Arkane's Dishonored

Malor wrote:

Ok, I'm confused, I was meaning that you didn't have to pay the cleaning bill for all the blood you spilled. I'm not sure how we got from that comment to magic being combat-oriented?

Bah, quoted the wrong post. Meant to quote MoonDragon's post above yours, Malor.

Demosthenes wrote:

I dunno, I'd say at least some of the magic can very much be combat oriented. (Stop time with a gun or crossbow or even your sword if grouped up well is a little ridiculous.) More so when you get into like the windblast to disorient while fighting and the rat plague (can those rats attack you by the way? Been meaning to try it out, but haven't yet). Trying to think of more as I seem to remember other abilities seeming useless to me as a stealther character (health, the adrenaline frenzy, etc...) but not off the top of my head.

By no means would I suggest that magic is meant for Clean Hands playthough. But all of the things you listed can be used for subterfuge and ghosting. Stopping time is invaluable to sneak around guards that are about to corner you. Windblast you can use to break down doors that allow alternate paths through levels. Rats can help you dispose of bodies in case you had to kill someone (maybe even your mission targets).

On the other hand, razor traps, pistols, and grenades are very single minded in their purpose.

What I was getting at is that there is an implied synergy. Magic seems more conducive to ghost and clean hands type gameplay. While weapons seem more of a high chaos, murder everybody in spectacular ways. This all came as a response to Gravey's desire to play both Clean Hands AND Mostly Flesh and Steel.

That said, the lethal weapons are proving to have great non-lethal applications too. Bolts are great for breaking skylights without being detected (if you can fire at it from far enough away), as well shooting at walls/floors to draw guards to investigate the noise. I assume grenades would work just as well as distractions. I don't think I'll have a use for the pistol or spring traps though.

MoonDragon wrote:
Demosthenes wrote:

I dunno, I'd say at least some of the magic can very much be combat oriented. (Stop time with a gun or crossbow or even your sword if grouped up well is a little ridiculous.) More so when you get into like the windblast to disorient while fighting and the rat plague (can those rats attack you by the way? Been meaning to try it out, but haven't yet). Trying to think of more as I seem to remember other abilities seeming useless to me as a stealther character (health, the adrenaline frenzy, etc...) but not off the top of my head.

By no means would I suggest that magic is meant for Clean Hands playthough. But all of the things you listed can be used for subterfuge and ghosting. Stopping time is invaluable to sneak around guards that are about to corner you. Windblast you can use to break down doors that allow alternate paths through levels. Rats can help you dispose of bodies in case you had to kill someone (maybe even your mission targets).

On the other hand, razor traps, pistols, and grenades are very single minded in their purpose.

What I was getting at is that there is an implied synergy. Magic seems more conducive to ghost and clean hands type gameplay. While weapons seem more of a high chaos, murder everybody in spectacular ways. This all came as a response to Gravey's desire to play both Clean Hands AND Mostly Flesh and Steel.

Ah, ok, I see what ya mean then. Well, agreement there, with a few combat based outliers (or at least that require combat to get full usage of), most of the powers seem to be more stealth and avoiding things, though stop time in combat is incredibly cheap and badass to make you feel sufficiently god-like in combat when used effectively.

I don't think I'll have a use for the pistol or spring traps though.

Mild spoiler:

Spoiler:

There are non-human enemies you can use it on.

Malor wrote:
I don't think I'll have a use for the pistol or spring traps though.

Mild spoiler:

Spoiler:

There are non-human enemies you can use it on.

I figured as much. Good thing I still hoard everything I find!

Speaking of Clean Hands... does it apply to only deaths as a direct consequence of your actions, or is the definition more broad? I'm specifically thinking of two instances on the Bridge. In one case:

Spoiler:

I made noises and egged on guards to come down the stairs and aggro the Crusts. Which then promptly made short work of them, which made more guards run down, and so on. Am I responsible for those deaths? Or will that still allow me to have Clean Hands?

In another instance a bit further on:

Spoiler:

I freed a prisoner who then ran down the bridge and got himself killed by the guards because I didn't run after him and help him. Was that a consequence of my action?

