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Puncherson_64LadyBrain_64

Spoilers for Hunter’s Edge rat stories and Jahan’s story in Divinity: Original Sin

Butch:

Ok, did the tomb. Met those knights there who were looking for the annoying assed imps. I’ve met those imps. They’re annoying. Have you met them? Because….well….themes…..I told the watchers to look in Cyseal. Not sure that was wise. Did you find the imps? How’d you play that?

Wished I had Jahan cuz demons.

Then went and killed the rat king. MAN meteor strike is helpful. Though that was still a tough fight even with it.

But the cat came through. Gotta go find a black boulder and a key and stuff. Left it there.

Though I had an option to sell out the servants. I wonder what would have happened if I did.

So rant time:

We mentioned in a blog post last week how there’s challenging and there’s just unfair. Unfair requires the player to, basically, be lucky. Either in terms of stumbling upon something or having the right stat. Once you told me it was a “Wolgraff has spotted something” deal, I did the invisible thing past the statues, put on everything I could to jack his perception, and then voila. Then it was easy.

That’s bad game design. Period. Why? Because what I was missing wasn’t anything I, Butch McPuncherson, was missing. The challenge in this maze thingy wasn’t a challenge. It was either you were lucky enough to have a character with the right stat or you weren’t. That was the whole difference between impossible and easy.

And that’s not challenging. That’s silly. That takes every single possible agency on how to succeed in the game away from the player and puts it in the hands of luck, either way! Because once Wolgraff spotted stuff, it was cake. You should never have a sequence that’s either impossible or cake, especially when that difference has nothing whatsoever to do with any action taken or not taken by the human being playing the game.

Wanna make a puzzle? Fine. Want to make a challenging bit? Fine. I like those. This wasn’t it at all.

I like this game, I do, but too many instances of whether you just stumbled on something or not. Let’s hope they fix that in two.

Feminina:

We haven’t found the imps, so I only know those people are looking for them. I assume at some point we’ll have to choose whether to give them up or not.

And our Wolgraff spotted the path immediately, so it didn’t even occur to me that you could miss that. I figured it must be an automatic success, because otherwise it would just be obnoxious. But apparently, it was just obnoxious! Which…I guess probably they would say it was a non critical part of the game, so it’s not as if they were preventing you from finishing or anything, and therefore it’s OK to have stupidly difficult and/or luck-based challenges.

We don’t have to agree with that, but that’s the argument I can imagine being made.

Butch:

The imps…well, for me, they came out of one of the portals that got opened at the end of time before the attack started. There’s a lot of them. They follow you around. There are…themes. They gave me their side of the story. There were themes.

No, the path was just obnoxious. I kept adding perception buffs until it got to, what, nine or ten, and then poof. So it wasn’t even really a dice roll, it was “if you have this stat, fine, if not, fuck you.”

That’s obnoxious.

And it may well have prevented something! There was a star stone at the end of all that, and those open portals, right? And those watchers started a whole quest!

Naughty, naughty game.

Feminina:

OK, we’ll go back to the end of time and see if we can open any portals that lead to imps. We need to go back anyway to see if anyone has a comment about that demon we killed. Advice on what to do next, that sort of thing.

The thing is, I think we could head towards the end game now, after that demon, but there’s still a lot we haven’t done, so we might either get there and not be able to do it, or get there, do it, and miss out on a lot of stuff. So I think we’re going to keep poking around for a while and see if we can accumulate a couple more levels before we go that way.

Butch:

Ooo! A light at the end of a tunnel!

So I must be kinda close….

Did the demon have, like, a long name? Cuz Jahan might comment….at length.

The badly titled Detroit: Become Human comes out in a few weeks. We might actually….be on schedule?

Feminina:

Let’s not get overconfident. The light could be deceptive. Maybe it’s just the burning lava field summoned by the latest incarnation of King Boreas.

But yes…maybe. Maybe.

Butch:

It can’t last forever, can it?

We’ve already spend three and a half months on it. That’s long even by our standards. Right?

I usually keep a list of how many games I play, at least for a minute or two, in a given year. With helping the kids and all, it’s usually around a dozen or so. So far this year? A whopping three. Divinity, a mobile game, and mario Kart 8 with Meatball.

And before you say “Dude, we spent this long on MEA” or something, we’re PLAYING this more. Like, LOTS more. We’re a good 70 hours or so in, you’re probably more than that. We’re usually done at 70 hours. Even FO4 we did, what, 75? Horizon only clocked 60. And we loved Horizon.

That’s a lot of game by any measure. Well, time measure. We have to be sort of close.

