Larian Studios
Hi,

This is something I'm in two minds about, so I'd welcome opinions from other players, and hopefully from some designers too.

Basically, what I'm suggesting is that not only are many RPGs are crammed to the rafters with barrel after barrel full of mostly unnecessary objects, but the padding extends to a swag of attributes, modifiers and resistances that are also mostly of very little use either.

For instance, the main Stats screen for BD lists a grand total of 34 different figures!

How many of these are actually worth our attention, and how much is really just 'window dressing' to make you feel that whole thing is deeper than it really is?

I suspect that developers know that many gamers who buy RPGs will just choose a warrior, find a big sword and some half-decent armour, and get hacking without ever worrying too much about the rest of the stuff. And you can't really afford to have too many of your paying customers getting terminally stuck half way through the game just because they neglected their Shadow resistance in favour of Fire, or just didn’t rate the importance of Initiative highly enough. So for "play balance" reasons they make the effects pretty minimal. They also know that it costs extra time and money to build a game that has any genuine path divergence.

But why not just drop at least some of the fluff in favour of fleshing out the aspects might actually add real difference to the playing experience? <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/question.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

To expand on that...

Take arrows for example. I now have no less than eleven different types of arrow in my inventory. They do varying amounts of extra damage but in different ways - i.e. fire, water, ethereal, poison, spiritual etc. But the figures are all small compared with my basic damage figure.

At the start of the game they may have contributed a noticeable percentage of the damage done, but before the end of Act 2 I had some good crossbows and good overall damage figures. By then the damage the arrows added was now usually well below 15% of my base damage figure, and mostly well under 10%. In a party situation this rarely made any different at all to the number of hits needed to kill an enemy. Even testing with one character only and comparing arrows that the monster had plus 100 resistance to with different arrows that it had minus 87 resistance to made very little noticeable practical difference. To give a crude example, if you’re knocking down 400 hit points 150 at a time it takes 3 hits. If you take them at either 135 or 165, it still takes 3 hits.

So what’s the point of all the bone/ethereal/spiritual/shadow stuff? Is it just there to try and add Role-Play depth?

Are there really players who think “Hey, I’d like to build a hero with super high Bone Resistance”, or “Wow, that DK doesn’t look Evasive enough for my taste…”? <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

Can anyone put forward an intelligent discussion on what the concepts of Ethereal, Bone, Earth, Spiritual and Shadow mean in the context of how they played BD? I understand the words, and some of the concepts, I just can’t yet see any meaningful link between them and the way BD actually plays out. It seems more like surplus width than genuine depth.

Even crystals and charms are of fairly limited value. Sure, they seem like they’re going to do something cool, but if you test your character with similar gear without the ‘extras’ it makes very little difference to how many hits it takes for a kill or how long you survive. And it adds nothing at all to how the story plays out.

Most RPGs depend very heavily on the principle of frequent (and largely pointless) random “rewards” to maintain interest. But my preference would be for RPGs to ditch a lot of the fluff, slim down on the repetitious “violence and shopping” aspects, and concentrate instead on good stories and a strong dramatic atmosphere. Things like a good gusty beginning that actually stir the emotions and the interest a bit more. Some decent tension, excitement, suspense, sadness, or whatever. Some humour that was a bit more than just a few amusing one liners. Some of today’s shooters do a better job in those regards than many RPGs do. That should be cause for thought!

The current RPG format of battling evil demons via the “smash skeleton, smash barrel, smash skeleton, smash barrel, find quest item, smash skeleton, smash barrel, smash skeleton, smash barrel, smash skeleton, empty pockets and make slight adjustment to outfit, check look in mirror, smash skeleton…. return to start of loop until game over” route is getting a bit played out.

I’m not bashing BD specifically here. Apart from a few well discussed weaknesses, it does what it sets out to do pretty well. It’s just that (IMO) it’s a format that’s looking a bit creaky now.

Any chance of some fresh ideas with future, post DD2, Larian projects please? <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />



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I suspect that developers know that many gamers who buy RPGs will just choose a warrior, find a big sword and some half-decent armour, and get hacking without ever worrying too much about the rest of the stuff. And you can't really afford to have too many of your paying customers getting terminally stuck half way through the game just because they neglected their Shadow resistance in favour of Fire, or just didn’t rate the importance of Initiative highly enough. So for "play balance" reasons they make the effects pretty minimal. They also know that it costs extra time and money to build a game that has any genuine path divergence.


Then, my friend, if you to that you'll be just another person who took Divinity for a Diablo clone.
It is not.

Initiative is very important. Like in D&D 3+ rules, it decides who attacks first.
The resisstances can be often modified with items and crystals. They are too not to be underestimated. Also, note that you cannot directly modify the resisstances one by one.
I would disagree with you if you say that BD is over-stuffed with useless junk-stats.

