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 Thoughts on playing a bit of TFN

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temporae
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PostSubject: Thoughts on playing a bit of TFN   Fri Oct 12, 2012 2:45 am

Keeping in mind I've played the game a few times on the unofficial patches as well CQM 3.0, everything I write will be based on having those 2 mods/patches as reference points for how good/bad gameplay was.

Most of these thoughts are in no particular order, just things that stuck out to me from the game:


1- The lack of female models for a number of the clans (Baali, Assamite, etc?) was very curious; are there supposed to be male only clans? Not being able to pick a model of preference for the clan I preferred was particularly annoying.

2- The boosts of some clans versus others are just ridiculously unbalanced, both in terms of benefits relative to flaws within a clan and compared to other clans.

2a - For example, Baali are just overpowered beyond belief: a built-in Saulocept-like effect from the start of the game, granting free +1's to XP in a mod where XP is so precious and scarce? ...contrasted with a very weak flaw of having a max Humanity of 7...as if that was at all difficult to overcome. That does not mention the free bonus +1 to Intelligence (helping more in this mod than those past), a solid boost combined with a great boost coupled with a meager negative...leaves what? A superbly overpowered clan imo.

2b - Compare that imbalance to say, the Followers of Set: a bonus of +1 to Persuasion, not bad...but then there is a massively hampering penalty to -1 on all soak feats, which makes all armors less useful and compounds the defensive problems throughout the rest of the game; my point with the Set clan is that the benefit in NO way matches the drawback. It's as if you had serious favoritism with some clans versus others (could not understand why, if it were the case).

3 - On a different note, but still relating to clan descriptions/disciplines: if Assamites were supposed to be heavily towards the assassin trade, and even have a very nice discipline to complement that in Quietus...then just where is Obfuscate? What is an assassin without Obfuscate? A pretender at best, imo. Conversely, some clans who's history may not have matched the need for Obfuscate as perfectly, say the Followers of Set (or Baali, who have it as well...such hax), have Obfuscate, while one whose history does match it does not (Assamites). Do you get what I'm trying to say? It just is a very uneven spread of disciplines where they might try to cater to the history of the respective clan. That isn't the case for every clan, like Samedi have a very fitting set of disciplines that work well together.

4 - In trying to make the decisions for XP distribution harder and "more challenging", I think you have forcibly made the game less enjoyable. As someone mentioned elsewhere, things like Haggle have been made overly powerful in many respects...but it is not Haggle that will save a player on the battlefield. So, the choice is between survival...or, what? Having lots of cash to play around with? What good is all that cash if a character's skills don't come close to matching it in practice, against NPC's when it really counts?

5 - What I absolutely hated about this mod is how some discipline sets for clans were utterly redundant with something new that had been created. For example, the Salubri have Obeah as a new discipline but also have Fortitude and Blood Heal. The problem is that some ranks of the Obeah overlap with higher levels of Blood Heal or Fortitude, making the fact that you have both redundant and extremely frustrating when trying to decide which discipline XP should go into. This overlap is a terrible thing for the experience with that clan.

6 - The issue of firearms versus melee...wow. Ranged weapons are crazy here, though they have been somewhat balanced by rate of fire (for the few guns I've gotten a hold of so far). But melee, without a solid use of stealth, is almost pointless. Of course if you want to make the type of character than can just rush into a crowd of 5+ NPC's and live to tell about it, then sure...if only that were anywhere close to possible early on. To me, it appears the choices for making a solid character are split between only two: pure ranged or melee stealth. With the clans that have no stealth options or bonuses, then melee is a risky, highly uninviting proposition. A matter of choice, sure, but imbalance here is ridiculous.

7 - The second most annoying aspect was the fact that "brandishing" a weapon causes a criminal violation. What the fuck is this? Utter garbage feature imo, Just so useless on so many levels, I will leave it at that.



I would offer input on how that might be improved, but I want to hear other people's feedback first. It's really been so annoying that I would rather re-play CQM 3.0 than TFN any day. Ugh t_t



- temp
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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on playing a bit of TFN   Fri Oct 12, 2012 5:42 am

Point 7: it might not make sense in a game, but it does in real life. if a policeman sees you brandishing a gun or a baseball bat he's, to put it lightly, going to keep an eye on you. more often that not, however, he'll just stop you and ask for your general data. and if you have the license for said weapon.

EDIT: it COULD be altered so that it's a criminal violation only if a law enforcer sees you, maybe, if the engine supports it,
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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on playing a bit of TFN   Fri Oct 12, 2012 8:26 am

I think the problem more is the many times one accidentally presses the wrong key and voila, violation. There are cool features, and then there's game play decisions because... well, it's a game, maybe keep the violation, but allow us to have to select the weapon to draw it, like Deus Ex (the original).
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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on playing a bit of TFN   Fri Oct 12, 2012 6:36 pm

temporae wrote:
1- The lack of female models for a number of the clans (Baali, Assamite, etc?) was very curious; are there supposed to be male only clans? Not being able to pick a model of preference for the clan I preferred was particularly annoying.

This is because the mod is not entirely finished. There are plans to eventually implement both genders for all the clans. However, the mod is curently not being developed because the author got himself a life.

Quote :
2- The boosts of some clans versus others are just ridiculously unbalanced, both in terms of benefits relative to flaws within a clan and compared to other clans.

I partially agree, but don't find it to be overly problematic. Since it's a single player game, the most important thing is to make each clan unique and interesting to play. Making them all equally challenging is desirable but not a primary concern.

