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Vapourware Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 - vaporware VTMB sequel from Paradox Interactive

Discussion in 'General RPG Discussion' started by vortex, Feb 11, 2019.

  1. Bad Sector Arcane Patron

    Bad Sector
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    Wasn't VtmB already based on older lore when it came out anyway? I never read anything about VtM outside the games (VtmR and VtmB, not the newer games that i also haven't played) but i remember reading something like that. They could have just ignored 5e.

    Also while the main story itself is self-contained, there are a few unfinished threads that could be used - like Maximilian Strauss' plans or whatever that is heavily hinted in the first game but never actually seem to happen. After VtmB there is a power vacuum in Camarilla's side that he would try to take advantage of, in a still unstable playfield - it isn't like Camarilla vampires would just pack and leave.

    Of course that was written ~17 years ago and it is likely there are books or whatever describing what happened after the game that would make any sequel that tried to use those threads hard. But as i wrote i don't know about that, i just judge from the game itself and i do think there are things that could be expanded just based on it.
     
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  2. daveyarsegallant Magister Wumao

    daveyarsegallant
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    Bloodlines is based on the old Masquerade edition of the game, which was superseded by a new ruleset (I think its called Requiem or something similar). However the new ruleset completely sucked and White Wolf reversed many of the changes, reverting to a simplified version of the Masquerade game.
     
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  3. 0wca Learned

    0wca
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    Nah, I think the original plot should have been left alone as it ends on a great note and ties up most loose ends.

    They should have just made a new story within a different location within the same universe and it would have been fine. They actually tried to do that though, but gloriously fucked it up due to horrible writers who were only hoping for nostalgiafags to pick up the game.


    True, but I was mainly talking about the lore of the past editions. Most of it didn't change that much from one edition to the other in the older ones. Then 5E comes along and takes the existing lore behind the chemical shed and blows its brains out.

    And yeah, they were definitely shilling for 5E to be the base lore and ruleset for this game due to its insane wokeness, oversimplified rules and the removal of any "controversial" disciplines such as Dementation.
     
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  4. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    RPG Wokedex 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
    I think they fucked it up mostly because from top to bottom, Hardsuit Labs were a bunch of clowns who had no idea how to make an RPG. Nobody here can know for sure how the writing really would have turned out.
     
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  5. daveyarsegallant Magister Wumao

    daveyarsegallant
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    If all the writing and voice work has been scrapped, that means it doesn't pass muster by Paradox's standard.
     
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  6. Diablo1_reborn Busin 0 Wizardry Alternative Neo fanatic Patron

    Diablo1_reborn
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    I agree. Even the shooting segments in the videos we have been shown so far about Bloodlines 2 looked horrible. And these videos came from a studio which specialized in FPS's (Blacklight Retribution, SpecOps, ...)!
     
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  7. Nortar Erudite Patron

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    This reminds me of a short parody of a CYO game. There's even a big chance that I found it via the Codex.

    The protagonist is a writer working on a sequel to a major game series.
    And he is terrible at his job.
    He's neither played previous games, nor very interested in the one he is writing for.
    Anyways, the game is in development hell, there are all kinds of issues with production.
    And when it eventually flops, it's not really clear who is to blame.

    And the next part when that said writer (now famous for that major game, despite it being shit)
    is working on a small indie game, that has basically nothing in it, but the story. And guess how it turns out.

    Does anyone know what this CYO/parody was?
    I would like to read it again.
     
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  8. Roguey Codex Staff Sawyerite

    Roguey
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    Maybe, but it's also possible the new studio didn't want to make a game around someone else's story since everything else was unsalvageable.
     
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  9. cherry blossom Arcane

    cherry blossom
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    They tried with Requiem to rebrand & reboot the thing, but it just didn't take, so they reverted to The Masquerade. Most of the old lore / meta-plot is still valid and The Masquerade is still going strong. Right now the big division is between 20th Anniversary Edition (V20) released in 2011 and Fifth Edition (V5) released in 2018.

    V20 is the culmination of everything since the first edition to this day, all the rules updates, additions and the meta-plot with some revisions here and there, a few meta-plot updates and vast revisions or retcons to the Week of Nightmares and the Gehenna End-of-The-Fucking-Worlds stories. Besides the meta-plot, there isn't much left to add to the systems after 20 years of content.

    Going forward, all the new meta-plot content are for V5 and unless otherwise stated in new content, old meta-plot is still valid. V5 scales the game back to young vampires and, in my opinion, has done away with most of the bloat in favour of elegant simplicity but not without some serious blunders. You can still use all the new V5 meta-plot for V20 or previous editions (and vice versa) and even mix and match the rules as the V5 core book encourages bending or Homebrewing the rules as you see fit, which I like very much.

    Oh there is a lot of room for different stories, even on a parallel thread in the timeline of Bloodlines as well today. The very nice thing about Bloodlines is that it isn't a Save The World story and plays to some of the strength of the setting: personal & political horror where everyone is a pawn being led around with threats and promises of Very Big Things Happening or About To Happen.

