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

My Returns run seems to pivot around hiring support mage Alexander Falk. He just spends the whole combat round buffing Bortles and everyone else with Haste, Aim, and Armor, and Healing the worst wounds.

One thing I noticed, that I don't remember noticing before, is that if you have someone in your party with Heal, the entire party has their last wound automatically Healed when combat ends. This is super valuable, as is being able to periodically heal the worst wounds during battle. The only sequence I've had trouble with was one with a scripted party, where I did not have my support mage to buff and heal.

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/1GLZklk.png)

Alexander, you're the glue holding all this sh*t together.

Godzilla Blitz wrote:

I'm curious, for people playing a decker, what are you spending karma points on? I think I'm missing something. It seems like his deck just takes up space, and about all it opens up is some dialog and data access things. Are there special Matrix missions or something like that come up where I use his deck for combat? In regular combat, though, my character is about as useful as a flower pot. So far I've put karma points in decking and IQ, but I've got 15 karma points now and I'm thinking to add in either drones or a rifle skill instead of immediately maxing out decking and IQ.

The Decker is pretty weak at combat, but I've been putting the odd point into building up one weapon skill (I chose shotgun, which was probably not ideal since I need to get up close to things to do any real damage with it....rifle or pistol would probably have been a better choice).

Mainly the Decker comes in handy whenever you have to do some complex Matrix "hacking" (that is to say, when you dive into a system and it turns into an abstract version of combat, where you have access to all your Decker abilities and Programs. These almost always will give you an advantage (hacking cameras or unlocking bonus data items you can sell for cash. (Or, when you need to do a quick hack on a door or computer through dialogue). The latter do seem more prominent in this game, I must admin, at least so far.

I've basically ramped up my characters charisma and hacking and keeping her away from combat mostly, trying to let others do all the work! She's the brains of the outfit

I read that’s there’s enough karma to level up your decking that you can afford to put some points somewhere to contribute a little more to combat if you want to. I’m doing that in the beginning since my decking skill is probably good enough to start out. Ranged combat and SMGs. Just enough to do a little bit of damage.

AFAIK, the better decks and programs will come into play when you jack into the Matrix. If it’s like the first game, you’ll definitely have some opportunities to do so.

One thing I want to make sure everyone does, is to learn the back story to the NPC companions. They are pretty much all excellent and on par (or better) than Bioware/Black Isle at their height.

(*not to mention the fact they each have their own 'loyalty mission' you can do).

Glory's back story, in particular. It's REALLY fleshed out and interesting (if a bit on the grim side). I also like how you can reach a point in the conversation with here, several points in her story, actually, where you can just say "stop. you don't have to tell me any more if you don't want to, I trust you regardless.

The other thing I want to tentatively touch upon, without going too far into spoilers, is the way snippets of the main story are dished out to you via the recovery of more working DVD's. It's a really cool way of providing a slow drip feed of historical information about the stories antagonist / main figures of import over time.

Granted it's a bit convenient that it all gets deciphered in exactly the correct / wrong order so that you don't get any huge revelations until later in the game but I love it as a more elegant means of exposition than having some brand new expositional character show up every third of the game to provide some new plot twist in a clumsy conversation.

Essentially, pretty much all the information you need to solve what's going on is recovered after that first mission...you just can't access it yet!

I’m not very far yet but I liked the way that the game gives you some tips about how to use your squad members in battle via their profiles on the computer you gain access to rather than just telling you in tutorial fashion.

Cyberpunk settings are always funny to me, because back when the genre was being forged in the '80s, there seemed to be this idea that everyone would have a badass screen name: Killswitch Override; Lady Z; Glory. But as we've entered an era where hackers are a legitimate part of the evening news, and everyone has an online handle or gamertag or quirky email address, it turns out that most of our names are stupid or boring. Switch Killer Fanboi; Lady Zombie; gloryhole87.

So my character is Jo Bangles. Sounds like a name; is actually stupid and boring.

I'm going to reroll my melee Ork to a decker. Let's see,'80's cyber-names: Klokspeed, E-mail, Datawipe, Bit-Byte, Code-Choad.

Hey this is easy!

Thanks for the thoughts on building a decker, steinkrug and pyxistyx. I think I'll drop some points in drones because they sound cool. I did drop a couple points in ranged weapons and chose a shotgun earlier, but so far that's proven unproductive. I figured he could save himself if the enemy breaks through, but since I usually try to keep the decker in the back, the shotgun doesn't have the range to be helpful in normal situations.

pyxistyx wrote:

One thing I want to make sure everyone does, is to learn the back story to the NPC companions. They are pretty much all excellent and on par (or better) than Bioware/Black Isle at their height.

