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Editorial RPG Codex Gamescom Report, Part 2: Futuristics and the Popping of Moles

Crooked Bee

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Tags: Clandestine; Hellraid; Little Green Men; Logic Artists; Obsidian Entertainment; Pillars of Eternity; Raven's Cry; Reality Pump; Techland

And so esteemed community member Darth Roxor continues to recount his impressions of all things he saw at this year's Gamescom. (Part 1 can be found here.) This time he talks about Little Green Men's Starpoint Gemini 2, Obsidian's Pillars of Eternity, Logic Artists' Clandestine (omitting any mention of their super secret project, which is so super secret that Roxor can't even tell us what it is, the bastard), Techland's Hellraid and Reality Pump's Raven's Cry. Going for the most controversial and sensationalist snippet as we are wont to, here are some of the negative things he has to say about Pillars of Eternity:

You are probably wondering what a preview of Pillars of Eternity is doing in this article, a game that doesn't have much in the way of futuristics. The answer lies in the second part of the title, as well as in the warning placed in the introduction. [...] For all the talk about how different this system is from D&D, and how each class has its own unique abilities instead of just “left click to autoattack”, when observing the game I sure as hell couldn’t see that. The fighter and paladin stood around bashing the beetles (that is, when Adam didn’t forget to tell them to do that), the rogue stood around shooting her bow, and the mage cast some magic missiles. I’ve seen this stuff before more than once, with the only difference perhaps being that damage in PoE came in increments (Sassy was hit for 0.3 damage!). Furthermore, I can’t really say that these encounters looked very exciting or even tactical – the smaller beetles would die outright, and then the fight would boil down to 5v1 bashing of the big beetle, which not only refused to die, but would also readily maul the poor fighter. The same thing happened again in a fight against overgrown spiders, and the demo finally ended with a total party wipe when the quest target ogre proceeded to two-hit-kill all of the party members.

The party wipe at the end was actually a direct consequence of how buggy the beta build was. I don’t know whether it was the influence of my RPG Codex Aura of Trolling +3, but Adam and Josh said it was probably the craziest presentation they gave during their entire stay at Gamescom. They even ran into bugs whose existence they had no idea about. For starters, they had to restart the game right after accepting the “main quest” because one of the characters lost the ability to cast magic. Later on, when the fighter got knocked out by beetles, he refused to wake up, and only using one of the limited rests in the wilderness brought him back. And in turn, the resting did not recharge the characters’ used-up memorised spells and abilities, which meant the party arrived at the ogre’s lair seriously gimped. And to make matters even worse, the mage decided to just run off uncontrollably instead of casting spells during the final showdown, and by the time Adam regained control over her, it was far too late.

After the wipe, the presentation proper was over, and it was time for questions. Unfortunately, time was short, and I only managed to ask one question that interested me personally. After learning about the dreaded Bîaŵac ([bi:au:ak]) in a recent Kickstarter update, I wanted to ask about Sawyer’s background, and to get some references for the languages in Eternity. It may be that my question was unclear, because instead he explained how the internal lingua eternia is based on various real languages, like Welsh or Italian, but stripped of real world cultural context, and with some added game world dialectal modifications based on each land's and realm's neighbours. I found this information satisfying enough, but unfortunately, I wasn't able follow it up with more questions. Someone else asked whether Obsidian is marketing the game mainly towards players who played the original Infinity Engine games, or if they are also focused on newcomers. Josh replied that their goal is to create something which is “essentially a classic IE game, but a new and different game in fact”. He also said that the final game’s early areas will be a “big tutorial” of sorts, so that newcomers can get used to the entire deal. That was the last question before the devs had to close up shop.

As you may have guessed, Pillars of Eternity didn’t impress me much. I identified three chief reasons behind this, but I’m not sure which contributed the most. First of all, the overall bugginess, which obviously skewed the game’s image rather significantly. Second, how generic and unexciting everything felt mechanically. Third, the area chosen for the presentation. I mean, if you're showing the game to the press, your motivation should be to sell it. How can you expect me to have positive impressions of your showcase, when all you did was show me a generic_fantasy_village, some adventurers bumrushing a bunch of overgrown beetles and spiders, and a stereotypical ogre with a huge club? Maybe the full game will have plenty of cool-looking areas filled to the brim with creative enemies, memorable encounters and wizard duels, but I simply didn’t see that during the Gamescom presentation.​

Read the full article: RPG Codex Gamescom Report, Part 2: Futuristics and the Popping of Moles
 

likaq

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Clandestine sounds great.
D1P definitely.

