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February 26th, 2012, 00:35
Many thanks Moriendor for your detailed reply.
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February 26th, 2012, 07:51
Can't say I particularly like what I am hearing. And we have not even touched QTEs and some really absurd looking and immersion breaking minigames I've seen in some videos…

Also very disappointed to hear about the music. It was a huge part of the games atmosphere for all their past output (and atmosphere in turn was a huge part of why
I love their games). I was hoping the talented Seelbach would emulate the style in
Risen 1 and add a piraty twist to it…

I'll still probably preorder the game (when amazon.uk makes it available). The literally hundred of hours of enjoyment I got (and will get in the future) out of PBs games, buys them that much at least. But this is sounding like it is shaping to be my least favorite PB game so far and I am starting to wonder if sending a message to them (i.e by buying the game in a Steam summer sale instead) is in order …
Last edited by JonNik; February 26th, 2012 at 08:35.
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February 26th, 2012, 08:23
I'm really concerned about some of the negative feedback regarding the combat…I thought Risen's combat mechanics were fantastic, staying grounded enough to be immersive/believable while maintaining a near-perfect balance between player skill and character skill. Very few action-based RPGs get those two parts simultaneously right - it usually seem to lean too heavily in one direction or the other - and I would hate to see Risen 2 take a step back in this area.
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February 26th, 2012, 08:34
Yeah, I can only assume that Risen's combat did not work very well with a controller so once again PB is "fixing" something that is not broken (as they did between G2->G3).

This is starting to sound like the Witcher 2 somewhat, where a very good game will be marred by really dubious design decisions and gimmicks, in a largely misguided attempt to make the game more accessible/fun to the casual crowd. At least I am hoping Moriendor and porcozaur are spot on and despite the glitches this is a PB game at heart (and thus a very good game).

The character system comments in particular give me a bit of hope…
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February 26th, 2012, 08:51
Everyone is entitled to their opinion of course, but in my own opinion, The Witcher 2 was a vast improvement over TW1 in most areas. I can definitely agree that there were some minor head-scratchers in a few of the design choices, but taken as a whole, I personally feel that it was the better game out of the two, with better gameplay and an equally engrossing storyline with an ambitious choice and consequence model.

But back on topic, I wish PB would have kept the core combat mechanics the same but with more complexity and nuances to improve the system and fit the new setting/theme.
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February 26th, 2012, 08:58
Originally Posted by Nerevarine View Post
Everyone is entitled to their opinion of course, but in my own opinion, The Witcher 2 was a vast improvement over TW1 in most areas.
Thanks, we will certainly will not go back to flogging that dead horse here

A question for the Beta players: was the really distracting popin of items/foliage seen in some videos already fixed in the "Beta" ?
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February 26th, 2012, 12:39
Ok, I just spent the last 5-6 hours playing the Beta. I'm not sure if there's much I can talk about that hasn't already been discussed (due to the NDA), but I'd like to give my opinion on some of the things that have been mentioned.

First of all, let me set your minds at ease regarding the music. It's good. Not Gothic good, but close enough. If I didn't know otherwise, I would have thought it was Kai Rosenkranz again. It fits the setting perfectly (imo) in the same way Kai's tracks did in Risen.

Regarding the camera: I was extremely pissed off for the first hour or so. I was accustomed to the locked viewpoint of the "chase cam" used in all of PB's previous games. That said, it's not *that* bad, and I didn't encounter any of the lag that I've seen others complain about. In fact, I found the default sensitivity setting to be much too twitchy on my system, but it was fine once I reduced the mouse speed. I hope PB includes an option to lock the camera behind the player in the final version, but I can live with it the way it is.

I played @1920x1200 with everything maxed except shadows. With those setting it ran smooth enough on my GeForce GTX 470. I wasn't blown away by the visuals, but the graphics have never been the most important thing to me in PB's games. I consider them only a minor upgrade over Risen, but that's fine with me.

Originally Posted by JonNik View Post
A question for the Beta players: was the really distracting popin of items/foliage seen in some videos already fixed in the "Beta" ?
If there was any significant pop-in, I didn't notice it.


Due to not having developed deeply into any skill trees, I'm not really sure how to judge the combat. It definitely feels a lot more "hacky slashy" than Gothic 1&2 or Risen, but hopefully that changes once you start to develop more skills. I will say this: combat against non-human opponents in the Beta was nothing more than spamming clicks for me. It wasn't as bad as Gothic 3, but it didn't seem much better either. I didn't acquire a firearm or voodoo in the Beta, so I can't comment on either of those aspects.

