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  1. #21281
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The JG Man View Post
    My favourite part of any and all vampire and super-natural lore is the part where you are trekking through some over-sized abandoned sewers being hunted by some vampiric Geodudes for ages, the part where there's a short timed swim against a fan and having to to re-load a few minutes back because you keep forgetting to quick save to replace the auto-save that would be in a newer game. I'm no longer talking about lore here.

    Here's my problem with all RPGs, which now includes Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines. If you present a varied set of capabilities, wherein you don't have the option to realistically maximise every capability and the difference between someone armed with their words and someone armed with high proficiency in weapons is that the former gets penalised during the combat sequences that inevitably happen (as opposed to conversation pieces that more make things easier as opposed to actually being like boss fights) and that the idea of going half-and-half rewards you with no real bonuses either way, please please please do not have those who go for the conversation aspects feel so utterly hapless during combat.
    I dunno, I think that is fair and is probably why I didn't get a lot of the hate people had for Human Revolution

    Even with a pen and paper RPG where you have a GM, you essentially make an agreement of some form regarding what kind of game you will play. I have RP'd with friends who wanted to practice their improv, and we never fought anything. And I have played The Infinite Dungeon or whatever that sourcebook was, where we didn't ever really talk to anything.

    It is all about knowing what you are getting in to. Whenever I am rolling a character for a PC RPG, I try to get an idea of what I can expect. Back when I played the Alazander series of mods for NWN (great series, by the way. AL1 is weak but AL2 and AL3 are amazing) I did a bit of basic research to figure out what kinds of weapons I would find. When I played Shadowrun Returns I did a bit of basic research to figure out which combat style I like. And so forth

    And with pretty much any "guns with words" style RPG, I always assume that I want a jack of all trades. I can emphasize the bits that are more fun for me (hacking, talking, and stealth, usually) but I make sure that I have a good solid weapon for when the poopy hits the fan. Because unless it is very clearly a "you can do anything" game (of which, those don't exist :p), there will come a time when I will have to fight. Maybe I'll get spotted by a guard when I was trying to steal a necklace, maybe I'll get cutscene-incompetence'd and surrounded by goblins what don't speak Common. Either way, I need at least SOME combat potential.

    Take Human Revolution for example. I focused all my points on hacking, cloaking, and exploring. And I ALSO carried around an inventory full of weapons, including a tricked out pistol. I can count on one hand the number of non-bosses I killed (until the last mission), but that didn't mean I couldn't whip out the heavy artillery when push came to shove. I DID get lucky with the second (?) boss in that I had the anti-electricity mod (was for exploration), but all the others just needed A gun. I understand that some people wanted to RP MacGuyver and refuse to even touch a gun, but I think it is fair to say that a special ops assassin/commando who refuses to touch a weapon probably won't last too long in the field.

    As for this specific situation: Yeah, I have heard horrible things about those sewers. That is probably just a REALLY shitty area. But the idea of having to have combat abilities isn't that far out there.



    Quote Originally Posted by TomxJ View Post
    Have you tried running the GeForce experience on Metro: Last light? It worked a treat for me.
    Yeah, did my first time through for the campaign and worked perfectly (and still does).

    The DLC just has issues it seems. I even cranked things down to super duper low "my PS3 looks better than this" settings and it still lags out the ass. Which is a shame, since I hear the Heavy Team DLC was fun
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  2. #21282
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus The JG Man's Avatar
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    I'm not saying that non-combat focused PCs should be knowingly handicapped in combat, I'm asking for those who are combat focused to be better. Human Revolution can work here (and that some conversations were boss fights of sorts was one of the few positive things I had to say about it) but there's no handicap in combat in that game not going for combat-oriented upgrades first. Your pistol will do the same amount of damage (before armour reduction) at the beginning of the game as it will at the end. In VtM:B, that's not the case. And on top of that, for ranged weapons you also have an accuracy penalty.

    Now you can certainly RP a lot of that away; Jensen was a former special forces police officer, so he had gun training. My newly-embraced vampire was...well, no-one in particular, but there should be a point where fun has to shoulder-barge its way into the balance.
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  3. #21283
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    When any D&D Dungeon failed my own perception of my characters bullshit tolerance (the character) would ask everyone if we could back to the tavern now, because I don't want to die this week.