Now the arrows:
My Deathknight has Elemental Curse - Water in addition to his Water projectile spell.
I use water arrows.
So when I curse some hapless monster, both my magic and my arrows work much better than normally. The water arrows deal additional damage and the water projectiles hack away big chunks of health. I don't see a problem with that.

Peace.
-Basil.
Hello

OK, first do the water arrows drown the victim, and i think the more info in the stats window the more you want to experiment with these stats, i do, i don't just play one charactor type all the time, i either play a warrior but i may favour adding more health to the charactor than more strength, but with my memory being very good i always remember why i built that charator and what the skill is the important one, and the moment my charactor is a warrior named hercules, and i am adding strength and more strength, and her does not use a sword he uses a club. Then i have sabrina the teenage witch, she is a mage, and i have not got far yet with her, because i have only just built the charactor, but before i build her i test out the effect of different spells and magic, not bothered if i get killed though just experimenting.

And if you must ask this is not my favourite game at the moment, even though it as got some appeal, but no way as much as spellforce and neverwinter nights and scared, they are all my top 3 favourite games at moment, and this time last year it was dungeon siege and simcity 4, and the year before that it was heavy metal fakk2, and freedom first resistance, now if your wondering i did not mention divine divinity, the reason why is because it was christmas time when that was my favourite game i got it at christmas, and i was addicted to it for 4 months, and bye the way i have every week a top ten list of games, my own charts.

Regards

Andrew
Thanks for the replies. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

DIABLO CLONE?

No, I'd certainly hope not. D2 is a good game, but I certainly don't want to repeat it in every game I play. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/eek.gif" alt="" /> The point I was making though is that developers know that many players aren't interested in all the additional modifiers so they tend to make their effects fairly minor (I may be wrong, but this is the way it seems to me. Not just with BD but with nearly all recent RPGs, there's a trend towards less real depth). Like it or not, the larger market is for games that don't require the player to spend a lot of time studying rules and manuals. Personally, I like a good manual and a bit of complexity, but clearly many don't.

Out of interest, what do posters here think the major differences are between D2 and BD? The addition of battlefields seems to take it much closer to D2 than DD was. The BD story is not that strong, and many of the quests are still "kill someone or find this item". Where is BD better, or different in a major way? I'm not saying that it isn't, but I wasn't the one that made a comparison to Diablo so I'd be interested to hear what people see as the difference.

WATER EFFECTS etc.

I do take the point that these things do make a difference. However, when I tested out how great that difference actually is it seems to be minimal. In other words, you may get a Role Play benefit from playing a certain type of character, but there won't really be a lot of difference in the way the fights play out, and certainly no change in the way the story unfolds.

My preference is for games with stronger stories and a genuine chance to take a variety of paths. This is obviously more expensive to do and may involve such things as multiple choice dialogue lines (whereby your choices effect the sort of character you develop), different story paths opening up depending on your choices, and an all round bigger difference in the game experience depending on what style of character you play.

I haven't finished BD yet, but so far the "Depth" seems to be more of an illusion than a reality. I'm not saying this makes it a bad game, just that it isn't the game I hoped for after DD. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
Kris,

First, I'd say that a vast ammount of stats/modifiers is what I look forward to in RPGs (even seen the Arcanum or Fallout stats?).
If you'd say that BD doesn't use them enough, I'll agree, but remember: this system is developped for future Larian games too.


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Out of interest, what do posters here think the major differences are between D2 and BD? The addition of battlefields seems to take it much closer to D2 than DD was. The BD story is not that strong, and many of the quests are still "kill someone or find this item". Where is BD better, or different in a major way? I'm not saying that it isn't, but I wasn't the one that made a comparison to Diablo so I'd be interested to hear what people see as the difference.

Disclaimer:The following post might be inappropriate for die-hard Larian fans, people with pacemakers and epileptic dogs.
This is my honest opinion of Riftrunner, also known as Beyond Divinity.
I think it was made for several reasons: one of them is to raise enough money to successfully develop Divinity 2 afterwards. Another reason is to test several team ideas and see how they will be accepted: the new Stat/Modifier system, tactical combat, Battlefields and such. Those are the main changes.
Beyond Divinity is more linear than the original game, yet it's more than an expantion. It's a mini-sequel. I think the new RPG system is much better than the last one and being a fan of tactical combat, I like the way it is in Beyond Divinity. However I expect more for Divinity 2 ([color:"red"]cloaks[/color] for example).

I didn't mean BD should be compared to Diablo or is a Diablo clone.

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WATER EFFECTS etc.

