State of Solo/offline mode - collected information asked for to be done further

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Paladin Michael, Dec 17, 2017.

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  1. Paladin Michael

    Paladin Michael Bug Hunter

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    Dear Avatars,
    if you are here to enjoy ALSO the solo/offline experience to focus only on the main story elements (Episode 1 content), you're invited to write, what you think is missing until launch - BEFORE please read the list below of things I collected over time, what was asked for and what was done so far:
    (I think only people who are interested in will read it. It was a great effort to collect the information!)
    For more reading comfort I used "Spoiler" so you can open one after one ;)
    EDIT:
    After posting this thread and coming back today, I saw, spoilers are not good to read. Sorry ;(
    So I put the short content below the spoiler. Open spoiler tags for the long version ;)


    The critique so far:
    In MMO games fans like a strong guiding. Flashing quest items, waving/sparkling/glowing NPCs.
    This takes the challenge of exploring and discovering the world and inhabitants by our own.

    1. INTRODUCTION - Story beginning
    We have a great introduction. And I think, after starting the first path (equal which one), it isn't necessary to explain again how (technical) things work after this.

    2. COMPASS
    Solomode don't needs sparkling stars, compass information or anything like this (until we discovered!) So sparklings and equal things should be possible to toggle off.

    3. JOURNAL
    I am a fan of a good sorted Journal. It helps to follow the storyline and keep in mind, what was done before and what is to do furthermore. If you start Path of Truth and Courage parallel, and may be also Love, you get confused after a while (at last, if you take a break of a few days or weeks!)

    I would consider:
    I Path of Love
    Solace Bridge
    Journal entries about dialogues, quests, discoveries, containing what we found there
    Solace Bridge Outskirts
    Journal entries about dialogues, quests, discoveries, containing what we found there
    Soltown
    Journal entries about dialogues, quests, discoveries, containing what we found there
    ...
    II Path of Truth
    III Path of Courage
    IV Path of Oracle
    V Hidden Vale

    VI LORE of NOVIA
    This entry could contain all dialogue information, we receive while travelling through the lands, exploring and talking to NPC's! We receive a lot of information from doing quests. For example Arabella (Oracle, Titans, Cabbalists), which is very interesting, but irritating inside the quest line entries. Sorted inside an own Chapter would be great to reread this!

    1. Novia
    2. Inhabitants
    Humanoid: Elves, Satyrs, Fauns, Kobolds, Humans, Outlanders
    Animals: Wolves, Bears ...
    3. The Oracle
    4. The Titans
    5. The Virtues
    6. The Cabbalists
    7. The Obsidians
    8. Dungeons
    9. ...

    In a further step (Episode 2, maybe) it could contain:
    Pictures of the land, Inhabitants, Oracle, Titans, Virtues, ...
    And location information - connection to the compass!
    AFTER we explored and found it! (not before - this takes a lot of fun away...)

    4. MAPS: Overworld / Towns
    There are Sologamer, who don't want an auto map. A way to toggle it off, like the compass - problem solved ;)

    First: great to show N E S W on the map!
    Map should show only the explored places.
    Town: For example, after reaching Soltown the first time, the map townmap should start with showing the entrance. While walking through, it should show what we've found while looking around. Not more.
    The Tavern should appear as "Tavern" after we discovered it ... also every point of interest.
    For example: Finding the house of Samael in Brookside. His house should be named after knowing about.
    After I found a secret door, it should be shown on the map, of course, not before :(

    This would make it really interesting to explore and investigate the lands / towns and have fun while doing it! To receive all these informations without doing anything takes a lot of fun!
    And this should be a great part after entering the new lands the first time ...
    Beside this: we also would know, where we've been (never) before!!!

