Divinity: Original Sin

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Remember the good old days, when villains would monologue, and we heroes were able to take advantage of it and defeat the villain in time to make it to our movie date with someone who doesn't know our secret identity/organization, so we have to juggle our dual lives in a futile effort to live a normal existence; even though history has shown that it would have been much easier if we had disclosed our identity to said romantic interest to begin with, and it ultimately leads to our lamenting our lost love when a) they are killed off by a super-villain or b) they find out our secret and feel betrayed at the lack of trust on our part, leading to them leave us, which classically begins our "Dark Phase", where we shoot first and ask questions later, only to find that our love interest returns/rises from the dead, and is even more upset that we strayed from the righteous path, and we go through a "Redemption Phase" to win back our love interest and win the hearts and minds of the world we abandoned?

Ah, yes... good memories...

So yeah, sometimes monologues suck!

It is a sad indictment of education when you need to explain something as obvious and foundational to all knowledge as that skeletons make "gynaah" sounds.

Ahhhh, the dreaded "1" on the ol' Twenty Sider...nothing kills more adventurers than a simple number.

More to the actual comic: gotta say I love the joke. If only some games actually came with the ability to roll for a save against exposition.

Why is Erin's breastplate a different color in the second panel?

eh I dunno. I think it depends on if you allow yourself the time to enjoy the game.

it's impossible to have too many words if you want it to have endless words!

Granted, this is tangential to the topic, but DA:O was Baldur's Gate gameplay with a new graphics engine. I played through the game twice and I still don't understand why people think of it as good, or dark for that matter. In Baldur's Gate, your character was literally the child of the god of death and yet no-one bothered to call it "dark fantasy". Do you know why? At the time, what we now call "dark fantasy" was just called "fantasy". Here's the thing about role-playing games. You tend to wander around killing things in order to justify having "stats". The problem is, when the world is basically good and civilized, its very hard to justify wandering around killing things. Thus settings are picked like (now "dark") fantasy and post-apocalypse. The whole point of fantasy settings for role-playing games is that the world is beset by hoards of rampaging monsters, murdering, rapist bandits and priests of evil gods bringing demons upon the land. Evidently, fantasy became dark fantasy when they decreased the amount of yellow in the color palette.

RatherDull:
Why is Erin's breastplate a different color in the second panel?

Because Cory is incapable of love.

RatherDull:
Why is Erin's breastplate a different color in the second panel?

Those are her knees. They're both kneeling.

Daystar Clarion:
There's a special kind of high as a rogue in that game.

Sneaking around, stealing paintings off the walls of a pubs. Stealing stuff off tables. Stealing stuff from pockets. Stealing stuff not on tables. Stealing stuff from that weird place that isn't quite on the table, but not quite off either.

Stealing stuff.

Stealing everything.

That sounds positively awesome - I'll have to get the game when I'm done with this money pit of a house. Also:

http://youtu.be/oSynJyq2RRo?t=7m1s

crispskittlez:

RatherDull:
Why is Erin's breastplate a different color in the second panel?

Those are her knees. They're both kneeling.

Ooooh that makes sense. I didn't think they were on the floor.

I immediately assumed that since they were rolling dice they were at a table of some sort.

Still, the perspective is a little weird.

RatherDull:

crispskittlez:

RatherDull:
Why is Erin's breastplate a different color in the second panel?

Those are her knees. They're both kneeling.

Ooooh that makes sense. I didn't think they were on the floor.

I immediately assumed that since they were rolling dice they were at a table of some sort.

Still, the perspective is a little weird.

You can see her throwing it to the floor in the first panel.

Daystar Clarion:

Stealing everything.

Stealing people's lives. You know, if you're the stab-happy sort.

/darkhumor

I might give Divinity a shot when I have actually worked through my backlog. Which I will do, I swear. Also, why is the Escapist's bot detector so concerned about me moving? I'm starting to wonder if it's stalking me.

I heard there was an adventure game where if you gave a photo album to an old woman, she would talk you to death, kind of like the comic, only after a time skip, you were the skeleton, and she was still talking.

I saw this late, but it is now my desktop wallpaper.

more games should try the EXPLOSITION approach

http://www.teamfortress.com/fateworsethanchess/

I agree fully. I'm enjoying the game so, so much..But I know it was going to be narrative poison the very moment I started it, because honestly, have you read the introduction the game throws at you? I counted almost twenty cliches within those two or three dialogues. "Ooh, is the dark evil energy called THE TAINT? Damn, I'm impressed!".

Caramel Frappe:
"Did I forget to mention you're the Chosen One?"
... B-but, skeleton. There's two people you're talking to.

OT: Here's the big difference between Skyrim and Dark Souls (Oh boy you may say. Yes, we're going there lol.)

Skyrim, or the Elder Scrolls in particular, will be upfront about it's story. Any tale, legend, or historical factor... NPCs along with whoever can speak will tell you about it. Granted, you can read the books for the in-depth version of their stories ... but, to get the juicy bits is usually explained through an NPC or quest.

