Larian Banner
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2
Joined: Apr 2014
A
Arjiki Offline OP
stranger
OP Offline
stranger
A
Joined: Apr 2014
To quote Swen from his own blog: http://www.lar.net/2013/09/18/an-important-lesson/

Originally Posted by "Swen Vincke"
So yes, I discovered a few interesting lessons.

The most important one for me was that in the future I'll try to only commit to a release date when the game is actually done. Not if it's 85% done or even 95% done, but only when really, it's done. As in, ready to be released.

Divinity Original Sin has already failed to learn from this lesson.

Quests and Dialogue

Many dialogue options that players expect are missing, and completing certain parts of a quest out of order breaks the quest or makes parts of the dialogue nonsensical.

Just look at the problems facing quests such as the Murder Mystery and Headless Nick. People do things out of order, want to ask certain questions, etc., and these are problems that can only be resolved through testing by a fairly large number of users.

Considering 80% of the game content is not yet released, I can't imagine the quests in the next major town being anything other than an utter mess of unsatisfying dialogue options and NPCs not reacting properly when you did something before you were supposed to. It is not surprising that Larian was unable to code quests to accommodate the crazy things we did in Cyseal (and most of those have been patched), so how can we expect anything different for the rest of the game?

Balance

This is not intended as a comment on the current balance or difficulty of the game. There are other threads for that. However, I think it is undeniable that the balance work is still very much in its infancy. In this last patch, we saw the skill system completely reworked, massive changed to enemies and their abilities, and huge improvements to the enemy AI.

This may be stating the obvious, but even small flaws in a game's balance can have a severe impact on how it is perceived by the players.

If even one or two abilities are too powerful, then players who happen to use them will find the combat boring and tedious because it is too easy. If there are strategies and tactics that make the game simpler, then players who wish to play the game multiple times will fall into the same category, simply because they learned too much about it. Anyone that is struggling and looks up a player-made guide to figure out how to stop dying will quickly join them.

Once again, it is unreasonable to expect Larian to crunch numbers and spit out a well-balanced game. Since most of the content is not in the game, in order to test it for balance Larian would need to play through the game with several playstyles (doing all quests, skipping quests, etc.), with various types of characters, completing the areas in different orders (such as going north of town before west), make any necessary balance changes, and then repeat the process several times.

The game will be released in less than a month.


I hate to be so negative, but how exactly do we expect these things to work in the unreleased content?

Joined: Apr 2003
Location: Australia
journeyman
Offline
journeyman
Joined: Apr 2003
Location: Australia
I've had exactly the same worries and concerns myself. I REALLY believe Larian NEEDS to have more general testing of the rest of the game before its official release. We've been playing the beta for a couple of months and there's still stuff to fix, so imagine what we could face at release!!


If God said it, then that settles it!!

Editor@RPGWatch
Joined: May 2014
J
journeyman
Offline
journeyman
J
Joined: May 2014
Originally Posted by corwin
I've had exactly the same worries and concerns myself. I REALLY believe Larian NEEDS to have more general testing of the rest of the game before its official release. We've been playing the beta for a couple of months and there's still stuff to fix, so imagine what we could face at release!!


And nothing will hurt a game more than an extremely buggy and unfinished release. A great example of this is Elemental: War of Magic. Stardock had very high aspirations for the game, but it fell flat on its face due to numerous bugs and overall bland gameplay.

Divinity Original Sin has a great platform, and I think has the potential to one of the best in its genre, but it absolutely needs a stable release to attract a solid fanbase. Otherwise I would fear the game will be swept under the rug due to a poor first impression.

Joined: Jan 2011
old hand
Offline
old hand
Joined: Jan 2011
Only the largest of publishers can get away with a buggy release. Agreed. They are the only one's that know where they stand.

Joined: Jun 2013
addict
Offline
addict
Joined: Jun 2013
I agree with everythings. Since a long time, sadly. However, let's not forget the editor. It can make wonders. The game can also receive patches once it is released, although I agree it is not very gallant.
Anyways, for me, the game will be a technological demonstrator for the engine. I will probably not go past beyond Cyseal, because with all my goodwill, and the improvments to the game, I just can't, I fing it too boring, mindless, and there is absolutely nothing to do there beside questing uninteresting quest and fighting frustrating fights (either because too easy or too hard), and murdering and stealing, which I absolutely don't do, being more of a loyal good / pure neutral person.

So I am waiting for the editor, for more than a year now, and 6 months actively, since it was extremly supposed to be released in december 2013.

And I feel very sad about it, because I like the Larian way very much :-(


Un chemin de 1000 lieues commence par un premier pas.

