The GWJ CRPG Club - Game 1: Shadowrun Dragonfall DC (In Progress)

I'm getting a lot of use from Summons, Barriers, and Shadow, on my most recent mission especially. These abilities are really swaying the momentum back in our favour when hostile numbers become overwhelming.

I never used Barriers at all in Dragonfall. Neither Shadow, I don't think. And only the odd Summon. It's really changed things up.

I'm feeling the pinch with skimping by on a Body score of 3 which shall need remedied. I also only have 1 Dodge to further compound matters. Well, I wanted to test the limits. A little bump wont go amiss now that the results are in. Sarsa is being targeted far too often and getting hit a lot, even when further back.

Having run out of interesting people to kill in Berlin, my rigger has taken her murderous talents to Hong Kong

Godzilla Blitz wrote:

Cool! I was wavering between Shaman and Mage for Hong Kong, but went with mage because it was the least known to me from Dragonfall. I really enjoyed Dietrich's Shaman skil set in Dragonfall though. If I play Returns, I'd either go with a shaman or a hand-to-hand fighter.

A magic based character is, thematically, a good choice for Hong Kong I think, personally.

pyxistyx wrote:

A magic based character is, thematically, a good choice for Hong Kong I think, personally.

Interesting. Good to know.

The Mage class is still relatively untapped for me. That may be my next port of call unless I bleed into those areas with my current Shaman.

Still tempted to roll another Physical Adept, though.

I don't know when I'll ever get around to any cyberwear. Going the magic route has saw me skip right over it, twice now, and perhaps a forthcoming third.

pyxistyx wrote:
Godzilla Blitz wrote:

Cool! I was wavering between Shaman and Mage for Hong Kong, but went with mage because it was the least known to me from Dragonfall. I really enjoyed Dietrich's Shaman skil set in Dragonfall though. If I play Returns, I'd either go with a shaman or a hand-to-hand fighter.

A magic based character is, thematically, a good choice for Hong Kong I think, personally.

. To be the counter point. Technology is also thematically relevant due to the story harps on the balance of things and there are certain characters that also fetishized the circuit board lifestyle.

pyxistyx wrote:
Godzilla Blitz wrote:

Cool! I was wavering between Shaman and Mage for Hong Kong, but went with mage because it was the least known to me from Dragonfall. I really enjoyed Dietrich's Shaman skil set in Dragonfall though. If I play Returns, I'd either go with a shaman or a hand-to-hand fighter.

A magic based character is, thematically, a good choice for Hong Kong I think, personally.

Good to know, thanks! It's not much so far, as he doesn't have much for spells yet, but I'm only just done with the second mission. I imagine his magic options will open up shortly.

I'm liking the story better than Dragonfall's, and really like the environment. Once upon a time, I spent a couple of nights in a squalid Hong Kong hotel in a rough section of the city, and the game environment and writing is bringing all those memories back. Good times!

Oh, a couple of other things in case people aren't following the main thread...

1- The GWJ CRPG Club will start its next game on April 1, and nominations/seconding will start on March 15, roughly two weeks from now.

However...

2 - The "club deadline" for finishing up Shadowrun as part of the CRPG will be June 30. Of course people can play whatever they want whenever they want and keep posting here, but if you want to be an "official finisher", June 30 (yes, four months from now) is the deadline.

The thinking is that there are lots of people in different places in life. To accommodate more leisurely play styles and to encourage more participation, we'll just continue game conversations for six months after they start. I'd expect most of the focus to be in the first three months of any game, and things to get quieter in the "after hours" four- to six-month window of a play through. However, for longer games an extended window could be helpful to many, and for leisurely players it takes pressure off.

There's still hope! Life still getting in the way, and when I got a chance to play I lost a lot of motivation after taking my Decker into his second Decky thing and getting absolutely destroyed by a couple of glowing boxes.

Redherring wrote:

There's still hope! Life still getting in the way, and when I got a chance to play I lost a lot of motivation after taking my Decker into his second Decky thing and getting absolutely destroyed by a couple of glowing boxes.

You can do it! Just a little bit at a time and you'll be done before you know it!

For decking, have you bought programs and ESPs for your decker yet, and upgraded the deck?

In case it helps, things that worked for me...

