The GWJ CRPG Club - Game 14: Disco Elysium (In Progress)

*Legion* wrote:

I've played for 5 minutes.

Are the PC gamepad controls garbage or something? Half the time, the "A" button action does nothing.

On the PS5 at least its the same, even when you have things highlighted it can sometimes take pressing 'X' 2-3 times before you can interact with something/someone. Its a little annoying but hasn't bothered me too much, I hope they patch it all the same.

Another neat touch is when say suggestion comes through as one of the rolls for a dialogue choice, sometimes certain other choices can boost your chance to get a successful roll but others can actually take away from it. I like that you can't just exhaust all dialogue options to increase your chance of a good roll, you actually have to pay more attention to the response your about to pick.

My 'Physical Instrument' skill has now went from 1 to 3. A level up & an item of clothing with +1 to said stat meant I could kick a furnace without kicking the bucket. I could also shout with some bravado, were as before it was a weak croak that no one could hear.

Exploring the commercial building was an interesting endeavour. Disco Elysium is definitely a slow burn but there's something compelling about it.

My favorite random success re-roll of the re-play so far:

Spoiler:

Successfully looking into Klaasje's eyes, then Volition starts accusing the other skills of being played for fools by her, followed by their protestations of innocence.

This morning, I thought I might treat myself to a little Disco Elysium before I got to work. Then I ran into a wall: a 15 GB install base for the Final Cut update. Oof. Should have seen that one coming.

Finally got around to starting this up last night, and f****. I was all in on what this is selling before my character even gained consciousness. An hour of play is a small sample size to be sure, but the writing combined with the voice acting is working in a big way for me—also, that I died trying to pull a tie off a ceiling fan.

I only played enough to mosey around the diner outside my room; I think I'll start over so I'm not doing 1 and 1 on physical/agility skills. Might be a bit too brittle, but otherwise, I'm getting what made so many people crow about this one when it came out.

I went with a 2-5-2-3 build. I earned my Cop of the Apocalypse stripes day one, but it took longer for me to decide on which political leaning to go with, but eventually I settled on communist fitting the best - gulags can also be a part of The Great Bloodletting.

Now, waking up on the fourth day, I've received a quest to find some other communists, so I think I've hit the new political vision quests.

Spoiler:

Apparently I will know them by the smell of failure.

So, I'm playing my character pretty straight- experienced, burnt out cop who realizes he's hit rock bottom, humbly trying to change course and salvage whatever professionalism and dignity he can. Sorry cop, I guess?

But some of these other conversation options look downright glorious. I haven't selected any but I still laugh just reading them. I'm already imagining a second playthrough where I automatically pick the most ridiculous response every time. Seems like my character would vacillate between a ridiculous narcissist with no hint of self-awareness and a straight up raving lunatic. I'm sure it will be hilarious.

Day four has started. I spent day three exploring half of the map and picking up random side quests. Was I supposed to be investigating something? So many conversations about politics and reality and music and stained glass windows, I’m not entirely sure what is even going on right now.

Redherring wrote:
*Legion* wrote:

Are the PC gamepad controls garbage or something?

Yes and no. Well maybe more yes.

Spikeout wrote:

On the PS5 at least its the same, even when you have things highlighted it can sometimes take pressing 'X' 2-3 times before you can interact with something/someone. Its a little annoying but hasn't bothered me too much, I hope they patch it all the same.

I'm guessing this behavior doesn't happen with mouse control? Think I'm going to have to give the Steam Controller a shot if I'm going to play this from the couch. Because this behavior is infuriating.

Is this a new achievement for the Final Cut or something almost no one save myself and a few others unlocked?

Spoiler:

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/CzrMpAu.png)

Fired up the game today. And, as I could have predicted, hit analysis paralysis with the character generator.

