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June 17th, 2021, 14:03
But the game was released before the first RTX cards were available (and the beta was closed even earlier), so even if that works because the API provides enough information to enable ray tracing, the game wasn't built with that in mind. Or was it? I'm not into that anymore but I wouldn't be surprised if there was a proper way to design and optimize a game for that feature.

Or even without that feature, apparently it was already a concern. Other games run fine on CryEngine though.

Maybe a future remake will take care of this
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June 17th, 2021, 14:07
I downloaded a few mods to correct some the errors that were never fixed. One you most absolutely need to use slows down your clothes getting dirty, and easy wash.

The other two are Texture streaming improvements & Pixelated edges Be-Gone.
Originally Posted by Redglyph View Post
Maybe a future remake will take care of this
Magic 8-Ball says high probability or your a loser.

In all seriousness they joined a new label so chances are high. Though grapevine rumors predict they are working on the sequel. Hope we get news on that game soon.
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Last edited by Couchpotato; June 17th, 2021 at 14:29. Reason: Added second reply.
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June 17th, 2021, 16:19
I would so love a sequel.

Personally, the only mod I installed is the one that let you save without requiring a potion. The rest is fine imo and who care how dirty you are when you are in the middle of the wood hunting bandits :-)
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June 17th, 2021, 17:20
Try walking in a city for ten minutes you look a street urchin with the dirt. That is not realistic unless you rolled in the dirt and mud. Anyway old topic the mods are a must.
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June 17th, 2021, 21:58
Originally Posted by Redglyph View Post
But the game was released before the first RTX cards were available (and the beta was closed even earlier), so even if that works because the API provides enough information to enable ray tracing, the game wasn't built with that in mind. Or was it? I'm not into that anymore but I wouldn't be surprised if there was a proper way to design and optimize a game for that feature.

Or even without that feature, apparently it was already a concern. Other games run fine on CryEngine though.
If they can add ray tracing to Quake II, I'm pretty sure they can pull it off with KCD. I think the issue is simply that the system requirements are too high for it to be worthwhile right now.
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June 21st, 2021, 17:56
Saturday afternoon I finished Tyranny, I still had two quests to do but fulfilling one quest ended the game for me in short order. So, my thoughts on the game. First, only really two complaints: I didn't care for the combat (real-time w/pause) and along the way, choices and consequences seem to go out the window on most quests. Initially the quests seemed to be solid and offered many different choices, yet as the game went on you found yourself locked into a certain set of behavior.

Now, for what I liked. The exploration is solid, certainly one of the strong points of the entire game. There is so much to cover and check out, via quests or simply roaming around. Some of the random encounters can be tough or downright amusing at times. Also, the characters you acquire along the way are very well done. If I ever do replay this game it will be most likely to play a serious anarchists route and to try out some of the companions I didn't use my first time around. I ran with my guy (two handed melee), Barik, Lantry and Verse for the most part, and a few times I tried out Sirin and Eb in the squad, but they just didn't work for me.

I was very impressed with the entire spire development, from how you had to explore and unlock a spire in the first place, to how it functioned and served you. Again, a seriously strong point of the game, really well done and noteworthy.
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June 21st, 2021, 23:13
I never got much past the first Spire, the combat was too bad for me to enjoy the other bits, which I liked a lot.
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June 22nd, 2021, 03:19
I had gotten all five spires, finishing with the Ocean one. I had a few quests still to do in my journal, pertaining to some companions that I hardly used during the game, yet I still wanted to see their stories completed. I made the serious mistake of visiting Voices in Cacophony, which led to an epic battle, which sadly concluded the game for me. The spires were a serious highlight of the game for me, I believe I researched practically everything possible, save for the infirmary options, as I didn't have the Ocean spire but a few days before the game ended.
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June 24th, 2021, 09:43
Solasta: Crown of the Magister (2021)

According to Steam, I have spent just over 90 hours completing my first run through of this game, so while it's a game that can be completed in less time than that, don't be put off by speedrunners claiming it's a 'short' game. There's plenty to do in the game if you're not in a rush and enjoying the content enough to take your time taking everything in.

The game has a few things which I would say are not perfect for a perfect D&D PC game, but then what D&D PC games have ever been perfect, or even that close to being perfect. I would conclude and came out of the game feeling very satisfied with my time in the game and a bit sad that the adventure had come to an end, I would happily have played for many more hours before getting burned out.

