While I’m not a fan of the real time stuff and agree it was a mistake, it ultimately isn’t that difficult, at least not if you’re playing on easy.
Eh, I could probably do it if I wanted to get stressed about it, but handling the horrible “click to move” interface with realtime stealth on timed paths, is not my idea of a good time. (And just brute-forcing my way through stuff on Easy by ignoring the whole “stealth meter” feels like breaking immersion.)
It bugged me at first until I realized things were set up in particular patterns. If you just wait and watch for a bit, you can pick out the blind spots and safe areas you can rest at before making the next move.
I totally recognise that things are set up in particular patterns. However: the “click to move” interface is frustrating in a real-time setting, quite apart from the fact that if I’m choosing to play a turn-based game, it’s because I don’t want the stress of forced time-limited decisions. (Plus, just as in the original Deus Ex, I object fundamentally to tying character-ability (in this case at hacking) to player-skill (in this case, at real time annoying stealth sequences). It was horrible in Deus Ex with shooting skill, and it’s horrible here.)
Yeah to be clear I don’t think playing on easy makes the stealth any easier, but you can just zap your way through the ice like in dragonfall if/when you get caught.
Oh yeah, I actually looked it up after I finished it.
But still, fuck dragons
Quick Question about HK, which I’m playing for the first time:
From a story perspective, who should I be bringing on missions?
6 hrs in and I’m already ride or die with Gobbet, and I’ll probably bring Izz on most missions because she’s the best AND can deck, but who should be filling that 3rd slot? Leaning towards Gaichu, but I suspect Racter will get weirder once I finish his loyalty quest? You’re welcome to make a case for Duncan too, although I don’t think he’ll break out of the hothead younger brother cop thing that I have zero time for.
Also feel free to list any standout character+mission combos that shouldn’t be missed. (Things like bringing Gaichu to mingle with high society)
Rotate as needed, honestly. Duncan is excellent for combat missions (and you’re dead wrong about his character development); Racter is good for missions that deal with infiltration, since they’ll usually have vents and stuff that Koschei can infiltrate; and Gaichu’s actually a good sub for Gobbet at times because he can inflict status effects and is effective at closer range than she is.
From a story perspective it doesn’t really matter. Everyone will have a take on how your last mission went regardless of if they were there, if I’m remembering correctly. Talk to everyone after every mission and you’ll see every story.
Duncan actually is a really great character, though. Agreeing with @shawne. If you’re really deadset on Duncan not being in the party Gaichu is probably the best replacement for him since their DPS is comparable, they just have different specializations so you’ll have to change things up in your tactics. Gobbet and Is0bel were in my party 100% of the time and I just switched between the other 3 whenever I felt like it and I never really had problems.
At some point i cut off Racter though. Fuck Racter.
Racter is the best silence you
But yeah, you get the most out of HK by experimenting with party set-ups. EVERYONE brings something new on every possible run, creating new possibilities you may have never realized. Is0bel and Duncan are pretty easy to predict, but the other three are ridiculous wild card characters who completely flip expectations on their head.
Combat wise, I usually went with Gobbet, Ractor, and Gaichu because they complicated by decker/rigger build best. Gaichu’s melee stuff is insanely good, Gobbet becomes one hell of an anti-shaman weapon as you work with her, and Ractor’s rig is ridiculously strong and versatile in what it can do.
Duncan was an occasional sub because it’s just generally a good idea to have when he gets his AP damaging abilities, plus he gets a sweet upgrade that throws grenades back at enemies. Is0bel was the least used because while her explosive stuff is cool, it doesn’t matter much when I can deck and control two rigs at the same time.
I mean, Ractor, genius Russian sociopath, is kind of the ideal character of an unhealthy portion of the internet.
I liked the execution but the concept screams Kickstarter audience polled stretch goal.
I like that the game basically gives you two characters who don’t really fit in the moral good. You can actually properly measure the quality of a WRPG based entirely on how many of your party members are evil. The more, the better the game. Just look at KOTOR 2.
I’d love to be proven wrong about Duncan, and it does seem like a great deal of the writing effort is being spent on both him and the PC’s relationship with him, so I’m hopeful that things complicate my opinion, BUT so far for the two missions I’ve brought him along he’s been dull. Another issue is that I’m playing Street Sam, so he really doesn’t bring anything that I don’t on the combat or skill-check side of things.