:love:
 

Crooked Bee

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You forgot to put Starpoint Gemini 2 in the newspost :M

Heh, I tweeted about it but overlooked it in the actual newspost. Fixed now, thanks ;)
 

Explorerbc

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There was more info in that post than an entire week of coverage from the mainstream gaming sites :salute:

All these games look pretty cool and I'm looking forward to them (except maybe for PoE :troll:). I hope Clandestine's single player mode will be decent compared to the co-op
 

SuicideBunny

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All these games look pretty cool and I'm looking forward to them
spg2 is actually pretty meh. in terms of potential much worse than poe beta. the rep is a single value akin to karma, and while factions are subdivided in the rep screen into the three mentioned above, in reality the division is more like stuff that gets friendly with negative karma, stuff that is always hostile, stuff that gets friendly with positive karma. the only thing that differs are the thresholds, but you cannot be friends with a negative karma faction and an unconnected positive karma faction at the same time. they didn't take any clues about exploration from freelancer (one of the few things that game actually did right) and it's even more arcadey. worst part is that everything but weapons (excluding heavy weapon ammo), hanger fighters and consumables is ship hardware and cannot be exchanged, only marginally altered with augments (you can put one augmentation on every item). that means if your ship has crappy sensor range, you will never be able to buy better sensors, just slot in an aug that gives a percentage bonus to the base range. that's really sucky, imo. the combat is also incredibly arcadey. the game is something that sounds good on paper but has a rather mediocre and lackluster execution.
 

Darth Roxor

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Crooked Bee

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was browsing twitter cuz I can't muster enough fucks to read this half-assed biased review by someone who hates Deus Ex and didnt stay for the Bloodborne demo, when I came across this peculiar disclaimer

(A word of warning: the reporter's opinion may not coincide with that of the RPG Codex' editorial team ;))

Was this in Roguey's reviews too? Or in grotsnik's railing against corrupt gaming journalism? what about Konjad's DA2 review

lol, that was a joke inspired by something Zed said elsewhere; hence also the wink at the end

but do flip out more
 

MicoSelva

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I am interested in all games covered by this article. Even the ones that will turn out bad.

Hell, especially the ones that will turn out bad.

EDIT: Good job, Darth Roxor. :salute: (and Infinitron too)
 

Jaedar

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was browsing twitter cuz I can't muster enough fucks to read this half-assed biased review by someone who hates Deus Ex and didnt stay for the Bloodborne demo, when I came across this peculiar disclaimer

(A word of warning: the reporter's opinion may not coincide with that of the RPG Codex' editorial team ;))

Was this in Roguey's reviews too? Or in grotsnik's railing against corrupt gaming journalism? what about Konjad's DA2 review

lol, that was a joke inspired by something Zed said elsewhere; hence also the wink at the end

but do flip out more

Aug 28, 2014 at 11:21 PM - Infinitron: Bee treats the Codex's Twitter account as the site's "friendly face" and a tool for promoting mainstream awareness of our front page articles
Aug 28, 2014 at 11:21 PM - Infinitron: and we do have all sorts of mainstream types following our Twitter account. RPS game journos, even
Aug 28, 2014 at 11:21 PM - Infinitron: and, I guess she doesn't want them to think "Codex hates PoE"
Aug 28, 2014 at 11:22 PM - root: so she has used that disclaimer before, then? i would think not all of our front page articles have been palatable to the mainstream
Aug 28, 2014 at 11:22 PM - Infinitron: I agree that it was probably unnecessary
Aug 28, 2014 at 11:22 PM - Infinitron: although, since you're bringing that up, Bee has actually refused to tweet more than one of my newsposts when I was too edgy in it
Aug 28, 2014 at 11:23 PM - root: but it's ok that people think the codex thinks ToEE is a sexism-ridden turd or whatever it was roguey wrote about it?
Aug 28, 2014 at 11:23 PM - Infinitron: I don't really care though, it's just Twitter
Aug 28, 2014 at 11:23 PM - root: right.
Aug 28, 2014 at 11:24 PM - root: okay then.
Seems root's not the only one who didn't really like it. Jokes are fine and all, but it felt more like pandering to some (moron) audience than a joke to me. The impressions aren't even that negative imo, which just makes it all the more baffling.