Quote :
3 - On a different note, but still relating to clan descriptions/disciplines: if Assamites were supposed to be heavily towards the assassin trade, and even have a very nice discipline to complement that in Quietus...then just where is Obfuscate?

Zer0 tried to make his mod fit the p&p rules as best he could. The Assamite clan has three castes, each with a unique weakness and a different set of disciplines (though they all share Quietus). The Warrior caste has Celerity, Quietus and Obfuscate, but their weakness can't be recreated in the game. So the Vizier caste was chosen instead because their weakness (obsession with a particular subjects) could be represented in the game. And Viziers have Auspex instead of Obfuscate.

I was also disappointed at first, but now I like it. If they had Obfuscate, then the stealth bonus from Quiteus 1 would be useless.

Quote :
4 - In trying to make the decisions for XP distribution harder and "more challenging", I think you have forcibly made the game less enjoyable. As someone mentioned elsewhere, things like Haggle have been made overly powerful in many respects...but it is not Haggle that will save a player on the battlefield. So, the choice is between survival...or, what? Having lots of cash to play around with? What good is all that cash if a character's skills don't come close to matching it in practice, against NPC's when it really counts?

Cash is useful for buying skill books.

Quote :
5 - What I absolutely hated about this mod is how some discipline sets for clans were utterly redundant with something new that had been created. For example, the Salubri have Obeah as a new discipline but also have Fortitude and Blood Heal. The problem is that some ranks of the Obeah overlap with higher levels of Blood Heal or Fortitude, making the fact that you have both redundant and extremely frustrating when trying to decide which discipline XP should go into. This overlap is a terrible thing for the experience with that clan.

Actually it's quite the opposite. The effects of Obeah stack nicely with Fortitude and amke you that much harder to kill. I foudn it to be very enjoyable.

Quote :
6 - The issue of firearms versus melee...wow. Ranged weapons are crazy here, though they have been somewhat balanced by rate of fire (for the few guns I've gotten a hold of so far). But melee, without a solid use of stealth, is almost pointless. Of course if you want to make the type of character than can just rush into a crowd of 5+ NPC's and live to tell about it, then sure...if only that were anywhere close to possible early on. To me, it appears the choices for making a solid character are split between only two: pure ranged or melee stealth. With the clans that have no stealth options or bonuses, then melee is a risky, highly uninviting proposition. A matter of choice, sure, but imbalance here is ridiculous.

Interesting, my experience is different. I had no problems going melee with my Salubri and she wasn't stealthy at all. I spend plenty of blood on healing though. I neither had any problems going melee with my Osebo and he really wasn't stealthy. He had Potence and Celerity though.

I think a large benefit of melee is supposed to be that you don't use any ammo which saves money for other things (books, armor).

Quote :
7 - The second most annoying aspect was the fact that "brandishing" a weapon causes a criminal violation. What the fuck is this? Utter garbage feature imo, Just so useless on so many levels, I will leave it at that.

Zer0 liked to make the game more challenging.

Quote :
I would offer input on how that might be improved, but I want to hear other people's feedback first. It's really been so annoying that I would rather re-play CQM 3.0 than TFN any day. Ugh t_t

- temp

To each his own, I guess. Obviously TFN simply isn't for everyone. Nothing wrong with not liking it, but Zer0 is quite pelased with it and he has gathered an audience which is likewise pleased with is, so I doubt your efforts to "fix it" would be much appreciated. Additonally Zer0 is curently inactive anyway so we can only guess when he'll actually get to read this.
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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on playing a bit of TFN   Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:01 pm

Dragatus wrote:
temporae wrote:
1- The lack of female models for a number of the clans (Baali, Assamite, etc?) was very curious; are there supposed to be male only clans? Not being able to pick a model of preference for the clan I preferred was particularly annoying.

This is because the mod is not entirely finished. There are plans to eventually implement both genders for all the clans. However, the mod is curently not being developed because the author got himself a life.
= Ah, the mod is unfinished? Seeing the "1.1" label I had assumed it was past being release-ready with all main features implemented. Here's to hoping Zer0 can finish what he started!

Quote :
2- The boosts of some clans versus others are just ridiculously unbalanced, both in terms of benefits relative to flaws within a clan and compared to other clans.

I partially agree, but don't find it to be overly problematic. Since it's a single player game, the most important thing is to make each clan unique and interesting to play. Making them all equally challenging is desirable but not a primary concern.
= I would think that having each clan be formidable compared to other clans, in terms of having an advantage in something that other clans lack, would be a defining feature of TFN. In the vanilla-patched and CMQ versions of the game, I found that to be the case. Each clan was good at some things, but not so devastatingly more powerful than any other. Baali, by themselves, seem to me to be breaking that notion in half. Having said that, it isn't impossible to have fun with weaker clans, but not being able to fathom why that is the case (assuming no favoritism) is problematic.

Quote :
3 - On a different note, but still relating to clan descriptions/disciplines: if Assamites were supposed to be heavily towards the assassin trade, and even have a very nice discipline to complement that in Quietus...then just where is Obfuscate?

Zer0 tried to make his mod fit the p&p rules as best he could. The Assamite clan has three castes, each with a unique weakness and a different set of disciplines (though they all share Quietus). The Warrior caste has Celerity, Quietus and Obfuscate, but their weakness can't be recreated in the game. So the Vizier caste was chosen instead because their weakness (obsession with a particular subjects) could be represented in the game. And Viziers have Auspex instead of Obfuscate.
= So Assamites would have had Obfuscate originally? That makes much more sense. How could their weakness not be recreated, were Obfuscate to be added in the Warrior class? A short explanation would be much appreciated. I don't see any comparison in terms of potency between Auspex and Obfuscate....being able to navigate trouble spots unseen is just much more useful.

