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Alex
09-01-2013, 11:15 AM
Hello! At PAX this very moment we're showing single-player gameplay for The Banner Saga and we wanted to share it with those who couldn't attend. Below, the first part of our playthrough. At the end of each video we'll be asking for a vote on what to do next. In this thread we'll be playing through the whole demo, so check back every couple days and vote!

Watching in HD is always recommended!

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Alex
09-01-2013, 11:30 AM
Reserved for future posts!

Dark Arbiter
09-01-2013, 11:44 AM
This is awesome, and (though it doesn't need to be said again) gorgeous to watch.

My vote:

#3: Let them fight.

Boa
09-01-2013, 11:48 AM
Yep. Definitely looking forward to this. And I also think we should let them fight. It'll let the trainees have their first taste of real combat, at the very least.

Tychoxi
09-01-2013, 12:00 PM
OOOOO!! I can't wait for the release day...

I choose "1. Go with Egil."

K_B
09-01-2013, 12:07 PM
Looks awesome, I choose first option "Go with Egil. We'll be back soon"

Noxvayl
09-01-2013, 12:24 PM
Looking really good. I'd choose option 1: "Go with Egil. We'll be back soon"

Mansen
09-01-2013, 12:31 PM
What I've been waiting for in what seems like forever. :D

kevinmatheny
09-01-2013, 12:51 PM
Let them fight!

Quadracious
09-01-2013, 12:56 PM
Amazing! Let's choose 1) Go with Egil. We'll be back soon.

Matthew
09-01-2013, 01:32 PM
Lovely, as much as the extra backup would be useful, we need to save as many in the steading as possible, I vote for "Go with Egil"

Ludanto
09-01-2013, 01:42 PM
As boring as it sounds, it's probably the smart move to say 1."Go with Egil. We'll be back soon."

Aleonymous
09-01-2013, 01:43 PM
1) Go with Egil. We'll be back soon. -- Let's play it safe :)

*** Awesome! Thanks. What happened to Gudmundr? :(

GreenDread
09-01-2013, 01:44 PM
Maaan, this looks so awesome. You really did it :D
May I propose the inclusion of a poll? Would save you guys the time to count the votes.

I'm in for #3 "Let them fight", just to see something horrible, horrible happening.

RoBear
09-01-2013, 01:52 PM
The art in this game is unreal. Even if the story doesn't end up grabbing me the art alone is enough to keep me playing.

Put Alette in her place, I vote #2.

Lochlan
09-01-2013, 02:21 PM
I vote 1: "Go with Egil. We'll be back soon"

netnazgul
09-01-2013, 02:25 PM
drooling

Although I think I'll try to stay away from this playthrough to not spoil any of my own game experience when the game gets out :)

gripho
09-01-2013, 02:38 PM
voting #1

quartex
09-01-2013, 02:42 PM
Beautiful video, I don't mind having the camera change positions every time someone talks, it's nice to know who's talking.

I really like seeing the dredge among the trees in the forground during the close travel scenes, as Rook and Alette are talking. It really adds to the feeling of suspense and dread.

I vote for option 3: "Let them fight!"

Javaman
09-01-2013, 03:12 PM
I vote # 2. No backchat when the village is under attack!

Ratatoskr
09-01-2013, 03:57 PM
I vote #2 just because no one else is. Besides, this is obviously not the time for young idiots to try and prove themselves.

Deaddocus
09-01-2013, 04:12 PM
Fiiight.

Just because I would not choose that option in my play through, :D

Antares
09-01-2013, 04:34 PM
I think I'd go with 3, it'd be useful to get some experience for the young fighters early on.

But in terms of role-playing, 1 sounds more "fatherly".

Ah, choices, choices. Three, and let's hope we don't lose anyone in the coming fray.

grumpyoldman
09-01-2013, 05:04 PM
Alette will have to fight them anyways, so this time is as good as any, let them fight!
(Great records btw! Visually I liked every single bit of it!)

Are you looking over the comments on youtube? I would like to quote Alex Davies, he stated:

"For games without voice-over, I prefer the option of having text appear gradually, as if the character was speaking (or as if it were being typed as we watched).
A lot of big-budget games use this and it makes the speakers seem more "alive" in the absence of sound.
Another similar trick is little sounds every time a new phrase appears - perhaps distinct sounds for each character.
Are these things which could be added easily? Have they been tested?"

I couldnt have said it better, so do I and his questions are mine!

Best regards
grumpy

Wordplay
09-01-2013, 06:09 PM
1) Go with Egil

Edit: Actually, re-reading this, I'd like to change my vote (if I may) to 3) Let them fight.

Like the playthrough - though it's difficult to appreciate the consequences of the decisions at this point.

So now we know what the Hunter and Landsman abilities are... being able to pass through allies is really going to shake up positional play, but the text for the active raises more questions than it answers... Does that mean in addition to your allies' usual attacks, or instead of?

I can really see the former raising some interesting synergies...

Guğmundr
09-01-2013, 06:31 PM
Does that mean in addition to your allies' usual attacks, or instead of?
In addition to! But only if they're in range.

Wordplay
09-01-2013, 07:36 PM
Thanks for the response! :)

My first thought was that this would be really overpowered, but when I thought about it some more, it occurred to me that this actually takes a fair bit of set-up to be devastating, not unlike the other combos.

raven2134
09-01-2013, 07:59 PM
I'm not too keen on having text gradually appear. That depends on the reader's reading speed. A lot of people play RPGs and most go for instant text rather than the appear bit by bit. It can be awkward when it's set really fast cos the reader reads fast, and it breaks immersion when you can click to make all the text appear while it's typing. I personally prefer the text appearing as it does. It's sleek, elegant and simple. Whatever my reading speed is the text appears conveniently and looks good. The unique sound when someone says something is a neat idea, it just has to be done carefully cos it can get annoying if the sound gets tiresome (cos there's a lot of character shifting during conversation).

LinkWizard
09-01-2013, 08:44 PM
#2. Not now, Alette!

mindflare77
09-01-2013, 10:38 PM
In addition to! But only if they're in range.

Perhaps a niche case, but what about Bowmaster range? Or is it just base attack?

Also, I wouldn't mind some more explanation of the choices, a la this comment (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDFfFHYUbO0&lc=0HEdYxXsngpV5wT01lLifgptWlKPuWQy-18n2ls1aik). But I'll go with the third choice. More experience, lads. You'll need it.

Guğmundr
09-01-2013, 11:00 PM
Perhaps a niche case, but what about Bowmaster range? Or is it just base attack?

I haven't had the chance to try this situation, but I'm almost certain it's always just a regular strength attack.

elezar
09-01-2013, 11:10 PM
My vote for the choice is #1. I agree they need experience fighting, but right now getting everyone else ready to hole-up or help fight is more important.

For some of the other things brought up... To me, the panning itself isn't a problem, but panning then cutting seems odd. If you think about how it's normally done in movies, when they show 2 people talking who are facing each other, they do hard cuts back and forth between them (Yeah, in some cases they'll do a circular pan to move from one to the other, but that's usually used to obtain a specific effect). I think having it pan between two people who are next to each other, facing the same way, is fine. But it just seems really weird to pan to the back of a character's head, then suddenly reverse the angle so we're seeing his/her face. In that case, I think just doing a quick cut from one to the other will work better.


I'm not too keen on having text gradually appear. That depends on the reader's reading speed. A lot of people play RPGs and most go for instant text rather than the appear bit by bit. It can be awkward when it's set really fast cos the reader reads fast, and it breaks immersion when you can click to make all the text appear while it's typing. I personally prefer the text appearing as it does. It's sleek, elegant and simple. Whatever my reading speed is the text appears conveniently and looks good. The unique sound when someone says something is a neat idea, it just has to be done carefully cos it can get annoying if the sound gets tiresome (cos there's a lot of character shifting during conversation).

I completely agree with this. I've never seen a game that has the text show up in this manner that's quick enough. But, I'm sure for some people it's always appearing too quickly. And yeah, usually I can click to make the entire text appear at once, but every time I do so, I feel like I'm taking a shortcut, and that immediately takes me out of the narrative. I'm not sure what the solution is here, but I don't think having the text appear at a pace is it. Some of the other suggestions, like colored text, lips moving, grunt-type noises, etc. might work.

InfiniteNutshell
09-01-2013, 11:32 PM
Yeah text should definitely appear all-at-once. You can change the pacing of a conversation by having more or less said in each line. Or with like ellipses.

I vote #3 let them fight

raven2134
09-02-2013, 12:54 AM
I liked the camera panning/character switching during the conversation actually. Most other games like fire emblem do it with 1 character on the left and another on the right and then they talk to each other, and then switch sprites when someone new comes into the conversation. I liked how the camera panning gave the conversations a circle discussion feel, like a round table discussion.

That's interesting in a subtly deeper way as well, cos as a game built on decisions you're often thinking as if it were a round table discussion and you had to decide on key stuff. All in all, the camera movement gave conversations a really dynamic element which for me breathes more life into this key element of the game (you spend a lot of time in conversations). Remember it could have been presented the old way, with just different people/portraits popping up on screen or ala King of Dragons Pass style (did I get that right?)

*Disclaimer for those not aware, I've had a chance for some longer sittings with the game for early early playtesting.

Aleonymous
09-02-2013, 01:37 AM
I'll lay my thoughts about the camera panning/character switching during the conversation too.

I think I like it, even tho I found it a little "annoying" at first, mainly because its not something I'm used to. I think that, after a little time with the game, it will seem natural to me, and I'll start noting its absence from other games :)

And, a relevant question and a suggestion:

(1) Is the panning smooth and/or CPU demanding? Because on slower systems, it might just become annoying if the panning is wonky...

(2) I'd like to have a mouse-controlled panning during this "round table" conversation (as raven interestingly described it). It would also be interesting to check the other person's faces when called upon with a decision to make. For instance, if all --or just the main-- characters had a set of 5-6 expressions (e.g. happy, grim, determined, sullen, panicked), you could check their faces and decide what to do. That would make conversation more interesting, the characters more cinematic/deep and you'd actually feel you are affecting their emotions.

