Monday, March 17, 2008

Quick update

Meant to be on holiday today but last minute crisis at work dragged me in so I'm in a bit of a dark mood. But should have a the rest of the week off to catch up on missed toolset time.

Have decided I'll persevere with the two quick areas fo the contest - more because I've had them in mind for a while now, and even if they aren't great, they should provide a resource to be 'sexed' up by others for use in their mods. I'll post some early screens later.

Poll closed on customising companion classes -was suprised how many players either didn;t know or didn't use it. Contessa works well as either Eldritch Knight to provide bow support, or Arcane Trickster for the party rogue. Seich can either be the party cleric or the party fighter/divine champion. Briars can take up old rogue skills he'd rather put behind him, and Gork can focus on his shamanic skills, or his (and Brother Spirit's) sorcerous abilities. In chapter two, there is the option of unlocking two new character classes for Briars, and one for Seich. So all in all, it does let you build the party your way.

New poll to the side - something I'm torn on. When dungeon crawling (or in this case military base storming/destorying) do you want more cutscenes to break up the pace, or uninterrupted H&S? If you walk into the military chapel, do you want a quick speech from the clerics cursing you before they attack, or just handle that as barkstrigns above their heads? Do cutscenes in the middle of H&S sessions (which this, by its nature, will be) spoil people's buff spells with durations too much? My concern is that I want some action (and storming a base has to be full of it), but I don't want to get away from the fact i'm after a more story driven experience - which I know some felt missing with the Bandit approach section of Chapter 1.


dirtywick said...

Set the game time to like 10 minutes/real hour or something and it really takes care of the buffs issue in my opinion.

E.C.Patterson said...

Good tip, dirtywick! I'll certainly give that a shot.

Dialogue definitely has its place in a combat situation, IMO.

For one thing, I don't find it believable at all when speech-endowed creatures mutely rush you and then fight to their deaths without a word.

Whether this speech takes the form of a NWN convo, speakstrings or CS, before, during or after combat, really depends on the situation and the story. I have no problem with dialogue breaking up the action if it contributes to the story, the gameplay or the atmosphere. I'd probably not want it to be overdone though, obviously.

There are things I'd indeed watch out for when doing combat-related convos. As a player, I am truly likely to be annoyed if a pre-combat convo lasts so long that my buffs run out and I'm left to face immediate attacks and a tough fight with little defences. If the fight is easy, I'd probably not mind at all.

I also wouldn't like it much if a convo with a likely hostile creature started when I did not expect it (e.g. from a trigger far away from the creature, when opening a door in an otherwise non-hostile locale) and that convo ended in immediate and tough combat, leaving me unprepared.

In some cases, one way around these annoyances might be to delay the hostiles' DCR a few seconds to allow the player to issue at least one round of commands before the pounding begins.

What annoys me the most though is when I scout ahead with my PC or a companion, trigger a surprise convo that turns into an attack and am left scrambling to reform the party as my lone character gets pounded while holding ground or while retreating towards the party.

I’m not sure how to solve that. OEI didn’t try to work around it, so I even wonder if one should bother. But I do ask myself whether it would be worthwhile looking at perception based beginconvos instead of triggered convos in such circumstances.