Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Jojobobo, Nov 7, 2014.
I saw that the other day and I plan to legally purchase it.
Wow! Such news belong to the first page of The Tarantian!
I finally put down Titan's Quest again. I always seem to get stuck in that game. I get 3/4ths of the way through it, and discover that my build went from 'hulking through everything' to 'instadead outside the city walls.' I picked up Dungeon Siege 3, which is an enjoyable game, provided you're wiling to regard any correlation in names between it and the previous Dungeon Siege's mere coincidence. Besides that the sole-issue is the fact that the 'auto-targeting system' is utterly moronic (and prone to target enemies at a distance, even when you're being attacked in melee). I'm currently thinking that, after finishing this, I'm going to finally give IceWind Dale 2 awhirl. Since, you know, I only play the latest and greatest games.
Has anyone invested in the renovated/upgraded Baldur's Gate games? I recently attempted a playthrough of the unmodified original, and found it a bit cumbersome.
I've finally now played a good chunk of Fallout 4 and I really can't get into it very much. I dislike that your character instantly gets bogged down with the responsibility of having to chase their child rather than do what they please - sure they can do what they please but the fact that your character is always so vocal about tracking them down makes it feel awkward if you don't make any effort. At least in FO3 when you were chasing your dad he was a grown man who could take care of himself, in FO4 because they're vulnerable and your direct responsibility you have no such luck. It also completely negates the options of whether your character was a cheating scumbag who didn't care for his family, or really any variation of a character who wasn't overly bothered in travelling the ends of the earth to find his son.
Bethesda also seem to just not want you to have evil or at least self-serving dialogue options the vast majority of the time (most of the time, particularly when the setting is as harsh as Fallouts, I like to plat someone who is ruthlessly self-serving) which baffles me - I don't understand why they had the option for callous behaviour in 3 but decided to ignore it almost entirely here, with you mindlessly agreeing to help most people you come across. In addition, the game requires you to get into bed with one of the main factions to progress, all of which I found more bland than New Vegas (with New Vegas also allowing you to not side with a faction if you didn't want to). These factors combined really hurt the agency the player has in the game, which for me is vital for a good rpg.
I'm also not a fan of the levelling system, whereby you infinitely can level and get as many perks as you want. Overall I think it makes characters much more convergent, with no real difficult choices having to be made over perk selection compared to games with a level cap. I like games where you do have a finite resource to spend gained through experience (e.g. only 15 perks in base New Vegas, 64 character points in Arcanum, etc.) as then when you do invest in something more for the flavour of your desired build (perks like Terrifying Presence in New Vegas pretty much is only there to allow your character to maniacally threaten people, and skills like Disarm Traps in Arcanum really aren't that ubiquitously useful) you feel like you've really dedicated them to that given role. No such luck with Fallout 4, and besides there's very few flavour perks in the first place for you to invest in - all of them in Fallout 4 are pretty much functional and nothing more.
There's also other weirdness in that a load of stuff is straight up lifted from Blade Runner. There's a definitely a line between paying homage and out and out copying, and there seems to be a lot of the latter in Fallout 4 which felt really odd.
Overall I'd say it's a good adventure game but a poor rpg, and I wouldn't really recommend buying it at the current retail price (I'd had been pretty pissed if I'd forked my own money for it rather than received it for Christmas). There's more stuff I could add that I didn't like, but I've touched on most of the main points. Out of the core Fallout games (1/2/3/New Vegas) for me it's definitely the weakest.
I have a theory about this. Not Fallout 4 specifically, but a huge chunk of RPGs in general.
A part of it is the streamlining of games to make them viable for more platforms. Can you imagine playing the first two Fallout games on a console? I suppose it's doable, people have figured out how to play FPS games on the damn things, but I doubt it would be a particularly enjoyable experience. Another part is trimming down genres to make them appealing to a wider audience. Complex, intricate mechanics are very much a niche thing these years. And last, but not least, a big part of it (in my opinion) is the evolution of graphics and the emphasis we place on them. As things become prettier and more visually complex, there is less incentive to allow for a lot of freedom, because that would require coding and animating all the extra visuals to accompany that freedom.
So most developers who aren't specifically trying to make an old school CRPG are left with two equally disappointing choices. Make a game with a lot of freedom, but where actions have almost no actual impact (Skyrim, Mad Max, the like), or make a game with heavy consequences to actions, but with a very limited set of options (Mass Effect). Your mileage may vary on the examples, but it boils down to either having scope, but no depth, or depth, but limited scope.
For me at least, that's a big part of why I haven't permanently put Arcanum down. Why I haven't permanently put a lot of these older RPGs down. They are far from perfect, but they tend to strive for both depth and scope, both mechanically and story-wise.
I've found Fallout 4 to be so thoroughly disinteresting I've only spent like 10-20 hours on it, and haven't touched it in weeks. I don't hate it, but I don't like it either. And I played the shit out of New Vegas.
What I *have* been playing recently is the final Starcraft 2 expansion, and I've really really enjoyed it. Currently going through getting all the single player campaign achievements and loving every minute of it.
Another bit of PoE and Conclave coming up in the near future. Looks to be a decent year ahead of us, at least as far as games are concerned. Dare one hope for Stellaris and HoI 4 while we're at it?