Antares
09-02-2013, 01:38 AM
I just wanted to quote here a comment from Youtube, which I found very interesting.

Brendan Cook wrote:

"One constructive criticism: in some older games decisions can be misleading and you end up making a choice that you didn't intend! When I choose "Not now Alette" am I postponing the argument opening up more options or having her go to the Great Hall while Rook stays with Ivar? Is the them in "let them fight" Alette & Egil, or the fighters & the dredge?
I think it's super important to communicate to the player exactly what they are getting themselves into!"

One thing I found disappointing and/or annoying in games such as Mass Effect, in terms of role-playing, was that I would chose a response based on the text I was reading on screen and my character would expand on it, giving a response that was nothing like what I imagined based on the text I had before me.

So, this comment got me thinking: the meaning of choice #1 (seems to me that it) is clear: send the young warriors away. Sure, they miss on the possibility of gaining some experience. What is the upside? They are guaranteed to survive the encounter? Sounds reasonable in terms of role-playing (keep the kids safe) and strategy. Choice #2 seems to me less clear, both in terms of role-playing and strategy (and perhaps this is why it is getting fewer votes). Is it simply a sterner version of #1, or is there some other advantage/risk to be found in this choice? Then again, #3 (which I chose) seems to have the clear advantage of offering the chance for some (always useful) experience, at the risk of losing either (or both) of the young warriors? But then again, is there some (hinted at) advantage in sending them away, in terms of gathering more resources from the settlement or helping more people survive and join the caravan?

If by sending them away, they miss on experience but help the caravan in some other way, it would present an interesting dilemma, in terms of balancing the combat team versus gaining some strategic advantage. Same with choice #1. I think #2 needs some clarification. Regardless, considering that it was the archer the one who clinched victory in the opening encounter, before that Dredge could cast whatever spell it was preparing, I don't think I'd want to face the next encounter without some long-range fighter. So, I'm sticking with #3 but I'd like to know more about what each answer would entail, especially #2 which seems somewhat obscure.

Delicieuxz
09-02-2013, 03:28 AM
I absolutely love how this game is looking - visually and play-wise! Visually, it's gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. I already know that the combat is great, and it will be exciting to play tons of unique single player battle scenarios. The dialog and choices look intriguing and reminds me more of reading a choose-your-own-adventure book than modern RPGs (good thing), as modern RPG choices are nothing but tiring and disappointing facades. It's the wonder of choice and consequence that made RPGs something captivating in the first place, though there's little trace of that original spark in today's false RPGs.

raven2134
09-02-2013, 03:31 AM
Very interesting stuff!

Aleo:
The panning is wonky cos the game isn't optimized yet. Once they get it optimized it should go smoothly. Fair point tho, your observation emphasizes greatly how vital the optimization will be to make this work well, and I agree. If the panning is jittery, it'll be annoying.

Regarding the swivelling around to see the other faces and expressions, I don't think that's part of their design right now. Also, I don't think they have the budget/time to do the additional expressions, but that would be really cool for the next chapter :D. Second doing a scroll on the view is a difficult idea though, it could run into some problems. Such as it could cause confusion if you forget/don't relate who's speaking because you're panning the camera around a lot. It could also happen that you swivel too fast and again it breaks immersion. Just some thoughts.

Antares:
Nice quote from Brendan. I'm writing this from work, though I'll probably do some comment responding on youtube later on: I think there's a fine line between practical writing+style and overworking the text. In this case I think the reader had enough context to put 2 and 2 together. The subject of the conversation shifted to Alette, therefore the options refer to Alette and Egil (no need to overthink the writing).

Again I do think it's a fine line. Personally I think making the text more explicit in this case is handholding. ALthough I can also see other players making a mistake, possibly screwing up their choice and getting frustrated.

One point though, I think the game right now is designed so that all your choices have real impact, they aren't just cosmetic blah, and in addition they give you some idea, based on the context of your situation, of what you'll do. More than this aspect of the design, however, is that the choice doesn't necessarily translate into a predictable outcome or result. I.e. no the player doesn't know exactly what'll happen. The player knows what they'll do but they don't know what plays out when they do what they chose. This is a key thing I think. This is means there's real choice in the game.

The game isn't about making the BEST choice because you can fathom which of the choices is best (it's clear), instead the game is about making YOUR choice/es based on what you feel or think is the best response to the situation. Events then play out. Sometimes you're choice resulted in something good, sometimes something bad. I don't think you need to know the result to make a fair choice. What you need for the game and decision making to be fair, is an understanding of the risk and POSSIBLE OUTCOMES involved. And if at the end of the day you tried your best with the decisions you made but reached a less than stellar outcome...well that's sorta more real than making these pretend choices pre-destined to reach the best result. You played your Saga :).

Yes you could always do it again and look for the best choices/outcomes and do it that way eventually, but I find a great deal of value that you can play your game, even if only the first time you run thru it, and do the min/maxing after. Feels like a real RPG :)

Antares
09-02-2013, 03:52 AM
Thanks for the response.

Just to clarify, I'm not talking about "best" choices but more easily identifiable dilemmas. The way I read the available responses (and of course I could be wrong but, again, that's part of the fun in playing a game) is that #1 sends the young warriors away, keeping them safe (with a possible bonus for letting the chieftain know that an attack is underway and thus help prepare the defenses/save more lives) while #3 keeps the young warriors at hand for the next battle, with the possible bonus of scoring a kill and the risk of falling in battle. Number 2, however, seems less clear: is it a stricter version of #1? Will it impact on Rook's relationship towards Alette? Does it result in her leaving or does it open up more dialogue options? (the latter seems unlikely, because I don't think we'd get to wait a couple of days for the next video only to be faced with another vote).

I do agree, though, that there comes a point where if things get overanalyzed, it becomes hand-holding. Maybe it's just #2 that I can't quite understand how it'd impact on the story (the "real impact" you mentioned) and I guess that's reflected in the fewer votes, compared to "leave" (#1) and "stay" (#3).

Aleonymous
09-02-2013, 03:58 AM
Regarding the swivelling around to see the other faces and expressions, I don't think that's part of their design right now. Also, I don't think they have the budget/time to do the additional expressions, but that would be really cool for the next chapter

Indeed. Just throwing in suggestions. Concerning the face expressions, I was thinking of "simple" stuff, like raising an eyebrow, frowning, diverting the eyes, curling/tightening of the lips etc. I know there's normally tons of art and coding/linking to be done, so not hoping for anything like that for now.


Yes you could always do it again and look for the best choices/outcomes and do it that way eventually, but I find a great deal of value that you can play your game, even if only the first time you run thru it, and do the min/maxing after. Feels like a real RPG :)

Do we have a rough estimate of how many such vital decisions are to be made in "normal" play-thru? Is there a fixed number, e.g. 80-100, until you reach the ending or, like KoDP, its a 3-4 decisions per "TimeFrame" (be it day, week, span-traversed, random-event, major-event)?

espiritu
09-02-2013, 04:41 AM
I vote vor #1: Go with Egil

There is a good chance that the enemy may appear at the town hall while the fighters are away searching for whatever scared the folks. So Alette would be more useful helping to defend the townies.

Kuba
09-02-2013, 07:33 AM
Very nice update, can't wait for release. I vote for number 1.

InfiniteNutshell
09-02-2013, 10:06 AM
Thanks for the response.

Just to clarify, I'm not talking about "best" choices but more easily identifiable dilemmas. The way I read the available responses (and of course I could be wrong but, again, that's part of the fun in playing a game) is that #1 sends the young warriors away, keeping them safe (with a possible bonus for letting the chieftain know that an attack is underway and thus help prepare the defenses/save more lives) while #3 keeps the young warriors at hand for the next battle, with the possible bonus of scoring a kill and the risk of falling in battle. Number 2, however, seems less clear: is it a stricter version of #1? Will it impact on Rook's relationship towards Alette? Does it result in her leaving or does it open up more dialogue options? (the latter seems unlikely, because I don't think we'd get to wait a couple of days for the next video only to be faced with another vote).

I do agree, though, that there comes a point where if things get overanalyzed, it becomes hand-holding. Maybe it's just #2 that I can't quite understand how it'd impact on the story (the "real impact" you mentioned) and I guess that's reflected in the fewer votes, compared to "leave" (#1) and "stay" (#3).

I agree: it's unclear to me what choice 2 actually does compared to choice 1.

quartex
09-02-2013, 10:42 AM
I like the idea of some choices being a bit vague. You don't know exactly how people will respond to your comments. I don't want everything spelled out for me. Part of the fun of the game is seeing what different choices do.

Slimsy Platypus
09-02-2013, 10:51 AM
Just to clarify (I'm Brendan Cook) the first time I read through the text I was confused at what the choices actually meant not what the implications where. Like, I am not really sure what I am deciding by picking 2 or 3. 1 is clear what Rook is choosing, but 2 and 3 could be interpreted a couple different ways.

Quasar
09-02-2013, 10:58 AM
My vote is "Go with Egil. We'll be back soon"

Aleonymous
09-02-2013, 11:03 AM
I was confused at what the choices actually meant not what the implications were.

I'll agree with you, especially on option #2. Perhaps, each option, i.e. each "phrase" your character says, could be accompanied by some text in italics providing support/narrative. e.g.

(1) Go with Egil -- Rook urges Egil to escort Alette to the Hall.
(2) Not now, Alette! -- Irritation builds up on Rook's face and Alette sullenly follows Egil.
(3) Let them fight -- Alette smiles and starts stringing her bow.

Janus
09-02-2013, 12:29 PM
Wow, the video is great! The setting is very atmospheric and the art style is simply gorgeous. Single player is looking like it will live up to its (huge) potential!

