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Quickfire Systemic Criticism that contributes to banality of gameplay

Discussion in 'Obsidian Entertainment' started by Sensuki, Apr 10, 2015.

  1. Sensuki Arcane Cuck

    Sensuki
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    Codex 2014 Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong A Beautifully Desolate Campaign
    I think a bunch of the Pillars of Eternity's systems are working together in conjunction to create rote, banal gameplay. It's not just one system but a multitude of systems together and how they interact. There's also probably more things that tie into it than these as well. I think it's partially a preference thing, but partially not a preference thing.

    I enjoy tactical gameplay in (any) combat more than strategical gameplay. Combat in Pillars of Eternity is mostly based around positioning and strategy (positioning, initial positioning, gear selection, opening ability selection, initial movements). There are lots of options (in like what characters, gear or abilities/spells you use) but the game generally promotes solving most encounters in a similar fashion - you send a couple tanks in to tank and you drop a bunch of damage/disables on top of the enemy, and you don't really have to react or adjust to anything the enemy does. I find the combat less reactive than most of the Infinity Engine games.

    I realize that there are people who prefer this type of gameplay, where they want their strategy or planning to have more of an effect on the outcome of combat more than how they played the encounter, and don't necessarily want to have to react to enemy actions or to be forced to be creative to beat different encounters.

    These are the main culprit systems that I think create this issue in conjunction with eachother, listed in no particular order

    Armor system: The IE games did not have damage reduction from armor, and armor didn't really have a penalty (if you exclude Max Dex Bonus in IWD2). Characters wore the highest AC armor they could find that they could wear (as there were either limitations or proficiency/spellcasting penalties) or armor based on what passives/abilities it granted. This was problematic from a character building perspective, as there was no real reason to play a Fighter in leather armor, but it worked very well from a moment-to-moment gameplay perspective. Better armor made you harder to hit.

    Pillars of Eternity's armor system aimed to make it so that you could roleplay your character concept, if you wanted to make a Fighter who wore leather armor, you could do that. This was the primary goal of the system - that goal was achieved. However it was achieved at the cost of having some negative impacts on the gameplay. You could build a leather armor fighter and make a build where that was effective, but it doesn't really make sense to wear armor as a ranged character unless you're facing encounters with enemies that deal damage in large AoEs or that have creatures that specifically target low DR. Wearing better armor also comes at a cost, you pay in action speed for every point of base protection, meaning that the heavier armor you wear, your character will be less offensively effective in combat. This outcome in a broad sense is not necessarily bad, but it helps create the situation where characters who wear the heaviest armor are always taking aggro and sent in first because they are going to take way less damage than the other characters.

    One might argue that in the Infinity Engine games that you would have high AC characters targeted specifically in combat, and in BG1 and IWD1 that might have been true to some extent, but what about the Kensai in BG2? They have a fucking awful AC. What about the Barbarian in IWD2? They don't usually have a good AC either. I don't believe that Pillars of Eternity has this flexibility to the same efficiacy. There's nothing stopping you from making a high Deflection, low DR character but I don't think it would be that great of a character, and you definitely do not want any low Deflection characters tanking at all due to being easier to crit, which leads me to my next point.

    Attack Resolution system: The fact that Accuracy increases your chance to crit gives the game adds to the fact that you really want only high Deflection characters tanking/taking aggro, as you do not want to get critted more often (by damage or durations). I think the four different outcomes (miss/graze/hit/crit) gives the game an incredibly swingy feel, moreso than the Infinity Engine games which I think have a pretty consistent pace and consistent results but it can lead to situations where you won simply because of luck of the dice roll. Not to say that doesn't happen in Pillars of Eternity either, but it seems to have less impact in the early game in Pillars of Eternity than it did in Baldur's Gate 1. That was one of the goals of the system (to make outcomes less reliant on luck in the early stages of the game) combined with the addition of more crits coming as a result of a character building choice rather than being random. Josh achieved his two goals at the expense of the overall swingy combat feel and pigeonholing high Deflection characters into always tanking as much as possible / low Deflection characters being sissy bitches and really, really high damage crits from strong damage attacks. The aim of this system seems to have been more focused on character creation choices rather than actual outcome on general gameplay / combat feel.

