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Everything posted by PizzaSHARK

  1. It's definitely quadratic wizards in Pillars. I'm not sure if the dev team tried to avoid it or not, but if they did they failed pretty badly. If Cipher is what gets you excited from an RP standpoint, just stick with it for a few tedious levels and it'll even out. If you're on the front lines, Veteran's Recovery is a seriously useful talent to take. You can always respec out of it later if you no longer need it. Potions of Iron Skin, Mirrored Image, and Displaced Image are great for boosting durability and the first two are pretty cheap to make. Wizard's Double is kind of useless if you don't have high Deflection already. You can use Spirit Shield as a poor man's Iron Skin, too. If you're having trouble landing hits, maybe have someone take Aspirant's Mark. Good duration, it's per encounter, and it reduces enemy Deflection several points. You could also use any weapon with a +Accuracy inherent bonus (club, dagger, spear, maybe some others) or the "Reliable" quality (converts grazes to hits), such as all Flails, the Whispers of Yenwood unique sword you can get early on, etc.
  2. Fighter would be your best bet, of the three options. A Fighter with the Rapid Recovery talent is very tanky even without using a shield, and their Armored Grace talent substantially reduces the recovery penalty for wearing armor - you can treat heavy armor like medium armor, medium armor like light armor, and light armor as if you weren't wearing armor at all. Skills like Disciplined Barrage and talents like Confident Aim make them very consistent damage dealers, even if they won't get the crazy crits that a class like Rogues can get or the AOE potential of a Barbarian. Ciphers get the most unique responses of any class, however. They aren't terribly tanky, but they do respectable damage and have some very powerful control skills and a few choice buffs. For POE2, single-classing is just as good as multiclassing and you should probably single-class unless you have good reason to multiclass. The tier 8 and tier 9 abilities are quite powerful, and faster power progression means you can use your abilities more often in a combat. That said, Fighter is arguably THE best multiclass if you're willing to trade in your favorite class's maximum performance in exchange for durability and reliability. Your instincts are accurate in that it's usually best to have one "main tank" and one "off tank" to handle enemies. Most of the time you only need the "main tank," especially if they can engage 3+ enemies, but sometimes you'll face a horde of enemies in a more open area and having another person that can lock down another 2-3 creatures (taking Hold the Line at some point is pretty valuable for this) can make a big difference. Eder and Pallegina are good choices for this "main tank" role if you want your PC Fighter to be a two-handed striker type of build. If you're worried about RP, Resolve tends to get you the most responses (and the most important ones.) Intelligence or Lore skill is also very useful. After that, the rest are pretty much equivalent although I don't think I've ever seen a Constitution check except to drink someone else's beer. On anything less than PotD, you don't need to min-max at all to do well in the game. Assign stats as you see fit. There are "better" stats, but no "bad" stats.
  3. I've looked around and sadly I can't seem to find any general "solo strategies" guides. Some lengthy videos without annotations and I could probably skim any of the dozens of Let's Plays... but, man, I just want the strats not the streamer's commentary and navel-gazing. I'll be playing on Hard, rather than PotD, because I also plan on doing all quests and sidequests, all dragons, all archmages, etc - essentially The (Frozen) Ultimate on hard, except I'm not going to use ironman mode, expert mode, etc. I also plan on recruiting and then promptly dumping NPCs in an inn or the keep - I plan on doing their personal side quests as well, but anytime they might have to be present for combat, they will be hiding in a corner and not being involved. I don't plan on limiting item choices since that might make things a little too tedious at times. Deadfire Pack items are fair game. I could definitely use some advice on how to PROPERLY kite monsters and get them to fight other monsters. Kiting spiders to a stag and watching the stag stomp the **** out of them is pretty easy, and I was able to fairly reliably get the forest lurkers to plod over and massacre the bandits holding Tuatanu's stuff after a few attempts (surviving the initial alpha strike from the bandits once they see you was the messy part.) I can consistently pull guards and such from Raederic's throne room, but I've never been able to find a way to exit combat, so I run out of health by a death of a thousand cuts (Ironskin potions reduce incoming attacks to chip damage, but it's still enough over time) long before they run out of warm bodies to throw at me. I didn't have enough Stealth skill to sneak past the courtyard spirits in Caed Nua, so I'm not sure if the better plan might be to just Fan of Flames them from stealth and just save scum if I get stunlocked until it works. I've seen a short video guide on how to abuse the Animat summon item in the throne room to break combat vs the spirits there, and I've heard you can kite beetles or xaurips to Maerwald's room. But I could also use some advice on how to build the Druid. I don't think min-maxing stats will be particularly important since it's only Hard, nor do I think race choice will matter much. I do plan on continuing this character through to Deadfire and soloing that game as well (same circumstances), so ideally it should be a race that's effective there too (such as blue Amaua having Strength resistance, normal Dwarf having Constitution resistance, and so on.) I like Boreal Dwarf or Pale Elf the most, thematically, but anything could work. I don't think Godlike would work, seeing as the Deadfire Captain's Cap is an extremely good item to have for most of the game (four immunities plus a heap of stats) and I strongly doubt anything I'd gain from Godlike passives would outweigh that. I'm not sure