I do take the point that these things do make a difference. However, when I tested out how great that difference actually is it seems to be minimal. In other words, you may get a Role Play benefit from playing a certain type of character, but there won't really be a lot of difference in the way the fights play out, and certainly no change in the way the story unfolds.

My preference is for games with stronger stories and a genuine chance to take a variety of paths. This is obviously more expensive to do and may involve such things as multiple choice dialogue lines (whereby your choices effect the sort of character you develop), different story paths opening up depending on your choices, and an all round bigger difference in the game experience depending on what style of character you play.

I haven't finished BD yet, but so far the "Depth" seems to be more of an illusion than a reality. I'm not saying this makes it a bad game, just that it isn't the game I hoped for after DD. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

The difference is minor, you are right. However, sometimes a hit point or two might make the enemy stay alive for one more attack. Considering several strong monsters in the game with area attacks, I'd say that the small difference a special arrow gives, might turn the tides of the battle.
The character doesn't change the story, true, but the game isn't an "Epic-Humongous-RPG-With-Tetris-Elements-Which-Took-Eight-Years-To-Develop". I mean it's what it is: Beyond Divinity is a hack and slash game. No matter how you put it.
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seen the Arcanum or Fallout stats?


Hi again Deathatthedoor,

Yes, I've played the Fallout series and Arcanum. Plus pretty much all of the Black Isle and Bioware RPGs. Plus a few others like Soulbringer, both Gothics, and a stack of others that don't spring quite so readily to mind. Still got most of them. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

I like something with a bit of meat in it - particularly good story lines, atmosphere and plot development. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/biggrin.gif" alt="" /> But, somewhat to my surprise I also thoroughly enjoyed Diablo 2, and even Dungeon Siege (which seemed not to have much substance, but which I still managed to complete twice!).

I guess that I'm just a tad disappointed to have seen what appeared to be a bunch of goodies on display in BD and then to discover that they were really just window dressing in this instance. It seemed to say "Hey we're not just a hack and slash, we're a proper AD&D style game" when really much of it's just fluff, which they might as well have dropped, as Dungeon Siege did. I guess that there's a fine line between "interesting clutter" in RPGs, and just junk. BD (and some other games) seem to stray onto the wrong side of the line, for my money.

However, now I've realised that most of the stuff in BD makes very little difference, I'm just treating the whole thing as a straightforward hack-n-slash (as you say) and enjoying it for what it is.

I agree that this seems largely a money raiser and test bed (although I had to pay the same as DD <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/sad.gif" alt="" /> ) but it started so badly, and seemed such a mess of bugs and half completed ideas, that after Act 1 I was just about ready to pack it back up and insert it up the nearest Larian orifice..... <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/devil.gif" alt="" />

However, Act 2 was much better, and I've really got into the swing of it in Act 3. So while it won't make my favourites shelf, I don't now feel I wasted my money. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

Cheers, Kris.
I agree that there's too many damage types. The biggest problem is that they're all the same! A fire ball does the same damage as a water ball. Aside from poison, all it is is a different resistance. It doesn't matter if you improve Fire Resistance of Water Resistance, because it will still resist the same percentage of attacks.

Diablo 2 made each element decidely different:
Fire - Well rounded.
Lightning - Fast but erattic.
Poison - Very powerful, but over time.
Freeze - Weak, but paralysing.

If you're going to select a resistance, you now have something to go on. Which one bothers you the most? If you want to select an attack, again, you now have options.
I also agree that there are too many damage types. I mean seriously what is bone damage, and how can a shadow hurt someone. I don't think it detracts much from the game, they are just unneccessary. Having so many different types of damage means that you can't build your resistance level to one type up very high, which is good and bad, but what I dislike is what has been mentioned earlier which is that with so many different types they don't offer much difference when killing creatures. Stats like initiative and dexterity add a lot to a game though and enable a player to really customize a character, so they definitely should stay, but cutting down the damage types should be done for DD2.

On the part about junk there is too much of it in BD. You can collect so many useless pieces of equipment in BD it is staggering. There is a difference between making a game interactive and putting junk all over to pick up and immediately discard. Plus with so much junk it became difficult to tell what was actually worth having. I thought that the crystals were pretty much worthless since you couldn't get enough resistance to effect how much you got hurt in any more that a trivial way, but I thought that the gold and silver charm balls were quite helpful in both DD and BD.

Also how come lighting does water damage. The last time I checked when someone got hit by lightning they didn't drown. Lighting should be its own damage type.
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I also agree that there are too many damage types. I mean seriously what is bone damage, and how can a shadow hurt someone. I don't think it detracts much from the game, they are just unneccessary. Having so many different types of damage means that you can't build your resistance level to one type up very high, which is good and bad, but what I dislike is what has been mentioned earlier which is that with so many different types they don't offer much difference when killing creatures. Stats like initiative and dexterity add a lot to a game though and enable a player to really customize a character, so they definitely should stay, but cutting down the damage types should be done for DD2.


