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Quickfire Systemic Criticism that contributes to banality of gameplay

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

  1. Ellef Deplorable

    Ellef
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    I don't know, maybe use one of your dozens of slows, halts, knockdowns, withdraws, paralyses, or just focus fire him.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2015
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  2. Sensuki Arcane Cuck

    Sensuki
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    I disagree with Anthony Davis about real-time with pause as a whole. I don't believe that RTwP games simulate turn-based games. The Infinity Engine games and the Neverwinter Nights games are a real-time with pause implementation of D&D mechanics.

    One of the mistakes made in this implementation for both NWN games is including Attacks of Opportunity in real-time because the mechanic doesn't work. Even you agree that the way they did it in Pillars of Eternity is bullshit.

    I agree with both Grunker and AINT about stuff like per-encounters and engagement being pulled from turn-based games, that's because they are. It's because Josh and the other guys at Obsidian primarily play tabletop and turn-based games and they don't know any better. That's what they're familiar with. TBH they should stick to making turn-based games because I don't think that they have ever made a game with good real-time combat gameplay other than Josh with the Icewind Dales but that system was created by BioWare.

    Pillars of Eternity's combat system without Engagement IS a real-time system (with pause). The only things that stick out like a sore thumb are engagement and per-encounter abilities - and I mentioned both of these things as issues in the OP.

    TBH, I'm not sure why you're bringing up the opinions of other people when you think the system is shit. You don't see me doing that. I can just as easily cherry pick arguments from people that align with my own from the Obsidian forums or from related topics here, but I'm not going to because it's unnecessary.

    The Baldur's Gate forums are run by Beamdog for the Baldur's Gate Enhanced Editions. Those games include a story mode. Nuff said.

    This person probably thinks that either AoOs are realistic (they're not) or has the same problem as you do, thinking that units who move in combat drop their guard and has issues differentiating the rules of real-time and turn-based like you do.

    Kiting can be cheesy, but the Engagement system does not prevent kiting.

    See these videos:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Hts36Nws3Q
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9aINHF86FPQ
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQw_dr0Wd0g

    Yes, it favors strategy. Engagement makes the game less tactical though.

    Playing a Wizard is harder because their protection spells are fucking shit, not because of Engagement. Wizards can get fucking dropped easily without protection in the Infinity Engine games. Kiting is not made harder because of Engagement, it's just as easy, but a bit less effective because ranged attacks are slower in Pillars of Eternity than the Infinity Engine games.

    Not sure what this means, but you and I both agree that the AI in the game is bad, and is not suited to dealing with Engagement.

    This person is confusing strategy with tactics, because moving in Pillars of Eternity is actually less tactical. You want to move as little as possible, so you implore a strategy around that.

    Yes it does. However it removes basically any tactical movement after engagement from the game, which is boring and annoying.

    Mhm, except 3E and ToEE are turn-based games. This person also seems to think that the system deals with kiting, when it doesn't.

    -----

    Not sure what Grunker is on about, didn't read his post in the thread. He dislikes Engagement for different reasons to me.

    People who prefer turn-based to real-time games (Anthony Davis, arguably yourself too?) will probably like the Engagement system because it pretty much is included for such people. I see it as a pollution to real-time gameplay.

    A different "Zone of Control" system would be an improvement on the Engagement system but I don't think it has any place in this game, which was supposed to be an Infinity Engine style game, with Infinity Engine style combat. However because the developers can't into real-time games and a bunch of their friends wanted a turn-based style mechanic like this in, they added it in.

    I'm with LF_Incline on this one, this is the reason why modern real-time games have more disables. Disables and Crowd Control facilitate unit stickiness. You don't need a zone of control system.

    If you never caught the enemy mage in the first place, not even a Zone of Control system will stop them running. This is the problem that you and others have in thinking that 'Zone of Control' type stuff prevents kiting - it doesn't even address 95% of real situations where people kite in games because the Zone of Control only addresses it temporarily IF you actually get in range. Most kiting takes place when ranged characters attack from a distance and then keep running away. As a melee unit, you're never going to be able to do anything against that if you never get in range in the first place.

    The AI doesn't have to act like a player might anyway. I don't know of many games that do that, although there are a few older games that attempted it - Dark Reign and Age of Empires 2 spring to mind. It's actually kind of sad how far gameplay has fallen on the list of priorities for games :( when games from the 90s had better AI that was much, much harder to code than today when it's a lot easier to code.
     