how important Mechanics will be. How much is needed to locate traps, not disable them? How much total Stealth is needed to make important sneaks? Which Spiritshift form seems best? Boar has the constant regeneration, but if I'm using sword and board in my normal form (and I feel like I might have to?) then I'm going to suffer a steep Deflection loss in any form but Stag. Wolf or Cat would be best if I want to use Spiritshift only to burn down enemies. Would taking Focus: Peasant or Zealot's Focus be better? Focus is only +4, but won't limit my item choices. My general thinking for "From start to getting to Defiance Bay" is something like this: - Get to Gilded Vale and do the normal things. Stuff Aloth and Eder in the inn. Grab a grappling hook from Tuatanu and abuse Charm Beast to kill the wolves and get the Dex gloves. Might be able to Charm Beast through the bears, but might need to wait for Hold Beast first. After bears are dead, benevolent Ingroed and Nonton for the +5 deflection ring. Once Stealth is high enough, steal everything that's not tied down; murdering the backer NPCs doesn't seem to harm your reputation hardly at all if they catch you stealing and attack you first. Objective is to hoard 5000cp for the Animat horn (it's 5000cp after Tuatanu lowers the price when you return his stuff to him.) - Head to Magran's Fork. Maybe use Charm Beast/Hold Beast to kill wolves and boars for fun and profit? Grab the fine greatsword/pollaxe by the adra formation to sell (unless 2H is better than sword and board?) Grab Fulvano's amulet, killing trolls when possible (very easy with Firebrand) since troll skin is a valuable crafting item. Head through to Black Meadow. Grab the fine hunter's bow near the spear spiders (kite them to the nearby stag to kill them and loot their legs for making Fan of Flames scrolls.) Kill trolls when possible, loot burned lady throughout the area. Kite forest lurkers to bandit camp, watch them stomp the **** out of the humies, get Tuatanu's stuff. Collect and dump Kana and Durance on your way back to Gilded Vale. Detour to Madhmar Bridge at some point, avoiding the OP stunlocking xaurip, and loot the fine hatchet from the campsite. Kill the looters and return Peregrun's stuff to get some cash and the +2 Int/Confuse immunity hat. - Charm/Hold Beast your way past the spooders in the temple, kill the Skuldrs, get the fine sword. If you have Mechanics enough, disarm and loot the randomized loot box by the puzzle. Can probably Firebrand your way past the spirits on the second floor to get to the second randomized lootbox in the storeroom. Defeating the Skuldr King and Greater Ooze on the bottom floor might be too difficult for now, though. - Once you have the Animat summon, it should be possible to massacre the xaurips at Anslog's Compass (pull small groups whenever possible, kite to the two gormless NPCs if you need warm bodies) and kill the sporelings for the stuff for Aufra's potion. Make some Fan of Flames scrolls and use them and your Animat buddy to make your way to Caed Nua keep. With 3+ stealth and a move speed buff you can sneak past the spirits in the throne room to the door, then can manipulate their AI with the Animat summon to drop combat and make your way downstairs. Charm/Hold Beast through the spooders, unlock Maerwald's door (or get the key I guess) and bring some xaurips or beetles to the party. It's probably possible to kill the Spider Queen with judicious use of Charm/Hold Beast and claim Oidreacht, if that's worth doing. - On the way to Defiance Bay and the land of unlimited XP, probably worth detouring to sneak/Charm/Hold your way past the kitties to get Hearth Harvest. Save up the 8200cp to get the Deadfire Captain's Hat? Would the War Club be worth considering?
  4. I had no issues running 1080p. Do you mean 4:3 resolutions? Do they even make modern displays in 4:3 resolution? Nope, i end up with tiny unreadable letters or huge ones. My TV is 1360 x 760 but i can run MHW and other games on 1080p but not POE2 You're not running it at 1080p if your display is 1360x760...
  5. Maybe if they had bothered to make terrain interactivity relevant. As it is, the bonus reach is such an edge case it's not worth worrying about and you can always just put a pike in your secondary weapon slots in case it is. Being able to reach over your shield using front line is kind of pointless when there are only five people in your party to begin with and they didn't bother adding concepts like formation bonuses like shield walls to the game (they probably wouldn't suit this kind of game, anyhow... they're more at home in grittier, more realistic RPGs.) I like the changes to how DR works in Deadfire but they really didn't put in enough effort. 2H having a larger base damage was important and relevant in Pillars since DR was a very simple "damage minus DR" equation, but Deadfire has the separate Penetration stat... so having a large base damage is pretty much irrelevant. +1 Penetration isn't enough, and many classes already get a damage bonus. 2H talent should probably grant an additional +1 Penetration rather than +15% Damage. I would also impose an Accuracy penalty on TWF, especially since it has the inherent -30% Recovery bonus just for TWF in the first place. Alternatively, reduce the damage and penetration of the off-hand weapon. Lastly, I would probably reduce or maybe even outright remove the penetration bonus on crits to make bringing the right tool for the job important. I think SWS is fine - the Accuracy bonus is enormously useful due to how crits work (more accuracy = more crits) and its talent is arguably the best of any style's. In practice it's usually less raw DPS than TWF even for a Devoted build, but it's more consistent - so it balances out. You don't care about DPS if you're using a shield and applying the shield's Deflection bonus to your Reflex saves makes the talent worth taking, so it's okay. So it's really only 2H that has a problem justifying its existence. Nerfing TWF baseline and changing 2H style talent to +1 Penetration should probably fix the problem; +2 penetration to all attacks is no joke, especially if nerfing crit bonus to penetration means it's much harder to just casually ignore enemy DR with TWF/SWS.
