something breaks through to my backline, then I use charge to get to them quickly.

    In the middle row I have Serafen. He autoattacks and spams couple of debuffs that I put in his script. I pretty much never touch him at all.

    So the only characters I manually control on regular basis are the damage dealers in the back.

    As to whether you shouldn't be required to make your own AI scripts, this is RPG Codex my man. Any discussion about difficulty assumes that you're playing on PoTD, in which case, if you want things to be smooth, you gotta use the scripts.
     
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  22. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
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    There's a fundamental inability to comprehend that bigger doesn't mean better. A game shouldn't be at some arbitrary 60 hours or feature 800 spells, because hitting those landmarks doesn't guarantee quality, and in fact often gets in the way of quality.

    It's like saying Goodfellas featured 26 shoot-ups and 8 different cars, so the spiritual sequel in 2019 damn well better match those numbers. It's stupid and it's counterproductive to gamers getting good games.
     
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  23. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
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    Wrong.
     
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  24. IHaveHugeNick Arcane

    IHaveHugeNick
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