Project:
Steam workshop Frontiere
Joined: Mar 2014
M
addict
Offline
addict
M
Joined: Mar 2014
I also agree, and have agreed, completely with the thoughts in the OP since they announced the June 30 release date. As Arjiki said, I'm not trying to attack Larian (who have clearly been working extremely hard on D:OS for years). I'm simply very concerned that a rushed release - with basic game systems (skills/abilities/talents/other balancing/etc.) still fundamentally undecided, the UI still needing a good deal of work, and 70-80% of the game not having received nearly as much attention from bug testers as Cyseal (even considering the recent KS update call for testers in Belgium) - will severely damage Larian's reputation. Yes, there would be post-release patches, but by that time, much of the damage will have been done.

I can only assume money is getting very tight, putting extra pressure on shipping the game as soon as possible. Still, if there's any conceivable way the release date could be pushed back another 2-3 months to allow for adequate polishing/balancing/bug testing, I'd be a lot more comfortable with where this is going. Whatever happens, I still look forward to playing the game, and wish Larian the best; I just don't want D:OS to be less than it could be.

Joined: Jan 2012
enthusiast
Offline
enthusiast
Joined: Jan 2012
Budget is exhausting, that's obvious. Dragon Commander was funded with revenue from DKS, Original Sin with revenue from Dragon Commander and Kickstarter pledge. The budget from DC was getting thight last year, that's why a KS campaign was pulled of, but let's be honest, one million USD can keep them running for less than a year (my guess is 9 months). It's been a year now, so I guess budget (if there still is any) is indeed getting very thight.

But let us not forget that many bugs that were discovered during beta were consistent during the whole game, so removed in Cyseal -> removed everywhere. The other areas just contain other content than Cyseal, no gameplay mechanics whe haven't seen yet (Well, for the most part at least). There is little difference in experimenting with those mechanics in other areas. There is still one month to see to that (closed beta sessions is supposed to deal with it).

Still, there will be a fair amount of bugs left, I won't deny that. But having a bug-free game is no guarantee for a popular game, neither is being buggy guarantee for an unpopular game. Hell, even bad games can be popular (I'm referring to Skyrim). To sell the game is a game on it's own!

Joined: Apr 2013
member
Offline
member
Joined: Apr 2013
These are all valid concerns, and let's face it, it's a pretty huge game with an Ultima VII-level of freedom and choices, so getting it properly tested bugwise, gameplay-wise and skill/combat-balance/system-wise, is a pure nightmare.

And yes, much bigger games are indeed buggy as heck when released. Skyrim is a good example (I had to resort to console commands, because I had done a few quests out of order, so others wouldn't trigger). What I'm talking about here is essentially game-breaking bugs, or at least, game-halting or content that gets blotted out.

Even with all the flaws discussed in this thread, I reckon I can say with some confidence (from having played a bit of beta and from having followed all the KS-updates religiously, that it will be a very fun and epic game - and also a kind of game we almost thought was extinct, and then on top of that we will get an editor ("soon" wink ).

Swen certainly seems driven by his love for games and this game vision in particular. However, unlike, say, Josh Sawyer & Co and Pillars of Eternity, he doesn't come across as a RPG combat system maker and number cruncher and balance virtuoso in that department, which is absolutely fine in my book, but this does also mean that he didn't start out making a solid skills and combat system for all sorts of classes (and this takes a looong time and loads and loads of tweaking and discarding, just take a peek over at the Obsidian forums.)

Last edited by Indira Weresheep; 22/05/14 06:47 AM.

I got Comment 33,333 at the legendary Larian KS for D:OS
Joined: Dec 2006
old hand
Offline
old hand
Joined: Dec 2006
The level of freedom we're giving mixed with the amount of narrative we are doing mixed with multiplayer is indeed a recipe for bugs, but I think that we're doing pretty good on that front. There are literally close to a hundred bugs dying every day.

A bug free game doesn't exist as the code is written by humans and humans make mistakes. That's why the usual approach is to prioritise bugs and then get cracking until bugs of a certain priority are solved. The frequency of occurrence and the impact on the player are two major criteria to decide on the priority of a bug.

In Divinity:Original Sin's case, we are now at the stage where we are solving a truckload of minor bugs, far more than we've ever done. That alone already makes it much more polished than anything we've ever done. In this past we shipped with several major bugs still in there and that won't be the case here.

The source of bugs we are still dealing with are typically either scripting errors or systemic errors. 80% of all bugs are systemic and a surprising low amount of them are scripting or dialog flag specific, even if they are visible. Solve them once and you've solved them anywhere.

