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Offline Entenschreck

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Re: Bloodlines Prelude
« Reply #510 on: July 17, 2021, 03:51:27 pm »
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No it wasn't. In fact you are bending the truth now, because I never wrote "to the point that the mod doesn't feel too different to Bloodlines" (you probably mean "does feel"). I wrote that "I would have liked to have both be very similar". Like having the same rules. Everybody who has been following our dispute here can see for themselves that you indeed plan to change gameplay elements!

Yes, I indeed plan to change gameplay elements, but that should be no surprise. I have also changed gameplay elements. I have added stuff like the optional Caitiff Mode (you select three disciplines at the start of the game, allowing you to play with a custom set of disciplines. This mode is for veteran players, obviously, who have beaten Bloodlines numerous times).
The goal of any mod(ification) is to change something about the game, to modify the game. I have never stated anything else. I even asked you right from the start to provide a list with changes you don't like, so I can comment on these changes. Took you long enough to post it and when you finally posted it, you added things that we haven't talked about for more than three sentences, and that was over a year ago (talking about Rötschreck here)
The way you describe simple ideas and the way you use them in your reasoning is misleading. The way you phrase your arguments is not objective.
Your comment about me "changing more and more gameplay elements" was very misleading and at the same felt like a stab in the back after our email dispute. You could've used a more neutral approach, like: "Entenschreck and I disagreed on how to handle certain gameplay elements. I haven't heard from him since."
But you didn't. You squeezed your opinion (which was exaggerated, as you've already admitted) into your post, although it was complete irrelevant to Marius217's question. That's a stab in the back. I don't like several changes made by the Unofficial Patch, but I've never felt the need to go over to the UP thread and openly comment on that.
That's the reason why I'm pissed.

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That wasn't a lie. I wrote "What annoyed me weren't the stats checks, but the written actions that were supposed to follow!" This was the complete truth. I never liked even the normal stats checks, that is correct. But as you noted yourself I had accepted them for a long time. Only the written actions were what annoyed me enough so that we began our email dispute in the first place!
Which caused you to bring up the regular stat checks (Inspection, Research, etc...) again. It was strange to see one problem (written actions in dialogs) suddenly made you bring up regular stat checks and Presence, although they haven't been a problem for years. How were we supposed to have a reasonable discussion like that?

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I wrote: "When we emailed you were pretty much convinced that this was the best idea ever!" Yes, this is the impression I got. You wanted to include it at once and you stated here that you will use it more often if it works.

Impression is the key word here. Regarding the rest of this quote, I can only repeat what I've told you for what feels like the 20th time since this shit show (including our emails) started:
I like the idea. It needs to be tested. Maybe it doesn't work and will end up getting cut. Maybe it fits well and can be used in other situations.
That was it. There's not even a hint of over-excitement in this.

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Really? Because when I write "best idea ever", this is not exaggerating? It must really be the "best idea ever" and if it isn't, it's a lie? And when I write changed "gameplay elements" it must be a lie, because there is a definition somewhere what "gameplay elements" are supposed to be? And you can also see into my head and decide whether I just dislike something or are really annoyed?

You know what, you got me here. I take back the part with the lie and I apologize for that. "Lie" isn't the correct term.
From now on I'll refer to it as you not being objective, and you being deliberately misleading in your statements, to make them fit your ends better (e.g.: calling Presence the "Dialogue Bloodbuff").

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Yes, sneaking through the basement might be challenging, but at least it's gameplay!

This is the perfect example. The warrens are gameplay, too. Bad gameplay, which the vast majority of players would love to get rid of.
I've read countless requests from people on here, or on the  forums of other mods, like Team Camarilla International Forums, the Antitribu Mod Forums back when they still existed, Reddit, and ModDB. Gameplay changes like Presence boosting social feats is something that has been requested many times over the years, which is the reason why you included your own version of that in the Plus Patch, I suppose? Dialogs being more reactive to the player character's whole stat sheet, aka more stat checks in dialogs, has also been requested often.
My point is, that I think a mod such as the Prelude, which has to be built from scratch, is the perfect opportunity to listen to these requests. Changes like that do not interfere with any play style at all. Everynody benefits. I also don't see why Bloodlines Prelude couldn't be viewed as some kind of unofficial expansion just because of those changes, because that is my inofficial goal. What I mean by that is that I'll never call Bloodlines Prelude an unofficial expansion, but my goal is to deliver a level of quality so that the players call the mod an unofficial expansion. Like Clan Quest Mod 4.0.
The thing is, that I have never played an expansion, which didn't introduce little changes here and there for the gameplay. Right from the start, Dishonored and its story-DLCs have been my role model for this mod, as you probably know too well. The two story-DLCs changed a few things regarding the gameplay. New powers, new weapons, new gadgets, new gameplay mechanics. That stuff wasn't added randomly. The developers listened to feedback they got after releasing the main game, and applied what they've learned to the DLCs.
That's the way Bloodlines Prelude should go, too. We've had years to gather feedback. Why should such an opportunity be wasted now?
Besides, the Plus Patch changes even more stuff than there are ideas for Bloodlines Prelude.
I demanded a list of gameplay changes from you, because I am confident that the majority of these changes are what people would actually like to see, since I've seen them being requested time and time again over the years.
And to get back to the topic of the museum basement, I'd rather have a shorter mission than force players to go through a combat zone with inadequate combat abilites, because that is definitely something that most players hate. And, like I said, I'm confident that people will like this more, as this kind of combat-heavy gameplay is what I've seen people complain about the most.
I wasn't stubborn about using my idea for the alternative entrance to the museum. I was stubborn about not forcing players to go through a combat area despite not being specced for combat. I told you you could always come up with a different idea. The only requirement was that there were mandatory combat areas. IIRC, you suggested to be able to talk to the first guard in the basement, but that idea was bad from both a technical point of view, as well as from a design point of view.
I don't want to digress from the actual topic, so I'll not list the reasons here. That's not a cheap excuse, though. If anybody wants me to disect the problems, just let me know. I love talking about level design and  I'll answer with a seperate post, so it's visually isolated from all this drama.

