Fable III Catch-All

I've definitely been noticing some performance hiccups: frame rate drops, screen tearing, clipping galore, and honest-to-God SLOWDOWN. When was the last time you saw SLOWDOWN in a game? Maybe I should've held out for the PC version, but Fable has always been a couch game for me, preferably in front of the largest screen I have available to me at the time.

So far I'd rather have Fable 2's menus over the sanctuary. Not that the sanctuary is bad, but some kind of shortcut menu in addition to it (like the Xbox miniguide so that you can bypass all that NXBE garbage) would've been helpful. Part of the fun of Fables 1 and 2 for me was futzing around with all the silly little items in my inventory (I have WHAT kind of pie? Where did that come from? Sure, I'll eat that.). In F3, I can't even seem to figure out how many health potions I have, let alone browse through pages of random produce.

Also, I opened the chest in Road to Rule that supposedly gives me a new spell (Shock), but I can't seem to figure out how to switch to it. When I can't figure out how to switch spells, your interface is probably bad.

I hate to harp on all the nitpicks and not mention the good points, it's just that everything that is good about the game can be summed up with: Yo, it's still Fable.

I heard on the Giant Bombcast that there are a couple points in the game where you're sort of forced forward in the story a la going to the Tattered Spire in Fable 2, except that they're not as well-marked so that you can make sure not to cross that invisible line in the sand until you're ready. If anybody is progressing through the game faster than I am, I'd appreciate if they could post some sort of spoiler-free way to identify these moments.

Spell switching is in the weapons room. Melee is on the left, ranged on the right, spells straight ahead. They look like gloves. I agree it's a bit weird.

TheGameguru wrote:

I'm mixed so far with changes to the various systems but I think I will ultimately like the streamlined nature over the sometimes obtuse and time consuming Fable 2 system for interactions. I do think the overall "frameyness" of the game is a sign that perhaps we do need a beefier Xbox 720 in the next couple years

id Tech 5 offers some hope. If they deliver performance and quality like they showed off in their demos, that engine could inject some new life into the 360. Sony's first party titles seem to be the only franchises really raising the bar graphically (e.g. Uncharted 2; GoW3). I am playing Fallout: New Vegas and Fable 3 right now and I am struck by how little improvement they have made since the previous games.

I've been playing for about 12 hours already and having a great time. Unfortunately, I have just a hit an apparently common and nasty bug. Jasper has gone completely mute. The slowdowns also seem to be much more frequent now that I'm further into the game. I really want to keep playing but I'm tempted to wait for a patch.

Hmm, Jasper seems much less talkative in my game as well.

I just bought four houses today and I'm renting them out. Is this like Fable II, in that I'll earn money even while not playing?

NSMike wrote:

Hmm, Jasper seems much less talkative in my game as well.

I just bought four houses today and I'm renting them out. Is this like Fable II, in that I'll earn money even while not playing?

Nah, they said that kinda broke the economy so they took it out.

I have been seeing a lot more slowdown as well.

It's out in Europe today as well! I just received word from the local retailer that my copy is waiting for me! Picking it up after work... I am a litte worried still, because although it's generally received well, there's a LOT of people out there who have bad things to say about either the user interface, poor performance or unwieldy game mechanics. Things I never had problems with in Fable 2, so I'm really hoping it won't lessen the general experience for me. Spending 60 euros on this after all... Last full price game I bought was StarCraft 2 over the summer, I usually wait for discounts or used games.

I wish the slowdown didn't affect the jobs. You can see that timing bar stutter once in a while, even though there's really not much going on onscreen.

estorino wrote:

It's out in Europe today as well! I just received word from the local retailer that my copy is waiting for me! Picking it up after work... I am a litte worried still, because although it's generally received well, there's a LOT of people out there who have bad things to say about either the user interface, poor performance or unwieldy game mechanics. Things I never had problems with in Fable 2, so I'm really hoping it won't lessen the general experience for me. Spending 60 euros on this after all... Last full price game I bought was StarCraft 2 over the summer, I usually wait for discounts or used games.

If you didn't notice any of these things in Fable 2, you won't find anything more offensive in Fable 3. At least I don't think so.

stauf7 wrote:

I wish the slowdown didn't affect the jobs. You can see that timing bar stutter once in a while, even though there's really not much going on onscreen.