    What a pity for the whole story to miss this kind of watching our progress, it is such a great feeling and it's satisfaction! ;)

    GREAT WHAT WAS DONE MEANWHILE! WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD FOR MORE IMPROVEMENT THE NEXT THREE RELEASES!
    - INTRODUCTION: After starting the first path the possibility to toggle it off and also from beginning of the whole story.
    - COMPASS: Only information, what we discovered before, no sparkles.
    - JOURNAL: Entries in Chapter for each path and Lore of Novia (with collected information about the lands, Oracle, Titans, Cabalists, Obsidians ...)
    May be in Episode 2 illustraded with fine pictures of the land, Inhabitants, Oracle ...
    - MAPS: Automap function (also to toggle on/off) for more fun while exploring the new land.
    Showing Direction: N E S W
    Showing only discovered places on overland map and townmap.
    Points of Interest ("Tavern", "Town Crier" "secret door") should appear after I discovered it.

    Release 50 and 51 will add options to disable quest highlighting.

    II. COMBAT BALANCE
    The critique so far:
    1. Solomode don't need to grind to do the storyline. For this Solomode don't need respawning anyway in these scenes which are story relevant. It is next to impossible to enjoy in offline mode because the enemies are too strong and there are way too many of them.

    2. Solomode don't need respawning anyway in these scenes which seems story relevant. It is illogical, that enemies, we killed, come back after a few seconds ;) That's really a story-killer for offline gaming!
    So it is important, what was done with

    • No Respawn in Story Scenes: We have removed re-spawning of monsters and resources in certain story scenes that provide quest companions including Crypt of the Avatar, Necropolis, and Blood River Massacre.
    [/QUOTE]

    GREAT WHAT WAS DONE MEANWHILE!

    III. COMPANIONS
    The critique so far:
    • You can't hire NPCs to escort you.
    What the game provides and will provide until launch:
    1. Samael (First seen in Ardoris Tavern on Sequanna Square)
    He is not a permanent one, but I think we can see him as one on our path of Love :)
    For now Samael is helping us in Necropolis, Crypt of the Avatar and Malice.
    I think, over the whole part we can learn a lot about him and his feelings, because he has also an important part on the path of love!

    2. Fiona Fitzowen the Bard (First seen in Ardoris Tavern on Sequanna Square)
    Companion on the path of Love
    The critique so far:
    Fiona needs a new wardrobe, please: As I wrote before, there are great possibilities for, like the Assassin’s leather Armor ...

    3. Conrad Dupre, Knight of Norgard
    Companion on the path of Courage

    4. Ariel Rosehaven.
    Companion on the path of Truth

    Detailed information, please find in the former thread of @Lum the Mad!

    ACTUAL INFORMATION:

    Darkstarr, 14. December 2017:
    WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD FOR MORE IMPROVEMENT THE NEXT THREE RELEASES!
    COMBAT BALANCE: Focus more on story than on Skills. Respawning in scenes which are storyrelevant.
    Consider this: To clean a whole wood from wolves, bears, rabbits or other animals should be no virtuous act.

    Release 48 and 49 did well lowering strength of enemies in starting places (Outskirts).


    COMPANIONS:
    - The character Samael is a partial one and his part on the path of love was fleshed out.
    - Fiona Fitzowen the Bard (Ardoris Tavern on Sequanna Square)

    With Release 49 some things were fixed and polished.

    - Conrad Dupre, Knight of Norgard (Should be found on the Path of Courage)
    - Ariel Rosehaven (Should be found on the Path of Truth)

    Never saw the last two. All Companions should be available in offline mode.
    Detailed information in the thread of Lum the Mad.

    ACTUAL INFORMATION from Darkstarr, 14. December 2017:
    ... here is the broad overview of the launch content:
    Offline Mode with special features and content
    Combat Balance
    Companions

    IV. DIALOGUE with NPC ...
    1. The "one for all" dialogue window
    The critique so far:
    Watching the window feels reading a never ending text.
    A small change could give us more feeling of communication with our counterpart.
    Text from the counterpart could be shown above/left from him/her. Means: outside the "dialogue window" we have now. There must be no "window" to do so.
    A good thread about this is also here.

    Please, let the answer of our counterpart vanish, with the moment, when we ask (click) another question (keyword) AND when we say goodbye. So the "continue" button is only needed, if there is a lot of text after one question. Now, sometimes, we have to push and no further text follows!

    And further (also really important for Solo online mode!) please don't show technical information in this dialogue window, like "XYZ is now on/offline"!

