Episode 2 - Will there be an actual story that isn't bugged?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Dinsoo, Oct 27, 2019.

  1. Dinsoo

    Dinsoo Avatar

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    Has anyone heard or does anyone have knowledge that the story will be good? I personally have no desire to play otherwise.
     
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  2. Barugon

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    Nobody knows anything about the story yet but there's supposed to be a new quest system and journal.

    Personally, I feel that the story in episode one is good, it's just mired in buggy quests.
     
  3. Parson Barr

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    As Barugon said, the top two goals of Episode 2 are to address the quest and journal systems before the story. Likely it's too much lift to rip out the current system and retrofit it to support the older quests due to how they were coded. With that change behind them they can build the new content on top of the new systems. They supports better quests along with player content tools.

    I'm excited.
     
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  4. Dinsoo

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    Thus my question :)
     
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  5. Dinsoo

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    No sense in having a story without a system that can support it.
     
  6. Sulaene Moon

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    Supposedly for the past few month Richard has been edited book 2 which will be the story for episode 2. No recent news or updates as usual
     
  7. Lord Aventine

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    No sense in it being called an episode without more story either.

    So here's to hoping that we get one.

    I thought LB was supposed to live in the Serpent Isles in this game too?
     
  8. ephialtes

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    With Portarium the story was talked and hyped endlessly. Well, we got a story, but it was probably not implemented at the level some expected. Catnip Games has wisely chosen an opposite strategy of no talk. So, they should be able exceed player expectations easily. Now that Tracy Hickman is not longer spending all his time on VOID maybe he will be able to take charge of the writing at the same level as Raymond Benson did for Ultima VII

     
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  9. Nick

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    Nice article. Hope episode is more story based so much so that you can finish the story without going pass level 40.

    " Still, it’s amazing how poorly Ultima VII, a game frequently praised as one of the best CRPGs ever made, does as a CRPG, at least as most people thought of the genre circa 1992. Because there’s no interest or pleasure in combat, there’s no thrill to leveling up or collecting new weapons and armor. You have little opportunity to shape your characters’ development in any way, and those sops to character management that are present, such as the food system, merely annoy."
    This....and U7 is touted to be one of, if not the best CRPG of all time.

    /waves at @Chris
     
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  10. Ken Parallax

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  11. Astirian

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    Yeah, I've thought about that stuff with U7. I definitely got a kick out of finding new armor and equipping my companions though, especially when finding the magic stuff. I didn't really mind the combat, in fact I liked that it was mostly automated. :)

    The thing with U7, is the incredible writing (dialogue) and world building it manages to do given its tiny (by today's standards) size. And I'd say that about U8 too.

    It just goes to show how important world building and immersion are that a game with odd or even broken mechanics can become such a legend. @Chris ;)
     
  12. Astirian

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    Hopefully they've done a data extract so they can port Ep 1 stuff to Inky and the new journal.
     
  13. ephialtes

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    That reminded me of The Superlative Awesomeness of Ultima VII:
     
  14. Earl Atogrim von Draken

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    True story *höhöhöhöhöhöhöh*
    Me funny ^^
     
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  15. Aartemis

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    The story outline for all the Episodes was created by Richard and Tracy. Its the job of Catnip now to take that outline and fill in the details. I believe Sannio is heading that up.

    The new quest and journal system will be an product of Inky which will also be extended out to the NPC Scripting System for Player Created Content.

    https://www.shroudoftheavatar.com/f...s-last-12-months-q4-2020.159613/#post-1263474

    If you want to learn more about Ink: https://www.inklestudios.com/ink/

    Q4 2019:
    • LUA Integration (Phase 1)
    • New Overworld for Ep 2 (maybe even allowing POT settling?)
    • Inky Integration (Phase 1)
    • New CS Team Member!
    • Cross Promos with other like minded Projects (Crowfall, Pantheon, etc.)!!! (Phase 1)
    • Paid Ads (Phase 1)
    2020:


    Misc:
    • LUA Integration (multiple phases, Phase 1 in Q4!)
    • Player GMs
    • Player Vendor Polish
    • More Trophy Data (Agriculture, Trophy Heads from creatures)
    • Property Rating System (thumbs up!)
    • New Creatures / New Bosses / More Tameables (Nightmares, Unicorns, etc.)
    • New Skills
    • Cross Promos with other like minded Projects (Crowfall, Pantheon, etc.)!!! (multiple phases)
    • Paid Ads (multiple phases)
    Ep 2!
    • New Overworld
    • News Scenes & New Towns
    • Quest System Revamp (Inky open source scripting language)
    • Journal Revamp (Inky open source scripting language)
    • Theater System
    • Treasure Hunting with Treasure Maps
    • Item Affinity & Reputation
    • Taming Expansions: Pet Leveling, Pet Skills, Pet Customization
    • Customizable NPCs including Convos (Inky open source scripting language)
    • Expanded Permissions system for containers & doors
    • In-Game Achievement System
     
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  16. Aartemis

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    I always felt that Episodes 1 Story, the entire part, was simply an attempt to gauge who you are as a player, and how you react to situations. Log that information and use it to start testing the player in the following episodes. IMO nothing you did in Episode 1 effected any real part of an ongoing story. In past Ultima's choices had an effect on your character but we are not really seeing that effect in episode 1, even though values have been made and stored.