Spoiler:

Programs I liked:

- Healing
- Damage Reduction
- The Standard Damage Spell
- The AoE Damage Spell
- The Spell that Increases Damage per Turn

Also...
I didn't really need the use of an ESP much, but in a pinch they were really helpful.
Always take cover if possible
Run back to a previous zone and heal up if things go south

Re: Final combat (I hope):

Spoiler:

I F*kcing hate countdown timers.

Feegle wrote:

Re: Final combat (I hope)

Good luck!

I've completed three missions in Hong Kong so far. The last one I did was good. So far, in Hong Kong, however, I'm feeling like there is a lot more reading. Not that I mind reading, but it seems like they're leaning on the text to tell a more complex story, and I'm not sure that it balances as well as Shadowrun. I'm so early in my play through, however. Maybe things will balance out.

Spoiler:

I'm not sure how the other options would have played out, but I took on Gaichu as a partner in Serial Killer. Just seemed like the right thing to do. I'm curious what the other options would have led to.

I kind of felt bad, but Dragonfall was one of the first RPGs where I found myself scanning a lot of the text rather than paying attention to 100% of it. The art style and camera made it so I felt sort of disconnected from what was going on a lot of the time. I think the text made a good effort to make up for that, and in and of itself it was usually well done. But it frequently didn't really matter what was actually said.

I read every word intently in Dragonfall. I am guilty of skimming somewhat in Returns.

I enjoyed reading everything in Dragonfall, and had told myself I was going to go slow and enjoy the text in that game.

I've started Hong Kong with the same intent. I suppose it's not giving anything away by mentioning that the mission I just did, Serial Killer, played out much like a murder mystery. A lot of the mission was questioning people, and it involved lots of questioning. After a while it got tedious, but I stuck with reading everything. The writing is good, for sure, so it's not necessarily a bad thing, but it seems less central to the plot in many cases.

Even in the Heoi I've felt like they've gone heavier on the text to add flavor than they did in Dragonfall, but I'm going to reserve judgement until I get through more of the game.

Finished! Took 3 tries to beat the last mission,

Spoiler:

and I finally had success when I stopped trying to delay the countdown timer and just tried to kill the enemies as fast as possible. The action economy of that fight was way overbalanced, I think.

Regardless, I chose in the end not to free the Dragon, but then accepted the job with Lofwyr. I like the thought of a direct sequel following that plotline, though I'm not optimistic we'll get one. I would like to revisit Shadowrun's Germany.

Feegle wrote:

Finished! Took 3 tries to beat the last mission,

Spoiler:

and I finally had success when I stopped trying to delay the countdown timer and just tried to kill the enemies as fast as possible. The action economy of that fight was way overbalanced, I think.

Regardless, I chose in the end not to free the Dragon, but then accepted the job with Lofwyr. I like the thought of a direct sequel following that plotline, though I'm not optimistic we'll get one. I would like to revisit Shadowrun's Germany.

Congrats on finishing!

EDIT: Urg. I got beat up pretty badly in my fourth Hong Kong mission. Couldn't hit anything, and I'm a bit underpowered here. I'll have to try this again tomorrow evening.

I'm not sure if I shared my choices.

Dragonfall Ending:

Spoiler:

I chose to destroy APEX. Too dangerous. Too much power. Too much disregard for human life.

I talked Vauclair around. He decided to bring an end to the madness. Leaning on memories of his brother, of the mistakes, of what would be genocide, and of what may fill the void, the imbalance, left from removing dragons from existence.

I freed Firewing. We had good conversations before I enabled her astral form to become one with her physical existence once more. She is powerful, like APEX, but understands the value of life alongside her duty to protect mother nature. She brings fury only when mother nature is endangered.

I turned down the offer from Lofwyr. Don't make a deal with a dragon. Nope.

At least for this protagonist's play through, these were the choices. Next one, who knows.

I got through a fourth mission in Hong Kong tonight, after trying out an idea that ended up working really well.

The text seems to be leveling out now in the game, and I'm enjoying it as much as Dragonfall.

I'm struggling a bit with a mage in Hong Kong.

I made it through another mission today, but once again I took a pretty good beating. I needed to burn through a half dozen medikits, and the mission rewards seem quite a bit less than in Dragonfall. That doesn't leave a lot of room for upgrading armor, spells, and weapons, which makes the next mission tougher as well.

Right now I've been trying to upgrade spells and whatnot, but the offensive power of spells doesn't seem to be all that great compared to just shooting something with a rifle.