    2. To talk with our Counterpart
    For now we have ONE Dialogue window infront of us. It contains two possibilites.
    Click words INSIDE text window. Click keywords below the text window.

    The critique so far:
    It is confusing, scrolling up for words to click again
    . This takes us away from the story.
    Keywords asked from us are shifted to the right side of the keyword line. That's a good idea!
    So just the actual things are shown in highlighted words, the former asked words are grey.
    So far so good. But clicking again former asked words (from the right side) will shift them back to the left side. That's confusing, too.

    A solution to make it more clear could be:
    Standard keywords coming up with the first encounter of a NPC:
    greetings name job rumors help |goodbye|
    After clicking standard words are shifted always to the right (as it is now!).
    And the last asked word could be shown more left sided.
    For example: clicking (in this order) greetings and name and job shifts them to the right side:
    rumors help job name greetings |goodbye|

    Now I would ask for rumors, and the answer text (left/right above the counterpart!) would tell about the oracle and titans.
    The textline would show:
    Oracle Titans help rumors job name greetings |goodbye|
    After asking about Oracle and Titans it would be this way:
    help Titans Oracle rumors job name greetings |goodbye|

    Asking job again, shouldn't shift/change the order of the whole words!
    It looks like the keywords will "jump" around. That's confusing again.
    For me this was one of the whole reasons, I clicked again on words I did before!
    And there is no reason to shift the former asked (basic) keyword back to the left side.


    So it would be very clear, what we asked before and what we can ask further.

    Beside this, there also could be a part "asked before", where we could find the summary of what we asked and given answers
    (what we now have inside the dialogue window to scroll from a to b!)
    Could look like this:
    Oracle Titans help rumors |goodbye| |asked before|
    Last one could provide (in another window, may be connected to the Journal):
    ______________________________________
    Asked before:
    Greetings
    Hail Avatar! Welcome in the world of Novia!

    Name
    My name is Arabella.
    Job
    My job is to support you, Avatar, on our path.
    Lord British
    He is the first Outlander (there only can be one - first one ;)) of Novia and my husband.
    ______________________________________________________

    AND very important:
    The dialogue window would be reduced (smaller like now!) to the text,
    WE actually speak to our counterpart. This would feel more clear.
    To follow the whole dialogue and story would be more easier.

    The parts of our dialogues, which will be part of the Knowledge Journal could also show up a small portrait(!) of the person we talked to for better remember him/she!

    The whole dialogue can be seen in the chat window, which we always can toggle on/off, so it is not necessary to have it in the dialogue window infront of us ...

    There is a great thread about this :)


    WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD FOR MORE IMPROVEMENT THE NEXT THREE RELEASES!
    - SEPARATE Text for NPC / Avatar. No "jumping" keywords.
    Please read my Feedback for this here, if you like, or in the spoiler above.

    V. Atmosphere of the story!
    The critique so far:
    1 Solomode don't need decoration or player owned houses.

    It's great for multiplayer online to see eastern or christmas decoration! But not, if you just want to feel the essence of Episode 1! It isn't a bunny or christmas story ;)
    And for that we won't see also Ankh-Skyscrapers, Giant "greeklike statues" in Southeast of Novia and no Shogun Houses in NW of Novia, and of course no Barbarians from Valhold in the east of Novia. And also no German Biergarten Tent somewhere in Aerie ...
    Showing mixture of houses takes away the unique design of towns.

    Important: Actual there are NO player owned houses while in offline mode. The deeds location showing the owners, can be toggled off on the now integrated map! (If you use the map). So if you are only interested in playing the story offline, this is no problem!

    I don't have any information, this should change?


    In Solo mode online there is full content - all houses are shown.
    But if you are interested to play only the story, why should you do this online?
    May be, you want to do it together with friends?

    There seems no way to toggle this off in online mode ;)


    2. Solomode don't need "repeatable" quests. That makes no sense, if the story don't need us to do things a second or third time :) (Like delivering mail from a to b to a to b.) It COULD be an important part of a great story, but not endless ...

