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xenocide
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« Reply #375 on: January 22, 2008, 01:41:00 pm »

Nobody knows about the map. I didn't want to draw attention to it and turn it into a "mysterious map that everyone wants". The map's role is to lead you to those who will direct you further. Kinda like the ring in Arcanum. There are other copies of the map and there were other people who tried to find the temple.


Thats fine, I like keeping it simple.  In Arcanum though, eveyone, no matter what character you play, talks to the dying man who gives a cryptic end of life speach and then the PC gets the ring.  I am not saying that the guild master should talk about it, then on the way to the merchant you see a big neon sign that says "MAP! MAP! HOLY SHIT A COOL MAP IN HERE!!!!"  And with the attack option everything is fine because you search the room after and it is natural to take the map.  But, with the intimidate option, I still think it needs a little something.  It seems weird to me that you intimidate the guard in order to jump out the window but then out of the blue grab the map out of the merchant's hand.  I think a small "As he takes his last breath he clutches something in his right hand." No more than that (don't go by my mad writing skills).  Not a huge deal, but I think it would be better with a subtle something or other.

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1: I was paid to kill one, and since I donĀ“t work for free, you can relax and put your sword down. You will walk away with your life, and my business here will be done. he looks to be a seasoned fighter - a quick exit might be wise

Love it.  It not only makes things 100% clear, but it adds flavor to the game.  As mentioned though, it would need to be in the game more than once so I don't know what level of work this would add.

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Anyway when VD's scripted "let's get the hell out of Dodge" kicked in I also thought that was quick. In and out with little word play.
I designed the game with replayability in mind. Boring sequences tend to reduce or ruin replayability for me, so I tried to eliminate those. Since the situation was really about whether or not you have to fight the guard, I didn't want to overcomplicate it with unnecessary dialogue layers. However, people expected more and the customer is always right.

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Then what?

Then nothing IMO, stick with only two options, flee or attack.  I may have changed my mind a little here but the more I hear Vince's arguments the more I agree with his original approach.  But, I do also agree with cardtrick that the original dialog as is may be somewhat unclear as to what happens next.  I know lots of ideas have been thrown around about what the PC should do next, how he can get the drop on the guard, how he can interrogate the guard, etc but this argument ultimatly started because some people were suprised by the action of the PC.  As long as people are clear on what the dialog options intend, I think most people seem to be happy with only the two choices, and IMO that is the best route to take.


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As an aside, I think a situation where you jump through a window, put a crossbow bolt into a guy's neck and then turn to his bodyguard and simply say "Any comments?" would be fucking awesome.

Disagree.


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Quote from: Sleet
Unless the guard is a total idiot there is no way he will lower his sword or let you get the drop on him with an unloaded XBow.
1) He might be - clearly his security precautions were less than perfect.

followed by arguments of what the guard would do.

As I said above, I am not in favor of more options, but that being said, there is a differecne between "lowering' a sword and putting the sword away and completly relaxing.  Now you might be able to talk the guard down from an "arm poised ready to strike" possition, but I do not think you would be able to talk even an idiot into completly letting his guard down.  Even if he lowers his sword he is still going to remain alert and keep his eye on you.  Vince argues it best but I think this ilustrates why there should only be two options.  I can see where people are comming from when arguing for more, but in the end I think the 2 options are best.

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Obviously I'm not trying to please everyone and I'm not eager to start changing things to get a few approvals, but we can say that there was a consensus that more options should have been there.

Not to belabor the point, but I think the major consensus was that as it is it may be a bit unclear, more so than more options being needed.  Obviously you could add options till the cows come home but as you say, what do you really gain?
« Last Edit: January 22, 2008, 05:57:58 pm by xenocide » Logged
Vince
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« Reply #376 on: January 22, 2008, 04:11:48 pm »

That's been discussed, and it would definitely be a good choice if you were guaranteed to succeed at the intimidation. But if you fail, then you have to fight, and it doesn't make a lot of sense.
Why? It's more reasonable to expect that a guard would attack you, no matter what you say, than to expect that he would do nothing. No?


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galsiah
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« Reply #377 on: January 22, 2008, 04:24:41 pm »

He means that the line "slip quietly out the window" doesn't make sense with the current situation, since it doesn't happen when the intimidation fails. The situation makes sense, but the line doesn't really fit.
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cardtrick
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« Reply #378 on: January 22, 2008, 04:34:46 pm »

He means that the line "slip quietly out the window" doesn't make sense with the current situation, since it doesn't happen when the intimidation fails. The situation makes sense, but the line doesn't really fit.