I was also disappointed at first, but now I like it. If they had Obfuscate, then the stealth bonus from Quiteus 1 would be useless.

Quote :
4 - In trying to make the decisions for XP distribution harder and "more challenging", I think you have forcibly made the game less enjoyable. As someone mentioned elsewhere, things like Haggle have been made overly powerful in many respects...but it is not Haggle that will save a player on the battlefield. So, the choice is between survival...or, what? Having lots of cash to play around with? What good is all that cash if a character's skills don't come close to matching it in practice, against NPC's when it really counts?

Cash is useful for buying skill books.
= Yes, but those skill books have nothing to do with being able to increase disciplines, which is where XP would have been primarily used. Substituting books for XP towards skills is a far cry from actual XP gained and then used towards disciplines. Skills are available to every clan, to a varying degree (depending on histories), but disciplines are quite often unique and the aspects most important to any given character's strengths.

Quote :
5 - What I absolutely hated about this mod is how some discipline sets for clans were utterly redundant with something new that had been created. For example, the Salubri have Obeah as a new discipline but also have Fortitude and Blood Heal. The problem is that some ranks of the Obeah overlap with higher levels of Blood Heal or Fortitude, making the fact that you have both redundant and extremely frustrating when trying to decide which discipline XP should go into. This overlap is a terrible thing for the experience with that clan.

Actually it's quite the opposite. The effects of Obeah stack nicely with Fortitude and amke you that much harder to kill. I foudn it to be very enjoyable.
= I get that they would stack, but they are redundant. Doing the same thing as a common discipline one already has access to, means I have one less discipline that can be of benefit in another way. Ultimately, this makes those clan-unique disciplines less important because their corollaries already exist. For the example of Obeah, one has to wait until much closer to mid-game to have all that XP to spend on a rank 4 level, whereas a lower rank of Fortitude or Blood Heal would accomplish the same thing. Being much harder to hit doesn't cover any of the other weaknesses of the Salubri, it just exacerbates their strengths (which is definitely nice, but limiting in what it can impact).

Quote :
6 - The issue of firearms versus melee...wow. Ranged weapons are crazy here, though they have been somewhat balanced by rate of fire (for the few guns I've gotten a hold of so far). But melee, without a solid use of stealth, is almost pointless. Of course if you want to make the type of character than can just rush into a crowd of 5+ NPC's and live to tell about it, then sure...if only that were anywhere close to possible early on. To me, it appears the choices for making a solid character are split between only two: pure ranged or melee stealth. With the clans that have no stealth options or bonuses, then melee is a risky, highly uninviting proposition. A matter of choice, sure, but imbalance here is ridiculous.

Interesting, my experience is different. I had no problems going melee with my Salubri and she wasn't stealthy at all. I spend plenty of blood on healing though. I neither had any problems going melee with my Osebo and he really wasn't stealthy. He had Potence and Celerity though.

I think a large benefit of melee is supposed to be that you don't use any ammo which saves money for other things (books, armor).
= I kept in mind that a number of quests needed some degree of stealth to accomplish (assuming they haven't been removed from TFN), so that was problematic. I did notice a ton of cash being spent on ammo, which does make melee preferable, but that means I have to make more of a tank-type character instead of stealth (at least with the clans I'd chosen). Preferences coming at a head, but nothing something insurmountable. Neutral

Quote :
7 - The second most annoying aspect was the fact that "brandishing" a weapon causes a criminal violation. What the fuck is this? Utter garbage feature imo, Just so useless on so many levels, I will leave it at that.

Zer0 liked to make the game more challenging.
= Shooting a weapon already triggered a CV, why would simply having a weapon unholstered and unused be cause for alarm? Add to that the fact that killing officers now triggers a Humanity loss, and well...>_>. Tbh, the source of annoyance for me here is that I want to be vigilant for hunters popping out of nowhere, so I liked to traverse all maps with weapons drawn so I could be ready for them.

Quote :
I would offer input on how that might be improved, but I want to hear other people's feedback first. It's really been so annoying that I would rather re-play CQM 3.0 than TFN any day. Ugh t_t

- temp

To each his own, I guess. Obviously TFN simply isn't for everyone. Nothing wrong with not liking it, but Zer0 is quite pelased with it and he has gathered an audience which is likewise pleased with is, so I doubt your efforts to "fix it" would be much appreciated. Additonally Zer0 is curently inactive anyway so we can only guess when he'll actually get to read this.
= Sorry, that came off wrong. My "fixes" are nothing more than possible alternates to how some things have been done (like clan disciplines or the like). I have no technical knowledge of the game so I have to rely on what I can see to wonder if a thing is possible, whereas you and/or Zer0 know more of the inherent limitations mod-making has with VtM, and so you know how some things can't fit into the game design from that standpoint.

(responses in underline)


I find myself wishing I had new clans to fiddle around with, but with the same sort of gameplay CMQ and vanilla-plus offered. I was expecting TFN to be along those lines, but it seems it went into a bit of a different direction, which isn't a bad thing. But, everyone knows that when you go into something expect result A and instead find result B, the mismatch between expectation and reality creates an apparent schism. If I try playing TFN with a general outlook, not looking for past mods/patches to be simply reincarnated, then yeah, it should offer a better experience.