So the not perfect things are:

Strangely enough, bugs aren't actually much of an issue. There are a couple here and there, but not anything game breaking. About the normal amount and kind of bugs you expect from any D&D PC game, as in the odd dodgy spell description, quest items that get locked into your inventory instead of being removed after the quest ends, weapons and items that claim to add +2 but when you identify them they are suddenly +1, that kind of stuff. Zero crash to desktops.

The only major bug I came across was while in the trading screen with a vendor, which ties into another not-perfect aspect of the game - that of the vendor inventory being tied to individual characters instead of the whole party. Difficult to explain in words, but when you sell things you have to sell all of character A's items before looking at character B's items they might want to sell, because when you click on character B's inventory while in the vendor window the game removes any items you've already put in the shop from Character A. And on more than one occasion this resulted in Character A's items vanishing completely into the ether.

This doesn't matter too much because you will mostly be selling junk items for the first half of the game as itemisation via loot doesn't play much of a part in this game, which is another non-perfect aspect, so you wont lose too much of interest when it first happens to you and you get to learn to adapt to the dodgy vendor windows.

The game wants you to either craft loot or buy your loot from factions that serve no purpose other than to sell you loot. As such, instead of filling its world with cool loot, it fills its world with crafting loot and junk items you can convert into gold and items that can be exchanged specifically for faction favour (gradually expanding their available stock). You can find the odd piece of nice equipment out in the quests, but not enough to be satisfying by itself. And, of course, there's not enough faction loot in the game to get max favour with each faction. And, of course, crafted loot will be gated by whatever is the rarest ingredient.

As such the excitement of looting is not as strong as it could be, at least in the immediate moment of looting a chest of powerful monster. Instead the excitement is a delayed one where you more often have to finish a dungeon with what you started with then once you've been back home and sold-up and restocked you can then start the next quest with marginally better gear.

Staying on loot, the 5e rules determine that even when you do start to get access to lots of cool loot, like the classic gauntlets of Ogre Power or the Amulet of Health and etc, you are only allowed to equip a maximum of 3 magical items that require 'attunement'. Not all magical items require attunement, just most of them. So you can't wear two rings, an amulet, a cloak and a nice set of bracers, you have to decide which 3 items most help your character. So when one quest awards you with 4 magical rings it's more like "well that's a bit useless now" as by that point everyone is already maxed out on magical items. And it's a bit tedious constantly taking short rests to re-attune items to be specific to any combat which might potentially be benefitted by a minor change in Magical items.

Now staying on the 5e rules for another non-perfect aspect, most of the spells require 'Concentration'. And you can only 'concentrate' on one Concentration spell at a time. So unless you have 2 Clerics you can't even cast Bane and then cast Bless, you have to do either one or the other and then that's all the Cleric can do buff or debuff-wise for the whole battle without breaking that spell. Some spells don't require concentration, just most of them. Mages have the same issue, as do rangers, etc.

So both the restrictions on magical items and the restriction on spellcasting make for a much greater sense of a regression from previous editions of the ruleset in terms of character building and general options. A sort of equal and opposite overreaction to the extreme buffing routines and loot pinatas of 3rd edition.

You might expect the argument to have the above is to help make combat harder and less obvious how the party is to win their combat encounters, however, this isn't the case. It's still very easy to end up with a party that can steamroll the content too easily with mages and Paladins still too overpowered even with the above limitations. and the rest of the character classes are still overpowered in their own ways too.

While it is most player's DNAs to want to go for whatever is the recommended strong party mix, I'd recommend doing the opposite for this game. Whatever people say is easy mode, go for the opposite. Make it hard for yourself rather than easy. Try to roll rubbish stats, go for characters without Darkvision and try to pick whichever subclass of each class looks or has the reputation to be the weakest. If you're already very experienced with D&D games and you like a bit of a challenge that is. Even with a strong party there'll still be some tougher encounters, but if you like the thrill of difficulty to be more consistently present than weakening your own party will be more efficient at this than anything in the difficulty options.