However, I've come back from my forum hiatus (Factions was just eating too much of my time) to share the concern about confusing dialogue options. Nothing breaks immersion in a dialogue as much as realizing that you misunderstood the meaning of the option you've chosen. And to be honest, I'm not sure I fully understand these three options. I assume that options 1 & 2 are basically the same just spoken in a different tone? This is in itself a bit confusing, but should be ok if the player can be sure of the meaning (which I'm not in this case). Option 3 is also a bit confusing to me because both 1 & 2 are obviously directed at Alette, but it seems as if 3 is directed at Iver, correct? I think this should be indicated somehow.

I think Aleonymous' idea of providing accompanied text could solve this. But it would also give away some of the consequences of your choices, which might not be what Stoic intends to do here..

jkalos
09-02-2013, 12:49 PM
I choose option 1--go with Egil. Trainees should not be thrown into first combat with the mysterious bad guys

jkalos
09-02-2013, 12:51 PM
Uh oh. Now after reading the other posts I am not exactly sure what I voted for either. I thought the choice concerned the trainees on the field when they arrived but now I see it might have concerned the girl warrior?

abe545
09-02-2013, 01:06 PM
This looks great! I vote for #3 "Let them fight". I think they need to gain some valuable experience.

Zyrxil
09-02-2013, 08:29 PM
Just watched the LP video, and came here to comment, only to find out everyone was saying already. Oh well I had it typed before realizing it was too long for Youtube comments:

When it comes to decisions that can affect the story, a good decision point must be three things:

1. The Player must realize they are making a decision (e.g. it can't look like some throwaway dialogue).
2. The Player must feel like have enough information to make the decision, so it's not the equivalent of flipping a coin.
3. The choice the Player makes must have logical consequences, e.g. turning on a lightswitch should not kill a random character for no particular reason.

I think as it is, the decision in the video violates Rule #2, as you can't tell what you're doing. Fighting alone would obviously be harder, while fighting with help would obviously expose the other characters to danger. What does saying "Not now" do? It's completely vague.

And @quartex, no, it shouldn't be a bit vague. It's appropriate that the consequences aren't known, but if you don't even know what you're choosing, then why have the choice at all? It might as well roll a random number and not bring the player into it.

Antares
09-03-2013, 12:05 AM
Another point would be that the three choices are not equivalent grammatically -hence, their implications in terms of role-playing the character are not the same:

Choices #1 and #2 are written as direct speech, i.e. what Rook might actually say (or at the very least in the vein of his upcoming response) to Alette.

However, choice #3 is either a thought/decision or what Rook would suggest to Iver in direct speech (though there is no indication that Iver would have the final say in this decision -again, it would not be unreasonable, in terms of role-playing this situation, since he is the one who initially tells Egil to take Alette to the great hall, to warn the chieftain, in the first place, however responses 1 and 2 show that Rook would have final say in this).

Now, if #3 is not directed to Iver (as I would guess), then it's not equivalent to #1 and #2 because it gives no indication as to the manner in which the permission would be given: would it be kind and reassuring, as the dismissal in #1, or sterner, as the dismissal in #2? And if there are two different ways to send Alette away, with the manner in which this is done presumably having some impact on Rook's relationship with the young archer (or perhaps setting the tone of his overall leadership in terms of role-playing the character) shouldn't there be a kind and stern way of letting her stay to fight?

I realize all this may seem like analyzing the scene a bit too much, but at the same time I feel it is very interesting how much information and design choices can be found in three short responses.

On another note, would it be possible to have the banner flying behind the cart start short and become longer as the march progresses and the number of people joining the caravan grows? As it is, it seems a bit grandiose, I guess, having this huge red banner fly over a cart and two people. Graphics are fantastic overall and this is a very small detail. I blame my nitpicking on having just these 6 minutes of footage to go :)

Aleonymous
09-03-2013, 01:35 AM
On another note, would it be possible to have the banner flying behind the cart start short and become longer as the march progresses and the number of people joining the caravan grows?

:) I've noted that too, and actually thought just what you said -- that the banner's length is proportional to the population of the caravan. It certainly seems so in this background-image in the forums etc.

I wonder where will the crest-designs appear... (unlucky me :()

unkyaku
09-03-2013, 02:20 AM
#3 - Let's fight.

raven2134
09-03-2013, 07:41 AM
That's quite a useful analysis Antares. After mulling things over I think yea there could be a way to make things clearer from the way the options are written or presented.

What if, in a similar way to Aleo's suggestion (but less obtrusive), the options read:

1. Tell Alette to go with Egil
2. Shout "Not now Alette" and send her away.
3. Convince Iver to let Alette and Egil stay and fight.


And then after making your choice, Rook's dialogue follows the choice you made. So it's like you acted as the thought or will which you see followed after.

I think this bridges the gap between the language/form, and makes the meaning clear! :D

Aleonymous
09-03-2013, 07:48 AM
I think this bridges the gap between the language/form, and makes the meaning clear! :D

Indeed. It seems much better this way. After all, "words are wind" meaning that its actions that guide the threads in the pattern -- not intentions or phrases.

Wordplay
09-03-2013, 07:56 AM
Out of interest, I wonder how many new battle maps are included in the single player. We've already seen a couple, one in the playthrough, and another in the most recent Kotaku article.

quartex
09-03-2013, 09:07 AM
I would expect to single player to include MANY more battle maps. Whether there are 10, 20, 30 different maps, I don't know. I suppose it depends on the length of the game. But I'd expect to see a bunch of generic maps for random encounters that happen along the way and then a set of different maps for more important combats that occur as part of the main storyline.

Banfilidh
09-03-2013, 09:45 AM
That's quite a useful analysis Antares. After mulling things over I think yea there could be a way to make things clearer from the way the options are written or presented.

What if, in a similar way to Aleo's suggestion (but less obtrusive), the options read:

1. Tell Alette to go with Egil
2. Shout "Not now Alette" and send her away.
3. Convince Iver to let Alette and Egil stay and fight.


And then after making your choice, Rook's dialogue follows the choice you made. So it's like you acted as the thought or will which you see followed after.

I think this bridges the gap between the language/form, and makes the meaning clear!

Here's the thing that was troubling me. My presumption was that telling the chieftain about the attack is important, but the first choice gives no indicator that is the case. If I were playing, I'd be concerned that letting them fight meant that no warning got to the chieftain, and that this might have dire consequences.

Having unintended consequences to an action is fine. But the player needs to understand what each choice is supposed to represent. If I'm right about telling the chieftain being important, then the first choice should read more along the lines of:

"Alerting the chieftain is the most important thing you can do right now." And perhaps the third could say:
"The chieftain surely knows. Let them fight."

Also, why on earth would you chose the second option?

Antares
09-03-2013, 10:25 AM
@raven:

Certainly I'd agree that the phrasing you are proposing is much clearer: both in who you're actually talking to and what would be the result.

Going back to something I wrote in an earlier post (and I think is echoed in Banfilidh's post) I was wondering whether there was a way -without resorting to hand-holding- to indicate whether each decision would have some added effect (#1 stronger defenses for the village, meaning higher survival rate and thus more people deciding to join the caravan, #2 a differentiation in Rook's relationship with Alette, #3 an easier encounter against the dredges but weaker defenses for the village or slower response to the threat).

I'm not even sure if all these factors are part of the game mechanics or whether I'm reading too much in the situation, but I got the impression from several messages in this thread that people were considering other parameters in taking their decision apart from that of the safety of the young warriors against the possibility of earning some extra experience; the dilemmas I mentioned in an earlier post, that is, could make for even more difficult decisions: if I knew that Alette's shot at more experience would come at the cost of less support for the caravan, it would be more difficult for me to keep her with me for the next battle, compared to "just" the risk of losing her to the dredges without any other adverse effects in the wider scheme of things, a risk which would be easier to brush aside thanks to my (misplaced, probably) belief in my ability to keep her safe in battle.

In other words, choices might be affected (in my case almost certainly would) by the knowledge that it's not simply a question of keeping two unique characters safe, but that the choice to keep them by Rook's side for the battle would be "paid", so to speak, in ways that cannot be prevented by the player.

Again, I'm not sure whether such parameters feature in the game or whether I'm just role-playing these 5 minutes way too much. But it's so much fun, imagining all these situations, and if these parameters are actually part of the bigger picture, that would be fantastic.

raven2134
09-03-2013, 11:39 AM
Interesting post. I've had more time with test versions of the game (for test purposes) outside of the demo, to that extent I can tell you that during your journey, you will have those clearer choices when it comes to handling majority of the encounters with the Dredge. The game does make it clear using the War System, which I won't spoil too much on, but which basically does let you choose how to approach a particular battle, knowing what your choice will mean for that battle and the subsequent outcome.

For other cases however, like what we saw in the demo, those are story related choices. Personally, I think it should be clear what the choice will make you do. I don't think however, the choice should make clear what the outcome will be. For reasons I mentioned in the earlier post I made.

But to go into the idea in a deeper way, again I think that your thought process right now, is really what it means to roleplay, it's where the imagination steps in and you can get a real feel of the game, instead of something manufactured to lead you to the best outcome.

Let's take the demo as the example. I think, based on the 2 choices, most players will think
1. is it risky to bring Alette, my daughter (since I'm playing/deciding as Rook) into battle. Could bringing her into battle put me or her or someone in danger cos of her inexperience and result in someone dying?
2. is it better to send her off to the refuge with Egil, where I think she'll be safe? But will she really be safe? What if something happens while I'm not there...maybe it's a better idea to keep her where I can keep an eye on her

*and of course we have the more vague/ambiguous 2nd choice "Not now alette"...yes I'm not sure what this will do exactly...does this keep her quiet and send her off? does this make her mad and cause her to rush recklessly into the fray out of youthful folly? If I'm not stern enough will she sneak into the battlefield anyway?

I do think there's an element of fun and skill (since you're acting as a tactician or leader) when you make well reasoned and informed decisions. But I think splitting this between the very concrete battle choices (War System) and the more unpredictable story choices (which tell you what you're gonna do, but not exactly what will happen), makes a good mix. You play the leader/person/character you yourself want to be or think you are, and then the rest is life/reality/the game. You're not entirely in control.

Yes, you could have made the safe decision, and sent her off...BUT CRAP THE DREDGE STORMED THE REFUGE! and so on...(this was just an example).

