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So i just finished AoD

Discussion in 'Iron Tower Studio' started by Lhynn, Jan 28, 2018.

  1. Lhynn Arcane

    Lhynn
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    And wanted to give some feedback:

    First of all it wasnt exactly a propa playthrough, i actually gave myself like 4 extra attribute points to have stats for future skillchecks and like 200 skillpoints to be good in civics to avoid missing a lot of shit in the game.

    It worked fairly well, i could see most content for the factions and quests i did while having a combat character. Also found myself skipping many (many many many) checks just to murder people for their loot and combat exp. This gave me a semblance of control, as playing as a dumb fighter kinda takes away player agency and ability to influence some of the mayor choices, when by all rights you should be able to do so without a retarded check.

    Anyway, feedback. Not a single likable fuck in the entire game. Only character i sort of liked was claudia, and only because she actually believed and didnt care a single bit if she died for it (which she did, commie scum). There are many places where choices and developments need to be recongnized but simply arent. Its such a massive game with so much work put into it that its impossible for the game to acknowledge everything, but the game itself sets the standard, so its really noticeable when it that kind of thing happens.

    The writing is good, too impersonal tho, theres absolutely no investment in whatever is happening. Like summoning even an iota of a fuck for the events transpiring is very hard, you just do it because its fun and cool. Shit happens all the time in this game, all the time you are experiencing interesting events and there are so many of them and so varied you cant help but have a blast while playing it. Reading about the setting and history of the world is always fun too, very well thought out setting, very interesting.

    The character system itself is kinda shit, absolutely no deph to it, character building comes down to metagaming (or would if i hadnt actually cheated). I feel like talking about it is beating a dead horse a year after said dead horse was being beaten 3 years after it died. I also feel that the dev team really wanted to limit what the player could do to control the players development from start to finish, probably to keep a sense of challenge, but it ends up being frustrating. Still just a minor flaw and the game is worth playing even despite it.
    Should have gone with one-handed/two-handed-polearms/ranged approach to combat skills, would have allowed for a more interesting gameplay experience as you would swich weapon as needed instead of just picking your poison at the start and sticking with it the entire game.

    The combat is fairly fun, i like the animations, its challenging. But theres little depth to it, you pick a strategy at the start and just do that.

    All in all i loved AoD, and understand people that compare it to underrail, there are a lot of parallels between them, especially if running a combat specialist in AoD.

    Tomorrow ill get dungeon rats and see whats what there.
     
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  2. IHaveHugeNick Arcane

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  3. Rivmusique Arcane Patron

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    Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    You missed the game.
     
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  4. Lhynn Arcane

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    Naw, it basically came down to seeing the god ending and being able to do a few persuade/stealth/streetwise checks.
     
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  5. Urthor Learned Patron

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    The combat is much more suited to Dungeon Rats than an RPG tbh, but the point for the characters was to be realistic pretty sure, not your super likeable best friends. You're a man alone in the world not a guy leading a Dungeons and Dragons party with awesome companions, and your personal interactions reflect that.

    You can in fact have a good RPG without a party member like Falls From Grace
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2018
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  6. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    God mode, huh

    Could be true, you wouldn't know though

    This, you could still say while playing god mode. What would make them more likeable? I don't think you're one of those morons that want heroes and good guys in the game.
     
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  7. Black Angel Savant

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    "Not a single likable fuck in the entire game."?

    Seriously?

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. MediantSamuel Erudite Patron

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    Lhynnu bro why :(
     
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  9. Lhynn Arcane

    Lhynn
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    Hardly, it mostly meant 20% more SP and access to persuasion in a couple places where my character shouldnt have had a say otherwise. Which would have meant fuck all for my character but would have changed the events. For someone that had murdered hundreds he had very little say on what happened unless he could suck up to others.

    This isnt true and you know it. Unless theres some hidden depth behind it the numbers are pretty straightforward.