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  3. Rake Arcane

    Rake
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    In modded BG2 (i don't know if it was SCS or Rogue rebalancing or some other mod) there was a fight with an enemy adventuring party (the chosen of Cyric) that the AI behaves exactly the way you describe. And it was one of the most memorable fights in any game i have played.
     
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  4. Mastermind Cognito Elite Material Patron Bethestard

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    Why are you quoting someone else's post with my name on it?
     
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  5. Ellef Deplorable

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    ...I don't know. I fucked up a quote box I guess, lemme fix that.
     
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  6. hell bovine Arcane

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    Seconded. This is what would make the battles actually fun (and what made mods like SCS for BG so popular), as opposed to the "full charge ahead" idiocy of PoE. Seeing enemy mages run close into the fray, so they can be easier targets for area spells and shooters, is plain annoying. :?
     
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  7. Sensuki Arcane Cuck

    Sensuki
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    Yeah it was cool in the BG games where Mages used Improved Invisibility, Non-Detection, Similacrum and shit like that to make them untargetable while they were firing off spells.

    On their own, you can avoid it in most cases by leaving the room but in a proper encounter it forces you to deal with other enemies first.
     
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  8. Shannow Waster of Time

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    :roll:
     
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  9. ZagorTeNej Arcane

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    It's from Rogue Rebalancing, a very well designed encounter that shows how an enemy controlled assassin can be dangerous when paired with a decent AI that mimics player actions (he even uses Detect Illusion to get rid of your protection spells from that school) and a party of his own that divides your attention. It even has a bunch of stat/skill/reputation/ability checks, really puts modern RPG designers (even those that used to be great in the past) to shame and makes them come off as lazy assess that are most comfortable when pandering to casuals and fixing shit that ain't broken in the first place.
     
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  10. Sensuki Arcane Cuck

    Sensuki
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    I think the reason encounter design sucks and everything plays the same is because of the 'universal' combat system, lack of immunities and 'banalced' status effects. The designers themselves didn't make the creatures or the systems, they just place the content and probably create quests and shit, so even though it's evident that they copy pasted shit if the actual creatures themselves were fun to fight, it wouldn't be as much of an issue.

    I would say it's on Josh. He made the game rules. Most of the encounters can be dealt with in pretty much exactly the same fashion. I remember having to do some different stuff based on things that kinda broke the mold (Shades) and I had to switch gear and leave characters behind to deal with archers targeting my squishy characters. Ogre Druids were also a pain because they deal bloody high damage AoE spells, so I had to deal with them a little bit differently to normal as well (more disable, special positioning). Also confusion/charm required special positioning/baiting.

    The Infinity Engine games aren't like this because of how everything works differently. I will exclude examples from BG2 and just use BG1 and IWD1.

    Enemies don't use Invisibility in Pillars of Eternity, so that rules out Wizards ever getting off a free spell and Mirror Image / related spells are awful, you don't *ever* have to worry about Wizards casting protection spells because it doesn't protect them very well. The solution to casters in Pillars of Eternity is just to attack them. Doesn't require adjusting at all.

    The game includes paralyze, but it's only seen rarely and rarely does it last very long. There's a couple of times I needed to use Suppress Affliction on a Xaurip Skirmisher Paralyze, but that's it. In the IE games if a character gets held because a Ghoul/Ghast hit them (usually a frontline character) it's an oh fuck moment, you have to react to it. Particularly in dungeon corridors with limited pathing space.

    You had to react to shit like Stinking Cloud (sleep), Webs, Entangles - they all disabled your characters and if you didn't react to them, you would probably lose the fight. Poison was a really big deal, you have to react to it because if you don't your character will most likely die. Disease can also have the same problem.

    In Pillars of Eternity, all of this stuff attacks a defense, whereas in the IE games it was handled differently (Saving Throws) and it was difficult to improve your saving throws, whereas it's super fucking easy to stack defenses. For tank characters it's not even a problem, you have high defenses anyway, so if any of these things do actually affect you, it won't be for very long.

    Rarely do you clutch heal in Pillars of Eternity. If your character is getting wounded it's like meh, so what. Especially if you don't give a shit about them getting knocked out (which the game encourages). In the Infinity Engine games characters getting hurt is a big deal, you have to react to it. You need to heal people either by drinking potions, using a Cleric heal or moving them out of danger. You basically never do this in Pillars of Eternity and you can't really do it anyway if you're in melee. If characters are getting hit, usually you just accept it, and kill stuff faster.

    Hardly fucking anything requires the player to change what they are doing, or react to what enemies are doing in the encounter. It is literally all positioning, initial movements and ability order/targeting choice. It is sooo much simpler and soooo boring compared to even BG1 combat IMO. It's also more tedious if you're using the same per encounters over and over again every encounter.
     