MoonDragon wrote:

Speaking of Clean Hands... does it apply to only deaths as a direct consequence of your actions, or is the definition more broad? I'm specifically thinking of two instances on the Bridge. In one case:

Spoiler:

I made noises and egged on guards to come down the stairs and aggro the Crusts. Which then promptly made short work of them, which made more guards run down, and so on. Am I responsible for those deaths? Or will that still allow me to have Clean Hands?

In another instance a bit further on:

Spoiler:

I freed a prisoner who then ran down the bridge and got himself killed by the guards because I didn't run after him and help him. Was that a consequence of my action?

I think it requires a direct action on your part to the character itself. Example that caused me to fail it on one mission and rerun it.

Spoiler:

I sleepdarted an assassin in the flooded district. Unfortuantely, he was just close enough to the ledge that is ragdoll took him over the edge and into the water, which instantly killed him (apparently those masks drown you super fast!). That counts as a death in spite of me only putting him to sleep and gravity killing him. Secondary example of this was moving an unconscious body near a rail and hitting throw instead of drop, he was thrown into the rail, hung there for an agonizing second where I was trying to press the button to grab him again, and then toppled over, fell about 3 stories head first, dead, and I had to restart that mission too. :P

If you didn't inflict any damage or effect on either of those characters, I think you're in the clear, but the check mark yes or now at the end of the mission will tell you for certain.

So I picked this up on the steam sale and beat it last night. Hot damn, just an amazing game. The gameplay was phenomenal, as was the setting and most of the characterization. I grew ridiculously attached to Emily, and really embraced the role of her Protector. Her pictures, her nightmares, standing at the base of the tower and watching the sun set behind the tower where her mom was murdered, it all meant a lot to me.

I only (purposefully) killed two (non-weepers) in the game,

Spoiler:

Daud, and Granny Rags. Granny was because I didn't know what she was, legitimately was concerned about her power, and didn't want to trifle with her. I killed Daud solely because he was the only man in the city I wasn't sure I could defend Emily from.

Even after the final betrayal, when I was less a man than I was wrath personified I still didn't kill the watchmen. In the past I spared them for their own sakes, and for the sake of the city. When she was torn from my grasp a second time those concerns were meaningless. I spared the guards because they were not Havelock's men, they were Emily's men, and she would need them soon.

Yeah, you know a game is really something when you're assuming the role that completely.

I thought Emily's voicing was pretty weak, but I liked the character , and I wished there was a little more interaction with her.

Still frstrated that they dropped this ball:

Spoiler:

I can't believe they didn't deal with the creation of the Heart. I was furious over what the Stranger had done to the Queen, especially when I found out how close she and Corvo had been, and I really wanted there to be some kind of reckoning for that ongoing, shudder-inducing crime. But it didn't even seem to occur to the devs. They gave her a bunch of lines (and the acting was awesome), but didn't seem particularly aware that the whole situation was seriously messed up.

There was a need to dispense some justice, and I knew just the guy to do it.

Malor wrote:

Yeah, you know a game is really something when you're assuming the role that completely.

I thought Emily's voicing was pretty weak, but I liked the character , and I wished there was a little more interaction with her.

Still frstrated that they dropped this ball:

Spoiler:

I can't believe they didn't deal with the creation of the Heart. I was furious over what the Stranger had done to the Queen, especially when I found out how close she and Corvo had been, and I really wanted there to be some kind of reckoning for that ongoing, shudder-inducing crime. But it didn't even seem to occur to the devs. They gave her a bunch of lines (and the acting was awesome), but didn't seem particularly aware that the whole situation was seriously messed up.

There was a need to dispense some justice, and I knew just the guy to do it.

Spoiler:

Whereas I viewed that as her helping from beyond the grave. Was it still messed up? Yes, but not something I would have viewed as very evil or anything either. People talk about how they're bound to each other through life and death, this just felt like a diety assisted physical manefestation of that.

Demosthenes wrote:
Malor wrote:

Yeah, you know a game is really something when you're assuming the role that completely.

I thought Emily's voicing was pretty weak, but I liked the character , and I wished there was a little more interaction with her.