Also, just in case it doesn't show through all of my apparent criticism: there were plenty of things I like about TFN, which I did not mention at all. I guess I will have to write another post and mention those, not to mention go through the entirety of TFN at least once (started a few times).




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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on playing a bit of TFN   Sat Oct 13, 2012 8:04 am

Fortunately you can play something else! Or make your own mod. Razz
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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on playing a bit of TFN   Sat Oct 13, 2012 8:47 am

temporae wrote:
I would think that having each clan be formidable compared to other clans, in terms of having an advantage in something that other clans lack, would be a defining feature of TFN. In the vanilla-patched and CMQ versions of the game, I found that to be the case. Each clan was good at some things, but not so devastatingly more powerful than any other. Baali, by themselves, seem to me to be breaking that notion in half. Having said that, it isn't impossible to have fun with weaker clans, but not being able to fathom why that is the case (assuming no favoritism) is problematic.

I agree that the Baali are a bit too much. I would have at least given them a -3 Humanity penalty instead of caping it at 7 (so they would start with only 3 Humanity and they still couldn't raise it above 7).

It might also be possible to make it so that using Daimonion reduces Humanity if it's above a certain threshold, but I haven't tried to implement it. The idea being that Daimonion 2 will lower your Humanity if it's above 6 and each following rank makes it one step lower. Daimonion 5 would then lower your Humanity if it was higher than 3, effectively capping it at that level.

Quote :
So Assamites would have had Obfuscate originally? That makes much more sense. How could their weakness not be recreated, were Obfuscate to be added in the Warrior class?

The weakness of the Warrior caste is that they get addicted to drinking vampire blood and that this lust for kindred vitae is visible in their aura. But the game doesn't let you feed on vampires in the first place and nobody is looking at your aura, so I see no way to implement it in a meaningful way.

BTW, you can change the clan disciplines if you modify clandoc000.txt. It's a file found in [TFN folder]/vampire/vdata/system and you can edit it with Notepad. Don't forget to make a backup copy first! Anyway, look up Assamites in there. They're modified Gangrel so look for the Player_Gangrel template. Scroll down to the section that deal with disciplines, it looks like this:

Code:
Disciplines
      {
         "Corpus_Vampirus"   "1"
         "Blood_Healing"      "1"
         "Auspex"      "1"
         "Celerity"      "1"
         "Dominate"      "1"
      }

Change Auspex to Obfuscate, save and enjoy (mind the quotation marks). You might have to skip the tutorial though, because there is a section where you probably can't progress without Auspex (I'm guessing the disciplines used in the tutorial are linked to clan).

Quote :
I get that they would stack, but they are redundant. Doing the same thing as a common discipline one already has access to, means I have one less discipline that can be of benefit in another way. Ultimately, this makes those clan-unique disciplines less important because their corollaries already exist. For the example of Obeah, one has to wait until much closer to mid-game to have all that XP to spend on a rank 4 level, whereas a lower rank of Fortitude or Blood Heal would accomplish the same thing. Being much harder to hit doesn't cover any of the other weaknesses of the Salubri, it just exacerbates their strengths (which is definitely nice, but limiting in what it can impact).

We'll just have to agree to disagree on this one. I'm not bothered at all that Salubri are less versatile than some other classes and I even enjoyed their specialization when I played one.
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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on playing a bit of TFN   Sat Oct 13, 2012 10:00 pm

Dragatus wrote:

I agree that the Baali are a bit too much. I would have at least given them a -3 Humanity penalty instead of caping it at 7 (so they would start with only 3 Humanity and they still couldn't raise it above 7).

It might also be possible to make it so that using Daimonion reduces Humanity if it's above a certain threshold, but I haven't tried to implement it. The idea being that Daimonion 2 will lower your Humanity if it's above 6 and each following rank makes it one step lower. Daimonion 5 would then lower your Humanity if it was higher than 3, effectively capping it at that level.
= Indeed, I saw no downsides to having a Humanity max of 7, since it didn't appear to increase tendencies of frenzy or affect dialogue options in any way. I like what you suggest about relating the Daimonion discipline to Humanity caps, it makes sense given how 'demonic' the Baali are, so accordingly, they should have less access to Humanity the further into their demonic natures they go.

The weakness of the Warrior caste is that they get addicted to drinking vampire blood and that this lust for kindred vitae is visible in their aura. But the game doesn't let you feed on vampires in the first place and nobody is looking at your aura, so I see no way to implement it in a meaningful way.
= Now that makes sense. Tbh, I am slightly glad one cannot feed on other kindred; I got the feeling it would make the PC almost always OP'ed, since there would be a much reduced worry of blood levels dropping in longer fights, since all you would have to do is wait for a kindred or human to be around the next corner. Since many fights have no humans at all, that makes the bigger fights more challenging since basic food supplies aren't close at all.

BTW, you can change the clan disciplines if you modify clandoc000.txt. It's a file found in [TFN folder]/vampire/vdata/system and you can edit it with Notepad. Don't forget to make a backup copy first! Anyway, look up Assamites in there. They're modified Gangrel so look for the Player_Gangrel template. Scroll down to the section that deal with disciplines, it looks like this:

Code:
Disciplines
      {
         "Corpus_Vampirus"   "1"
         "Blood_Healing"      "1"
         "Auspex"      "1"
         "Celerity"      "1"
         "Dominate"      "1"
      }

Change Auspex to Obfuscate, save and enjoy (mind the quotation marks). You might have to skip the tutorial though, because there is a section where you probably can't progress without Auspex (I'm guessing the disciplines used in the tutorial are linked to clan).
= Thank you for the guidelines! I will definitely give them a shot once I finish my current game.