In some way you are right:
What is the difference between Ethereal and Spiritual? Ghost do Spiritual damage while being ethereal beings...
Bone damage is also weird and I wouldn't mind D2 without it.
What do you suggest for D2's ressisistances?

Fire
Water
Earth
Air

Poison
Spiritual
Mental


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On the part about junk there is too much of it in BD. You can collect so many useless pieces of equipment in BD it is staggering. There is a difference between making a game interactive and putting junk all over to pick up and immediately discard. Plus with so much junk it became difficult to tell what was actually worth having. I thought that the crystals were pretty much worthless since you couldn't get enough resistance to effect how much you got hurt in any more that a trivial way, but I thought that the gold and silver charm balls were quite helpful in both DD and BD.

Also how come lighting does water damage. The last time I checked when someone got hit by lightning they didn't drown. Lighting should be its own damage type.


Would you name me at least one 'junk' item?
Everything you can pick up can be used.
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Would you name me at least one 'junk' item?
Everything you can pick up can be used.


Oh come on now, I think you know what he means! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/biggrin.gif" alt="" />

He means that the vast majority of stuff will be useless because it's considerably inferior to what you'll already have. And it's that way quite deliberately too.

But if you want to be pedantic about it there ARE various items like rotten food, garbage, straw (which you can click on to pack into a sheaf or unpack but can't sell or sleep on) , almost all the rope (I think there's one kind in one spot that actually does something, the rest is unsellable, unusable junk), and various other items that you can pick up but not use. (Not at the right machine to check, so you can probably shoot me down on some of those, but there are definitely some completeless useless but collectible items, including chairs, packages of various sizes, etc).

The point is though that there are a vast number that could technically be potentially useful, but which in practice never are - by design. Endless inferior weapons and armour items plus things like Cup (1 gold). Wow, I’d better lay in a stock of those. Might be handy in case I ever open one of those bottles (5 gold). <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/winkwink.gif" alt="" />

Here’s some more examples of what I mean:
(for any masochists still reading <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> )

I am not a completely obsessive hoarder in RPGs. For the first few hours I collect whatever I can and sell it. After that I get more choosy and taper off a bit. And I played up to the end of Act 2 with an un-patched game where the merchants didn’t restock with gold or refresh their stock. So there was very little opportunity to hoard gold or arrows gained from that source.

Mostly I pick up the gold and arrows on the ground, and keep a small selection of the unidentified items or anything that looks like it might be good value to swap. However, I haven’t yet found a single item in a merchant’s stock that was worth buying, except a few potions and arrows early in the game. So most of it ends up thrown on the ground in front of the merchants.

I’m now getting towards the end of act 3 (soon to visit the bishop) and already find that I can ignore almost everything I see.

Potions? Well, there’s at least ten different ones (each in 3 different sizes) but I now only ever bother collecting three (red, white and blue). I do sometimes use them in fights, so I recently checked to see if I was getting low. Remember, I only keep 3 of the 10. Yep, I think I can struggle on – I have 421 in my backpack! (Actual count, not invented or exaggerated).

Arrows? The old DK is looking a bit red eyed, so let’s see what he’s carrying…. Starts tapping numbers into calculator… gosh TWELVE different types of arrows now…. tap, tap.. geez – 7,793 arrows! (Actual count). Will that be enough?? <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/puppyeyes.gif" alt="" />

Gold? Well, I never seem to use it for anything except buying an occasional skill, so I expect the 200,000 plus that I now seem to be lugging around will see me through…

Crystals and charms? A reasonable handful of each, but frankly I've somewhat lost interest in them after seeing how little they mattered. I tested a few fights with and without them and the difference (compared to my main stats) was so small that it had very little noticeable effect on how many hits it took to kill, or how long I survived.

Food? Just a few of the bigger bits of meat now, after throwing out tons of unused McRubbish.

Skills? I have a good crossbow archer (DK) with suitable skills plus a sword-fighter up front who can also cast Hammer on the rare occasions that it takes more than couple of hits to kill. Twang-slash-splat, you’re dead. Next please. I’ve experimented a bit with other skills but not many appeal. I also don’t want to build totally “uber characters” who always win, as that would take any last vestige of interest out of the fights. As it is, we only ever look like losing if my attention wanders off… I have a pile of unused skill points and 20 unspent stats points for each character.

I’ve stopped smashing barrels, and don’t always bother opening chests any more. I still read the books (several times, as keep they keep re-appearing too). And I’m not intending to clear all the battlefields. Frankly, they’re getting a bit like Pacman with better graphics… chomp, chomp, chomp…

I guess a lot of this is a by product of the auto-generated aspects of modern games, compared to the time consuming hand placed methods in the bad old days.