There's something a bit wonky going on with the dice rolls that goes beyond irrational bias, though specifically how to word it is too difficult at this point as the specific thing wrong with it is as yet not nailed down. But the enemy will rolls a gazillion more 20s than 1s and the human player will roll lots and lots of strings of very low rolls, etc. I didn't want to ruin my first run with pen and paper notations of the rolls but when I did the game consistently proved that the average enemy roll was always larger than the average party roll. Perhaps this was a tweak to make the game mildly harder.

All these things added together were not enough for me to dislike the game. Quite the opposite, I really enjoyed my time travelling around Solasta.

What we have here is a delightful and charming low level module that provides enough content of a good enough standard to be well worth the price of admission. It is probably more suitable as an introduction game to the genre than it is a niche game designed for pure hardcore D&D fans, but that doesn't concern me at all as it's just so nice to once again play a proper D&D game in the D&D universe after so many years of neglect.

Don't make the mistake of comparing it to Baldur's Gate 2 or Planescape Torment or even Pathfinder. It's a specifically low level adventure and should only really be comparable to BG1, IWD and ToEE, to which it's more polished and better paced than ToEE was at release, it's slightly harder and more detailed than BG1 was on release but not as hard as IWD, not as unique as BG1 and not as atmospheric as ToEE.

It's quite a jovial glossy game that might veer too much into the cartoonish for some people, but I think it has a nice balance between sincerity and buffoonery. Perhaps even a perfect balance. For me, the slightly wonky character models and dialogues added the perfect amount of charm to this overall aesthetic.

While the game might not fully satiate a life-long D&D game pro, it's nice to have a good modern example of the genre that would be very easily recommendable as a perfect first entry for anyone wanting to try out a D&D game for the very first time.

8/10
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June 24th, 2021, 10:46
Nice mini-review lb.
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June 24th, 2021, 10:49
Thanks for sharing, @lackblogger

Yeah, I remember the discussion on rolls. Those will always leave me nonplussed. I know it's a known subjective effect, yet I can't convince myself they're not biased or that the pseudo-random is incorrectly implemented. Still wish there were a log file with every single roll

It's interesting to see your opinion on 5E's limitations. In comparison to Pathfinder, I welcome some of them in Solasta, but it's frustrating sometimes. Not too much buffing and magical gear, so less fiddling with that, and tactics / overall strategy are more important. But it makes one feel less "special". I wouldn't mind an additional concentration slot after a few levels, this one is annoying me the most.
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June 24th, 2021, 12:45
The loot is what has stopped from replaying Solasta since it came out of EA. I'm just not motivated to play a game that doesn't have good loot. That and the spell limits you've mentioned. Blah magic and blah loot equals blah game for me. Just not very interested.
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June 24th, 2021, 13:30
Originally Posted by crpgnut View Post
The loot is what has stopped from replaying Solasta since it came out of EA. I'm just not motivated to play a game that doesn't have good loot. That and the spell limits you've mentioned. Blah magic and blah loot equals blah game for me. Just not very interested.
It has good loot, I just found an armour+1 + DEX modifier, and I had found a primed weapon a little earlier. It's just less frequent.

To each their own, but I appreciate when it's not dropping good loot at each encounter and in each room like other games. At least when you find a good item, it's something special, not this addictive looting pattern we find in Bethesda games.

With that and the scavengers to get rid of the ridiculous inventory management in games like Pathfinder, D:OS and … well, all the other games, IMO they nailed it.
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June 24th, 2021, 14:13
Originally Posted by Redglyph View Post
ridiculous inventory management in games like Pathfinder, D:OS and … well, all the other games, IMO they nailed it.
This is something that is a massive misnomer though. I wasn't aware of inventory management being a big enough issue for it to be ever classed as 'ridiculous' in any D&D game.

Comparisons to non-D&D games don't really help your position either. Divinity games have always had Diablo style loot, not normal loot, for example. The issue with Pathfinder seems to be the lugging it back, not the inventory management. Just as the issue with IE games was the small inventory spaces and lugging bck, not the inventory management itself.

