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Preview RPG Codex Preview: Blackguards 2

Grunker

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Tags: Blackguards 2; Daedalic Entertainment; The Dark Eye


We have to admit: we liked Daedalic's 2014 RPG Blackguards a lot. It was a turn-based, tactical, combat-oriented RPG with encounters that made us feel like they were crafted by a passionate GM leading a P&P campaign.

A lot of Codexers loved Blackguards. Some people from the outside (*shiver*) thought the game's pretty straightforward character system was "insanely complex." Fortunately, Daedalic said "fuck 'em!" and released the game without dumbing it down. In other words, Daedalic were bros. Yes, Blackguards was undocumented as fuck, which might have led more than one popamole casual-fag to stab himself in the eye with frustration. But after RPG Codex user felipepepe wrote an informative guide for the game, everything was just peachy.

In short: we couldn't wait for Blackguards 2. And now it's almost here! We were bursting at the seams with expectation when Darth Roxor received a preview copy of the game and started writing about the marvels we could expect.

So, without further ado, let's have a sneak peak into what he has to say:

Why? For fuck’s sake, WHY?!

...uh-oh.

Read the full article: RPG Codex Preview: Blackguards 2
 

Grunker

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Deterministic RPGs do exist and they can hypothetically be difficult and fun.

What we have here is typical European cargo cult.

The first game was great and actually something you might enjoy, what with your narrow, functionalist, encounter-focused approach to games.
 

zwanzig_zwoelf

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I had a feeling that this game might be a simple cashgrab, since it was announced so soon. Turned out that it's way worse.
Guess that's one of the reasons they didn't ask strangers to join the beta team, like it was with the first game.

But now when you mention it, I can't remember any decent games from Daedalic, apart from Deponia and Blackguards.
 

Roguey

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The first game was great and actually something you might enjoy, what with your narrow, functionalist, encounter-focused approach to games.
Sloggy sections and puzzle-like encounters plus 17 gb = not going to bother.
 

Infinitron

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Codex Year of the Donut Serpent in the Staglands 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: Wrath I'm very into cock and ball torture I helped put crap in Monomyth

Grunker

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No, I just don't want to download that much. I could make an exception for something fantastic, but this isn't it.

If it's not about speed, then why? :conspiracy:? I'm quite baffled as to what reason someone might have to not want to download set amounts of data, lol.
 

Roguey

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If it's not about speed, then why? :conspiracy:?
I'm just really irrational about it.

But I'm curious - what exactly are they cargo-culting, Roguey? What are they imitating here?
They're trying to make it more elegant and failing. Possibly taking inspiration from AAA RPGs, maybe strategy and tabletop games of which I'm completely unaware.
 

Grunker

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You're really reaching here, man. They're not copying anything, just removing RPG elements and adding some strategy game stuff. Oldest story in the Modern RPG book.

Anyway, I still have slim hopes that I'll disagree with Roxor on this. Maybe it's just more of a strategy game than an RPG this time around. I don't have high hopes though.
 

Tramboi

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Is randomness really necessary to have an interesting role playing game ?
Clearly not in P&P and probably not in a CRPG (is DnD as interesting than chess ?), but we'll have to see how Daedalic gets with determinism, fun, and not locking the player in an alpha-beta tree fail branch (Luck + save scumming helps with those).
 

Infinitron

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Codex Year of the Donut Serpent in the Staglands 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: Wrath I'm very into cock and ball torture I helped put crap in Monomyth
Roxor's association of "randomness" with "character skill" is a little weird. I mean, I know what he means - the randomness is like an abstraction of what your character is doing in the chaos of combat. But when people say "character skill" they're usually referring to their character's stats and their very deterministic effects ON TOP of the random rolls, not the randomness itself.
 