    3. Typical mmo-quests - meaningful actions - Knowledge, that our actions will affect the game!

    The critique so far:
    • You can't talk your way out of a fight. I haven't seen this happen anywhere.
    • Most of the quests seem to have a very simple binary state; you either completed the objectives or you haven't. The only quest I know that has an alternative state is the woman in Owl's Head looking for her (I think) imprisoned brother.
    You have the decision, what you will tell: truth or not or may be something between?
    The critique so far: We need more quests providing choices like in these quests!

    The last story (Harvest) is one of the scariest I did! You have to talk to a few kids - and after that you enter this house and waiting for midnight, alone with yourself and this clock making tick-tack tick-tack ... spooky!
    I just wished the end of this quest would provide more story content!



    4 Behavior of NPC:

    The critique so far:
    • You can't really sneak past enemies... certainly not in "New User Experience" areas; no one has access Silent Movement (even if they did, it'd be so low level that it wouldn't work). My Silent Movement skill is at level 70 (if not above) and even I find myself lucky to sneak past certain enemies in most areas because there's so many enemies at any given spot that one of them is bound to spot you.
    • There's hardly any ways to outsmart the enemies by using the environment against them. In the case of the Highvale Outskirts area, you can't lure any of the frost dudes to fight the elves and that would be the only thing that area would allow you to do.
    There have been done a few things. If there is somthing more you find out while game testing, what could improve the story exploring, please tell it at the feedback/bugforum :)

    And a nice answer to this from Sannio!

    WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD FOR MORE STORY IMPROVEMENT THE NEXT THREE RELEASES!
    - POT / DECORATION:
    If we talk about to improve the SOLO OFFLINE MODE, and complain about DECO STUFF in SOLO ONLINE(!) mode, well, what are we talking about?
    In SOLO OFFLINE MODE there is NO deco, no POT houses, etc.
    Only the map shows the empty lots. Toggle it off - finished!

    If it should be possible to toggle player houses off in SOLO ONLINE, is another question.
    But if I am here only for the story, why should I play it online ???
    Only if I would like to play the story together with other player, but online is online.
    All houses are visible.

    - REPEATABLE QUESTS: ONLY, if a quest - logically- would make it necessary to do so!

    - MORE QUESTS WITH CHOICES (not only killing as ONE choice on our virtuous path)
    Those choices have meaning for our character!

    BEHAVIOR OF NPC
    Release 49 did some changes.

    VI STORY and QUEST PARTS
    1 Main Intro - Isle of storms, choosing our path, entering the new world of Novia
    The Intro with Arabella is really great. I like it to enter this world in this way. The sound, the atmosphere ...
    Feedback about this scene you can find here. I think it is really important, every new player starts with the same amount of skillpoints and also have the right to choose -from beginning!- the weapon (s)he wants to use!

    2 Intro scenes of each path are good to push the player into the story
    --> I assume, if we would have more of such small parts to connect the story, it would be brilliant. May be for Episode 2! Well, each "outro" is similar to the intro. And for me they look great.

    3 The Outskirts provide new players a good feeling after the Intro, how the game works and after the strength and respawn rate of enemies was lowered, it feels much better!

    The storyline of the outskirts provides also an own small story inside the story.
    Highvale Outskirts, connected to the main story of the path of Courage. I like the story around the Frostgeister, the atmosphere around the monastary ... to find out, what happens around ...

    Solace Bridge Outskirts, closer connected to the main story of the path of love. After polish and returning there, I liked the -first- outskirts very much! The small story to look for soldiers, if they are dead or alive? The ghost who can't remember who he is, the scary small "bloody bones" story. Nice!

