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Here is the link what Josh said about the stronghold in PoE:

Link

Thanks to the people in the Obsidian Forum who found and confirmed this:

Link


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Originally Posted by Madscientist
Here is the link what Josh said about the stronghold in PoE:

Link

Thanks to the people in the Obsidian Forum who found and confirmed this:

Link


I posted this exact quote, check the edit. :p Though I found it as a quote, not a direct link to the somethingawful forums. I like your enthusiasm about confirming information :p (not sarcasm)

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Originally Posted by Lacrymas
Originally Posted by Madscientist
Here is the link what Josh said about the stronghold in PoE:

Link

Thanks to the people in the Obsidian Forum who found and confirmed this:

Link


I posted this exact quote, check the edit. :p Though I found it as a quote, not a direct link to the somethingawful forums. I like your enthusiasm about confirming information :p (not sarcasm)


Well, I AM a scientist after all. I judge all information regarding significance and reliability and it seems strange that somebody says such thing about his own game.

The world (and especially the internet) is full of useless information. If you look long enough you will find evidence that Elvis is the president of the USA, earth is cube shaped, there is an alien invasion on friday and we are all being mind controlled by the illuminati.

Donエt get me wrong. I have no reason to assume that you say something wrong. Its just my habit as scientist to try to confirm everything I see.


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Originally Posted by Madscientist

Well, I AM a scientist after all. I judge all information regarding significance and reliability and it seems strange that somebody says such thing about his own game.

The world (and especially the internet) is full of useless information. If you look long enough you will find evidence that Elvis is the president of the USA, earth is cube shaped, there is an alien invasion on friday and we are all being mind controlled by the illuminati.

Donエt get me wrong. I have no reason to assume that you say something wrong. Its just my habit as scientist to try to confirm everything I see.


You don't need to explain yourself, I understand perfectly well :p And the thing I said does sound quite absurd, doesn't it? Making a stretch goal to have a stronghold, while knowing the information he knew, then making it as boring and useless as possible because of the previous knowledge is quite labyrinthine logic and still doesn't make sense :p

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Originally Posted by Madscientist
The world (and especially the internet) is full of useless information. [...] we are all being mind controlled by the illuminati.


WHAT? We aren't ??


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ok guys, I really don't have time to review each and every argument in this topic (however I have read the whole conv).

My point is, as it has been said, in some games such as WoW, Fable, AC D:OS and D2, housing is a big feature. In some games it is even part of the story (I really liked what they did on D2 even if you get the tower a bit late in the game IMO). It is a place that belong to you, it is a place that you can, usually, customize.
Furthermore it is often a rest time in your exhausting adventure, like right after defeating a boss, you take some times at your home talking to NPC, emptying your bags, hanging trophies, cleaning the floor... oops well you get the idea.

I am not saying that EVERY RPG MUST have housing, it will really depend on how it is made, what you can do in it and its importance in the story. And I assume that if Larian set housing as a stretch goal it means that they ill have to somehow change the script to include it in the game especially considering that your home is nothing less than the Hall of Echoes...


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Originally Posted by Dr Koin
Originally Posted by Madscientist
The world (and especially the internet) is full of useless information. [...] we are all being mind controlled by the illuminati.


WHAT? We aren't ??


YOU are!

I am the leader of the illuminati and I spread fake information to make people feel safe.

Do you feel safer now?


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I am one of those that normally do not care about a player home, but there were a few things about the Homestead in D:OS that made me want to come back every now and then. The fact that it was there where the backstory got unveiled was one of them. That you could travel there by portal without losing time in the game was another. Content-wise, there wasn't much of interest, though. And what was there was spread out too much over the different areas and took a lot of running around to get to. So I only ever talked once to each vendor. Would be much better to have them all appear on a central square, like a market place, to make access to them more convenient.

The thing is that I would enjoy a small-scale home much more than something grand that is not really fitting to the character I play. A smaller place is easier to fill with life too, has interesting bits in easy reach from each other and just feels more cozy. I have no idea in which form the Hall of Echoes will manifest itself, but I do hope that it is more condensed than the Homestead was, and on a single map instead of different areas connected by portals.

