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The 2016 RPG Discussion Thread

rusteepot

Member
I loved Hong Kong but that was just about enough for me in terms of these yearly Shadowrun releases. I actually haven't played the expansion yet because of it.

I want a mechanics overhaul above all. I wouldn't mind them sticking to the 2D background art, it looks great. They need to figure out a way to make the world feel a bit moee alive and cohesive, make exploration matter.

Have to agree with you. I feel like I should like Shadowrun (love XCOM, and I'm a sucker for the whole cyberpunk setting) but so far, the games have felt really shallow and soulless to me. At least XCOM had bigger maps and some simple base management.

Perhaps I should look into getting Divinity or Pillars. Which is the better of the two?
 

Sinatar

Official GAF Bottom Feeder
Have to agree with you. I feel like I should like Shadowrun (love XCOM, and I'm a sucker for the whole cyberpunk setting) but so far, the games have felt really shallow and soulless to me. At least XCOM had bigger maps and simple base management.

Perhaps I should look into getting Divinity or Pillars. Which is the better of the two?

Divinity is the better game, Pillars has better writing.
 

Arulan

Member
By no means am I saying that the Shadowrun games are "shallow and soulless". Just that for how good they are, it's clear they were designed for mobile in mind. They could certainly expand upon a lot, specifically mechanics and systems.
 

Sinatar

Official GAF Bottom Feeder
Agreed. Although I don't really think Pillars has exceptional writing so much as a far more interesting setting. Divinity's writing ended up missing the mark on all levels, losing the entertainingly goofy Eurobro humor of the previous games in the process.

Pillars' gameplay has improved greatly with the expansions and patches, too, so while I would choose Divinity without hesitation, Pillars is not a bad option if you're leaning that way.

Yea Pillars is genuinely fantastic, you really can't go wrong with either choice.
 

Arulan

Member
I wonder what we'll be saying ~3 years from now about their respective sequels.

You can really tell that the Undead origin story is written by MCA.
PoE2 is remarkably unbalanced!

The last one won't happen. :(

 

StereoVsn

Member
Have to agree with you. I feel like I should like Shadowrun (love XCOM, and I'm a sucker for the whole cyberpunk setting) but so far, the games have felt really shallow and soulless to me. At least XCOM had bigger maps and simple base management.

Perhaps I should look into getting Divinity or Pillars. Which is the better of the two?
Pillars is a good game but I found it a bit boring and thought combat was merely ok. Think of BG with expansion vs BG2.

Divinity OS is amazing and features possibly best combat in a turn based RPG. I found the humor good and it's magic system offers amazing possibilities even outside combat. It's also pretty good game for co-op.
 

rusteepot

Member
By no means am I saying that the Shadowrun games are "shallow and soulless". Just that for how good they are, it's clear they were designed for mobile in mind. They could certainly expand upon a lot, specifically mechanics and systems.

Oh no, wasn't referring to your comment. I was agreeing with Arulan's comment:

"They need to figure out a way to make the world feel a bit more alive and cohesive, make exploration matter."

The Shadowrun universe, as a setting, basically sells itself, but it can't carry the game if the world exploration feels static.
 
The Shadowrun mechanics have grown stale, but pound for pound it's the best writing in RPGs right now. Can't wait to see what they do with Battletech.
 

rusteepot

Member
Pillars is a good game but I found it a bit boring and thought combat was merely ok. Think of BG with expansion vs BG2.

Divinity OS is amazing and features possibly best combat in a turn based RPG. I found the humor good and it's magic system offers amazing possibilities even outside combat. It's also pretty good game for co-op.

To all the commenters, yeah, I'm a sucker for grimdark narratives (and Pillars sound like it drinks from the fountain of grimdark) and good stories.

But combat matters as well. Decisions, decisions...

(Thanks for the opinions :D)
 

Arulan

Member
I'm gonna have to make time for this. I'd really like to know what the hell happened with this aspect of the game. Sawyer goes on and on about the flaws of other rulesets, then designed a D100 system with a ton of attributes, and launched it with pretty much only one key stat, Deflection.

The only victory over AD&D2e from the Infinity Engine days was cutting down on the lethal RNG of early levels. Literally every other decision they made was a downgrade.

After watching the panel, and his arguments against the major criticisms, I don't really think he understands why people say he doesn't like fun.