My games of choice at the moment are Tom Clancy's The Division and Stardew Valley.
I'm almost convinced that I'd enjoy The Division. But not $60 convinced.
Shadowrun was a good surprise to me, good writing and awesome settings (bladerunner fan all the way). A bit restricted when it comes to choices and consequences but it was fun nontheless so I hope more will be coming.
On the indie side there is that game called Balrum, it is actually a really addictive RTS/rpg focused on crafting.
But of course the releases I'm eagerly waiting for are BG: Siege of DragonSpear and Tides of Numenera (both preordered). Seeing so many old franchise coming back to the scene I can't help but thinking maybe we'll get Arcnanum sequel one day...
If you were to enjoy it, now would be the time. Learning a new game with the community is the best way otherwise you are forever playing catch up.
Good news everyone!
Tonight at 01:00 CET, Paradox and Obsidian are going to show off a new project. It's referred to as Project Knight Rider and you can watch the upcoming live stream here. Unfortunately, it's not WOD related but that shouldn't derail the hype train.
Brand new can be good too.
Edit: You can take a seemingly related personality test while you're waiting.
But I'm not evil.
Having read most of the interview with Eric Fenstermaker on Pillars over at Codex, I'm all for a game with "many branching storylines". It seems like one of their disappointments with Pillars was that the plot was very linear, if they produced something that really did offer branching paths throughout the main story that would be pretty great.
So apparently Leonard Boyarski has joined up with Obsidian. As always, "the world of Troika games" is late to any and all Troika related news. RPG codex was quick to pick up on the news.
I guess now they just need Jason Anderson for the hat trick. Honestly Diablo III was great, Arcanum and Vampire were great (maybe one of these days I'll play Temple of Elemental Evil) so he should be a huge asset to Obsidian - they really seem to have the cream of the crop in terms of great people from old school RPGs right now. I think Tyranny, as they can now take a step back rather than being pushed to get it out like Pillars, will definitely be a very polished game.
We don't want polish - we want earthy realism. That's what Troika stands for in my book.
Bloodlines has finally gotten a GOG release. It comes with wesps patch (bugfixes ONLY, not the nonsense changes and awful library quest and all other weird shit he tossed into later version) so you'll have it working from the get-go. If you've lost your old bloodlines disc and can't stand steam, or just find it a bit dirty to use a valve product to play bloodlines (after all "valveleaks" and "steamblows"), then there's really no reason not to pick it up.
That's good news, it'll make playing it on my mac a lot easier given that I was using my old gamefly version (or some version I bought online anyway) which made me input the serial number every time I want to play it.
I really wish wesp had stopped going mental on the restoration, at one point his patches were pretty much the UAP in terms of content but now they're just a full on mod with little semblance to the core game and even full on changes to mechanics (i.e. needing research to use occult items, which is a nice idea but I'm not a fan of changes made to the game on a fundamental mechanical level).
I kicked up a fuss about it on their forums (which is obviously so out of character for me) saying that he could maybe have a restoration patch (keeping stuff in the game that is precedented, like the Dragon's Breath shotgun for which there was an audio file for but not the weapon model which they had to mod in) and another version of the patch that had all his weird random changes in ("Tim Cain mentioned a library level was axed early in development, so obviously I must put a whole library level back into the game that I pulled out my ass as that's exactly what the devs would have done").
However he said that every man and their dog would have different ideas on what should go into a restoration version (which I patently think they wouldn't, stuff that has a basis in the files leave in - all the other crap leave out) and also pretty much that he couldn't be bothered to make such a distinction (even though in my mind all the cool restored content has now been found and put back into the game so you'd only have to do it the once and then have it in all future patches). He added that he felt like what he was doing was within the devs original vision, but from my perspective I don't really think having one guy speculating on what they think the devs would have done is really the best idea.
Some of his changes are total crap as well, for example he put in a load of sound effects back into Ocean House Hotel but they completely ruin the atmosphere. There's a crap music track at one point that really detracts from the fear from having the hotel mostly silent but interrupted with the screams of the butchered ghosts, and he also put it one of the shittiest maniacal laughs I've ever heard - you wouldn't even have it for a spoof villain in a cartoon. His reasoning for all this was that these sounds effects were in the map file of the location, just that they'd been placed in the walls and places where the character wouldn't hear them - so he'd "restored" them. In my mind I'd imagine what was restored was again stuff the devs didn't want to put in the final game, but as the game was a rush job they'd just hidden them in the walls to get rid of them for convenience - but of course wesp didn't see it like that and has made one of the most fun and atmospheric horror levels in a game utter shit, but you have to have them in and all his other whacky changes if you want to access any normal genuinely cool restored content like dialogue and the Dragon's Breath.
Rant over, point is as Ruda alluded to the later patch versions suck balls. My advice for anyone looking to have nice restored content is look at the patch notes carefully for each version and find one of the earlier ones where he was just putting cool stuff in and not making some ridiculous modded abstraction of the original game. Maybe you could then put a later patch bug fix over that, but who knows.
We don't want a few bugfixes and minor improvements - we want a complete overhaul that ruins the consistency of the original game. That's what an unofficial patch stands for in my book.
Separate names with a comma.