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

some thoughts on Hong Kong vs Dragonfall now that I'm a couple of missions in. I don't think these bothered me as much first time around, but then i didn't play the games back to back before so it maybe wasn't as glaring...

1. I don't like the interface changes. Everything is just that little bit more clunky than it was before. I'm not sure if this is a concession to having it on tablets (i suspect it is, given that everything is much bigger and 'finger friendly' and has been split down into single screens rather than the one-page list of skills you had in the previous two games).

2. The realtime "stealth" aspect of the updated Decking system is awful. Either that or I'm just really bad at it. Most of the time I end up just triggering the alarm so that it switches into the more familiar turn based combat mode. I appreciate that they tried to make it different from the regular meatspace combat this time around, but I mostly find it annoying. This is also the primary reason I decided NOT to play a decker this time around and go with someone different.

Everything else (the writing, storyline, etc) still brilliant and as mentioned I love there are enough options for me to play a character who...freely speaks her mind

But I think if and when it comes to playing custom modules, I think I'll probably switch back to Dragonfall.

Godzilla Blitz wrote:

On a good note, I started using Glory in close combat mode. She is a beast! She single-handedly saved our whole mission.

Yup. Always spec Glory for close combat. And don't forgot to make use of her adrenal pump.

I had my first mission failure last night. On Trial Run I wiped out, twice, and called it quits as I was about to fall asleep on the keyboard. I will remedy this today. Poor choices mixed with traversing most combat with relative ease had this one hit like a truck.

It's a mission I should have ran earlier. Once I realized where it was going, and my likely decision, I looked it up. I have already progressed past missions it would offer choices in.

Alien Love Gardener wrote:
Godzilla Blitz wrote:

On a good note, I started using Glory in close combat mode. She is a beast! She single-handedly saved our whole mission.

Yup. Always spec Glory for close combat. And don't forgot to make use of her adrenal pump.

Glory is death incarnate with those claws. Yet, as I rolled a physical adept player character I have Glory progressing along the pistols path. So far it is disappointing, mainly due to the poor chance to hit in most situations. The ability to target up to four enemies in one turn is great, when a decent chance to hit accompanies it, which is not often. Maybe I need to better adjust range and flank more often.

Man all of you are killing me here. I’m deep into the depths of Subnautica, but I keep coming back to this thread and getting the itch to start up Dragonfall. Really enjoying everyone’s comments, keep them coming!

Alien Love Gardener wrote:
Godzilla Blitz wrote:

On a good note, I started using Glory in close combat mode. She is a beast! She single-handedly saved our whole mission.

Yup. Always spec Glory for close combat. And don't forgot to make use of her adrenal pump.

At her first skill up I chose pistols. Going forward I've just gone with the CC options.

RnRClown wrote:

I had my first mission failure last night. On Trial Run I wiped out, twice, and called it quits as I was about to fall asleep on the keyboard. I will remedy this today. Poor choices mixed with traversing most combat with relative ease had this one hit like a truck.

I'm enjoying how the dialog choices in the game impact the mission difficulties. One series of answers can make a mission pretty brutal. A different set and things are a lot easier. So far, too, they feel mostly fair. I feel like the writing is good enough that if I think carefully about the choices and pay attention to things, I can often choose well.

I'm starting with Shadowrun Return since I've zero familiarity with this world and system. It's got me hooked so far. I'm running with an Elf Shaman, and will probably try a Decker when I get to Dragonfall. There's some clunkiness to the controls, but the writing and world are pretty compelling. I'm a sucker for turn-based combat too, so I'm enjoying the puzzle-box nature of the combat encounters. Nothing XCOM-like in the difficulty so far, though a surprise encounter did cause a death and reload. I'm getting more familiar with the quicksave button.

Dragonfall vs Hong Kong is an interesting debate. I'm decidedly pro-Dragonfall. I think the narrative build and heft are flat out superior, and I'm not a fan of some of the real time stealth decking (though I do love some of the other changes.) But Hong Kong has really interesting party NPCs and the class balance feels better overall. There are also less weird difficulty spikes, everything feels tuned with just a little more precision. And, though I prefer Dragonfall's plot arc, there is no denying that Hong Kong's narrative is quite epic and well executed.

Enjoying my elf shaman so far, I find myself leaving Dietrich behind sometimes.

I've been trying to do the botched Pharma job, both times I've been doing great then my computer dies. Second time it happened it won't even boot up anymore, just a black screen when I power up...

So I'm on hold until I get my RL rig back up and running.

Concerning Trial Run:

Spoiler:

I sided with the Foreign Elf. Screw the job. James was constantly insulting everyone, giving backchat to the mission leader, and then he ignored a direct order to stand down. The moment he started down that path on an innocent life he signed his own death warrant.