We'll just have to agree to disagree on this one. I'm not bothered at all that Salubri are less versatile than some other classes and I even enjoyed their specialization when I played one.
= You know, my current game is as a Salubri trying to specialize as a melee tank. I'm at Fortitude 2 and Obeah 3, so it is definitely workable, but there is a major caveat: Obeah breaks the Masquerade, so I can't use it in safe areas, which there are enough quests in to end up being reaaaally cumbersome lol. Having no disciplines which can weaken or stun my enemies is also Mad . Any advice for playing a tank Salubri? I find that even with the knowledge of the game I have so far, it has not prepared my character well enough to be a tank, especially since going into just about any area with anything less than perfect prep means HP dropping to half in a matter of seconds and looking for cover lol. Also, just when exactly does Obeah show up in dialogue? It is described in the clan description as being like that, but I have never noticed it actually happening thus far.


Replies are underlined.

Jad.3 wrote:
Fortunately you can play something else! Or make your own mod. Razz

Haha, touche!

I just wish I knew enough to be able to make my own mod, man the possibilities... cyclops
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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on playing a bit of TFN   Sat Oct 13, 2012 10:36 pm

temporae wrote:

Also, just when exactly does Obeah show up in dialogue? It is described in the clan description as being like that, but I have never noticed it actually happening thus far.

I can't say I know every instance where it is possible, although I do know it can be done for Mercurio, Heather(obviously), and for Hanna(the sick girl in Skyline apt 6). There is no special text for it, since the rest are already used for other disciplines or skills, and I don't think new ones can be added. So if there is a mention of healing, then that is probably it.

I don't know if there are others myself, since I have a Salubri going right now(only in Santa Monica right now though).
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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on playing a bit of TFN   Sun Oct 14, 2012 12:38 am

temporae wrote:
You know, my current game is as a Salubri trying to specialize as a melee tank. I'm at Fortitude 2 and Obeah 3, so it is definitely workable, but there is a major caveat: Obeah breaks the Masquerade, so I can't use it in safe areas, which there are enough quests in to end up being reaaaally cumbersome lol. Having no disciplines which can weaken or stun my enemies is also Mad . Any advice for playing a tank Salubri? I find that even with the knowledge of the game I have so far, it has not prepared my character well enough to be a tank, especially since going into just about any area with anything less than perfect prep means HP dropping to half in a matter of seconds and looking for cover lol.


I wasn't really a tank until I had Obeah 4 and Fortitude 2 or 3. I think I rushed Obeah and got it to 4 before investing into any other disciplines which in retrospect probably wasn't optimal. So in the early game it's much more about taking out one guy, then backing off and healing the damage you've suffered.

The Masquerade Violation thing is an annoyance, but often when a fight starts the area at least temporarily chages to a combat area so you can use it safely, you just need to remember to turn it off as soon as the fight ends. IIRC pressing F8 will end all active disciplines.

Generally speaking about Obeah, I find ranks 1 and 2 to be useless. Obeah 3 heals about as much damage as Blood Heal 3, except it does it over a longer period of time. It only gets good when you reach rank 4 and then at rank 5 it's great. And by great I mean it's a very cost effective buff, both in terms of XP spent and blood used.

I think the optimal way to build a Salubri would be to actually invest into Fortitude first because it gives a faster return on investment. Get that to 3 and Blood Heal to 2 or 3, then start putting points into Obeah. The 5th rank is cost effective when you have 5+ melee/brawl.

If you have 5 melee feat the 5th rank of Obeah costs 5 XP less than upgrading Strength and Melee (just the upgrade from Obeah 4 to Obeah 5). If the feat is 6 you save 9 XP and if you have the melee feat at 7 you save an impressive 16 XP.

Quote :
Also, just when exactly does Obeah show up in dialogue? It is described in the clan description as being like that, but I have never noticed it actually happening thus far.

Obeah can come into play anytime an NPC is badly hurt or sick. Examples include Mercurio, Heather, Tincan Bill, and the girl from the Skyline apartment. IIRC it doesn't have special text the way Persuasion or Dominate do, but the line is usually somethin like "I can heal you." You then get a Masquerade Violation, but also gain +1 Humanity. Considering how many Masquerade Redemptions you can get in Downtown it's actualy a pretty good trade.


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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on playing a bit of TFN   Sun Oct 14, 2012 6:14 am

temporae wrote:
... man the possibilities... cyclops
Very limited.
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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on playing a bit of TFN   Sun Oct 14, 2012 1:34 pm

Jad.3 wrote:
temporae wrote:
... man the possibilities... cyclops
Very limited.
well I personally think that with all engine limitations, the Camarilla Team has done a miracle in modding the game.
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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on playing a bit of TFN   Sun Oct 14, 2012 8:29 pm

@Maxus: Aha, that was the puzzling part. I was expecting some kind of colored text to show up, but it wasn't so I went with standard dialogue options.

@Dragatus: Great insight into Salubri character builds, I'll have to start one from scratch and really give it some thought as to how to go. I am thinking a ranged tank Salubri is better than melee, since going melee by definition means a greater hit to blood pool through increased Blood Heal usage, and the damages of most melee weps I've come across are fairly pitiful compared to simple shotgun blasts or even the base pistol (doing solid 30 +/- damage with a ranged of 6). Unlike most other clans or char builds, Salubri can actually afford to play ranged by standing still more often, since they can take more damage and need to use cover less often. This means the shooting would more accurate, with less strafing involved. Thoughts?


