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Default KoA: Reckoning - Roundtable Interview @ Eurogamer

January 27th, 2012, 21:09
RPG Gamer participated in Q&A Round Table discussion with members of the KO:A team.
As always a snip:
On Fate and Destiny:
Fate and destiny play into both the game's storyline and its mechanics. In terms of the story, the main character is the first mortal in the world to have awakened from the dead. Everyone else in the world has a deterministic fate that they cannot escape, but the player character has been released from fate via resurrection. This provides a lore-based rationale for why the main character is special. In terms of gameplay mechanics, the Destiny system allows players to choose their own fates by picking from any class that's available based on the abilities that the player has chosen. There's also the Fate Shift mechanic, which allows the player to store up fate via defeating foes in combat. When the fate bar is full, a Fate Shift can be executed, making time slow down for the enemies and making the player powerful.
In other KO:A news there has been a 24th Community Q and A newsletter released.
A sample:
Q: Amalur has 10.000 years of History and I was wondering if learning/reading more about the history/story of a place/person could sometime give you an in-game reward of some sort: clue about a secret item/place, new dialogue choices, etc… – By Cjail01
A: In the Age of Arcana, the mortal races have learned to use Lorestones — magical objects created by the Fae that can store a person's knowledge, experiences, and stories. These stones are hidden around Amalur and contain stories about Amalur, past and present. Lorestones come in sets, and most are themed around a given area. As a reward for exploration, you will receive a permanent bonus when you uncover the entire story of a set of Lorestones. – By Erik "DoctorSpooky" Caponi, Principal Narrative Designer
And in this comment on Eurogamer Ian Frazier says that Skyrim is KO:A's biggest competitor:
The biggest concern at Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning developer Big Huge Games right now is you're still playing Skyrim.
According to lead designer Ian Frazier, if you and lots of other gamers are still playing Skyrim, you may not be interested in Reckoning, out next month.
Reckoning is a huge, open world high fantasy RPG. Sound like a game you've played?
"Frankly, Reckoning is either going to do well enough that we're going to be in a good place or people are going to go, nope, I'm still playing Skyrim, I'm not interested, in which case we're hosed," Frazier told Eurogamer.
And finally, there's a third visonary news letter, this time penned by Art Director Todd McFarlane via Totally Gaming Network.
More information.

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January 27th, 2012, 21:09
Ian Frazier is worried about Skyrim and I understand that. The problem that the whole team over there is missing, in my opinion, is that people who like Skyrim and those types of role-playing games are not the same group that love the button smashing style of Gauntlet/Reckoning. The combat in Skyrim is miles better than Reckoning's, at least for my playstyle. Combos? No thanks. I don't want 15 creatures on the screen so I can use my tornado wave power, etc.

However, I'm willing to play the game anyway, if the things that are closely related to Skyrim are done well: books, lore, housing, loot acquisition, exploration, etc. I'm a crpg buyer and will purchase Reckoning. I probably won't purchase day one or full-price though, and that should be a legitimate worry. The combat and art style are negatives for me, not positives. I'll be buying in spite of those things…after I finally tire of Skyrim.

Skyrim has a very large female following and I'm not seeing much interest at all from female gamers for Reckoning. Can you marry someone in Reckoning? Can you decorate your home? Do male characters look like men or Bugs Bunny? Can you ride horses? These are the things that my 20 something cousins/nieces love about Skyrim.

They're also going to miss the group who buy Skyrim because it can be heavily modded. Don't discount the thousands of modders and millions of mod users. How many potential buyers will skip the game because it's not moddable? Perhaps this isn't a significant number, but I don't know….

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January 27th, 2012, 23:01
"Frankly, Reckoning is either going to do well enough that we're going to be in a good place or people are going to go, nope, I'm still playing Skyrim, I'm not interested, in which case we're hosed," Frazier told Eurogamer.

That's convenient. It won't be because people didn't like the game. It will only be because they are still playing skyrim.

To me skyrim and Koa are 2 very different games. I will play them both for different reasons. Koa didn't feel anything like skyrim to me when playing the demo. Maybe the full game will change my mind, but I doubt it.

I think where this game will fail , if it fails will be the wow graphics. I think they listened to much to their baseball player investor (who loves wow). I think alot of people will look at the graphics and write it off without really finding out about it.

If I didn't come to gaming sites and take the time to find out about the game I would have took 1 look at the graphics and said that game isn't for me and moved on. Both of my brothers game as much as I do and neither one of them had heard of koa before I told them because they don't follow gaming sites.

My 1 brother tried it and liked it right away( no big surprise he loves wow and does a ton of console gaming.) My other brother still has yet to play the demo saying the graphics turn him off.