Exactly. The situation makes perfect sense.
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xenocide
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« Reply #379 on: January 22, 2008, 04:49:09 pm »

He means that the line "slip quietly out the window" doesn't make sense with the current situation, since it doesn't happen when the intimidation fails. The situation makes sense, but the line doesn't really fit.

Actually, I don't have a problem with "slip quietly out the window", as long as after a fail the game alerts the player:

"The guard is not interested in what you have to say and with a grin on his face attacks, thwarting your attempt at a quick exit."

Not everything you try to do is going to be met with success.  If fact, if you fail the intimidation check, the PC should be penalized in the first round of combat for not attacking right away.
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cardtrick
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« Reply #380 on: January 22, 2008, 05:21:30 pm »

Not everything you try to do is going to be met with success.

Of course not, and in fact what you just wrote supports my argument. The phrase "slip quietly out the window" is written precisely as though the intimidation check was always going to be met with success. But the point is that you're not even going to attempt slipping out the window unless you succeed at the intimidation check, so if you fail that line doesn't make any sense.

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If fact, if you fail the intimidation check, the PC should be penalized in the first round of combat for not attacking right away.

Agreed.

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xenocide
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« Reply #381 on: January 22, 2008, 05:41:04 pm »

You know, we have all be so focused on how we can manipulate the guard with the intimidation option: interrogate him, get the drop on him, talk him into kneeling down holding his head back and thanking us as we slit his throat.  Think about it.  We just killed a man right in front of his bodygaurd.  The default situation here is being immedatly attacked by the guard.  You take a risk in attempting to talk to the guard; instead of attacking, the PC is going to tryto intimidate the guard. We've been neglecting the attack aption.

You want to get a drop on the guard? Fucking attack him!  

Attack:
"As the guard looks down at his dead meal ticket, you immedatly attack him, catching him off guard" -- guard's actions points are cut by 2/3 for one round.

Risk trying to intimidate:
Fail:  PC looses action points
succeed:  PC leaves unscathed (I think this should give the PC the most experience)

that is a good RPG choice, risk vs. reward
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xenocide
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« Reply #382 on: January 22, 2008, 05:49:53 pm »

Not everything you try to do is going to be met with success.

Of course not, and in fact what you just wrote supports my argument. The phrase "slip quietly out the window" is written precisely as though the intimidation check was always going to be met with success. But the point is that you're not even going to attempt slipping out the window unless you succeed at the intimidation check, so if you fail that line doesn't make any sense.



I disagree.  Everything you choose is an attempt.  If the option was "disarm trap", would you be mad if you failed because it did not say "attempt to disarm trap"?

What if you are talking to a merchant and you click:

"500 gold pieces?!! That is outrageous!  This piece of crap is not worth even 100 gold pieces!!"

then this happens:

"500 gold pieces?!! That is outrageous!  This piece ....." 
Suddenly an arrow streaks past your shoulder and strikes the merchant in the neck.  Those assasins must have found you at last!  Fourtunatly you were so outraged at the price, you were jumping from foot to foot and the arrow missed.


Who knows what is going to happen in the game world.  All you can do is try things and see if they work.  Should in my example above it say "Attempt to say....", of course not.  Everything you do in a RPG is an attempt, sometimes it works and sometimes not.
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galsiah
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« Reply #383 on: January 22, 2008, 05:59:42 pm »

The point is that there are two actions here: "intimidate", and "leave through window".
There's no opportunity even to make the attempt to "leave through window" unless intimidation has already succeeded. The situation isn't the same as saying one half of a sentence, then the other - the actions are clearly distinct.

If you walk into a room with a huge chasm in the middle and a chest on the far side, would you expect an option to:
Jump chasm (open the chest).??

If so, I think you're in the minority. It might save a click or two, but it has entirely the wrong feel.


EDIT: Though in general I don't think it makes sense to get too hung up on the fine details when there's still the chance major options can change. The fine detail can always be changed to fit with the desired options. E.g. perhaps it'll turn out that things work best if the assassin initially has a clear path to the window, in which case this particular discussion becomes academic.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2008, 06:09:47 pm by galsiah » Logged
xenocide
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« Reply #384 on: January 22, 2008, 06:16:33 pm »

The point is that there are two actions here: "intimidate", and "leave through window".
There's no opportunity even to make the attempt to "leave through window" unless intimidation has already succeeded. The situation isn't the same as saying one half of a sentence, then the other - the actions are clearly distinct.