First time I played the game, nearly 2 years ago -- and didn't get very far -- I went 4/4/2/2, making a main character who was smart and social, but not physical in the slightest. I made perception my signature stat to even things out. But I also find some of the motorics skills really interesting, so I think I'm going to go 4/3/2/3, for a cop that's mostly brains, but with some social skills and style.

I'm torn on my signature skill, though. I've thought about nearly every skill in the psyche category (except volition), plus also rhetoric and drama within intellect.

Between the spoilercast and this thread, I feel spoiled with all this Disco Elysium talk! I was really disappointed how my now favorite game of all time, and one of the very few games I played right after release, was so rarely discussed among Goodjers. This last week has been a feast!

I'm just getting back to this after 3 nights in work. I've looked through all my tasks, decided to check off an easy one, report my badge missing on Kit's radio in the car. The conversation that ensues between the operator relaying messages to your lieutenant is laugh out loud hilarious. It gets to the point your fellow officers are butting in asking the operator to relay questions to you, it's a damn hoot

Honestly I've just paused it to write this & looked at one of the responses you can give again & bust out laughing for the second time.

dejanzie wrote:

Between the spoilercast and this thread, I feel spoiled with all this Disco Elysium talk! I was really disappointed how my now favorite game of all time, and one of the very few games I played right after release, was so rarely discussed among Goodjers. This last week has been a feast!

I was honestly surprised that when I went looking for an official thread last month to post news about the final cut was just how short the thread was.

LastSurprise wrote:

Fired up the game today. And, as I could have predicted, hit analysis paralysis with the character generator.

First time I played the game, nearly 2 years ago -- and didn't get very far -- I went 4/4/2/2, making a main character who was smart and social, but not physical in the slightest. I made perception my signature stat to even things out. But I also find some of the motorics skills really interesting, so I think I'm going to go 4/3/2/3, for a cop that's mostly brains, but with some social skills and style.

I'm torn on my signature skill, though. I've thought about nearly every skill in the psyche category (except volition), plus also rhetoric and drama within intellect.

The way the game plays out makes me feel like you can take your character in a lot of different ways too. So yeah, tough choices! I went 4/4/2/2 and it’s been a lot of fun so far.

I’ll be back home this weekend and should be able to get some time in then.

I'm also getting hit with the AP. I've started at least four characters over the last couple of days. I might just go with a lunkhead, since I haven't tried a physical build yet.

Made some more progress last night. It's about 19:00 on Day 1, and here are some noteworthy events:

Spoiler:
  • Got through to Cuno, found his apartment, took the speed, but haven't yet decided what to do with it. I'll probably act when Kim's not around. Also declined to hurt Cuno's sad-sack father.
  • Found a bust of Kraz Mazov. That guy looks suspiciously like me, right? I think I see a resemblance.
  • Unlocked Jamais Vu, and learned some from Joyce about the truth of our world. There is *definitely* some supernatural stuff afoot.
  • ... For instance, a cursed bookstore. Haven't been able to investigate it yet, though it was nice to see Kim play along with my attempts.
  • I paid my debt at the Whirling-in-Rags! So, I won't be homeless tonight.
  • And, I bought a headless figurine. That seems like it'll have some value.

New patch seems to have made interactions a bit smoother but they could still be further improved. I played some more last night & this morning. Got to the end of day one. It was nice to chat with Kim over the days events. There was a revelation about a lost item, finally got into that locked dumpster out back near where the dead body hangs & have been trying to bargain with the Cafeteria manager Garte.

I've had a few internalize thought options but one was essentially certifying my character being a racist & the other was labelling me as a 'sorry cop'. I was prepared to humour Measurehead's ideology to get past him but there's no chance I'm going past dipping my toes in the water here. He needs taken out but I'm thinking you'd need a 4 or 5 in the physical instrument stat to have any chance. On the sorry cop, I think that would take the wild, fun responses out of conversations at least somewhat.

I've also took a bit of advice & kept skill points to put in a characteristic that will be lacking come the time.