I understand why he did what he did, but it's the goal itself that is the problem. Balance. It's not really about whether you can min-max more easily, but the variety and the unexpected that can come from unbalanced design. If every item in the game is very safe, with minor attribute bonuses and effects that don't have a significant impact, it can become dull, and the sense of discovery of possible treasures and unknowns becomes lost. Minor things like the Girdle of Masculinity/Femininity in Baldur's Gate can become a memorable moment for that character, and it even teaches an important lesson to the player. Piecing together clues to find an ancient piece of armor, and having it be unique and powerful is worth the unbalanced results in my opinion. Not everything needs to be amazing, but they should exist. The player shouldn't come to know what to expect. Especially in a fantasy RPG with magic! Additionally, having attributes, itemization and general character progression prioritize the setting is not only often more enjoyable, but it has the other effect of validating the world-building.
 

Sinatar

Official GAF Bottom Feeder
Yea the fact that you can't completely break POE in half with unique build/gear ideas is a knock against it, not a benefit as Sawyer would believe.
 
After watching the panel, and his arguments against the major criticisms, I don't really think he understands why people say he doesn't like fun.

I understand why he did what he did, but it's the goal itself that is the problem. Balance. It's not really about whether you can min-max more easily, but the variety and the unexpected that can come from unbalanced design. If every item in the game is very safe, with minor attribute bonuses and effects that don't have a significant impact, it can become dull, and the sense of discovery of possible treasures and unknowns becomes lost. Minor things like the Girdle of Masculinity/Femininity in Baldur's Gate can become a memorable moment for that character, and it even teaches an important lesson to the player. Piecing together clues to find an ancient piece of armor, and having it be unique and powerful is worth the unbalanced results in my opinion. Not everything needs to be amazing, but they should exist. The player shouldn't come to know what to expect. Especially in a fantasy RPG with magic! Additionally, having attributes, itemization and general character progression prioritize the setting is not only often more enjoyable, but it has the other effect of validating the world-building.

Not to pile on, but hear hear!

Balance-in-imbalance is where interesting comes from, can often go hand in hand with avoiding ludoscababib discobiscuits via characters attaining demi-godhood becoming demi-godlike, and quite frankly watching interesting games go tapioca from interesting stats being useless in combat or "the difference in magic is what color flies out of your hand" has always been distressing.
 

StereoVsn

Member
Yeah, that's what Pillars was missing, hilarious moments, broken (in a fun way) builds, and an awesome magic system. I mean BG2 is probably unmatched to this day in content and overall game design, but for example D:OS was a lot more fun to me vs Pillars.

That said I hope PoE2 becomes Obsidian's BG2 but considering design philosophy I kind of doubt it.

Shadowrun Dragonfall though is better then either PoE or D:OS, it's simply amazing because of setting, characters and writing. Anyway, considering current prices on steam, all of the above and Shadowrun HK (not forgetting BG/BG2 Enhanced) should be bought.
 

Sinatar

Official GAF Bottom Feeder
You could totally break it before 2.0, though. Pile on deflection by any means necessary, win everything because you can't get fucking hit. That's just as unbalanced as the weak points of D&D, except it wasn't unbalanced for the sake of fun or consistency, like a lot of D&D's quirks. It was just this stupid blind spot in the core design.

Being unhittable isn't the fun kind of breaking the game.

I'm talking things like stacking various buffs and oneshotting enemies for 16k damage in Divinity broken.
 

Durante

Member
It's key for anyone who has played the Infinity Engine games to know this going into Pillars. The density of content in BG2 just isn't there, while the wilderness fog of war marches of BG1 make up a good chunk of the game.
I actually liked those areas and missed them in BG2. I do agree that people should know what to expect.

Being unhittable isn't the fun kind of breaking the game.

I'm talking things like stacking various buffs and oneshotting enemies for 16k damage in Divinity broken.
They actually "balanced" Divinity at one point so it no longer allows >100% resistances.

Having 130% fire resistance on your tank and just throwing in fireballs willy-nilly was the best.
 
Ctrl-F
"Tokyo Mirage Sessions"
No match.

I am disappoint.

No Grand Kingdom? Star Ocean came out this week, no date in the OP? No screenshots of Fire Emblem: Fates and the three version of the game. No Bravely Second. No Odin Sphere rerelease mention.

What is this a PC Western RPG only thread?
 

CHC

Member
What is this a PC Western RPG only thread?

Western? Not necessarily.

PC? Yeah more-or-less, but then again, a good number of games in the OP are for consoles.

But really, feel free to do a brief write-up about any new or upcoming RPGs that are exciting you right now.
 

Sinatar

Official GAF Bottom Feeder
Ctrl-F
"Tokyo Mirage Sessions"
No match.

I am disappoint.

No Grand Kingdom? Star Ocean came out this week, no date in the OP? No screenshots of Fire Emblem: Fates and the three version of the game. No Bravely Second. No Odin Sphere rerelease mention.