TL DR, I just want to allay any impression that the game won't give you some pretty clear idea of what some of the choices you'll make will result to. At the same time, expect a lot of stuff to just happen :). That's how it was a lot in King of Dragon's Pass and Oregon's Trail as well. You made the best decisions, then coped with the random factor :).

P.S. You only permanently lose characters from storyline/decisions, not from them getting KOd in battle.

Aleonymous
09-03-2013, 11:48 AM
P.S. You only permanently lose characters from storyline/decisions, not from them getting KOd in battle.

I think that's exactly what people are "afraid of": That such a --seemingly-- trivial decision could get one of their beloved characters in "out-of-control" trouble. Meaning that, during battle, the fate of your character is (to some extent) in your hands...

quartex
09-03-2013, 11:50 AM
We've had a lot of discussion about the wording of the 3 choices at the end of the video, but I haven't seen any talk about the 3 choices in the middle of the video. I thought they seemed pretty clear and self-explanatory - either fleeing as fast as possible, trying to flee with your supplies, or staying to fight the dredge. I don't feel like those choices need to be rewritten very much.

P.S. I wonder if staying to fight the dredge would lead to a very difficult combat encounter, or if you would automatically be overwhelmed and barely escape with your life. I assume having Rook or Alette be killed this early is unlikely, but until we get to play the game for real, who knows?

raven2134
09-03-2013, 11:55 AM
Well Stoic seems to be going by the GoT mantra...no character (at least in the span of 3 chapters) will be safe :p.

Maybe we need to just look at the dialogue choices, rather than the action choices. Nice for you to point that out, cos the language form I proposed is basically turning dialogue choices into action choices, then the dialogue just follows.

Antares
09-03-2013, 12:33 PM
Maybe I'm thinking (too much) of Hammer of the Gods, where upon choosing your path/mission the rewards for succeeding in that mission were spelled out quite clearly, whereas The Banner Saga seems to me more like King of the Dragon Pass, but with beautiful turn-based battles, with a sprinkling of Hammer of the Gods (and I find that prospect simply mouth-watering).

Having said that, I appreciate that over-analyzing the implications of each choice would spoil the fun in a role-playing situation and already it's been immensely fun trying to guess what would happen in choosing 1, 2 or 3.

On the other hand, since (I'd forgotten that) characters can't be killed by falling in battle, doesn't that make it even easier to "risk" the young warriors in battle (#3), if there's no other bonus in sending them away? (#2,#3) Unless, of course, by keeping them with you one would die by default, in a scripted event... but then the same could be true in sending them away: perhaps an ambush at the great hall.

The next video can't be posted fast enough, as far as I'm concerned :)

Alex
09-03-2013, 02:34 PM
Heh, ok guys we're looking into the dialogue options here. I agree that "Not now, Alette" can sound ambiguous. I'm pretty sure "Go with Egil" and "Let them fight" are about as clear as possible. Also, keep in mind that we *know* the player doesn't have a feel for how things play out yet.

We want to teach the player that we're not going to pull any "gotchas" so that they start trusting that we're not going to screw you over because of what you say instead of what you meant. You'll see the result of what you say before it's too late to react. I think it'll be more clear as we continue in the demo.

We also have some plans to improve the camera panning, based on lots of feedback. Thanks for all the wonderful comments!

Speaking of which, part 2 up in a couple minutes...

Tychoxi
09-03-2013, 02:42 PM
However, choice #3 is either a thought/decision or what Rook would suggest to Iver in direct speech (though there is no indication that Iver would have the final say in this decision -again, it would not be unreasonable, in terms of role-playing this situation, since he is the one who initially tells Egil to take Alette to the great hall, to warn the chieftain, in the first place, however responses 1 and 2 show that Rook would have final say in this).

Here! This was my problem, I didn't say anything when posting my choice because at the end of the day I did understand what you were saying. (Option 1: Tell Alette and Egil go to the Hall. Option 2: Tell Alette and Egil go to the Hall... but being a "bit" rough when giving the command. Option 3: Let Alette and Egil stay and fight.). Of all these the one I felt was a bit ambiguous was Option 3, and it's for the reason Antares states, it changes the interlocutor (From Alette in options 1 & 2 to Iger or nobody in option 3).

I disagree with Antares on his other points. So, for example, Iver may disagree with you on option 3 and Alette and Egil end up going to the Hall anyway. What matters is not that the game does exactly what you say, but that it recognizes your choice. So with option 3 (even if Alette ends up going to the Hall) Alette will be happy you showed confidence in her, while Iver's respect for you as a leader may be lowered a bit. And the manner of saying things is virtually infinite, we have to deal with the few options the devs thought fit their game. Option three is clearly not aggressive, so take it as that.

Also, I don't think being clear is "handholding". Ambiguous dialogs are one of the most annoying things to be exacerbated in modern games. Back in my days games had dialog trees and each choice was exactly what my character was about to say and/or description of an action to be taken. Now they are reduced to gruff three-word sentences, that can be misinterpreted. Recently, Wasteland 2 was using the old keyword dialog system, and people complained because it was ambiguous (What do you mean "Radio"? Is that supposed to mean that I use my radio? That I ask about the NPC's radio? That I demand to use the NPCs radio?, etc). So now when you hover over the keyword, the game pop-ups exactly what your character will say. I'm not saying this applies to Banner Saga, just that ambiguous wording is an important issue, quite important in a game like this where your choices matter so much apparently.




1. Tell Alette to go with Egil
2. Shout "Not now Alette" and send her away.
3. Convince Iver to let Alette and Egil stay and fight.

To me, this feels more or less like the the way to go. Option 2 could use some work, but overall it's brief and not ambiguous.
I guess there's a problem in that we don't know Alette so we can't make an informed decision, but, yeah, it's no biggie and characters must be introduced one way or the other. Here we see that she's apparently an eager rookie.

awilgus
09-03-2013, 03:07 PM
Go with Egil.

Interested to see how the story branches when you split up parties.

Alex
09-03-2013, 03:44 PM
Part 2 of the playthrough is ready!

-E0rhoN1Eog

Don't forget to vote!

sergio
09-03-2013, 03:54 PM
3: shout at Allete

The battle and abilities are looking gorgeous. Can't wait to play it!

Antares
09-03-2013, 03:59 PM
Argh!

On the one hand, I feel "vindicated" for having chosen to keep the young warriors with the two veterans. Egil absorbed two early attacks and dealt some good damage, while Alette was -as I expected, against melee enemies- quite useful. Frankly, I can't see how the two veterans would have prevailed unaided -Iver absorbed lots of damage, but was on the verge of collapse by the end.

On the other hand, I can now see how keeping Alette on the field translates into an advantage in battle but puts her at risk afterwards. I'll have to think about my next vote.

Tychoxi
09-03-2013, 04:07 PM
Oh Lord! That battle would have been very difficult without the "kids"!

As for the choice, as much as I want to rush in with my trusty axe, I think the best option here is 2: Shoot it with an arrow (you know, the best given there's no option to kill it with fire or nuking from orbit).

Banfilidh
09-03-2013, 04:09 PM
2) Shoot it with an arrow.

I'm hoping that will draw its attention away from her.

Antares
09-03-2013, 04:13 PM
I think I'll go with #2 as well: neither shouting or charging the dregde will have an immediate effect, whereas (I'm hoping that) shooting the giant with an arrow will both alert Alette to an immediate danger and buy her some time to put some distance between her and that mace.

Drusain
09-03-2013, 04:14 PM
The person hosting the second video said that the fights do not scale depending on how many NPCs are on the map, and I don't really like this much at all. If the map don't scale then it seems I really don't have incentive to not bring everyone with me on every map.

Turambar29
09-03-2013, 04:18 PM
1) shout, shout, let it all out!

Antares
09-03-2013, 04:21 PM
The person hosting the second video said that the fights do not scale depending on how many NPCs are on the map, and I don't really like this much at all. If the map don't scale then it seems I really don't have incentive to not bring everyone with me on every map.

Well, if this particular battle was somewhat easier (or perhaps if I could imagine a way of winning without the use of the two young warriors) the incentive would be to keep some valuable characters safe; I assume that if Alette was at the great hall, a mace-wielding dredge wouldn't be standing behind her back right now.

With such a difficult battle, however... I mean, the only "mistake" (I can't believe I'm "correcting" one of the devs and I could be terribly wrong, of course) I can see is that Iver offered first attack to that shield-bearing dredge. Other than that, perhaps instead of having Rook mark the enemy that first time, maybe he could have brought its armor down; but no matter how I play it out in my mind, it's a difficult battle, no two ways about it.

Kuba
09-03-2013, 04:24 PM
Voting for number 2.

Aleonymous
09-03-2013, 04:35 PM
I'll vote number 2, too (sic).

The Hunter's hybrid attack (melee/ranged) seems to deal a constant damage, so no point in wasting seconds to close-in on the Dredge in order to attack it with the axe.

Go for the eyes! :mad:

mindflare77
09-03-2013, 04:55 PM
Definitely voting 2. Shoot it! Shoot it again!

GreenDread
09-03-2013, 05:00 PM
I say #3, because that seems like a possibly awesome move. Also I want to see some worst-case scenarios. :p

@Drusain: Also, the Turn-system makes it a possible advantage to be in smaller numbers than the enemy, because it gives you turn-advantage. Especially, if there is no Pillage in Single-Player.

Alex
09-03-2013, 05:05 PM
I say #3, because that seems like a possibly awesome move. Also I want to see some worst-case scenarios. :p

@Drusain: Also, the Turn-system makes it a possible advantage to be in smaller numbers than the enemy, because it gives you turn-advantage. Especially, if there is no Pillage in Single-Player.

This is correct. Now for the record, there IS pillage in single player (just not in the first tutorial fight), but I've been able to win that battle with just Iver and Rook pretty handily due to turn advantage. We are still balancing the game, and we might lower the difficulty on this one. New players will have a lot harder time with it, but losing the fight doesn't mean game over... it just leads to a less-than-ideal result.

quartex
09-03-2013, 05:11 PM
I vote #2, because I want to see if Rook can imitate William Tell.