It might actually be the case that most people actually enjoy inventory management. As long as you're not stuck in the middle of a dungeon with the DM constantly piling full plates onto you as your only source of loot wealth.
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June 24th, 2021, 14:23
If you don't mod out encumbrance in Skyrim, it's not super friendly. I only played a vanilla game once but I needed to load Lydia and the Horse up on most occasions if I cleared a larger ruin. I didn't take stamina as I was a mage and so my carry weight never went up since it was tied to stamina. Lydia and Rambo were my transports
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June 24th, 2021, 16:50
Originally Posted by lackblogger View Post
This is something that is a massive misnomer though. I wasn't aware of inventory management being a big enough issue for it to be ever classed as 'ridiculous' in any D&D game.
Maybe it wasn't clear, I mean the fact you have to constantly manage the inventory to sell the junk loot, keep the interesting loot but sometimes storing it elsewhere because there isn't enough room / it's too heavy. That sort of management, which is often criticized by players.

Why do I say it is ridiculous? Because spending time doing that isn't the purpose of the game

With Solasta, you can just leave the junk loot, which is smart. D:OS had the "junk" flag, which was somewhat helpful.
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June 24th, 2021, 17:46
That's a really nice review on the game, lackblogger. Thank you for your thoughts, I look forward to playing this for myself!
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June 24th, 2021, 19:24
Didn't know where to post this, but I've been having some real nostalgia for my playthrough of Days Gone. I keep scrolling twitter, and once in a while see a post related to it, and really look fondly on what a great experience it was. The whole open world of it, and the story and characters. I re-iterate my opinion that tt was a fantastic survival simulator, but with plenty of heart.

So fucked up that a sequel won't be done any time soon, or most likely never.

I hope to give it a few years, and maybe forget enough to warrant a replay.
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July 1st, 2021, 17:32
Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishment, from Frogwares (yes, this Frogwares I believe).

Not very long but interesting. The game isn't very difficult, it's a mix of exploration, investigation, story, and puzzle mini-games. If you fail, you can retry, there is no real penalty. Graphics are fine even today, they used UE3. The faces are quite detailed. A couple of bugs, including one of the puzzle mini-games that was not working, but nothing serious or even annoying.

One interesting feature is the dilemma in deciding what really happened, they made a good job of making it very ambiguous in 2 or 3 of the stories. The deduction board shows how one can organize the facts, link them and test different theories, which is also quite interesting as you realize there is some amount of noise that must be discarded in order to stay on track, but also that when several theories may explain what happened, the whole picture helps with the decision. In each case, you must also decide whether the culprit should be condemned or absolved, so there's a mini-morality test as well.

There are 6 cases to solve, the whole game should take 15-20 hours. I liked them all but my preferred case was by far The Kew Gardens Drama.
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July 9th, 2021, 17:16
Kingdom Come: Deliverance.

I went into this game with no real expectations, just thought I'd take a break from turn-based games and try something else. As I started to really get into it, I found a lot of choices done for the game that resonated with me, in good ways. No magic. Combat seems a bit more realistic than usual, and not easily mastered, at least not for me. I did get better at it, as the game went on.

There were things that didn't work for me. I really enjoy playing rogues, yet the lockpicking choice in this game is obtuse to the point of being zero fun. Again, I did manage to do it the few times it was required, yet nothing I'd seek out to do on my own. I learned quickly that lockpicks are expensive and dear, so that made it a bit problematic as well. The save system at first threw me off and I almost balked right then and there, yet decided to try and stick it out. And that's really the only issues I had with the game, everything else was quite well done.

The combat is where this game truly shined. Initially I focused on sword-play, yet in one sparring session I noticed how my trainer used his shield to the point where my sword was almost useless, and so I tried a mace instead. And wow, did that open things up! Not locking myself to one weapon made combat much easier, my opponents now dictated the weapon of choice, and my skills seriously improved. At one point a solo opponent could give me fits, now I found myself able to easily juggle two or three at the same time.

No magic!! I cannot express how nice it was not to have some fool lobbing fireballs or lightening at me from a distance. The one concession to this being potions, which I found well done and again, not something easily mastered. Well worth doing though, once I was able to make my own save-potions, I was able to relax a bit more, knowing I could save if the mood struck me whenever to take a break.

I only played the base game, so I'm wondering if any of the additional content is worth getting? I'd specifically be interested in anything that has more deep quests, or possibly getting my hands on that sword from the very beginning of the game. Overall, should I ever have a craving to return to an action-y, open world game, this one will likely be the one I pick. I'm even leaving it on the hard drive, at least for now.
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