I'm hoping I can turn a corner on things soon. Everything is still fun, so no complaints, but I wasn't expecting it to be as challenging to manage combat as it has been.

Godzilla Blitz wrote:

I'm struggling a bit with a mage in Hong Kong.

I made it through another mission today, but once again I took a pretty good beating. I needed to burn through a half dozen medikits, and the mission rewards seem quite a bit less than in Dragonfall. That doesn't leave a lot of room for upgrading armor, spells, and weapons, which makes the next mission tougher as well.

Right now I've been trying to upgrade spells and whatnot, but the offensive power of spells doesn't seem to be all that great compared to just shooting something with a rifle.

I'm hoping I can turn a corner on things soon. Everything is still fun, so no complaints, but I wasn't expecting it to be as challenging to manage combat as it has been.

I'm in the same boat with my shaman. I'm coasting along until I run into a bunch of elementals. They kicked my butt. I think the number of combatants have been more than in dragonfall and the friends I bring along have been less powerful.

With a storm in the area, my work got called off for tomorrow, so I played another Hong Kong mission this evening. Things went much better this time. I screwed up once at the start of a last firefight, which forced one restart of the level, but then things went real easy.

I think I'm just about on the edge of getting some good synergy going with team member skills. And I've discovered that Gobbet's spirit summons kicks butt!

Also, I got a good chunk of money and a bunch of charisma, so I *think* I can start upgrading some team member weapons and spells too.

Fun times.

Stayed up far too late last night only to run into that (apparently infamous) APEX mission glitch and have my progress for that hour+ of lost sleep wiped out.

Ah well, hopefully I'll be much more efficient next time, assuming I don't find myself unable to take actions again.

Bummer, I ran into a different glitch during the Blitz mission that lost me a bunch of time.

While I appreciate the devs looking at Decking in Shadowrun Returns and Dragonfall and realizing it wasn't very interesting and trying something new with Hong Kong, I can't help feeling like the extra complexity, while interesting the very first time you do it, somehow made Decking even less fun than it was in the previous games.

Contemplating just ignoring it altogether, though there's still that part of me which feels like I might miss something if I don't do it.

benign1 wrote:

Stayed up far too late last night only to run into that (apparently infamous) APEX mission glitch and have my progress for that hour+ of lost sleep wiped out.

Ah well, hopefully I'll be much more efficient next time, assuming I don't find myself unable to take actions again.

I didn't get hit by that, but in reading a discussion a while back, it seemed connected to quick saving? One other option that gets mentioned in there is opening up the debug console during the mission and using deathray to kill everyone right away so you can get it done faster the second time.

Skraut wrote:

While I appreciate the devs looking at Decking in Shadowrun Returns and Dragonfall and realizing it wasn't very interesting and trying something new with Hong Kong, I can't help feeling like the extra complexity, while interesting the very first time you do it, somehow made Decking even less fun than it was in the previous games.

Contemplating just ignoring it altogether, though there's still that part of me which feels like I might miss something if I don't do it.

I'm not sure I totally understand the nuances of decking in Hong Kong, but so far things have gone okay. Between the Simon memory game thing, the codes on the right of that, the real-time scanner bots, and the Security breach countdown, there seems to be a lot going on. I generally just try to kill everything. I mean, I do try the other things, but I'm not really that invested in them. If I make it through, fine. If not, violence seems to provide a good way through things too.

________

I ran IsObel's mission today. Not my favorite mission, but things worked out okay. I think I'm about halfway done with the game in total now.

I ran another Hong Kong mission tonight, Uninvited Guests. Fun mission, but at this point I can say that I enjoyed Dragonfall more than I'm enjoying Hong Kong.

Hong Kong has more reading in between missions, especially if you talk with your team members to unlock their side missions. I'm determined not to skip through the conversations, but wow, they go on and on and on. There play out linearly and yet the topics wander all over the place. The writing's fine, for sure, but where I enjoyed the writing in Dragonfall I'm finding it pretty tedious in Hong Kong. And it just doesn't add up when I've got a big monitor for gaming and I'm spending a good chunk of the time reading snippets of text in a small side window.

Adding to that, the missions in Hong Kong seem shorter, less involved, and less violent. The payouts are also significantly less, which means that as a player I'm only scratching the surface of the equipment, spell, and gear options available to me. I've just unlocked the point of no return mission, with maybe 3-4 side missions left before that, and each mission generates enough cash to buy maybe one or two spell upgrades. It just feels less than Dragonfall.

