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PC World: 15 years later, Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 is finally happening

Harlequin 0 78 Article rating: No rating
PC World went a little deeper in the details of the starting story. Ironic the non-gaming mag has the most details about the story in the game *snicker* Here is a snip;
 

Bloodlines 2 begins with a slaughter. On a foggy Seattle night, vampires swoop down from the rooftops in Pioneer Square and conduct a Mass Embrace, converting a group of humans into so-called “Thin Bloods.” It’s a dangerous and illegal act. Abandoned to the world, these bewildered and naive Thin Bloods threaten the Masquerade, the elaborate social pact that prevents humans from finding out about vampires.
[ Further reading: These 20 absorbing PC games will eat days of your life ]

As one of these Thin Bloods yourself, you’re captured and brought to trial. Wheeled before a council of the governing vampire clans, you’re asked to recall the events of that night in Pioneer Square, and thus expose the culprits behind this terrible deed.

Your reward for cooperating? Execution.

Except it all goes wrong. The trial scene implodes, first as the clans squabble among themselves, and then as an unexplained fire breaks out and engulfs the room. You take the opportunity to flee into the night, there to try and uncover who did this to you, and why.

If you’re lucky, you’ll survive long enough to find out. The first person you meet, a fellow Thin Blood named Dominic, is executed before your eyes. “You’re not on my list,” the assassin growls before fleeing into the night—but that doesn’t mean you’re safe forever.



Apparent Confirmation 5 Clans Will Ship to Start

Harlequin 2 90 Article rating: 3.0
On the Official BL2 site under clans you have this image;



Which seems to imply 5, with a possible bonus 6th clan. Which many are assuming means you get a 6th clan choice if you pre-order or some other kind of related litmus test to get it. Post in the comments which of the original 7 clans is going to be the odd man out on initial release in your view? 


DualShockers: Bloodlines 2 Hands Off Demo: A True RPG Descendant

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First we have a new article from the site DualShockers, and they talk a bit more about the mechanics, here is a snip and the Cliff Notes of the article;
 

The main questline will follow the mystery of who it was that turned you, as well as seven others, and why. An early phone call brings in another mystery, a woman who appears to help you, though exactly who she is and why she is helping will have to be solved over the course of the campaign. Like many of its ilk, the perspective in Bloodlines 2 is always first person, save for a few climbing animations where a third person camera is used briefly to show you ascending a wall or special combat animations.

Before you are free to roam the world you have to undergo some exposition on the rules of the masquerade, essentially keeping the existence of vampires secret. Once that is done you are able to freely explore and interact with the world and watch it react to you. A mugging can be stopped and you’re allowed to consume or spare the victim. Feed on someone in the open and cops will rapidly descend on you. Frequently breaking the masquerade will gain the attention of higher vampires who will see you as a liability and take the necessary steps to put you down, so tread lightly when not in back alleys or enclosed spaces.

Much has changed in the fifteen years since Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines released. Just as the game acknowledges that everyone is carrying an internet-connected camera nowadays, making it harder than ever to stay hidden, developer Hardsuit also acknowledges the decline of expensive immersive sim RPGs. Prey, Dishonored, Dues Ex, and Underworld Ascendant aren’t exactly topping the sales charts.

That doesn’t matter to Hardsuit, whose love of RPGs as well as Bloodlines meant they approached Paradox with a pitch that was make or break for them, as they had invested a lot into the project. “We had not actually asked for submissions, we had not asked for pitches,” stressed Florian Schwarzer, a Senior Product Manager at Paradox Interactive, “It is very rare that a studio, independent studio, takes a risk going to a publisher with a pitch that hasn’t been requested that can only be pitched to one publisher.”


 


PC Gamer: Bloodlines 2 pitch was a 'tremendous risk'

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PC Gamer interviews folks from Hardsuit Labs about the risk they took investing in and pitching of a game they went in blind to and meeting with the property owner. Here is a snip;
 

When Paradox Interactive acquired White Wolf, hope of a Vampire: The Masquerade—Bloodlines sequel surged again, including at Hardsuit Labs. The studio that was last week revealed to be developing Bloodlines 2 wasn't approached by Paradox, however, and the publisher already had its own plans. 