Dark_Ansem wrote:
Jad.3 wrote:
temporae wrote:
... man the possibilities... cyclops
Very limited.
well I personally think that with all engine limitations, the Camarilla Team has done a miracle in modding the game.

On second thought, Jad3 is right on point. I always wondered what kept the modders from doing things like entirely new maps instead of some sort of re-hashed vanilla, and the only logical answer was some technical limitation inherent to Bloodlines itself.

Just thinking out loud: what kind of programming and game design know-how would it take to import Half Life 2's engine into Bloodlines? I'm thinking like an organ transplant, removing one game engine for another. My guess is that since Bloodlines' devs never got to use Valve's full engine, and thus its full potential, if the finished engine were to be put in there, the modding capabilities would be vastly improved. I know it might take re-doing the game from the ground up, which is entirely implausible, but if it didn't take that much re-working, could it be done?

Edit: I also concur with you Dark, TCI has done a pretty fantastic job given the circumstances. Now that I've gotten farther along into TFN, I'm seeing more of the variance in gameplay, and for the most part, it's a welcome change. I just really, really miss playing as a Malk. There's nothing quite like it Sad
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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on playing a bit of TFN   Mon Oct 15, 2012 2:57 am

what would be needed is the Source Code of the engine, which I doubt has been released Sad
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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on playing a bit of TFN   Mon Oct 15, 2012 1:05 pm

temporae wrote:
@Dragatus: Great insight into Salubri character builds, I'll have to start one from scratch and really give it some thought as to how to go. I am thinking a ranged tank Salubri is better than melee, since going melee by definition means a greater hit to blood pool through increased Blood Heal usage, and the damages of most melee weps I've come across are fairly pitiful compared to simple shotgun blasts or even the base pistol (doing solid 30 +/- damage with a ranged of 6). Unlike most other clans or char builds, Salubri can actually afford to play ranged by standing still more often, since they can take more damage and need to use cover less often. This means the shooting would more accurate, with less strafing involved. Thoughts?

You are underestimating melee weapons. Remember that supernatural enemies (vampires, Tzimisce creations) only take half damage from guns, but full damage from lethal and aggravating melee weapons.

I think both ranged and melee should be about equally viable. Melee might have a tougher early game, but because you don't have to buy ammo, you have more money avilable to spend on books. That way you have either a more rounded skillset (if you use books to improve non-core abilities) or more XP available to spend on disciplines (if you use books to improve core abilities). Alternatively you can use the money to buy occult items from Mr. Ox in Chinatown. I know he sells the Saulocept and some other useful stuff, but it's all pretty costly.


Edit: In case you're intersted, here are a couple of lategame screenshots from my Salubri melee character.

Spoiler:
 
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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on playing a bit of TFN   Mon Oct 15, 2012 7:25 pm

Dark_Ansem wrote:
what would be needed is the Source Code of the engine, which I doubt has been released Sad

Ironically, when I did a look around the internet about that, I found some hacker from Germany apparently got into Valve's servers way back in 2003-2004. So at one point it looks like the source code was leaked for HL2, but I can't seem to find it anymore (damn, hundreds of millions of dollars worth of programming, or so they say!).

I'm pretty sure it should be made public or open source fairly soon, since game engines from over a decade ago are just about prehistoric now. I'll see if I can't look into this further ><


Dragatus wrote:
temporae wrote:
@Dragatus: Great insight into Salubri character builds, I'll have to start one from scratch and really give it some thought as to how to go. I am thinking a ranged tank Salubri is better than melee, since going melee by definition means a greater hit to blood pool through increased Blood Heal usage, and the damages of most melee weps I've come across are fairly pitiful compared to simple shotgun blasts or even the base pistol (doing solid 30 +/- damage with a ranged of 6). Unlike most other clans or char builds, Salubri can actually afford to play ranged by standing still more often, since they can take more damage and need to use cover less often. This means the shooting would more accurate, with less strafing involved. Thoughts?

You are underestimating melee weapons. Remember that supernatural enemies (vampires, Tzimisce creations) only take half damage from guns, but full damage from lethal and aggravating melee weapons.

I think both ranged and melee should be about equally viable. Melee might have a tougher early game, but because you don't have to buy ammo, you have more money avilable to spend on books. That way you have either a more rounded skillset (if you use books to improve non-core abilities) or more XP available to spend on disciplines (if you use books to improve core abilities). Alternatively you can use the money to buy occult items from Mr. ox in Chinatown. I know he sells the Saulocept and some other useful stuff, but it's all pretty costly.


Edit: Inc ase you're intersted, here are a couple of lategame screenshots from my Salubri melee character.

Spoiler:
 

Very interesting build, but I do have a few questions:

1) which non-core stats did you use only skillbooks for, and not use any XP on? I would guess things like seduction/intimidate/maybe even stealth?

2) why are some scores blanked/wiped out? stamina/appearance/wits all show up as nothing, like they're being hidden.

3) does having a very high humanity give any sort of gameplay bonuses, the way low humanity might lead to faster frenzy? it would seem logical from an RPG perspective that there should be something added for having a char build like that.