  6. I had no issues running 1080p. Do you mean 4:3 resolutions? Do they even make modern displays in 4:3 resolution?
  7. Dang. My physical goods haven't arrived yet but I was really stoked on receiving some high quality minis for the $25 :-/
  8. And most optional combat encounters are basically just "here is an empty room, here are some enemies, go fight them." Even the bounty hunt quests are largely all just this - crazy undead-making chick at the start? She's at the top of a hill, there is no line of sight/high ground advantage in the game, there are no other terrain features; walk up the hill and punch her until she stops. Crazy metal fire-priest guy? Him and his buddies are standing in a prayer circle in an open field, there is like one or two bushes that break line of sight, nothing else. There's a bounty that sends you to go kill a drake and its xaurip adherents. You get there and your party and their group literally line up across from each other in an open field with no terrain features and the fight just randomly starts. When you combine that with the forced limitations on player tactics through Priests, Druids, etc having extremely small spell pools compared to Pillars (where they got EVERY spell at each level and had to pick the right tool for the job from that list), it really does result in basically every optional combat encounter playing nearly identically to every other... and further contributes to the unavoidable feeling I get from Deadfire that "wow they really just ****ing half-assed this didn't they??"
  9. It shouldn't be too hard to get the paint off with a solvent and mild abrasive. If they're plastic or something else that might dissolve in acetone, Simple Green with a magic eraser is what I swear by, just start with light pressure and only press harder if there's bits of stubborn paint you can't get off. Best results usually involve dunking the mini into a cup of the stuff and letting it soak for an hour or two, then scrubbing, dunking back into the simple green, and repeating until it's clear. Then rinse everything off with running water and let it dry before priming it for painting. For pewter or most other metal figures, you can just use acetone which will literally melt most hobby paints right off. You may not even need a sponge or magic eraser, if you give it a few seconds to work you can often just wipe it right off. Just be aware of the inhalation and fire hazards of acetone Painting minis isn't that difficult, at least not at a basic level. Reaper makes great little kits with basic paints in an array of colors - their "Master HD" series. Some of them don't even need to be thinned, although you should probably learn how since not every paint you use will come pre-thinned (simplest way to do it is to just dip the brush in water before you dip it in the paint, then wipe excess off on the lip of the paint container or dab it on a paper towel.) The pictures make them look like they're pretty standard scale for d20-style miniatures, so you shouldn't need any special brushes or tools like you would for small minis (such as kobolds, halflings, etc) or minis with a lot of very fine details (such as many Games Workshop minis.) And if you screw up? Well, just strip the paint off and try again until you're satisfied with the results
  10. Yeah. But you space that time out over several brief painting sessions; you need to allow some time for the paint to dry between coats, unless you're painting enough minis all at once that by time you finish putting the second coat on the last mini, the first mini is ready for its third. I haven't received my physical goods yet; are the minis pre-painted or unpainted? The pledge says unpainted. If they're painted, surely some acetone or Simple Green can scrub the paint off, right? They're pewter according to the pledge, so they should be safe for acetone.
  11. A fleshed out world to explore. This will require redesigning most of the combat encounters in the optional areas, because currently VERY few of them are memorable in any way, shape, or form - even the bounty hunts are almost invariably "here are some dudes in a field, go fight them." Most of the little dungeons are "here are some dudes in a couple of rooms, go fight them." There's little depth or nuance to any of it, so it makes it feel very same-y - exploration isn't satisfying when only one in a dozen little islands has anything interesting or of note (like the dungeon with Woedicans doing the sorts of thing that makes everyone love those humorless hypocritical jerks) and the rest are basically just the result of copy-pasting a bunch of monsters in an open field to give the player something to do to make the world seem less barren. Add rocks, trees, bushes, deep sand and mud and water to existing areas to add tactical depth to the environment. Improve the AI so that it can effective take advantage of these mechanics on higher difficulty settings (kiting through slog zones, using rocks to break line of sight/line of effect to enemy ranged attackers, etc.) Building off of that, make factions actually matter. If you piss a faction off, they start sending bounty hunters and assassins after you, or you find that they've beaten you to some quests. Make the world feel interactive and reactive to what the player is doing. Make the ship and ship combat meaningful and more than half-assed. I'm actually impressed that Obsidian took the half-finished Caed Nua keep management minigame from the first game and went "we can do better than that" and managed to deliver and even less-finished version in Deadfire in the form of the ship and ship combat. Basically, I want them to make Deadfire what it COULD be... if they would stop trying to make two different games at once. I want the critical path to be more tightly woven, more engaging, and more directed. Then you can have a post-game where the world opens up, where you're seeing the effects of Eothas' actions and the world reacting to having seen or heard about a giant green statue stomping around the islands and doing... something. And as an aside, I'd like to see the removal of all remaining vestigial d20 attrition-based gameplay features and elements because they don't really serve any purpose. Remove traps outside of combat zones, they do nothing but waste the player's time and/or give them a little bit of free XP. Remove injuries; if resting doesn't cost anything, what's the point of them? Remove/retune per-rest items and abilities; if they would be too strong to be per-encounter, make them charge-based instead of per-rest or nerf the active effects until they balance out as per-encounter. Change the empower mechanic to be available only in combat, only usable X times per combat (scaling with levels, ideally based on base class power level to make single class characters noticeably stronger than multiclass characters to compensate for their lack of versatility), but automatically resets between combats. They already went in like 70% of the way to making Deadfire a per-encounter game but apparently left in some remnants of Pillars' d20-inspired attrition-based combat because... I don't know why, really. Basically, I don't want new content so much as I want a DLC that actually finishes Deadfire. I would honestly be willing to pay $10 or $15 for a series of in-depth patches and alterations because I know it would be a lot of work. Because I want a Deadfire that actually measures up to the expectations I think an outfit like Obsidian presents. They had the excuse of having to do a trainload of ground work before even beginning development of the game proper and on a shoestring budget for Pillars to justify Pillars' flaws, but they don't get that excuse for Deadfire. Obsidian simply produced something that felt incomplete and unfinished. Deadfire honestly needed another year of development time and, maybe, some more strict creative control at the high level to decide what kind of game they wanted it to be (instead of doing two different kinds of game, each mediocre.)