    Health System: I think the Health system also attributes to the polarized combat where tanks tank and everyone else is a sissy bitch. The system is very similar to 4E's Healing Surge system. Classes start with an integer amount in Endurance, gain a specific integer amount of Endurance per level and gain a percentile bonus of that total from Constitution. Health is then a multiplier of that number. There are items/etc that give bonus Endurance that does not increase total Health. The split health system allows for a consistent baseline for which encounters/systems can be tuned against - Full Endurance. The only way that health can be regenerated is via resting or via a couple of optional talents. Characters always regenerate back to full Endurance until they are down to their last health multiplier, which takes away the immediate concern and management from losing Health over the course of the adventuring day in most cases. I've often found that I rest because of Major Fatigue more often than low health (even with 3+ Athletics) and never because of running out of spells/abilities.

    In contrast, in the Infinity Engine games you have to manually heal HP either via spells or potions (unless you have regeneration). Healing spells are a per-rest resource, and healing potions are (technically) a finite resource. You might want to save your healing spells/potions for when you need them rather than healing characters straight away, and often you are not at 'full strength' when facing encounters, and as the adventuring day goes on you are gradually whittled down. This led to situations where due to not being at full HP you might have had to alter encounter strategy or tactics based on who was wounded. Personally I would often leave wounded characters behind, and take on encounters with less party members. You cannot/shouldn't do this in Pillars of Eternity. When characters got badly wounded in combat, I would have them quaff a potion, or move them out of the fray. You don't really do this in Pillars of Eternity either. If that character is engaged - you leave them where they are. Potions do not heal Health, so you don't drink potions unless they're in danger of being KO'd and because being KO'd has no negative impact on the character other than them not being able to take part further in the encounter, whether or not you heal a wounded character is debatable, so changing what you are doing whether strategically or tactically because of considerations to do with the Health system comes into play way less often in Pillars of Eternity.


    An odd anomaly is that Barbarians who have a x6 Health multiplier can't really tank because of their low Deflection, the fact that they need action speed to be effective in combat and don't really have many defensive abilities. This is more because of how the attack resolution system works as it makes them more prone to being hit and critted more often, and thus taking a lot more damage than a character with those extra few Deflection points would over a period of time. However a strong health multiplier combined with high DR and high Deflection makes for a super resiliant tank that can always stand at the forefront of combat, take as much aggro as possible and do so all day long, where characters who didn't build for tanking will suffer more total percentile health damage from just a few attacks than these tanks will over a much longer amount of time. There's not really anything in the game other than being petrified that makes it a bad idea for these characters to always be doing this, nothing that changes this mold.

    There are also probably some people who will try and attack this point because of how resting restrictions are handled in the Infinity Engine games and in Pillars of Eternity. I don't believe that you are 'supposed' to rest very often in either game and both games have preventative measures in place. The Infinity Engine games prevent resting in many areas and interrupt your resting in cities and in the wilderness (the latter is more of a simulation thing). Pillars of Eternity allows you to rest anywhere but limits your resting to Inns, Stronghold and Camping Supplies, and the camping supply limit changes with game difficulty. I don't think that because it was possible to rest spam in the Infinity Engine games that this was the intended way to play, and any statements made from the basis of having rest spammed are null and void in my opinion. The IE games have been out for a long time, and I think many people have been playing with the Rest Anywhere mod, which does indeed make it easy to spam rest, but it is a bit tedious in the default games. It's still possible in Pillars of Eternity too it just requires more backtracking (and the cheat commands include a rest command).

