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Andor

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Everything posted by Andor

  1. Andor

    Review

    I gotta disagree. The skill system is bollixed. For two reasons: 1) Design. The skills overlap to a hideous extent. Awareness, Preception, and Observation for example are all the same thing. There are three entire skill groups devoted to debate (and indicated as such in the lore) Grammar, Dialectic and Rhetoric. However if you actually want to debate they are all garbage as they are trumped by an actual debate skill under Law. And don't try using them to make speeches either because that's oratory under Religeon. 2) Implementation. I am quite, quite certain no one ever wrote up a 'bible' for the events team to reference about what skills are to be used for what challenges. Because that oratory skill I just mentioned? Half the time instead the event uses voice under music which is quite clearly supposed to be your singing voice, not speaking voice. As I mentioned before there are several events along the theme of "Ball hurtles towards face" and they all use different skills to resolve it physically. Athletics, Acrobatics, Perfect Timing (Oddly I recall none that actually use your Rimball skills.) Animal Husbandry for another example seems to often be misused as a knowledge skill instead of a practical skill. What the hell did my character take Zoology for if not to learn about animals? Even for magic the events are all over the map. In most events for example Negation (Specifically "Unseen Storm" or somesuch) is the generic 'view magic' power. I ran into an event where my 10 in botany and my 14 in negation were inadequate to spot the magic flower because some doofus decided that what I really needed was 'Magical appraisal' and therefore I was "Not good enough at picking out enchantments." Never mind that Magical Appraisal is geared towards enchanted items, not plants and is for deciphering, not detection. Look, a game full of mysteries is a good thing. For example I'd love to stumble across an easter egg where having a 7 in geometry and an 8 in botany let me plant a perfect geometric garden and win some merit or glory or whatever. Having no idea how to go about building a character to do anything because every action randomly pulls in skills from groups you've never even heard of is not fun. If I want to make an explorer, then I should not randomly get clubbed over the head with skill checks in heraldry, or drama, or malice (which is appalingly named.)
  2. Andor

    Review

    Well the easy way to do it would have been to build flags into the model so you that when an event pops up it checks to see if the day in question has activities that match the flag. Class room event? Does he have class that day? No? reroll or pass. That having been said if you can have prerequisites I don't see why having 'weekday' vs 'weekend' events would be such a big deal, unless you're saying that due to the funky calendar you'd have to manually enter every day individually into a "Is this day acceptable for this event" list. That would be a nightmare. And of course it would still fail to accomplish the goal since a classroom event could still crop up on a day you played hooky. Runtime logic is the only way to go.
  3. Andor

    Patches?

    There is a background choice in the "things that happened on your way to academagia" section (One of which should really be titled "A funny thing happend on the way to the Academy" btw) which offers you access to two shops. While these shops (the Handyman's something or other and something to do with Liquids) do show up as locations for me to visit they do not show up as locations to use when actually shopping! Only the catalogues I discovered show up. Now since I had deliberately picked that choice as a way to make money by selling objects since I was also a blacksheep it's kind of annoying. Especially since the flavor text in that background selection explicitly states you'll have someplace to go shopping.
  4. Okay, time to stop using my own little post and jump into the suggestions column. One of the problems I had with the game was that the other students had almost no presence in the game as personalities or even really as people to interact with. Since I know you're familiar with King of Dragon Pass I'll use that as an example of a way to do bring them more alive. Recalll how during some events you'd have the village council pop up and all chip in their 2 cents/argue with each other? You could do something like that with your fellow students where some events would cause a group of them to pop up for a joint discussion before you select the next step on the path. There are three pretty obvious ways to group students for these events. Household events would involve the other students in your college having a powwow in the common room. Classroom events would be some of the students in a particular class meeting to work on a group project or find a missing bandersnatch. And finally clique events would be your small group of friends off on an adventure or at least playing a practical joke. Probably not something small enough to easily drop into a DLC sadly, not least because it would need a new UI setup for the 'council meeting.'
  5. Andor

    Patches?

    I just downloaded and installed the patches and started a new game. I selected the 'secret familly heritage' background and the 'shops' background. However my character does not have access to the 'follow parents instructions' ability nor can I shop at the shops. I can visit them as locations! But not shop there. ...
  6. Andor

    Review

    Naturally I don't expect you to agree with everything I said, but I do appreciate the prompt response. One other thing I forgot to mention. It should be easy enough to flag events by type and then filter them so they match the activities of the day. I found it very disconcerting that during the weekdays I'd see lots of events about picking flowers or hanging out in a tavern (even while suspended!) but my weekend would be full of events about a class or a test. How hard is it to restrict the classroom events to days when you actually have class? Not very, really. Unless you didn't include a type flag in your event data. Then it's a bit trickier. As a side note this game really does remind me of two other games. King of Dragon Pass, as I mentioned is very similar in playstyle although the subject matter is utterly different. And My Pet Protector has a very similar subject although in play it's simpler and faster and mostly involves beating up monsters.
  7. Andor

    Patches?