Still? There was such a level of lag for stuff like the wood chopping and black smith game you had to aim earlier than the intended target.

Usually it's fine. A few times it's straight seized up for a second and made me fail the job.

Btw, if you hit level 5 on a job, you can earn a lot of money.

I've got a question for you Fable II players. Did any of you play a male character? If so, does Fable III refer to your father as the hero? I played a lady in Fable II and Fable III keeps talking about my mother.

I took a break from my own regularly scheduled adventure to go harass LupusUmbrus for a while. Good running around with you, my friend, but I noticed a few strange things.

Lupus's princess seems shorter than mine. I don't know how or why but mine looks a few inches taller. Maybe it's wardrobe choice? Mine hasn't eaten a single thing since the beginning of the game so she's still at minimum weight. That may have something to do with the fact that you can only carry one food item and I'd been hanging on to a Crunchy Chick till I found the Tofu of Annihilation or something along those lines, which it turn replaced the Celery of Doom I found moments before.

I also noticed that the fight synching is just terrible. It seemed like nothing I did had any actual effect in combat. I could target stuff but it didn't register hits most of the time. At one point Lupus started laughing about how I was apparently jumping around an empty room fighting... absolutely nothing. On my screen there were still skeletons left. Then during a cutscene I got some incredible slow-down, so much that by the time the cutscene ended because Lupus was finished watching it, I was only about half-way through.

On the plus side, he has a nice statue of me on his Road to Rule now. I'm facing the wrong way and all but it's OK, I look good from that angle.

Now, the important thing: in my game I was still doing sidequests to get enough guild seals to move the plot forward. Simply by hanging around with Lupus, I got full major quest rewards, something like 70 seals. Far more than enough to meet my own quota. When in doubt, find someone else who's only an hour and a half in and invade. Preferably someone who isn't going to make like A MILLION PIES, though the ability to locate him by the flashes of lightning did help.

Then go play "The Game" in Bowerstone. Very cool quest.

ccesarano wrote:
stauf7 wrote:

I wish the slowdown didn't affect the jobs. You can see that timing bar stutter once in a while, even though there's really not much going on onscreen.

Still? There was such a level of lag for stuff like the wood chopping and black smith game you had to aim earlier than the intended target.

After finally finding the blacksmith minigame I can confirm that yes, it's exactly the same as the other two minigames. These minigames are very disappointing. You'd think there'd be some variation but the only difference is the number of buttons to hit per round.

I also got arrested once because I hung out in a smithy too long looking at weapons. Apparently it wasn't open even though the door was open with the blacksmith standing right next to it, working on his anvil. 20 gold fine.

LobsterMobster wrote:

Lupus's princess seems shorter than mine. I don't know how or why but mine looks a few inches taller. Maybe it's wardrobe choice? Mine hasn't eaten a single thing since the beginning of the game so she's still at minimum weight. That may have something to do with the fact that you can only carry one food item and I'd been hanging on to a Crunchy Chick till I found the Tofu of Annihilation or something along those lines, which it turn replaced the Celery of Doom I found moments before.

If I recall, you said earlier you prefer to primarily use ranged weapons, yes? That makes you taller. Don't ask me why, but it's one of the game mechanics. Melee makes you stronger/beefier (makes sense), magic makes you glowier (makes some sense) and ranged makes you... taller.

It's interesting. In many ways Fable III is a technical achievement. The larger and more populated areas. Faster load times. The always instantaneously available Sanctuary that contains clothing and items that instantly display on your character when selected. This has replaced the drudgery of Fable II with joy.

But then there is honest to God slowdown from time to time while adventuring, NES style. No flicker however For me this isn't a big deal but these technical properties seem at odds. Just like Microsoft proper, I expect Lionhead to eventually reach perfection through iteration. Here's to Fable IV getting it all right(...if we're lucky)!

LobsterMobster wrote:

I also got arrested once because I hung out in a smithy too long looking at weapons. Apparently it wasn't open even though the door was open with the blacksmith standing right next to it, working on his anvil. 20 gold fine. :(

I almost got arrested last night for being in a weapons store I OWNED after hours. That seems a bit silly to me, don't you think?

I do tend to shoot stuff a lot. I thought they took that out, though. Guess not.

Sorax wrote:

I almost got arrested last night for being in a weapons store I OWNED after hours. That seems a bit silly to me, don't you think?