I still remember the old games I played when finding items was genuinely interesting, and spending points a real labour of love. Somehow with games like this it feels more like an endless shower of ... well you know what I mean.. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/sad.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/eek.gif" alt="" />

But I’m still playing it… there might be some more good imp jokes up ahead… and I am a sucker for clearing maps.. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />
Kris is right. There are things like rope, cups, empty containers, dishes, jars, and things like that, which I don't mind if they are lying around since that adds some realism to the game, but I hate bashing open a barrel and finding, OH JOY another CUP, Yeah, Awesome. They are worthless. But what I was mainly talking about are the fact that creatures drop useless weapons all over the place. It is extremely rare to find a weapon that is dropped or in a barrel or chest that is not 100 times worse than the one you are carrying, and it gets boring just selling things over and over again, and pointless since there is never a shortage of money. I really liked the game, but some things still need to be improved.
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Kris is right. There are things like rope, cups, empty containers, dishes, jars, and things like that, which I don't mind if they are lying around since that adds some realism to the game, but I hate bashing open a barrel and finding, OH JOY another CUP, Yeah, Awesome. They are worthless. But what I was mainly talking about are the fact that creatures drop useless weapons all over the place. It is extremely rare to find a weapon that is dropped or in a barrel or chest that is not 100 times worse than the one you are carrying, and it gets boring just selling things over and over again, and pointless since there is never a shortage of money. I really liked the game, but some things still need to be improved.

The cups can be used as food. The containers and rotten food can't be picked up.
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The containers and rotten food can't be picked up.


Yes they can.

They can be dragged into inventory just as you do with the teleporter stones and the bedroll (just like the portable bed in DD, there's one in BD you can carry with you wherever you go). You can sleep with a click in inventory. Or drop it on the ground if you so wish.

You can drag into inventory all those packages, chairs, barrels, alchemists herbs on little plates, garbage, rotten food, books, and all sorts of stuff. Maybe you'd like your own personal storage barrel in the middle of town - try moving one! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> It sure all looks like junk, but who knows? Maybe someone will discover some neat trick you can do with some of that stuff.... <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/biggrin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/biggrin.gif" alt="" />
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The containers and rotten food can't be picked up.


Yes they can.

They can be dragged into inventory just as you do with the teleporter stones and the bedroll (just like the portable bed in DD, there's one in BD you can carry with you wherever you go). You can sleep with a click in inventory. Or drop it on the ground if you so wish.

You can drag into inventory all those packages, chairs, barrels, alchemists herbs on little plates, garbage, rotten food, books, and all sorts of stuff. Maybe you'd like your own personal storage barrel in the middle of town - try moving one! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> It sure all looks like junk, but who knows? Maybe someone will discover some neat trick you can do with some of that stuff.... <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/biggrin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/biggrin.gif" alt="" />


Then why the heck do you drag junk in your inventory? <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/biggrin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/winkwink.gif" alt="" /> Sure those are interactive items, but you should only take the items you need.

On a more serious note: don't you think those items add to the immersion? I mean if you enter a room and see some herbs, strange containers, wierd signs, bookcases and bottles, you can be sure it's a mage's laboratory. I never had any problem with junk: if you press ALT, it doesn't highlight it anyway.
U could be right mate. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> (Sorry, couldn't resist it... )

I agree with you there. I was just nitpicking your contention that you can't pick up junk. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />

Those interactive items intrigue me a bit actually. Why have some scenery that can be moved and some not? Why not have the garbage, rotten food, etc just painted on like most of the rest of the scenery? And why paint on most tables and furniture yet have some moveable chairs?

I remember spending quite some time in DD moving all those random rocks you found lying about the countryside in the hopes of finding an occasional random goody. But I never found anything. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/disagree.gif" alt="" />

I also carried some plates of herbs from Act 1 in BD for a while in the hopes of finding something useful to do with them. There was a whole heap of stuff that you could fiddle with in a lab in DD that was rumoured to be intended for a quest or piece of business that was dropped or not finished. You never quite know whether some of the stuff was built that way for another game, or an idea that didn't get implemented, or whether there is some possible use, or easter egg style hidden joke that you missed the other part of....

I also have plans to collect a few of those large packages and see if I can build barriers or obstacle courses for monsters with them. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/badsmile2.gif" alt="" /> It might alleviate the monotony of the battlefields if I can do something vaguely strategic or entertaining with them. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
You can make barricades out of barrels and packages. The ghosts at the start of the first level can get through barricades easily, but just a couple packages can be used to block the summoned ghost in the citadel. Barrels can be tossed at monsters to do damage (breaking them first makes them larger and more effective).