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I am one of those (apparently few) people who actually enjoy strongholds and player homes in most games and I think I can provide a useful explanation as to why. In response to the many PoE stronghold comparisons I'll first take some time to provide my defense for its existence.

In contrast to many of the opinions already voiced in this thread I simply adored the PoE stronghold. While I see a distinct case of a missed opportunity in its implementation when it comes to quests, rewards, interactivity, etc. , it appealed to me for one reason - roleplaying. The way PoE was designed it was near inevitable that the player character quickly became absurdly rich. As a dedicated roleplayer I found this intriguing instead of troubling. In light of his new found riches my player character immediately thought it fitting to have every imaginable luxury he could possibly acquire and the stronghold provided just the right amount of self indulgent material fluff to satisfy his whims. The eventual visiting of filthy rich nobles, dedicated servants and the like only further satisfied his taste for wealth and power. Conversely, a more humble player character may have seen the excess this castle personified as something to be avoided and eventually destroyed (endless paths quest), only investing in necessary rooms and avoiding raising his prestige. With opportunities like these in mind I found great joy in making decisions in reference to my stronghold throughout my entire playthrough. Furthermore, despite its shortcomings (that have already been thoroughly discussed) I still felt it a worthy addition to the game.

That said, I find it important to point out that I am lucky to have been among the type of roleplayers who seek to build what I would call a citizen in a roleplaying game and I'll explain what I think would constitute the type of roleplayers who were rightfully disappointed. When building a character in a roleplaying game, especially the rich and complex crpgs that those interested in the divinity series love, there are a few different types of roleplaying that I have come to recognize. Those being:

The God character - more often referred to as the power gamer, he or she seeks to uncover the limits of the world and use them to their full advantage and create a personality with immense power, sparing no sympathy when it comes to bugs and exploits
The Hero\Antihero - seeks to make full use of every advantage offered in story, exploration, and game mechanics without resorting to bugs or exploits in order to create a character of great power and influence in the game world
The Player Character - seeks to model their character on the merits of their real life personality giving less attention to underlying mechanics and more to player preference creating an authentic relationship with the game world, narrative, and characters
The Adventurer - seeks a specific playstyle from the outset of their journey with the intent to complement that character with all of the advantages of complimentary class\levelling decisions, story decisions, companions, and equipment in order to create a hero with distinct personality
The Citizen - seeks to create a character with specific values, morals, tendencies, fears, and other intricacies either preconceived or developed along with the dynamic events of their playthrough. Often specifically including or excluding certain decisions, narrative pieces, and mechanics in order to create a character as immersed and grounded in the lore, story, and world of the game as possible

With accommodation of all of these types of roleplayers (as well as variations and blendings of each) in mind, it's my belief that in order to create a better stronghold in a roleplaying game it must be inclusive by player choice in every way. From a design philosophy perspective this can be very simple (I lack the expertise to comment on technical implementation). Any feauture within or as an extension of the stronghold should be accessible by choice rather than arbitrary thresholds. To illustrate this I'll use the example of an additional room to be added to the stronghold. Upon deciding they want a specific additional room the player should be given various options on how to acquire it. For illustration purposes lets say the room is inaccessible because it is inhabited by a lingering spirit. The options for removing it being; a fight, having learned the spirits reason for haunting the room and providing it with information that will release it, hiring stronghold staff to kill it for you, learning an incantation for banishment, stealing an incantation for banishment. Having completed the task all players would receive the room with it's initial purpose alongside a seperate smaller reward or hindrance indicative of their playstyle. Primary and secondary task rewards\hindrances could come in the form of quests, characters, decorations, narrative, items, unique dialogue, etc.

If this philosophy were used it would be possible to include whatever rewards (or hindrances i shouldnt forget) developers felt comfortable including without alienating certain types of players, without necessitating a direct inclusion in the main narrative, and without creating a wasted space. At the same time it would be possible to include a way for players to personalize their experience through choice in their investments. This is, without a doubt, a larger undertaking than those usually present in player bases but one I feel is possible and maybe necessary to create a truly enjoyable stronghold.