I don't understand why they want the game to be taken seriously as a hardcore rpg and then they went with kiddie graphics that give the totally opposite impression. Graphics are the first impression of the game and theirs nothing hardcore about them. Hopefully people will be able to over look that but I don't know.
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January 27th, 2012, 23:27
Originally Posted by sakichop View Post
I don't understand why they want the game to be taken seriously as a hardcore rpg and then they went with kiddie graphics that give the totally opposite impression. Graphics are the first impression of the game and theirs nothing hardcore about them. Hopefully people will be able to over look that but I don't know.
Since when does hardcore rpg have anything to do with graphics or realism?

Most of the realistic based graphic RPG I played were rather simplistic in the RPG department…
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January 27th, 2012, 23:51
Just a side obersvation that the graphics is a hard call. I am a regular on another forum that has a big thread going on KoA, and over there I see people praising the graphics (just like Penny Arcade has) a lot. They like the colors and cartoon like theme. Words like fun, exciting , bright, colorful, entertaining as opposed to drab, dreary, generated and dull. Personally I like both, with a preference for Skyrim style but also fine with something more colorful. I like variety.

Anyhow, point being that I don't think its that clear cut on what the effects of the graphics are.

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January 28th, 2012, 01:36
For a group who says that graphics don't make a game, most threads are about them.

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January 28th, 2012, 01:48
Originally Posted by rune_74 View Post
For a group who says that graphics don't make a game, most threads are about them.
I think it has more to do with the type of atmosphere being presented by the graphics than the literal graphics in this case.

For me, I am turned off by this style and prefer a more grounded, "believable" style of fantasy (Gothic, The Witcher, Dragon Age: Origins etc.) but I'm trying to keep enough of an open-mind to look past it and judge KoA for how well it works from a gameplay perspective since I won't be playing it for the atmosphere. Unfortunately, I'm a bit turned off by some of the gameplay mechanics too; similar to how the atmosphere assaults the player with too much vibrance and over-top fantasy, the gameplay resonates with cringe-worthy, flashy "awesomeness" and too much absurdity for my own personal tastes. It's as if KoA is trying too hard to make a spectacle out of every moment in the game, and this serves to just break me out of the immersion more than anything (again, for my tastes).

I think it will turn out to be a solid game with plenty of value, but I don't plan on buying it at anywhere near the full price.
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January 28th, 2012, 04:10
Originally Posted by rune_74 View Post
For a group who says that graphics don't make a game, most threads are about them.
Since we're on the same page frequently, Rune_74, I'll tell you what I mean by "graphics don't matter". When I say that, I mean that I'll still load up Daggerfall and play it, even though the graphics are atrocious. I'll also except less than stellar graphics from an indie site, though a Jeff Vogel level is still unacceptable.

However, if a game is costing millions to make, then I expect the absolutely best graphics possible. Now, Amalur has fine graphics technically. Where they fail is in the hey look at the Jrpg/Wow cartoon-level art. I prefer realistic over artistic in my graphics. It's just a personal preference.

Skyrim > Amalur graphically
Two Worlds Two > Amalur graphically

I'm not saying I can't enjoy the game, just that the graphic style gives it an negative vibe with the very first look. The game has to overcome that negative, whereas a more realistic style will start with a positive vibe and will have to disappoint in other areas

It doesn't surprise me that someone who threw a ball, in a game, for a living, likes
this type of style, but it doesn't really suit me My brain automatically compares this type of graphics to cartoons, which I watched as a child.

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January 28th, 2012, 05:45
Originally Posted by azarhal View Post
Since when does hardcore rpg have anything to do with graphics or realism?

Most of the realistic based graphic RPG I played were rather simplistic in the RPG department…
I'm talking style not quality. Many people, (judging by people I talk to and reading forum's) myself included tend to judge games pretty quickly from a graphic style.

Typically games with Koa's style are a no play for me. (fable, wow)Typically games with that style are more light-hearted and don't take themselves too seriously. I don't like games like that. On the other hand If you look at skyrims or the witchers graphic style. I've liked just about every game with the more serious style.

I think graphics style can tell a lot about a game within it's same genre. Anime, cartoon or more realistic always seem to cater to different gaming styles and audiences. Obviously it's not 100% accurate but i've predicted with great success weather or not I will like a game by it's graphic style.


In the end I think it comes down to association. In the past games with kiddie wow graphics are not associated with the content that Koa seems to be offering. I think that could be a problem for them. I hope that's not the case as I think there's a good game there. It will be the first rpg with this graphic style that I have liked. If the promise from the demo holds true in the final release.
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