    I see a lot of discussion about patches, but a perusal of the forums and the website led me to no links. Wherefore art these patches? And perhaps a link to them should be stickied in this support page?
  8. I saw this game advertised on the weekend Impulse buys a couple of weeks ago. I looked at the reviews, which were not terribly flattering and decided to give it a go anyway. I'm not exactly sorry I did, but this game is a lot better in potential than in execution. The first, and largest problem is that this is actually two games. One is a game about guiding a young magician through the trials and tribulations of high school. This is the secondary game, sadly. The primary game is the meta-game of trying to figure out just how to do that within the overly ornate and arcane and utterly undocumented game system. That's not the game I was hoping to buy, and it's not one I would have willingly paid money for. All games have a bit of a learning curve, but it should not take more than one entire game for me to figure out some fundamentals. For example I spent most of my first game trying to figure out how to bully Phillipe Marchent back. Never did figure it out. It wasn't until my 3rd game I discovered that the 'School survival' skills unlock some fundamental skills and actions. And that's just pathetic. The skill system is way too big with hundreds of skills, most of which do the same thing, and which are almost never called on appropriately in the challanges. It's like the skill system was developed by taking a shotgun to a thesarus and pumping the scraps into a database. I'll return to that database thing in a bit... Okay, suggestion 1: Please, for the love of all that is plushie, when you pull up the description of a sub-skill in the right hand column, can you please patch it to include the actual current skill level and the parent skill in the description? When a new sub-skill is gained in an event there is currently no way to know what parent skill it lies under for futher training, and it's not as if there were any sort of intuitive or logical link between the parent skills and the sub-skills. (E.G. Acrobatics is not a sub-skill of athletics but of Sleight-of-Hand. Oh yes, of course! Who hasn't thrilled to the sight of a stage magician tumbling and flipping about the stage as he does card tricks? Oh, that's right, NO ONE HAS! They are unrelated skills!) Right, the database thing. I don't have a problem with a graphic light, text based game. It should not however be rubbed in my face that it's just the front end to a database. Dominions 3 is basically just a giant database with some poor graphics and text in front of it but it never feels that way in play. It also handles much more data much faster and that's due to nothing but better programming. Suggestion 2: Populate the action menu at the end of the previous turns processing, that way it appears instantly when I try to adjust my calendar rather that having a 2 to 5 second pause as I wait in agony to change 'rest' to 'study' for each and every day in a week. It's way too late to change the fundamental architecture of the game at this point, I understand that, but there are some pretty simple tricks like the one I mentioned above to improve how things look and feel. Graphics: Fine actually I have no problem with the graphics. Sound: A few things here. The music itself is fine, although it's way to obvious that half of it comes from Fantasia, it's even the same recordings! But there does need to be more of it, the loop is too short. Also there needs to be some event related sound. Take a look at "King of Dragon Pass". That's another static-graphic, text based game, but it will overlay the background music loops with appropriate sound effects during a battle or other related event. Some classroom noises, and a few screams would go a long way towards enhancing the feel of this game. Gameplay: I thinks it's obvious I'm not delighted here. It far, far too hard to figure out how do to too many things. I 've got 5 characters going at this point and still have yet to construct a single thing in the game in spite of the fact that there are several skill groups centered on that very idea! Almost actually. I did have one character construct several things on commision. Not that I ever found out what he made on commision or learned the recipie so he could construct one for himself! That lack of feedback is terrible. For a game with oceans of text you dole it out in penny packets when it comes to useful feedback. I had a character get suspended. I don't know why he was suspended, nor will I ever know. Useful. Likewise once you leave an event there is no way to re-look at it. I can't even tell you how many times I've clicked the 'valadiate' button only to notice there was one more page of text I missed in the event. Too damn bad, apparently. Oh and if the game is going to be crawlingly slow can you at least disable the damn button until the next screen shows up? Several times I've thought I clicked validate but nothing happened so I click it again and move on. Other times the games was just being slow and when I clicked it again I chose the default option and ended the event from a menu that hadn't even been drawn yet. I want to feel like I'm fighting events within the game, not the game itself, thank you very much! Oh, last complaint. Where is my report card? I finished the game and never found out my scores! What's the point of telling my how a course is graded if grades are never given! All in all... the games has promise, but it needs a lot of polish both on the basic programming and on the events which appear to be completely random in how they interact with the skills system. ("A ball is headed towards your face!" Is the appropriate skill Athletics? Incantation? Negation? Botany? Interpretive Dance? Acrobatics? History of tofu? Answer: Who the hell knows! They all seem to answer the same question in different events that present the same problem.)
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