The Beta allowed me to choose from Easy, Normal, or Hard difficulty levels. I went with Hard, and I'm happy to announce that I had my ass handed to me on multiple occasions. I had to exploit my companion to win a lot of battles.

Which leads me to mention that my companion did not take damage in the Beta. I pray that's not the case in the final release, but something tells me it won't be. (I have to be careful here because I'm not sure exactly how specific I'm allowed to be on these aspects)

I didn't encounter anything that I'd consider a "glitch". Although I was a bit annoyed that the Beta simply kicked me back to the main menu if I went past certain boundaries, and there was no type of warning. Walking into deep water resulted in me being teleported back to land, but I don't expect that to happen in the release version.

Anyways… it's definitely a Day 1 purchase for me. Despite a few things I found annoying, the PB magic is still there.

Originally Posted by Moriendor View Post
once Caldera was left behind and once the game opened up a little on Takarigua, the game grew on me and the good old, unique PB style began to shine through.
Absolutely
Last edited by JDR13; February 26th, 2012 at 12:56.
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February 26th, 2012, 13:57
Thanks for the feedback JDR, it does serve to put my mind somewhat at ease…

Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
First of all, let me set your minds at ease regarding the music. It's good. Not Gothic good, but close enough. If I didn't know otherwise, I would have thought it was Kai Rosenkranz again. It fits the setting perfectly (imo) in the same way Kai's tracks did in Risen.
Great, that is exactly what I was hoping for!

Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
I hope PB includes an option to lock the camera behind the player in the final version
+1 on that. They should really do that. I am guessing it would be a simple thing to implement and will save them from a lot of whining (mine included )

Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
I played @1920x1200 with everything maxed except shadows. With those setting it ran smooth enough on my GeForce GTX 470. I wasn't blown away by the visuals, but the graphics have never been the most important thing to me in PB's games. I consider them only a minor upgrade over Risen, but that's fine with me.

If there was any significant pop-in, I didn't notice it.
Yeah, I was hoping that this was xbox footage or something. There really wasn't an issue like that with the Engine in #1… Graphics look perfectly acceptable in the videos imo…

Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Anyways… it's definitely a Day 1 purchase for me. Despite a few things I found annoying, the PB magic is still there.
Yeah, despite all my griping it seems that PB really need to put a bad game out there to go ahead and not buy it immediately I really do hope those damn minigames (around 3:15) are really well hidden in a strictly optional part of the game though
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February 26th, 2012, 14:13
Hmm sounds like KaiRo leaving PB has left its mark on the music. Music has always been one of the strengths of Gothic/Risen.
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February 26th, 2012, 16:42
Originally Posted by JonNik View Post
A question for the Beta players: was the really distracting popin of items/foliage seen in some videos already fixed in the "Beta" ?
The popin is still there and it can indeed be sort of distracting once you start to take notice of it. When I was playing I was thinking of calling it the "cauliflower" effect . Because that's almost exactly what it looks like.

Originally Posted by JDR13
Which leads me to mention that my companion did not take damage in the Beta. I pray that's not the case in the final release, but something tells me it won't be.
I did not have a problem to get Patty "killed" by some of the high level critters (think cave, darkness, eight legs… ). She definitely took damage and quite a lot of it, too, because she got wiped out quite quickly. I saw her lying on the floor, unconscious, before I ran like hell…

Originally Posted by Nerevarine
I'm really concerned about some of the negative feedback regarding the combat…I thought Risen's combat mechanics were fantastic, staying grounded enough to be immersive/believable while maintaining a near-perfect balance between player skill and character skill. Very few action-based RPGs get those two parts simultaneously right - it usually seem to lean too heavily in one direction or the other - and I would hate to see Risen 2 take a step back in this area.
I'd say that the combat in Risen was a vast improvement, especially over Gothic 3's really terrible combat but it was still far from "fantastic" in my personal opinion.
I played the game on hard and tried to save up as many learning points (LP) as possible since I wanted to delay the decision which path to choose for as long as possible. The game allowed me to reach something like level 18 with a minimal investment in LP. And that's just completely wrong. You know there is a major problem with the combat system and the balancing if it allows you to pull off that kind of stuff.