"When we got wind of Paradox acquiring the World of Darkness IP, within about ten minutes I had my creative director Ka'ai Cluney come into my office and say 'We need to contact Paradox. Do you know anyone there, because we need to pitch them a game?',"Andy Kipling, CEO of Hardsuit Labs, tells us. "We spent November and December and January putting together a pitch that we could show them at DICE. My assumption, for what it's worth, was Paradox had a clear plan in place and that we would be coming in from out of the fold to try and make a hail-Mary pass."

A meeting was arranged, but Paradox wasn't expecting this to be the start of a new game. It was hesitant to give away the keys to White Wolf's supernatural universe too easily. 

"I went into that first Skype meeting with them expecting to watch a burial," says Florian Schwarzer, product manager at Paradox Interactive. But it wasn't a burial. "This was very much Hardsuit Labs taking a tremendous risk and getting us to the point were we made a decision for them. Nothing more, nothing less."


Full Article


Post Announcement Q&A Posted

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Paradox posted the post Tender reveal Q&A session with Mitsoda and various other HSL and Paradox devs and managers. All the info has already been reported from this video but if you happened to miss it, it is interesting. Take a peek;
 


Mitsoda Talks About Guns in BL2

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Some fans have the idea guns are going to be near useless, so Brian calmed some of the fears. The quote about guns people are focusing on I am quite sure means it's going to work like pen and paper. Normal bullets have limited damaging effect on kindred. Where as vampire powers or melee weapons have much more effect. BL1 did overpower the end game guns a bit but as a whole I don't expect the general concept to change all that much from BL1 to BL2.



UK PC Gamer Feature of Bloodlines 2

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Apparently the upcoming issue of PC Gamer UK will be featuring Bloodlines 2. Traditionally from my experience the US and UK versions are separate so we won't be getting the article or possible new screenshots here in the US, at least initially. I will do what I can to get a copy of the article.



Devs Clarify the "Politically Charged" Comment

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This exchange happened today on the Twitter hopefully calming people down and pretty much saying what I did in my Op Ed below. They are going to still use dark themes but simply though a modern lens.
 

@Glacius__
Can we have a statement on whether you are going to shove politics down our throats? Because the community is fairly riled up atm (As seen on steam) and it would be nice to know if you want all of us to play, or only those who agree on your political views.

@VtM_Bloodlines
Replying to @Glacius__

Regarding the quote from Ka'ai where he said it's "politically charged" we use the setting to talk about a lot of different issues as a metaphor through the lens of the world of darkness - the game is about conflict -personal conflict and conflict between the new and the old. You're the monster, you'll be deciding your own redemption from the choices you've made. Or not.



So all this "woke" outrage about Bloodlines 2...

Harlequin 0 781 Article rating: 5.0

Soon after the Bloodlines 2 reveal it began the anti-SJW brigade (as I call them) came out of the shadows and started going ballistic over some of the quotes from Paradox and Hardsuit Labs. Just going to notably toxic sites like RPGCodex or even the Steam forums and you got people all up in arms jumping to the conclusion this is going to be about vegan vampires holding hands around the campfire singing songs and not a dark, gritty world.

Now the easy fish in the barrel to shoot is if I quote and then dissect some of these posts in various forums. But this is 2019, not 1999. So rather then do that I am going to counter some of the anti-SJW videos on YT.  As let’s be honest it’s a bit more entertaining, at least for me and hopefully yourself.

Now before we get into this foxhole allow me to clarify a few things. We have not seen ONE line of in-game dialog yet. NOT one. Most of these people like to talk about “red flags”, you know what a “red flag” to me is? Commentators commenting on something they haven’t even fucking seen, heard or read yet. Taking developer quotes who are talking on a macro level and trying to shoehorn those comments into a micro level and using that to perform logical gymnastics to create artificial outrage on their part. I’ve seen drama queens be more self-composed then some of these people in the forums or YT.


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