I felt bad for Jana. She believed that the Lodge would honor the agreement for her debts. I doubt that. I did wonder, though.

RnRClown wrote:

Concerning Trial Run:

Spoiler:

I sided with the Foreign Elf. Screw the job. James was constantly insulting everyone, giving backchat to the mission leader, and then he ignored a direct order to stand down. The moment he started down that path on an innocent life he signed his own death warrant.

I felt bad for Jana. She believed that the Lodge would honor the agreement for her debts. I doubt that. I did wonder, though.

I went down this same road and then started questioning if I had made a mess of things. I had to stop playing anyway so I decided to mull things over in the meantime.

It know others have said similar, but I am enjoying the choices this game presents you with. It can be tough if you’re trying to be diplomatic and make everybody happy. I did the “sewer mission” and while intending to have everything wrap up nicely for all involved I kind of botched that somewhat and feel a bit bad... but I like that.

I did some googling, tested my RAM sticks, one is bunk so I'm back in business with 4g of RAM now. Playing tonight after board game night.

steinkrug wrote:

I did the “sewer mission” and while intending to have everything wrap up nicely for all involved I kind of botched that somewhat and feel a bit bad... but I like that.

I also finished the sewer feeling bad about how it shook out, but it's great the game can take you on his ride.

TheHarpoMarxist wrote:

Dragonfall vs Hong Kong is an interesting debate. I'm decidedly pro-Dragonfall. I think the narrative build and heft are flat out superior, and I'm not a fan of some of the real time stealth decking (though I do love some of the other changes.) But Hong Kong has really interesting party NPCs and the class balance feels better overall. There are also less weird difficulty spikes, everything feels tuned with just a little more precision. And, though I prefer Dragonfall's plot arc, there is no denying that Hong Kong's narrative is quite epic and well executed.

Oh yeah, story-wise Hong Kong is great, with some amazing party/non-party NPC's (Kindly Cheng is brilliant!) and the whole plotline with the...

Spoiler:

Walled City and the Queen of a Thousand Teeth

is surprisingly creepy and feels totally different to the first two games, which is great. The focus on Qi and Feng Shui also puts a unique spin on things, too.

There's plenty of variety in the missions as well with some really memorable set pieces. (Is0bel's side mission is really fun!)

Feels like it's a lot shorter though I'm already about to run up against the point of no return and I don't think I've been playing anywhere near as long as I did with Dragonfall.

My only real regret - I'm not having as much fun with the close combat magic puncher as I had hoped but I'm too far in to the campaign to change it now. Hey-ho, live and learn I guess. Next time I'm sticking with the guns. Conversation and personality wise though she's a blast! A grumpy, sassy, blast!

Also: small tip for new Hong Kong players. Definitely take 'academic' as one of your charisma options.

I just wrapped up another side mission: Getting bio supplies for the doctor. I think the mission could have been more interesting had I chosen differently early on, but it was fun nonetheless.

I do seem to take damage often enough that I need to use medikits during missions. There are usually a few times each mission where my decker goes through a door and then everything goes nuts. By the time it's done, someone needs medical assistance.

MKVI Prototype:

Spoiler:

I did not extract the visual data from the MKVI due to the warning concerning brain damage. I could not be certain that the life within was not salvageable. Nor was I willing to risk a loss in control and having a hostile MKVI at that stage.

Once we fought our way out of the facility I had Blitz disable the control measures. It was a risk. It was also the right thing to do. The outcome was tragic, but better that than keeping the chains on the life within.

I am at 40,000 in the Alice fund!

My etiquette choices have not really came into play. I chose 'street' and 'shadowrunner' with only the latter making much of an appearance.

I have got good use out of my 4 charisma, though.

Finally starting in on Dragonfall...after skimming too many character build threads, I settled on an elf Decker with some magic and rifle proficiency, since I never can just keep it simple.

IMAGE(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/DOSX7dfbU-wNdGqDvIHdH_-PGnwsPb-joUiK2LafzOCvRyZUbJJZ_lqNn10GIjVccsaNBXaUcM4jVh5rgOMVN0q90esR9GNJ2l7YC0z7rZSrizyen2hQcn61i3CuHTQrUC8_rE1E93E)

It's been a long time since I played anything like this...really enjoying it so far.

Finished 'Hong Kong's main campaign again. While it's still good, overall I still feel Dragonfall is the highlight of the series. The story is better and it's paced perfectly, whereas I think Hong Kong tends to just throw most of it's side missions and content at you in one massive lump and lets you pick and choose what you want to do. It can get a bit cluttered and overwhelming.

Love the mythology aspects of Hong Kong though - it takes cosmic horror themes and gives it a bit of an Asian twist.

Also playing a magic melee character is not for me. I'm going to definitely have to stick with either a decker or some kind of gun slinging character next time.