Antares
09-03-2013, 05:20 PM
This is correct. Now for the record, there IS pillage in single player (just not in the first tutorial fight), but I've been able to win that battle with just Iver and Rook pretty handily due to turn advantage. We are still balancing the game, and we might lower the difficulty on this one. New players will have a lot harder time with it, but losing the fight doesn't mean game over... it just leads to a less-than-ideal result.

Suddenly, I wish I'd voted for Alette to head to the great hall, I'd have loved to see the two veterans take on 5 enemies and emerge victorious.

Choices, choices.

Boa
09-03-2013, 05:21 PM
Voting #2 here. #1 would likely give Alette just enough time to watch as the mace smashes into her, while #3 would probably mean Rook gets into melee range with a guy he doesn't want to be anywhere close to, while Alette still gets smashed. Best case scenario, I'm hoping #2 would kill the colossus outright, or at the very least distract the enemy so Alette has enough time to get out of reach.

Wordplay
09-03-2013, 05:42 PM
Put me down for 2. Shoot an arrow at it.

Really enjoyed the playthrough. Battle maps look gorgeous.

DuxVictorum
09-03-2013, 05:45 PM
Part 2 - Shout a warning to her!

quartex
09-03-2013, 06:11 PM
I wanted to add that I really like Alette's active ability. "Thread the Needle" is a neat ability and very thematic for the sharpshooter. I like how it encourages players to take advantage of positioning and increases the importance of formations and maneuvering.

But does anyone have any thoughts on what Iver's other passive ability is? I noticed at 4:20 on the video that he attacked the big dredge with an armor attack and it did 1 damage to each of the other adjacent dredge as well. It looks like an alternate version of heavy impact. Is this the first example we've had of a unit having two passive abilities?

raven2134
09-03-2013, 06:22 PM
I've also had a few runs on the demo, and it is possible to manage that fight with just Rook and Iver :), it's a bit more challenging but not too hard to do, Iver is pretty beast with turn advantage and Rook can shoot stuff before going in for the kill, so it works pretty well.

Having Alette and Egil there does give you a bit more breathing room though.

The effect you see for the chain break on the dredge is a dredge trait. If you hit them for 3 or more break, it causes adjacent dredge to take armor damage also. The lore for this is because the armor shatters and causes damage to the other dredge closeby. Personally I like to think you shove them into each other and they collide causing that damage, cos they look so heavy!

quartex
09-03-2013, 06:34 PM
Thanks for the explanation raven. That's pretty cool. I like the idea that the dredge have both special abilities and special weaknesses that we haven't seen before.

Erotic Joe
09-03-2013, 06:45 PM
Shoot it with an arrow!

RoBear
09-03-2013, 07:18 PM
I vote for choice #2, shoot it with an arrow.

LinkWizard
09-03-2013, 07:26 PM
#1 Shout at Alette!

If folks would only vote the opposite for what they'd really choose during a playthrough, then we might see where things could go...

Guğmundr
09-03-2013, 09:51 PM
Since I never encountered this choice in my playthroughs, and thus don't know the consequences, I guess I can vote :D

I pick #2, since it might distract the dredge at least, and it would probably take much less time than running at with an axe. Time is of the essence!

espiritu
09-04-2013, 06:12 AM
Well, I first thought of running at it with an axe because rook will hit the first strike and can position himself between the dredge and Alette to catch a counter- attack. But shooting it with an arrow seems attractive too.

So I vote for #2 too.

sergio
09-04-2013, 07:53 AM
The person hosting the second video said that the fights do not scale depending on how many NPCs are on the map, and I don't really like this much at all. If the map don't scale then it seems I really don't have incentive to not bring everyone with me on every map.

Allete is in danger now, if you haven't brought her, she would be safe (I guess).

Njael
09-04-2013, 08:02 AM
Vote for #2.

Great plays, I'm really excited for the whole game :)

Szpil
09-04-2013, 11:50 AM
I vote for #2

Great playthrough so far! :) I really like the new classes shown so far and how their abilities interact with positioning - they really add alot to the game.

Can you elaborate on the AI shown in the video a little bit more? Because at times I had the feeling that they did not chose the most optimal actions. For example both dredge on the right attacked Egil altough he used 'Stone Wall' and they could not do any damage to him. Was that behavior intentionally, i.e. some AI opponents are 'dumber' than others or was this because you are still tweaking it? (then again the AI might be smarter than me in judging the entire situation and I might completely miss something obvious here)

quartex
09-04-2013, 12:07 PM
I heard that the AI was configured to ignore the Raidmasters "Stone Wall" ability. It was frustrating when users you enabled "Shield Wall" and then watch the enemy ignore the unit and attack other units instead, more satisfying to be able to outmaneuver the enemy when you use "Shield Wall". I think this is a case where the AI is being made intentionally stupid, which is okay in a single player game where the opponent is often intentionally stronger than you. (compared to the multiplayer where you are supposed to equal strength)

Leartes
09-04-2013, 12:07 PM
OMG I'm so late watching this -.-

It is pure awesome, release demo NOW :D Just kidding, take your time and make it even more awesome (if that is possible).

EDIT: Go for 1, shout at alette, if the poll is still open. (Don't think axe is fast enough and best case arrow hits and does nothing - worst case it hits alette)

Aleonymous
09-04-2013, 12:23 PM
I heard that the AI was configured to ignore the Raidmasters "Stone Wall" ability.

Indeed. Alex mentioned in the forum-chat that some "buffs" are intentionally ignored by the enemy (Dredge), in order to make the fights more fun (easy?) and more lore-friendly. I am guessing that similar behavior will apply to the Rain-of-Arrows (even thought play-testers hinted that the Dredge were able [or lucky?] to avoid ~33% of traps set), Bring-the-Pain and perhaps even Burning-Coals (?).

What troubles me, Lore-wise, is how are the Dredge supposed to re-act to Malice (Provoking)... What can that horny Varl say/do that can outrage the (already outraged) Dredge??? :D

Szpil
09-04-2013, 02:02 PM
I heard that the AI was configured to ignore the Raidmasters "Stone Wall" ability. It was frustrating when users you enabled "Shield Wall" and then watch the enemy ignore the unit and attack other units instead, more satisfying to be able to outmaneuver the enemy when you use "Shield Wall". I think this is a case where the AI is being made intentionally stupid, which is okay in a single player game where the opponent is often intentionally stronger than you. (compared to the multiplayer where you are supposed to equal strength)

Thanks for the clarification quartex and Aleonymous! Yes, I can see that this actually makes sense for the single player game.

Drusain
09-04-2013, 02:18 PM
On a sidenote, if the game isn't going to be voiced, then how much freedom will we have with names for the player characters? Will we be able to name generics?

grumpyoldman
09-04-2013, 02:34 PM
Shout, Shout! That's what an uptight lumberman would do! He won't get the arrow on the string or may even hit Alette! Or may be slower than by charging - the mace is already mid-air!

gripho
09-04-2013, 04:15 PM
I vote for #2. Shoot it!

balnoisi
09-04-2013, 08:16 PM
i can't believe Alette's pretty farmgirl face is going to be squashed like that, and so soon. we barely know her !

c'mon Alex, stop your maniacal genius laughs. is that the way you are going to be teaching people that decisions really have consequences in this game ? it is going to be a caravan of sorrows ! ;)

i shouldn't watch the next videos but i'll guess curiosity wins all the time. can't wait to play the finished game, awesome job so far, i'm loving it.

elezar
09-04-2013, 09:15 PM
I'm going to go with #3, just because it would be cool to see. :)

twincast
09-05-2013, 08:05 AM
Kind of missed that we shouldn't vote on Youtube but here. (^_^;)

Might be you do count those votes as well, but to restate my choice for the second video: #2 Shoot!

RobertTheScott
09-05-2013, 10:35 AM
Kind of missed that we shouldn't vote on Youtube but here. (^_^;)

Second. And speaking of numbers greater than one but less than three, I'll vote for 2. We know these monsters are at least somewhat vulnerable to arrows, and they make noise when they are hit, so it seems like a great combination of quickest response and reasonably-quick warning.

Alex
09-05-2013, 04:00 PM
Part 3! A short but important decision to make, and some commentary:

uH1oDZ5wedc

Antares
09-05-2013, 04:13 PM
Could we get an estimate on "how long" episode 1 would be? Clearly, if lots of poor decisions are made it would be a rather brief saga, but, roughly, how long would it take (outside the battles)?

quartex
09-05-2013, 04:22 PM
Early on in development I heard that one playthrough of "Banner Saga: Chapter 1" might last about 8-10 hours from start to finish. But I have no idea if that's still accurate. Even if it's a shorter game, I think there is a lot of re-playability, given all the choices you have to make.

Aleonymous
09-05-2013, 04:25 PM
Darn, I got cold feet. I vote for...

#3 Shoot safely to distract the Dredge

grumpyoldman
09-05-2013, 04:28 PM
So, maybe this time: Shout a warning!

LeCheeba
09-05-2013, 04:28 PM
stop thinking shoot that damn dredge trust in your skills :D

Antares
09-05-2013, 04:33 PM
Just finished reading the article by Mr. Grayson of RPS... I didn't think it would be possible to look forward to the Banner Saga even more than I already was, and yet after reading about all the choices, the fragile alliance between humans and varls, the spoiled goods that were meant (?) as a reward, the characters leaving or dying because of some decision, the weight of leadership...

And now, when I'm asked for a second time to reconsider shooting that arrow, I begin to doubt my initial choice: would a flimsy arrow be enough to distract (let alone stop, though I never counted on that, I merely wanted to throw off the dregde and warn Alette in one go) that hulking mace-yielding enemy? Even if the arrow were to find its target, I wasn't sure to begin with that it'd be enough to achieve its two-fold purpose, to distract and to warn.