I was disappointed with the number of painted containers in the Sacred demo. I found a large pentagram in a building and automatically tried to light the candles at each point to see if that would do anything, but of course it was just background.
You can beat the crap out of many monsters using the barrels.
My quick barrel-tossing skills laid a waste to all the poor citadel guards. I killed Fergus with a washing basket in the BD demo too <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/winkwink.gif" alt="" />.
I like poison barrels. They make good grenades. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

The other problem with the abbundance of useless interactive items is it can get in the way of combat. The Ctrl key doesn't work if your mouse is floating over anything interactive.
[color:"red"] total re write [/color] if you dont like simple quests and so test out atlantis (its the only one i can think of at the moment)its a quest (only)game.or if hack and slash is prefered test the nevest ff (tvelve i think) <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/exclamation.gif" alt="" /> [color:"blue"] viper happy <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/question.gif" alt="" /> [/color]
DUDE !!!!!!!!!!!!!

use points and comma's and sutf like that, you're not making any sense (again)
where on EARTH did you learn to type/write like that. I'm not gonna guess where a sentence ends and another one begins in your test. it's just impossible
[color:"red"] [/color] <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif" alt="" />
<img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wave.gif" alt="" /> Hi,

You are almost all forgetting one thing <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/exclamation.gif" alt="" />. A a game is made to fit many different playing styles. It also has to hold the attention of thousands of people or why bother making it.
Yes, there is alot of fluff. I personally do not understand everything about the different stats and all the different equipment that can be used such as the arrows. The important thing is none of it detracts from my enjoyment of the game. Truthfully, I just ignore the things that I don't understand or that annoy me.
Both game do play as slash and hack, that was the way RPG's have been setup. If they weren't I personally would'nt be buying them. I don't want a game that I have to think very deeply about. I want to build a character that can go in the direction I want it to. I have yet to play any character in the magic realm. It is just too much thinking about spells and stuff and I always manage to get them killed off pretty fast.
The game is going to play out the way it has been programed too. All the rest is not gong to change the story or the way it goes. Much of the so called fluff is used to widen the character, to personalize it for the player.
I would like to see a game that is more streamlined. Again, BD is probably a game being used to try out new things, and actions and to see what people like and dislike. I would love to see a game, someday, that has a great indepth story and multiple lines. That has to be very expensive to do. Hopefully in the future Larian or one of the other companies will do it.
The great thing about this forum is that Larian does pay attention to our opininos, likes and dislikes.
My suggestion is to enjoy what we have and go on from there.

Shelli

Ferettmom <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/kitty.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
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My suggestion is to enjoy what we have and go on from there.


<img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/up.gif" alt="" /> i like that! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/biggrin.gif" alt="" />

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[color:"red"] [/color] <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif" alt="" />
<img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wave.gif" alt="" /> Hi,

You are almost all forgetting one thing <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/exclamation.gif" alt="" />. A a game is made to fit many different playing styles. It also has to hold the attention of thousands of people or why bother making it.
Yes, there is alot of fluff.


I absolutely agree with what you say about games being made to suit a big audience. In fact that was at that heart of what I was saying. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

Game companies know that the biggest market for games is for ones that don't need a lot of deep thought or special knowledge, so there has been something of a general trend to "dumb down" games. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/disagree.gif" alt="" />

Now this isn't all bad, but some of us do like a bit more depth in our stories and quests - features that Divine Divinity offered, in contrast to other games of its time such as Dungeon Siege.

My feeling is that (precisely because they do need to reach a wide audience to pay for the cost of making modern games) they need to limit the depth of a lot of the effects. So we do get all the stats, modifiers etc, but at an "RPG Lite" level.

This is just my plea for games that have less mindless item collection and more interesting quests. I like to go into a new village, area, or whatever and get to know the people a bit. I like to feel that there's a real community there with some interesting stories, not just a few hundred more barrels to smash and potions to collect.

And talking of item over-kill I just killed an old guy in the catacombs, and automatically clicked to pick up all the items he dropped. On inspection this turned out to include over fifteen THOUSAND arrows! over 11,000 normal arrows alone! THe DK now has nearly 24,000 in his pack. Phew, no wonder he's looking tired around the eyes. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

Of course the comment that Jurak picked up on is dead right - let's just get on and enjoy what we've got. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> I nearly abandoned after Act 1, but 2 and 3 have been a lot of fun, and I've now learned to ignore all the stuff that niggled me. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/winkwink.gif" alt="" />

This is just my plea (polite I hope) to Larian to please keep trying to make games with a bit of depth and not end up just doing generic goblin bashing games. The market needs the variety. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

(Oh, and thanks to Raze and DeathAtTheDoor for the info about things you can do with some of the objects! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/biggrin.gif" alt="" /> Trust you two guys to have figured that stuff out! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> )
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Hi,

This is something I'm in two minds about, so I'd welcome opinions from other players, and hopefully from some designers too.