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  11. Shadenuat Arcane

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    I wonder if with their 4 mln dorra they were afraid game won't be big enough - just like with IWD2, but only had that much dorra and time, and by making game so big, had to fill it with something.
    Perhaps they just tried to make with what they had in the most efficient way possible, which was copypasta.

    We're trying to search for some hidden systemic problem when it could be just that.
     
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  12. Sensuki Arcane Cuck

    Sensuki
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    Nah, Josh's system design doesn't have anything to do with copy paste. He stated really early on what his goals for the system were. These were goals to solve problems with people being confused and to fix a bunch of issues with D&D.

    The end result is this. He might not be bothered by any of the problems I mentioned, specifically if he doesn't find being required to react to something fun. However I think these are 'failures' because he stated that he wanted people to change what they were doing on an encounter-to-encounter basis, but you rarely ever have to in Pillars of Eternity.

    I think that's less important to him than making the system understandable, and he's making the game and not necessarily playing it for fun so it's more important that his friends like the game than him being satisfied with it I guess. I haven't been following badgame/SA or the Obsidian forums at all since release day.

    A large majority of the fanbase doesn't give much of a shit about combat anyway.

    IMO the issues with the narrative are bigger failures than the combat, considering Obsidian's reputation.
     
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  13. Crooked Bee (no longer) a wide-wandering bee Patron

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    In the past couple of days there has actually been some strong criticism of the encounter design at badgame, both re: the Endless Paths and the game as a whole. Hardly any criticism of the system itself, though, iirc.
     
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  14. Sensuki Arcane Cuck

    Sensuki
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    Crooked Bee Looking at the tree and not seeing the forest.

    Although, the complains might be of 'flavor' nature, because it's blatantly obvious that they just copy pasted encounters.

    I don't think encounter design is the main issue because no matter what they did to the encounter design, it would not change much at all. The fault lies in the system design, creature design and AI (ability use) design.
     
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  15. Rake Arcane

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    True dat. They should force Avellone to make their next game from scratch, and focus more on finding better writers. (actualy narrative leads, Festenmaker is a good writter, just not a good creative lead apparently). They should had never let Ziets go.
     
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  16. Crooked Bee (no longer) a wide-wandering bee Patron

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    I just checked and it seems you are correct; it's mostly about the copy-paste thing; also they compare bg2's dungeon and encounter design favorably to poe, which is a bit amusing to see. It's page 380 of their thread if you're curious.
     
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  17. Sensuki Arcane Cuck

    Sensuki
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    Not really, you've already proven my theory correct.
     
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  18. Ninjerk Arcane

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    Bro, I haven't played an IE game in years. I may have finished one of them. I'm not arguing against disengagement attacks because I think PoE needs to be a near-clone of BG2 or IWD or anything. I'm pretty much the anti-Sensuki in this regard, and as such my "notion of positioning" does not derive in the slightest from the IE games.

    I would love if more enemies in this game got me to do something more than just Backspace->right click.

    Take those items out of the game and see what happens to your Fighter's damage.
     
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  19. Sensuki Arcane Cuck

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  20. Ninjerk Arcane

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    FWIW, I like the added function of items like SP et al., but I think you have to acknowledge that they're out of balance ( :shudder: ) with what appears to be the design goals of the system. Frankly, I'm surprised that item made it through.
     
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  21. Sensuki Arcane Cuck

    Sensuki
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    So am I. There's also a few of them.

    I wonder, does Retaliation stack?

    Can you retaliate 3 times etc
     
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  22. Lhynn Arcane

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    Sensuki, how does monk work exactly? been tinkering a bit with it but theres just not enough info. He seems to attack really fast with his fist even wearing a heavy armor.
     
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  23. Ninjerk Arcane

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    I wondered that myself, but I really don't want to mess with the stronghold enough to get the Hiro cape.

    I've played a bit with monks in the early levels, but from my reading my understanding is that monks are eventually forced to use weapons because fist scaling is inherently bad and you can't enchant them as well as Tormented Reach being a significant portion of their damage (provided you find the sweetspot between taking damage and unloading wounds fast enough).
     
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  24. ZagorTeNej Arcane

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    Was Ziets involved in all the Gods stuff? That was probably the highest point of the game for me when it comes to writing, really enjoyed the descriptions.
     
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  25. Crooked Bee (no longer) a wide-wandering bee Patron

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    Yes, he came up with the ideas for the gods apparently:

    http://grimuar.pl/interview/george-ziets
     
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