Yeah I just finished my first playthrough and my responsibilities were… er, not good.
I’m looking for tips on:
- how many skills can you reasonably focus on? I choose three, practical, research and I think reasoning. I think there was a lot of overlap between research and practical so maybe something else? Rhetoric or politics?
- are there interpersonal focuses that can also boost responsibilities? Gabriel did amazing so probably but others? Like will my service go up if I spend more time with Taylor?
will you always get sever pattern damage if you close the thingy yourself or does it depend on how much damage you’ve accrued over the game?
can you avoid being branded by Blankenship? Also, how do you get proof he’s a baddy? ALSO. I split most of the responsibilities with him (research space, co-taught classes etc) considering he’s an asshat are there repercussions for just trying to do it all yourself?
is there a happy ending for the lodger if you save the world? And can you be in a poly with them and Manish and Darcy or am I being too greedy?
Just finished, and I loved it! Some of the interpersonal workplace drama at the start hit a little closer to home so although I liked Gabriel and my students, I was immensely pleased to have the opportunity to say goodbye to it all and work for Repro instead - and took Gabriel with me! Woohoo! I ended up being very practical magic and politics based, befriended Taylor and Hayden, and romanced Manish and the Lodger I absolutely loved the Lodger, what a great alien character!
I could tell when playing that there was so much that I didn’t see, from the different relationship focuses to pursuing different goals. It very much felt like I couldn’t do everything perfectly, which felt in tune with the theme of the game, but I was able to do many things very well which was lovely! All in all it was a very substantial, immersive game with a ton of replayability. Something I loved-to-hate was Darcy dragging me into things that I didn’t want to do, whether in the past or present; I thought that was a really good way of foreshadowing them being an antagonist. I think they were a really, really good example of a rival character. In this playthrough they never progressed past that but I’d enjoy playing someone who wanted to let bygones be bygones and try to reconnect.
It’s well worth playing many, many times. I was sad when the beta ended without me getting to try all the routes I wanted to try.
Sorry it took me a while to answer this!
I’d suggest focusing on two, one magic, one interpersonal. You might could get to three.
Spending time with Taylor will give you some chances to improve your service, and time with Hayley makes it easier to bump the town and gown relationship.
If your practical skill is high enough, you’ll take little to no damage. But also it’s cumulative, so if you take less damage before the end, you won’t have permanent damage.
You can’t keep from being branded. If you’re good enough at arguing your case, you can keep from splitting everything with him and not suffer any repercussions.
There are ways of keeping the Lodger safe in the end. There isn’t a way to date all three of them at the same time, though.
Just want to say this is one of my favorite games from CoG in quite a while. I can’t say exactly what it is about the relationship with Taylor/Lodger but all the conversations with each of them are very sweet. I liked both quite a lot.
I have played through several times and what I still can’t figure out how to do is ensure that Darcy gets the department chair job. Every time, Wilcox gets it and that is super upsetting. I actually was really disturbed at how casually his assault during the department meeting was just brushed off. I have worked in education and in university academic departments; that kind of an attack - physically restraining a colleague - would be grounds for immediate dismissal and possible criminal charges. What I immediately thought in that moment was, “If he will do this to a colleague, what does he do to students? What vile things has he done to the young people in our care?” The man is a predator and almost as detestable as Blankenship, and the fact that he faces no consequences whatsoever, and that my MC has no ways to agitate for consequences is really upsetting.
Also, is it at all possible to check up on the students that Blankenship was recruiting? When you find out about it there’s an option that does roughly say “I should check into their well being” or similar, but there didn’t seem to be a way to follow-up (outside of entering the fold and doing the pattern heist stuff).
Along the same lines, is it possible to get the Practicum to convict Blankenship? I didn’t like the ending where Lodger controlled and then blackmailed him, so I have gone through a few times trying to find a way that I can reach the ending with evidence against him (as a lack of evidence is indicated as the reason he was acquitted by the Practicum). I was hoping maybe cooperation and testimony from Jordan or something would do it, but he got acquitted again so I am suspecting it’s just not possible to see justice done.
I agree with the fear and loathing of Wilcox. That man is a villain. It makes me long for at least one other good faculty member other than Ellison. Because a multi-decade future with only Darcy, Wilcox, Eze, and Blankenship as colleagues is BLEAK.
I really like the game, but I have to say that it made the job you were fighting for look super unappealing. It’s good you can move to ReproThe fact that Darcy is your best co-worker outside of Ellison is grim. Eze is arguably less bad, but, even before his breakdown at the end, he has no problem with the hazing stuff. Only Darcy even says anything.
Yes, I ended up on that route and felt very pleased with myself at the end because I was so disillusioned with academia. Which, uh, isn’t uncommon from talking to the ex-academics in my life Though I’d like to replay and try to become an academic bigwig at the end!
Is there a way to get Blankenship on your side near the end? Does Gabriel always interrupt?
Just finished my first playthrough and that was one hell of a awesome journey.And can you close the book,close ur eyes when the vastness arrives at Dr Cohen’s office
@emelsi, for the students, you can’t check up on them, though they do okay in the end. For Blankenship, you can’t get them to convict Blankenship unless he succeeds in escaping.
For both you and @Khipsky, one of the themes I was going for was that, if magic is this dangerous, what kind of organization lets kids throw themselves into it without serious guardrails? That, combined with my concerns about how academia treats people, led to the Practicum and the department being straight-up terrible. Ellison is good, but she’s one person trying to reform a system that’s bigger than her, and in the end, that system wins. You the player have to decide if you’re willing to stay in that system and keep trying to make it better.
@whallen, you can’t get Blankenship on your side, because he’s the wooooorst.
@Ashten, you can’t.
I think you punctured romantic images of university life really well (I didn’t go as far into academia as the MC but did a degree and worked in education for a while, and have a lot of friends in that world - it was very recognisable down to the conference sandwiches!), while keeping the characters human. I could see why making the system into something that chewed people up less was important to Ellison, and why academic status was important to Darcy (and I liked how passionate Kayla was about mundane academia, though I didn’t end up interacting with her much on my first playthrough). And I wanted to protect Gabriel with my life
I figure there are people who were all shrug emoji about Gabriel, and sure, people get to be who they are and play the game they want, but ngl, I would take a bullet for Gabriel.
I kept expecting increasing the Lodger’s control to have some negative consequences - that eventually I’d let them take the wheel and they wouldn’t hand the wheel back. But they just kept repaying my trust, and I ended up with the most touching friendship I’ve ever had in a CoG game.
I’m so glad you had that experience! I’d intended them to be a thorn in your side — and you can treat them that way and have both you and them be glad to get out of your head — but the more I wrote them and understood who they were, the more I wanted to give them a chance to be better than their initial violation suggested they’d be.
When did it first occur to you to make them a potential love interest?
From the beginning, actually. It turns out one of my writing touchstones is “be in a relationship with someone who might not be good for you!”
I just finished my readthrough and I thoroughly enjoyed the story! I really liked the balancing of tasks/stats, the variety of the cast and the worldbuilding!
I romanced the Lodger and it was great, both the romantic scenes and the overall character were nice, but at the very end when I told them to stay inside Blankenship to “have a new home” I thought it was a positive outcome and I really didn’t mean to break up with them ah well!
Sparked by another thread, I’m thinking of finally giving this another playthrough. However I need to confirm if there’s a path to pop the Lodger over into Darcy so I can hunt around for the path to it in my second go. I need my Cask of Amontillado for her.