The writing is so good that this is enjoyable too. I'm taking my time between missions, reading the DVDs, talking to the characters, wandering about town some and interacting with the locals. I am definitely enjoying the relationship building that goes on between the main character and each team member. So far I've done a good job with Dietrich, okay with Glory. Pretty sure that Eiger, on the other hand, still hates me. I thought I had a breakthrough but then chose poorly again, and well, that seemed to set her off once more.

Just finished Glory's side mission again..... it's so goood! Probably the highlight of the game for me, so far I think. Definitely my favourite NPC in the game, with the best backstory. You can just feel this was a real labour of love for whoever wrote and designed it.

There's actually a couple of side quests I never did first time around (particularly the decker guy, since I don't think i bothered even talking to him last time I played this) so that should be interesting.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

gloryhole87

HOW DO YOU KNOW MY TOR HANDLE?

Finished the mansion fight this morning. I should get some time to progress the story tonight.

I'm definitely glad that I put some Karma into rifles on my Decker. He's not totally useless in battle.

PWAlessi wrote:

Finished the mansion fight this morning. I should get some time to progress the story tonight.

I'm definitely glad that I put some Karma into rifles on my Decker. He's not totally useless in battle.

On my Decker I put my points into Drones instead of Rifles and then realized I didn't have a drone. heh

It was a lot of missing with the rifle in that mansion fight. I still managed to kill a few guys with it though.

I think one of the most beautiful things about the game is not just the writing for the party NPCs, but also for extended NPCs in the neighborhood. The way the game handles the PC's gradual journey from outsider to full fledged community member to leader is incredible. It would have been an easy arc to mess up, but Dragonfall paces it all so well that it sings. It is ultimately a game about community and connection. The Kreuzbasar - and the people there - are the soul of the game.

I'm going to spoiler tag the next bit, since I will discuss some of the final beats of the main storyline.

Spoiler:

There is a lovely, subtle echo in Firewing's separation of body and soul that is reflected in the of the Kreuzbasar. Monika was a neighborhood leader, the soul of the place that kept its disparate parties together and held to being their best selves. Her loss affects everyone and the case can be made the PC's main quest is about taking her mantle more than it is about uncovering Lofwyr's plans.

I've been listening to a lot of KMFDM and Die Krupps the last couple of days.

I turned on the computer and logged into Steam for what feels the first time in quite a while today, to see if I own this. I do! Apologies to all for the notifications upon restarting due to updates, and to puzzle out why I have no download function, and whatever else.

Hah. I've never done the Blitz personal quest before. It's tough, but the odd couple banter is on point!

Heads up, the latest Humble Bundle includes Pillars of Eternity in the "beat the average" tier (so ~$7 right now), in case anyone feels like picking it up and voting for it next time

*Legion* wrote:

Heads up, the latest Humble Bundle includes Pillars of Eternity in the "beat the average" tier (so ~$7 right now), in case anyone feels like picking it up and voting for it next time :D

It's really good and definitely worth $7.

I find the dark fog of war hanging over everything to be really distracting. I ended up turning on the debug menu (Alt+F1) to disable it. I found that it made me constantly squint at the game.

*Legion* wrote:

Heads up, the latest Humble Bundle includes Pillars of Eternity in the "beat the average" tier (so ~$7 right now), in case anyone feels like picking it up and voting for it next time :D

Nice find!

Tyranny was also one of the dozen games in the voting, and it's on Steam's mid-week sale for $15.29 (67% off).

This game is really good! As soon as the title screen splashed with that awesome theme music it felt like a promising choice. I completed the opening mission and gelled with most everything quite well.

I rolled a human physical adept. The character model looked the best and I found a good stock portrait. I probably should have chosen one of the more physically imposing races, but min-maxing has got in the way of my enjoyment far too often. I was glad to quickly traverse character creation and get playing. I'm thinking hand to hand combat, with some throwing knives for a ranged option.

Opening mission spoiler:

Spoiler:

Damn it. I liked Monika. She seemed cool from the little we saw of her. And she was a Decker, which I knew I'd be on the hunt for as I chose not to be one.

Summoning that elemental really, really helped keep that mini gun toting giant at bay.

Eiger. Oh, we're going to clash. Got to respect her abilities, though. Looking forward to how this relationship develops.

I just finished reporting in with Paul Amsel. I cannot wait to delve into the dialogue with everyone else. Next time!

RnRClown wrote:

This game is really good!

Yes, agreed! A big kudos to Bubblefuzz for nominating it!