    Secondly Episode 1 was VERY broad strokes using the principles as opposed to direct changes to the virtues themselves. I think those of us used to playing Ultima games are used to playing through a story where as we choose to do things to one virtue, other changes happen to other virtues. For example, how many people still get frustrated that you couldn't just kill that damn Orc running off the screen that you REALLY wanted to kill because your Compassion would go to crap?? So you had to let him go.

    I guess what I am personally looking for as we move past Episode 1 is "Meat and Potato" Story that means something. We had the "appetizer", but no REAL damage was done anywhere that we can see. Lets start to dig a bit dipper. Make those decisions really effect our questing, prices, popularity, etc. I don't want to use the terms good and evil, but lets define Avatars deeper and separate the Valorous with no scruples from Honorable with them. Its easy to walk into a room and nuke 100-1000 mobs, but this is the successor to Ultima, is that really what we are after... or better yet, its fine if that is your play style and who you want to be but also let there be rewards and penalties befitting an Ultima for playing with DIFFERENT styles, not just the most straightforward and power play version. :D
     
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  17. Astirian

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    I honestly can't comment too much on the state of the story itself as I've been waiting for The Upgrade before I get stuck in, patience too is a virtue ;) - so take this entire post with a grain of salt (heh j/k). Judging from some of the forum threads I've read over the past year and a half, however, it would seem that some players feel that the story perhaps doesn't flow as well as it could, or new players get lost, or the content connectors aren't polished enough to chain the experience together cohesively etc...

    I think one of the issues here is that in older games like U7, you can traverse the world pretty fast and from what I remember, discovering NPCs seemed to happen quite organically. The gaming worlds were smaller back then so you could mentally map a town and its (important) inhabitants generally pretty quickly. (Let's not mention Daggerfall just yet)

    The team have made efforts with blue sparklies and compass markers but I think the real winner will be the new Journal.

    Here are three tricks that I personally would be inclined to use for story orientation @Sannio:

    1. The Tavern (Breadcrumb Heaven)
    2. Visually Unique NPCs (Curiosity Cues)
    3. The Approach/Letters (The In-Your-Face One)


    The Tavern
    Ye Age Olde Trope. If there's a prominent tavern in town, that's the first place I'm going to get rumors. (In Baldur's Gate, you buy drinks for a % chance at a rumor! I love that.) Generally, you pick up a few quests here that breadcrumb you to more quest NPCs at another location. Bread-crumbing is an art.

    Visually Unique NPCs
    Even back in the day, players would grok this pretty quickly. You get a feel for the filler NPCs like guards and so on but when you see someone visually unlike the others, you know it's worth a shot having a chat. You can almost get away with descriptive nameplates too if you don't have the art budget, I've seen a couple of these in the game already. You know, stuff like "Suspicious Beggar", "Rambling Priest", "Crazy Cat Lady" etc...

    The Approach/Letters
    You know the one, someone runs up to you/ambushes you/gives you a letter/falls on your head etc...


    Anyway... Because Novia's towns are so epic (and I love the scale), I think particular attention has to be paid to how story is discovered.

    This is usually reflected in the Journal under the quest entry ("I met a man named Patrick Cake at the docks in Port Graff who explained to me that I may be able to locate Rainier Wolfcastle at the tavern in Spite.") and to be fair, I've got one or two entries I accidentally picked up in Online mode that do read like this.

    In terms of finding people, well, there's a few places I see that are ripe for improvement when talking to guards:

    - No one seems to know where the bank is. (For example)
    - I tested this just now and spent 15 minutes asking a bunch of guards in two different towns, Port Graff and Central Brittany... No dice.
    - Maybe this is fixed but one time "Where's the bank?" gave me a negative. However, "Where is the bank?" worked.
    - I tried just saying "Where" but got nothing. Which is possibly better than the wall of words that was there previously (at least make that a bullet list).

    The tip on the loading screen is great but players are going to get frustrated very quickly if the guards just keep tooling with them. What's good is that they drop a clue on occasion but no-one's going to go through 8 guards to get a clue, realistically. Turns it into a bit of a hidden feature I think.
     
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  18. Feeyo

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    The story will eat you.
     
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