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Default Fluent Vents about the state of the gaming industry! (Pillars of Eternity related)

April 3rd, 2015, 18:51
Originally Posted by Aubrielle View Post
I think all Fluent was saying was that while he was frustrated with major gamebreaking bugs that surfaced in his game, that it was far from unplayable, it's still one of the best RPG's ever made (bugs included)…the only major gripe was…changing balance tweaking after release? Wtf guys?
Actually, that was far from all he was saying.

If he was just frustrated, he could simply say that (as he did at first) and stop going on about how we didn't understand him, as if he didn't sound like a 5-year old throwing a tantrum, because his mother (Obsidian) dropped his icecream (black screen bug)

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April 3rd, 2015, 19:04
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Actually, that was far from all he was saying.

If he was just frustrated, he could simply say that (as he did at first) and stop going on about how we didn't understand him, as if he didn't sound like a 5-year old throwing a tantrum, because his mother (Obsidian) dropped his icecream (black screen bug)
5 year old? I'd still get pretty angry if someone dropped my ice cream, especially if it's ice cream cake!

I think you misunderstand the importance of ice cream.

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April 3rd, 2015, 19:07
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Actually, that was far from all he was saying.

If he was just frustrated, he could simply say that (as he did at first) and stop going on about how we didn't understand him, as if he didn't sound like a 5-year old throwing a tantrum, because his mother (Obsidian) dropped his icecream (black screen bug)
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April 3rd, 2015, 19:15
No, you're all missing my point, actually.

If the game is flawed in Obsidian's mind, then DON'T RELEASE IT YET. Put it in Early Access, or continue with the beta. Don't release it and then continue to tweak it while people are playing and getting used to the balance as it is, with the side effect of not only changing core game elements, but making the manual and strategy guide obsolete in the process.

And guess what? There's many of us out there who still want a good manual and strategy guide to toy with. If you're going to make a guide and manual, don't you guys think it should be accurate? Now, thanks to the Modern Age of Glorious Gaming, we are stuck with manuals and books that are obsolete on day one! Day. ONE!

If Obsidian thinks the balance isn't right, then DON'T. RELEASE. THE GAME. It's that simple, but most of you can't wrap your head around that.

Instead, you all happily go along with it like good little worker bee consumers, happy to accept any crap you're given because you don't want to go against the grain.

At least I stand up and say something about it.

I suppose this trend will continue as long as everyone just goes along with it. People like me are going extinct. Everyone seems to be just fine and dandy with the current situation. Playing games that aren't finished and are being constantly tweaked. How fun.

Meanwhile, the rest of us who would like to have the now illusion of playing a complete game, well, screw us, we'll just have to be good little consumers and wait a year after the game is released to play a properly "tweaked" version, that probably will no longer even resemble the game when it released.

Is this the vision of the future? Patch madness and games never being properly finished?

Yes, it's genius to want to tweak things, but a big missing piece of genius is KNOWING WHEN SOMETHING IS FINISHED.

If you just continue to tweak endlessly, you become George Lucas putting CGI scenes in old movies that should have been finished and done with a long time ago.

Oh well. I'll be a good little boy and wait for games to be finished and properly polished in a year after their release. I'm glad most of you are completely fine with this practice. Have fun!

I've learned my lesson.

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April 3rd, 2015, 19:18
Wow, the level of ignorance regarding the realities of the gaming industry and software development is pretty high there, Fluent.

But it's ok, you're still sort of cute with your irrational points of view and absurd amount of exaggeration

I don't mind being a worker bee - just as long as I get to witness these ignorance-tantrums. They're sweeter than honey!

Go stand up for gamers by not knowing anything about being a developer!

*buzzz*
*kisses*
*buzzz*

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April 3rd, 2015, 19:42
On Strategy Guides … I haven't bought one since Jedi Knight II, which I bought because the developers were on their forums and talked about how they worked with Prima on the guide and therefore it was loaded with tons of Star Wars goodies - and THAT made it worthwhile. There were inaccuracies due to the nature of documenting something that is a moving target right up to 'gold' status.

For me the fundamental problem is that you seem to think any of this is NEW. As we are saying - go ahead and complain about a game having some minor issues that you feel should have been resolved. But PLEASE don't embarass yourself by shouting from the rooftops like this is just now 'a thing'. As many of have said … it is not. We have cited examples after examples.

Does it make it correct? No. But it makes it a reality that has existed in some form as long as computer games have existed.