Still frstrated that they dropped this ball:

Spoiler:

I can't believe they didn't deal with the creation of the Heart. I was furious over what the Stranger had done to the Queen, especially when I found out how close she and Corvo had been, and I really wanted there to be some kind of reckoning for that ongoing, shudder-inducing crime. But it didn't even seem to occur to the devs. They gave her a bunch of lines (and the acting was awesome), but didn't seem particularly aware that the whole situation was seriously messed up.

There was a need to dispense some justice, and I knew just the guy to do it.

Spoiler:

Whereas I viewed that as her helping from beyond the grave. Was it still messed up? Yes, but not something I would have viewed as very evil or anything either. People talk about how they're bound to each other through life and death, this just felt like a diety assisted physical manefestation of that.

Spoiler:

Yeah, for all we know the Empress asked for it, or would have agreed if the Outsider had asked permission, or maybe he did ask permission. Keep in mind that there is evidence that both the Empress and Emily talk(ed) with the Outsider as well.

I can easily envision this conversation after the Empress passes out from blood loss:
Outsider: "Blah blah blah, life slipping away, daughter kidnapped, the only man who can help her being hauled off to prison."
Empress: "He'll find a way, Corvo will find a way to escape, to save her."
Outsider: "Perhaps, he certainly is a fascinating man, but he can't do it alone, he'll need... guidance, from someone he trusts."
Empress: "I'm the only one he trusts."
Outsider: "Well, there is a way for you to provide such guidance, but there is a price."
Empress: "I'll pay it."

From a player's standpoint it is frustrating that we weren't able to confront the Outsider, find out the story, and decide whether punishment needed to be meeted out, but it doesn't make place from the standpoint of the setting. The Outsider seems to be fairly omnipotent, and most of Corvo's powers in the late game come from him, and for all we know could be taken away whenever he wanted. The Outsider presents himself to Corvo, not vice versa, and he does so because he is (presumably) interested in observing Corvo's judgement of the world, there isn't any hint that he is the least bit interested in how Corvo judges him.

There are some habits that the Outsider seems to have which could be interpreted as rules he must follow and give a possibility to get to him. For example, we could have an Overseer follow us to a shrine, take the Rune, and have him play his music box to trap the Outsider so we could question and kill him, but such action, in weakening the inscrutability and power of the Outsider, I feel would go a long way to weakening the setting itself.

Spoiler:

I just view it as the devs having an idea for a game mechanic and then using the Outsider as their lazy narrative explanation, just like the powers. Basically, the Outsider only exists as a lazy explanation for why magic exists.

ccesarano wrote:
Spoiler:

I just view it as the devs having an idea for a game mechanic and then using the Outsider as their lazy narrative explanation, just like the powers. Basically, the Outsider only exists as a lazy explanation for why magic exists.

Spoiler:

What would a non-lazy explanation look like?

Spoiler:

A much more compelling God character that actually has something to do with the story.

ccesarano wrote:
Spoiler:

A much more compelling God character that actually has something to do with the story.

Spoiler:

Where "God" is involved, it is harder to create that feeling of choice for the player. I think a God who says, I'm giving these powers and am interested to see what you plan to do with them... gives you the initiative to do what you want to do, and then judging yourself based on what your actions create. Do you create a perfect world where Emily is set to lead a land now escaping from the plague... or you do create a pit of despair for the residents of Dunwall to wallow in?

Maybe it's just me, but I liked the Outsider and his perceivable attitude of let these mortals do what they will (as to me this comes off as a good design choice or writing choice in not making my choices/actions feel scripted by a higher power), and especially liked that moment where I pointed the Heart at Daud and realized just who was talking to me.

Also... Yonder, you are a genius.

Demosthenes wrote:

Also... Yonder, you are a genius.

That's what I like to hear.

Soon I will post about what I thought the major flaw in the game was, but for now, minor annoyances.