So, you are given a blank slate on one hand, but then you are pigeonholed with the other.
This sentence is weird. :rpgcodex:
 

Crooked Bee

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Seems root's not the only one who didn't really like it. Jokes are fine and all, but it felt more like pandering to some (moron) audience than a joke to me. The impressions aren't even that negative imo, which just makes it all the more baffling.

Which is why it was just a joke; I often make jokes on Twitter, including very silly ones. I didn't even think the impressions were particularly negative myself, either. If you need the full story, Infinitron criticized Roxor's PoE report in the staff forum, Zed suggested we could add the "does not reflect the views etc." disclaimer, and I said "No, that'd be too boring". Hence the joke.

Of course, I take the "boring" bit back now. It wouldn't have been a Codex editorial without someone throwing a hissy fit in the comments.

If you really think that, given the character of most articles we post, we need to pander to some imaginary moron audience, then that is exactly what I would call "baffling."
 

Jaedar

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Seems root's not the only one who didn't really like it. Jokes are fine and all, but it felt more like pandering to some (moron) audience than a joke to me. The impressions aren't even that negative imo, which just makes it all the more baffling.

If you really think that, given the character of most articles we post, we need to pander to some imaginary moron audience, then that is exactly what I would call "baffling."
On the contrary, we should not pander to morons, which is what I (apparently errenously) thought that tweet to be.
 

Crooked Bee

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Seems root's not the only one who didn't really like it. Jokes are fine and all, but it felt more like pandering to some (moron) audience than a joke to me. The impressions aren't even that negative imo, which just makes it all the more baffling.

If you really think that, given the character of most articles we post, we need to pander to some imaginary moron audience, then that is exactly what I would call "baffling."
On the contrary, we should not pander to morons, which is what I (apparently errenously) thought that tweet to be.

I said "need to", not "should". I.e. we don't need to pander to anyone on Twitter - there's just no point in doing that.

Keep in mind also that our Twitter audience is just about 1,500 people, even fewer than the number of active accounts we have, and I'm pretty sure 99% of them know perfectly well what the Codex is and isn't. Those who don't, usually unfollow us quickly enough. There's simply no point in "pandering" to anyone when no matter what you say, you're going to be addressing the same audience anyway. Which gives me the excuse to mostly treat Twitter as my personal playground and not simply a news feed, for better or for worse.
 

Rivmusique

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Aug 28, 2014 at 11:21 PM - Infinitron: Bee treats the Codex's Twitter account as the site's "friendly face" and a tool for promoting mainstream awareness of our front page articles
Aug 28, 2014 at 11:21 PM - Infinitron: and we do have all sorts of mainstream types following our Twitter account. RPS game journos, even
Aug 28, 2014 at 11:21 PM - Infinitron: and, I guess she doesn't want them to think "Codex hates PoE"
Aug 28, 2014 at 11:22 PM - root: so she has used that disclaimer before, then? i would think not all of our front page articles have been palatable to the mainstream
Aug 28, 2014 at 11:22 PM - Infinitron: I agree that it was probably unnecessary
Aug 28, 2014 at 11:22 PM - Infinitron: although, since you're bringing that up, Bee has actually refused to tweet more than one of my newsposts when I was too edgy in it
Aug 28, 2014 at 11:23 PM - root: but it's ok that people think the codex thinks ToEE is a sexism-ridden turd or whatever it was roguey wrote about it?
Aug 28, 2014 at 11:23 PM - Infinitron: I don't really care though, it's just Twitter
Aug 28, 2014 at 11:23 PM - root: right.
Aug 28, 2014 at 11:24 PM - root: okay then.
Sending out articles that stretch for sexism in games? Holding back/distancing-the-site-from newsposts that potentially don't gel with current trends? Looks like the SJW's puppet-like control of games journalism reaches the Codex ... dear god.

Now, who got/had to bang Quinn?
 

Crooked Bee

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Now, who got/had to bang Quinn?

I was about to say "me, of course," but then I remembered whaat Zoe Quinn actually looked like... No thx. I'd rather keep my gaydar set on Black Cat for the time being.