    Per-encounter abilities/spells: On the one hand, per encounter abilities and spells are a good idea because it gives units something to do other than making an auto-attack. Using Pillars of Eternity as an example, Rogues now have special attacks that deal more damage and inflict status effects. Fighters have similar abilities usually related to disable. Wizards have a per-encounter Foe only AoE damage spell which is very useful. Priests have a per-encounter AoE heal that can optionally buff allies and debuff enemies, and an optional large AoE debuff. These things give classes more stuff to do in combat other than auto-attack and give them options to do different things. In some ways per-encounter abilities are a good thing.

    However, I think they negatively impact the moment to moment gameplay. Per encounter abilities have a number of issues. The first being they are rote. Because they can be performed every encounter, you should perform as many of them as you can every encounter, as there is no downside to doing so. Like D&D 4E, per-encounters also lead to combat that leans heavily on combat opening and alpha striking, because per-encounters can be used every encounter and are more powerful than an auto attack but don't waste strategical resources, it makes sense to perform offensive per-encounter abilities at the start of combat every single encounter. I almost always opening up combat with a Fighter Knockdown, a Rogue special attack, a Ranger Wounding Shot, a Paladin Flames of Devotion and a Priest Interdiction or Holy Radiance. Particularly abilities that have multiple uses, it just makes no sense to not use at least one of them straight away, unless the encounter is so easy that you can't be bothered.

    It may be that per-encounter abilities could have been handled a bit differently to be less rote and to add more deliberation about when to use them. Limiting per encounters to 1/encounter and designing them around that would have made them less spammable and added more deliberation about when to use them, although it would have taken away efficacy in the cases of Fighter Knockdown or Rogue Crippling Strike. There's also the issue of choice. Non-caster classes don't have much choice and only have a few active abilities to perform throughout the whole game, and it's impossible to obtain all of them due to changes made to character advancement (which make character advancement more meaningful but ultimately gives characters less options in moment to moment gameplay). If a Fighter had a choice of four or five different per encounters, then using Knock Down at the beginning of every encounter may not be such a rote/no brainer decision. This is an advantage that classes like Ciphers have with their resource-based approach, which I think works better from a moment to moment gameplay perspective.

    However, it makes one wonder if simply removing per-encounters and making everything per-rest wouldn't solve the issue as that would indeed remove the roteness of using such abilities and add the deliberation about when to use them, because there would now be a strategical consideration to consider (and it would also help fill the void of the lack of resource management that the game has in general).

    No Immunities, Hard Counters or Counterspelling: Hard counters do not exist in Pillars of Eternity. They were deliberately not included for some reason or another. I honestly forget which but I think it could be a combination of the fact that Josh Sawyer doesn't like them and SA/badgame goons among others don't like them either, and they don't like 'chess-like' elements to combat, or something like that. The game includes a few soft counters, such as abilities and spells that suspend the duration of hostile effects (those spells also appear to be buggy, as discovered by codexer ushas) and the Priest has some spells that add defense bonuses against certain types of afflictions and halve them if they're already in effect.

    Having played through most of the game, I have not cast a single "Prayer Against ..." spell. Not one. I never felt that I needed to, for a number of reasons. You can't cast it as a pre-buff. They don't dispell the current effect. Most durations in the game are fairly short anyway. Most status effects are not very severe. The spells are a per-rest resource and I could instead suspend the effect if I needed to or cast a spell that actually helps me win the encounter, like a debuff or damage spell. When using Durance as a Priest, I've also only run out of second level spells twice in the game as I took Bonus 2nd Level Spell and found some ring that gave me more per-rest casts, so if I needed to actually use Suppress Affliction (which was only a handful of times) then I always had it available.