I have actually never been much of a fan of the combat in PB games. It was always way too simple (all you needed in the Gothics was the left/right melee combo… that makes a whooping two keys to pwn everything in the games from start to finish), too exploitable (favored by poor AI and poor pathfinding), poorly animated, too random (thanks to no real target lock) and just plain unsatisfying in many regards.
Nope. Combat (or more precisely melee combat at least) is a definite nuisance in PB games to me. Magic and ranged was OK for the most part but melee always sucked IMHO…
I enjoy PB games because of the living, breathing world, the atmosphere, the exploration, the immersion, the different quest solutions, the factional differences, the humor, the rewarding progress in character development and lots of other things but certainly not the (melee) combat.
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February 26th, 2012, 17:20
Originally Posted by Moriendor View Post
The popin is still there and it can indeed be sort of distracting once you start to take notice of it. When I was playing I was thinking of calling it the "cauliflower" effect . Because that's almost exactly what it looks like.
Ouch… They need to fix that. It almost looked as bad as the KoA demo in some vids.
I wonder if its all the changes in the way they handle the camera now…

Originally Posted by Moriendor View Post
I enjoy PB games because of the living, breathing world, the atmosphere, the exploration, the immersion, the different quest solutions, the factional differences, the humor, the rewarding progress in character development and lots of other things but certainly not the (melee) combat.
While I completely agree with you on what makes PB's games for me as satisfying as they are, and I have to add that combat is never exactly one of the top aspects that make or break an rpg for me, I could not disagree more on the combat for G1,2 and Risen. To quote myself:

"The combat in the Gothics/Risen (Well Gothic2 and its refinement/streamlining in Risen) is probably the only ARPG combat I actually like and one of the few cases that doesn't devolve in a clickity click mess. It is also the only one that comes in mind, where investing skill points actually changes the way the controls/attack speed/animations handles giving you a more immediate feeling of progression and changing dramatically the way you play and which enemies you can defeat (and with some good planning equipment and player skill you can defeat the tough ones way ahead of time if you are so inclined)…"

Is it simple and relatively easy once you get to know the basics? Well Ok, I always thought so and I never understood all the people griping about its difficulty but that is far from saying that it is bad or unsatisfying. I would go as far to say that archery was in fact pretty average and unsatisfying initially although they improved it a lot in Gothic 3 but they broke it again balance wise this time in Risen iirc. Magic was pretty good starting with G1 with the charging times for spells providing an extra dimension but it was never particularly stellar gameplay wise really…

Do you have any particular ARPG combat scheme that you prefer instead or think is better?
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February 26th, 2012, 17:41
Originally Posted by Moriendor View Post
I enjoy PB games because of the living, breathing world, the atmosphere, the exploration, the immersion, the different quest solutions, the factional differences, the humor, the rewarding progress in character development and lots of other things but certainly not the (melee) combat.
Exactly and that is why I get hooked to PB games from the first 10 minutes of game play. The many strengths in PB games simply outweight the weaknesses in the melee combat (although I am one of the few that liked the melee combat in G3 and found it very satisfying combined with magic: freeze your enemy and then get close to them and finish them with a charged, dual (crafted and sharpened) sword slash - "you are no great loss")!
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February 26th, 2012, 21:04
If they add a way to lock the camera, that'll fix this mess. I can handle the ridiculous twitching and gyrating during every line of dialog, but the too-sensitive and horrible camera I cannot handle.
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February 27th, 2012, 01:15
Originally Posted by JonNik View Post
Do you have any particular ARPG combat scheme that you prefer instead or think is better?
I'm not a big fan of MMOs in general but I did buy Star Wars The Old Republic when it came out and played it quite a bit in December/January. Now combat in an MMO like SWTOR is almost too technical for me when you end up using a couple dozen of quick slots for your offensive and defensive abilities plus buffs and debuffs which are either on individual or global cooldowns. It's over the top really.
However, the combat is generally quite interesting and complex because you need to figure out which combo of the couple dozens of buttons (= abilities) that you have at your disposal works best.
I wish more single player 3rd person ARPGs would borrow a page (yes, just a page, not the whole thing ) from that book.