Spoiler:

When you get to Emily at the Golden Cat.
"Hey, I have an escape plan, I'll meet you down at the secret exist."
"No you will not young lady get your ass back here this instant. I am your bodyguard and you are in a--Emily... Emily! Grumble grumble stupid Princess. Sure there are only four chicks left conscious on this whole map and they are all otherwise occupied (man it takes a ridiculously long time for them to put makeup on) but it's the principle of the thing."
And then at the exit.
"Oh, so you came by boat, I'll meet you there!"
"Listen you snot-nosed brat, that may have been cute before, but by now there are probably a couple replacement guards in the next street, and I didn't turn off any of the Arc Walls which will burn you to a crisp, so you'll have to take side roads, AND I happen to know that a crazy maniac is living on the other side of this door, and--Emily... Emily!"
I understand that escort quests are generally despised, but really? Honestly after she pulled that first stunt I wanted to sleep dart her and fireman's carry her out like you do later with Sokolov.

Right after you bring her back you have to go on a mission. When you come back she is thrashing in her sleep having a nightmare, being watched over by Callista. I wish there had been an option in your conversation with Callista to ask her if she would mind if you slept on the floor in the room. If she had said no I would have slept right outside the door on the ledge. I honestly really appreciate that the normal path to Emily's room kind of goes through your room, but I know that I don't have to take that path, and hence Daud's men don't either, so I really didn't feel like sleeping in my room let me effectively protect her. I did really like that you are woken up by her asking if she can hang out in your room though. Next best thing.

At the party you talk to a jackass (whale mask) who really doesn't like you. Eventually he tells you to stop bothering him or he'll go to the guards, since he's pretty sure you're not supposed to be here. Challenge accepted. First I save and see if he's serious, he is. Next I use a combination of patience and Possession to take every guard in the place upstairs and knock them out. Your move douchebag (yes, he's the douchebag, not the guy strangling the security). Finally I talk to him some more. What I was hoping he would do is go looking for a guard, getting increasingly agitated and nervous, and finally either leaving the party or sounding the alarm (I was ready to go, had already taken care of Lady Boyle, pickpocketed the guests, and taken everything of value that didn't seem to belong to servants). Unfortunately he just walked next to where the guard he usually talks to is posted, and sulked in silence. Yeah whale face, he'll be along any second to take your report... any second.

Lastly, when you enter Dunwall Tower you see the General having a video conference with the Lord Regent giving him a status update (which is a little weird by itself, we've seen no evidence of tvs or cameras in the entire game thusfar. He then leaves to make his rounds. I took out the guards nearby and then pulled the switch on the tv thing to ask the Lord Regent if this was a good time to stop by. Unfortunately it didn't turn back on :(.

Yonder wrote:
Spoiler:

The Outsider seems to be fairly omnipotent, and most of Corvo's powers in the late game come from him, and for all we know could be taken away whenever he wanted.

Yeah, I was actually thinking about that mid game:

Spoiler:

I was imagining some kind of final level where you were reduced to just your physical skills, not even Blink, and somehow having to navigate a place like the first dream realm to get to the Outsider and demand an accounting.

I was very disappointed when it was suddenly Game Over, because calling that bastard on the carpet was a big motivator for me, and that whole thread was left unresolved. I didn't think the story was finished yet!

Malor wrote:
Yonder wrote:
Spoiler:

The Outsider seems to be fairly omnipotent, and most of Corvo's powers in the late game come from him, and for all we know could be taken away whenever he wanted.

Yeah, I was actually thinking about that mid game:

Spoiler:

I was imagining some kind of final level where you were reduced to just your physical skills, not even Blink, and somehow having to navigate a place like the first dream realm to get to the Outsider and demand an accounting.

Hmm, I like that idea, but it would probably be just as annoying in practice as

Spoiler:

The obligatory "oh noes you lost all your stuff" level, which I was sad they put in. Hmm, although if you got all the power of the Outsider afterwards it'd be worth it.

Yonder wrote:
Spoiler:

Lastly, when you enter Dunwall Tower you see the General having a video conference with the Lord Regent giving him a status update (which is a little weird by itself, we've seen no evidence of tvs or cameras in the entire game thusfar. He then leaves to make his rounds. I took out the guards nearby and then pulled the switch on the tv thing to ask the Lord Regent if this was a good time to stop by. Unfortunately it didn't turn back on :(.

That's different than what happened to me...

Spoiler:

I turned the TV back on and had a whole conversation with him. In fact, there was an option to take off my mask mid vid-conference, which I did just to see the look on his face.