    The sewer in VtM:B would have failed that test.
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  4. #21284
    Network Hub TomxJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    Yeah, did my first time through for the campaign and worked perfectly (and still does).

    The DLC just has issues it seems. I even cranked things down to super duper low "my PS3 looks better than this" settings and it still lags out the ass. Which is a shame, since I hear the Heavy Team DLC was fun
    I've never been able to get through the Heavy Squad DLC from the Factions Pack (On Ranger), its a right pain in the backside. Just replay the last mission of the main game, its more fun.

    What really shines out of those 3 missions is Kshatriya, you have to go out into a pretty much open world and collect items of 'worth'. You only get to save back at base and top make make things extra tense its all set on the surface so make sure you've enough filters to last you!

    I'm yet to complete any of them yet though, they're tough as nails.

  5. #21285
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The JG Man View Post
    I'm not saying that non-combat focused PCs should be knowingly handicapped in combat, I'm asking for those who are combat focused to be better. Human Revolution can work here (and that some conversations were boss fights of sorts was one of the few positive things I had to say about it) but there's no handicap in combat in that game not going for combat-oriented upgrades first. Your pistol will do the same amount of damage (before armour reduction) at the beginning of the game as it will at the end. In VtM:B, that's not the case. And on top of that, for ranged weapons you also have an accuracy penalty.

    Now you can certainly RP a lot of that away; Jensen was a former special forces police officer, so he had gun training. My newly-embraced vampire was...well, no-one in particular, but there should be a point where fun has to shoulder-barge its way into the balance.
    I do agree that Bloodline's combat system left a lot to be desired (honestly, most of the game does), but even as a combat character it isn't particularly good. It is just less shitty

    Personally, I think the solution is moving away from the "sandbox, build your character however you want" angle, or doing a better decoupling of social and combat. The Witcher 1 and 2 did a great job of that, since there were some skills that were useful socially but they weren't essential and 2 in particular very much took a "use a skill to make it better" approach toward dialogue while still using a more traditional approach for combat abilities (the skill tree)

    Whereas a system like D&D (specifically 3/3.5e since I won't deal with THAC0 and I doubt people here are familiar enough with 4e) uses a different approach by always increasing your base attack bonus. So even in Hordes of the Underdark when my Wizard is moved into the middle of a Dark Elf blood orgy for dialogue purposes, I have a chance. I can cast a spell to run away or I can actually brawl with them. I won't last long because my health is shit and my attack bonus is on par with a Fighter who is getting ready to take Weapon Specialization, but it keeps me from feeling helpless and lets me buy time for my meat shields to catch up with me.
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  6. #21286
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus The JG Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heliocentric View Post
    When any D&D Dungeon failed my own perception of my characters bullshit tolerance (the character) would ask everyone if we could back to the tavern now, because I don't want to die this week.
    That's brilliant and hilarious. Certainly something I can appreciate having never played D&D, but having played a lot of video games and watched a lot of television. I think in many, many games there needs to be a serious editor involved with any script, be it casual dialogue or hard narrative, that on top of doing other editing stuff can also do a Bullshit Test. Unless the context sets it up fine (eg. Just Cause 2 shows that anything goes and it can be amazing) then too much bullshit needs to be found to be reined in.

    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    but even as a combat character it isn't particularly good. It is just less shitty
    I would gladly have less shitty in exchange from super shitty.

    I think the solution is moving away from the "sandbox, build your character however you want" angle, or doing a better decoupling of social and combat. The Witcher 1 and 2 did a great job of that
    Yeah, that was certainly done well. It also helped that some spells were useful outside of combat in general exploration too. I suppose it's a positive going into the open world 3 where there should be a good few things that you can use your abilities with. Of course, them doing a great job with 1 and 2 is not a perfect one; I lamented considerably earlier in this thread during the, errrm...whatever it was called area in chapter 2 of W2 where you go into the old fight and fight some demons. A character who wasn't focused on sword techniques was locked out of their arsenal for a large portion of the sequence. This meant some basic enemy interactions became incredibly difficult. Whilst on an easier difficulty I'm sure it'd have been less challenging, but on the joint-hardest difficulty, it wasn't entirely fun. Mercy on anyone doing it on the perma-death difficulty too.