For all the failed player bases in gaming I think it's been a high barrier of entry in one specific gameply style (usually game currency investments rewarded with stat boosts or equipment access) that has ultimately been their dowfall. There are obviously many limitations and difficult design decisions to be made within any framework but the core principle of inclusivity once a feature has been chosen would be highly desirable when creating an accommodating and desirable stronghold.

I hope this considerably lengthy post does some good in the development of dos2 or at least provides this sector of the gaming community with some valuable thought pieces when it comes to improving one of the obviously lacking areas of game development.



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Originally Posted by Palledorous
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You are missing the entire point. The stronghold shouldn't be narcissistic masturbation for the player/player character. RPGs operate on different assumptions. It should be a logical part of the narrative and the main argument against strongholds is gating content behind it, not the content itself. They made the SH in PoE boring and pointless on *purpose*. Someone enjoying it either has very low standards or is satisfied very easily (not trying to insult you in any way, just trying to understand the situation). PoE is a monument to not-doing-it-right (all of it, not just the SH) and biting more than you can chew. Taking ideas from there would be a mistake.

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I'm aware that PoE's stronghold was extremely lacking in almost all of the things that players generally expect or wish to see. The point of the first section of my post was only to provide the counter perspective that it was not devoid of all value. However I'm confused as to why you think I've missed the point. The rest of my post was aimed at explaining what would create a meaningful and interesting player experience with a stronghold wholly unrelated to PoE's. I must admit that I feel you've missed the point of my post in favor of your intolerance for my enjoyment of a stronghold you dislike. I'd encourage you to reread and possibly offer counter arguments or ask me to clarify on specific points further on in my post.

To reply to some of the ideas you've stated in reply to me; In my explanation of a better framework for player bases in general, I suggested filling them with content that was just as accessible to all players as any other content within the game. In that way no content would be unneccesarily gated by basebuilding mechanics. The basebuilding would instead be an additive reward for first completing quality content in the form of quests/narrative/npc interaction that also carried its own rewards for completion - concurrent with the rest of the games standards. In my eyes this would be almost identical to a dungeon or town in which it was required to complete quests or combat in order to progress.

I also don't agree that any stronghold should necessarily be integral to the overall narrative of the game. This is a viable strategy that could very well improve both the narrative and the stronghold but in no way necessary for either to work and be desirable, quality content. Providing a stronghold with its own narrative that ties into the lore or possibly parts of the main narrative of the game could very well add depth and content to a game if the developers wished to use it for that purpose.

On a side note, I'm interested to hear what assumptions you believe rpg's work on

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Originally Posted by Palledorous
I'm aware that PoE's stronghold was extremely lacking in almost all of the things that players generally expect or wish to see. The point of the first section of my post was only to provide the counter perspective that it was not devoid of all value. However I'm confused as to why you think I've missed the point. The rest of my post was aimed at explaining what would create a meaningful and interesting player experience with a stronghold wholly unrelated to PoE's. I must admit that I feel you've missed the point of my post in favor of your intolerance for my enjoyment of a stronghold you dislike. I'd encourage you to reread and possibly offer counter arguments or ask me to clarify on specific points further on in my post.


I don't care if you like it or not, so shouting "muh subjectiveness" ad nauseam doesn't fly with me (you aren't, but I've heard it enough times). This isn't about personal preference. It's about how well the game/narrative is structured. I was just musing on what type of person would like it, considering the creators themselves have admitted to making it meaningless. "The death of the auteur" also doesn't fly with me :p

Quote

To reply to some of the ideas you've stated in reply to me; In my explanation of a better framework for player bases in general, I suggested filling them with content that was just as accessible to all players as any other content within the game. In that way no content would be unneccesarily gated by basebuilding mechanics. The basebuilding would instead be an additive reward for first completing quality content in the form of quests/narrative/npc interaction that also carried its own rewards for completion - concurrent with the rest of the games standards. In my eyes this would be almost identical to a dungeon or town in which it was required to complete quests or combat in order to progress.