4) did you pump haggle from the start, or as you went along? my current test theory is to pump haggle max ASAP, then focus on core upgrades later in the game. this would mean doing pretty much only the main quest line that gets me into chinatown, where I can then just buy the tier 3 armor once, as opposed to spending more money on tier 1/2 armors from downtown and hollywood where they just will be useless later on.


Might have more questions later, but that's given me something to chew on for now.
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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on playing a bit of TFN   Mon Oct 15, 2012 8:01 pm

temporae wrote:
2) why are some scores blanked/wiped out? stamina/appearance/wits all show up as nothing, like they're being hidden.

That's because I modded TFN to better suit my tastes. As far as I can remember the changes are:
- Stamina, Appearance, and Wits have been removed (though technically they are just hidden).
- Every attribute now influences two feats. Strength and Perception are unchanged. Dexterity is used for Defense and Sneaking. Charisma is used for Persuasion and Intimidate. Manipulation is used for Seduction and Haggle. Intelligence is used for Lockpicking and Hacking.
- Bloodloss timer is now based on Humanity instead of Stamina (30 seconds per point of Humanity). Bashing Soak is still based on Stamina, so you can't upgrade it.
- Discipline effectss have been modified to fit these changes. For example any effect that reduced Wits now reduces Dexterity. Blood Buff costs 1 Blood to activate at all levels (since it can no longer be used to help with Lockpicking and is now purely a combat buff).
- All the books are now basic books (used to get the first two dots) and there is a book for every ability. Research has been effectively removed from the game and Scholarship has been renamed into Rhetorics.
- The 4th and 5th dot in Intimidation now provide you with a +1 bonus to all combat feats (so with Intmidation 5 you get a +2 bonus in total).
- Some other minor tweaks.

Quote :
1) which non-core stats did you use only skillbooks for, and not use any XP on? I would guess things like seduction/intimidate/maybe even stealth?

I generally tried to get my first two points in as many abilities as possible from books. One consequence was that I lacked the money for armor up until pretty late in the game. I think it was only in Chinatown that I could finally afford armor.

Quote :
3) does having a very high humanity give any sort of gameplay bonuses, the way low humanity might lead to faster frenzy? it would seem logical from an RPG perspective that there should be something added for having a char build like that.

Normally it does not provide any special bonuses apart from reduced chance of Frenzy. With my changes though it extends the bloodloss timer. However, I still mostly had it high for RP reasons.

Quote :
4) did you pump haggle from the start, or as you went along? my current test theory is to pump haggle max ASAP, then focus on core upgrades later in the game. this would mean doing pretty much only the main quest line that gets me into chinatown, where I can then just buy the tier 3 armor once, as opposed to spending more money on tier 1/2 armors from downtown and hollywood where they just will be useless later on.

I'm not sure, but I took the history that lets you start with high social stats and I think I actually started the game with 6 Haggle and got the 4th point of Finance by doing Fat Larry's quest. Though it might be possible that I started with Charisma instead and built up Manipulation in Santa Monica. In any case I got to 7 Haggle in Downtown.

I did aim to get to Chinatown ASAP. The main reason was that I wanted to get the maximum benefit out of the Saulocept. I did the Downtown sidequests though since none or very few of them would trigger the exp bonus (rewards there are 1 or 2 XP), but I did hold off the Hollywood sidequests.
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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on playing a bit of TFN   Tue Oct 16, 2012 4:03 am

Interesting.

Just as an update to this thread, I made it to Chinatown...and I have to say: seriously? The Saulocept is $1700? All of those items that a PC could pick up, for free, at various points throughout the game (usually much earlier, cept for the Saulocept which would come a bit later at the Giovanni mansion)...are available only through Mr. Ox's shop for prices anywhere from $1050-$1700? That is truly absurd. I can't even...so what other incentive is there for missions besides XP, if not to find some nice loot on the journey? Is that not the crux of the entire RPG genre? And don't tell me you need a Inspection of 10 to find the real goodies...because ffs, that is just dumb (coupled with needing a Haggle of 10 to make worthwhile things affordable..). Mad

Just as I was getting warmed up to TFN, this non-sense happens. meh





@Dragatus: Btw, I sent a PM about those mod changes- I'd like to try those out [at some point].

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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on playing a bit of TFN   Tue Oct 16, 2012 4:09 am

Walk around town and find me a 1700's occult book in the streets....

Zero chose not to have street looks because it didn't make sense for him for us to stumble on books and shit like that Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on playing a bit of TFN   Tue Oct 16, 2012 5:09 am

temporae wrote:
Just as an update to this thread, I made it to Chinatown...and I have to say: seriously? The Saulocept is $1700? All of those items that a PC could pick up, for free, at various points throughout the game (usually much earlier, cept for the Saulocept which would come a bit later at the Giovanni mansion)...are available only through Mr. Ox's shop for prices anywhere from $1050-$1700? That is truly absurd. I can't even...so what other incentive is there for missions besides XP, if not to find some nice loot on the journey? Is that not the crux of the entire RPG genre? And don't tell me you need a Inspection of 10 to find the real goodies...because ffs, that is just dumb (coupled with needing a Haggle of 10 to make worthwhile things affordable..). Mad

Just as I was getting warmed up to TFN, this non-sense happens. meh

Well, in vanilla Bloodlines Haggle was too weak so something did have to be done about it, though I could agree that Zer0 went a little too far in the other direction. I also find this solution to be more realistic and to me XP alone is good enough motivation to do quests. Hell, in some cases just the NPC dialogue alone is enough to make me want to do the quest. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on playing a bit of TFN   Tue Oct 16, 2012 10:31 pm

Claudia wrote:
Walk around town and find me a 1700's occult book in the streets....