    D&D stuff
    ...I think some of that made sense to me!
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  7. #21287
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The JG Man View Post
    Yeah, that was certainly done well. It also helped that some spells were useful outside of combat in general exploration too. I suppose it's a positive going into the open world 3 where there should be a good few things that you can use your abilities with. Of course, them doing a great job with 1 and 2 is not a perfect one; I lamented considerably earlier in this thread during the, errrm...whatever it was called area in chapter 2 of W2 where you go into the old fight and fight some demons. A character who wasn't focused on sword techniques was locked out of their arsenal for a large portion of the sequence. This meant some basic enemy interactions became incredibly difficult. Whilst on an easier difficulty I'm sure it'd have been less challenging, but on the joint-hardest difficulty, it wasn't entirely fun. Mercy on anyone doing it on the perma-death difficulty too.
    It wasn't perfect, but I also argue that people playing on hard difficulty as their first run should be ready for failure (same with iron man). And if you already played once, you know what you need to grab

    But yeah, I really hope that more games take the approach of just completely decoupling social and combat. I realize that it is problematic in that it makes your characters super awesome and what not, but that is usually easy to explain from an RP perspective and it just speeds up the endgame a bit.

    My current "dream" system would be the following:
    Take Mass Effect 1's classification system (Combat, Tech, and "Magic"). Every class has up to two classifications, and that determines which trees you get. Upon leveling up, you get a point in every tree you have (two points if you are a double combat and so forth). Completely decoupled from that is the social tree, which preferably is increased through your actions, in a manner similar to The Witcher 2 and Alpha Protocol. Hell, couple the reputation system in with that, just make sure it is the Mass Effect 3 rep system where you get renown no matter what you do, and your red/blue points are cumulative.

    ...I think some of that made sense to me!
    Heh. In a nutshell: A high level wizard is still squishy, but nowhere near as squishy as when you are just starting out.
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  8. #21288
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus The JG Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    It wasn't perfect, but I also argue that people playing on hard difficulty as their first run should be ready for failure (same with iron man). And if you already played once, you know what you need to grab
    These carry problems though. Firstly, there's a difference between accepting failure as a regular occurrence due to higher difficulty and being severely handicapped unless you took the one specific route for levelling up. The fact is, going into that battle sequence, I prepared as best I could; drank potions before entering and made bombs. For going into the unknown, I was as prepared as could be. That's what the game usually asks of you, that sequence was just something else altogether. Secondly, the idea that if you've played through it and you know what to grab for the future really reduces the impact of making your own character. What's the point of choice if you can be as effective as the other routes the rest of the time, as well as being especially good where the others falter and having no real draw-back (lack of ranged attack only, which isn't that big a deal in the game).

    If you're going to make a game, any game, built around the idea of choices, including choices as to how engage in combat, you need to be fair and you need to be consistent.
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  9. #21289
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus LTK's Avatar
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    You make a good point that the battlefield sequence was very deviant from the normal course of the game, but the fact that it is difficult is not a 'character building flaw' so to say, because you're playing a completely different character and it doesn't matter if you put points in your sword skill tree beforehand or not. The guys you're playing are not witchers; their combat tactics will be different so it's purely down to your skill with a handicapped character that determines whether you succeed. It's not putting your character in a disadvantageous position, just you. And, to be fair, it didn't come completely out of nowhere since you were given control of a different character at the start of the chapter as well, when Saskia dueled Henselt.

  10. #21290
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus The JG Man's Avatar
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    I was led to believe that having points into sword techniques were employable. So then I resign my statement of that being unfair in character building and just say that entire sequence isn't well balanced (which is something I already complained about in the previous discussion). I spent a lot of the time trying to cheese the AI during that sequence and waiting around a bit trying to regenerate health. I'd hardly say that cheesing AI is a fun way of playing through an intentionally handicapped sequence. It's not like Serious Sam where you're relying on the strict routines of the AI to emerge victorious; when you have three groups of enemy soldiers really close together where pulling one might pull another and overwhelm you, it's not fun quick saving/reloading to make sure you only pull the one by approaching at the very precise angle. It was certainly a joke when you reach the boss of that area and have all your capabilities left that you can absolutely destroy it with ease (in fact my biggest problem was that the game checkpointed as it started its attack, meaning I'd be dead before I could move, until I eventually found a way around it and then proceeded two lay waste).