    Because you can't remove an affliction, can't prebuff and 'protecting against it' is almost never worth casting in combat, the tactical option of casting protection against afflictions in combat is removed from the gameplay, as are in many cases 'dispelling' an affliction. Your choices are either to plan against the affliction, play around it, or ignore it. I think this has a negative impact on the moment to moment gameplay as it makes the player actually react to situations in combat a lot less. If I was going up against a potential hold, paralyzed, entangled, poisoned, diseased, cursed, level drained or a number of other afflictions in an Infinity Engine game, most of the time I would have either cast a protection spell either as a pre-buff or as a reactionary protection spell in combat, or dispelled it after it took effect. The reason I actually cast protection spells (or drank debuff potions) in combat in the Infinity Engine games is because the effects were often very severe. In Pillars of Eternity, if you do get affected by an affliction it will either end shortly or it's no big deal, and if it is, you can suppress it. Another BIG difference in Pillars of Eternity is that many affects end when the unit that inflicted them is killed in combat, so instead of dealing with the affliction, you're better off simply killing the person who inflicted it and most effects END when combat does, so it's better to just kill enemies faster than to deal with ongoing effects. Encounters are short, per-hit damage is high and ongoing effects don't often have much of a chance to be an issue. This wasn't the case as several effects in the Infinity Engine games were a stategical concern - Curses needed to be removed. Level drain needed to be restored. Disease needed to be removed. Poison was dangerous if not neutralized. Disables lasted quite a while, including after combat ended. Confusion / Charm could be very dangerous to your party even after combat had ended.

    There's also just a bunch of awesome stuff that you could do in the Infinity Engine games that is flat out missing from Pillars of Eternity. If a unit is charmed in an Infinity Engine game, you can dominate them back. You can Vocalize yourself and silence everyone else so they can't cast spells with a vocal component. You can wake up slept characters by attacking them (punch with unarmed etc). You can drop stuff like Webs and Entangles and Free Action yourself.

    I also think the lack of Immunities sucks. While enemies may have high DR versus a damage type or a certain high defense, this rarely ever causes you to change what you're doing. Early on in the game I had to use a Greatsword instead of my Estoc to kill a Forest Lurker at low level because of their high pierce resist. Every other time I encountered a Forest lurker, I didn't need to because the damage I was doing because of the better items/levels/stats that I had were more than good enough to dispatch it without a worry. Immunities actually force you to change what you're doing and use different strategies and tactics. I think the reason they were excluded might have been because dumbfucks will never learn and some idiot might try and attack a unit immune to fire with fire and not realize it or some shit. This can mostly be overcome with UI (Diablo, anyone?) but it's also another thing that the Infinity Engine games had going for it that forced you to play specific encounters in different ways rather than just being able to breeze through the game with the same strat every single encounter without really having to change much. The debuffer classes have the tools to make most high defenses or DR scores not matter anyway. It's pretty dumb to use fire against Drakes, sure - but you still do 20% minimum damage 8).

    Melee Engagement: Yeah, you've all heard this before but Engagement also impacts the moment to moment gameplay. It's various implementation issues and bugs aside, the Engagement system contributes a fair amount to the emphasis on positioning and strategy and takes some emphasis off encounter tactics. The Engagement system forces you to plan your positioning so that melee enemies will aggro to your tanks who you will keep stationary, so that your other characters can move about the battlefield without suffering disengagement attacks. All Engaged enemies other than Trolls and some other creature will only target enemies that are engaging them and this makes it very easy for the player to control the battlefield with initial tank positioning (no easier than using forward tank positioning in the Infinity Engine games, but in the IE games units would re-target other characters). If you make a positional mistake or accidentally move, you are penalized for it so it pays to get it right the first time every time.

    Melee Engagement makes encounters more static than they were in the Infinity Engine games unless you didn't use movement based tactics as a response to enemy actions. Quite often in the Infinity Engine games I move units after the opening to optimize targeting or positioning, or to micro a wounded character away from melee. The engagement system penalizes these actions, so I don't do them in Pillars of Eternity - I send my tanks forward first, and only send in other characters after the initial engagement have begun, which is completely different to how I played the Infinity Engine games. You could technically spend per-encounter resources to fix positioning mistakes, but it's better to just not make them, or just kill enemies engaging certain units first so they can move. I think the Engagement system also contributes to the roteness of combat because there's a correct way to position your party every encounter to avoid suffering disengagement attacks and not having your squishes engaged.