And as D'Art alludes to … all I can assume is that you have never managed a project or budget of any scope or worked on a project of any significant scale and complexity. This isn't just about games, either …
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April 3rd, 2015, 20:10
I understand where you are coming from Fluent. Personally I try to wait for games to be finished before buying them… but it is usually too hard when it is something I really want
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April 3rd, 2015, 20:12
Strategy guides are mostly useless. Every time I was looking for guidance in a game, I could find some web site or a fan site with walk-throughs or game guides that were way better and more comprehensive than any strategy guide, and they were free, to boot. But of course, that is after some time has passed after the game has been released. I guess if you want to play a new game right away, then you will not have that luxury, and instead can buy a strategy guide that is over-priced. Honestly, I would never buy a strategy guide in any case. They are always way over-priced.
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April 3rd, 2015, 20:36
Anyone who *demands* that a game be completely bug-free or not in need of minor tweaking at release is being vastly unrealistic and ignorant. At best, It's a sign of someone never having actually written a line of code in their life. At worst, it reeks of a sense of entitlement and unrealistic expectations. I have done some computer programming, and I am downright terrible at it - which is how I know how hard it is! But these ignorant people who don't know what they are talking about think that Josh Sawyer just forgot to run the "fix all bugs and balance issues" program before packaging the game and sending it to Steam.

This is nothing new, and many people forget this because they are playing classic games which were released a long time ago and have had the benefit of years of fan-made patches and tweaks. It's too much to ask for perspective though, right?

PoE was perfectly playable at launch. A couple minor balance tweaks is in no way some catastrophic failure. Given Obsidian's history, along with the size and complexity of PoE, it's incredible that the game came out with only a handful of *POTENTIAL* major bugs. The rules aren't going to change drastically, so balance tweaks are not a big deal. Again, perspective!!!
Last edited by Nerevarine; April 3rd, 2015 at 20:49.
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April 3rd, 2015, 20:43
That is not about bugs, even though players, in order to force their demands, have long requalified the issues at stake as bugs.

Everything players do not like is bug these days.

The OP is not about bugs strictly speaking though.
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April 3rd, 2015, 21:43
Originally Posted by Aubrielle View Post
I didn't know they were changing rulesets and mechanics. That's effed up.

And on D:OS…Swen did admit that they were having issues "letting go", as it were. They said they could keep ironing out bugs and making little changes forever but there comes a time when they have to release it and let go. Clearly, if what you're saying is right, they're not doing that.

But about PoE…if they're changing the inner workings of the game, do you think that might be partly the backers' fault? What you say is true…we've come to be a complacent audience that simply takes mostly-finished games as a matter of course, letting the devs fix a lot after release. But I think with Early Access and Kickstarter, we're also seeing an increasingly entitled, angry…I hate to say it, but whiney audience that demands everything go their way. PoE certainly got this. Most games have their entitled whiners, and I remember Guild Wars 2 being terrible about this…"Waaah! Rogues do too much damage!"

So…an audience that accepts unfinished games…but also an entitled audience that cries till it can make the developers change stats and rulesets. Who's at fault? I honestly have no idea. But there's clearly a problem.

TL;DR: Did Obsidian start changing rules and numbers because whiners told them to?
Great post, and I completely missed it!

I think you're absolutely onto something when it comes to "whiners" telling developers what to do. That is definitely, definitely part of the problem.

There is no singular vision of what a game is going to be anymore. Josh Sawyer's vision has turned into a mess of too many cooks in the kitchen vision. It's all crowd-sourced. The "community" decides what features they want and which they don't want, and the developers just try to please everyone and not rock the boat too much. After all, this "community", for the most part, funded their game. So they over-cater to them, severely.

I believe that a game should have a strong, singular vision of a strong lead designer. The people under him should function as planets orbiting a sun, and while backer feedback can be useful for finding bugs and getting new ideas, it should never compromise the overall vision.

And, tweaking while the game is already released is a sign, to me, that Obsidian has no idea what they want to do. As you say, they are holding on way too long. Start working on the expansion, or the sequel. But again, I also assume at this point the game would be finished, so it's kind of a moot point.

Developers - make the game YOU want to make. Show the world YOUR vision. Use your team to YOUR advantage. But please, keep the "community" feedback for what it is, mostly trolls, whiners and people who want the game exactly their way, thus interfering with the developer's vision.

Thank you for your post, Aubri!!!

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April 3rd, 2015, 21:53
Well, I tend to play rpgs months after release, for just this reason. I do think it is inevitable that games will ship with bugs and flaws, as others have said, because of the sheer amount of complexity involved - the odds against something with so many lines of code shipping without bugs are astronomical. There's not a lot of point railing against physical reality.

