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xenocide
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« Reply #435 on: January 24, 2008, 02:55:07 pm »

2. A chance for an Instant kill, but no chance of a disadvantage? I think there needs to be more of a consequence here if you have low dexterity.
You fight him with a toothpick (i.e. you use a bolt as a melee weapon, since that's all you've got now). I'd say that's a disadvantage. No?

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In the last dialogue there seems to be no risks in choosing splitting the loot . Maybe add three levels of consequences to it:
Should there always be some risks? You are about to leave. Your options are to leave with some loot (as a reward to putting a few points into persuasion) or without. There is no need to overcomplicate it with yet another combat check.

I agree.  I like the new sequence.  I assume from the above post that the only way to reload an get off another shot with the crossbow is to choose "reload and attack"?  That is the way it should be.  It is a nice incentive to attack right away. 
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Special_Can
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« Reply #436 on: January 24, 2008, 03:21:53 pm »

2. A chance for an Instant kill, but no chance of a disadvantage? I think there needs to be more of a consequence here if you have low dexterity.
You fight him with a toothpick (i.e. you use a bolt as a melee weapon, since that's all you've got now). I'd say that's a disadvantage. No?

 I forgot. oops.
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zhirzzh
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« Reply #437 on: January 24, 2008, 03:43:25 pm »

This is very good, but the last option was fine too, and retained your desire to stop a non-combat from getting the loot. It does keep getting better, but we've now doubled the amount of dialog, and this is just the opening vignette. I think that it is quite possible to make something like the opening overwhelming. You haven't really spent any time doing other things yet, so you aren't overly prepared for stat checks, and most players will want to move on the the game itself.

I DO think that this is better, but I wouldn't make it more complex than it is now.

Edit: I don't see any harm in leaving the option to fight in when he threatens to call for help, it was in the last draft and I just assumed it was in this one. He calls for help, you die and learn a valuable lesson about picking options in dialog that seem like VERY bad ideas.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2008, 03:49:25 pm by zhirzzh » Logged
xenocide
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« Reply #438 on: January 24, 2008, 03:51:46 pm »

One last thing.  If the highest dex can instakill the guard, I think it would be cool if the lowest dex instakilled the PC.  I believe I read somewhere that you said 4 is the lowest ability score one can take?  If a PC with Dex of 4 trys the Dex check he should be instakilled.  It makes sense if you want to spend that few points in Dex.
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zhirzzh
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« Reply #439 on: January 24, 2008, 03:54:05 pm »

Having to fight an uninjured guard with a bolt, isn't far off from being instakilled.
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galsiah
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« Reply #440 on: January 24, 2008, 04:10:38 pm »

If a PC with Dex of 4 trys the Dex check he should be instakilled.  It makes sense if you want to spend that few points in Dex.
Perhaps, but putting this in would be largely a waste of effort - or at least only not a waste for a player who's not taking things at all seriously, and intentionally trying to get killed in humorous fashion.

First it's not a PC with Dex 4: it's a PC with assassin background with Dex 4. Likely?
Then it's a player who's either utterly daft, or has a death-wish, since he's trying checks on a stat of 4.

Throwing in interesting death descriptions for such blatantly absurd cases might be a plus, but it has to be a very low priority. Since there are already cries of over-complication, I think it makes sense to prioritize reasonable possibilities over absurd death-wish options.


Quote from: zhirzzh
...and this is just the opening vignette. I think that it is quite possible to make something like the opening overwhelming. You haven't really spent any time doing other things yet, so you aren't overly prepared for stat checks, and most players will want to move on the the game itself.
I don't follow this.
For a start, I think saying that "this is just the vignette" is comparable to saying of a book "this is just the first page". You make it good so that people keep playing (bear in mind this is part of the demo - no-one's paid their money yet). If you just want the first page of a book to be over with, you probably stop reading.
Second, how is it that the player isn't prepared for "stat checks", yet wants to get on with the game itself - which is full of stat checks?? The vignette is part of the game itself. If it's of a quality that has players thinking "Let's get this over with so I can start the game already.", it shouldn't be included at all.
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cardtrick
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« Reply #441 on: January 24, 2008, 04:59:58 pm »

Latest dialog

I like this a lot. I think it's a very significant improvement over the original, and I like it better than the [truth]/[lie] thing. I have several nitpicks in a different vein, which hopefully don't prompt another 10 pages of argument, but I just want to make it clear before I talk about them that I think the dialog as it currently stands is excellent.