Basically, what I'm suggesting is that not only are many RPGs are crammed to the rafters with barrel after barrel full of mostly unnecessary objects, but the padding extends to a swag of attributes, modifiers and resistances that are also mostly of very little use either.

For instance, the main Stats screen for BD lists a grand total of 34 different figures!

How many of these are actually worth our attention, and how much is really just 'window dressing' to make you feel that whole thing is deeper than it really is?

I suspect that developers know that many gamers who buy RPGs will just choose a warrior, find a big sword and some half-decent armour, and get hacking without ever worrying too much about the rest of the stuff. And you can't really afford to have too many of your paying customers getting terminally stuck half way through the game just because they neglected their Shadow resistance in favour of Fire, or just didn’t rate the importance of Initiative highly enough. So for "play balance" reasons they make the effects pretty minimal. They also know that it costs extra time and money to build a game that has any genuine path divergence.

But why not just drop at least some of the fluff in favour of fleshing out the aspects might actually add real difference to the playing experience? <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/question.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />



This has been a problem for a long time. Hack-and-slash RPG's like Diablo and those games that were inspired by them are loaded up with useless junk that you do nothing but peddle for gold that you can't use to buy anything with. Diablo and D2 might have been popular games, but I have been saying for a few years that D2 was the worst thing that ever happened to RPG's. Every RPG since D2 has imitated D2 by loading up the game with randomly generated junk whose bonuses increase slightly throughout the game. The only exception to this was Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, which I thought was the best RPG since Baldurs Gate.

Even Neverwinter Nights followed that crappy formula. The PC RPG genre is in a horrible rut right now. Divine Divinity was the last great epic RPG, and there hasn't been one since. Every big budget is going towards either an MMORPG or a dumbed down console game like "Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel". The only exception is "Vampires: The Masquerade -- Bloodlines", which looks like it's going to be a great RPG.
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Even Neverwinter Nights followed that crappy formula.


I remember the groans of annoyance on the NWN forums over the inclusion of all that barrel smashing nonsense in that game. Barrels in the street with a small pile of gold (oh yeah, just the place to store your gold...) More barrels with one pointless item in, etc.

Why can't they put less of these stupid barrels everywhere and make the caches of goodies:

a) Less frequent.
b) More worthwhile when you actually do find them, both in quantity and quality, and
c) More appropriate to the place where you find them. Such as a pile of potions in a bedroom cupboards. Some food in a kitchen cupboard. Gold in a chest in a house somewhere, or stashed somewhere vaguely believable. The enemy you kill actually having the weapon and armour that they were using when they fought you! etc.
d) Less random nonsense such as enemy insects carrying suits of armour.
e) Above all, more imaginative and carefully crafted work, and less randomly generated drivel.

Please. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/biggrin.gif" alt="" />
I still haven't been able to force myself to go through more BD, but yes, I agree -- it is unnecessarily convoluted. The stat figures are becoming plain aggravating, and I won't waste your time by venting my irritation at the sheer abundance of useless items lying around on the ground and in containers. They have ceased being "atmospheric" long ago, and have become nothing more than obstacles -- I'd like to click on the critter to attack, please, not click on yet another useless junk. Quality, not quantity; sometimes I feel the overabundance of useless numbers and items are hiding a lack of substance.

I also maintain that BD, IMO, could use a lot of polish. If someone where to take pruning shears through it and cleaned up some of the clutter, it might have become actual entertainment as opposed to the chore it is to me at the moment.
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Even Neverwinter Nights followed that crappy formula.


I remember the groans of annoyance on the NWN forums over the inclusion of all that barrel smashing nonsense in that game. Barrels in the street with a small pile of gold (oh yeah, just the place to store your gold...) More barrels with one pointless item in, etc.

Why can't they put less of these stupid barrels everywhere and make the caches of goodies:

a) Less frequent.
b) More worthwhile when you actually do find them, both in quantity and quality, and
c) More appropriate to the place where you find them. Such as a pile of potions in a bedroom cupboards. Some food in a kitchen cupboard. Gold in a chest in a house somewhere, or stashed somewhere vaguely believable. The enemy you kill actually having the weapon and armour that they were using when they fought you! etc.
d) Less random nonsense such as enemy insects carrying suits of armour.
e) Above all, more imaginative and carefully crafted work, and less randomly generated drivel .

