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Game News Queen's Wish 2: The Tormentor now on Kickstarter

Discussion in 'News & Content Feedback' started by Infinitron, Aug 17, 2021.

  1. MRY Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

    MRY
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    This doesn't seem right to me. Exile I was released after Ultima VIII; not only was the Ultima series declining in relevance, the Ultima game that Exile 1 is closest to is probably Ultima III or something (Exodus -> Exile feels naturaly), a game that was over a decade old at that point. (Subsequent Ultimas didn't offer full party creation, didn't have non-human party members, and they focused on morality aspects that are absent from Exile.) But the exploration in Exile doesn't feel anything like it does in the early Ultimas. If anything, I would say that the game took elements of Ultima III, Ultima VI (that's the first one where combat takes place seamlessly within exploration, right?), Gold Box games (the combat itself feels much more Gold Box than Ultima), some other source for character design (which has a point-buy system that is taken from yet another franchise), etc. His early games may have copied a lot of stuff, but they're a quilt of influences, not copying from a single source. And the world building is quite original (at least, it seemed so to me?).

    I'll also agree with Elwro that I enjoyed Vogel's games more than the Ultima series. I'm sure if I'd played the Ultima games as they came out, it would've been an extraordinary childhood experience -- the progression from U4->U7 in particular. But I just dipped in and out and only played them seriously long after their releases. The Exile/Avernun (first remake)/Geneforge experience had more interest choices, more engaging gameplay, and better worldbuilding. I get why Ultima was groundbreaking, but the core of it was Garriott's love of Renaissance Fair/LARPing experiences, and that didn't really do much for me.
     
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  2. Tacgnol Shitlord Patron

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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Grab the Codex by the pussy RPG Wokedex Strap Yourselves In Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Jeff can make superb games when he puts his mind to it. Sadly he's mostly a lazy whiner these days.

    I was really hoping the Geneforge remake might refocus him on his past success.
     
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  3. V_K Arcane

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    IIRC, neither did Exile 1.
     
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  4. MRY Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

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    Oh, right, it's Exile 2 where you got to add lizardmen and catmen!
     
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  5. Elwro Arcane

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    Looking at Avernums 1-3, they're example of tight design and good progress in an rpg series.

    Avernum 1 is already amazing by itself, always a good start in a series :) The choices at the end are a bonus.

    Avernum 2 starts with extended exploration of new areas, then we return to the old ones and see how they progressed from the first game. No one would ever say the 2nd game was a rehash of the 1st; there's plenty of new stuff and the reused elements are creatively reinterpreted.

    Avernum 3's main addition was seemingly the overground layer. But there's lots of additional stuff, e.g. the city deterioration mechanics. Again, many things are reused, but all of them meaningfully.

    The engine was the same in all 3 games and no one would say a word. Design-wise the trilogy is a lot better than anything I've ever seen in Ultima. Unfortunately, with the 4th game in the series it started to deteriorate.
     
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  6. Tacgnol Shitlord Patron

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    I always quite liked Avernum 6, aside from the lazy encounter design where Jeff just started giving everything a ton of HP bloat for difficulty. Exploration/story wise it was pretty decent though.

    Avernum 4/5 were very linear from what I remember and quite a departure from his usual style.
     
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  7. baud Arcane Patron

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    I'd say that in QW 1, Jeff tried to avoid the issues with rest-spamming (which you can't do in dungeons) and grinding (since it's not possible (only quests/dungeons give XP) and useless as there's level scaling). The pre-buffing seems not as prevalent, even if buffs are still important
    Though the two other (art direction, lack of satisfying character progression/itemization at higher levels) are still true.

    I made a list of list of annoyances in my Steam review, more on UI, but there's some QoL misses in the list

     
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  8. MRY Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

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    That may be, but at a glance, QW lost the formulaic elements that drew me to his earlier games (such as the non-traditional fantasy settings he kept recycling and the form of isometric art used from Nethergate in 1998 to Nu-Avernum 3 in 2018). "World building" is what made those games so appealing for me, though I can't exactly explain what that meant -- the lore wasn't amazing, the graphics weren't amazing, the way you interacted with the world wasn't amazing (i.e., very little use of non-combat skills), the characters and factions were pretty shallow, etc. But all the same, the basic setting concept was fairly novel, and the sense that there were interesting things to be found everywhere made exploration really enticing. And within that framework, the combination of map design, graphics, and interaction options were at least good enough for the whole thing to come together. Probably Fallout 1 and AOD are the only RPGs I can think of where the exploration engaged me more. When I looked at QW, the initial draw wasn't there.
     
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  9. Whisper Arcane Vatnik

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    Did you play Tower of Time? or Lords of Xulima?

    This two games have best exploration in crpgs (probably played all of them in last 15 years except jrpgs).
     
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  10. MRY Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

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    Neither. Was intrigued by Lords of Xulima, hadn't heard of Tower of Time. These days, I don't have time to play RPGs at all, alas.
     
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  11. vortex Fabulous Optimist

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    Why? What do you play then?
     
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  12. MRY Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

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    Not much of anything, but essentially only stuff I can play with my kids (Mario Kart, adventure games, Portal, Street Fighter, etc.).
     
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  13. baud Arcane Patron

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    yeah, I won't really defend either the world building and exploration of QW. Though at least I wanted to point out that Vogel might be aware of some of the flaws of his games and he tried to correct them; but then he apparently declined in other areas
     
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  14. MRY Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

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    It's hard to fault Vogel. For over a quarter century, he's supported himself entirely by making the games he wants to make, the way he wants to make them, no boss, no shareholders, and (until recently) no crowdfunding backers. All of the things that seem stubborn or unreasonable -- such as his longstanding refusal to accept offers of free labor from artists to help with his graphics or art direction, his endless recycling of the same games, etc. -- ultimately are vindicated by his success. Maybe he could've been more successful, but 25 years of running a successful small business is pretty damn successful. His games remind me a little of the milkshake analysis in that McDonald's movie -- rather than trying to make the best milkshake, he's trying to find the cheapest inputs to make a milkshake that his loyal customers will still drink. A part of me envies the mindset that lets someone live that way -- it's what let him make 24 games in 26 years, and pursue his dream job rather than a desk job. As a consumer, of course, I prefer creators who pour all their love and energy into every project while treating their time as having no value, but you tend to only get to consume one or two games from such creators before they burn out.
     
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