The bolt finds his heart and his no longer alive body hits the floor.

I think "lifeless" flows better than "no longer alive."

1. Reload and attack

I may be crazy, but my first thought on reading this was "reload" as in "load a saved game." Anyone else think this is an actual issue? I guess it could be changed to "Reload your crossbow and attack." Thoughts?

(Incidentally, what happens if the assassin is skilled in throwing or bow rather than crossbows?)

2. [Dexterity] "Catch!" Throw the guard your crossbow. As his attention switches to the crossbow, grab a bolt, holding it as a short dagger, and jump the guard aiming for the throat.

I like this line and especially like picturing my character doing it. It's pretty damn badass. Possibly shorten the end of it to "lunge at the guard's throat", which I think sounds more active, but that's obviously a tiny issue.

I do have a more general concern which this line helps illustrate. It's clear now that dialogs are sometimes going to have a mix of spoken lines and actions. In this line, you used quotation marks to set off the words that your character says, which I think works well. In other lines, like
2a. You better leave now before I call for help. *the guard looks like he's about to attack.
you use a * to indicate action and don't put quotation marks around spoken words. And in lines that have only an action or only a spoken line, you use neither *'s nor quotation marks.

I think all of this is potentially confusing and certainly unprofessional looking. You should choose a style and stick with it. My personal preference would be always putting quotation marks around spoken lines, and having phrases or lines without quotes be actions or descriptions, as in a novel. If you don't like that, I would prefer italics to *'s. However, I'm fine with any other alternative as long as you're consistent.

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

I'm not necessarily complaining, but I don't understand why you have [Dexterity] and [Persuasion] for the appropriate lines, but not [Intimidation] for this. Is there a good reason?

2a. The bolt head pierces the guard's unprotected throat, cutting the arteries and flooding the windpipe with blood. His eyes roll up and he falls down without a sound.

I like this a lot. No complaints. However, I might prefer a slightly more brutal phrasing, like "The bolt head pierces the guard's unprotected throat, severing arteries and flooding the windpipe with blood. The guard's eyes widen and follow yours as he collapses to the floor with a bubbling gasp." But hey, maybe I'm just bloodthirsty.


2. [Persuasion] I think it's fair to say that you and I were the only friends Gracius had in Teron. I helped him find some inner peace, but I couldn't have done that without you standing there with your mouth open. I think that Gracius would want us to have this, don't you think? *nod toward the open chest.

Fantastic line! (Although again, I don't like the * thing.) You have a real gift for dialog.
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xenocide
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« Reply #442 on: January 24, 2008, 05:03:00 pm »

Throwing in interesting death descriptions for such blatantly absurd cases might be a plus, but it has to be a very low priority.

I agree it should be a low priority, in fact I almost did not post it just to move on from this issue.  The Dex check is already in though, so it should not be a ton of work to add the dex of 4 part.  It may be dumb for a PC with a dex of 4 to try a dex check, but that is more of a reason to have a negative outcome not less.  But like you said it would not affect that many players so it should be a low priority, but I still think it would be cool to have in.
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xenocide
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« Reply #443 on: January 24, 2008, 05:06:39 pm »

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

I'm not necessarily complaining, but I don't understand why you have [Dexterity] and [Persuasion] for the appropriate lines, but not [Intimidation] for this. Is there a good reason?


I have actually been wondering about this as well.
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cardtrick
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« Reply #444 on: January 24, 2008, 05:13:40 pm »

Someone -- I think it was galsiah, but I'm not totally sure and I couldn't find it with a quick look back -- made an important comment earlier that I just want to reiterate. The game really needs to autosave before the inn, since it's very possible to die there. This is especially important because you apparently start the game with a dialog with your guildmaster, and then go straight to the inn from that dialog, and I doubt you can save while in dialog. No one wants to have to go through character creation again because they made a dumb choice in the second dialog or weren't quite prepared for the difficulty of AoD's combat.