Also, I think there was just one newspost that I didn't tweet about, which had Infinitron talk about Grayson sleeping with Quinn or some such. I'm sick of that shit in my Twitter feed already (it's like a plague or smth), so I didn't want to add to that. Just a personal preference - like I said, our Twitter is my own playground. So please forgive me my quip about Infinitron's disagreement with Darth Roxor, which grew out of control.

And of course I did tweet about Roguey's article. Though I also organized Roxor's Gamescome visit and the PoE presentation, knowing perfectly well how he felt about the game. Diversity FTW.

On the whole, the higher the drama potential, the more I endorse it. Also, now I know I can always count on root injecting some drama into otherwise noncontroversial content; this'll come in handy.
 

Sensuki

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As one of PE's bigger supporters I think that Roxor's comments on the PE Presentation were more than valid if you aren't in on the PE tidbits, so perhaps they're not doing the best job at conveying the message properly - which probably doesn't matter for most game writers as long as they get the buzzwords.

The game is very buggy atm (fingers crossed on the next build), some of the mechanics are falling flat on their face, but with some tweaks, they could be okay and the Dyrford isn't the most exciting place in the world, but it was the Prototype area and probably the side content the most far along for non-spoiler presentation - the quests/writing in the area are p. good tho
 

Crooked Bee

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It's on the codex facebook account too (the same disclaimer), so I imagine it's your own playground too?

Automatically reposted from Twitter.

anyway, I fail to see how any of your points adress any of mine. I'm sure (or at least I hope) that the staff disagrees on a lot of stuff before posting, and yet, none of that stuff gets a disclaimer.

Which is exactly the point. We didn't add any disclaimer to Roguey's dissing of Tim Cain or Konjad's praise of DA2. In this case, it was specifically a quip about Infinitron disagreeing with Roxor and Zed suggesting a disclaimer in the staff forum thread (hence "editorial staff"). I even added a wink emoticon at the end - it was a playful non-serious tweet - yes, because our Twitter audience knows what the Codex is. As you may note, no disclaimer was added to the actual article.

and evidently the next logical step is tiptoeing around stuff we put on the front page we really love, like MCA and roguey. Can't afford to alienate all those good people that give filthy hobos presentations of their games in conventions

Uhm, I was the one to arrange Roxor's visit to Gamescom, root, and I do and did know Roxor's preferences when it came to RPGs. Which I believe addresses "your point" well enough.

In case you're just looking for a pretext to throw a hissy fit, that's fine. However, I already explained the context of that particular tweet. If we wanted to keep the doritos flowing, I would've sent someone else other than Roxor to Gamescom.

It's not like social media is meant to increase the awareness of what you're promoting,

There are only two things we are promoting, and that I personally see to, along with Infinitron, Zed, Roxor et al. - namely, good critical content. You know who's gonna do our PoE preview, right? It's Sensuki, the guy who criticizes PoE like crazy on the Obsidian forums.

And yes, 99% of the audience do know about the Codex. Your talk about any "rogue agent" is ridiculous, given that, again, Roxor is the "agent" endorsed, sent, and his content posted by myself.
 
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Sorry for interrupting the debate, but I had to chuckle at these two lines. Zing.

Aug 28, 2014 at 11:21 PM - Infinitron: and, I guess she doesn't want them to think "Codex hates PoE"
Aug 28, 2014 at 11:23 PM - root: but it's ok that people think the codex thinks ToEE is a sexism-ridden turd or whatever it was roguey wrote about it?
 

Infinitron

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A word of warning: That was just my personal theory of how Crooked Bee runs our Twitter account. My theory may not coincide with the actual truth. ;)

(mainly because I never gave enough of a shit to ask her about it)
 

Crooked Bee

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Sorry for interrupting the debate, but I had to chuckle at these two lines. Zing.

Aug 28, 2014 at 11:21 PM - Infinitron: and, I guess she doesn't want them to think "Codex hates PoE"
Aug 28, 2014 at 11:23 PM - root: but it's ok that people think the codex thinks ToEE is a sexism-ridden turd or whatever it was roguey wrote about it?

Which is exactly the point I've been trying to get across to root. I was also the one to greenlight Roguey's article - which dissed Obsidian's Tim Cain and ToEE. I don't care what readers of our Twitter think. I just post whatever I want to.
 

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