That is exactly what people mean by "content gating", base-building IS content gating as well. If you mean that you complete totally unrelated quests and getting rewards for the stronghold, then what's the point? It's neither logical nor needed. Making content for the stronghold means not making other, more meaningful and related to the context of the game, content

Quote

I also don't agree that any stronghold should necessarily be integral to the overall narrative of the game. This is a viable strategy that could very well improve both the narrative and the stronghold but in no way necessary for either to work and be desirable, quality content. Providing a stronghold with its own narrative that ties into the lore or possibly parts of the main narrative of the game could very well add depth and content to a game if the developers wished to use it for that purpose.


Having disconnected elements is jarring and destroys any suspension of disbelief.

Quote

On a side note, I'm interested to hear what assumptions you believe rpg's work on


Way off-topic and it can't be explained in a single thread post.

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With the direction this thread has gone I think it's lost its usefulness unless we get some fresh perspectives. Otherwise, I've finished giving my take on things.

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@ Palledorous, your first post:
- You say that the PoE Stronghold was good because it was a money sink?
I have the feeling that money sink was the only purpose of the PoE stronghold, but that did not make it good in any way. In all big RPGs I ended up with tons of money at the end, if they had a dedicated money sink or not. Creating an obvious money sink just for the sake of having a money sink is junk. I still believe that the stronghold was the worst part of PoE. But I think that PoE is a good game in general and it had much improvements to the IE games. The biggest problem of PoE is bugsidian.

- Acording to your list, I am a hero/antihero. I build my chars to be effective in the game world and I exploit dump enemy AI or some game mechanics. But I do not use bugs, cheats, mods or console commands.

- I agree with what you say about making strongholds interesting. But it requires lots of time and money. There are only limited resources and the game must be finished at some point.

- About your second post:
I think that stronghold must be implemented well into the game world and your story.
Either you make an interesting and very interactive stronghold that is important to the main story and fits to your char (NWN2 is the best example I have) or you do not make a stronghold and put your resources into a bigger and more interesting world. Creating something that is hardly related to the main story, does not give a good reward and is only a money sink (like PoE) is exactly the reason why many people hate strongholds.

summary: Make it interesting and important or let it be.

PS: Palledorous you are better in creating walls of text than I am. up I need to practice more.


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Originally Posted by Palledorous
With the direction this thread has gone I think it's lost its usefulness unless we get some fresh perspectives. Otherwise, I've finished giving my take on things.


What is wrong with the current perspectives, I wonder? The main premises and arguments are these:

-WE LIKE AND WANT WELL-MADE AND THOUGHT-OUT RPGS. This is the number 1 most important premise.

-In Josh Sawyer's own words - A non-trivial amount of players hate having to deal with the stronghold and gating content behind it is annoying. THIS is actually the only subjective take on the whole thing. THIS is where the divide comes from.
-Stronghold should be optional because of that, the reason being is that it's somewhat different gameplay and veers towards other genres.
-Making meaningful and coherent *optional* (this is almost an oxymoron) content gated behind a stronghold mechanic is hard and almost impossible. The issue is exacerbated by the fact that *any* gated content is awful for detractors.

Now comes the real meat of the issue

-Detractors of the whole stronghold idea have nothing further to add than the aforementioned points.
-People who are neutral one way or the other do see a problem if the stronghold is made meaningless and exists in a vacuum. Well-made RPGs avoid having disconnected elements, it's woven into the initial premise of the genre.
-Making the stronghold badly and filling it with content wastes time the developers could've spent doing something more meaningful and contextual.
-Thus we point out the objective *artistically technical* ways to make the stronghold fit.
-Artistically technical means narrative structuring and pacing, reactivity of the game world, logical progression of events and interconnected systems. There is nothing subjective in this context.

Note: this isn't laid out like a professional scientific or philosophical premises-arguments-conclusion dynamic.

If you see something that is not right then point it out and we'll go from there.