And yet, the bow is stretched, precious time has been lost already drawing that arrow from the quiver, I can't afford to hesitate. With a twang, the arrow flies over Alette's head and I pray my reasoning was sound: 3.

sergio
09-05-2013, 04:34 PM
2: shout

Alex
09-05-2013, 04:37 PM
Could we get an estimate on "how long" episode 1 would be? Clearly, if lots of poor decisions are made it would be a rather brief saga, but, roughly, how long would it take (outside the battles)?

Outside of battles? Really hard to say. The truth is that even if you make bad decisions, the game won't be any shorter, you'll just be doing poorly. It's not very common that you get the "game over", you're more likely to see the story go on with some losses.

RobertTheScott
09-05-2013, 04:37 PM
2-shout. I have an arrow notched; I can shoot later.

jkalos
09-05-2013, 04:42 PM
Number 3--fire above its head to distract it.

Banfilidh
09-05-2013, 04:45 PM
I was under the impression that the Dredge were a good bit taller than humans, at least the bigger ones. It is referred to as a Colossus and is said to be looming over her, so not sure why the shot would be so dangerous (assuming he's pretty skilled).

I'm sticking with 1) Shoot

Slimsy Platypus
09-05-2013, 04:52 PM
This is such an exciting example on how we will have to own up to our decisions. Risk hitting Alette to go for the head shot, or leave the Dredge intact and attempt to distract it? Alette's 2D portrait is too epic to jeopardize shooting an arrow through it...

So 3! Fire safely above the Dredge to distract it

quartex
09-05-2013, 04:57 PM
I don't think the Dredge is going to notice an arrow. I think it's safer to just shout at her.

I vote 2: Shout at her to get her attention.

Guğmundr
09-05-2013, 05:11 PM
Hm... quite a tough decision.

I'll go with 1, and hope that Rook thinks to shout "duck!" at Alette at the same time :)

InfiniteNutshell
09-05-2013, 07:08 PM
I'd probably shout a warning if I were actually playing, but for the demo, I vote just shoot the dredge already!

GreenDread
09-05-2013, 07:55 PM
#1 Just shoot it, dammit.

mindflare77
09-05-2013, 08:02 PM
I was under the impression that the Dredge were a good bit taller than humans, at least the bigger ones. It is referred to as a Colossus and is said to be looming over her, so not sure why the shot would be so dangerous (assuming he's pretty skilled).

I'm sticking with 1) Shoot

This. Going under the impression that the Dredge is indeed significantly taller, it isn't even a question. 1.

LinkWizard
09-05-2013, 08:49 PM
#2 Shout to get her attention. Like, what you should have done the first time.

RoBear
09-05-2013, 09:55 PM
Vote #1 Stop Thinking! Shoot the dredge!

Tychoxi
09-05-2013, 10:25 PM
Hmmm... looks like the game is screaming at me DUDE ARE YOU SURE? YOUR (sic) TOTALLY GONNA SHOOT AELTTE (sic)!!!111! Alas, I shall abide by my original decision, I choose option 1 Shoot the dredge.

Boa
09-05-2013, 10:25 PM
If Rook's as good a fighter as we think he is, this shouldn't even be coming up. Voting #1. When you start second guessing yourself, that's when accidents happen.

elezar
09-06-2013, 12:56 AM
I vote #1 also, for the reasons others have already said. Once you make a decision, stick with it. Second-guessing yourself usually leads to more problems than it solves. And, Rook should be smart enough to be aiming above Alette at the part of the Dredge that's towering over her, not trying to shoot it directly over her shoulder.

Aleonymous
09-06-2013, 01:46 AM
Hmmmm... I see a lot of #1s. Looks like cowboy attitudes are taking over Rook's best judgement :cool:

If it's not too late, it is my solemn obligation to the welfare of this people, to bring to your attention a small bit of relevant information, acquired from a (not so) unofficial "channel" :D. So, for those sharing mutual feelings towards the longevity of the Saga's main characters, I would urge you to search the chat-log of 5/6-Sept, some minutes after the release of the 3rd part of demo-playthru...

Merithyn
09-06-2013, 02:11 AM
#3 Fire safely above the Dredge to distract it. :p

espiritu
09-06-2013, 02:44 AM
I stay with: 1) stop thinking and shoot at the Dredge.

Wordplay
09-06-2013, 11:57 AM
I vote for 3) - Fire above its head to distract it.

Hopefully Alette will notice as well.

Echlir
09-06-2013, 02:48 PM
Use the force Rook 1.) Stop thinking and shoot the dredge

RobertTheScott
09-06-2013, 03:08 PM
I'm sticking with my vote of 2 (though I do second the common question of how Alette is in the way of the Dredge, given height differences.) However...I'm kinda glad 1 is being voted up. It seems the more dramatic decision.

Aleonymous
09-06-2013, 03:20 PM
However...I'm kinda glad 1 is being voted up. It seems the more dramatic decision.

Aye. It seems we'll witness a drama :(

Boa
09-06-2013, 04:33 PM
If #1 does end up getting Alette killed, then I'll be honest and say I don't like that kind of thing. I'm all for decisions like this, but having a character die because of it just seems like a waste. Stick to things like having paths closed off, or losing the chance to earn loot, or getting ambushed in a precarious spot. If you get a character killed, it should be because you made a poor decision on the battlefield, not because you chose A instead of B.

In this current situation, I would start a battle where the effects of your decision play out instead of having the game tell you what happens. That way, if you do make a bad decision, you have the opportunity to fix it instead of being told "Oh, you shoot Alette in the back and she keels over dead. Tough break." Instead, you'd go into a battle where Alette takes damage from your bungled shot, and then Alette and Rook would be facing the colossus with Alette already hurt.

Tychoxi
09-06-2013, 04:46 PM
If #1 does end up getting Alette killed, then I'll be honest and say I don't like that kind of thing. I'm all for decisions like this, but having a character die because of it just seems like a waste. Stick to things like having paths closed off, or losing the chance to earn loot, or getting ambushed in a precarious spot. If you get a character killed, it should be because you made a poor decision on the battlefield, not because you chose A instead of B.

In this current situation, I would start a battle where the effects of your decision play out instead of having the game tell you what happens. That way, if you do make a bad decision, you have the opportunity to fix it instead of being told "Oh, you shoot Alette in the back and she keels over dead. Tough break." Instead, you'd go into a battle where Alette takes damage from your bungled shot, and then Alette and Rook would be facing the colossus with Alette already hurt.

But they have been pretty clear that perma-death will only occur precisely because of/during these kinds of decisions. Sometimes it may be an immediate consequence, other-times a delayed one (I assume),

quartex
09-06-2013, 04:48 PM
We already know that units can't get killed in battle, and only get killed because of story decisions. We know that units wounded in battle won't be able to fight for X number of days. But it sounds like units getting wounded in battle won't affect the plot.

So the only way units can die is in cases like this, because the player picked options A instead of option B. If units who were knocked out in battle died instead, player would be complaining about how easy for units to die in battle (most battles in Factions end with 3-5 units getting knocked out). Or would some defeats in battle lead to death and some just knock out a unit? How would the player know which is which? In short, if they don't go for death in battle, then story decisions are the only way for units to be mortal.

(I'm assuming plot gets affected by if you win or lose a battle, or how long the battle takes. I suppose it's possible the story could vary depending on who is currently wounded, but that seems harder to plan for.)

Aleonymous
09-06-2013, 05:52 PM
If you get a character killed, it should be because you made a poor decision on the battlefield, not because you chose A instead of B.

I am somewhere in between:

-- I understand Boa's dismay at that the situation described "a Dredge appears out of nowhere to kill one of your friends ==> Do a coin-flip to see what happens" is not a very good plot element. Especially after a battle that went quite well for us -- nobody was knocked-out. It seems like the game wants us to "pay" something for not sending Alette & Egil to safety... If that's not the case, then we're surely in for a "caravan of sorrows" (sic), with no respite and troubles at every turn! :cool: Cool!

-- On the other hand, with the battles being somewhat difficult, it might become increasingly improbable for the average player to take an optimal path in the story. I guess that making it to the end will offer some satisfaction, but if 70% of your friends perished in such ways, then you might as well through yourself off a cliff.

So, with some players being good at battles while others at decision-making/management, then, I believe, that the balance should be somewhere in between, i.e. that perma-death could happen from situations: (1) If he/she gets something like a -5 or -10 overkill during a fight, or (2) if you do a streak of 2-3 poor decisions in a row, wrt to their welfare.

Slimsy Platypus
09-06-2013, 06:50 PM
If you get a character killed, it should be because you made a poor decision on the battlefield

This definitely sparks an interesting conversation. One of the problems with having permanent death due to battles is that it can be really disruptive when writing a branching story. When characters heavily involved in the plot have the potential to die each battle, you would have to create a branch for every potential series of character deaths for every battle which obviously isn't feasible.

How one game that comes to mind handles this (Fire Emblem), is that a couple main characters just give you game over when they die and the rest end up with permanent death. Firstly, it feels awkward to the player when someone is "allowed" to die while others aren't. Secondly, this results in limiting the characters involved in the main plot during writing to a minimum number, which potentially could be bad with respect to story telling.

For me, the option to control your troupes' individual fates out of combat via decision making is actually exciting, and is definitely going to add some interesting replay value to the game. And honestly, I much rather prefer it to death during combat as forcing the player to feel like they need to play perfect every battle isn't the best way to make the combat fun (I'm flashing back to restarting Fire Emblem battles time and time over).

My only thought is: what is going to prevent the urge to roll back to a previous save when you make a decisions where someone dies? This issue plagued XCOM resulting in some pretty bad feedback after release. Players will do very un-fun things in games to reward themselves, and (from my experience) if I have a bunch of fun carrots-on-sticks to chase after but have a miserable time doing so, I don't put the game down and remember the good moments.

Regardless, I'm not sure we've seen enough to the Saga to know exactly where it will fall in the matter, and I'm feeling optimistic that the decision making will keep me fueled through many playthroughs!

