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About sivasdahling

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    RPGs!!! Game design, Indian History
  1. I do think you have to base everything on normal mode. That should always be the most balanced mode for the most players. Or else it wouldn't be normal The problem with basing things on normal mode is that it is easy enough that you can get by with misusing classes, or do things like Eder + everyone else with a gun, which works in normal (and hard) but is really inefficient! A ranger + their pet + ranger skills like marking will do more dps then a rogue (at least at range). The ranger is a bit more flexible, because it can use its pet to off tank without much penalty. I find that rangers are good against different types of enemies than rogues are. Rogues are best at annihilating squishies, but are weaker against high DT high HP enemies. Rangers are fabulous against high DT enemies because of marking (the highest DT to pierce in the game I've seen is a 33, or a 9 if the enemy is marked!) Rangers are an easy class to play; I can basically set my ranger and focus my concentration on other characters. So, I don't mind the lack of skills.
  2. Another thing to remember is that faster weapons take better advantage of buffs and debuffs than slower weapons, as you get more attacks in the time frame of the spell. I'd say bows aren't gimped, but they are only useable for rangers and rogues. Rangers use Marked Prey to drastically lower DR (a good Ranger strategy on high health enemies is the combo Marked Prey + Blunderbuss + hunters bow) and of course Rogues use sneak attack.
  3. You have to remember that PoE maps are rendered at a much much higher resolution than BG maps! And every pixel of map data requires more memory since Pillars has things like light maps that BG does not. In total, the number of distinct levels in PoE is about 3/4 that of BG2, but most levels are significantly smaller and take up significantly more hard drive.
  4. Its not just the Prologue! The two best dungeons in the game are Raedric's hold and the temple of Eothas. You have some light puzzles, clever stories scripted interactions, etc. Both are also quite large! The second act dungeons (the Skaen temple and Ila) are much less vivid. And the third act dungeons are cool areas but are small and far too simple. You would think that they ran out of time, but Raedric's hold was one of the last areas built!
  5. Crafting can certainly be useful in PoE, but I find that it detracts from the game as a whole, as it makes the unique items in the game, less... unique! I think this is a general problem with a number of the stretch goals. Caed Nua is pretty cool, but I think it would be better if it were divided up and the same levels were used to expand the other dungeons in the game (this might also help with xp balance). The keep is totally pointless, and all the coding used for it would be better spent adding to other parts of the game. The area would have better just as a third village, or a maybe another section of Defiance bay. On the other hand, would the game have gotten 4 mil in funding without these stretch goals?
  6. I thi In one word: consoles. After 2002 there was a huge move by western developers away from the PC onto consoles, and games like PoE don't work without a mouse and keyboard. Dragon Age: Origin for instance is a completely different game on the PC, and much more comparable to PoE.
  7. i'm overstating it... deflection is great you have one tank engaging lots of enemies. But if you want to use a tank to soak up enemy attacks while other melee characters also engage, deflection gets in the way
  8. When a monster can target multiple characters without breaking engagement, it will always target the one with the lowest deflection (which is the smart thing to do). So to keep on a tank, you have to lower its deflection (by for instance switching to a two handed weapon) and raise deflection on your rogue (by for instance equipping a shield or drinking a potion). An interesting implication of this is that deflection is not necessarily a good stat on a tank!
  9. In other words, we go from "It's not Baldurs Gate, therefore it sucks" to.... "It's not D&D, therefore it's awesome." Ok, is there supposed to be some sort of profound difference between your stance and that of the "complainers"? Because I don't see any. Both positions are equally shallow and they're both tainted by the exact same type of worthless, meaningless bias that leads nowhere in a debate. On the other hand, some of the criticism I'm seeing does not actually fall into either stance. For example, complaints about the Engagement mechanic. I can describe the ways it goes against the spirit of true tactical combat.... can't you? Coming from someone who likes the engagement system... the problem that people seem to have is that it leads to static fights, because once everyone is engaged, it becomes impossible to move. There are a wide variety of methods to break engagement, but people tend not to use them because they a) waste abilities, and b) usually aren't necessary c) the fight is usually over by the time they could come into play. Since the whole point of having an isometric perspective with RTwP combat (as opposed to for instance menu based combat) is that it allows for movement, this seems a weird design. Is that the complaint?
  10. This fix is also not so simple for another more subtle reason. It would require enemy units to move in curves around the tank in order to not get into engagement again! This is surprisingly difficult to do; you generally want enemies moving in straight lines. Between any two points there are a large number of possible curves. The AI would have to calculate these curves, and figure out which was the best, every AI cycle, so we'd be increasing the amount of work the AI needed to do by A LOT. There is only one line between any two points, so moving in a straight line is simpler. In turn based systems, the AI just has more time (and usually has fewer paths). None of this is impossible, but it would not be fast, and it could lead to really bizarre pathing, since the pathing algorithms would be quite complex. I would suggest that any improvements to combat that don't involve the AI are superior to ones that do! A lot of what the OP wants can be done through scripting, however. Enemies that attack from multiple directions, or that have preprogrammed flanking paths could help. So too could increasing enemy level relative to the party (i.e. making all enemies hit harder). Generally every fight is a race against time in PoE. You need to do a sufficient amount of damage to your enemies before they take out your tank (you can buy time by for instance using healing spells, buffs, or confusion). Right now, there might be too many ways of doing sufficient DPS on the harder difficulties. By making enemies tougher, you constrain the available choices, and so make combat choices more meaningful.
