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Suggestions of a Sort #607881
23/08/17 02:55 AM
23/08/17 02:55 AM
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caninelegion Offline OP
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A little late for suggestions on this game and this is far from in depth so, "General". I've played three games in the series so far (OS Classic, DD, BD) and this one, while still a fine game, is on the bottom. I have these suggestions really meant for future games that may have some elements from this one (for what they are worth).

Do not rush the game out the window. OD lacks the polish of both DD and OSC. Many of the following aspects are likely related to that. Things like using exactly the same junk lying around in a dungeon on floor one as floor two, etc are not good shortcuts to take. Dungeon layouts that are exactly the same but with a different skin are also noticeable. There are a lot of little things like this that make the game seemed rushed.

No more battlegrounds. This concept completely breaks continuity and is a big reason I've taken a break from my ongoing BD game. If the game has a linear story like an escape, additional side quests can still be built into it with a little work.

If multiple skills are involved, lump learning them into groups: say "special arrows" improves all arrows save normal ones, etc. There were just too many things skills were needed for and far too few skill points to fill them. A better balance is needed.

Badly damaged characters at the start won't have forgotten their skills, so, if a game is skill starved like this one, start the characters as skilled up but physically weak (low
strength, low health pool, low mana pool). It'd be a good idea to let players choose some of these skills or have start option of warrior-ranger.

Skill upgrades should actually do something significant - no more 1-2% chance of a back stab, additional damage with slashing, etc. Something like 8-12% for level 1 back stab would work as long as it was a passive skill and for the other non-passive skill upgrades. If active and one has to work to get behind the subject (back stab), then start at closer to 75%. Skills were practically useless in this game.

Make patches - having the game crash and just accepting that if a player or NCO that can't move who tries to is just plain bad policy since it is so easy to do accidentally with the groupings. Alternately, officially blessed user patches are often just as good but, since none exist, my thinking is that there is a roadblock somewhere via Larian policy. If so, a change may be in order.

Don't get me wrong, there were many improvements over DD but, overall, BD just didn't work as well. I think the excitement of having the engine complete and being able to do so many things just got the better of the developers. It may be a good one for a remake as there was a lot of potential that IMO wasn't met.

Well, either this was laughed at, ignored, or thrown away in anger but I'm hoping it's constructive; a sort of brainstorming thing on my part.



Last edited by caninelegion; 23/08/17 03:03 AM.
Re: Suggestions of a Sort [Re: caninelegion] #607889
23/08/17 12:02 PM
23/08/17 12:02 PM
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vometia Offline

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I think the bit about the battlegrounds really speaks to me: I found them pretty hard going and a celebration of quantity over quality. I think it's safe to say that they learnt from it and subsequently ED, D:OS and now it appears D:OS II have a much more handcrafted soft of feel to them for the most part.

I also found the aesthetics of BD to be rather hard going too: too much red and black and generally alien-looking stuff. Which I guess was the point, but I like greenery. Again, the subsequent games gave me the greenery I want. biggrin


J'aime le fromage.
Re: Suggestions of a Sort [Re: caninelegion] #607922
24/08/17 01:33 AM
24/08/17 01:33 AM
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caninelegion Offline OP
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Yeah, having not played the later games, I really don't know what was done. But, if I waited, I'd have forgotten and even if one idea seems good to them, then it was a positive thing as far as I'm concerned. Besides, the price is right smile

In reality, there was a BG of sorts in DD - called the wastelands - but it fit in with the story.

Last edited by caninelegion; 24/08/17 01:35 AM.
Re: Suggestions of a Sort [Re: caninelegion] #607983
25/08/17 01:28 AM
25/08/17 01:28 AM
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The battlefields in BD were entirely optional; I only visited for the merchants.
Lots of people wanted respawning opponents after Divine Divinity, optional areas and the ability to keep playing after the end of the main plot. It wasn't a majority, but apparently enough to justify an experiment... or it was a requirement from the publisher.

I specifically hoarded skill points because of complaints there were too few, and had no problem at all. While some skills were more divided than they needed to be, having subgroups for skills allows much more customization, and tailoring to specific builds.

Characters do start with skills, based on the character classes chosen for the hero and death knight. Pretty much all stand-alone games start with level 1 characters, even if they were suppose to be more powerful in their backstory (such as Divinity 2).

There were multiple patches while the game was actively being developed.

The DD wastelands were cut back quite a bit from the original plan, due to the publisher setting the release date, leaving it almost entirely hack and slash.
With BD, the final act was done first, so this would not happen again, but unfortunately that put limits on the design of the rest of the game, since changing too much or introducing new mechanics could invalidate the work already completed.

Re: Suggestions of a Sort [Re: Raze] #607989
25/08/17 03:26 AM
25/08/17 03:26 AM
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Originally Posted By: Raze

The battlefields in BD were entirely optional; I only visited for the merchants.
Lots of people wanted respawning opponents after Divine Divinity, optional areas and the ability to keep playing after the end of the main plot. It wasn't a majority, but apparently enough to justify an experiment... or it was a requirement from the publisher.

I'm typically one of those people, so I guess I can't complain too much about their existence, then! And at least one set of battlegrounds provided one of the rare examples of pleasant greenness in the game. Based on what you've said below I guess I'm surprised they're there at all, let alone the size they are.

Originally Posted By: Raze

The DD wastelands were cut back quite a bit from the original plan, due to the publisher setting the release date, leaving it almost entirely hack and slash.
With BD, the final act was done first, so this would not happen again, but unfortunately that put limits on the design of the rest of the game, since changing too much or introducing new mechanics could invalidate the work already completed.