Is your character black?

Yonder wrote:
Sorax wrote:

I almost got arrested last night for being in a weapons store I OWNED after hours. That seems a bit silly to me, don't you think?

Is your character black?

LobsterMobster wrote:

I've got a question for you Fable II players. Did any of you play a male character? If so, does Fable III refer to your father as the hero? I played a lady in Fable II and Fable III keeps talking about my mother.

I played a male character in Fable II but I'm playing a female character in Fable III and am hearing a lot about her mother. I think the game just matches the Hero's gender to your character's.

I'm glad they decided to stick a big, weighty decision near the beginning of the game rather than keeping those kinds of conundrums for later. This one was also a lot less obviously kill-the-kitten/save-the-kitten. What did you all choose?

Spoiler:

I saved my significant other and had the rebel leaders executed. I'm not sure what affect this will have down the line, but I'm interested to find out. I stalled long enough when deciding that the King gave me a countdown. Did anyone let the countdown expire? Does the King then execute everyone?

^^^I made the same choice. Yes, it will come up again later.

I can affirm that "The Game" is a very cool quest. Look for an open house in Bowerstone Market with three dudes standing around.

And there's a "unhappy marriage" style quest in ... that town with the hero library.

Spoiler:

She's a real fun girl!

So if you save your SO, what happens? I was under the impression the game would have them so distraught they kill themselves and/or never speak to you again (in other words, effectively the same as if they were dead).

LobsterMobster wrote:

So if you save your SO, what happens? I was under the impression the game would have them so distraught they kill themselves and/or never speak to you again (in other words, effectively the same as if they were dead).

I'll let you know when I've played more than an hour.

Spoiler:

She fell in love with a guy you do a quest for in Bowerstone Industrial. You have the chance to tell her you want to be with her and that she should dump him. I did that, and now I can go meet with her (and get married? not sure), but I haven't done it yet.

LobsterMobster wrote:

So if you save your SO, what happens? I was under the impression the game would have them so distraught they kill themselves and/or never speak to you again (in other words, effectively the same as if they were dead).

Oh em gee spoooilerzzzz. Actually I don't care, and am not surprised. I just read the following in Edge's review:

One much-trumpeted sequence in which you choose to leave a friend to die or drag him the length of a desert simply doesn’t have the promised consequences – your decision is made irrelevant by the following cutscene. We apologise for reporting it as described to us by Lionhead staff. When will we learn?

When Sorax said above, "Here's to Fable IV getting it all right", I'm reminded that Molyneux apparently has it planned out to Fable VI. So maybe at that point decisions will have consequences and gravitas?

Gravey wrote:

When Sorax said above, "Here's to Fable IV getting it all right", I'm reminded that Molyneux apparently has it planned out to Fable VI. So maybe at that point decisions will have consequences and gravitas?

Yes, but his notes for Fable VI are nothing but a single word: Cat. To be fair, he did underline it a few times and drew a little stick figure kitty next to it.

LobsterMobster wrote:

Yes, but his notes for Fable VI are nothing but a single word: Cat. To be fair, he did underline it a few times and drew a little stick figure kitty next to it.

Just so happens I found a copy of his notes:
IMAGE(http://lh5.ggpht.com/_mJCrCbBBLhI/TMsmCCJJtpI/AAAAAAAAAMo/xOrZ_43mjxQ/s800/FableVINotes.jpg)
Brilliant!

Yes, exactly!

Spoiler:

Would've been better if you'd put "Age 51" under P.M.

Does that cat have balls?

Quintin_Stone wrote:

Does that cat have balls?

Tagged.

Good playing with you the other night, Lobster. I'm so glad to see co-op working as it should, as opposed to the disaster it was in Fable II. I was also pleased to find "accidentally" (they may not have all been by accident) casting spells or firing your gun in the middle of town didn't result in all the towns folk freaking out. Oh, and no more AoE seduction!

Fun points aside, the technical issues are a little disappointing, especially for a title of this caliber: Slow down at baffling times, strange combat lag issues that Lobster mentioned, animations that occasionally skip or stop working entirely? Fortunately, nothing so far has seemed completely game braking, but it just doesn't feel quite as "done" as Fable II, in spite of the issues that iteration had.

PS: Pie.