  11. What's the problem with your range characters being naked? It's a totally valid choice, and one that has some actual costs in the game (i.e. with spirits) Are you just sitting around watching the game play itself or are you fighting for your life by using your abilities? That's the question. When you're at a hard fight with over leveled enemies I find the combat in this game really great. You have to keep repositioning your forces, chaining abilities together (move your wizard behind the enemy line, dump a potion of eldrich aim, spam fan of flames, but only if you've already engaged all the enemies ), monitor a number of different timers. But if you're overleveled and the combat is too easy, it sort of plays itself, and gets tedious fast. Is this only my experience?
  12. Tank and spank does work for: I used Tank and Spank with the spirits in the light house. I know how to do it now to some degree. Last fight in Skaen Temple. Don't know what you mean by the trap and didn't use the door as a choke point. Worm fights in Searing Bluffs. I even showed a video where the drakes ignore your back line while flying through your back line. Ogre Matron fight. Don't know about Evil playhouse or last battle as I haven't got up to that yet. I should clarify that by tank and spank not working I mean naive tanking and spanking, where you merely use the same strategies by rote, without doing cool things, like controlling enemy movement with the priest spell "halt" and flanking with Aloth to spam lightning bolt. Every combat in PoE is to some extent going to be tank and spank, because that's how the system works, but if you're doing cool things what's the problem? I mean, if there is an enemy that Eder is not strong enough to take on, the usual strategy is to blind or stun them, precisely so that you can tank them! I should note, that I meant the big boss in the cave, not any random worm fight! On hard at least, the issue is the hord of enemies that approach over a wide front including xaurip shamans. You can turtle up at a choke point, but if you do, you risk being destroyed by the breath attack, and will have difficulty taking out the priests that keep the boss healed. It's a clever fight, particularly if you're under level for it, which I was.
  13. @Namutree By the way you're defining tank and spank, then yes every battle can be won by that strategy, but there can be so much variety within that paradigm. I mean, every CRPG and for that matter PnP combat system would be "tank and spank!" In BG2 you send forward your fighters, who do fairly little damage but hold back the monsters from killing your mages and clerics, who either dump spells or arrows on your feckless opponents. I think the more pertinent issue is that you feel you don't have to react in combat, that you never need to change up how you tank or spank. The game seems to me to dry all sorts of ways to mix things up (enemies who charm, enemies who paralyze, enemies who explode, enemies who knock you prone with every blow, etc, and of course the whole system of DRs). but I agree, for some reason it doesn't quite work. I would suggest that trolls and golems are not the best example of BG enemies. For one thing, they require absolutely no strategy to defeat, merely the right weapon! Just equip +2 maces and pound, or in trolls case, just pound and then use their elemental weakness! If you know DnD this is obvious, if you don't you are absolutely dead! There is an amazingly evil bit of level design in BG2 involving, the golem vault in the D'Arnise Keep, but I think the trick is that you don't have to, and most likely can't at your level, kill the golems. I'm curious, btw, what combat systems in RPGs do you like (besides BG)?
  14. The red dots are endurance; every 20% lost erases one dot. For your own party it is redundant, but that's hardly a bad thing. To find which weapons are effective against which creatures, pause the game, hover your mouse pointer over the enemy, and look at the upper left hand corner. The DRs are arranged next to symbols for each type. Generally swords do slash, spears do pierce and maces do crush. Most characters pick 2 types of damage they can do, so you'll have to choose. Fighters don't make particularly good DPS builds. In general might and dex are the non-magical DPS stats, so I'd lower Perception and raise Dex. Accuracy is you're key number to think about, since this is where fighters have a DPS advantage. You'll want to take Abilities and Talents that raise your accuracy and focus on getting crits, like a rogue. To be honest, however, I think a high DPS melee fighter type fits better as a barbarian.
  15. There is most definitely a connection between your character and Thaos! In the past you betrayed a woman who you cared about deeply on Thaos' orders because she claimed the gods did not exist. If she was right, you're actions had meaning, were horrible! You tried to ask Thaos this question but were refused an answer, and this haunted you till you died. Meeting Thaos in the context of the Biawac reignited this question in your soul, which is why you ultimately needed to find him and ask it to him, in order to get some closure. PoE I think is like Torment, in that it is based around a fundamental question, which in Torment's cased was "What can the change the nature of a man?" In PoE this question is left unstated, but is probably something like, "if the meanings we ascribe to our lives turn out to be false, what can we do about it?" The problem I think is that unlike Torment, PoE tries to be subtle, and I'm not sure subtlety works in this case.
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