    Bloodriver Outskirts is connected to the main story of the path of truth. This was the hardest one for me. Why? 1. One character reminded me on a special famous man - okay that's another story ;) 2. The whole aerea was so huge! Without a map - awful! It felt like running endless ...
    After including the map data it was fun to explore this outskirts!
    And I like the NEW quest to find a part of the truth armor, given by Gus, the friendly automaton :)

    4. The complete new Path of the Oracle is a really good one with puzzles and challenging.
    I liked it and not the only one, thinking: why wasn't the storylines I - III like this?
    Well, @Lum the Mad told us: the whole paths will be polished further until launch. Great!
    But i just read, it would be necessary to do the final part with a party? How should this work in solo mode? With all three companions, I assume? ;)

    5 The finale outro with the Oracle was exciting, as I did it the first time months before.
    Now the whole scene was polished and I am happy, doing all the stuff after game reset with launchdate :)

    6. Hidden Vale
    And if you don't care about to be virtuous? Well, may be you like this? ;)
    A lot of critique above was found in the thread, I tried to find out, what people like to have a more Ultima like feeling.
    STORY/QUESTS

    - BALANCE ON STARTER SKILLS for a new character, equal, which path he starts.
    The choice, with which weapon he wants to go on, not the path of the "sword" or "bow" ...

    - Polish on Hidden Vale Quests
    Release 51 will polish the quests in hidden vale!


    If I forgot something, please don't hesitate to connect a link or just write a few words. Only providing game feedback helps to improve it. That's what we can do - now. I recommend to start offline on one path and writing down, what is confusing for you to understand the storypart!
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2017
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  2. Paladin Michael

    Paladin Michael Bug Hunter

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    Addition:
    In OFFLINE MODE all POT shouldn't be shown on the map.
    It makes no sense to provide empty towns with just a town crier inside.
    Beside this, they aren't necessary to do the Storyline.

    I think it should be no problem to toggle POT off while in offline mode?
    As the game was designed for, it shouldn't.
    And this would be important until launch :)
     
  3. Lord_Darkmoon

    Lord_Darkmoon Avatar

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    Here is what I expect from the offline mode:

    - Choices with real consequences: If I bring the arsonist to justive, he should be thrown into jail or be hanged.
    - NPCs who react to me and my deeds. Did I help them, they should acknowledge this. Did I do something bad, they should acknowledge this, too.
    - Real NPC schedules. NPCs should not just rush to the next bed, they have their own house. They go to work, work, go the pub and home to sleep.
    - No Sims NPCs. Logging into the game and hearing all those "Oh", "Ah", "Oh-oh", "Hihihi", makes me think I am in a Teletubby game.
    - A world with an interactivity like in Ultima 7. Moving objects around, dropping items anywhere, finding items hidden underneath other items.
    - Unique respawning rules. Quest monsters should stay dead, I can clear areas which slowly get re-inhabited.
    - No grinding to advance the story. If I get the mission to rush to the dungeon before the undead sack the city then I shouldn't have to grind for days before I can enter and complete the dungeon.
    - Natural conversations with NPCs. An atmospheric dialogue-system, no robot like answers telling me the exact things over and over. No walls of text. Flavour text for descriptions if you can't have ultra-detailed animations and facial expressions. Keep it short but interesting. Don't make me search for keywords.
    - Many things to discover and which make sense (what is up with the skeleton in the barn in the Solace Bridge outskirts?)
    - Logically placed enemies - why are there undead in the sewers?
    - Enemies with a natural behaviour which are not waiting to be attacked by walking a few steps up a path and then down again.
    - Advancing time by sleeping.
    - Time should not advance when I am not in the game!
    - Companions which I can manage - Skills, inventory, gear
    - More than one companion!
    - Sieges that actually make sense. They should DO something and if defeated they shouldn't return as if nothing happend. NPCs should react to sieges.
    - Lots in NPC towns should get houses with unique interior. NPCs should live there.
    - No POTS in offline mode.
    - Changes affecting scenes - cities being burned down, NPCs who can die.
    - No repeatable quests that don't make any sense - Kill the Alpha wolf once a day etc.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2017
  4. LoneWerewolf

    LoneWerewolf Guest

    What turns me off most in SP mode is if I see player owned houses in story relevant areas with juke boxes and other decoration out there that just does not go with the story / the setting.
     
  5. Spoon

    Spoon Avatar

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    Agreed. With the wish for an exception for POT owners to be able to see and enter their own POT.

    I regularly use offline mode to triage and test ideas for my pot.
     
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  6. Spoon

    Spoon Avatar

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  7. Lord Andernut

    Lord Andernut Avatar

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    Wait, we have POT access now in offline mode?
     