I found out more backstory from Bird's Nest Roy

Spoiler:

made me feel for the guy being exposed to the radiation after the the people built the shoddy power plant.

Every character you meet feels so fleshed out.

I'm finding more & more out about Disco, the amnesia induced state he is running around in really is hiding some hard truths.

It took a while for me to settle with Disco Elysium. To discover how to approach a self-deprecating protagonist, in a bleak world of irrelevance and derision, interspersed with political needling. I have bounced between disappointment, loathing, and intrigue. Glad to have humour breaking up the heavy moments. For sure.

I too was burdened with analysis paralysis. This is not surprising. That uncertainty strikes with many, many character creation introductions. I have played the opening moments with a few different archetypes. Finding a wavelength which felt most suitable for my present thought processes was not so simple. This role. That role. The other role. *brain metaphorically collapses*

I eventually came to find a groove with a balanced, well rounded character sheet. Rolling with honesty and transparency, whilst responding in earnest to each assessment. That is the comfortable fit at this time. Specific restraint per a checklist to a skewed roleplay just wasn't settling. My protagonist has a 3, 3, 2, 4 spread. The signature skill is Suggestion (which also raises the learning cap for Psyche). I like it. I've had good rolls thus far as well. Hopefully this one sticks.

Spoiler:

I've leaned into the amnesiac role and been upfront about it. Although, I've yet to radio in about the misplaced badge. Kim's suggestion to try and locate it is a first step.

Told a racist lorry driver to f*ck off (after amnesiac querying his stance). Felt good! Ha! Stole 5 reál (which I thought was a flier that may be a clue to something). Felt bad! Stole a raincoat (which was ludonarrative dissonance - video game logic - stat persuasion). Felt good! Then felt bad! I'll be more careful. It's too common to disassociate loot acquisition. Whoops!

Oh yeah. Steam Controller is definitely the way to go for couch play instead of those cursed gamepad controls.

I'm up to about 5pm on Day 2, finally made a bit of progress with some of what I think are the key tasks from Day 1. Still lurching along and enjoying the ride, but I'm starting to wonder if I'm "losing" the game. I've got a lot of checks I haven't passed, and I'm not really close to getting them solved.

Day three will open up more of the map to explore, you can pick up more tasks and experience and new clothing to affect stats.

I have almost a whole logic boosting outfit for when I need it now.

A lot of the tasks seem to be unrelated to the central mystery but then things can suddenly circle back and you are in the middle of it again. And all those white checks can be retried later.

You’ve really got to get out of the traditional ‘find the path’ way of thinking to enjoy DE to it’s fullest. Each playthrough will tell a new story (seriously, there are whole sections I missed in my first run and I thought I’d done everything), and worrying about failing checks will detract from the overall experience for you. I ended up just thinking of each check as a narrative branch instead, dictated by the general strengths and weaknesses my supercop had developed under my tenure

Cuno. This lad reminds me of a few I knew whilst growing up. Now, there was no speed, at least not to my knowledge, but there was solvent and adhesive abuse. The characteristics were very similar. One even talked in the third person, on rare occasion. The Cuno introduction instantly transported me back there. A place I'd since forgotten. (It is some 25 years back.) The vitriol. The hate. The accusations. The need to physically lash out. The hardened psyche that lets nothing in. I do wonder what became of them.

With Cuno I flit between my once youthful responses of fight or flight. Anything else was mostly unwise. As much as my more experienced notions of understanding and empathy. Kim seems to have no time or patience for the interaction. It's unfortunate. It's normalized. It's not our responsibility. Just how most approached the real-life examples back when. Not worth the risk to oneself.

DC Malleus wrote:

You’ve really got to get out of the traditional ‘find the path’ way of thinking to enjoy DE to it’s fullest. Each playthrough will tell a new story (seriously, there are whole sections I missed in my first run and I thought I’d done everything), and worrying about failing checks will detract from the overall experience for you. I ended up just thinking of each check as a narrative branch instead, dictated by the general strengths and weaknesses my supercop had developed under my tenure :)

This is exactly right. AFAIK, the only way you can fail to complete the game is if you get softlocked at the end of Day Two without a place to stay (and that dead end might have been patched out by now). Otherwise, the game acts like a clever DM who shifts and shapes the narrative depending on your skills and your choices. If you just keep playing, you'll get to the end.