For a start, I think saying that "this is just the vignette" is comparable to saying of a book "this is just the first page". You make it good so that people keep playing (bear in mind this is part of the demo - no-one's paid their money yet). If you just want the first page of a book to be over with, you probably stop reading.

This was a great point that made me feel better about all the time we've spent on this one dialog and finally post that last post I made. Definitely the vignettes should be among the best parts of the game, if at all possible.
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galsiah
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« Reply #445 on: January 24, 2008, 05:22:08 pm »

I guess it's because intimidation isn't a skill or stat. Putting [intimidation] doesn't make it clear to the player what's being tested, any more than leaving it out (it's intuitively clear that something must be, of course).

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...autosave before the inn...I think it was galsiah
It was Priapist [I had it in my reply, then deleted it because he beat me to the punch Smile]. Certainly important - though I presume an early save would be automatic. I don't think that the earliest should be in an "autosave" slot though - preferably the character setup would be saved in a file which is kept, so that starting with the same/similar character is simple. Autosaving directly before the inn is probably a good idea too.
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Vince
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« Reply #446 on: January 24, 2008, 05:39:53 pm »

The game really needs to autosave before the inn, since it's very possible to die there.
We'll add an auto save script to the dialogue engine and I'll attach it to certain lines on-click.

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I think "lifeless" flows better than "no longer alive."
...
I guess it could be changed to "Reload your crossbow and attack." Thoughts?
...
Possibly shorten the end of it to "lunge at the guard's throat"...
...
However, I might prefer a slightly more brutal phrasing, like "The bolt head pierces the guard's unprotected throat, severing arteries and flooding the windpipe with blood. The guard's eyes widen and follow yours as he collapses to the floor with a bubbling gasp."
Sure. Any more suggestions? (applies to everyone)

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You should choose a style and stick with it. My personal preference would be always putting quotation marks around spoken lines, and having phrases or lines without quotes be actions or descriptions, as in a novel.
Sure.

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Fantastic line! (Although again, I don't like the * thing.) You have a real gift for dialog.
Thanks.

For a start, I think saying that "this is just the vignette" is comparable to saying of a book "this is just the first page". You make it good so that people keep playing (bear in mind this is part of the demo - no-one's paid their money yet). If you just want the first page of a book to be over with, you probably stop reading.
An excellent point indeed.

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I guess it's because intimidation isn't a skill or stat.
Correct.
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zhirzzh
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« Reply #447 on: January 24, 2008, 05:44:36 pm »


Quote from: zhirzzh
...and this is just the opening vignette. I think that it is quite possible to make something like the opening overwhelming. You haven't really spent any time doing other things yet, so you aren't overly prepared for stat checks, and most players will want to move on the the game itself.
I don't follow this.
For a start, I think saying that "this is just the vignette" is comparable to saying of a book "this is just the first page". You make it good so that people keep playing (bear in mind this is part of the demo - no-one's paid their money yet). If you just want the first page of a book to be over with, you probably stop reading.
Second, how is it that the player isn't prepared for "stat checks", yet wants to get on with the game itself - which is full of stat checks?? The vignette is part of the game itself. If it's of a quality that has players thinking "Let's get this over with so I can start the game already.", it shouldn't be included at all.

I'm saying that

1. It's possible to make the start of the game too complex. Most people would rather the game start somewhat slowly.

2. A lot of people typically rush through character creation to get into the game itself (not me, I can spend hours messing around with creation in Arcanum, and to a lesser extent PtD) and put much more thought into stat increases when they level. Having stat checks before someone levels may throw off the character progression they're going for on their first playthrough.

As an example, it took me quite a while to figure out which stats and attributes were used in checks in Arcanum. After I figured it out I leveled more in that direction, but if there had been a lot of persuasion checks before I had realized that a high Int and CH don't make up for a lack of pursuasion, I would have been screwed. So, while I have no problem with stat checks early in the game, I would hesitate to throw checks of different stats into the same dialog path if the player that has yet to level up.

