Jump to content

Amber Feedback (Spoilers!)


Guest Bons

Recommended Posts

Guest Bons

First off, congratulations on releasing your mod!

 

I've only been playing the mod a couple of hours, but I wanted to comment on some things that have jumped out so far:

 

The Girl and Boy voicing was adorable. Irenicus Knightingale (and wasn't it her brother who voiced the boy?) did an excellent job.

 

I like Amber's music. Non-intrusive, but lovely if you focus on it.

 

It's inconveniencing and a little irritating that you disable the Prison Keeper while the quest to get Amber out of prison is happening. I'd allowed Jan to get arrested, and I couldn't pay off his fine until I'd left the prison with Amber, then returned. I'd strongly encourage adding the option to pay Jan's fine through dialogue with the guard you spawn for Amber's quest so that playing with another NPC isn't interrupted.

 

The track for getting Amber out of prison that I followed, getting the proper forms at the Council building, was entertaining and well done.

Link to post
It's inconveniencing and a little irritating that you disable the Prison Keeper while the quest to get Amber out of prison is happening. I'd allowed Jan to get arrested, and I couldn't pay off his fine until I'd left the prison with Amber, then returned. I'd strongly encourage adding the option to pay Jan's fine through dialogue with the guard you spawn for Amber's quest so that playing with another NPC isn't interrupted.

 

Thank you. I remember looking into Jan's quest (never played it though) and coming to the conclusion that the only way to solve it was to kill the prison keeper. Hence I didn't use him for Amber's quest and disabled him to encourage the player not to start a fight in the prison and kill my guards by accident.* Seems like I didn't look close enough. :) That's definitely something that has to be corrected in the future versions.

 

 

* Killing Max the guard is a valid option in Amber's quest, though.

Link to post

I just started playing the mod, but couldn't resist dropping in (while the game is still running) to say that getting the forms is hilarious. :D:(:D

 

I kept laughing with each passing form, although my Bhaalspawn started considering summoning a *real* demon to see what kind of forms are needed to make sure the demon is dealt with. :)

 

Anyway, I just wanted to give my congratulations for making such a wonderful introduction, and now I'm going back to the game to (finally!) try to see Amber. :D

Link to post
I just started playing the mod, but couldn't resist dropping in (while the game is still running) to say that getting the forms is hilarious.  :(  :D  :D

 

I kept laughing with each passing form, although my Bhaalspawn started considering summoning a *real* demon to see what kind of forms are needed to make sure the demon is dealt with. :D

 

Anyway, I just wanted to give my congratulations for making such a wonderful introduction, and now I'm going back to the game to (finally!) try to see Amber.  :)

 

Don't thank us. Thank Terry Gilliam who's the director/writer of Brazil. :D

 

I'm glad that you're enjoying the mod so far. :D

Link to post

This seemed like the appropriate thread so I just wanted to thank you for all the work that obviously went into Amber. I must commend you on the mod quality I've experienced thus far. As Bons said the boy and girl voicing and lines were adorable and I agree with Fantasy that the bureaucracy of obtaining the forms for her release was spot on. I am currently in the Underdark and the dialogue and flirt branching/expansion is well done and I love the character. I really liked her comments on the Drow pit fight challenges and how she literally "drags" :) you to bed when you rest.

 

The cadence in her voicing and how she puts sentences together is very believable for a non-prime. Amber is definitely turning into a must-have for any of my good/neutral parties. Between Amber and a certain other Tiefling I may have to find a regular class other than Thief for my PC. Anyway just wanted to let you know I'm enjoying the mod so far and can't wait to see how it plays out. It is quickly becoming apparent that waiting for Ambers TOB material is going push my patience to its limit, for sure. Keep up the excellent work and thanks again for this wonderful mod.

:D

 

UL

Link to post

It's been a long time since I last wrote any extensive feedback on BG mods, so here's a constructive broadside aimed at Amber. Hopefully you modders find some of my thoughts useful.

 

SPOILERS BELOW!

 

 

PRO:

 

+ Portrait. Beautiful - one of the best BG portraits I've seen.

 

+ Music. Non-intrusive, blends nicely into the background.

 

+ Banters. Excellent. Writing was faithful to the original characters. Some of the conversations were absolutely priceless and made me laugh; I especially liked the ones with Imoen, Haer'Dalis and Viconia.

 

+ Underdark. Simply the best Underdark content I've yet seen in any NPC mod. This is how it should be done! :)

 

+ Story and writing. Brilliant. Almost everything was written really well and all aspects of Amber's character are believable and consistent. I think Amber is a textbook example of how major characters in CRPGs should be designed. The romantic interaction was tactfully written, and, well, mostly romantic. There were also a couple of moving scenes, which is a rare treat in any computer game. The mush warning in the FAQ is unnecessary in Amber's case - her talks were neither annoying nor made me feel embarrassed on the authors' behalf.