  12. I never play turn-based games so perhaps they have more flexibility in this regard than I'm aware of, but I would think one quite defining difference between truly turn-based games and RTWP is that in turn-based games everything is sequential, whereas in RTWP it is parallel. Hence, in RTWP I can react to what the enemy is doing or to the outcome of something I did (especially now that we have easy retargetting). And similarly, I can coordinate the actions of multiple characters, or anticipate actions of enemies and time my own accordingly. That, I would argue, makes the two distinctly different. Things like Deadfire's Recovery mechanic make it a moot point. A fighter swings at a baddie and is locked into an attack animation or recovery animation and gets hit with the fireball the enemy mage was casting, because the fighter couldn't begin moving until the attack or backswing animation completed (maybe he was able to start moving, but he couldn't clear it in time.) A fighter moves on his turn and swings at the baddie; the enemy mage's turn comes up before that fighter's next turn and the fighter gets hit with the fireball. Outcomes CAN differ, but it's only in edge cases. Practically speaking, the two are far more similar than they are dissimilar and the major differences make very little, uh, difference in gameplay outcomes - just in the way the gameplay is presented. Or maybe it's more effective to point to a game that HAS done RTwP "right," that DOES make a noticeable difference compared to turn-based: Tower of Time. Really, for all the game's shortcomings (many of which are understandable due to translation errors and it being a small team of randoms that, as far as I'm aware, are making their first game) it absolutely perfectly nails how to maximize per-encounter, RTwP combat from a mechanical standpoint.
  13. RTWP is just a very pretentious form of turn-based. Since that's a pretty loaded statement, I'll explain my reasoning: - Most (all?) RTWP systems are either directly based on turn-based rules (Infinity Engine games are based on 2E D&D rules and, later, 3E for example) or are heavily inspired by them (Pillars.) They share many of the same design conventions. Action speed isn't much different from the free/swift/move/standard/full round action setup used in 3.5E or action points in other systems. Recovery time is analogous to initiative order or JRPG-style ATB bars. So there are a lot of obvious, intentional similarities. - At any difficulty level appropriately challenging to the player (whether the player feels challenged by normal, veteran, PotD, whatever), the game is designed for the player to pause the game to examine the playing field, take enemy actions into consideration, and issue orders to their units to be carried out after unpausing. RTWP games also typically include a multitude of auto-pause options. Assuming the player is playing at a difficulty appropriate to their level of skill (assuming "appropriate" means "challenging"), they will be pausing frequently. Many people on these forums, for example, talk about how they don't even really use the AI routines because they don't want the AI wasting actions or resources. If you are pausing frequently to issue commands and read the state of the battle, you are effectively playing a very pretentious kind of turn-based game. The enemy wizard gets a Fireball off, it hits, you pause the game to examine the status of all your dudes, the enemy dudes, what that enemy wizard will be doing next, and then begin to issue orders in response to this change. - Authentic turn-based games are rightfully known for playing slower than RTWP games. This is often due to most turn-based games not natively giving the player options to speed up/skip animations, often adding in a pause between turns, etc. XCOM 2, for example, has the animations for characters moving around, aiming, and then has a weird little pause between ending one character's turn and beginning another's... and many mods remove or reduce these things and the game plays much faster as a result. Some games, like Age of Decadence, don't have delays or pauses at all and so the game cycles through AI turns very rapidly meaning there's very little delay between each of your turns even on a crowded battlefield. But strictly speaking, a difficult battle in a turn-based game will be pretty similar in length to a difficult battle in a RTWP game, because the player is pausing frequently in RTWP anyhow. So we can see that the gameplay systems are often very similar, and gameplay length is also often pretty similar - assuming the player is playing challenging content. So the only thing that RTWP has an advantage in is the sort of trash mob fights where you can just let the AI play the game for you. But such encounters are not generally very interesting (see: complaints about random encounter systems in JRPGs), so in many cases... the game may be better off with them removed entirely! So I call RTWP a pretentious form of turn-based because the style has pretensions to being different from turn-based when, again assuming appropriately challenging content, it is effectively the same.
