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Encounter design is king

Discussion in 'General RPG Discussion' started by Zanzoken, May 10, 2016.

  1. octavius Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    octavius
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    Don't recall the Cloak of Mirroring (been almost a decade since last I played the BG games), but I agree that having some unbalanced stuff is more fun than too much balance and level scaling.
     
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  2. Lhynn Arcane

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    Reflected all spell damage back to the caster.
    Its based on the ring of mirroring (if i remember the name correctly) from AD&D, a ring that reflected 1d100% of spell effect back to the caster, and made every spell have a saving throw equal to +1 per 10% of the effect reflected. Which i had the luck of having with one of my characters years ago.
     
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  3. Lilura RPG Codex Dragon Lady

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    BG2 is arguably not even as good as BG. At least BG packs low level RNG (this makes consumable use and buffing necessary), deadly and frequent waylays (f.e, a dozen archers and 4 worgs - cut out by Tutu, BGT and EE), timed spawns, lethal poison and disease (you can just rest to cure those effects in BG2, even as you're about to die from them), and superior meat-grinders in Firewine Ruins, Thieves' Maze and Durlag's Tower.

    Resting in BG heals ONE fucking hitpoint IF you didn't get ambushed (which is likely), whereas BG2 heals the party fully, and they won't be ambushed. Sure, full heal is an option, but over the years I've noticed that ppl only pretend they are too hardcore to use it. The ambush thing can't be denied.

    Not to mention, some ppl prefer exploration and having access to almost every area of the campaign, at every stage of it; unlike in BG2, where, from Spellhold to Suldanesellar, it's a railroad (and ToB is even worse). Some ppl prefer more companions for more combat roles and party compositions. Some ppl prefer a plot that unfolds gradually. Some ppl don't like lots of cutscenes. And there are probably another 20-30 reasons why some pppl prefer BG to BG2.

    Also, Fallout, Fallout 2, Jagged Alliance 2, Arcanum and Swordflight are better RPGs than both BG and BG2. At least, in respect to what the Codex traditionally values.

    So there goes your "nothing is on BG2 level" statement.. it's opinions and assholes, as usual.

    Rest spam makes 90% of the encounters a faceroll. What's the difference between a full spellbooks and an empty one? The devs neglected to enforce restrictions, and the player should not have to impose their own as a result of their spinelessness or ignorance of dungeon mastering. Self-DMing is retarded. Anyway, the player can just rest after every trash pack because there is no AR-wide converging aggro, no scouting or patrolling foes, and no overall AR strategy. The foes are just huddled in pathetic packs waiting for the party to scout them out, kill them, and take their stuff. The other 10% are mostly trial and error encounters, where the player is just learning the ropes in arcane duels. After that, it's just about casting key spells at key moments, resting to replenish the I WIN repertoire, each time.

    Hah! And yeah, Charisma checks for the entire campaign can be counted on one hand.

    In a six person party you will likely be able to take advantage of those items. I've got nothing against game-changers in a limited ruleset like AD&D, but those items are over the top.

    They're ok with SCS/Ascension. I flat out don't like epic campaigns, though.

    That's still a devolution on the second and third chapters in Athkatla. Watcher's Keep is just WEAK compared to Durlag's Tower, too.

    So in the light of current gen DLC, ToB is decent. Doesn't say much, does it.

    I'll look into it.

    Nah, I'll stick with RPGs if only to criticize them for how shit they are. Plus, I have the ongoing Swordflight to look forward to and other NWN mods to discover for the next decade, so that keeps me going. I'll look into Copper Dreams, too.

    Would be a monumental task to re-itemize the series and balance it for enforced rest restrictions; I'd rather just play an RPG by devs who understand how to give players just enough rope to hang themselves.
     
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  4. vivec Self-Ejected

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    You should quote this post often. BG2 has too high a position in many a threads around here and needs taming.
     
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  5. Lhynn Arcane

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    Two very different beasts for sure.

    Not in terms of combat.

    Not an rpg.

    :lol:

    Again, not in terms of combat. And arguably a lot more as well, ive yet to try it.

    On its own terms BG2 stands alone. Itemization, encounter design (this is what the thread is about), high level magic system, and even its RtwP mechanics. This is commonly accepted as fact around here. Challenge it if you will, but please do offer examples.

    Blah blah blah, even fully rested a lot of encounters are designed for a fresh party, and if you dont know what you are doing you will get wiped. Its not an easy game by any means, you just know the system and can meta the shit out of the other elements of the game, so yeah, for you its cake, this is intended.

    Nope, they arent, they are just one more element of high level forgotten realms schlock, and its great.

    This explains p. much how you approach BG2.

    In some respects it is, but watchers keep fits BG2 tone a lot more.

    It certainly gives us a new perspective to judge stuff from the past. You cant just ignore 30 years of gaming history and judge BG2 on a vacuum.
     