 

+ Flirts. Good writing, see above. I could almost see the sparks flying in the air among all the flirts and counter-flirts between the protagonist and Amber. Little things, like Amber remembering the colour of the protagonist's hair and eyes, are really the type of interaction I'd love to see more in all CRPGs. Wonderfully immersive.

 

+ Lots of dialogue & character development. Amber has much to say on many subjects, which greatly improves the immersion effect. The writing style is intelligent and often downright poetic, which you don't see in every game. (I half expected Amber to start quoting Aristotle's Ethica Nicomachaea or Kant's Die Metaphysik der Sitten when talking about happiness and freedom... :D ) I'd have liked to see the age-old question of determinism vs. free will receive more attention in the original game (would have been appropriate, considering the protagonist's background), so kudos to Meira & Darios for dealing with it in your mod. I also liked the fact that you actually have to ask Amber about her opinions and thoughts, and not every talk is force-fed down the players' throats. It must have been tedious to write and code so many conversations and descriptions, but if you ask me, the end result is well worth the effort and makes her personality that much more believable. This is one of the things that really separates Amber from many other NPC mods, in a very positive way. Such realistic interaction is sadly lacking in most games, and I can't help but wonder if I live long enough to see the day when some new CRPG takes the place of modded Baldur's Gate in this regard...

 

+ Voice acting. Sterling work! There were no bad actors at all, and voice quality was very good throughout the whole game. Special thanks go to Amber's actress, who sounded very professional in every single dialogue and gave a lot of character to Amber. BTW, I think she should try to sing that pirate song... :(

 

+ Useful addition to a party. Not too many fighter/thieves available, so Amber fills this gap nicely - and she's also quite capable in combat, in addition to her thieving skills.

 

+ Multiplayer romance. Not too many of these around, either. An excellent idea.

 

CONTRA:

 

- Kidnapping. Why must practically every romanceable NPC in existence become shanghaied at some point of the game, some even multiple times? Amber's quest is quite well designed, I did mostly enjoy playing it, and I really appreciate the work you've put in the new areas and NPCs, but if there must be an abduction, isn't the one by Bodhi enough? Kidnapping is a good way to add some emotional force to the game (the "OMG! Somebody just stole my beloved!" effect), but it should be used with care. In my case, the quest began in a most inconvenient situation; I had just finished killing all the slavers inside their stronghold at the Slums District, and was descending the stairs outside when those idiots came out of nowhere and ZAP! - took Amber away. I then had to go back and butcher everyone AGAIN in the same building. I don't know, maybe I'm just tired of constantly mounting these commando-like rescue operations that would leave Otto Skorzeny himself standing in silent awe. SoA = Shadows of Abduction?

 

- Somewhat abrupt ending. There really should have been a lovetalk just before the final battle(s) so that players could confess their love to Amber, if that is their wish. She says the magic words at least twice, indirectly in a banter with Imoen and then directly in one of the last lovetalks, but players don't get this chance at all.

 

- No ToB content. Unfortunately, a common design decision by module developers. I'd prefer to play the game through SoA + ToB at once, especially when having interesting NPCs in the party and when their stories are still fresh in my memory. However, I do understand that modding is a hobby and that you don't have the resources of Bioware at your disposal, so please don't take this criticism the wrong way. Stopping at the end of SoA is just so... anticlimactic, and leaves too many questions unanswered.

 

All in all - with no national bias whatsoever - I dare say Amber is a brilliant addition to BG2 and instantly earns a place in my list of top 5 NPC mods. Meira & Darios: You can't go wrong with Amber in ToB if you follow the same recipe you had in SoA; just no more abductions, please? ;)

 

Random stuff:

 

I noticed quite a few typographical errors in several conversations (over 20 in total). I recorded them, but since you may already be aware of them (you do have proofreaders), I won't post them unless you want me to.

 

Occasionally (quite rarely) Amber refused to talk to me. This usually happened after a lovetalk when I tried to activate her dialogue choices by using the Talk icon. The only way to solve this problem was to save the game and then reload the same save, which reactivated her dialogue menu. Not a big issue really, but annoying nevertheless.

 

It takes aeons for Amber to recover from her shaken state after she's been saved from vampirism at the sun god's temple. (At least on my version of the mod.) I spent approximately 2-3 hours (real time) waiting for her talks to reactivate, in which time I could have easily completed the game. Although her normal lovetalks & flirts were still inactive, Amber did talk about the big trees of the elven forest and the architectural beauty of Suldanessellar. Kind of strange, considering she's supposed to be brooding over her experiences as a vampire at this time.