  14. BG2's problem was that there was no narrative urgency in Chapter 2. We're TOLD that we need to get out there and save Imoen, but in gameplay mechanics our time is unlimited. Gathering lots of gold to buy assistance to rescue her is a perfectly fine narrative hook and it even plays into CHARNAME encountering Firkraag (who offers undeniably the largest bounty for aiding him, whose behavior is quite obviously fishy... but if you're in a real hurry to raise funds to save your little sister, you wouldn't have time to run a fantasy background check on him, even if an adult red would be dumb enough to leave stuff like that in the open.) It only falls apart if the player drags their feet... and they have plenty of incentive to, with all kinds of fancy items and places to explore on offer and no clear indication that Imoen is going to die if they don't get there in X months.
  15. Probably cuz I'm thinking through it as I'm talking to people. ~shrug~ So where I am now is somewhere around Minsc is a) a one-dimensional character but b) if that was all the writer really needed him to be then he can still be considered a successful character. I can also say that c) successfully crafting a one dimensional character like Minsc probably requires less skill/talent/focus/experience/intent than a lot of Bioware's more recent offerings. This makes me think that d) when people say Minsc is a better character than Sera they're prooobably comparing raw end states, Minsc is pretty straightforward A - B kind of character, he's either funny or he's not. Sera on the other hand is more complex, intended to be a fuller person and this results in a lot of places to get hung up on the character ie she's annoying, she has a bad haircut, she's narrow-minded and responds aggressively to people suggesting she maybe try to broaden her horizons a bit, her accent isn't always easy to parse, she's childish etc. Since readers/gamers are so varied characters can always fail e) Minsc happens to fail for me since I don't find his shtick funny for very long, and while people might get hung up on Sera's characteristics and dislike her as a person and conflate that with being poorly written (this is a different issue I have with people who often consider "I really dislike that character" as being synonymous with a badly written character), she can also absolutely fail as a written character*. What winds up separating BG2 characters from modern Bioware ones f) is an ambitiousness that BG2 characters didn't/couldn't have, they can still fail but there's fundamentally and purposefully more there which I think matters even if more work = more opportunities for failures. * - I see Sera as being created with the intent of or giving the players something to respond to in the shape of the common man's response to world shaping events. You occasionally hear people bemoan the lack of commoners in high medieval fantasy type settings. It's always nobles saving the world or otherwise wealthy, learned people. Well, Sera's as common as it gets. The one thing that makes her special or noteworthy from the really truly unworkably common man is that she has a strong, if basic, sense of right and wrong. So what happens when you introduce existential concerns like gods, mythological figures and whatnot to someone who doesn't have either the education or the mental predisposition to really grapple with these concepts? You get someone who vehemently rejects it and circles the wagons around what she knows. What do you get when you introduce nuance to moral considerations with someone who has a strong, but basic, conception of it? You get someone who murders the noble rather than let you continue teasing out the threads of the situation. Keep things simple. Let the baddies stay bad. This is not, like really not, something commonly explored in fiction. Usually when an ingenue gets exposed to the facts of the world it goes with a gentle sense of blooming horizons and enlightenment. Is Sera blooming? No, Sera is definitely not blooming. Does the character fail because she never develops beyond this mindset, yeah maybe. There's a slightly adjacent discussion to be had there about what a reasonable degree of influence the PC should have on the core of who a NPC is but w/e. I feel like some people are gonna read this and see "Ah, this character I like is better than the character you like because of its inherent depth and such and the fact that you can't see that just means that you, sir, are a dumb-dumb and only truly refined gentlepeople such as myself can get it. So there." I can see how that would be a conclusion but it's genuinely not what I was trying to convey. I don't see it as talking to a real person. Dialogue very much does NOT work like it does in Bioware games, the characters in Bioware games are largely unbelievable as being "real people," and the game design as a whole is so uninspired and formulaic I think it's all a bunch of nonsense. When you have more simplistic characters, and especially ones that aren't even trying to be realistic (such as Minsc, Jan, etc), you don't have those problems. They aren't trying to be realistic, so it's not a problem that their behavior and your interaction with them is unrealistic. But when you have Bioware characters that are all basically ****ing formed from the same mold, have the same story beats, have identical romance progression etc and they try to present things as realistic... it just falls flat. I enjoy Bioware characters but I don't consider them to be inherently better or worse than older characters. I find most of BG2's cast to be better than Dragon Age Origins', Mass Effect, etc.
  16. At least for me, I don't actually care much about immersion - just quality gameplay. Pillars 1.0 had a lot of problems, but Pillars 3.0+ is about as good as you can reasonably expect that game to get. I'm hoping the same is going to be true for Deadfire... and modders will probably make it work even better... but I don't really understand why there needs to be a "Deadfire 1.0" when we could've started at, like, at least "Deadfire 1.5" using lessons learned from previous mistakes.