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With the dialogue only option the whole museum map basically turns into a walking simulator.

I can't deny that, as much as I would like to. However, that's not the fault of my level design decision. It would still be a walking simulator with your approach, but even longer, or, if the player fails to persuade the guard, an even longer combat fest.

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Still why didn't the Bloodlines player call ahead to the museum? Or to the Giovanni? Or to Metalhead Industries? Or to Kamikaze Zen? One lame excuse and all the sneaking missions would have been easy!

Museum - You're forced to enter through the roof and we both know that the exterior was cut from the game. I don't agree with people claiming that everything they don't like about the game is only there because Troika ran out of time. The museum, however, is one of the areas in the game where I indeed suspect they ran out of time.
Giovanni - It's a private party and a social charcter can get an invitation. That's basically the same. You get inside easily and don't have to sneak around. Thanks, Wesp. That actually compares really well to what you can do in the museum in the mod.
Metalhead - It doesn't look like the kind of place you can call ahead of time and pretend you're an intern.
Kamikazi - A rather small company, too. Also, what could an intern do wrong there?
In fact, it doesn't even matter. It's about telling a story. I would expect an ex-hunter to put more thought into planning things out before breaking into a heavily guarded building than some nobody, who got embraced after a night at the club. If the fledgeling wasn't canonically a navy seal or something similar, he probably doesn't know shit about heists.

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I think next came the Presence discipline boosting all social stats, again I complained and again I gave in. Then came the fighting disciplines stats checks with written actions as results

No, the discussion (if it can be even called a discussion) was what caused you to bring up Presence, the general stat checks, and the Johanson-ish way of portaying the player breaking that bum's fingers. Pretty much all at once, which isn't at all a way to have a reasonably talk about it.
Btw, if by "written actions as results", you mean describing an NPC's reaction through text, there's none of that and that hasn't even been part of idea, either. Burgermeister's idea was just about describing the player's actions. NPCs react by speaking, just like in Bloodlines.

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But you wanted a list of game elements you plan to change so these had to be listed!

Actually, I wanted a list of things that I have changed, or at least am definitely about to change for Prelude 2. What you posted was list of ideas I've written down and immediateldy put aside to perhaps be visited again in an unforeseeable future. So, in other words, almost nothing. Notes, basically. Nothing even remotely finalized. Sometimes I have ideas and write them down. There're quite a few more of those in OneNote, actually. Like a flare gun, new occult items, a new type of sabbat goon who's got headrunners following him like guard dogs,  and much more. That's just a bunch of notes, man!
So the only actual gameplay changes from your list that are confirmed to be featured in Prelude 2 are Presence boosting social feats, and more stat checks in dialogs.

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Actually I left out Diablerie, because this was pretty much set from the start.

Man, Diablerie has been cut for over a year now, IIRC, and you should know that.
For everybody else reading, I wanted to make it possible to drain vampires in combat, just like you can drain humans, but much more difficult, of course, and with a high chance of being interrupted while feeding, so that you'd be forced to really put some effort into diablerizing somebody. It's feasable, but the problem is that feeding always works if you sneak up on an enemy from behind. That would've in theory allowed players to easily diablerize every single vampire in the mod. I couldn't find a way to prevent that, so Diablerie had to be cut and it became the Caitiff Mode I described earlier, instead.

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Also if you somehow have the impression that I wanted to make Prelude II look bad by my comment here, I apologize.

Indeed, I got that impression. Apology accepted.

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It will be a great mod once it is finished, maybe even more so due to the new concepts, although maybe not the mod I would have wanted it to be. But that's only up to my personal taste and expectation.