    I think the Engagement system has a big impact on the moment to moment gameplay because it prevents simple movement based tactics that I used every encounter in the Infinity Engine games. I do think it has less of an impact on the gameplay than the way some of the other systems interact with eachother, but it's still worth mentioning as a problematic system.

    I also recognize that there are a lot of people out there who do not care about the existence of movement based tactics, think they should be punished, enjoy anything that removes unit micromanagement or anything that adds emphasis to the strategical and character build side of the game even if at the cost of viable tactics, but for me and many others personally, this system is a kick in the ribs of enjoyment.

    Other problematic factors that aren't really related to the impact of system design decisions are encounter design and itemization. At least on the Codex, the itemization in Pillars of Eternity is widely considered to be disappointing to downright abysmal. Magic/Unique Items in Pillars of Eternity lack flavor, and unique items are banalced so badly that they are unremarkable. Items with any sort of non-mundane property are in overabundance in the game, but the special properties are far too generic. The restrictions put on the Enchanting system haven't really done anything to placate this issue either.

    The reason that the low-fi itemization in BG1 worked because magic items were scarce. Sure there might have been a lot of Longswords +1 but there was only one Longsword +2. In BG2, unique items were crazy good, and had all sorts of amazing features. There were a fair amount of cool items in Icewind Dale, but yeah, there were a lot of "+2 item with random X property". The extreme balance on items is not fun, and makes looting kind of unrewarding. And yeah, FUCK RANDOMIZED LOOT.

    One of the problems with the encounter design is that I think the designers went out of their way to 'justify' the existence of creatures in areas, "why does this creature exist in this area, what lore explanation can we come up with for them to exist". Problem with this approach is that it seems to have lead to repetitive encounters and copy-paste encounters. The Skaen Temple has like 70 Skaen Cultists in the level of the same few classes - Fighter, Rogue, Priest and Cipher being the most common, and you fight encounters consisting of these guys over, and over and over and over and over again. The Megadungeon is the same. So are a lot of the Wilderness areas. The issues with the system design already make it not very fun for me to play encounters, and then to put salt in the wound encounters are repetitive and there is a severe lack of unique enemies, named villains or pre-combat banter to spice things up. Unfortunately due to the problems with the system design, there's not much that could be done to make these encounters more fun. Instead of 10 Pwgra, 2 Forest Lurkers and a Menpwgra - changing the encounter to some Ogres, Menpwgra, some Xaurips and a Wizard would probably not make the encounter more fun to play. The only thing that could be done other than adding new systems or changing system design would be to improve encounter flavor - more named enemies, more dialogue, better loot etc.

    I don't think it has anything to do with playstyle, but many or most of these issues may or may not matter to a lot of people because there are people out there that put much more emphasis on role playing, character building and planning/strategy than the diversity of moment to moment gameplay, changing it up or tactical diversity. The design for Pillars of Eternity definitely caters to this crowd more than the latter. The game definitely supports a wide variety of character concepts, and making a character is one of the best systemic things about the game - there's lots of choice, however the way in which the things that facilitate this variety have been designed or implemented has negative impacts on the moment to moment gameplay when compared to the moment to moment gameplay or BG1/2 or IWD1/2 that quite frankly makes it not very fun to play for me.
     
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  2. J_C One Bit Studio Patron Developer Sad Loser

    J_C
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    Sensuki is just like Josh. He thinks that he can build a better RPG system than anyone else. :troll:

    That doesn't mean that you are wrong in several things ofc'. What you wrote basicly shows why the IE games have better combat and gameplay then PoE. But, and it is a huge BUT, while PoE is different and not as good as IE, it is still quite good on its own right IMO.
     
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  3. Sensuki Arcane Cuck

    Sensuki
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    Codex 2014 Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong A Beautifully Desolate Campaign
    I take it that's just your way of saying TL;DR - if anything, they've improved for the most part many of the RPG systems in the game at the cost of the actual moment to moment combat gameplay.
     