What is this a PC Western RPG only thread?

Maybe you'll notice that a lot of the entries in the OP were submitted by people other then Durante. So instead of whining about it, why not provide some information on those games so he can include them.
 

StereoVsn

Member
Ctrl-F
"Tokyo Mirage Sessions"
No match.

I am disappoint.

No Grand Kingdom? Star Ocean came out this week, no date in the OP? No screenshots of Fire Emblem: Fates and the three version of the game. No Bravely Second. No Odin Sphere rerelease mention.

What is this a PC Western RPG only thread?
Mirage has its own thread and it's a pretty great game. SOV seems iffy from reviews as expected.

And yeah, this is mostly PC thread but other games show up occasionally.

For Divinity OS, that's just a more fun game then PoE. There are just so many possibilities in combat even with the nurfed powers (like dropping bunch of barrels on boss' head).

I finally grabbed the PoE expansion and going to try to slog through the game plus expansion over next month or two (while playing Tokyo Mirage, which is all kinds of awesome and fun).

Edit: Forgot to add that in PoE one thing that's not done well is characterization. Even in BG1 I was interested in the story, characters and what's going on with the MC. In PoE it's just all a "meh". I couldn't care less about single char I met (about 30 hours in), the MC or the main story.

PoE has a lot of Lore and it's very wordy, but it just seems all ... boring and pointless. Compare to BG games or Torment or Shadowrun Dragonfall/HK or Fallout 1 and 2, heck, even Divinity OS made me care about its chars more and it doesn't take itself seriously at all.

I just don't care in PoE and that's on their writing team. I hope they will do better in the sequel or their new game, Tyranny. Speaking of another game which should have been great but kind of fizzled, Wasteland 2 should have been great... but man, I would rather go and replay Fallout 1&2. This is another game that decided to be super balanced and too he fun out of the game. Plus it was buggy, janky and writing while good was not quite amazing.
 

Labadal

Member
Ctrl-F
"Tokyo Mirage Sessions"
No match.

I am disappoint.

No Grand Kingdom? Star Ocean came out this week, no date in the OP? No screenshots of Fire Emblem: Fates and the three version of the game. No Bravely Second. No Odin Sphere rerelease mention.

What is this a PC Western RPG only thread?

The OP was updated in January. I guess real life got in the way of Durante's GAF topic updating.
 

Li Kao

Member
A little question for future reference (aka when I will have finished the neverending Witcher 3) :
I have started and abandoned Original Sin some years ago. Is the enhanced edition a must play or does it modify the script so much as to be its own thing (and so being OCD I should play vanilla) ?
 

Labadal

Member
A little question for future reference (aka when I will have finished the neverending Witcher 3) :
I have started and abandoned Original Sin some years ago. Is the enhanced edition a must play or does it modify the script so much as to be its own thing (and so being OCD I should play vanilla) ?
Choose one of them to play, imo.
 

Li Kao

Member
Choose one of them to play, imo.

Maybe the words came out wrong, sorry. I'm pretty certain that the enhanced edition is not so different from the base game to warrant two playthroughs. What I meant is, what are the extent of the modifications on the script ? Important or not ? New plotlines ? New scenes ? Endings ? If they are anecdotal I will play the Enhanced but if the changes are more than light I think I would choose vanilla.
 

Labadal

Member
Maybe the words came out wrong, sorry. I'm pretty certain that the enhanced edition is not so different from the base game to warrant two playthroughs. What I meant is, what are the extent of the modifications on the script ? Important or not ? New plotlines ? New scenes ? Endings ? If they are anecdotal I will play the Enhanced but if the changes are more than light I think I would choose vanilla.
Go with EE, then.
http://divinity.wikia.com/wiki/Differences_in_Divinity:_Original_Sin_Enhanced_Edition
 

Kieli

Member
Ctrl-F
"Tokyo Mirage Sessions"
No match.

I am disappoint.

No Grand Kingdom? Star Ocean came out this week, no date in the OP? No screenshots of Fire Emblem: Fates and the three version of the game. No Bravely Second. No Odin Sphere rerelease mention.

What is this a PC Western RPG only thread?

This thread is whatever you make of it.
 
This is not Stranger of Sword City.
(Also, strong RPG Maker vibes in this one)

Hence why I listed EO as the primary facing obvious reference point~ Sword City and the like are DEFINITELY the classic Wizardry outright inheritors first and foremost as per their birthright.