Having said that, I do get very pissed off with amateurish games shipped in a blatantly unfinished state, and the backers and first customers get shafted. Regular readers may have noted the offenders I find particularly egregious.
IMO, PoE doesn't deserve that harsh criticism.

I'm glad, though, that Fluent has had a moan about the issue, because sometimes on here it feels as though we're expected to get aboard the marketing train, and wave the flag for RPG developers, regardless of what they actually deliver. I understand that the site has to maintain good relations with devs in order to get access, but it's not very healthy to go too far down that road.
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April 3rd, 2015, 21:57
Have you actually looked at the balance tweaks in the patch notes? They are not "fundamental changes" that drastically alter the game. They are merely little tweaks. I would strongly prefer that they not change them at all and leave well enough alone too, but it's not like they are completely undoing the entire foundation. If they added or removed an attribute, or overhauled the mechanics, then it would be a step too far.

Again, this is normal. Almost every RPG ever has tweaked some of the numbers, items, spells, etc. after release. You just haven't noticed because you've been playing old RPGs that have been fully tweaked/patched after the initial release - at times over many years. You recently played Gothic 2, right? - the version you played was not the exact same as when it was initially released, and not just because of the expansion - the patches altered various things as well.

Here's the balance specific changes:
Spoiler


All minor changes and subtle tweaks that probably wouldn't even be noticeable if a player didn't look at them very closely. It's not a big deal.
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April 3rd, 2015, 22:02
Nerevarine, all those changes also affect the manual and strategy guide, again, which is a problem for me.

And how many of these balance tweaks can we expect to have? It's only been a week and already there are all those tweaks. I have no doubt in my mind that they are going to continue to tweak things as time goes on.

It just bugs me. If you guys don't agree, that's fine, but for me, I want a game that is finished and ready to go. I don't expect balance tweaks once a game is released, unless it's still in Early Access or beta.

Again, I have learned my lesson the hard way. I will be more wise about playing newly released games in the future.

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April 3rd, 2015, 22:09
The game is finished and ready to go. Minor balance tweaks does not mean that the game was released in an "unfinished" state. That's just not a fair criticism, and seems like an overreaction.

"Unfinished" means that features that were supposed to be in the game are broken or absent, the game's quests cannot be completed, or the game is so bug-ridden that it is virtually unplayable. None of these things is the case here.
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April 3rd, 2015, 22:12
Well, I happen to think that game balance is something that should be finalized when a game releases. I want game balance to be 99.9% ready to go, with an accurate manual and strategy guide. That's not too much to ask, is it?

You and I just seem to have a different definition of what a "finished" game entails.

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April 3rd, 2015, 22:34
Your hangup on the manual and strategy guide is pretty irrational. In an age of instant wiki information, I will opt for a well-optimized game every time over any differences that might arise in older written documentation.

.01% of players bother with the strategy guide. Everyone plays the game.

So, yes, it is indeed too much to ask in that it's a pretty silly argument against patching a game. This isn't 1990; feedback and patching are a lot more dynamic and fluid now. To which I'm sure you'll reply, "oh, but the game should be perfect on day one, without need of patching." Lol.
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April 3rd, 2015, 22:39
Yeah, how silly of me to think a game should be balanced and ready for release on it's RELEASE DATE. Silly and irrational, it seems. Thanks for opening my eyes.

And I happen to like having a real strategy guide to read on a rainy day. It doesn't just sit in a drawer, I will use it often. But since it's basically useless now, it probably will sit in a drawer (until I send it back for a full refund).

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April 3rd, 2015, 23:03
Originally Posted by Fluent View Post
Yeah, how silly of me to think a game should be balanced and ready for release on it's RELEASE DATE. Silly and irrational, it seems. Thanks for opening my eyes.

And I happen to like having a real strategy guide to read on a rainy day. It doesn't just sit in a drawer, I will use it often. But since it's basically useless now, it probably will sit in a drawer (until I send it back for a full refund).
It might be helpful if you told developers how to make games work, as I'm sure they'd like to know. It's so strange how these passionate developers who provide you with 10/10 games always forget to test the game before releasing it. Maybe you could test it for them, too? That would surely make it bug-free. You know what you're talking about, after all

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April 3rd, 2015, 23:07
I used to work in QA, maybe I could. I basically ran the department as a walk-on, entry level employee.

Tell Obsidian to call me with a good offer and I'll consider it.

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