Tasty Pudding wrote:
DC Malleus wrote:

You’ve really got to get out of the traditional ‘find the path’ way of thinking to enjoy DE to it’s fullest. Each playthrough will tell a new story (seriously, there are whole sections I missed in my first run and I thought I’d done everything), and worrying about failing checks will detract from the overall experience for you. I ended up just thinking of each check as a narrative branch instead, dictated by the general strengths and weaknesses my supercop had developed under my tenure :)

This is exactly right. AFAIK, the only way you can fail to complete the game is if you get softlocked at the end of Day Two without a place to stay (and that dead end might have been patched out by now). Otherwise, the game acts like a clever DM who shifts and shapes the narrative depending on your skills and your choices. If you just keep playing, you'll get to the end.

Yeah, I'd really encourage everyone to just.. soak everything in. Don't rush to the end. You are not saving the world, you're not min-maxing your way to "victory." Don't stress about your character stats, you're going to have an amazing, unique experience no matter where your stats fall.

(I am curious about whether the Day 2 softlock has been removed).

Most excellent, thanks for the thoughts, everyone. I was definitely "trying to do well" and starting to stress out that I seem to be failing at a lot of stuff and not moving the main case along very quickly. I'm going to focus more on enjoying the ride and going in whatever direction.

I do wonder about the softlock, though. I might be able to answer that question soon. I, um, might be approaching the end of Day 2 and um, might not have enough money.

I realized I post-e my post-game summary in the other Disco Elysium thread, so I'll just do some shameless copy-pasting:

[Kim Kitsuragi] is an absolute legend - one of my favourite rpg companions of all time. I guess it's kind of an unfair comparison since he's your only companion, and he can be reserved and professional but still have the space to let his personality shine through. Still, he's *so* well-realized. I could never get the achievement for making him hate you.

Anyway, I completed it today. I did have a frustrating technical hickup, where the climax of the church questline hung on my desktop, but I managed to get around it by playing through it on my macbook, and then going back to the desktop. Hooray for cross-platform cloud saves, I guess.

By and large, my apocalyptic weirdo wound up largely in the same place as down on his luck superstar Raphael Ambrosius Costeau did in my first runthrough - albeit with some modifications.

(Aside from how reactive it is in the small things - I showed up for my political vision quest, and one of the guys I met realized I was wearing the jacket I'd stolen off him earlier. I can't imagine how much work has gone into all that variable tracking. )

I managed to get my gun this time, I got a certain container open and met

Spoiler:

The Mega Rich Light-bending Guy

I also got to a certain scene that's so missable I didn't see it the first time - in the final sequence, if you get the chance to sleep, do yourself a favour, and take the opportunity.

Also, oof.

Still one of my favourite games in recent years, about the only complaint I have is that i want some sort of sorting on the clothing inventory.

Most excellent, congrats on finishing up, ALG! You're our first one.

Thanks for the write up as well. makes me want to dig back into the game more tonight. Do you have a sense for how long it took you?

Godzilla Blitz wrote:

I do wonder about the softlock, though. I might be able to answer that question soon. I, um, might be approaching the end of Day 2 and um, might not have enough money.

Same. I realize I can go pawn some stuff, but that goes against my RPG hoarding instincts. What if I sell something that’s a key quest solution later? I’d rather sleep on the street.

Ahhh, but again Gewy, relax your instincts and just do what your structurally compromised police officer would do I sincerely believe you can’t go wrong that way, and trying to ‘game’ DE or succumbing to traditional habits is only going to detract from your experience. For your own good, break away and sell that broken tape reel my friend!