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  4. SausageInYourFace Angelic Reinforcement Patron

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    Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Bubbles In Memoria A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Sometimes when I read (even though I actually tl;dr LOL) these detailed longwinded critiques and debates I am happy that despite loving RPGs, old ones, new ones, indie ones, I am still kind of a casual (or 'jouisseur') at heart and just can play them without constantly breaking my head over all this fucking bullshit.

    I guess ignorance can be a blessing sometimes.

    Anyway, to each his own, so please continue.
     
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  5. J_C One Bit Studio Patron Developer Sad Loser

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    We are in the same boat then. I never concentrate on gameplay nuances in details like Sensuki, so I can enjoy these games more easily.

    Kinda, yes. I never looked into the combat of IE games so deeply as you. I understood the basic principles, but never mastered them. To this day I don't understand what the resistence stuff like 30/40/10 means in the IE games. :D So the IE games were quite challenging for me even on normal, without difficulty mods. Maybe this is why I don't think that the changes in PoE are that bad. Yeah, they are different, but they can be fun.
     
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  6. DeepOcean Arcane

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    One thing that I just find ironic is that for a game where you supposed to build any build you want and be viable, for some reason, deflection and DR are the only ways for a melee fighter to protect himself but high deflection mean using shields (big accuracy penalty) an selecting defensive talents (what means not selecting offensive talents.) and high DR means recovery time penalties, all this together mean your defensive fighter won't hit for shit. With the way deflection works, you want all of it or nothing of it, a well balanced fighter is just a shitty fighter.

    There are other problems with deflection too, like monks that depend on being hit for their abilities to work but even for monks you kinda need deflection as constitution alone and its shitty +30% bonus from having a high contitution is laughable. Right now you have tanky fighters or squishy, damage dealing fighters, and on PotD, squishy, damage dealing fighters are even more squishy what makes them kinda too dangerous to use to the point the only weapon I recommend for melee damage dealing types on PotD is pikes because you can hide your barbarian or rogue behind your tank... yay, build diversity. Didn't Sawyer said he wanted each class to sorta survive on their own?

    The big recovery time penalty for armor makes armor an all or nothing proposition, on an ironic way, you kinda continue to just want the highest value possible. The way Obsidian "cured" the "problem" of everybody that could use, used plate armor was just to make the problem different. You wear the highest value possible or none at all.
     
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  7. Shadenuat Arcane

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    I know people didn't get what Sensuki was talking about engagement making combat more static, but I agree with it. Unless you just nuke them with control spells, it's hard to break front line and your formation after combat began. It's possible with some classes like monk with FoA to break away if you accumulate enough abilities but with running, pathfinding issues and strange AI it just leads to a mess. And even tanky character trying to disengage multiple enemies can get rekked, not sure why - maybe there's a hidden bonus to damage?

    If I remember right, D&D3 had a 5 feet step for that, which was implemented in ToEE and you could spend action on it to move away without provoking AOO's. In PoE even a 2 pixel step can lead to KO in a blink of an eye, and RtwP doesn't help with that.

    The health issue was pointed out by obsidianites even before beta. AI targets companions with lowest health aka CLASSIC ALOTH, and you can't do anything about it. A full party with one character at 1% hp is a rest and you can't do anything about it. Shitty extra talent heals almost nothing compared to health numbers.

    The immunities is p. obvious flaw leading to banalce/repetition/same tactics for everyone and I don't know how they are going to fix that but pumping some of the saving throws through the roof. But giving a dragon who constantly slips on your black shit and dies to a monk's fist to the face while lying prone a huge reflex save would also mean it becomes almost invulnerable to all attack spells in the game.

    I'm more butthurt that Might is the only way of making a damaging build even if you're making a thief with crossbow or one-handed fighter with a rapier. Shits on roleplaying options and dialogue options too.
     