That's a bit sad. I wonder how many games have been less than they could've been because the publisher wanted them out earning money before they were ready...


J'aime le fromage.
Re: Suggestions of a Sort [Re: vometia] #607991
25/08/17 04:26 AM
25/08/17 04:26 AM
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caninelegion Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: vometia
Originally Posted By: Raze

The battlefields in BD were entirely optional; I only visited for the merchants.
Lots of people wanted respawning opponents after Divine Divinity, optional areas and the ability to keep playing after the end of the main plot. It wasn't a majority, but apparently enough to justify an experiment... or it was a requirement from the publisher.

I'm typically one of those people, so I guess I can't complain too much about their existence, then! And at least one set of battlegrounds provided one of the rare examples of pleasant greenness in the game. Based on what you've said below I guess I'm surprised they're there at all, let alone the size they are.

Originally Posted By: Raze




The DD wastelands were cut back quite a bit from the original plan, due to the publisher setting the release date, leaving it almost entirely hack and slash.
With BD, the final act was done first, so this would not happen again, but unfortunately that put limits on the design of the rest of the game, since changing too much or introducing new mechanics could invalidate the work already completed.

That's a bit sad. I wonder how many games have been less than they could've been because the publisher wanted them out earning money before they were ready...


I'll hazard a guess; nearly all. From what I can tell, development companies get the short end of the stick. For example, a game released at somewhat the same time as these, Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines, was released with a half-finished engine and was rushed so badly that it was too buggy to play. One official patch was made but the development company, Troika, made almost nothing from it and went under. It wasn't until user patches were made that the game became playable. Then there's Red Baron 3D - another unplayable gem as released (for those who like combat simulation, anyway). So many more!

As far as the BFs being optional, it's been done (at least by Raze) so possible (avoiding them) but after I rushed through the wastelands in DD and was unprepared for the final bosses, I was afraid not to go through them.

It's a real shame the wastelands were not fully developed too - I can only wonder what Larian would have done with them had the time been granted.

Re: Suggestions of a Sort [Re: Raze] #607992
25/08/17 04:34 AM
25/08/17 04:34 AM
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caninelegion Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: Raze

I specifically hoarded skill points because of complaints there were too few, and had no problem at all. While some skills were more divided than they needed to be, having subgroups for skills allows much more customization, and tailoring to specific builds.


I haven't tried it but, with the skill points having so little affect, not using them at all and just building up attributes would likely lead to not having any trouble at all.

Re: Suggestions of a Sort [Re: caninelegion] #608001
25/08/17 06:40 AM
25/08/17 06:40 AM
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Originally Posted By: caninelegion
I'll hazard a guess; nearly all. From what I can tell, development companies get the short end of the stick. For example, a game released at somewhat the same time as these, Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines, was released with a half-finished engine and was rushed so badly that it was too buggy to play. One official patch was made but the development company, Troika, made almost nothing from it and went under. It wasn't until user patches were made that the game became playable.

I first played Bloodlines years after it was released so never experienced it without the user-made patches, but yeah: even then you could see the point where they ran out of time because there was a marked difference between the first half of the story, which was interesting, complex, witty etc and the second half which ended up being pretty much a straight shooter. Needless to say I found the first half a lot more enjoyable to play.

Although "when's it ready?" has been a constant rallying cry through the development of D:OS II and one I've sometimes joined in with, it's been nice that Larian's former "enjoyment" of having a publisher isn't a thing as it has noticeably affected their games too, albeit not as badly as some.


J'aime le fromage.
Re: Suggestions of a Sort [Re: caninelegion] #608006
25/08/17 09:11 AM
25/08/17 09:11 AM
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I didn't avoid using any skill points, I was just very stingy with them. I eventually maxed Repair and Identify (5 points each), put only a couple points into damage and accuracy for weapon specialties (just boosting Reload Time for the bow/crossbow skills; used bow early, then switched to a crossbow for the greater damage). Both characters put 2 points into the individual healing spell.

I also conserved skill points because I wasn't sure if I was going to switch to different weapons, I was thinking about eventually trying traps (but never got around to it), etc.


Even without a publisher, resources will put constraints on development, and of course some things just don't work out as well in practice as anticipated, so changing or redesigning too much can cause problems, especially if everything only comes together near the end of the process.

Re: Suggestions of a Sort [Re: Raze] #608011
25/08/17 10:25 AM
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caninelegion Offline OP
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I think I will try a zero SP game as an experiment. My hypothesis is that I won't notice a difference.

Re: Suggestions of a Sort [Re: Raze] #608022
25/08/17 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted By: Raze
Even without a publisher, resources will put constraints on development, and of course some things just don't work out as well in practice as anticipated, so changing or redesigning too much can cause problems, especially if everything only comes together near the end of the process.

Somewhat randomly, I'm reminded of the time our manager at work resigned in a strop and wasn't replaced for over a year. I think that was probably the happiest and most productive environment I've worked in. Sure, we had some of the same constraints as ever, but their effect was rather less toxic.

I'm imagining that not having a publisher is probably the same writ large.

I guess that publishers can bring their own advantages, but I suppose that there are direct parallels between managers and publishers when it comes to matters of competence and scrupulousness. And both seem rarer than they should be.

My, I'm sounding opinionated today. How unusual. biggrin


J'aime le fromage.

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