  17. This is actually why I'm not a big fan of big-budget CRPGs, and every single one of my "top CRPGs" released in the past 10 or so years has been what you might describe as small-budget. I think games like Pillars, Deadfire, the Original Sin games, etc are all lovely but they don't really whet my appetite. UnderRail, for example, was a much more satisfying experience than any of those games despite being on a shoestring budget and having intentional gameplay mechanics that some might describe as frustrating or unfair - they AREN'T unfair, but the game definitely doesn't hold your hand. I think there's room between the two extremes, but the closer you go to the old-school side of things, they less mass-market appeal your game is going to have. That's probably less of a concern for a small-budget niche title than for a massive juggernaut like Deadfire. Like... Original Sin 2 had everything voice acted, so Deadfire needed to, too. That **** costs a ton of money, and at least for me, it didn't really make any damn difference to me and made it worse in some ways (I really dislike the narrator they chose for Deadfire, her voice and cadence just doesn't suit the word choices and theme, IMO.) But it also makes the games a lot more marketable - OS2, for example, received a ton of praise for the voice acting, even though I would have preferred those resources have gone into iterating on some of the combat mechanics that I felt were frankly incomplete.
  18. You're missing another major option - divorcing the narrative from the protagonist. Make the game world progress whether or not the player is there to witness it - although you're going to want to make damn sure the player is informed of this in tutorials, since it's not very common in CRPGs. Say you're hired to go retrieve a macguffin from some monster-filled ruins. Dude needs to sell the macguffin to buy medicine for his ailing aunty or something, or having the macguffin will make it clear that he's the rightful heir when the issue is decided in five days. It takes time to travel to the ruins. It takes time to travel back from the ruins. It takes time to fight your way through the ruins and retrieve the macguffin. Time spent resting is time not spent making progress on your quest. Take too long, dude can't get the money to get the medicine for his aunt and you FAILED. Take too long, the succession issue is decided without you and your guy can't succeed without the macguffin to prove he's the rightful heir and you FAILED. A lot of CRPGs, Deadfire included, are utterly terrified of letting the player fail unless it's by the player's direct actions (you let the thief go because you're developmentally disabled, the thief robs people, you FAILED - but it was because of your direct, stupid actions), and yet that's a huge ****ing problem for games that owe a majority of their design concepts and mechanics to tabletop games where a good DM will quite happily let their players fail, because failure means story branching and opportunities for character development. I mean, think of a typical tabletop module, if there's no kind of pressure involved in resting. If the world is effectively in stasis while the players are elsewhere... why WOULDN'T the players rest at every opportunity? Mechanics like limited supplies (Pillars tried that, it's not very fun), and the fact that tabletop play doesn't have a quicksave or autosave function (not very fun if you're playing a mode that's pretty much designed around failing a lot of times before you get it right) help, of course... but the narrative is often the key ingredient that makes it all work, even if your table is full of glorified murderhobos like my table tends to be and like most CRPGs are built around. See, I prefer this third option. The first option is basically saying, "punish your player with tedious busywork for being bad at the game." How is that fun? The second option works really well if the entire game is designed around resource scarcity and having to make conscious, careful decisions around what to bring, when to use it, etc... but that's a very specific, very niche kind of product; rules for such things exist in most tabletop systems, and most tables I've played at either ignore them outright or handwave them (if you can come up with a simple explanation for where you're getting your food and water and how it's being transported, don't worry about the nitty gritty) because that ****'s just BORING unless the module or campaign uses scarcity as a narrative or mechanical focus (worrying about where to find food and water would be relevant and important in a module where surviving on an island or in a desert or whatever is the primary narrative, for example.) The problem, of course, is that this third option is BY FAR the most complicated to design for and you really need to design the game around it from the start. What's weird, though, is that this kind of "narrative urgency" would work PERFECTLY with the "giant green Eothas is stomping around wrecking ****, figure out what he's up to and stop him before it's too late" narrative angle Deadfire operates under... but they didn't do it. Similarly, "gloriously evil Irenicus is doing mean things to your little sister, you need to save her from him!" narrative angle in BG2 worked perfectly for this sort of thing, but they didn't do it. I think it's a problem with CRPG design in general, this belief that you cannot let the player fail unless it's by their direct actions.
  19. Doesn't that mean it's actully not working fine? [shameless RoC's Legend ad here] No, it works fine if you're just doing a campaign that's something like core rules only. Later splatbooks often add prestige classes or new classes that fill the function of previous multiclass characters much better, so it makes more sense to use them. A Magus, for example, is basically already a Fighter/Wizard... so why bother making a Fighter/Wizard? Of course, you can still do a Fighter/Wizard or Fighter/Sorcerer and then take the Eldritch Knight prestige class - worse than Magus in some ways, better than Magus in others. Multiclassing works fine. There are fewer design issues from a system where you level one class at a time than a system where you get everything at once. Pathfinder even has optional rules for Deadfire-style multiclassing. They're called gestalt characters, and they're overpowered as ****. That's because Fighters in 2E were quite literally just "walk up and hit it with a stick," particularly as implemented in the IE games. It wasn't until 4E that Fighters really began to come into their own, rather than as a class you dipped 1-4 levels into to get proficiencies and bonus feats, especially in CRPGs using 3E/3.5E rules (Fighters are garbage in NWN, for example, due to its very limited feat selection.) Pathfinder sidestepped the issue by both making a lot of extra feats that Fighters can take advantage of, adding optional rules such as the Combat Stamina mechanic (including a variation where ONLY Fighters get it, to make them distinct from other melee martial classes), and adding extremely powerful class features like Armor Training and Weapon Training to make "maining" a Fighter actually worth it. Archetypes further flesh this out and are probably the biggest element in Pathfinder "fixing" the problems associated with the Fighter class in 3.5E. A Pathfinder Fighter will typically do less DPR than a Barbarian or a Paladin that's fighting Evil creatures, but they have unparalleled flexibility compared to either of those two and are often more consistent to boot.