    Whilst your example is true, there are numerous times when you're running through the area to go between camps and you retain your skills. Granted you're not taking over another character, I do not think it's made immediately clear that when you do return to clear it at the end of the chapter that you'll be possessing a character(s) and be similarly locked out of your skills. Going into it, with the conversations I had had, it seemed like you were preparing Geralt to enter it as himself. Eitherr way, this goes well above my point of generally poorly balanced areas. The sewers are as crappy as the battlefield, if not worse because they go on for so much longer.
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  11. #21291
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The JG Man View Post
    I was led to believe that having points into sword techniques were employable. So then I resign my statement of that being unfair in character building and just say that entire sequence isn't well balanced (which is something I already complained about in the previous discussion). I spent a lot of the time trying to cheese the AI during that sequence and waiting around a bit trying to regenerate health. I'd hardly say that cheesing AI is a fun way of playing through an intentionally handicapped sequence. It's not like Serious Sam where you're relying on the strict routines of the AI to emerge victorious; when you have three groups of enemy soldiers really close together where pulling one might pull another and overwhelm you, it's not fun quick saving/reloading to make sure you only pull the one by approaching at the very precise angle. It was certainly a joke when you reach the boss of that area and have all your capabilities left that you can absolutely destroy it with ease (in fact my biggest problem was that the game checkpointed as it started its attack, meaning I'd be dead before I could move, until I eventually found a way around it and then proceeded two lay waste).

    Whilst your example is true, there are numerous times when you're running through the area to go between camps and you retain your skills. Granted you're not taking over another character, I do not think it's made immediately clear that when you do return to clear it at the end of the chapter that you'll be possessing a character(s) and be similarly locked out of your skills. Going into it, with the conversations I had had, it seemed like you were preparing Geralt to enter it as himself. Eitherr way, this goes well above my point of generally poorly balanced areas. The sewers are as crappy as the battlefield, if not worse because they go on for so much longer.
    Yeah, if you want to bitch about how shitty most of the boss fights were in The Witcher 2, I will pull up a soap box and rant right along with you :p. In the entire game, there was ONE good boss fight.
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  12. #21292
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus alms's Avatar
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    Can anyone name a game where the sewers (or even sewers-like levels) were actually not some kind of unimaginative, go-to length-extending environment - in short, you know, good?
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  13. #21293
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Wenz's Avatar
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    Max Payne?
    S.T.A.L.K.E.R.?

  14. #21294
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    Yeah, if you want to bitch about how shitty most of the boss fights were in The Witcher 2, I will pull up a soap box and rant right along with you :p. In the entire game, there was ONE good boss fight.
    I'm curious, which one was that?

  15. #21295
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LTK View Post
    I'm curious, which one was that?
    The final (optional) one: Yes, you could use exploits and you could be fucked if you weren't prepared, but it felt like a real fight between two Witchers. You had similar skillsets and the lead-up was perfect. For my Geralt, it was a fight neither man wanted but both knew had to happen, which gave a nice callback to the end of The Witcher 1.

    It wasn't perfect, but it was "fair" as it were. But whereas every other boss fight wasn't really worth the hassle, this one was as the hassle was minimal and The Feels were through the roof.
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  16. #21296
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Fumarole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alms View Post
    Can anyone name a game where the sewers (or even sewers-like levels) were actually not some kind of unimaginative, go-to length-extending environment - in short, you know, good?
    Shadowrun Returns: Dragonfall had some good sewer and subway levels.
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  17. #21297
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Squiz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alms View Post
    Can anyone name a game where the sewers (or even sewers-like levels) were actually not some kind of unimaginative, go-to length-extending environment - in short, you know, good?
    Turtles in Time! Eh... Morrowind? Uhm... Final Fant... ok you got me.

  18. #21298
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    Mirror's Edge had luscious sewers which highlighted the excesses of the city from a different point of view. But generally sewer sits right next to office cubicles and warehouse filled with crates for lazy chaff.
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  19. #21299
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Wenz's Avatar
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    Oh yeah, Mirror's Edge. Cool real life inspired sewers. 99% of buildings look the same though:D

  20. #21300
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus vinraith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alms View Post
    Can anyone name a game where the sewers (or even sewers-like levels) were actually not some kind of unimaginative, go-to length-extending environment - in short, you know, good?
    I might well be alone on this one, but I really enjoyed the Metro system in Fallout 3.

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