Now, that's the best statement posted in this thread in days.
So, what are we going to do now?



Offline Wesp5

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Re: Bloodlines Prelude
« Reply #511 on: July 17, 2021, 04:43:14 pm »
I have added stuff like the optional Caitiff Mode (you select three disciplines at the start of the game, allowing you to play with a custom set of disciplines.
Oops, I forgot to list that too :).

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Your comment about me "changing more and more gameplay elements" was very misleading and at the same felt like a stab in the back after our email dispute.
Again I apologize, it was never meant that way.


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It was strange to see one problem (written actions in dialogs) suddenly made you bring up regular stat checks and Presence, although they haven't been a problem for years.
Why are you always coming back to "regular stat checks"? Troika never used Combat Disciplines to check, this is different from checking Research or Inspection...

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You know what, you got me here. I take back the part with the lie and I apologize for that. "Lie" isn't the correct term.
Apology accepted. You know I love to exaggerate, sometimes also to get people out of their reserve! See our Arkane disputes ;).

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From now on I'll refer to it as you not being objective, and you being deliberately misleading in your statements, to make them fit your ends better (e.g.: calling Presence the "Dialogue Bloodbuff").
"Not being objective", I agree. "Deliberately misleading", I deny. "Dialogue Bloodbuff" is just the first thing that came into my mind, especially as I just recently had to defend my Bloodbuff changes again.
 
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The warrens are gameplay, too. Bad gameplay, which the vast majority of players would love to get rid of.
Yes. But the warrens go on over 4 maps in a game with over hundreds of maps. Prelude II is much smaller! At the moment we have about 5 maps where gameplay is important and you can skip one of them completely? I think this is also dangerous in the same way that the original game was, because people without combat stats can get far through the game only to get stuck in the endgame.

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Dialogs being more reactive to the player character's whole stat sheet, aka more stat checks in dialogs, has also been requested often
Not from me. It's actually the other way around that over the years I had explain to many people that they couldn't get Knox's and Johansens' secrets because of their inspection stats which there is no info anywhere in the game that they would be checked in dialogue. Whatever we do in Prelude, we need to make players aware of it! Which is why I recommend to use this everywhere where it would make sense, like at the gas station too, if you want to use it.

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What I mean by that is that I'll never call Bloodlines Prelude an unofficial expansion, but my goal is to deliver a level of quality so that the players call the mod an unofficial expansion. Like Clan Quest Mod 4.0.
Yes, but aside from Diablerie I don't think CQM changes any gameplay elements or rules unless you install the CE too. I don't think War Games does either, only The Final Nights and Antitribu and they need to.

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I wasn't stubborn about using my idea for the alternative entrance to the museum. I was stubborn about not forcing players to go through a combat area despite not being specced for combat.
That area is either sneak of fight, like the LA Sun, which is before that. I don't think anybody who did the LA Sun would have problems with the museum. I just think you hate this maze from a mapper point of view :)!

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It would still be a walking simulator with your approach, but even longer, or, if the player fails to persuade the guard, an even longer combat fest.
The idea about persuading the guard was only to give you something. If you find the underground area too hard we should rather think about a way to make it easier, like stick the guards to certain positions like checking a broken camera or something, so you don't have to time your moves as they don't walk around freely.

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Btw, if by "written actions as results", you mean describing an NPC's reaction through text, there's none of that and that hasn't even been part of idea, either. Burgermeister's idea was just about describing the player's actions. NPCs react by speaking, just like in Bloodlines.
Exactly, I accept the latter, but the former was what really made me mad, because it reminded me of all those visual novels that Paradox is churning out right now! One of the first things that I changed in the plus patch was turning "(feed her your blood)" into "Maybe my blood can save you..." and that even had a cutscene follow up!

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So, what are we going to do now?
As I wrote, I am still willing to help when you need me to check something. But thinking back to the moment that triggered it all, I am not willing e. g. to turn burgermeisters normal text document into a working dlg file. You need to do that yourself if you want to test it! Speaking of which, we really need to do something about the dialogues. Mapping is nearly complete, but especially as you intend to make dialogues stronger, Prelude II has almost no dialogues finished...
« Last Edit: July 17, 2021, 04:53:42 pm by Wesp5 »

Offline Entenschreck

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Re: Bloodlines Prelude
« Reply #512 on: July 18, 2021, 10:38:06 am »
This is all fair, like we used to talk about things. I think the storm has died down now, hasn't it? I don't see a reason to spam this thread with useless drama anymore, so I suggest we discuss everything else via email.
I hope everybody following this had a great time with some popcorn and drinks. Doesn't get any more real than this. Top notch unscripted entertainment.
If anybody here ever thought about joining our team, you now know what to prepare for  :smile: Stuff like this can happen when passionte people clash.

 

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