Zero chose not to have street looks because it didn't make sense for him for us to stumble on books and shit like that Wink

Right, but I don't mean finding random expensive stuff on the streets, I mean in the far-out locales like King's Way or the Warrens or the Giovanni mansion- all places that would reasonably be expected to have goodies (esp the Giovanni's, as was mentioned by some NPC I forget which). Stumbling onto random (occult) items is supposed to be an integral part of RPG's, hence the notions of dungeon slashers and loot and all that. What made it worthwhile to spend all that time defeating that boss or finding your way through a maze if you couldn't get some nice jewel out of it? Just XP is kinda lame imo, compared to some awesome loot you can find in other games (for example, Daedric armor in Skyrim).


Dragatus wrote:


Well, in vanilla Bloodlines Haggle was too weak so something did have to be done about it, though I could agree that Zer0 went a little too far in the other direction. I also find this solution to be more realistic and to me XP alone is good enough motivation to do quests. Hell, in some cases just the NPC dialogue alone is enough to make me want to do the quest. Smile

I concur, Haggle was pretty weak in vanilla. However, the way to go about solving that problem (making everything much more expensive and monetary rewards based entirely on Haggle) is just a kick in the nuts when you consider that survival has to come first in any RPG game: there's no point to making all that extra coin if you're just going end up getting smashed by the end of a map because you couldn't afford better stats due to needing XP in Haggle/etc.

Now that I've complained sufficiently about how Haggle is so screwy, I'll offer a suggestion on how it might be re-modified to be less obtrusive:

--- each point in Haggle after 1 reduces an item's selling price by 10%, so that by Haggle 6, everything can be bought for half its original selling price; concurrently, each point in Haggle after one would increase selling prices to vendors by 20% of its original buying price, so that by Haggle 6, things can be sold to vendors for exactly their worth (without any obvious margins of profit vendors typically like to use). as long as we assume that the original selling prices vendors have on items is ludicrously high (maybe 2 or 3 times actual value of an item), then the bonuses of Haggle shouldn't be overpowering.

Does that make sense? I am not sure I thought it through fully, but it looks solid. Of course, its viability depends on it being able to be implemented into VtM's system...which after going a number of files, I have to say is a lot like learning a new programming language >_>. So it might not be doable from the system-side of things. But, in theory, I'd like people's critiques on it.


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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on playing a bit of TFN   Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:22 pm

temporae wrote:
I concur, Haggle was pretty weak in vanilla. However, the way to go about solving that problem (making everything much more expensive and monetary rewards based entirely on Haggle) is just a kick in the nuts when you consider that survival has to come first in any RPG game: there's no point to making all that extra coin if you're just going end up getting smashed by the end of a map because you couldn't afford better stats due to needing XP in Haggle/etc.

A couple of points:

1. You should be able to get by with a modest 4 or 5 Haggle. That's 10 or 16 XP which if I remember correctly is less than 10% of the total XP you can agin throughout the game. With that you won't be able to buy everything you want, but it should be sufficent for armor and weapons. And you still have over 90% of XP left over to put into combat.

2. In a good RPG all available skills should have their benefits and be viable. If one path (for example combat) is the obviously best choice, the system is flawed. But if there is a bunch of things you want and you have trouble deciding, then IMO that is a good thing.
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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on playing a bit of TFN   Sat Oct 20, 2012 2:57 am

Mmm, alright. I will concede partly to your wisdom. Just having fun with TFN should be enough cyclops
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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on playing a bit of TFN   Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:41 pm

Wow!!! I can't believe I read this entire thread! My eyes hurt! Shocked

Where to begin? Well fortunately I read Temporae's positive posts before this one, HAHA! I truly do appreciate good writing and thoughtful insight, even if it's negativity of my work, and Temporae is skilled at both. I'm honestly too burnt out to go through all of her complaints but some of it had good points while others were misunderstood at my intentions of doing things a certain way. Most of the oddities she pointed out were done that way because of engine limitations and it was the ONLY way I COULD do it, unfortunately.

I literally designed TFN with both hands tied behind my back and I think it turned out amazing considering the poop I was working with.

One thing that struck my attention was the idea of basing blood loss on Humanity. High Humanity = High Blood Timer, Low Humanity = Fast Blood Timer. That would definitely give the player an incentive to keep their Humanity high and would penalize the Baali much more. After careful thought I do agree that the Baali traits/flaws are overpowered. I'll think about a way to correct that.

One last note: You were asking about places you can perform Obeah in dialogue.
1. Mercurio (While on the couch)
2. Heather (In the medical clinic)
3. Hannah (In the Skyline apartments)
4. Tin Can Bill (In the alley)
5. Ash (When he's captured by hunters)

Each instance will net you extra XP, increase your Humanity, and incur a Masquerade Violation (Except for Mercurio and Ash).


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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on playing a bit of TFN   Thu Nov 22, 2012 2:28 am

Zer0Morph wrote:
I literally designed TFN with both hands tied behind my back (...)
Sir, did you write it with your penis?
...well done!

Zer0Morph wrote:
(...) Obeah in dialogue.
(...)
Each instance will net you extra XP, increase your Humanity, and incur a Masquerade Violation.
I'd like to know the reasoning behind that - does it have to be like that, can't it be decided for each instance separately? 'Cause using a discipline on a vampire or a ghoul doesn't seem to cause MV imho.

Good to see you Smile
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