OP: I think your post is rather clear. I really don’t think it is a matter of people not getting what you are saying… Your feel that a lot of time and money went into a system that adds little benefit, and that this was compounded by additional problems stemming from the initial decision, which then required even more time and money to address. You are making the point that it is simple mathematics that resources are limited and so an undue number of other features must have received too little attention and resources due to the implementation of the NPC routines and the events which followed as a result.
That being said, it also appears that not everyone agrees with you.
Your logic is sound, but relies on the presupposition that this feature can’t be of equal or greater value than everything else that might not be present as a result of resources being spent. That is a matter of opinion. Even if the developers have put 10 times the resources into this feature that they originally budgeted, and even if they would have cut it from the outset had they realized what it would cost (speculation, of course), that does not make your point inherently true.
Consider that you have made an essentially identical argument over and over for more than three weeks. Those who agree with you already agree, and I don’t see any significant likelihood of those who disagree suddenly coming around to your way of thinking. I’m not sure just saying the same thing again is constructive.
Perhaps the lessons learned will lead to cutting this feature in future projects.
Perhaps they will lead to better implementations of superior versions of this feature and act as proof of concept to improve games for years to come. Your point is well taken but, if I was developing another game in a sea of similar games, I might want to gamble on a different feature that might make the game something truly special. It usually doesn’t work out, but sometimes it does. These days, innovation comes from independent shops that don’t have to worry about replicating the formula of a past hit. I, personally, would never encourage independent studios to stifle innovation, even if it usually leads to features that add little to the actual playing experience and soaks up resources. Sometimes those little innovations give someone else big ideas.
We have seen and argued and debated this subject or one of its variants (“Developers spent X amount of time on wasted effort Y, when they should be focusing on Z”), regarding various parts of various games, ever since the internet forum debuted.
Somebody’s personal preference will always be short-sheeted in favor of something else. And typically we make, read, and debate this situation while the game is in development; that’s natural. We see what we see in beta, gameplay video, etc. and then we must base opinions off of that.
On the one hand we must bear in mind that the release gameplay will not be what we see in beta. On the other, we must bear in mind that Beta gameplay gives some kind of fair snapshot of final gameplay.
In the case of KC:D, we see some ambitious NPC routines. So the question ‘is it too ambitious’ is legitimate. At the same time we know the game is not finalized yet. We read and talk about the KC:D team scrapping things that they love and want, but which do not work. A quick look at the things we know for sure verifies this.
To me, this gives me no clear feeling that something like NPC routines in KC:D are wasted efforts, wrong or broken, etc, in the final game. Now, maybe they will be, but I do not see how the concern it is true, based on the facts we have, will make it a fact for the final game version on release day. “It has happened in this other title or that other title” is not valid in my estimation. And if it does turn out to be true, the Nostradamus-like prediction is simply happenstance, much like the “Told you Canadiens wouldn’t win the Cup this season” predictions we may read. Yes, absolutely. Just like I am not in that teams’ front office, we are not in the development team for this game. I am guessing based on my non-insider knowledge. Sometimes that knoweldge can be quite good, but still it is not a sure thing. World-weary negative predictions are as empty as sickeningly hopeful ones.
To summarize, concern is legitimate but none of us know for sure. We seem to have a development team that is putting forth an honest effort. I reserve punishment for when failure occurs, not when failure is feared. Yes we are talking money as well. In the real world, we gamble spending money on entertainment. We defend ourselves from spending money un-wisely by doing our homework before we spend, with all purchases.
Maybe we need to ask someone to close this topic? It doesn’t make sense to continue talking this theme, because… Well, you said everything that can be said about daily routines and arguments of both sides. It’s time to close.
That sir is an excellent description of Ultima VII!
If it adds to the feeling of a world that is truly immersive and alive, I say go for it!
The more scripted each NPC is, the better. I for one, love it!