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  8. Sensuki Arcane Cuck

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    Yeah true. CON definitely gives more per-day survivability but on a per-encounter basis, the increase in Endurance isn't worth much. Worst comes to worst you can rest sooner.
     
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  9. hell bovine Arcane

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    What I'd like to see getting fixed: enemy targeting AI. Right now on PotD I am getting scenes playing to the Benny Hill tune, where all enemy critters try to attack the same NPC (usually whomever they see first), but because due to sheer numbers they can't get to them, they'll continue running in circles around them instead.
     
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  10. MrMarbles Arbiter

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    Sensuki nails a few good points. The lack of hard counters is p shit. Also there are so many similar and generic status effects (that are not very serious) that Im' frankly not very interested in either learning about them, using them or dealing with them. Just keep spamming damage.

    I'm with J_C on this last one. Pillars is a blast and you'll have one or two really nice playthroughs, before you're drawn back to your 18th run of BG2.

    Withdraw (lvl 1 priest spell) is gold in these situations. It takes the char completely out of combat and the duration is usually long enough to mop up most enemies with the rest of the party.
     
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  11. Shadenuat Arcane

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    You may not have a Priest. Also, it's just easier to leave the wounded character on the other side of the map then. Unless you're facing shades or beetles, you can continue fighting that way. Some enemies have instant abilities that can 1-shot poor buddy (or like, charm him and your guys would do if 4 u). But I'd prefer you could expend like a potion or multiple priest spells to get him back into adventuring day.
     
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  12. ArchAngel Arcane Sad Loser

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    Free resting in IE would only work if there was an Ironman mode available. I never abused resting except when playing with self enforced Ironman because I knew if I got ambushed when resting I could die or lose even more resources.
    Without Ironman I knew that if I rest spammed and got lots of ambushes I could always load the quicksave if things really went south so I just didn't rest spam at all.
     
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  13. Jarpie Arcane Patron

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    Codex 2012 MCA
    I agree with Sensuki about the lack of dispels, hard-counters and immunities, the debuffs are mostly meaningless because they last so short time and even if they'd be more effective, there's no dispels or immunity spells for them which is fucking annoying. I actually don't mind engagement system because it makes the combat different than what it was in IE-games, although I do understand the annoyance with the disengagement attack, that obviously needs some work.

    Poisons can be annoying on PotD because they actually do some damage but you need to be hit by several of them and as said above, lack of antidote or dispels is fucking stupid.

    Per-encouter abilities are actually a good thing for the reasons Sensuki says, lets you do something else than just autoattack but I feel there should be more of them per class so I wouldn't just always use flames of devotion/knockdown/blind strike/etc.

    One of the potential fixes to the armor system is that lighter armors would give more deflection, when heavier armors would give dr so dps builds could avoid getting hit, when tanks could get hit but avoid the damage.
     
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  14. Shannow Waster of Time

    Shannow
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    :nocountryforshitposters:
     
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  15. Zeronet Learned

    Zeronet
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    The only point i'd raise is i find myself constantly using the protection spells. Paralyse, Charm especially can be pretty nasty and if you cast against it, it not only reduces the chances of it affect you, it reduces the duration which i,ve found quite useful. Plus i while i don't prebuff (because you can't), if i spot enemies that i know can cast those against me, the first thing durance will fire up is a protection against mind spells.
     
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  16. sser Arcane Cuck Developer

    sser
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    A Zone of Control system should be pretty much mandatory in any game like this. Wasteland 2 doesn't have one and it's unbelievably irritating to have enemies run track meets around your battle line just to get to someone else. It's unrealistic and it makes melee fighters spin in circles as they try and keep up with everyone else, something I considered an issue for the Infinity Engine games. However, IE games let you pre-buff and walk around with already powerful characters. You can't do that in PilloE, and a loss of an Engagement system would for sure be enraging as your spellcasters get cut down before they can cast spells that, in other games, they'd already have up.

