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general impressions of QW@2


madrigan
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Hello all, I finished QW2 a few days ago and I can't decide what I think of it. I loved the first QW, I finished it at least six times and I was so satisfied with the outcome of my last playthrough that I still have the savegame just so I can just go stroll around in there a bit. I don't know if I will play QW2 a second time. I do enjoy the moral ambiguity of SW games, and I knew there would not be a completely satisfying ending. I ended up with the Ro liking me fairly well and my family considering me a complete bozo, which is fine. But in QW1, there were a few major decisions that seemed easy to make and had a real impact on the game world; I was never going to support the Mascha, for example, and my decision completely flipped the power structure in the Vol. In QW2, everyone is so hostile and/or unpleasant that I didn't really want to be there, nothing really changes, and the war happens no matter what, so what was the point? I understand that the mission is a frustrating chore for the character, but it shouldn't be a frustrating chore for the player.

 

I play on Casual, because I don't like to minmax and I don't have the attention span to fight the same boss half a dozen times just to figure out the right tactics. But some of the quests seemed too easy even for Casual, as if they were thrown in to provide busywork or plot advancement but had no tension of their own. These parts of the game seemed rushed. 

 

I do not like the puzzles, at all. I am bad at puzzles, and some of them I couldn't figure out even with the diagrams in the hintbook. In QW1 there were far fewer puzzles, so it was less of a problem. I'm not sure there are any that you have to solve to complete the main quests, but you do need to solve some for some of the cooler optional quests like the Harvester I think. I really just want to see the story and I would prefer a puzzle override control that just assumes my super-educated character figured it out. 

I really wanted to see my decisions play out in the game world to a greater extent. The character's decisions about the governors are supposed to be one of the two most important quests, and I was really anticipating booting out Yvette, but even after my victory at Prova Krug she is still there, dismissing my efforts. You don't really find out about the results of these decisions until the endgame, but I wanted to actually see them. I feel like in QW1 you could actually see your efforts pay off sometimes -- you clear a mine and then later on there's someone working the mine. You decide to support the Trench Towns, and then there's at least an indication that a transition of power has begun. I know Jeff is one guy and he can't write dialogue for every single thing you do, but I found this very unsatisfying. 

 

So I don't know, it is an interesting game but the payoff did not seem to justify the effort that I put in playing or the effort that the character put in adventuring. This is a game I play for enjoyment. I don't need a game I play for enjoyment to remind me that most of the time the death machine just rolls on despite the efforts of individuals. I don't need every game to make me an Avernum III-level hero, but I'd like my character's efforts to clearly matter in the game world. 

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For what it's worth, I think this game has about as much reactivity to your choices in the ending than the first one did. For example, the Kranas ending varies based on whether you saved all the groves, if you fought their delegation, the power of the Ro rebellion, and who you selected as governor. Low Dhaga has variations based on if you tried to change the status of women and if the Queen allows Lawita to continue serving, in addition to the standard variations of how successful the rebellion is.

 

Regarding the game being too easy, you can always change the difficulty mid-run if casual is too easy for you. It's meant to be very simple on that difficulty - if that's a problem you should probably turn it up.

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44 minutes ago, Mechalibur said:

Regarding the game being too easy, you can always change the difficulty mid-run if casual is too easy for you. It's meant to be very simple on that difficulty - if that's a problem you should probably turn it up.

 

I should have clarified, I'm fine with the overall difficulty on Casual, but I found the difficultly uneven. Usually there is a pretty steady progression of difficulty as a game goes on. In this game, some quests are suddenly over and you've barely done anything, while other quests are appropriately difficult. 

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7 hours ago, handle with air said:

It sounds like you're talking less about combat challenge, and more about complexity of general tasks involved in a quest?  Or maybe I'm misunderstanding.

Well, both. I should have noted the specific quests that bothered me. But they just seemed to be a bit too 1979 D&D, "hello I am a local man, there is a monster near here that has treasure, bye." This issue was much less annoying than the feeling that my actions throughout the game made no difference and the Ro were all terrible. 

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