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  Click here to go to the first staff post in this thread.   Thread: Let's Play: The Banner Saga PAX demo!

  1. #61
    @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.

  2. #62
    Developer raven2134's Avatar
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    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.
    Last edited by raven2134; 09-03-2013 at 11:42 AM.

  3. #63
    Skald Aleonymous's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raven2134 View Post
    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...

  4. #64
    Superbacker quartex's Avatar
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    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?
    Last edited by quartex; 09-03-2013 at 12:16 PM.

  5. #65
    Developer raven2134's Avatar
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    Well Stoic seems to be going by the GoT mantra...no character (at least in the span of 3 chapters) will be safe .

    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.

  6. #66
    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

  7.   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #67
    Creative Director Alex's Avatar
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    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...
    Last edited by Alex; 09-03-2013 at 03:03 PM.

  8. #68
    Quote Originally Posted by Antares View Post
    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.


    Quote Originally Posted by raven2134 View Post
    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.
    Last edited by Tychoxi; 09-03-2013 at 02:55 PM.

  9. #69
    Go with Egil.

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

  10.   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #70
    Creative Director Alex's Avatar
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    Part 2 of the playthrough is ready!



    Don't forget to vote!

  11. #71
    3: shout at Allete

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

  12. #72
    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.

  13. #73
    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).
    Last edited by Tychoxi; 09-03-2013 at 04:10 PM.

  14. #74
    2) Shoot it with an arrow.

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

  15. #75
    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.

  16. #76
    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.

  17. #77
    1) shout, shout, let it all out!

  18. #78
    Quote Originally Posted by Drusain View Post
    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.

  19. #79
    Senior Member Kuba's Avatar
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    Voting for number 2.

  20. #80
    Skald Aleonymous's Avatar
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    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!

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