  20. I like this as a metric more than I like memorability. Characters crafted with the purpose of evoking specific responses from people who interact with them. Maybe have to guess the author's mind a bit but not much cuz if the character is that obtuse it probably isn't very good, has room for subjective interpretation since the author can know that not everyone will respond the same way to a character and work with that knowledge and you can still evaluate a bit ie a good Minsc is probably easier to do than a good Solas. No lol. There's a reason he didn't show up on my list. Both Fenris and Dorian feel a little bit too much like some exaggerated aspect of Gaider he wrote as self-therapy, though Dorian has some more redeeming qualities. So, I'm missing something then. If your preferred metric is "does this character evoke a response?", then why are you criticizing characters for being one-dimensional?
  21. While I'm sure everything to be said has been said already, I'll throw my hat into the ring: A) multiclass. Pretty sure it's basically impossible to balance spellcaster multis around 28 spells per rest. B) The vancian system didn't really sit well with POE's discrete combat encounters. In BG2 your spells have varying durations outside combat and you need specific spells prepared for specific things. Invisibility/Stoneskin/Strength have huge durations outside combat, summons can be pre-cast, you have raise dead spells so it's not the end of the world if a character dies on you, you're often balancing your damage spells against having something like Knock available. In POE because your spells aren't specifically prepared and are all in-combat only it doesn't really make so much sense. Also there are basically no limitations for item availability. C) non-caster per rest options were fairly awful because you were deciding whether to take an ability based on whether you wanted to rest a minimum of twice per map in order to use it once per fight, which often involved laborious backtracking. I don't think this was a problem for wizards or druids because you have twenty six other spells per day you can use but for Rogues it meant things like Finishing Blow were just a lot of work to pick and get any use out of. D) It wasn't remotely hard to go into every really tough fight in Pillars 1 with Dragon Meat Dish bonuses, a good resting bonus, fully rested & with a bunch of consumables in place. It was fairly rare that you had to actually compromise on what spells you were using due to Vancian limitations. That said, I think I liked the caster balance a little more in POE 1 but it was changed for broadly reasonable reasons and the multiclass options in particular make it wholly worthwhile. I think specific balance concerns with the Priest and Druid spell pool or Cipher resource balance are largely separate from the rest changes. - Multiclassing works fine in d20 systems. Spell level progression and number of spell slots are tied to class levels. If you're multiclassing Fighter/Wizard, you will have fewer spells and progress in spell level much slower than a pure Wizard (based on when you take Fighter levels instead), but you'll have more HP, have the bonus combat feats, better accuracy, the proficiencies, etc from the Fighter levels. In practice, though, it's almost never worth sacrificing caster levels and progression for being a half-assed martial class unless it's via a purpose-built class (like Pathfinder's Magus, for example.) - In a Vancian system you would likely not attune Knock or similar spells, you'd just have scrolls or a wand; spell slots are typically dedicated to spells that have the most general-purpose use, while specialized spells are usually kept as consumables. You're right, though: Pillars doesn't feature any sort of out-of-combat spellcasting so it's just one more reason the Vancian system probably wasn't the best choice for what they were trying to do in the first place. - Per-rest abilities on martials just doesn't make any damn sense, honestly. Or, at least, not as it was presented. Pathfinder's optional Combat Stamina rules (where the character has a pool of Stamina, determined by base attack value and Constitution modifier) and similar systems make a hell of a lot more sense. You have 20 stamina, this skill costs 3 and this skill costs 5 and that skill costs 15, pick and choose to use them however you'd like, and you only recover stamina pool by resting. I'm a big fan of 5E's resting rules mixed with systems like this, it's much more flexible than Pathfinder and 3.5E's "all or nothing" resting concept. - Yeah, Pillars and Deadfire (as well as the IE games) had serious balance/design problems. I don't know why, but it's like they built the games around players using the honor system or something... you can totally break the game by doing these simple things but we're going to trust you not to do them. At least the IE games had technological limitations to work with and Pillars they had to basically create the functional parts of the game engine from scratch. No such limitations were in place for Deadfire, as far as I'm aware.
  22. Vivienne doesn't get the credit she deserves and Tali has a solid, coherent arc that spans three games and is less fawny than Liara. Aveline is a character type I almost always dislike but they make her jive in DA2. Out of curiosity, what is it exactly about the three you mentioned that make them so exceptional? Tali is Aerie 2.0, dude. That's what y'all ain't getting - you're judging characters that in many cases DEFINED the archetype you're accusing them of not fulfilling, especially since it was a Bioware game. Yes, characters in games with far fewer technological limitations and new methods of storytelling that weren't available in the late 90's will probably tell more detailed, coherent character narratives. But this is like accusing Gandalf the Grey of being kind of boring compared to Harry Potter, when Harry Potter probably wouldn't ****ing exist if not for ur-examples like Gandalf to build out of.