Stilgar Black wrote:
Yonder wrote:
Spoiler:

Lastly, when you enter Dunwall Tower you see the General having a video conference with the Lord Regent giving him a status update (which is a little weird by itself, we've seen no evidence of tvs or cameras in the entire game thusfar. He then leaves to make his rounds. I took out the guards nearby and then pulled the switch on the tv thing to ask the Lord Regent if this was a good time to stop by. Unfortunately it didn't turn back on :(.

That's different than what happened to me...

Spoiler:

I turned the TV back on and had a whole conversation with him. In fact, there was an option to take off my mask mid vid-conference, which I did just to see the look on his face.

Spoiler:

Damn, I must have waited too long! If I remember correctly he's calling from the safe room to report that he's going to his bedroom. You must have caught him still in the safe room, while by the time I got to the screen he had already left. That's amazingly awesome, I think I'll have to reload that level so I can see that conversation.

Double post for great rantings!

The game wasn't all roses and puppies. I for one was incredibly frustrated by

Spoiler:

that last betrayal

not in a good way, but because I thought it was fairly nonsensical.

Spoiler:

There are two overlapping reasons for the loyalists turning on you. You get these reasons both as speculation from the Outsider immediately after it happens, and as monologuing and writing from Havelock.

The first reason is a fear of what would happen if the story of the revolution "got out". This is the reason that is just stupid. If what got out? You have the moral high ground! Seedy evil guy starts plague, kills Empress, takes throne and continues murdering populous. Plucky band of castoffs risk their lives to restore justice to the kingdom? That's what you are trying to cover up? The only reason to cover that sh*t up is to avoid spoilers before you have your diary converted to a radio drama you stupid Admiral, you should be shouting the whole sordid affair from the rooftops as the propaganda coup of the century.

Even if we had done wrong, what are you worried about? You have parliament, some wacky Inquisition, and the Empress on your side, no one is left to take revenge on you! The only thing that could possibly happen is some super-powerful and mysterious third party could decide to attack you from outside the system. Maybe some crazy Assassin with mysterious powers. Given that that's the case all you have to do is NOT GO OUT OF THE WAY TO PISS OFF THE MASTER ASSASSIN WHO IS ALSO ON YOUR SIDE AND YOU'RE GOLDEN. The other assassin Daud is the only thing left in the city that could possibly hurt you and all you have to do to get rid of him is let me take a vacation day you stupid prick.

Whew. It feels good to get that out of my system. So the second reason is the one that mostly makes logical sense. The idea that the three of them were a step away from being the power behind and the throne, and they knew that if Corvo was still alive that power would stay with the throne itself. Like I said, it's actually logically sound-ish, although with the way the risk-reward works out they really got phenomenally greedy here.

In Emily's regime they all would have been highly trusted and powerful. Heck, Martin was already the High Overseer, was the reward of a teensy bit more power really worth the risk of losing everything? (Although he also had an actual motivation to kill me, I wasn't too secretive about my reality-bending abilities, having me burned as a witch may have suited him just fine.)

Even though it's kind of a dumb this second reason would mostly have held up, but the existence of the patently ridiculous first reason alongside it just makes it feel like the writers were throwing things on the wall to see what would stick.

Also, after they decided to go ahead with the nuclear option I thought they were kind of dumb about that too. If I remember correctly Wallace had served Pendleton for years, and he was certainly completely devoted to him. He wouldn't have given a damn about backstabbing the others, why kill him? And then Solotov and Piero, they were both just so incredibly valuable. Piero seems pretty idealistic and squemish, so getting rid of him makes sense, but Solotov has proven that he's completely fine working with monsters, getting rid of him seemed just as dumb as Wallace.

So yeah. I did really, really enjoy the game, but the above left a bitter taste in my mouth.

I'll end on a positive note.

Spoiler:

While we talk about the purging of the secondary cast, I absolutely loved the Cecilia part. While I was really fond of Cecilia as a character and person it is true that she can be a little whiny. I had thought that she was sort of overstating how little everyone thought of her, when she stated as I left "I don't think the Admiral even knows I exist." I chalked that up as another piece of melodrama from an otherwise fine woman.