If you walk into a room with a huge chasm in the middle and a chest on the far side, would you expect an option to:
Jump chasm (open the chest).??

If so, I think you're in the minority. It might save a click or two, but it has entirely the wrong feel.

Well, I guess I don't see the 2 actions quite as separate as you do.  I don't have a problem with me clicking an option, then things happening in the gamewolrd to prevent them.  Of course you could just change "quietly slip out the window" to "If he backs down, attempt to slip out the window".  For me, I see more of an implied attempt in every option than you seem to.

If you walk into a room with a huge chasm in the middle and a chest on the far side, would you expect an option to:
Jump chasm (open the chest).??

If so, I think you're in the minority. It might save a click or two, but it has entirely the wrong feel.


No, but I would exect to see:

Jump chasm

as on option, and if my jump skill was not high enough I would expect to fall in the chasm.  I would not ecpect to see:

Attempt to run up to the chasm trying not to trip.  When you reach the edge, attempt to jump over the chasm. Attempt to flail arms wildly.

I know I am exaggerating, but it shows what I am trying to say.  The attempt, to me at least, is always implied.


I just saw your edit as I was typing this, and I agree.  A lot of what we are talking about becomes pointless depending on what Vince decides to do.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2008, 06:19:13 pm by xenocide » Logged
Vince
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« Reply #385 on: January 22, 2008, 09:00:29 pm »

Let's look at the situation from a different angle. You are the guard. The guy you've been assigned to protect is killed. The assassin is still in the room. It looks like he isn't eager to fight you for whatever reasons. What are the options?

The way I see it:

1. You can attack him. The merchant is dead, but killing the assassin will improve your reputation a bit.
2. You can let the assassin go. The merchant is dead and your job at the inn is over anyway, so why risk your own neck for nothing. Besides, if the assassin leaves, you can loot the chest.
3. Call for help - your insurance. If the assassin is leaving, he won't care. If he is thinking about jumping you, he has just run out of time. Of course, then you can forget about the chest, but you will keep your life and that's always a gain.

So, working backwards from these options, in the assassin's vignette the options are:

1. Attack
2. Intimidate and leave
3. Intimidate and attack

The actual dialogue would be something like that:

The merchant makes no attempt to escape his fate. The bolt finds his heart and his no longer alive body hits the floor. The mercenary looks at you, then at the dead body on the floor. He's still trying to decide what to do.

1. Attack
2. I was paid to kill one, and since I don't work for free, you can relax and put your sword down.


The guard studies you, evaluating his chances. Finally he makes his decision and charges at you.
or
The guard studies you, evaluating his chances. Finally he nods and lowers his sword, but shows no intention of backing away.

1. Attack
2. Take a step toward the chest.
3. Take what the merchant clutches in his hand and leave.

If 2. The guard smiles, showing rotten teeth, and suddenly yells "Assassin!". 

1. Attack
2. Take what the merchant clutches in his hand and leave.

If 1. after the end of your first turn, 3 more guards join the party. You die and reload, learning a valuable lesson.

Thoughts? Feel free to pretty it up, btw.
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zhirzzh
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« Reply #386 on: January 22, 2008, 09:53:23 pm »

Perfect. A sneak attack wouldn't work as a guard, so that's all you can do.
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Mehler
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« Reply #387 on: January 22, 2008, 09:59:12 pm »

Much better!
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Priapist
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« Reply #388 on: January 22, 2008, 10:04:51 pm »

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You die and reload, learning a valuable lesson.

Just make sure the game autosaves at an appropriate time prior to the Inn. There's nothing worse than getting trounced very early in the game and realising you haven't actually got around to saving yet.
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cardtrick
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« Reply #389 on: January 22, 2008, 10:06:07 pm »

I like that a lot, Vince. It definitely takes care of my concerns about forcing our character into an action, while retaining much of the elegance and flavor of the original.

One thought that strikes me is that if you attack after the guard calls for help, having only one turn before the other guards arrive seems a little strange. I'm thinking of one turn as being a matter of only a few seconds (enough to run a few yards or stab a couple of times), and that response time then seems extremely fast.

My suggestion would be to change that from 1 turn to 3 turns, and if you manage to kill the guard before those 3 turns are finished then you can bar the door to prevent the other guards from entering immediately, allowing you to loot the room and the guard before you escape. (In my mind, this should be quite difficult to do. If this kind of combat with a brand new character would actually be easily resolved within 3 turns, one way or another, then my idea may not make any sense.)

I'm rethinking this idea now and realizing it doesn't really add much. Still, I'm going to post it anyway, because why the hell not?
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