 

I noticed that Amber's flirts are unavailable in the svirfneblin village; she just mumbles something about the dangers of Underdark. In my opinion, if there's one place in that dark corner of Faerûn where the party can be at relative peace, it's the gnome village.

 

While Raelis Shai was opening the planar portal in the theatre, Haer'Dalis repeatedly attacked Amber with spells and swords. This was rather strange and somewhat humorous - maybe this explains why Amber is so ice cold toward Haer'Dalis in their banters...

 

P.S. Is the hilarious Easter Egg somehow related to a certain place of ill repute, where you can do something too much? If it is, I've found it... And just how old is Amber? And what about her mysterious friend Sasha? Because I got the distinct impression that Amber's hiding something in this case. I hope these intriguing questions will be answered in ToB, because in SoA there are only a couple of vague hints about Amber's long life and her relationship with Sasha.

 

But I digress. Best of luck with future Amber development, and may the ToB Tuesday come quickly and not delay. :D

 

Oh, and sorry about the length of this post. I tried to be brief, but the words just kept coming... at least you can't complain about not getting any feedback!

Link to post

Thanks for the review and for all the kind words Pekka!

 

CONTRA:

 

- Kidnapping.

 

The kidnapping was a terrible idea, now that I look back to it. I can only defend myself by saying that when the quest and areas were created there were not too many mod NPCs around and I wasn't familiar enough with the game to realise how many bio NPCs include some sort of abduction besides Bodhi's. This issue was touched by the testers too and I have some vague plans how to add another ways to solve that quest. (Along the lines of giving the PC opportunity to prevent the slavers from capturing Amber, but having her to be bothered enough about that to insist on finding who it was that tried to take her. The quest would still be mandatory to keep her talks going, but it would require less immediate attention from the player.)

 

I noticed quite a few typographical errors in several conversations (over 20 in total). I recorded them, but since you may already be aware of them (you do have proofreaders), I won't post them unless you want me to.

 

You can send a report of any language issues you found to <amber@mbnet.fi>. Even the keenest proofreader can miss a thing or two, and we are grateful of all extra eyes. I'll make the corrections for the next version, (which will also include voicing and music for the easter egg!).

 

Occasionally (quite rarely) Amber refused to talk to me. This usually happened after a lovetalk when I tried to activate her dialogue choices by using the Talk icon. The only way to solve this problem was to save the game and then reload the same save, which reactivated her dialogue menu. Not a big issue really, but annoying nevertheless.

 

I'm not sure that I can do anything about this; as far as I have concluded it's IE being laggy in changing Amber's dialogue files. When ever I've encountered this problem waiting a little (like ten to thirty seconds) has fixed the issue. I'll keep tabs on any further reports, though.

 

It takes aeons for Amber to recover from her shaken state after she's been saved from vampirism at the sun god's temple. (At least on my version of the mod.) I spent approximately 2-3 hours (real time) waiting for her talks to reactivate, in which time I could have easily completed the game. Although her normal lovetalks & flirts were still inactive, Amber did talk about the big trees of the elven forest and the architectural beauty of Suldanessellar. Kind of strange, considering she's supposed to be brooding over her experiences as a vampire at this time.

 

I'll have to take a look on the vampire recovery timer and to the fact that the two chapter talks occurred despite her being still upset.

 

I noticed that Amber's flirts are unavailable in the svirfneblin village; she just mumbles something about the dangers of Underdark. In my opinion, if there's one place in that dark corner of Faerûn where the party can be at relative peace, it's the gnome village.

 

I'll think about it... I might be too lazy to replace !See([Neutral]) with a more complex check, though. :)

 

While Raelis Shai was opening the planar portal in the theatre, Haer'Dalis repeatedly attacked Amber with spells and swords. This was rather strange and somewhat humorous - maybe this explains why Amber is so ice cold toward Haer'Dalis in their banters...

 

Uh... that certainly shouldn't be happening. Do I remember correctly that HD isn't in your party during that event?

 

And just how old is Amber? And what about her mysterious friend Sasha? Because I got the distinct impression that Amber's hiding something in this case. I hope these intriguing questions will be answered in ToB, because in SoA there are only a couple of vague hints about Amber's long life and her relationship with Sasha.

 

*Mischievous laughter* I tried my best to give enough vague hints to make your interested but not to spill my beans right away. At least her age again comes up in passing in ToB; that much is already written. ;)

 

Giving the player the option to say the magic words just before final fight is a good idea and I'll see if I can work out something on that. I've been trying to figure out how to introduce the idea without shoving it down the player's throat while avoiding a situation where player will choose it (from the flirt menu) just to try everything out.