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  8. Spoon

    Spoon Avatar

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    Skimming through your excellent summary I can see no mention of 'henchlings' i.e. non-dialog companions which one can hire for gold to help with what is essentially group content in online mode.

    This has been mentioned in early offline deep dives but never showed up in any Jiras/schedules.


    Then 'difficulty settings' have been discussed as well.


    Also one key part is that bug fixes and added content would be continuously delivered through the monthly updates, on top of the episodes.


    Then the 'download' of online state was talked about last year. In that they might want to have such a feature where one could download the current state online of a scene to be used in offline. I think this was for player housing/player vendor purposes.
    But that I think was a more long term wish item.
     
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  9. Paladin Michael

    Paladin Michael Bug Hunter

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    @LoneWerewolf, therefore use the offline mode! The offline mode grants that no player house and deco is around :)
    What sense makes it to play -only story- in online mode? ;)
     
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  10. Paladin Michael

    Paladin Michael Bug Hunter

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    I think, everybody can place in offline mode a house everywhere on a lot (well, if you own one). And in offline mode you can claim all your online stuff.
    So this shouldn't be a problem anyway? :)

    Beside this: the performance in offline mode is awesome :)
     
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  11. Paladin Michael

    Paladin Michael Bug Hunter

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    Addition:
    To flag in offline mode for PvP also makes no sense ;)
    May be this function of the Oracle could provide secure passage through the control points ???
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2017
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  12. Elwyn

    Elwyn Avatar

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    There should be an exception to allow accounts that own a POT to display that POT and no others.
     
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  13. Paladin Michael

    Paladin Michael Bug Hunter

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  14. Arkah EMPstrike

    Arkah EMPstrike Avatar

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    It was mentioned in the 2year plan
     
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  15. Spoon

    Spoon Avatar

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    Oh, thank you, I stand corrected.
     
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  16. Lord_Darkmoon

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    When Kingdom Come: Deliverance is released in February we will all see how a single-player RPG can play and look like with a rather small budget. And then in March we can compare it to the offline experience of SotA.

     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2017
  17. Bob Kelso2

    Bob Kelso2 Avatar

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    Nothing compares to sota offline ;)
     
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  18. Paladin Michael

    Paladin Michael Bug Hunter

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    Well, "first person perspective" style. If someone like it. For me too flurry ...
    For me a reason not to play Lands of Lore II further, because of this perspective.
    I don't think, this is the answer of a better game anyway.
    Beside this, it has some interesting aspects.
    But the center of the game seems more the fighting/killing aspect?
    Looks more in the style of an Action Adventure.
    Would not be my game for this ;)
    This example shows, how different taste can be.

    Would be interesting to see, how quests will work in this game, beside the "poisoning food, dress up and kill enemies from behind" stuff!
    Poisoning food was a questpart at Bloodriver Outskirts ... and there was a disguise part for Malice
    (before it was taken out, because it seemed unlogical to use it to deceive Undead. But in other quests it would be a fine solution to see :)).

    Beside this:
    If Chris would make it this way, that we die by 1 arrow or by one enemy in back who cut our throat, well, how hard and worse would this be?
    Archers are hard enough anyway in SotA :(
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017
  19. Cordelayne

    Cordelayne Avatar

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    I have played the Beta of this game and it is absolutely spectacular. The world is huge, even in the Beta, and with a consequence driven questline it makes the possible choices of how you wish to approach the game endless! One such mechanic was sneaking into an enemy camp and poisoning their food and then sneaking back out. I then watched as they ate the food and started to die. Now, what was REALLY awesome is that after they saw a couple of folks die from the food they learned that the food was poisoned and stopped eating. Very realistic! They then went on alert and started searching for me but I was already taking them down with my bow and arrows. This is gonna be a great game! :D
     
  20. Lord_Darkmoon

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    You mean the first person perspective? I thought Sota will get this, too after release of EP 1. With hands and everything. And it works pretty well in The Elder Scrolls Online. Wouldn't want to miss it.

    As for killing/fighting in quests, this is neccessary in most quests of SotA, too.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017
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