  23. Well, that's just like, your opinion man. Maybe try making an argument with some substance instead of just saying things and assuming other people have to agree with you. Also maybe cut down on the profanity a bit, you seem to be getting overly emotional about this. You do realize, your argument that interruptions are not a credible facet of gameplay is essentially that you're playing the game in such a way that you avoid getting interrupted. Like, you do realize how silly that is right? If they weren't a "credible facet of gameplay", then you would play as if they didn't exist. But your defense for this point is that you play like they do exist. So which is it? Are they a credible facet of gameplay or not? Most fights in Pillars 1 are over by the time you exhaust your repertoire of per encounter spells, especially late-game once you can have a fireball on-demand. It's not that you can't cast spells, it's that there is no reason to waste them because you can win just about every encounter without using them. And in the one's you can't, you might as well just use all of them and avoid the risk of dying. I literally have not interacted with interruptions in Deadfire, at all, ever. I don't move people to avoid them getting interrupted, I move them because letting the enemy fighter beat on my squishy wizard is stupid. I am not worried about the fighter using an interrupt on my wizard, I am worried about the fighter bending them like a cheap folding chair. Similarly, I don't hold abilities in reserve to interrupt enemy spells, I just ****ing CC them and kill them while they're busy being stunned or paralyzed or whatever. You do, realize, that you're making a mountain out of a molehill? Interruption mechanics are a non-factor in Deadfire, yet you're seizing on them because they're one of like... two or three allegedly tactical things the pathetically shallow combat mechanics allow for. Most fights in Pillars are over before you exhaust your spell list BECAUSE IT'S A VANCIAN MAGIC GAME AND YOU ARE NOT INTENDED TO BE USING ALL OF YOUR SPELLS IN A SINGLE ENCOUNTER, unless maybe it's a boss fight or you're picking a fight with something way out of your league. Just because Pillars' implementation of Vancian magic is **** (there's no risk or cost to just blowing everything and taking a nap and repeating as often as needed to cruise through a dungeon, which defeats the purpose of having Vancian magic in the first place...) doesn't mean there's something fundamentally wrong with the mechanical concept. In a game with a not-**** implementation of Vancian magic, you wouldn't generally be able to use all your spells in a single fight because you'd be pretty well ****ed if you DID do that and it wasn't the last encounter before your party is able to secure a location to get a full 8 hours of rest in. Pillars was basically a half-assed version of Vancian magic that PLAYED like a half-assed version of encounter-based magic. Deadfire took a couple more steps towards encounter-based magic, but threw out a lot of stuff along the way, added in some more Vancian stuff for some horribly retarded reason, and never really replaced the stuff it removed with anything - so despite being closer to being a proper encounter-based system, it feels even more ramshackle than the first game did. This makes no goddamn sense. In Pillars, you had X spells per day and that was it - you had to rest if you wanted them back. At high levels, you got a handful of spells that could be used X times per encounter, but they were relatively few in number. In Deadfire, you may use every single spell in your spellbook in every single encounter. You have fewer spells per level to cast, but you have absolutely no reason to hold onto those spells. I have no goddamn clue how you can possibly accuse Pillars of being more spammy than Deadfire despite Deadfire being designed from the ground up to have you rattle off all of your spells in every single ****ing encounter while Pillars at least in theory was designed around you needing to make all of your spells last as many encounters as possible since you didn't get them back between fights and resting was, in theory, limited. Deadfire's famously bad tutorials strike again. I don't even think the game actually tells you how the system works if I really think about it, and unless you plan to memorize which afflictions and inspirations are which type, it's basically impossible to play around the system. Obsidian really needs to package Enhanced UI with the game if at all possible, I could never go back to playing without it. Funny how such little things can completely change an experience though. I'd really like if all of the classes had their own trinkets actually. It'd be pretty cool. There's actually a mod that does that, not sure if it's been updated for the recent patches though. Honestly I can't wait until this game is in it's final state. The game has plenty of cool mods as it is (like I actually just found a mod for per encounter consumables while looking up the trinket mod), it'll be even better once the modders don't have to worry about a patch breaking their stuff. Per-encounter consumables was an idea I had a while back, I'm glad to see I wasn't the only one with the idea. It makes much more sense, especially for a per-encounter game (where having consumable consumables doesn't really make sense since the per-encounter concept is based around "assume the player has everything in their toolbox at their disposal," not "assume the player has used three of their five healing potions and four of their six available spells.") Increase crafting costs for each item but then make it usable X times per encounter, per quick slot dedicated to that item. I'll have to look into that mod and see how they decided to implement the per-encounter concept. Thanks for mentioning it.
  24. Whilst you're at it you should start a poll on which is better: "Harry Potter or War and Peace". Because mass appeal is always the best way to measure quality. War and Peace sucks, and Harry Potter is a fun, easy read. Fight me.
  25. Made your point? Where? I mean, he's right that Disney deliberately chose a cast that would appeal to the widest possible audience. The fact that Force Awakens and Last Jedi have a cast that covers pretty much all of the major ethnic groups can't have been accidental - but whereas they seem to be implying this is bad, I think it's both good (because it means kids from all different ethnic and social backgrounds probably have at least one character in the show they can easily identify with) and it's smart from a financial perspective. I have no idea how any of this is "girly," though or what that even means in context to what seems to be their only point. Personally, I feel like the casting is the only thing that Disney got a slam dunk with in the new movies.
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