Boa
09-06-2013, 07:18 PM
For me, the option to control your troupes' individual fates out of combat via decision making is actually exciting, and is definitely going to add some interesting replay value to the game. And honestly, I much rather prefer it to death during combat as forcing the player to feel like they need to play perfect every battle isn't the best way to make the combat fun (I'm flashing back to restarting Fire Emblem battles time and time over).

quartex mentioned a few posts back about battles where a unit dies instead of being knocked out, and the problem of knowing which is which. I think battles like that would be a nice fit for situations like this. If you make the wrong decision, you're thrust into a battle where a unit's life is on the line. It would give players an opportunity to be spared the consequences of a wrong decision instead of being stuck with it. This obviously won't fit for life or death situations where no one is being attacked, and it's those kinds of situations that I'm looking forward to seeing.

twincast
09-06-2013, 10:19 PM
Waah! Those decisions are getting harder and harder. *flail*
I've been pondering back and forth for nigh on two days now (and have no idea when you actually do the recording)...

2: Shout at Alette
I'll just assume that the game remembers that we've got an arrow nocked*.
If not, it would be any one of the other two, but I ain't sure which one.

*To emphasize: It's "nock", not "notch"!

Aleonymous
09-07-2013, 03:39 AM
One of the problems with having permanent death due to battles is that it can be really disruptive when writing a branching story.

Indeed, it sounds a challenging task to accomplish. However, it highly depends on how you structure your story "tree" in the first place. For instance, you could group possible deaths in 4-5 categories and direct them all to a common story-branch; if its a text-based story (with "static" portraits and all), it seems simple to do. What I'm trying to say, is that this is another hard-decision that was made at the foundations of the game...


My only thought is: what is going to prevent the urge to roll back to a previous save when you make a decisions where someone dies?

That's a good question. I guess it will heavily rely on how the Save/Restore system is set-up with the Saga. I would seriously like this not-so-well-loved "one save-slot per Saga" concept. Some of you will surely hate it, but I gotta love it -- Whatever your choices and whichever branch you take, each saga will be unique, in its own way. Managing the impact of your choices and learning from your mistakes could make your following Sagas just as interesting as the first. And, for the re-playability POV, exploring all the possible "branches of the tree" will take much more time (and that's good) if only whole-thru-passes are allowed, and not back-and-forth ones...


If you make the wrong decision, you're thrust into a battle where a unit's life is on the line. It would give players an opportunity to be spared the consequences of a wrong decision instead of being stuck with it.

I agree with this. Let me give this examples -- Imagine that we "failed" this situation, and the Dredge does hit Alette. I'd throw the game in a "pillage" battle, where the Dredge acts first and maims Alette spending all its willpower. Then its Alette and Rook acting. If the positioning is right, you can still move her AWAY from the guy, and bring in Rook to protect her. Thus, you can be given a chance --via battle-- to compensate for a bad decision.

Antares
09-07-2013, 10:37 AM
I suppose Stoic could opt for a regular save mode and then offer an "ironman" mode (the one save slot concept). I played X-COM in ironman mode and enjoyed it immensely, it added a sense of permanency to the choices made. I remember Stoic mentioning something about "rune stones" (save points) so players wouldn't have to backtrack a lot if they chose to reload and try a different approach.

Alex
09-07-2013, 11:57 AM
Just a heads up everybody: we're all working through the weekend. The LP will continue Monday!

AussieMark
09-08-2013, 05:40 AM
4. Shoot Alette because its better for him to die at our own hands than our enemy!

Szpil
09-08-2013, 08:46 AM
I suppose Stoic could opt for a regular save mode and then offer an "ironman" mode (the one save slot concept).

Not sure about this, a regular save mode could do more harm than good to a game like TBS. The game is all about decision making as Alex said in the Lets Play. Also Nathan put it quite well in his RPS article, that TBS is really about leadership and the weight it puts on your shoulders. A less consistent approach to the game could corrupt alot of this experience - which is so essential to the game. Most players are not accustomed to actually live with the results of their decisions and might have a problem with this at first, but it might pay off for them as well once they really get into the game. It is difficult to design such a game, but I'm happy to see that more and more developers seem to be going this path.

Btw since you mention XCOM - I did not play on Ironman mode when I first played the game and it was quite an off-putting experience. Just because I could 'save scumm' I actually did it alot - it seemed to be nonsensical not to do so. I soon switched to Ironman and only then began to enjoy the game.

Javaman
09-08-2013, 01:27 PM
1) Stop thinking, Shoot already!

RobertTheScott
09-08-2013, 07:02 PM
Re. the discussion about death, I definitely support 1-game-per-save-slot idea. I know that at 8 hours this might make for a bit of irritation--but on the other hand, it isn't like this is a 40-hour epic. FTL had a similar feature, and it transformed the experience. On the other hand, a flaw of Heavy Rain was that I could just pause and replay it.

glraven
09-09-2013, 07:19 AM
Man!! I am excited!!!! Can't wait

Alex
09-09-2013, 04:29 PM
Sorry guys, the next update will have to be delayed a little bit. We have a big build we're working on tonight.

mindflare77
09-09-2013, 04:53 PM
Regarding the save slots discussion, I think XCOM: EU probably handled it the best. Provide the Ironman (one save slot) option, but also provide a more lenient option for those who want it. That way nobody gets left out in the cold [and at the mercy of the Dredge].

sfeldkamp
09-09-2013, 05:28 PM
We already know that units can't get killed in battle, and only get killed because of story decisions.

WHAT? When did we learn about this?! First bit of distressing news I've heard about TBS. The first battle went without any casualties, I figured that was sort of typical.

I guess I'll just have to trust the devs on this, they appear to have made all the right choices so far.

raven2134
09-09-2013, 08:22 PM
This was mentioned way back even while the game was in beta, as people were wondering about permadeath.

This design choice has some good justifications...
1. If you played factions and understand how the game/turn mechanics and general flow work, you'll realize it is very very hard to ever finish a battle with everyone "alive." It's more common in Factions to win by 2 units left out of 6.

2. Permadeath when arising out of battle, like in Fire Emblem, has some strange consequences on player behavior. It not only influences how you fight, which might not be a bad thing, but it's usually a lot more random. In the same ways that battle is less predictable and that is a good thing (cos you have some power to influence what happens) it's also this unpredictability which can be a detriment. A character might "randomly" get killed. In any case, the common thing this led to in other games was save scumming, something Stoic does not want to happen for the game.

3. It's easier to design/write up the story of the game, if characters die due to decisions, than if you happened to lose someone in a battle. Most other games handle main characters dying via game over. Stoic will do this instead in a story way.

quartex
09-09-2013, 08:51 PM
Thanks raven for explaining the design decision much more eloquently than I could.

I also heard that the game will feature about 16 main characters. Although that's a lot of characters to keep track, I think you'll be fighting with a lot more generic units. So it would be odd in combat if the named characters were really important to protect, but your generic units were expendable. I have that problem with heroes in other games, where they are stronger than normal units which makes me want to use them, but I lose if they die, which makes it safer to just protect them - which seems counter intuitive.

GreenDread
09-13-2013, 11:32 AM
Though I guess, it will have some kind of consequence, if a character 'dies' in battle. They might get 'injured' or something like that, so you can't use them for a while to fight or tasks in story mode.

quartex
09-13-2013, 12:04 PM
We already have evidence of units being injured from battle:

http://stoicstudio.com/forum/showthread.php?1864-A-glimpse-of-a-feature-from-the-single-player-game
:

InfiniteNutshell
09-13-2013, 02:29 PM
Oh, I hadn't actually realized until just now, but the next part of the preview went up over on kickstarter during the website downtime


http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/stoic/the-banner-saga/posts/596052 (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/stoic/the-banner-saga/posts/596052)

GreenDread
09-13-2013, 08:14 PM
Ah, awesome, thanks InfiniteNutshell!

Love it! I feel this may be one of the very few games that I actually play through multiple times. It's great that you give these subtle hints on what might happen in a situation. It's like reading a good novel, where it's rewarding to pay attention to details like that (Song of Ice and Fire), but here this actually changes the story. Great, great stuff.


And I vote #1, because I wanna have more bad things to happen. Let's see how hardcore it gets. :D

elezar
09-15-2013, 01:30 AM
Alex said to vote in the comments, so I put my vote there, but conversations are much easier here, so I'm copying it.

I'll vote #2. The only thing we know about the dredge is what we've learned from Iver (And the little we've seen from our combats with them). If he's saying that taking supplies will make it easier for the dredge to keep up with us, then we have to believe that's true. We'll have to rely on the ability to forage, hunt, fish, etc while we move.

I also have a question about the text in the game. Is there still going to be a step of having it all proof-read, and maybe even edited, before release? I've noticed some grammar errors and typos, and that kind of thing is very distracting to me. Maybe there's supposed to be an in-story reason for these (Like maybe Rook is meant to be uneducated, so he would be likely to say "Allow Iver and I" instead of "Iver and me", or maybe "dredge" is lowercase because they're thought of as things rather than a race of sentient beings, etc). But if not, it can use some polishing in that area.

LeCheeba
09-16-2013, 07:34 PM
I'm looking forward to this little gem more than anything else that's on the horizon.
"More than the successor to the greatest game you have ever played Lecheeba son?" yes more than Dark Souls 2
as if that needed clarification :cool:
I feel like a kid at Christmas getting a peak at his presents with this LP both excited and tormented by the possibilities that lie ahead. I choose number 2 stay behind with the big man and do battle.
Let's have it soon alex man the suspense is killing me. Keep up the good work. Can't wait for the saga :D

Aleonymous
09-17-2013, 01:27 AM
I feel like a kid at Christmas getting a peak at his presents with this LP both excited and tormented by the possibilities that lie ahead.

+1 You described word for word mine own feelings too! :D

Alex
09-18-2013, 03:28 PM
Part 4 (previously unposted due to hax!)
Lbn_sXDe_7Y

Part 5: the finale!
eZlnawT9FWs

This is the last part of our PAX demo, and we're showing off something I'm not sure most people realize is in the game. Enjoy and thanks for watching!

Aleonymous
09-18-2013, 04:22 PM
This is the last part of our PAX demo, and we're showing off something I'm not sure most people realize is in the game. Enjoy and thanks for watching!