    Geek & Sundry's LA By Night series is centered around a small coterie of vampires and shows just how much room there is for a lot of stories when they aren't about Saving The World. I highly recommend it and it is now also canon. Several characters from Bloodlines make guest appearances as well.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFyQtOghqwA&list=PL7atuZxmT957CplbNHCN5JAGp9SoZhyUH
     
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  10. TheSoul Educated

    TheSoul
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    Bloodlines 2 just screams doomed the more you hear about it
    • pre-orders were available before a release date even got announced
    • No name studio
    • Every mention of BL1 was just to shit on how problematic it was
    • Only person who was still talented was Rik
    • Combat looked as good as Bloodlines
    • Firing people Paradox advertised and the only reason I believed it had 1% of succeeding

    The only good thing that can come out of this is cancelling it and thinking twice about making shitty cashgrabs. I'd rather see a twilight rpg than this hollow husk.
     
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  11. cruelio Savant

    cruelio
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    It took me five seconds to think of a sequel. The sarcophagus blew up and killed everyone in the tower. SoCal is now in chaos because the leaders of a bunch of factions got iced and now all the surviving vampires are vying for control or otherwise dealing with the fallout. In the background people are more convinced than ever the end of the world is coming and the Second Inquisition is coming back to town to find out why all their buddies got iced. You're a neonate in this high stakes high risk environment. Go do shit.
     
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  12. Which is why it's a pile of shit. I didn't say "it's impossible to contrive a sequel even if it's completely retarded", because it's always possible to contrive something completely retarded. Good taste and competence are implicit in such matters.

    What a pile of shit. What do you mean "the explosion killed EVERYONE in the tower"? Who is everyone, besides LaCroix? All the faction leaders? Rodriguez, Strauss, Ming Xiao, and the main character were all in the tower at the same time? Because no they weren't, these endings are all mutually exclusive. And the sacrophagus isn't even opened in two of them, meaning if Strauss or Ming Xiao arrive at the tower, the tower doesn't explode. See what happens when you try to make a sequel to a self-contained story with multiple endings no less? You either have to pick one "canonical" ending and thus nix the others, or conflate them all into a stupid mess a la Deus Ex: Invisible War. Do you really want another Invisible War?
     
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  13. cruelio Savant

    cruelio
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    Unfortunately there’s no way to think of a sequel to a computer game that picked a canon ending and moved on. It’s impossible. Can’t be done.
     
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  14. Heresy.
     
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  15. daveyarsegallant Magister Wumao

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    Combat in Bloodlines 2 is actually worse because there's no permanent inventory. All your weapons are use and discard.
     
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  16. Semiurge Cipher

    Semiurge
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    Instant gratification without planning for long term. Suits the current generation.
     
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  17. daveyarsegallant Magister Wumao

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    More like the dev didn't want to set up the in game economy, since a permanent inventory means players shopping for weapons and anmo. And that also means balancing the game around when those weapons can be accessed.
     
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  18. Bad Sector Arcane Patron

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    I do not think there is any ending where Rodriguez or Strauss dies. Ming Xiao could be vaguely removed from the scene with something (from the perspective of the vampires) like "she disappeared, we don't know why, probably got killed" (but leave it vague if it was done by the player of VtMB1 or some other vampire or internal politics or whatever) and leave it at that. It isn't like the game has to give a postmortem for every character they might replace in a 18 year late sequel :-P.

    I think having Rodriguez and Strauss around for the Anarch vs Camarilla setup would have worked (again ignoring any lore that might have been written after the game... because i haven't read anything outside the game :-P). cruelio's idea might not work as-is but it can be worked on and IMO the whole power vacuum followup is the most logical one for a sequel that is set in the same places as the first game.
     
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  19. Zombra An iron rock in the river of blood and evil Patron

    Zombra
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    No matter how much you fear the unknown, this was and remains a good idea for the franchise.
     
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  20. Funposter Magister

    Funposter
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    dragon break
     
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  21. True, but the endings are mutually-exclusive, you'd have to pick one "correct" ending and declare all others "wrong" to make the sequel work, and I think any normal person fucking hates these kinds of things. A "fusion" scenario also doesn't work because you'd have to pull a Daggerfall/Morrowind-style "multiple realities all taking place at the same time coz magic" kind of thing to reconcile the irreconcilable, and that's not really a thing in the VTM universe or at least doesn't make sense in this situation (maybe if the sacrophagus really did hold the body of some antediluvian, but it doesn't).

    Finally, there is the "we'll just never reveal exactly what happened, and refer to it as The Incident" approach. However, it would be pretty silly to make a direct sequel to Bloodlines without ever revealing what exactly happened at the tower, whether or not it blew up, how LaCroix was deposed, who if anyone replaced him as prince, how and why, what happened to Ming Xiao, and where the PC fucked off to.

    If Strauss takes over from LaCroix, not only would there be no power vacuum - there would be a power consolidation, because he is way more intelligent and competent than the French boy, not to mention has the backing of the entire Tremere pyramid behind him. LaCroix is a moron, he's only the prince because the job is too risky for any sensible Camarilla elder. With Rodriguez and the anarchs still in play, perhaps the situation would get more tense, but nothing terribly apocalyptic would happen because of this alone.