The combat in PB games could be infinitely more interesting with a few tweaks and additions:

- You can block NPCs (not monsters) for all eternity in Risen. Why? It would be much more interesting and challenging if blocking would be depending on e.g. an endurance bar/pool that would drain every time you (or your block actually) got hit by the enemy.
- It would have been cool if enemies in PB games would have had more special moves like stun (not stun-locking… that is/was unfair ), knockdown, root, snare, paralyze etc. - Coupled with good AI that would e.g. root or snare you if you tried to use the popular kiting tactics it would make for a much more challenging experience than just getting hit hard.
- Why are you most of the time only attacked by one enemy while the other watches and waits in line? Group combat could need tons of improvement in recent PB offerings.
- What's with the total exploitability? For example, check YouTube for vids of people defeating the Black Troll in Gothic 2 NotR as a level zero newbie character. That's just wrong. Something like that should just not be possible. Period.

You know, I think as far as combat against humanoid NPCs was concerned, they were on the right track with Risen. Defense on the right mouse button and offense on the left was a simple but effective mechanic. It could have used a lot more tweaking though. It was decent but far from stellar. - Combat against monsters was almost as retarded as in Gothic 3 in my opinion. There was still stun-locking (wolves and boars that killed you super fast with a series of unblockable hits) and the AI was very poor like when you evaded by side-stepping and the beasts kept facing the wrong way for a couple more seconds. It was severely lacking a more dynamic feel. Sometimes it felt to me like when combat initiated that the world around you froze and combat was happening inside of a bubble within the gaming environment. It's difficult to describe… it always felt detached to me in a way.

Before this starts sounding like an epic rant: I'm generally quite "satisfied" with the combat system in PB's games -think a C grade- but I really wish that they would make use of the vast room for improvements. It could be so much more fun with more diversity, better hit detection and better AI. Well, maybe in Risen 3…
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February 27th, 2012, 07:35
I have no exposure at all to mmos, sounds interesting but tbh I am not sure I would enjoy very complex combat too much. It would shift the focus from the other stuff we were discussing above… Then again maybe not, I would need to play it to form an opinion really.

Originally Posted by Moriendor View Post
- You can block NPCs (not monsters) for all eternity in Risen. Why? It would be much more interesting and challenging if blocking would be depending on e.g. an endurance bar/pool that would drain every time you (or your block actually) got hit by the enemy.
The CP team implemented that in G3 and I really liked it (it was part of the fixes and rebalances that made combat in G3 playable and even somewhat fun, a bit, for me).
I would also add that they need to allow blocking (only with a shield) some wild animal attacks, it would make things more interesting and it is not really unrealistic in most cases imo (as long as it is ineffective/you get knocked down when large animals charge i.e ).

Originally Posted by Moriendor View Post
- Why are you most of the time only attacked by one enemy while the other watches and waits in line? Group combat could need tons of improvement in recent PB offerings.
Another thing that was broken in G3 (and fixed in the CP's), quite agree that they should fix this if there is still in Risen 2. Very unrealistic and immersion breaking.

I generally agree with most of the points you raised(*) There is without a doubt space for improvement here especially in removing exploits and they were on the right track from G2 to Risen(the unfortunate interlude of G3 combat aside). Very disappointing if they have taken a step back instead(again)…

(* I must say that I like that you can sidestep the charges of certain animals like boars or rhinos i.e and they can take a moment to recover. Seems both realistic and makes things more interesting. Those recovery times probably need to be tightened though and probably halved for more nimble animals i.e wolves)
Last edited by JonNik; February 27th, 2012 at 08:01.
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February 27th, 2012, 09:09
The combat in Gothic 1&2 and Risen is very good compared to most game in this sub-genre. Of course there are things that could be better, but you can say that about any game.

Exploits? I don't know if I've ever played a game that didn't have them in one form or another.


Originally Posted by darkling View Post
If they add a way to lock the camera, that'll fix this mess. I can handle the ridiculous twitching and gyrating during every line of dialog, but the too-sensitive and horrible camera I cannot handle.
As I stated above, the mouse/camera sensitivity is completely adjustable in the options menu. I'm not sure why the default setting is so sensitive, but it's really a moot point.
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February 27th, 2012, 11:04
Anyone with a lower end rig had any success so far? I'm a bit worried I may have to upgrade to play this one as from what I have heard it is quite demanding relative to it's graphics level.

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February 28th, 2012, 00:02
Any idea if the draw distance etc can be tweaked via ini files as in the first game?

And mentioned here?

http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8388
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February 28th, 2012, 03:59
The link to get a key for the beta appears to say "All Keys Gone" when I check it. I'm not sure if this is because I'm not logged in to an IGN Prime account or if they are legitimately out of keys.

The latest previews have me a bit more interested than I was a few days ago. Game Banshee's preview was quite well done.
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