    I mean real people dude. Feels like in the game there are only victims or victimizers, and that victims remain victims as long as they are powerless. The game mocks the very concept of hope more than once, theres no optimism. Everyone is all business all the time.
    No friends, no brothers in arms, not even characters concerned about the player as anything more than a pawn or a threat.
     
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  10. Drowed Arcane

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    I think what makes the AOD characters lose part of what would make them interesting is the fact that they are all assholes. You have assholes thieves, military asshores, assholes authorities, assholes deities, beggars assholes and so on. We can say that in a post-apocalyptic world with so many different conflicts, this kind of thing makes sense, but this is a rather irrelevant point. It may be consistent with the setting, but ends up bringing a sameness to the narrative.

    In other games, an asshole character gains a particular highlight precisely because he's someone different. His vile attitude contrasts with that of the other characters, which makes him interesting. Maybe you like him just for that, or maybe you want to kill him as soon as possible - but in any case, you're likely to have some specific reaction to him. In AOD, you sort of end up expecting the worst of everything and everyone. Regardless of whether you think this is realistic or not, it ends up making all the characters kinda feel alike. Change the 'assholeness' of the characters by any other characteristic: imagine that all the characters were 'heroic' - it would be kinda dull, wouldn't it?

    It's not by chance that many games (or even books) end up presenting characters that seem caricatured to a certain extent, because that is how they try to differentiate everyone. By no means am I advocating the use of shallow characters, but by making the overwhelming majority of characters be like that, it's not difficult to realize that few of them become memorable. Those who end up shining are those who have some other characteristic in their personality that is so intense that stands out. Personally, I don't remember anyone who has stood out to me, despite having enjoyed the game a lot.

    Maybe Miltiades, but more because it turned an internal joke here than actually by his presence in the game. But I recognize that he has a very... charismatic smile.
     
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  11. Lhynn Arcane

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    I actually forgot to find him in teron after i killed the noble and the two guards. and as a result he didnt appear ever again.
     
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  12. Lhynn Arcane

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    Even in the biggest shitholes theres always a bit of optimism, a bit of warmth, a bit of inocence. Thats like, just what happens when you have human beings around.

    Even in fallout you had the overseer, which showed a great deal of concern over the his people, even the PC. There was Tandi and Razlo and Locksley. Even fucking Harold, a horribly desfigured ghoul had more humanity than every single NPC in AoD combined.

    As a result the games interactions with most characters felt sterile and samey. This is a nitpick, its not a huge deal, but its there and its ever present.
     
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  13. Black Angel Savant

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    Then what are you waiting for? Go and play the game 6 more times.

    That's why you should start playing with different classes. If you go playing Merchant, or Assassin especially, there's at least one character who always smile... or at least most of the time. When you get to Maadoran, you get to encounter a farmer who's unloading his goods (or something), and you get to have a warm conversation with him, even going as far as helping him with his ordeal if you have sufficient skills.

    I'd like to give you this one about most characters felt sterile and samey, though. I guess it's because most of the portraits depict the characters as being pissed off most of the time, with rare exceptions like Miltiades and the guy from Assassin route. This specific criticism has just begun surfacing, when someone brought it up on The New World update on character portraits. Hell, even Underrail where there are multiple NPCs with exact same portraits shows much, much more variety of characteristics and emotions.
     
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  14. Goral Arcane Patron The Real Fanboy

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    All? No. Neleos is one of my favourite characters precisely because he's straightforward and honest and for that reason I've always been against going against him or abandoning him. Dellar too and these are only from Teron.
     
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  15. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    Oh, sure, I don't necessarily disagree re. metagaming, etc. But I question what kind of experience you had. In what is such a simple system (in your own words), jacking up attribs by 4 and SPs by 200 pretty much gets rid of any meaningful choice within that system. With that, I can't imagine ever lacking for anything but the most extravagant coverage - it is effectively Oblivion mode in terms of how you get to play every character permutation at once, and for a system like AOD's, it means you're essentially playing without a chargen.