Dude’s alright and I enjoy our boat chats, but he’s no fun at parties.
Racter read to me as the kind of evil that walks up to me at a party and starts talking about how Fight Club changed his life.
(also take this with a massive grain of salt but since I haven’t played the game since launch. I just remember his being a pretty boring kind of evil in the narrative and mechanically I just couldn’t find a place for him.)
I actually thought he was really interesting. A lot of his personal philosophy makes sense, which makes it even more unnerving when you start really picking up on just how far out there he is in other ways. My talks with him were my favorite in the game alongside Gaichu.
You’re making me want to play HK again because I really don’t remember the nuances of Racter’s characterization, I just remember being bored by him and completely writing him off as a party member because he didn’t fit in with how I wanted to move through levels in that game (mostly though my Street Samurai MC’s charisma or Is0bel’s decking skills.)
Problem is I really don’t have the time I did when HK came out and I’ve barely started my Waypoint 101 playthrough of Dragonfall, so. Probably going to prioritize the 101. But real talk. HK is a fantastic game and anyone who enjoyed Dragonfall should really get on that.
Man, all this Hong Kong talk makes me wish I’d picked it up during a sale at some point (I didn’t because Dragonfall had been sitting in my library unplayed for ages).
So, I just got to the final parts of the game. Bloodline went pretty well, I had 7 turns left on Knight Errand showing up by the time I set the generators to blow. Had one annoying bit early on with the sneaking, but managed to find another route that didn’t have my party stand in line of sight of a guard (I didn’t overload the grid). I ended up destroying the data and freeing the test subjects.
Then it was time to go to Alice. RIP Paul Amsel. Dante is cool to have around, but I don’t know if I’ll bring him along on missions (assuming I can still only bring 3 + myself).
I noticed I wasn’t going to get enough karma to get my Ranged Weapons up to 8, so after buying the best cyberdeck I ended up getting spellcasting 2 and conjuring 2, so I can use a heal and a barrier in emergencies. They’ll have long cooldowns since I’m on 3 essence from my cyberware, but at this point in the game I wanted to try something different. I already get plenty of stat bonuses from the cyberware (2 int, 1 quickness, 1 dodge, 6% accuracy, and the Adrenal Contractor) and the Lodge Coat, so I’ll probably be fine. No idea what to spend my leftover money on though.
So, a bit of a digression on Hong Kong, since I’m getting fairly far through it now (this is kinda spoilery, but also not, so I’ll just comment out bits which relate to the plot proper).
If Dragonfall has a thing about authority and organisation, Hong Kong seems to have a thing about “what it means to be human”. Given my issues with the whole “cybernetics eats your soul” aspects of Essence reduction, it’s particularly interesting to me that there’s several characters (three party members (Racter and Gaichu, obviously, and Is0bel to some extent, given she prefers her matrix form to her body), and one or two “shopkeepers” (Ten-Armed Ambrose, and to a lesser extent, Maximum Law) who all have variants of issues with their relationship to metahumanity - and two of them are, essentially, posthuman already. (Ten-Armed Ambrose and Racter are both “more machine now than man”, and whilst Racter is creepy and fulfils the stereotype of having “lost humanity”, Ambrose is very very human, despite being mostly building by mass.). You can even discuss the nature of Essence and cybernetics with both of those characters, in what feels, at times, a bit like the setting trying to delicately retcon itself to be more subtle (but also directly reinforcing its core design implications).
This doesn’t seem to be directly woven in the the actual main plot thread, though, which is interesting. (Unless the plot is about “how we deal with our obligations and relationship to society in a culture which is all about respect and rules”? But… I’m only half-way into the main plot, so I’m not sure I have a handle on it yet.)
I don’t recall at what point you find this out, so I’ll be vague: Racter’s got a neat twist on that stereotype of “cybernetics eating your soul”.
Yeah, I basically got to that part - the contrast between him ( being a psychopath already ) and Ambrose still being a great guy despite being mostly medical robots seems to deliberately muddy the waters (despite Ambrose still essentially continuing to give the Shadowrun universe’s Party Line on Essence.). That’s really what prompted me to write that post.