...anyway, on to the mini expansion content in the collectors edition, importing the same character. Not sure how long it is, but it's all new content for me so that should be interesting.

pyxistyx wrote:

Finished 'Hong Kong's main campaign again.

That was fast! You flew through these. Grats!

I've still got a lot left in Dragonfall, but I'm limiting myself to an hour or so per day, generally one long mission or a couple of short ones. It's been hard to stop though.

RnRClown wrote:

MKVI Prototype:

I am at 40,000 in the Alice fund!

My etiquette choices have not really came into play. I chose 'street' and 'shadowrunner' with only the latter making much of an appearance.

I have got good use out of my 4 charisma, though.

We're pretty much in the same spot, RnR. My next mission is the prototype mission. I'm going to play that later tonight. (I didn't read the spoiler post, but will after I'm done.)

I took "shadowrunner" and added "security". I don't think I've seen anything security related options come up yet. "Shadowrunner" has provided a couple of options at some point. This feels like a partially developed element of the game that they could have done more with.

I have “gang” as one of mine and it has come up a few times so far.

Ha! "Security" just came up as an option on the last mission, and I think it helped some.

I thought I was up to the prototype mission, but I was wrong. I ran the first half of the Aztechology mission tonight. Things went really well. The last two or three missions I've been taking a beating, but this run I didn't need to use any medical assistance, and pretty much everything went smooth as silk.

One of the reasons is that Eiger has a new rifle with her latest level-up, and that helped a lot. She ripped through a number of enemies quickly. And now that I'm using Glory more effectively, we're able to deal some pretty effective damage.

I'm also liking how decking is playing more and more of a role in the game.

Just a really fun game.

Funny I'm almost done prototype but haven't started Aztec yet...

Going l read RnRs spoiler when I'm done with the MKVI parts

Also, isn't Eiger a female?

Hardek wrote:

Funny I'm almost done prototype but haven't started Aztec yet...

I was curious how far I was in the game, so I peeked at a mission guide that listed all the missions. On that, the Aztec one comes up way after the prototype one. No idea how it worked out that it's come up that early for me, but I've been avoiding the prototype mission if there has been any other mission available, so that might explain things.

Hardek wrote:

Also, isn't Eiger a female?

Oh, yup. I'll go fix that, thanks!

Blitz loyalty mission, or whatever we call them, is good. The writing holds up well, as always, and the decking parts are not only cool, but affecting the bricks and mortar areas nicely.

Godzilla Blitz wrote:

No idea how it worked out that it's come up that early for me, but I've been avoiding the prototype mission if there has been any other mission available, so that might explain things.

I got the prototype mission first but didn't do it right away, got the silke mission after but decided to do Proto first.

Also re Eiger I was just checking to make sure I didn't miss some subtlety with regards to her.

Eiger has a good mission, too. It felt great to be on the same page, completely, in handling the tasks at hand. There were other options but this time we aligned, on everything. She's a solid character. They all are. Nevertheless, going from wanting to rip each other's throat out, to begrudging respect, to dare I say it, friends, was quite a ride.

Next up is Glory's mission.

Glory's mission is a highlight of the game, I think. It's pretty neat!

With regards to the MKVI:

Spoiler:

Reading its aura is traumatizing. It's a creature trapped in a hellish existence, aware of its lack of agency, and all it can communicate when you dive into its essence is "KILL ME".

But since I am going full on Black Lodge compliant this run, having spurned them the first time I played, I turned the creature over to them, feeling incredibly guilty about it.

For anyone having difficulty progressing in the game, here are some of the things I am doing to progress through Hard difficulty (no story spoilers, but spoiler'd for those that don't want combat tips):

Spoiler:

A very powerful tactic is denying the enemy attacks / action points. There's a few tools you can use here.

Just taking 1 AP off of an enemy is powerful, it denies them either movement or a combat action. But taking an enemy down to 0 AP puts them in a stunned state. Stunned enemies lose cover, so you can imagine how trying to AP drain an enemy that's tucked away in heavy cover can be much more powerful than shooting at them and doing little damage after the cover multiplier nerfs the attack.

Flashbangs are super useful. If you aren't using them, start. I highly recommend using Eiger's level 3 upgrade on the flashbang instead of the regular grenade. But they're cheap enough to stock up on, and anytime you can hit a cluster of enemies with a 'bang and stun them, you seriously tip the scales in your direction.

The lightning barrier knocks 1 AP off of everyone that runs into it. The AI seems to do some pathfinding around barriers, but not too much. Lay barriers in prime movement paths and let them run into them and sap AP.