Feminina:

I suppose technically it can’t last forever. True. There must be an end at some point. And also true, we have been playing a lot. We don’t have to share the console because, well, we’re sharing the console, so we play almost every night. You’re playing a lot too! There must be an end sooner or later. Or much, much later.

Oh, and this demon’s name was Balberith. Not that long. Maybe not Jahan’s demon. He mentioned another demon with a name that was a bit longer I think, although I can’t remember what it was exactly. Alkazaroth or something? I’m sure we’ll meet him. Sooner or later.

Butch:

No, that’s the one. Poor Jahan.

“I have a themeatic backstory-“
“Does it start when we’re level three?”
“Yes, why?”
“Cuz we’re level 18 now.”
“We are?”
“Yup.”
“But I was going to dole out my story, a tidbit each level or two…”
“Sorry, dude.”
“I had 10 dialog choices..”
“No shit?”
“No shit. 10.”
“Sounds like quite a story.”
“Can I tell it now?”
“I guess……but we may glaze over cuz that’s a lot of dialog….”
“Well…here goes…”
[lots of time passes, eyes glaze over]
“And so…in order to save me from eternal torment, I must kill a demon by the end of the year. His name is Balberith and maybe I can still have a dramatic end to my quest that the writers spent forever on and what’s that look on your face? [long pause] Seriously? You killed him?”
“Uh…..well…..”
“And left me in a library?”
“What you got against libraries?”
“Nothing…nothing…it’s just….”
“Hey, nothing personal, but Bairdotr did kind of have all our arrows…..”

So much for themes. You would’ve loved it. It would’ve been great.

Feminina:

Aw, man. Sorry, Jahan. Uh…tell us the story and we’ll tell you a satisfying tale of his ignominious end. Will that make you feel better? No? Sorry, dude.

This game maybe should have done more to force us to take different companions. Although I guess from their perspective, it’s no skin off their nose if we miss out on theme.

Except it is, because they wrote it! But whatever.

Butch:

So unlike you to miss half the companion quests!

Feminina:

I blame Mr. O’. I want that on the record.

Butch:

Consider it recorded.

You’ll be back to your lone wolf, thorough ways soon. Unless this game has four more months in it. Ha.

Also, random reflection on ancient history:

That troll DISTINCTLY said the entrance to the troll cave was in another plane. I even trucked all around fucking Hiberheim looking for it. And yet, it, at least as I see it, wasn’t. You got Marandino’s spell, you stood in those mushrooms there, and POOF! it opened. All in the Lucella forest.

By the way, you’re not gonna do Marandino’s place, right? Can I kinda spoil Marandino?

Feminina:

Well…we might. Because we don’t want to go straight to the Place Where The Conduit Went, so we’re going to be looking around for something else to do. Give us a week, then spoil.

Butch:

All right. I shall.

It’s….interesting. Make sure you read…everything. I have thoughts.

Just remember to fight everyone, so you get XP!

Ha. Grumble.

Feminina:

Ha. Grumble. We intentionally fought a couple of henchmonsters who hadn’t noticed us, after we killed the demon. Because XP! And, you know, the safety of the woods and so forth. But 9000 XP is also very motivating.

Butch:

I wish I had been so motivated earlier.

But I still haven’t learned! Went right by the four statues in the tomb there. They continue to live. Or stand there. Or whatever.

Dammit!

Feminina:

This is why you’re not level 17. You leave things unkilled. Your mortal enemy would never do that.

Be more of a monster!

Butch:

Hey, I killed the rat king! And the rat prince, the rat chancellor, the rat general and the rat buffoon (seriously). Maybe another rat or two. MAD XP. I think.

NO MERCY! Except when statues are really hard to kill. I’m very merciful to really tough things.

Feminina:

That’s a very practical strategy for life.

We didn’t kill the rat king! We killed the Ratcatcher instead. Same effect on the cat, who told us where to find the people. Which we already knew, but still. Thanks cat!

Rats are still chillin’. All their mad XP still locked inside their giant rat bodies.

We should probably go kill them anyway.

Butch:

I think they were, like, 10K each.

So, with all of them, a total of, what, 70, 75K?

Or, as we say, 22 instances of actually moving quests forward.

Not bitter.

I kinda liked the ratcatcher. Affinity for weirdos, me.

Feminina:

I had nothing against the Ratcatcher personally. But you know…things happen…choices must be made…

Butch:

Did you at least get to say “STOP THAT FUCKING DRUMMING?”

Feminina:

Ha! He did stop it. That WAS pretty great.