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Duellist_D

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Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech
You want to hear something really sad?
It might actually sell a lot better than Blackguards 1 in the Reich.
The TDE Fandom over here is full with crybabies who can't be arsed to bother with something more complex than tying their shoes and whines all day long how oh-so-complicated the rules are.
Granted, the fourth installement of the TDE Ruleset had a massive amount of rules and some of them were indeed retarded, but its not more difficult to master than say Shadowrun 4th (which probably has a similar amount of rules and stinkers among them). Only Thing that really sucks is the lack of ORDNUNG among the books and the inability of some writers to write CLEAR rules that don't leave to much space open for Interpretation.


Soooo...
Catering to Casualfags might actually win those people over, making this financially more successfull than Part 1, killing another installment of what could have been a revival of "classic" games.
 

Tramboi

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I'm not sure I see how having determinism in a tactical game makes it storyfag fodder, Duellist_D. Diplomacy or Stratego (for instance) games can be pretty intense. Of course you don't play with an AI and therefore losing is less boring.
 

Duellist_D

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Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech
Not talking about determinism, talking about the whole "cutting down on complexity".
 

Tramboi

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Oh, ok I see what the Ominous Eye of the Infinitron meant, then.
But was there a real complexity in BG when it was sometimes drowned in the RNG variance ?
I'm not a minimaxer (when I want to solve interesting mathematic problems, I just do my job) so I tend to be laid back in gamist optimization.
 

Duellist_D

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Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech
IMHO yes.

Overall, your build and chosing a tactic appropriate for it mattered a lot more than the occasional derp in the Dicethrow.
 

Tramboi

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I should probably play it once more to try different things and have a real opinion but I remember that positioning and AoO were underused.
Charges and pinning would have been cool, too.
 

Kem0sabe

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With the cool stuff out of the way, we can now focus on what sucks, starting with the character system. In all the previews, it has been mentioned that Daedalic have taken certain "liberties" with The Dark Eye system, in order to make it "less confusing", but purportedly just as complex and open to choice, regarding character building and combat. Suffice it to say, adventure game developers should probably not try to completely overhaul established PnP mechanics.

For starters, all the base values from Blackguards have been completely removed. To make matters worse, nothing has been put into the system as any sort of substitute. Character-inherent magic resistance no longer exists, special abilities no longer have any attribute requirements (sans stuff like "max bows or crossbows to get master archer"), and most of the derived stats like initiative or speed have been redistributed across talents.

Talents also had an overhaul. Most of the useless ones like Treat Wounds got ditched, Survival and Streetwise got merged into Warcraft, and the original Warcraft was split into different lores. You now have 8 talents in total: Willpower and Body Control (same as the original), Warcraft (loot gained, initiative and speed bonuses), Perception and Traps (also the same), and Human/Animal/Arcane Lore (gain knowledge of enemy human/animal/magical entity’s stats).

Seems like they got inspired by Bioware's own redesign of the Dragon Age character advancement system, not that the first game's system was any better, being a clusterfuck of stats and skills that made little sense.

Serves codex right to expect any incline to come from Germany post Gothic 2.
 

twincast

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The answer is obvious, but I still kind of refuse to believe it. It has been done to "broaden the audience" and appease the casuals, simple as. It becomes even more apparent once you check Daedalic's recently published video previews of the game. Open a bottle of booze and take a shot each time the word "streamlining" or a derivative/synonym thereof, like a desperate cry of "please buy our game, this time it’s AAAwesome!" Satisfaction guaranteed. After that, look at the bottle and realise that Daedalic drank from the Popamole Kool-Aid and forgot to check its warning label.
I believe you're referring to the New Features video series? That actually has me confused for another reason. While Mháire also likes simple dungeon crawlers and stats-light Numenera in particular, she doesn't strike me as someone who would support streamlining The Dark Eye that much. (I think even TDE5e goes just a little bit too far for her liking, but I ain't stalking her forum activities.) And to be frank, that reaction's written plainly on her face during her site's videos of the Gamescom presentation and their interview with some Daedalic guy right after. So why does she narrate their videos again? I guess she must've made friends at Daedalic over the last couple of years...
 

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