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I played it at E3... some questions for the developers
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Snowblind Studios > Champions: Return to Arms General Discussion

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Joe Blow



Joined: 30 Jan 2004
Posts: 35
Location: Los Angeles, CA
I played it at E3... some questions for the developers  Reply with quote  

OK, first of all this is my first post in months after I gave up on the horribly glitched CoN. Some of the early members may remember I posted one of the first posts of praise for BG:DA, and gave an early positive write up on CoN:

http://www.snowblindstudios.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=413&highlight=

Little did I know that for some reason the game was hurried through quality assurance and the beta was released to the public as one of the buggiest console games I've ever purchased in 20 years of gaming. I don't need to list them here, but the straw that broke the donkey's back for me was the online hyper-attack glitch. Disgusted by the apparent greed issue, I literally haven't played a second of CoN since my last posts months ago:

http://www.snowblindstudios.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=655&highlight=

With that said, I'm still eagerly awaiting the new RtA sequel because if the major glitches and bugs are solved (without adding new ones), Snowblind still has a great shot at making one of the best PS2 titles ever. I hold no grudges - they stole my $50 and I can't get it back, but I have high hopes for RtA.

The engine of CoN was fantastic. Very smooth, 60 fps graphics that were detailed an varied. Control was spot on and the potential for an infinitely amazing online co-op experience still exists. The main draw for the genre of course is the gameplay, which I'm sure we all agree is highly addicting (when done right). With that said, I loved my time spent on RtA at E3.

I used the Berserker character and was pleased to find that so far most of the controls of CoN were unchanged. One thing I wish was brought back was the spell selection system of BG:DA only because I was able to switch spells on the run. With the new radius system, you have to stop for a millisecond to get what you want.

The demo gave me a lot of spells to try out and the Beserker will really be a one man (creature?) wreking crew, but hopefully it'll still be balanced with the other characters. Which brings me to a few questions I hope are answered:

- CoN is definitely far too easy, wven without the glitches and bugs. Is that something being addressed or do you find that the public prefers a walk in the park?

- Balance is a concern for many. Many techniques could stack to be overly devastating. Hopefully more time is put into risk/reward of powering up certain skills (i.e Barbarian criticals are obscenely strong). Conversely, try harder to eliminate the uselessness of other skills. It's disheartning when you experiment with a skill tree only to find out it's near worthless compared to other options.

- Quests. Please comment on the fact that you'll try to eliminate the truly ridiculous plot elements like kitty collecting and pixel hunting in this game.

- A better lobby system perhaps?

In the end, you're aware of most of this I know. I didn't even bother to suggest that you look out for the bugs and glitches that damaged your rep to many players. But I have to ask my most important question... as a second party developer, do you have ANY power to prevent RtA from being released until it is REALLY ready for the public?

Polyphony is able to delay GT4 until it's near perfect, how about Snowblind? Don't simply blame SOE like posts before suggest - can you make them understand when a game is still in Beta state and should not be released? I really want to love the next release you put out and believe you're not just out to steal our $$$ with a shoddy product just because you can. The softball interviews about the upcoming release so far haven't addressed this serious issue. Let us know what your commitment is to putting out a quality product this time around.
Post Fri May 21, 2004 5:51 am
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Mindcircus



Joined: 01 Feb 2004
Posts: 209
Location: Garden Grove, CA
...  Reply with quote  

Hey Joe Blow, nice post. This has been the first post that i've seen on any message board from someone who actually went to E3. I wanted to go but apparently there's a big crack down now on the general public and i just didn't have any connections this time around. Thanks for the feedback.

Anyway i'm glad you enjoyed your time with RTA. I'm so excited and can't wait for it to come out. I've seem some of the videos from E3 via Gamespot and the Playstation Underground E3 site and what popped out was the graphic quality. It seems, even at this early stage, that RTA looks a lot better than CON. The environments are looking killer and so are the badies that you fight. One thing that disappointed me about DA2 was that the badies just looked horrible. Anyway the art looks fantastic with lots of detail. Did you think the same way since you had a first hand experience with it? I can only tell so much from the somewhat blurry videos.

Did anything else jump out at you that left you impressed? Any new info about options or features, or did you talk to any of the reps there? Thanks...

Also if the bugs and glitches, and quirky gameplay prevalent throughout the first game bothered Snowblind that much, surely they'll do everything possible to make sure none of that is in the sequel. Time will tell but i'd be moronic if they let it slip by quality control once again. I still thought the first one was a very good game even if the glitches were unsettling.

I'm sure we all agree that Snowblind can blow the roof off with the sequel. Hopefully they can deliver much more than just more of what's in the first game. From what i know right now, they seem to be moving in the right direction.
Post Fri May 21, 2004 10:27 pm
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Attalus



Joined: 13 Feb 2004
Posts: 72
Location: UK
 Reply with quote  

Joe: Is the Berserker really that different to the Barbarian? And are there any upgradable combination attacks like there were in BG:DA2 (one of it's best and most unique ideas)?

After reading that 1st link put up I really can't quite believe the amount of praise BG:DA1 gets that it so obviously doesn't deserve. The only good thing about it was the ability to play 2 player offline on the same screen (a bit of a rarity) other than that a dissapointingly simple, short and imbalanced game even for it's time. It was a Diablo 2 clone with LOTS of things stripped out.
Post Fri May 21, 2004 11:42 pm
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Mindcircus



Joined: 01 Feb 2004
Posts: 209
Location: Garden Grove, CA
...  Reply with quote  

IGN just gave Return to Arms the E3 awards as the second best online PS2 game and second best PS2 role playing game at E3. Glad to see the game getting some recognition.
Post Sun May 23, 2004 4:44 am
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Shifty Geezer



Joined: 13 Feb 2004
Posts: 129
 Reply with quote  

Did you see their (IGN's) award for best graphics? Some cutesy XB platformer. If RtA was showing why on earth didn't that win?! The lighting and effects from SB blow the Best Graphics winner away completely.

Shifty Geezer
...
Post Sun May 23, 2004 11:34 am
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Mindcircus



Joined: 01 Feb 2004
Posts: 209
Location: Garden Grove, CA
...  Reply with quote  

From the Sony Underground video i saw, the graphics looked sweet and already a lot better than the ones in CON. Lots of detail everywhere... i can't wait.
Post Sun May 23, 2004 12:04 pm
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Darkbackward



Joined: 01 Feb 2004
Posts: 12
What?  Reply with quote  

I don't think champs of norrath is buggy offline. I've had really no problem at all..... I haven't tried online because I'm too lazy to set it up.


I hope RTA utilizes the hdd. That would allow patches and updates.


I love con and I don't think its buggy at all, I think a majority of reviewers agree with me.
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Post Fri May 28, 2004 9:23 pm
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BaldursMate



Joined: 31 May 2004
Posts: 4
Location: Norway. You know, up north.
Re: ...  Reply with quote  

quote:
Originally posted by Mindcircus
IGN just gave Return to Arms the E3 awards as the second best online PS2 game and second best PS2 role playing game at E3. Glad to see the game getting some recognition.


Second best?
Which game is the best?
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ehmmm... Snowblind rocks!
Post Fri Jun 04, 2004 9:37 pm
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Mindcircus



Joined: 01 Feb 2004
Posts: 209
Location: Garden Grove, CA
...  Reply with quote  

FFXII??
Post Sat Jun 05, 2004 7:54 pm
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