Then she wasn't on the sheets of paper listing the conspiracy members to kill! All that stuff wasn't whining at all, she was (luckily for her) 100% accurate about how none of the higher ups had a clue she had even been around. I thought that was pretty awesome.

Spoiler:

Yup. I sort of felt bad for Cecilia, though I ended up not being sure how she got there in the first place. Was she an employee of the bar? Because the Admiral had purchased the bar which makes her his employee. Was she someone's servant? Then why was she forgotten so easily compared to Wallace?

Everything you stated above contributes to the notion that they made a really cool setting, but half-assed a story together.

Again, Yonder is a genius...

Spoiler:

The double cross from the Loyalists totally had be baffled as well. Why double cross someone who has survived so much and wrecked revenge on those who betrayed him and the Empress before? It still doesn't make sense to me in any rational way. I like your theories Yonder, but again... just sooooo stupid feeling when it happened and still doesn't make sense in my brain now.

Demosthenes wrote:

Again, Yonder is a genius...

Spoiler:

The double cross from the Loyalists totally had be baffled as well. Why double cross someone who has survived so much and wrecked revenge on those who betrayed him and the Empress before? It still doesn't make sense to me in any rational way. I like your theories Yonder, but again... just sooooo stupid feeling when it happened and still doesn't make sense in my brain now.

I didn't have a problem with that part of the story at all except for the fact that I felt it coming from a long way off.

Spoiler:

"First rule of assassination - kill the assassins." Although paranoid, it fit right in to how the rebel leaders wanted everything clean and buttoned up once everything was over. Although they set themselves up in the beginning as the grand liberators it became obvious they were just going to supplant one evil with another. Power corrupts. The final question the game asks is how does Corvo handle this? Does he take the high and noble road, or does he again supplant evil with his own?

+1 to anyone who gets the quote without looking it up. #HonorSystem

PaladinTom wrote:
Demosthenes wrote:

Again, Yonder is a genius...

Spoiler:

The double cross from the Loyalists totally had be baffled as well. Why double cross someone who has survived so much and wrecked revenge on those who betrayed him and the Empress before? It still doesn't make sense to me in any rational way. I like your theories Yonder, but again... just sooooo stupid feeling when it happened and still doesn't make sense in my brain now.

I didn't have a problem with that part of the story at all except for the fact that I felt it coming from a long way off.

Spoiler:

"First rule of assassination - kill the assassins." Although paranoid, it fit right in to how the rebel leaders wanted everything clean and buttoned up once everything was over. Although they set themselves up in the beginning as the grand liberators it became obvious they were just going to supplant one evil with another. Power corrupts. The final question the game asks is how does Corvo handle this? Does he take the high and noble road, or does he again supplant evil with his own?

+1 to anyone who gets the quote without looking it up. #HonorSystem

Dune?

Spoiler:

Very similar to the Baron Harkonnen's murder of Doctor Yueh.... "Never trust a traitor, even one you created yourself."

Spoiler:

I really wanted a way to not drink that stupid drink. It was, IIRC, the only "cutscene" moment where the decisions and actions were taken completely out of your hands. I knew they were going to poison me but I literally could not avoid it.

So annoying.

Anyway, as for their reasons. I was fine with their reason being PaladinTom's reason: Weapons are liabilities in peace time.

As for Cecilia, I think it depends on what you do for her story to play out. My dad played through and she was killed along with Wallace. When I played through she was kept alive (but her father was dead because I had no idea what was going on!) and helped me at the end when I had to signal the boat - in fact, on my playthrough, the admiral writes a missive to the troops taking the bar that she is an innocent and not connected to the group.

That's not Cecilia, Duoae, it's Callista. I guess she really was easy to miss.

Poor Cecilia!

Spoiler:

hmm, speaking of that, I never did get help from Callista's Uncle. Where was he supposed to show up?

Hyetal wrote:

That's not Cecilia, Duoae, it's Callista. I guess she really was easy to miss.

:D

Haha. Okay, I got two similar names mixed up despite having not played the game in over a month and a half! :p

You mean the girl who was always in the "bunk" room cleaning that same shelf? (Except that one time by the manhole cover) No wonder she was unnoticed!