    The main problem with the Engagement System in PilloE is that they really didn't build around it - at least not in a way that's proactive. Most of the stuff concerning Engagement is reactive. Outside of Rogues breaking Engagement by going invisible, I'm pretty sure most of the things that affect Engagement are entirely passive. Little deflection bonuses when breaking engagement, more engagement targets for fighters, a percent chance to not get when disengaging, etc. I honestly never used any of them because disengaging doesn't just get you attacked, but fucking machine gunned by melee strikes. Yeah, not worth it. The best use of disengagement is this: did you get hit? Then you didn't disengage. Did you not get hit? Then you escaped. In PilloE, you're walking either way.

    And yes, most spells are woefully underpowered with the exception of a select few (like Charm or Paralyze) which then become immensely powerful because an absence of competition in the spell market. Honestly, part of this has to be tied into the fact you can't pre-buff your party in any significant way. You can't allow one-hit KO spells if your party is not allowed to prepare for it in the first place. I'm sure the other part of this design is just Sawyer being Sawyer, but I can say that this is not an easy change to make to PilloE due to a significant feature being lost (pre-buffing).
     
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  17. Sensuki Arcane Cuck

    Sensuki
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    Shannow those are bugged stats. The 291 damage is probably a crit from scroll use.

    I vehemently disagree with that. WL2 is also a turn-based game with a grid movement system and an action point system that is shared across non-movement and movement actions and has no relation to a real-time with pause system that doesnt.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2015
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  18. Ninjerk Arcane

    Ninjerk
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    Inventory?
     
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  19. Shadenuat Arcane

    Shadenuat
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    Eeh Fighter has so many abilities for defence that even an 18 Mig/Dex build could probably tank if built right. Remember Eder has not an ideal build but is extremely hard to kill and most people used him as tank for the whole game.

    You don't need to minmax in PoE to play well, actually, I think if you can control enemies well enough you would be better with damagers and hybrids in front line to clear mobs faster.
    People still tend to minmax for the simplicity of it and because they remain in a delusion that stats in PoE actualy matter *a lot*; and probably because you don't know when too much is too much, or when enough (deflection) is enough.
     
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  20. Ninjerk Arcane

    Ninjerk
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    In an ideal world, monks would be the class with defensive modals (aside from Cautious Attack) to throttle damage as wounds pile up.
     
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  21. Sensuki Arcane Cuck

    Sensuki
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    Well, Eder can do that. Those specific stats are bugged though, there is no way you can get all four of your defenses that high with a Fighter. Those stats look like Eder's bugged stats from my game until I fixed it.
     
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  22. Shadenuat Arcane

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    Maybe he activated +25 per encounter. It's possible to get fairly high. Fighter has a great talent for +10 to all defences, and you can wear ring for +10 more. My Eder had 92 or something.

    I'm more impressed with damage done. Unless you have no casters in party with attacking spells and let fighter kill everything by himself...
     
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  23. FeelTheRads Arcane Patron

    FeelTheRads
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    Hey, it's like that thing that every sane person was talking about.

    But no cuz savescumming and can't have fighter in leather armor kill 10 dragons in a row with no rest which kills my rpg immersion
     
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  24. Sensuki Arcane Cuck

    Sensuki
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    Is that PotD ? Enemies have more health. I would assume he used scrolls (which you can craft a lot of).
     
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  25. hiver Guest

    hiver
    Concepts like internal coherence are vodoo magic to those that think gimping yourself and intentionally not using game features by design is a good design.
    And to morons like Blaine who think that makes him better then someone else, because thats like more manly and tough. ffs...



    Engagement is a problem because it is given to every fucking creature in the game which is just ludicrous and removing it completely by a hack/mod will achieve nothing.

    On the contrary, if it is adjusted as i suggest it would have several positive effects on combat feel, fighter viability and usage, and combat encounters design.

    http://www.rpgcodex.net/forums/index.php?threads/engagement-system-solution.98075/
     
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