 

[EDIT: Fixed some typos.]

Link to post

I had the Haer'Dalis thing happen to me as well, but since he only launched a single magic missile before the battle was over, didn't think too much of it. If you don't have him in-party, he should support the party, but instead chooses to take his frustrations out on Amber.

 

Not sure what could be causing this. HD uses the HAERDAX script during that battle (his general out-of-party battle script), but since every attack uses a NearestEnemyOf(Myself) as target, I can't tell what's wrong. Then again, AI scripts are hardly my specialty.

 

As for the working in of the "I love you moment" in SoA: Huzzah! :)

Link to post
I had the Haer'Dalis thing happen to me as well, but since he only launched a single magic missile before the battle was over, didn't think too much of it. If you don't have him in-party, he should support the party, but instead chooses to take his frustrations out on Amber.

 

Not sure what could be causing this. HD uses the HAERDAX script during that battle (his general out-of-party battle script), but since every attack uses a NearestEnemyOf(Myself) as target, I can't tell what's wrong. Then again, AI scripts are hardly my specialty.

 

I vaguely remembered that HD had been reported to do that before, but I wasn't sure. I wonder anyone has ever seen him do that in the vanilla game and if Amber was just an unlucky target of is there something her that makes him think her as an enemy? I'll have to take one more look at his scripts.

 

As for the working in of the "I love you moment" in SoA: Huzzah! :)

 

;)

Link to post

I just want to say that I didn't mind the kidnapping because it gave me a great opportunity to explore a new area and the items I left with are pretty cool. I suppose in a later release the player can have the option to let it happen as it is, or avoid it. I haven't gone much further yet with Amber, since I have multiple games going all for different purposes, but I LOVE her so far! :)

Link to post
You can send a report of any language issues you found to <amber@mbnet.fi>

 

Roger that. I'll send the list to you ASAP.

 

I'm not sure that I can do anything about this; as far as I have concluded it's IE being laggy in changing Amber's dialogue files. When ever I've encountered this problem waiting a little (like ten to thirty seconds) has fixed the issue. I'll keep tabs on any further reports, though.

 

Doesn't work on my version. But saving and reloading doesn't take long on my brand new dual-core processor, so...

 

Uh... that certainly shouldn't be happening. Do I remember correctly that HD isn't in your party during that event?

 

Like Lord Ernie already wrote, HD isn't yet in the party at that point. In my game, he did manage to hit Amber quite hard with magic missiles and his special swords.

 

Giving the player the option to say the magic words just before final fight is a good idea and I'll see if I can work out something on that. I've been trying to figure out how to introduce the idea without shoving it down the player's throat while avoiding a situation where player will choose it (from the flirt menu) just to try everything out.

 

Good to see my criticism wasn't wasted in this case. ;) How about the Tree of Life? It's pretty near the final battle, and from a dramatic point of view, not a bad place at all for some love confessions. (Not being able to say the three words reminded me of a typical Finnish relationship; "Real men don't spend time quoting poetry and speaking sweet words to ladies, they just grab the girl and get the job done." You know, the Conan the Cimmerian method. :D)

 

Edit: Giving players the opportunity to avoid the kidnapping but still complete the Ymmyrt quest sounds good to me. The more options a CRPG has, the better it is. :)

Link to post

Actually, I liked the kidnapping plot, and I thought the new areas and locales were neat. I found it quite challenging, mainly because I rushed to complete it without resting to re-memorize spells first, and I ran out of defensive spells by the time I reached the demon. I was seriously down to the protagonist's Draw Upon Holy Might (helpful) and Slow Poison (completely unhelpful), Keto's Luck, and Nalia's Mirror Image. I've not yet figured out what to do with the items you find, though, especially the various soul stones. I had hoped that Lorraine might explain it, but well, you all know how that turns out.

 

At the time, I thought the ending of the plot was sort of anti-climactic, but having seen more of Amber's content, now it seems, well, kind of appropriate.

Link to post
I've not yet figured out what to do with the items you find, though, especially the various soul stones. I had hoped that Lorraine might explain it, but well, you all know how that turns out.

 

Didn't Lorraine do something with the green soul gem at the end of the battle with the sorcerer?

Link to post
What about the other gems? (I know what the green one does.) I sold them to get some money, because I couldn't find any other use for them.

 

You could try doing the same thing to them that Lorraine did to the green one. (Try examining the machine in the laboratory that Lorraine used the green one with.)

Link to post

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...