    It certainly is a 'business only' world, and i'm not sure that's the most 'realistic' portrayal of the setting, but I guess I accept that as a particular stylistic treatment, VD's authorial style, if you like, and within that I recognise it is very well done. Certainly, it might be more appealing to find something respectable in some twisted way in various characters, but I appreciate the very grey - in more ways than one - feeling that makes AOD very unique.
     
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  16. Lhynn Arcane

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    I found myself fairly point starved actually. What i was playing was basically a hybrid with stronger combat stats, and even then i never managed to get crit past 3 because everything else seemed more important.

    Oh i dont completely dislike it, as i said, more of a nitpick. But its certainly noticeable and it makes you feel completely detached from the world.
     
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  17. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    Honestly, I think if it was my first time with AOD, and I cheated in those extras, I might have also felt that they are not very extravagant. But having played normally, I would never want to do that - it would feel like I can spend points almost wherever I liked, and it would destroy one of AOD's truly unique qualities, where you sometimes have to run from battles and you can't solve things in your preferred way so have to look for alternatives. After all, you can win all arena fights, get power armour via combat, etc., with some hybrid characters!

    I do accept that the flipside to this is playing AOD by the book requires a lot of metagaming and reloading/restarting, which is not an easy problem to fix but is a problem nonetheless. So it's not a comment aimed at saying the system is perfect - it's more about the fact that you gave yourself a diluted experience and you're not really in a position to know what it was diluted from (though, given the aforementioned problems, you might simply have quit playing otherwise).

    Re. detached, fair enough. I took that on board as part of the message of the setting - i.e. someone who tries to make their way through this world can never truly identify with any cause, any other person, any institution or rule; they can only go by their own gut and their own skills, and even their own principles will have to bend and break to survive.
     
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  18. Vault Dweller Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

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    The question is would they ever show these qualities to your character? You aren't their friend or colleague, you're a pawn to be used (and discarded). Every asshole is someone's friend, lover, father, etc, but to those who think he's an asshole he will remain an asshole. You (the player) want to see these qualities to understand or appreciate the non-player characters more but your character can't because he/she is always on the wrong side of it.
     
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  19. Lhynn Arcane

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    That isnt true tho. Sometimes you play the part of the savior, or the champion, the loyal servant or the hero. You can be a positive force in some instances.
     
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  20. IHaveHugeNick Arcane

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    So are the systems straightforward or are they metagamey. Make up your mind. I mean, obviously you'd have to guess, since you didn't actually play the game, but at least pick one guess and stick to it.
     
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  21. Lhynn Arcane

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    Conflating two things, but i guess its my fault because i didnt differentiate. By straightforward i meant 1+1=2 and thats all there is to it.
    By metagamey i meant "you better know where to apply that 2 beforehand, or you arent going to access this and losing this will snowball into lossing many other things.

    Either way, theres no depth to metagaming, you know its coming, you prepare. So i have no idea why you could even imply they are opposites in any way.
     
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  22. Darth Roxor Prestigious Gentleman Wielder of the Huegpenis

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    weak as a baby fart
     
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  23. Trashos Magister

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    1. Am I stuck?
    2. I think I am stuck.
    3. Hmm, it definitely looks like I am stuck.
    4. Lie on the couch, trying to find answers on the ceiling.
    5. The ceiling replies and I return to try something different.
    6. I am not stuck!
    7. Get up again, open window and shout "Yeaah!" to unsuspecting passers-by who go hide behind cars.

    You missed half the fun.
     
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  24. Lhynn Arcane

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    Already played teron and half of madoran with 2 other characters and it was the same thing combat wise. Only thing that changed was that i could make the check with Antidas at the end. So stop the retarded preaching.
     
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  25. Vault Dweller Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

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    Meru plays the role of a savior, the champion of the people. Carbo is Paullus' loyal servant, his attack dog. Carrinas wants to clean up the mess and restore order, he isn't an asshole at all. Strabos wants a seat at the table, he's twice as capable as any lord but his low birth makes him a second class citizen. Hamza is as honorable as an assassin can be. Nobody is an asshole for the sake of being an asshole.
     
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