Dark Souls on the other hand, has a story but keeps it very hidden. The game wants you to discover the history and the stories through environmental / item interactions. Once you put the pieces together, there's a LOT more to the game then you'd imagine. In fact, the first time you play the game... you'd think there was no plot really expect for killing the bosses to reach the end. But once you enter the final boss, it's nothing epic or hardcore with metal music blasting.

It's sad music, with a hollowed version of a former God that did everything to save his kingdom. You wonder why this is, and when you replay it, you start seeing 'things'. You get ideas and thoughts about what's really going on, and why there's this and that. Once you fully understand (especially by looking up lore videos on Youtube), it completely makes you appreciate the game.

Now before anyone assumes this, there's nothing wrong with how Skyrim does their approach. The Elder Scrolls has so much lore that it could fill up an actual library with the lore/stories/history/legends/ect. on each and every game. That's not even taking into account about the events that unfold depending on what your character does. Dark Souls, on it's own however- is able to have an amazing amount of lore / story to impress anyone who wouldn't see it at first. As in, it has enough lore/story telling to compete with games like Mass Effect, Dragon Age, ect.

But ... yeah you get the point lol. Dark Souls 2 kind of goes into the Elder Scrolls's approach but hiding some of the truth too.

Dark Souls 2 hardly goes the Elder Scrolls approach. It more just does its best to give as little information as possible for the player to feel like he might have a rough estimate on what is going on. Just like the chosen undead would. You shouldn't have any idea what is truly going on until the very end because neither does your character.

Secondly, it also made certain areas have MUCH easier to understand the backstory shown by the environment. No-Mans Wharf is really obvious for example on every bit of its backstory, from its purpose to the destruction of the town by those monster thing, to what the boat and the bell do. The only time its really straight out told tho is Forest of the Giant's, as the fort there is so central to the lore which is so central to the main plot.

Maybe theres not as much vagueness to every area, but if you understood the full brilliant lore that connected all the areas by the end of even NG+, you are a smarter man then I.

SnakeTrousers:

Smilomaniac:
I feed on the tears of people too impatient to read the text, eager to "just play". No wonder we have so many shitty games today.
While not all of Divinity: Original Sin is that immersive or interesting, I'm savoring every minute of it, dragging the co-op session out as long as we possibly can while we discuss the content.

My issue with text/talk heavy RPG's is that much of the dialogue winds up being exposition, and the setting is rarely interesting enough to justify it. I really don't care about the mountains of backstory behind Middle Earth Knockoff 5467 and dry, lifeless presentation does nothing to help.

What I hate in some RPG exposition is the legendary amount of unnecessary reaction and clarification dialog. (looking at you Tales series) It slows down the narrative too much and makes the main characters all look like idiots. Also, many RPG's never learned "show don't tell" and much of the otherwise interesting lore is delivered by one very boring old man character with little to no personality other than "stoic". Mix up your exposition, game! If you can't naturally show me through my character's interactions with the world, at least make sure that various interesting people deliver it (because then at least your boring exposition comes with a side of interesting character development)

SnakeTrousers:
My issue with text/talk heavy RPG's is that much of the dialogue winds up being exposition, and the setting is rarely interesting enough to justify it. I really don't care about the mountains of backstory behind Middle Earth Knockoff 5467 and dry, lifeless presentation does nothing to help.

Realitycrash:
I agree fully. I'm enjoying the game so, so much..But I know it was going to be narrative poison the very moment I started it, because honestly, have you read the introduction the game throws at you? I counted almost twenty cliches within those two or three dialogues. "Ooh, is the dark evil energy called THE TAINT? Damn, I'm impressed!".

I agree with both these sentiments. I'm still not sure whether the story of this game is supposed to be a parody, one that just doesn't really click with me, or not - it's just so incredibly cliché that I have a hard time believing it is serious. Well, actually not just cliché - Like, when I was told within the first hour that I AM SPECIAL and that I am expected to literally save the world from ceasing to exist, without even having been given the chance to care about this world or any of its inhabitants, I just wanted to throw my keyboard away and stop playing. Well, at least I could adjust my expectations properly right from the get-go...

Which is a pity, for I find the actual gameplay quite enjoyable too. And I'm still playing it, haven't finished it yet, but the urge to skip all dialoge is becoming more and more powerful.

And I know I shouldn't care about review scores and metacritic and all that... gameplay might be fine but a metascore of 87 for a classic RPG with such a story and such weak characters baffles me.
I mean, comparisons to the old Infinity engine titles get thrown around a lot, but do people really remember Baldur's Gate II (for example) because it was so awesome to be the spawn of Bhaal and safe the tree of life (or whatever)? I think not. They remember Minsk, Jaheira, Aerie & Co and the more personal parts about revenge and saving your sister. Well, I do anyway.

(leaving)

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