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  6. Orobis Arcane Sychophantic Noob

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    The cloak reflects ALL the beholder rays? hmmm

    It's been years since i played vanilla BG2 but in SCS i'm pretty sure it doesn't reflect all the rays back, maze still gets through, though i might be wrong. Or it might have been an option i enabled with SCS while installing that alters beholder ray scripting? Damn i can't remember. Anyways it's supposedly one of the most complicated things to program in the IE engine.

    I never even try'd using the cloak of mirroring or shield of balduran on SCS, always chose the option to just remove them from the game.
     
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  7. Maggot Arcane Patron

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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire
    BG1/2 will always be more interesting to me encounter wise than NWN SP because you don't have to rely on henchmen and you can do exactly what you want with any party member.
     
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  8. Lhynn Arcane

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    Yup. And maze cant kill you.
     
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  9. Orobis Arcane Sychophantic Noob

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    Yea i know it can't kill you it's just annoying having to wait it out. Imprison on the PC, now that's a game over, but if memory serves only the mother beholder's can cast those and there's only what, 2 in the whole game?

    Anyways, beholders are some of the cheapest bastard mobs i ever encountered in an RPG, first time players shouldn't feel bad about using the shield of balduran to deal with them, i did. :negative:
     
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  10. Azarkon Arcane

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    Do not agree. I come from a roguelike background. Roguelike games such as Dungeon Crawl can have fun combat even with completely randomly generated encounters. This is because of the system behind it.

    Excellent systems facilitate excellent encounter design. When even a computer can do it just by throwing monsters in corridors and rooms, you know you've made a solid system.

    In order of importance for combat:

    System
    Enemies
    Equipment
    Encounter
    Environment
     
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  11. Lurker King Self-Ejected The Real Fanboy

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    AoD combat system is a gritty war of attrition. You have to pay attention to the way you spend your SPs, your positioning, your choice of weapons, etc. Some fights are easier than others, but you can die a lot. UR combat system is a mix of devastating combos and delicious porn weaponry. Some encounters are well thought out and challenging, but most of them are easy. The bigger problem with UR is that the game follows a sandbox approach that will let you with an abundance of oddities (the equivalent of SPs) and money. In fact, the game seems to be influenced by MMOs a lot. AoD, on the other hand, it’s more tight, since it’s more narrative focused with many roleplaying branches. UR is more like BG2 and D:OS, while AoD is more like X-COM and JA. I recommend both games, but AoD is way better, and I'm not even considering the superb writing and reactivity.
     
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  12. Lurker King Self-Ejected The Real Fanboy

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    Yeah, you should try playing with a dodger next time. The archers will fuck you up after the dodge nerf.

    I couldn’t disagree more. First, if you just kill trash mobs to get more familiar with the system, you will still die many times later on in order to beat tougher fights. Since this is inevitable, you can just get it over with and make the player understand the system early on. The first trash mob in a cRPG was a bad encounter implemented by a hack. There are no excuses to still have trash mobs in CRPGs, none.

    Nah, it’s the other way around. Players that self-impose rest restrictions in BG are trying to make the game more challengeable because the game is completely broken. There is nothing tactical in having your spellbook full and party rested because the spells and items are all overpowered. 99% of cRPGs don’t do that, because they are also broken and very easy. Your combos, spells and choices in BG have nothing to do with tactics because you can beat the entire game being a one trick pony.
     
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  13. Malpercio Arcane

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    I skimmed throught the discussion, but this really stuck with me

    FUCKING THIS.

    Does anyone remember items from TW3? Or NV? Or PoE? And let's not even talk about Divinity.

    Seriously, the fact that so many people can name every fucking encounter and item in BG2 has to mean something. Though, I don't think anyone at Bioware figure what the fuck they were doing, somehow they just made a game with the best encounter design and itemization ever.
     
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  14. Lurker King Self-Ejected The Real Fanboy

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    You mean, BG2 items are legendary overpowered. I will concede though that the little histories and art of each weapon are tasteful.
     
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  15. Lhynn Arcane

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    Not overpowered compared to the enemies you face, save a couple exceptions. Even the strongest item in the game isnt even near the power of having a mage on your team, almost every cheese tactic in the game is about creative use of spellcasting spellcasting.
    Itemization was more than fine, it understood what it took to keep non casters on the level past level 10.
     
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  16. Lurker King Self-Ejected The Real Fanboy

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    If the items below are not overpowered, I don’t know what is:


    Crom Faeyr
    Properties:
    Grants 25 Strength.
    Kills Stone Golems, Clay Golems, Ettins, and Trolls.

    THAC0: +5.
    Damage: 2D4 + 3.
    Weight: 4.
    Speed Factor: 1.


    Carsomyr +5
    Equipped Abilities:
    50% Magic Resistance.
    Dispel Magic 3 times per day.

    Combat Abilities:
    +5 Damage to Chaotic Evil opponents.
    Dispels magic when the sword strikes an opponent.
    THAC0: +5.
    Damage: 1D12 + 5.