Thank you very much for the video-episodes series guys! It was an awesome... tease! :)

So, this <not-game-over after a defeat in a fight> feature is something that we could also weight into our decisions :confused: For instance, this last choice led to more supplies but bigger casualties (along with some not-so-main characters dying). I'm guessing that if #2 was chosen, we'd have less supplies but an easier fight, less casualties (?) and/or potentially more time before the dredge catch-up. What I'm saying is that, in some situations, the eventual outcome of particular choice might prove to be better or worse, regardless of the battle outcome. In this particular situation, and given that the battle was won in whichever choice we made, the #3 was probably the best one -- more provisions. Apparently, that wasn't the case with Egil's death where "a choice killed him", i.e. there wasn't the "second-chance" of a battle to mitigate/equalize/mend the "bad" choice...

I'm also curious how Renown works with the Saga. Is it like Faction, i.e. some sort of currency which you can cash-out to promote characters, rally allies, recruit mercenaries, buy supplies etc? Or, is it some score-meter, e.g. you have to reach a certain level of Renown to "unlock" the next parts of the story, see how well you did etc? (like your way to the Kingship in KoDP).

Alex
09-18-2013, 04:47 PM
As for weighting your decisions, you pretty much never want to lose a fight. That'll always lead to the worst result.

In most decisions we try to make it so that you know as much as your character. In this example, you don't know if trying to gather supplies will be more dangerous than another option, though Iver gives you his opinion. It comes back to: you should know what you're trying to do, but not how it's going to happen. I can definitely tell you that choice #3 wasn't "better" than the other two, they just have different results. However, I can say that choice #3 was harder than the other two, because you chose the riskiest option.

In Egil's case, you have the choice to send him and Alette to safety, and then you have a second chance to save them as things went wrong. We do try to give you options to redirect a situation, but there's always a cost.

I think for some people this might be a painful game. We're so used to being told by games that we're invincible heroes and there's no such thing as failure. This game is chock full of failure, and we're just trying to make it as fair as possible.

Renown is like Factions in that it's the only currency in the game. You use Renown to buy items, supplies, upgrade and promote units, recruit some allies, etc. This makes it kind of a balancing act because you can't do everything, so you have to prioritize the best use for it. You get Renown from battles, but you also get it to a large degree from plot points.

Banfilidh
09-18-2013, 05:18 PM
Looks lovely. I can't wait to give it a spin.

One little nitpick I meant to mention. During conversations, character outfits occasionally flapping in the invisible breeze looks really strange. I found it to be distracting.

Aleonymous
09-18-2013, 06:06 PM
Thanks for your time and the detailed response, Alex :) Much appreciated. I'm posting some more thoughts/comments...


In Egil's case, you have the choice to send him and Alette to safety, and then you have a second chance to save them as things went wrong. We do try to give you options to redirect a situation, but there's always a cost.

Are there any situations where plot-twists and battle are interweaved? For instance, in this "Alette incident", I had this idea: When the menacing Dredge is revealed, and depending on Rooks choices, a "scenario/scripted battle" begins, where one the first move Alette takes a blow and gets maimed. Then, its Rook & her vs the Dredge, who just tries to kill her. Distances and stat-points are all very tight (or not so tight, if you took a "good" option), so this kinda resembles a Factions/Pillage situation where you gotta think the moves out VERY carefully. Perhaps even coming down to 70-80% RNG shots...


I think for some people this might be a painful game. We're so used to being told by games that we're invincible heroes and there's no such thing as failure. This game is chock full of failure, and we're just trying to make it as fair as possible.

At last! I know that real-life is usually hard & cruel and people see games as an alternate-universe where everything can work just fine, but, its also true that the most memorable and thrilling entertainment-related moments of our lives (books, films, etc) are tied to such "bad times".

raven2134
09-18-2013, 06:30 PM
Aleo, based on what I've seen and what I personally think, I think stoic isn't trying to "rig" battles the way you described. I can imagine what you're describing to be pretty annoying in combat. I do know your choices can have impact on battles, check the battle screenshot from the media kits just recently outed (like on kotaku). Did you see the shot where they're surrounded? That's probably an example, something happened to get them into that situation. Morale also will have an affect on your characters entering battle. So there will be elements of the game affecting your battle conditions.

I don't think rigging fights like how you mentioned would be very fun though. Even on full stats there's more than enough hurt on the battle field to throw around :p

balnoisi
09-18-2013, 07:48 PM
great end to the demo videos. really makes me want to play now, but all in its due time !

about what Alex says the game being painful, filled with feelings of failure .. as long as all that sadness and gloominess and those deaths feel natural to the world and flow properly inside the scripted narrative i, for one, am going to love it.

i remember when i went to the cinema with my then-girlfriend to watch that apocalyptic film "The Road", i left the theater touched by it but also pleased with the film, only missing a little more adventure in it if i was to be nitpicky (but still a solid 7 / 10 for me ;P). but my girlfriend she hated it, she agreed it was well shot and all but she couldn't cope with so much depression. plus if any of you have seen the film the mise-en-scene, the color palette, everything is really bleak. some people they don't want to watch or read anything outside their 'comfort zone' if you get what i mean, it's just like that.
this won't be the case at least at the beginning of the saga, i think it will have highs and lows and i will like it anyway though it's true some people won't; some may even be mislead by the classic art style, and will expect something like disney's "The Sword in the Stone" but i am sure those will be a minority.

i'm curious so far we have seen very vivid colours in scenes/characters/landscapes. i wonder if Arnie has planned to change the 'palette' as the caravan perseveres on its journey, and perhaps the situations become more desperate, and it travels through some truly desolate, hopeless scenarios.

Aleonymous
09-19-2013, 02:11 AM
I don't think rigging fights like how you mentioned would be very fun though. Even on full stats there's more than enough hurt on the battle field to throw around :p

Perhaps it was the magic word (RNG) that sprung this response! :D

That kotaku image where the band was surrounded by the Dredge (http://img.gawkerassets.com/img/18yd7y73tnslijpg/original.jpg) is exactly what I mean, but on a way larger scale. Also, I'm not really sure I understand what "rigging fights" is (language wise).

Personally, I don't think it would be "un-fun", to fight a hard mini-battle, and thus been given a third (!) chance to save a character from perma-death. This mini-battle in the "Alette incident" could be on a tight 8x8 map with very tight deployment zones. Depending on your choices (charge with axe, attack with bow, shout), the deployment zones for Rook & Alette as well as the first-move (Rook, Alette or Dredge / Pillage mode or normal) could vary to make the fight easier or harder, or just randomize it for re-playability. If you put some thought to it, its only deployment zones and initiative that you gotta tweak and nothing else (i.e. having units start the fight crippled etc).

gaelvin
09-19-2013, 02:45 AM
I know that we didn't see the entire final fight, but it seemed to me that at least one of "our" men was still standing when the Defeated banner dropped. Does this mean that there are different ways to determine a Win or Loss in the Saga as opposed to Factions (where the fight isn't over until all opponents have fallen)?

I can't begin to say how much I'm looking forward to the Saga... the words don't exist in my vocabulary.

Aleonymous
09-19-2013, 02:56 AM
I know that we didn't see the entire final fight, but it seemed to me that at least one of "our" men was still standing when the Defeated banner dropped. Does this mean that there are different ways to determine a Win or Loss in the Saga as opposed to Factions (where the fight isn't over until all opponents have fallen)?

gaelvin, I think Alex just quit the match at that point, just to show that things don't end with a defeat. It seemed to me, and I think Alex said it too, that the battle was completely viable/winnable by the time he quit (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZlnawT9FWs&feature=player_detailpage#t=157) (it was like 3-vs-2).

There's also an interesting talk in the comments:
Question - Am I right to assume that characters can only permanently die as a result of the dialogue scenarios and not from combat?
Alex - Nope, but usually a character only dies from combat if your whole party falls and the story continues. That is to say, a character won't die randomly due to combat, but a character can die as the result of failing a battle.

gaelvin
09-19-2013, 11:10 AM
Ah,that makes sense... I haven't played factions in a while, but when I did I never surrendered, so I'm unfamiliar with what that looks like :)

Tychoxi
09-19-2013, 03:56 PM
Y U NO SHOW THE FULL BATTEL?

On a more important note, very nice tease. I'm very hopeful for this game (and for any future Stoic project!). It's so refreshing to see games going back to that era where failure came in degrees or trade-offs and was an actual consequence and part of the experience instead of it being simply an insta-game over or replaced by an alternate way to success (no matter your choice).

Slimsy Platypus
09-19-2013, 06:20 PM
The color scheme just nails it for me. In factions we're used to the environments being mostly composed within the blue and brown-black spectrum, but man the dredge animations on the green battle boards look soooooooo good. After being absent from factions for a bit and coming back I recently found myself re-shocked by the absolute beauty of the game, and these videos are the worst kind of teaser that there is much more to come :)

What's ever more exciting is that the Let's Play series has showed us that the Saga's story is right up to par with the visual beauty. I foresee lot's play throughs to see how various character's react to your differing decisions. It's looking like this is going to have all the elements to hit my nerdly buttons: adjustable stat points, a host of unique characters, meaningful and rewarding decisions, and obviously the absolutely stunning beauty of the 2D artwork! Although, one thing that I haven't seen anyone comment on is the music! I mean go back and listen to Let's Play 1; the music that plays as we pan over the 2D artwork of the dredge with the deer over his shoulder just nails it! Now go back and listen to the music in Let's Play 5... the drums! It's so good! I'm not sure if this is just filler stuff (as the music is not interrupted when Alex pans forward during the battle), but I'm super excited to see how the "dynamic" music system pans out in combat. Everything appears to be done so well. Keep up the good work Stoic!

quartex
09-20-2013, 10:37 AM
Slimsy, if you like the music you heard at the beginning of part 1 of the Let's Play video, you'll like this video as well - from Stoic's Facebook page:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VF8c0BhkH0E

(I think it's just a preview of a longer video coming soon)