I like tweaking creation so it won't bother me, but I think I'm in the minority there.

« Last Edit: January 24, 2008, 05:51:20 pm by zhirzzh » Logged
galsiah
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« Reply #448 on: January 24, 2008, 06:23:22 pm »

1. It's possible to make the start of the game too complex.
In that you can bewilder the player with huge amounts of options, sure - but this is doing almost the opposite. The player is spending the first period of the game without needing to choose where to go, what quest to do, what to aim for, what equipment to get, how to prepare... he's thrown into a hugely more limited situation where he might get perhaps four options at a time.
Compared to the complexity of choosing an action in an open world with many NPCs, locations, potentially conflicting goals..., the complexity of picking from a few options in a tight situation is minimal.

Bear in mind that this also looks much more complex from the design side than from the playing side. The designer sees the whole tree, where the player takes only a single path.

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A lot of people typically rush through character creation to get into the game itself....and put much more thought into stat increases when they level.
I seriously doubt it. Perhaps some rush creation for a quick test character before restarting - but then they're just trying a quick experiment anyway. I don't think AoD's audience is going to extend far beyond those who enjoy spending a bit of time thinking through character generation.
In any case, there's little wrong in failing a stat check here or there, so long as the outcome is interesting.

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As an example, it took me quite a while to figure out which stats and attributes were used in checks in Arcanum. After I figured it out I leveled more in that direction, but if there had been a lot of persuasion checks before I had realized that a high Int and CH don't make up for a lack of pursuasion, I would have been screwed. So, while I have no problem with stat checks early in the game, I would hesitate to throw checks of different stats into the same dialog path if the player that has yet to level up.
What?
You're saying that the problem was that it took you a long time to realize how stat checks work, right? So how do you conclude that they should be delayed? The time it takes you to realize how things work will depend on how early they're used clearly - delaying them will simply delay your understanding further, and make the problem worse.
What needs changing is the time it takes you to understand the way things work - i.e. stat checks need to be clearly used early. You're not going to be "screwed" by misunderstanding the early stat checks, since there won't be harsh long-term implications. If you die, the implications are serious for the PC, but not for the player.

In any case, PC failure (even through lack of player understanding) doesn't mean that the player is "screwed". So long as failing stat checks has interesting implications, the player is fine. [this probably isn't as true of Arcanum as would be ideal]

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I like tweaking creation so it won't bother me, but I think I'm in the minority there.
Of the AoD audience? I can't be sure, but I doubt it.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2008, 06:30:03 pm by galsiah » Logged
cardtrick
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« Reply #449 on: January 24, 2008, 06:51:12 pm »

Sure. Any more suggestions? (applies to everyone)

Not from me. Those were mostly minor suggestions, and I really like the dialog as it is.

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You should choose a style and stick with it. My personal preference would be always putting quotation marks around spoken lines, and having phrases or lines without quotes be actions or descriptions, as in a novel.
Sure.

Cool, I think that will look great.

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I guess it's because intimidation isn't a skill or stat.
Correct.

Okay, but you've previously said that an intimidation check is always dependent on weapon skills. Shouldn't there then be a [Crossbow] or [Weapon Skills] notation on that line?

(Personally, I would still put [Intimidation] because I think it sounds better, and the manual could explain that your chance to intimidate is based on your weapon skills. Someone a while back suggested that intimidation should also depend on your reputation, which I think is a good idea that could also be explained in the manual.)

Before anyone says the obvious -- yes, I agree that when looking at that line in isolation it is pretty intuitive that it requires some kind of intimidation check. However, it's different when a player looks at it in context. Then, you have the line appearing directly beneath a line which is marked by [Dexterity], clearly indicating a stat check. It would be reasonable for a player to assume that, since that line was marked and this one isn't, then even though it seems like some kind of intimidation is must not require a skill check.

Again, I think consistency is important.

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A lot of people typically rush through character creation to get into the game itself....and put much more thought into stat increases when they level.
I seriously doubt it.

Ye gods, I love character creation. I think my favorite all-time gaming experience is creating a party in Darklands.
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