    Weight: 7.
    Speed Factor: 5.
    Requires: 14 Strength.


    Silver Sword
    Properties:
    25% chance each hit that target must make a saving throw vs. death (-2 penalty).
    THAC0: +3.
    Damage: 1D10 + 3.

    Weight: 15
    Speed Factor: 10.
    Requires: 14 Strength.


    Flail of Ages +3
    Properties:
    Combat Abilities: A chance each hit that target will be slowed (no saving throw).
    THAC0: +3.
    Damage:
    1D6 + 4.
    +1 Acid Damage.
    +1 Cold Damage.
    +1 Fire Damage.

    Weight: 10.
    Speed Factor: 4.
    Requires: 13 Strength.


    Lilarcor +3
    Properties:
    THAC0: +3.
    Damage: 1D10 +3

    Equipped Abilities: Immunity to Charm and Confusion.
    Weight: 10.
    Speed Factor: 8.
    Requires: 14 Strength.


    Angurvadal +4
    Properties:
    Special Ability: Once per day can increase the user's Strength to 22 for 60 seconds.
    THAC0: +4.
    Damage: 1D8 + 4, +1 Fire damage.

    Weight: 2.
    Speed Factor: 0.
    Requires: 6 Strength.


    Adjatha the Drinker +2
    Properties:
    Equipped Ability: Wielder is immune to Charm and Domination spells.
    Special Ability: Each hit heals the wielder of 1 hit point damage.
    THAC0: +2.
    Damage: 1D8 + 2.
    Weight: 3.
    Speed Factor: 3.
    Requires: 6 Strength.


    You see, all the cool effects and little details don’t matter much if they are going to make you into a unstoppable killing machine.
     
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  17. Lurker King Self-Ejected The Real Fanboy

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    Poor enemies, they don't have a chance.

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. Lhynn Arcane

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    Hah!
    As always yer a joke.

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. octavius Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    Of those listed only Carsomyr +5 is truly overpowered. Maybe Flail of Ages too if the elemental damage bypasses Stoneskin and Liches' Immunity to NM (I don't recall).
    And there's also an Axe that insta kills Undead.
    Not to mention Shield of Balduran and Cloak of Mirroring.
    But as Lhynn said the enemies are p. overpowered as well. Especially if using SCS when mages will start buffed out.
     
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  20. DeepOcean Arcane

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    I don't mind the items being overpowered, I mind they being easy to get. BG 2 was generous on the rewards compared with the trouble to get them, the items themselves weren't a problem. I prefer the game being generous with rewards anyday of the week than I going for a 15 levels dungeon, full of trash mobs, and a cheap as fuck boss fight at the end to get a blade that is inferior compared with what I can craft anyway like certain RPGs did lately. Anyway, unmodded BG 2 is an easy game like Fallout 1, Fallout 2, Icewind Dale and the list goes on, unfortunately , game designers need to care towards scrubs or they can't make money so if you really want challenge, you will only ever find it on mods or niche RPGs like AoD.

    BG 2 is definitely not a niche RPG made for hardcore RPG players, a game like BG 2 is only considered niche now because the mainstream got even more retarded than it used to be. I think the BG 2 did a great job at challenge considering the market of DnD scrubs it was trying to appeal to.
     
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  21. Lurker King Self-Ejected The Real Fanboy

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    Oh my god. Only Carsomyr +5 is truly overpowered? Hueheuheuheuhue, the amount of rationalization in this thread. You mean, seriously, Lilarcor +3 with immunity to charm and confusion right off the bat, is not overpowered? You guys talk as if every enemy used a +3. Please, 90% of the game you are killing idiotic trash mobs with weak orcs, zumbis and shit. What enemies besides Kangaxx are overpowered? Even the dragons in this thing die like flies. Lhym posted a photo of Demogorgon. I killed him with a bunch of traps. What a joke. The FOs are easy, but they offer reactivity, skill checks, cool NPCs and a fresh setting. BG2 is all about awesum overkill adventures. One of the reasons why developers can’t make money with challenging games is because you all keep praising shitty broken games. Instead of dumbing down your standards to meet the industry you should demand the industry, or fund the developers, that can satisfy your standards.
     
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  22. Space Insect Arcane

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    So the game is easy because you are using cheese tactics. Great job destroying your argument.
     
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  23. octavius Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    Not very.
     
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  24. Lurker King Self-Ejected The Real Fanboy

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    Cheese tactics? Whoa! This the angle you are going to use? How can this be cheese if it is supported by game design? Traps serve only one purpose that is to fuck up enemies. How about resting? You are gonna say that resting is cheese too? Ok, so a +3 sword with immunity to confusion and charming right off the beat is not overpowered. Never mind your will probably use this “common weapon” to decimate the entire population of orcs, who only have regular bows and bastard swords.
     
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  25. octavius Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    Why, do orcs cast Charm and Confusion?
     
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