Last edited by Lacrymas; 21/09/15 02:58 PM. Reason: Clarification
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@madscientist I was really just trying to highlight that there is still some value in aesthetic upgrades to a pure roleplaying object in a game world. It's a controversial topic, especially with crowdfunded games, for precisely the reason you mentioned. Everyone wants the game to be filled with content they believe is most fun and adds the most to the experience because quality content costs time and money. While not rpg's, games like cs:go and tf2 quite obviously show that many gamers are not only happy with developers spending money on pure aesthetic objects that add absolutely nothing to the gameplay or world, they are even willing to pay upwards of $100 to acquire these items themselves. I don't think it's at all absurd to say that there are not people who place value on these types of in game objects or that the roleplaying community is far from completely devoid of these type of people. However, I must agree that I would much rather money be spent on quality narratives, characters and environments, and gameplay mechanics.

Taking your point of time and money into account, I think it's safe to say that connecting a stronghold to the main narrative and character development is a much more efficient way to create an interesting and important stronghold. I merely meant to point out that I don't personally think it's completely necessary, were time and money unlimited. It's particularly interesting to me when developers release full games and create strongholds as dlc items. Much more experimental work is done this way that can provide useful creative knowledge for future projects. Bethesda game studious is particularly fond of this practice. Though their implementations were certainly far from ideal. It's interesting to note however that each of their successive games featured a slightly greater focus on player homes/fortresses.

My personal hope for dos2 is to see the hall of echoes being used as much as a shared space for various npc's as possible. Gaining favor or creating rivalries with divines, previously slain enemies, powerful post mortem characters and possibly having that affect the outcome of the narrative back on the mortal planes looks like a solid direction from larians updates so far. I do wonder how they will address the issue of too much open space in the end of time fortress. The hall of echoes is another large abstract area after all.

I do try to minimize my walls of text to some degree. Thanks for the compliment anyway! :hahaha:

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Originally Posted by Palledorous
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What you are talking about in the context of TF and CS are fluff items. Also completely different genres. A stronghold that matters isn't a fluff item no matter how you look at it. Making it logical and full of aesthetic content but irrelevant is taking into question the priorities of the devs. Like the wizard's pocket dimension from BG2. We (I) simply don't see it as a worthwhile addition to the game when we could get something else instead. Also read my previous post if you haven't.

P.S. Bethesda's games aren't RPGs.

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@ Palledorous:
- What are cs:go and tf2? I play only RPGs and adventures.

- I hate the whole DLC concept.
I like Larian because in D:OS1 they gave everyone 2 new chars for free and now you get the EE for free if you have the original.
With all the DLC nonsense, I wait several years and buy the game when a game of the year editon (or however they call it) comes out. I mean the game and all expansions as one set. Thats how I did it with Dragon Age: Origins. There are enough others games to play in the meantime. Regarding the witcher3, I have to buy a new computer to play it anyway.


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@madscientist They're both very popular shooters on steam that get a lot of media coverage based on the money they make and the communities they've built around in game items that can be purchase with real world money. Often for rather large amounts of money on rare and collectible items. These items are purely cosmetic but have created millions in revenue and are considered to be a large part of the reason these games became so popular. PC gamer recently did some really interesting articles about the topic if you'd like to look into it. I've gone a bit off topic with that though. Now that my comparison has already been made

You're kind of right about dlc imo. As of late its become very unfriendly to consumers. Generally speaking that is. Larian definitely deserves praise for their nonconformity. I believe wasteland 2 is also getting a free enhanced edition type upgrade on a new engine with lots of fixes and improvements. It's great to see that recent crpgs have stayed consumer friendly even after attaining success and recreating a user base.

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@Palledorous

You ignoring me for some arbitrary reason won't make the problem go away, you know. It's obvious that some people aren't clear on what grounds the discussion is based on, so randomly listing ideas isn't helping anyone. It's better to clarify those things, otherwise we aren't going to get anywhere and are stuck in a loop with no actual solution. We are already chained to the stronghold for D:OS2.

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