    Yeah, that's the kind of dodgy crap that makes for bad sequels.
     
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  22. 0wca Learned

    0wca
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    Well no, you can't just use 5E as the base ruleset and then tack on the v20 lore because the developers of 5E are gonna be shilling for the 5E lore to come along with the ruleset since it resonates with their new ideology. Btw the meta-plot of 5E has some seriously retarded changes like: the Sabbat are just...gone. Gone where? Well they just fucked off somewhere and aren't mentioned at all. The new Sabbat book only allows for Sabbat NPCs. Not to mention how they used the various clans to fit their new woke agenda: the Brujah are now hipster BLM/antifa characters, the Ventrue are basically Trump-supporters, the Malkavians are pussified versions of their old Clan with many of their "controversial" disciplines gone, etc.

    I played 5E fairly recently with my friends and we used v20 lore for it. It still sucks in many other regards and we shifted back to v20 entirely. The developers however wouldn't be up for using 5E rules with v20 lore. Of course they're going to promote the lore that's tacked on the system they're using, it's a promotion for the tabletop itself. It's like saying BG3 should use 5E rules but 2E lore.
     
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  23. Bad Sector Arcane Patron

    Bad Sector
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    I might not have seen all the endings (or not remember all details) but i can't think of any significant differences that can't be explained. But AFAIK the game is canon in the universe anyway, so this might be already a solved issue - even if you ignore everything else that followed after the game.

    But why would it be silly? You already start to play a sequel of a game that you know had multiple endings that the sequel wants to keep plausible instead of picking one as proper, so where is the issue with accepting that in service to not invalidating your previous game some things are simply going to remain vague?

    Maybe but Strauss didn't took over from LaCroix previously despite being more intelligent, competent and having said backing - meaning that there is a reason he didn't do that which can also prevent him from doing it so in a sequel - Strauss being around doesn't necessarily mean that he will become the prince, it could also mean that he will assist the prince.

    (though it is clearly implied in the game that he wants to become the prince so that is by far the most likely case)

    Yes, there is also Isaac whom i forgot to mention but he's also a powerful player (honestly, he seems more powerful than any other anarch in the game, aside from Jack) - he doesn't seem to care much about what happens outside of Hollywood but that could easily change - e.g. he may be fine with the non-aggression pact while LaCroix was in charge, but may not want Strauss to become the prince (exactly because he is more competent) and take more direct measures.

    It all depends on how it is done, but yeah if you go into an idea with the preconceived notion that it will suck, you are limiting your imagination in how it can be done to not suck and wont see any other possible outcome aside from it sucking.

    Honestly the more i think about it, the more i think a sequel could work perfectly fine. You just need a decent writer with the imagination to get it right.
     
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  24. Excuse me?

    It's [CURRENT_YEAR] forever!!!

    The sheer scale of contrivances upon contrivances you have to construct to make a sequel even possible is proof of the opposite. VTM:B is a classic RPG which has a perfectly self-contained story with multiple endings (either 5 or 7, depending on how you count the branching anarch/solo endings) that are entirely up to the player's choices. If you're a fan of VTM:B, you shouldn't want some wannabe-devs after 20 years telling you by decree which of these endings are WRONG and never happened, or that they all magically happened at the same time in some trippy timeline convergence scenario, or that nobody knows what actually happened.
     
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  25. Bad Sector Arcane Patron

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    What proof? As i and others mentioned, you do not really need any contrivances, the entire universe is made to allow for multiple parallel stories and the game's own story has several threads you could use to make a sequel. I mean if you see any thread use as a contrivance, then sure, but i think that is a bit of an extreme view.

    I am a fan of VtMB but i am not a fan of others telling me what i should or should not want.

    I do not really care who would make the game - it could be old veterans or new blood - as long as it is good. It sucks that it took so long for a developer to even want to make a sequel (i blame CCP for keeping the IP hostage for so long) and sucks that it looks like Bloodlines 2 wont come out any time soon with the development (and developer) issues they are facing, but i hope there will eventually be a good developer to work on it.

    Sure, i wouldn't like it if that happens. If the rest of the game is good, i could live with it, but certainly i wouldn't like it if the game invalidated my choices. But FWIW it really wont be the end of the world if that happened, a lot of games have done that at the past. But as i mentioned previously there are ways to avoid this.

    If nothing else it could be something like "half-hidden" dialogs that build the universe like "Did you hear about the missing Voerman sister from some time ago? 1. Therese? Why would she disappear anyway? 2. Jeanette? I heard she was wild, might it be some joke of hers? 3. I heard about it but people talked to both recently 4. Who is Voerman?" (or something like that, judge the idea, not my writing :-P)

    I'd have less of an issue with that, but just to be clear what i mentioned before isn't "nobody knows what actually happened" but "we don't know what actually happened" ("we" here being whoever tells you that in-game - someone can and most likely will know, but that doesn't mean the player will get to learn that too: there is not requirement that says the player has to know everything and in detail; the player can be kept in dark or only have vague information, which is something already the first game does for other things anyway in several occasions).
     
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