Please. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/biggrin.gif" alt="" />


Yes, thank you. I'm tired of randomly generated cookie-cutter crap too.
Here's an honest idea that I hope someone at Larian takes a fancy to:

A US Army squad enters a cave in the Balkans, touchs a glowing stone, and is suddenly transported into a Divine Divinity-esque setting, facing off monsters, wizards, with M16s etc. Sorta like Jagged Alliance meets Diablo, but with a story line like Baldur's Gate... They have to find the right wizard, glowing stones, etc... to be transported back to their own plane of existence. I wonder what the M2 Barrett would do to the demon Samuel? So Larian, PLEASE... <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

As for the stats issue, I agree. There really isn't much need for all of the fluff unless you really want to get into the minutia of it. Just Conan the thing and it's OK. I would have liked to see more magical stuff like telekinesis (especially in the Citadel's Arms Shop) but only for those that play as magic wonks. It would not be available to the warrior, but maybe the thief (who would have to distract the shop keep, and then quickly pick a lock). This would make the character creation process important in that it would have a real effect in the game.

As for stats and skills, there are a multitude of things that most fantasy RPG have never explored; I would like to see clairvoyance, mind reading, mind control, being able to drug someone's drink, using intimidation as a factor in how NPCs respond (like if Conan vs Harry Potter is asking you to give him your seat, who would you give it to without hesitation?). I'm frankly also surpised that just about every RPG gamer has to dress the same way. Armor, Shield, Helmet, Belt, Two Rings, Necklace, Gloves and Boots. What about stuff like the "Far Sighted Monocle" to see through walls or the "All Hearing Earring" to eavesdrop? How about a metal smithing skill to blend the properties of armor or magical jewelry? BD tries to acknowledge this with the embellish and sharpen skills, but does not go far enough. How about crushing Five emeralds, mixing with sulfer, and applying it to your armor to make it poison resistant, and if your skill is not good enough, you risk degrading your armor? This is just off the top of my head but the list can go on...

These fantasy RPGs have been stagnated around a formulaic approach that no one wants to venture from. And I agree, there MUST be a compelling story line or else the thing is a D2 clone. Kill monster, move to next level, kill more monster, move to final level, kill big monster. Thank you, that'll be $49.95 please. Fresh ideas are not really coming out from developers and I find it very disappointing.

Ralph

"...My quick barrel-tossing skills laid a waste to all the poor citadel guards. I killed Fergus with a washing basket..."

Did anyone try to play through the game using a cooking pan? Interestingly enough, you can "sharpen" it to up it's damage rating too. Just wondering how ridiculous you can play this thing.

Ralph
Hi Kris,
I may be showing my age but have you ever tried a game called Daggerfall. How you develop you're character is very important to how quest givers will react to you and wether or not they will talk/give a quest to you. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/puppyeyes.gif" alt="" />
<img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/offtopic.gif" alt="" />This game was the very first RPG that I ever played and I still go back to it, although the graphics are a little tired now. The thing I've always liked best in this game is that with enough gold selling the useless items you pick up you can buy a horse to get around town on (much quicker than walking), a house to sleep and store items in etc. (a LOT of gold is needed i.e. a Lot of useless items that are not useless now they are needed). <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/kitty.gif" alt="" />
Anyone else out there remember this game? <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wave.gif" alt="" />
Hi Floreat
I am a young player and yet even i remember Dagger Fall i also know that Morrowind also from the Elder Scrolls series is better by far than daggerfall and if you guys are really looking for a new game to play that has more story then it does crap try Morrowind it is a purely non linear game in that u dont even have to do the main quest to beat the game if u are smart stats and things do actually make a huge difference in ur playstyle and there are a good amount of skills u will actually use
But any ways enough supporting other companies BD could have had a good story if they werent more focused on making D2

<img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/offtopic.gif" alt="" /> if u are looking for a really really good RPG try Fable for the Xbox when it comes out in september this is a direct qoute from a developer "I was watching one of our testers play and i noticed he had married the mayors daughter and then asked the myor to go to the forest with him so they could talk. He then killed the mayor went back to town and killed his wife. I couldnt figure out why he did this but then i realized that because of the marriage he would inherit the mayors lands. The crazy thing is this actually worked he got the lands." i cant think of a game thats gonna be better for hardcore RPG gamers like myself than one that responds correctly to what u do

-Drizzt
To answer the question from the title of this thread : Well, it dedpends from which tradition among role-playing you come from (and what you like to play, of course).

There's the tradition of the "Hack 'n' Slay" (H/S) games, nowadays developed into the "Action-RPG" sub-genre, and there is the tradition of story-telling rather than emphasizing combat. This leads for example to PS:T and the Realms of Arcania series.

Also, there's the fraction of people liking games which incorporate lots of statistics. WiSim's, for example ("WiSim is a German Acronym for "Wirtschafts-Simulation" and means games where you are a leader of a company, influencing economy).

These are the main traditions in RPG gaming nowadays, and the current games are normally more or less a mixture of these.
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