There seems to be a few people poking at it and posting screens going over some of the mechanics as they get unfurled over on rpgcodex's jrpg sub forum---so there's that. Definitely seems to have more crunch than perhaps any of the EO games thus far at the least.

Still, and I say this for this title especially that seems to already be operating on modest means to say the least---no matter how rough it looks, if a game of this sort on PC can just FINALLY get good post-release support in the broadest sense instead of the time tested/failure tempting Release and Pray method...
 
I just noticed I had an email for Divinity OS2 early access. I guess I backed the game. Which is weird because I never did get around to finishing the first one. It always overwhelmed me early on.

Think it's necessary for me to complete the first one before trying the sequel?
 

Labadal

Member
I just noticed I had an email for Divinity OS2 early access. I guess I backed the game. Which is weird because I never did get around to finishing the first one. It always overwhelmed me early on.

Think it's necessary for me to complete the first one before trying the sequel?
I don't believe it is.
 

Staf

Member
So, recently finished D:OS (again), and Witcher 3 a couple of months ago. Any tip on an RPG to follow up those two masterpieces on PS4?
 

Maxwood

Oh rock of ages, do not crumble, love is breathing still. Oh lady moon shine down, a little people magic if you will.
So, recently finished D:OS (again), and Witcher 3 a couple of months ago. Any tip on an RPG to follow up those two masterpieces on PS4?
I want to say Wasteland 2 but it's gamepad controls are really rough, so beware.
 

Maxwood

Oh rock of ages, do not crumble, love is breathing still. Oh lady moon shine down, a little people magic if you will.
Does it control similar to D:OS? Because i think Larian really nailed how to do that type of game with a controller.
Yeah, Larian did an incredible job with Original Sin's Enhanced Edition, it play's like a dream.
Wasteland 2 doesn't. It's hard to get used to, even more if you've played D:OS.
Overly complex and inconvenient.

Great game, but your going to fight the controls on consoles.
 

Labadal

Member
So, recently finished D:OS (again), and Witcher 3 a couple of months ago. Any tip on an RPG to follow up those two masterpieces on PS4?
Have you played the add-ons for TW3? They are supposed to be great.

Some people liked Bound by Flame and Technomancer. They are janky and seem to have issues. If you can look past that, maybe you'll end up liking theam. Read up on the games first.

There's The Banner Saga 1 & 2. I'd call them visual novels with strategic combat. You do level up your characters and make choices in dialog.

There's Dex. It's basically a side scrolling Deus Ex.

I don't know how you feel about JRPGs but Digimon Stories Cyber Sleuth is fun. Odin Sphere is another good one.

Here's a good list of rpgs available on the system:
http://www.gamefaqs.com/ps4/category/48-role-playing
 

Morrigan Stark

Arrogant Smirk
I do prefer WRPG but i have never given those a try, so no idea if they are for me. Where do you reckon i should start?
Souls games are not typical JRPGs, and not really WRPGs either, they're their own thing. Action-RPGs with minimalist storytelling and focused on combat and exploration, with many different build customizations.

If it's only on PS4, you can start with Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin, though some have said Bloodborne is more "beginner-friendly" (not sure if that's really true). If you have a PS3, I would recommend starting with Demon's Souls.

For something more story-oriented, how about Deus Ex: Mankind Divided? (Note, I haven't played it, but I did play Deus Ex: HR and that was good, but it's not for PS4)
 

Arulan

Member
RPS has an Expeditions: Viking preview article. Following in the footsteps of Logic Artists' previous game, Expeditions: Conquistador, Viking sounds like it is giving a wide range of roleplaying options, some management, and of course combat, all with a touch of permadeath. I imagine it'll be clunky but utterly unique, just like the first.

It is set to release in Q1 2017. So far away...

Along with just about every other RPG. ;)

I have to say, it looks quite good.
 

aravuus

Member
RPS has an Expeditions: Viking preview article. Following in the footsteps of Logic Artists' previous game, Expeditions: Conquistador, Viking sounds like it is giving a wide range of roleplaying options, some management, and of course combat, all with a touch of permadeath. I imagine it'll be clunky but utterly unique, just like the first.

It is set to release in Q1 2017. So far away...

Looks like it could be a ton of fun, shame Q1 is absolutely fucking packed already. This'll have to wait till late spring.
 

JC Sera

Member
Tyranny is up for pre-order on steam, and has a date of release (November 10)
I've been looking forward to this for most part of the year.

The art direction, concept and exp gain systems look amazing, and the game is going to be a lot shorter and tighter experience than pillars. I liked PoE a lot, but I found pacing was the main issue where it was paced more by kickstarter stretch goal than story in the end.

Super excited for this!
 
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