I think it's also important to say that there's a difference between bugs and opinions.

We don't necessarily agree with opinions that are being posted - and that's a good thing. Otherwise you might find yourselves with a hack & slash game already. Opinions are opinions and we're sticking to one particular course which can be influenced to a certain extent by the feedback we get here, but not changed radically.

That's important because otherwise the game would never be finished. Also a lot of opinions are also conflicting and on that topic I think it's worth mentioning that it's not because somebody repeats his opinion more than another, that that gives his opinion more weight. On the contrary, strong arguments usually resonate through the first time an opinion is posted.

Regarding the balancing, everything we have in our system is balanced relatively to each other. That means that whenever a rule changes, everything changes with it. That's why we can afford to make systemic changes like the one we just did. Otherwise we wouldn't be doing it. We learnt a lot from the latest experiment and an upgraded version is already implemented.

On the topic of releasing the mid & endgame content, there are arguments pro & arguments against. We decided against it and there certainly are risks with that. We are doing closed betas on the other parts and that is currently giving us sufficient feedback. The advantage for everybody else is that you won't have to deal with the bugs that we're solving now. We are deeply appreciative of all the feedback you've given us here, but we'd like you to have some fun too without having to focus on work wink

Anyway,it's a very interesting debate and one I'd love to talk about more here but I need to get back to work. Maybe we'll still surprise you all wink





Joined: Dec 2012
Moderator Emeritus
Offline
Moderator Emeritus
Joined: Dec 2012
Originally Posted by Lar_q
We learnt a lot from the latest experiment and an upgraded version is already implemented.



Awesome! Can't wait to try it out!

Joined: Mar 2014
M
addict
Offline
addict
M
Joined: Mar 2014
Lar_q - that all sounds good; glad to hear a lot of the bugs are systemic, and the pace of fixing them is picking up - at least for Cyseal, the steady progress in bug stomping has been obvious with each beta update. And when it comes to "surprise," I will shamelessly repeat my opinion (even though doing so doesn't give it more weight than any other wink ) that once (or while) you get the skills/abilities/talents/general balancing to where you want them, the UI still needs some work to be truly polished. (Yep, I'm going back to the suggestions in the "Beta UI Wishlist" thread and elsewhere on the forums, but I assume you've read it all already.)

Anyway, I'll let you get back to work now - thanks again, and good luck!

Joined: Jun 2013
addict
Offline
addict
Joined: Jun 2013
Quote
Otherwise you might find yourselves with a hack & slash game already.
Or maybe a deep interactive world.
Quote
That's important because otherwise the game would never be finished.
Definitely. The last changes to the skill system proves it, if you listen to people, you will never finish anything.
I still do believe the DOS Dev was concentrated on the Engine and the Story, but definitely not on the systems, which is a terrible mistake, because it is the core of the gameplay.

Quote
Opinions are opinions and we're sticking to one particular course which can be influenced to a certain extent by the feedback we get here, but not changed radically.
Sure, but to what extend ? I would still love to know if my theory that you went from a "realistic" (the one with fishing rods and different kind of fishes) to a "free" system (the one where you can solve quest in any order, or murder everybody and still do the quest) is valid, and if yes, when, and what made the switch ? I might be wrong about this, but so many hints point to it.

Trying to orient the game to perfectly fit what we are expecting as players is fair game ^^.

And then there were expectations from what was announced. And deceptions. I do understand, as a modder/codder myself, that things usually don't always go as planned. Some bugs can be an incredible headache to identify, especially with wrong or misplaced reports. And I hope it will really be a lesson learned for your next games. I also know it is really difficult to resist the temptation to announce features you think you are so close to achieve "it is almost done", and that you are very proud of. But still. Part of the training should be to resist those urges. I really rather have a good surprise at release than disappointment.
Let's not forget that being an alpha and beta tester brakes the sense of discovering the game.
Hoppefully, I am too old to see the marvels of the game with a new eye. I doubt and hope it.

I also believe that "making sense" is the very basic of "balance". Theory philosophical question:
Could a system that "makes sense" be automatically both balanced and acceptable by the majority of players ?

Last edited by Cromcrom; 22/05/14 09:27 AM.

Un chemin de 1000 lieues commence par un premier pas.

Project:
Steam workshop Frontiere
Joined: Jan 2009
veteran
Offline
veteran
Joined: Jan 2009
That does make me feel a lot better, Lar. A lot of the things on my giant list of feedback are minor or design issues (not bugs). One system I'd like to start testing for bugs are the A.I. personalities.