Earth elementals sap AP with their basic attacks, and they soak up plenty of damage. Especially with the whole "escape" mechanic, I find the best use for elementals is to summon a nice tanky Earth one and move them right into the middle of the enemies, make them spend their AP trying to take it down, and if it escapes, it's pretty much still their problem. (As such, I recommend the Earth elemental upgrade for Dietrich rather than the Fire elemental)

The Shadow spell creates an area for 1 turn where nothing in it can target or be targeted. Cast this at the very end of your combat turn, with your whole party in it, to completely deny the opposing force an entire round of attacks. (Superbly useful in the beginning of combat, where your team usually starts bunched up. Spend the first round using your AP on buffs and potshots, then Shadow the group, and disperse the buffed team around the area the following round). Likewise, if you need to get from point "A" to point "B" while getting shot at (happens a number of times in this game), you can cast Shadow and put it somewhere in the middle, where you can stop within the shadow, completely out in the open, and be safe from attack the next round.

Barrier spells in general are very powerful, especially if you retreat and force the enemy to run through barriers chasing after you. One Shaman can pretty much shut down an entire opposing force this way, provided you're patient enough and the encounter gives you somewhere to retreat to (some scripted sequences obviously cut this off). Unlike most things, Barriers have no percentage to them - if you touch them, it's a 100% hit.

If you're not a Shaman yourself, you can buy barrier spells (and Shadow) and "loan" them to Dietrich, in place of his less useful spells. Do this. Note that you have to repeat the "loaning" process at the equipment screen that starts each quest, so don't forget.

If you are a mage, Blindness and Mind Wipe are incredibly powerful. Each basically takes one enemy out of combat for two turns. Target your biggest threat and keep him/her out of combat.

*Legion* wrote:

For anyone having difficulty progressing in the game, here are some of the things I am doing to progress through Hard difficulty (no story spoilers, but spoiler'd for those that don't want combat tips):

Spoiler:

A very powerful tactic is denying the enemy attacks / action points. There's a few tools you can use here.

Just taking 1 AP off of an enemy is powerful, it denies them either movement or a combat action. But taking an enemy down to 0 AP puts them in a stunned state. Stunned enemies lose cover, so you can imagine how trying to AP drain an enemy that's tucked away in heavy cover can be much more powerful than shooting at them and doing little damage after the cover multiplier nerfs the attack.

Flashbangs are super useful. If you aren't using them, start. I highly recommend using Eiger's level 3 upgrade on the flashbang instead of the regular grenade. But they're cheap enough to stock up on, and anytime you can hit a cluster of enemies with a 'bang and stun them, you seriously tip the scales in your direction.

The lightning barrier knocks 1 AP off of everyone that runs into it. The AI seems to do some pathfinding around barriers, but not too much. Lay barriers in prime movement paths and let them run into them and sap AP.

Earth elementals sap AP with their basic attacks, and they soak up plenty of damage. Especially with the whole "escape" mechanic, I find the best use for elementals is to summon a nice tanky Earth one and move them right into the middle of the enemies, make them spend their AP trying to take it down, and if it escapes, it's pretty much still their problem.

The Shadow spell creates an area for 1 turn where nothing in it can target or be targeted. Cast this at the very end of your combat turn, with your whole party in it, to completely deny the opposing force an entire round of attacks. (Superbly useful in the beginning of combat, where your team usually starts bunched up. Spend the first round using your AP on buffs and potshots, then Shadow the group, and disperse the buffed team around the area the following round). Likewise, if you need to get from point "A" to point "B" while getting shot at (happens a number of times in this game), you can cast Shadow and put it somewhere in the middle, where you can stop within the shadow, completely out in the open, and be safe from attack the next round.

Barrier spells in general are very powerful, especially if you retreat and force the enemy to run through barriers chasing after you. One Shaman can pretty much shut down an entire opposing force this way, provided you're patient enough and the encounter gives you somewhere to retreat to (some scripted sequences obviously cut this off). Unlike most things, Barriers have no percentage to them - if you touch them, it's a 100% hit.

If you're not a Shaman yourself, you can buy barrier spells (and Shadow) and "loan" them to Dietrich, in place of his less useful spells. Do this. Note that you have to repeat the "loaning" process at the equipment screen that starts each quest, so don't forget.

If you are a mage, Blindness and Mind Wipe are incredibly powerful. Each basically takes one enemy out of combat for two turns. Target your biggest threat and keep him/her out of combat.

Those are great tips, Legion. Thanks! I'm going to start using a couple of them right away.

I have yet to unlock a single achievement for Dragonfall. I should have. Anyone else experiencing this? I haven't played anything else to see if it's strictly DF or Steam related.

RnRClown wrote:

I have yet to unlock a single achievement for Dragonfall. I should have. Anyone else experiencing this? I haven't played anything else to see if it's strictly DF or Steam related.

Mine are working fine, but about halfway through and I've only unlocked 7 achievements. It is possible that you haven't triggered any yet?