In Dragonfall, the on-mission/off-mission balance seemed about 75-25, but in Hong Kong I'm spending more time in between missions than on missions, and the game seems weaker because of it.

I'm still enjoying the ride and am glad I'm playing this one, but Dragonfall shines more brightly to me. I'm curious whether the game's stock will rise over the last half dozen missions.

I think I tend to agree with you Godzilla Blitz. I thought Rigging was overpowered in Dragonfall, but darn did it ever get cranked up to 11 in Hong Kong. In Dragonfall, each class of drones had 2 types, an attack and a support. Support didn't do a ton of damage, but could flashbang, a couple times, heal, and do other useful things. So far in Hong Kong, not only is there the support drone, but there are 3 different types of attack drones. Assault with an SMG, Sniper, and standard. So I'm running double attack drones, with the assault and standard. Additionally my drone combat is already high enough that my drones already have 3 AP, and I'm less than 1/4 through the game. Throw in Racter who brings his own drone, but, perhaps more importantly, can overclock my drones giving them more AP, and playing on hard difficulty it is rare that I have an encounter that lasts more than 2 rounds.

So I get done reading the wall of words, finally make it to encounter, rub my hands together in anticipation of an awesome battle, and within a minute, all the enemies are dead and I'm back to reading more text.

The writing is good, I just wish there was more to break it up...

Into The Breach has eaten into my Returns journey. I'm not complaining. ITB is a great game. Still, I can't help but feel less interested by Returns. It's good. Just not as good as Dragonfall. I'm glad I played the latter first though, as Returns may have stopped my progressing to Dragonfall. Where as Dragonfall created momentum that took me to Returns.

I'm mostly interested by seeing what I can do with the Shaman class as I progress. The story, not so much.

Skraut wrote:

I think I tend to agree with you Godzilla Blitz. I thought Rigging was overpowered in Dragonfall, but darn did it ever get cranked up to 11 in Hong Kong. In Dragonfall, each class of drones had 2 types, an attack and a support. Support didn't do a ton of damage, but could flashbang, a couple times, heal, and do other useful things. So far in Hong Kong, not only is there the support drone, but there are 3 different types of attack drones. Assault with an SMG, Sniper, and standard. So I'm running double attack drones, with the assault and standard. Additionally my drone combat is already high enough that my drones already have 3 AP, and I'm less than 1/4 through the game. Throw in Racter who brings his own drone, but, perhaps more importantly, can overclock my drones giving them more AP, and playing on hard difficulty it is rare that I have an encounter that lasts more than 2 rounds.

So I get done reading the wall of words, finally make it to encounter, rub my hands together in anticipation of an awesome battle, and within a minute, all the enemies are dead and I'm back to reading more text.

The writing is good, I just wish there was more to break it up...

Interesting. I'm not having that easy of a time with combat, even on normal level, but I'm finding magic kind of wimpy. Or maybe I just haven't figured it out yet, or something. But even with the lower damage output the fighting in the missions has been pretty brief, and the missions seem shorter and less involved.

For me, the writing and the backstories added a lot of flavor to the missions and action of Dragonfall. With Hong Kong it feels like the action and missions are flavor to the writing and backstories.

We'll see how it plays out, though. I think I've got seven missions to go, and I've got to believe I've almost unlocked all the team member missions, so maybe not so many long conversations with team members after missions anymore. It'd be great if the balance swings more toward Dragonfall.

I can say that I've enjoyed the creativity in the mission stories. There's been a good variety, and some interesting characters come up. They've all been good at a minimum, and many I've enjoyed tremendously.

I played Hong Kong a bit more. I finally gave into temptation and blasted through most of the dialogs between missions. I couldn't take it anymore. I did skim the topics, so choices seemed to work out fine.

That taken care of, I did The Sinking Ship mission. Now that was a solid mission. Good length, tight story, fun decisions along the way. There was one WTF moment, however. Spoiler if you haven't done that mission yet...

Spoiler:

The insta-kill, mission-over trap. Seriously? I knew I *shouldn't* walk over it, but the instant Mission Failed reminded me of some cheezy adventure game from 1985. You come to a house in the woods. Do you enter by the door, or the window? [Window] You die. Game over.

That aside, it was satisfying to spend a good chunk of my time with the game on a mission, and a good one to boot.