Joined: Mar 2014
old hand
Offline
old hand
Joined: Mar 2014
Sounds about right to me Lar_q, other devs.

No complaints on any of that. Hopefully this last month is enough time to get everything ready.
Most of the buggs that ive encountered and reported are systemic and so not something that will appear in other parts of the game once solved, but a few were of the scripting nature - mostly related to the order of how the individual quests are done and what influence that has on the main quest and NPCs responses - but that is very obvious matter and i know you are very aware of it.

But i have to say that i wouldnt mind one or a few months of delay, if that was necessary.


Quote
if we postpone releasing again, we値l be taking turns at the divorce lawyer.


oh, right... well, happy crunch time i guess.

Joined: Jun 2013
addict
Offline
addict
Joined: Jun 2013
Doesn't sound right at all.
What will be ready is that you will say "hey guys, the game is ready, and it is great". Magic. My ass.
Sounds way too much like self-persuasion to me. Its the base of players you will have to persuade, not the few fanboyz here, that would ******** your ********.


Un chemin de 1000 lieues commence par un premier pas.

Project:
Steam workshop Frontiere
Joined: Oct 2004
old hand
Offline
old hand
Joined: Oct 2004
In 30 days or so we will know the answer(s) smile So keep a bit of good humour and take a long nap.

Joined: Jan 2012
enthusiast
Offline
enthusiast
Joined: Jan 2012
Originally Posted by Cromcrom
Its the base of players you will have to persuade, not the few fanboyz here


There's a great variety of forum members. There are many who'd like to see the game postponed by months if that would mean lesser bugs. And there are the more impatient ones too. And there are the polite and impolite ones as well ; )

Joined: Apr 2011
veteran
Offline
veteran
Joined: Apr 2011
Very nice post Lar. Right on the spot.
RPG's are, by their very nature, usually more buggy than other gametypes. The reason why isn't hard to acertain; their reactivity isn't found in most other games, there's far more numbercrunching going on and all the dialogue allows a human error to slip in easier. It's just entirely different from a linear FPS... but many gamers don't realise this, especially when asked for graphical quality differences.

Personally I'm glad they follow the path taken, and not make it Diablo-ish or Crumcrum's personal wishlist (which I often disagree with and are very often unachievable or way-out-of-worldlish).

As for delays... it's really not up to what we want, what Larian wants, how many bugs are left. It's pure and only a matter of finance. A financial strong house like Valve or Blizzard can afford it, they also know their market is widespread. If sales are much less guaranteed (definitely the case), and you financial position isn't as rock-solid (and aside from those 2, really no-one has that luxery that I can think of) the much plead for "just take a few more months" many fans utter may seem like a good idea, but are financially like putting a noose on yourself and your game. It doesn't need explaining I hope that releasing a game, making money, and then putting that profit into support and patches is financially more solid than putting non-existential reserves into the game before release... potentially even risking bankrupcy before your game ships (it happen to Troika and many more devs) and then you can't even offer post-game support.
But I know many gamers really don't think that way, and of course they always go for 'free' and 'less bugs' since for THEM their is no cost attached. But there is no "free" for gamedevs.

Joined: Jun 2013
addict
Offline
addict
Joined: Jun 2013
@Hassan Gunter
Quote
very often unachievable or way-out-of-worldlish
Yeah I know, being able to use those fishing rods in fishing spots, having some real random results based on various gathering skills, having crafting guilds, expecting ghtat the gathering is something more than 90% of opening crates, having marks on the map following a conversation with villagers where you ask your way around, and so on, is unachievable and out-of-worldish. Old topic, but you are very true, it is in this game. "Good" to read you back.

@Lotrok: I have nothing at all against the whole majority of forumers, just the handfull of fanboyz, that would go to any extend to make people believe the game is great, while it has so many design flaws, that could have been adressed sooner, imo. As for me being impolite and impatient, well, this is true ^^.

Last edited by Cromcrom; 22/05/14 01:53 PM.

Un chemin de 1000 lieues commence par un premier pas.

Project:
Steam workshop Frontiere
Joined: Apr 2014
Z
apprentice
Offline
apprentice
Z
Joined: Apr 2014
Originally Posted by Lotrotk
Originally Posted by Cromcrom
Its the base of players you will have to persuade, not the few fanboyz here


There's a great variety of forum members. There are many who'd like to see the game postponed by months if that would mean lesser bugs. And there are the more impatient ones too. And there are the polite and impolite ones as well ; )


He's really a special case, isn't he. Good for laugh though.

Page 1 of 2 1 2

Link Copied to Clipboard
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5