I played for another hour tonight. I'm trying to take my time with things, enjoy the story, and keep my play sessions short so that it'll last for a while. It's hard to stop, though.

Tonight I wrapped up the odds and ends from the last mission, talked to team members again, and toured the neighborhood talking to everyone. I ended up picking up a good number of side missions to do, which I think I'm going to do before the next main mission. I also got Eiger to open up a bit to me. She still doesn't like me, but I might be earning a bit of respect from her. I'm making no more progress with Glory, though. Dietrich and me, though, we're total buds now.

I then did the blocked sewer side mission, which was fun. The ending caught me by surprise. I'm determined to not save scum for optimal outcomes, so I was pretty nervous as things played out. I ended up reaching a positive outcome, but I wonder if I've burned some bridges in the process.

Speaking of which, I'm enjoying the meaningful dialogs in this game. There is a tension to them that has me really thinking about each choice I make. I think I'm finally striking the right tone with some of the negotiation too. Early on I was a bit of a pushover, but I'm toughening up now.

And here's my latest character dump. I ended up putting those 15 karma points in Drones and Charisma, for the most part. I added a second etiquette expertise (security) with the Charisma boost, but still don't have a Drone to play with. My goal is to get a Level A Drone as quickly as possible. I've got 9 more karma points to spend after the last mission, which would give me the ability to control the drone, but I don't have enough money to actually buy it, as I blew 3,000 coins on an arm decking implant and a head implant to boost my Intelligence. I'm hoping to have enough money to get the drone up and running before the next main mission. I'm about 1,000 coins short at the moment. I might be able to sell some guns that I can't hit anything with anyway.

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/ItHIYb5.jpg)

At this point I'm pretty much all in on the tech/geeky stuff and am a total wimp in the physical/combat side of things.

right then...i just spent the last 7 hours straight working on a business plan for one of my classes. Time for a guilt-free afternoon of dubious cyberpunking.

It felt like I took an inordinate amount of time to see out the second mission. Still, it was good.

I kind of really wanted to crack the skulls of a few people in the warehouse night club. The dude in the suit, Frank? The douche tending the bar, Douche? It was an option for one of them at least, but too many hired guns were standing around, and civilians.

Mission 2 Spoiler

Spoiler:

I did talk Silke into seeking help via Samuel. Glad to see her out of that pit.

So far my Adept has been using magic powered fists and throwing knives to leave a trail of bodies in his wake. Dietrich has been great in a support role. Said Adept is a bit squishy still, for all of his lethality. Eiger literally came in and wrecked house to balance those moments out, though.

I just finished the second mission, myself, and I would be less annoyed by how impressively incompetent my characters are if the narrative didn't make such a big deal about how badass everyone is. My sniper can't hit the broad side of a barn. My lethal cybernetic melee fighter couldn't claw her way out of a sodden paper bag. My wizard seems to cast lightning bolts by rubbing a balloon in her hair then poking people. But hey! These are the best of the best.

Shaman's pretty useful, tho.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

My wizard seems to cast lightning bolts by rubbing a balloon in her hair then poking people.

never underestimate a static-stician!

ClockworkHouse wrote:

My sniper can't hit the broad side of a barn.

It's interesting how Eiger's hit percentage with the sniper rifle scales inversely with distance. I've given her an automatic weapon and a shotgun too, and switch among the three depending on how far away the target is.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

Shaman's pretty useful, tho.

This far in, I'm kind of wishing I rolled a shaman. I really like Dietrich's skill set and how it supports everyone's skills. I think it would be fun to have that for a main character. But I'm still pre-drone with my decker. Once he gets his drone, watch out world!

I hope to play another mission this evening.

Godzilla Blitz wrote:
ClockworkHouse wrote:

My sniper can't hit the broad side of a barn.

It's interesting how Eiger's hit percentage with the sniper rifle scales inversely with distance. I've given her an automatic weapon and a shotgun too, and switch among the three depending on how far away the target is.

I thought that was a neat touch for dictating how the sniper should be used. Since my sam can basically hit anything with 99% accuracy, Eiger is all shotgun now.

Dietrich is just haste-aim-heal, repeat.

I'm having some XCOM-like experiences with Eiger where she blows an 89% chance to hit.

pyxistyx wrote:
ClockworkHouse wrote:

My wizard seems to cast lightning bolts by rubbing a balloon in her hair then poking people.

never underestimate a static-stician!

Oh my gosh, this is my favorite thing I’ve read today!!!!

I’m kinda with Clocky though. I’m having a hard time getting into the groove of things.