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Everything posted by cokane

  1. To add more, none of what you're saying about spell usage is accurate and it indicates that either it's been a long time since you played or your simply do not want to have an honest conversation about this subject for some reason. Which is weird, since you keep replying. But some spells in the levels you mentioned were absolutely necessary to have around, in most party compositions. Talking about BG2 and mentioning fifth level spells as if Cloudkill was the only thing that mattered and not Breach, it's simply exasperating from my end to have to read sentences like that. You're clearly not interested in having an honest discussion with omissions like that.
  2. Hyperbole isn't a serious argument. Try to refrain from over-doing it. Saying web was the only good second level spell just isn't true. Again, choosing to use your limited resources as a wizard on defensive abilities is radically different game design than gifting players large hit point pools and the ability to wear fighter-equivalent armor and other gear.
  3. So, this actually isn't that good of a counter argument. Yes, protection spells helped a mage become more sturdy in combat. But they came at the cost of offensive spellpower. This forced you to make tough decisions with the character. Mages that already have hit point pools closer to fighters and the ability to wear comparable defensive gear aren't forcing the player to make the same tough decisions. Secondly just from an immersive perspective, at least using spells to be tanky makes the world feel better than, again, mages that already start with base stats closer to fighters. Though this point is understandably more subjective.
  4. HLA's are different because the combat became so complicated that it made sense to add a few extra perks for fighters and even thieves, because they weren't getting things like high level spells. And by that point they weren't gaining much from more weapon proficiency pips either. It's one thing to toss on a couple of per rest abilities on a level 20 fighter. It's another thing to add a growing proliferation of mage-like skills to a fighter from level one on. And yeah, armor and item restriction is another aspect where modern RPG's, not just PoE, have made classes more homogeneous. Hell, I think PoE almost copped to this error when they introduced serious restrictions on soul-bound items. If you're going to have a class-based, large-party RPG, I think it benefits from having the classes be extremely distinct. This is what gave the BG series such immense replay value. I mean there really isn't much alternative in the story or questing. But what there is that's different is radically different party compositions, with radically different combat tactics. That doesn't happen without the severe restrictions on the classes.
  5. If you need more substance than the simple and obvious example of Wizards in PoE vs Wizards in BG, you can't be convinced. It's inarguable that Wizards play less glass cannony in PoE than in BG.
  6. Positioning is less key in RPG's that have turned every class into essentially fighter-mages, because there is less contrast between tanks and glass cannons. This is an inevitable result of giving fighters mage-like active abilities and then in turn buffing mages because you buffed fighters. I don't understand the problem of having 1/6 or 2/6 of your party be relatively passive characters. I also never understood the obsession some folks have with BG runs and having to have the main character be a caster. I've never felt a run using Edwin or some such was less fun than a run where Gorion's ward is a mage. But importantly, adding a bunch of actives to fighters (especially per encounter ones) doesn't add strategic depth to the combat system. As I've already said homogenizing the classes, makes positioning and combat roles less important. Secondly, adding skills that I'm expected to use every battle in order to win on the highest difficulty isn't strategy. It's a chore. All these games have done is add rote routines to these characters... while making the serious sacrifice of homogenizing the class system.
  7. I've become really against this criticism of fighter classes as "autoattack" in older RPG's. In a six-player party, there's absolutely nothing wrong with essentially have a blocker character or two. This sentiment is what has pushed a lot of modern RPG's to essentially make every class a fighter-mage, by adding all kinds of actives to the frontline fighters and then of course we now have balance the wizards because we buffed the fighters. It's killed actual strategy like positioning, and turned combat in these games into use every single active skill on all your characters over and over again. It's essentially what happened in Deadfire, imo. And it hasn't made combat better. I'd much prefer to have a pair of auto-attack characters than fighters who I have to click the same two or three active skills on every fight. It's essentially the same thing, except the former involves less tedium. Fighter classes also involved serious strategic thinking about leveling. Go all in for tankiness with sword and shield style? All-in on two-handed damage or two weapon? Or a mix of ranged and melee? It's actually one of the few classes (the other is thief) with some serious decision making and planning required on level up. Lastly, if you were never using active consumables on fighters in the later stages of BG1 or BG2 -- games with super strong fighter potions, necklace of missiles, you weren't playing the game at a high level.
  8. Also possible a subtitle is forthcoming, and maybe they didn't want to announce it until they're ready to talk about plot details.
  9. I'm not even sure you can say these games were free of "the suits". I mean, there's still executives and managers at the company. It's not like Obsidian had no corporate structure just because they had crowdfunding. And even Josh Sawyer said in a post mortem talk about Deadfire that he wanted to axe the ship combat feature but was vetoed by somebody "above" him.
  10. Strongly second Gromnir's advice above if you're still stuck. Buying two hirelings or even just one greatly eases the digsite section. And it costs very little gold. It's almost a must on PotD if you aren't cheesing.
  11. Sales and hype? Can you even blame them? I mean, we live in a capitalist society, so of course these decisions are going to matter. And it's not like studios like Larian or say pre-Microsoft Obsidian are swimming in money the way the makers of FIFA and Call of Duty are. Important to note that this is all happening with WotC's blessing, so I think that's relevant too. They can only award "BG3" to somebody once after all. Secondly, and more speculatively, I have to suspect there's going to be a lot of tie-in with the original series. The teaser trailer already hints at that, slapping you immediately with "Oh yeah the Flaming Fist." And in subsequent interviews they've said a number of things are returning -- characters, locations etc. So perhaps the main plot/antagonist of the game will be completely new, I suspect alot of strong tie-ins that you didnt see with Dark Alliance.
  12. Strongly agreed with this sentiment. I think Xoti's Watcher romance and Eder romance are written poorly, but then again, so are pretty much all the romances in the game imo. However, her character outside of that is great, and is an interesting representation of priests as kind of madmen, which is consistent with Durance, as well as being a strong break from the typical D&D good-god priest paragons of justice.
  13. The improved stealth and thieving system is great. And the game makes great use of this in the Arkemyr mansion quest and the Benweth quest, for some solid early examples. And it really adds a main PC roleplaying option that the original game lacked. There's much more as well, improved companion interactions, improved dialogue, improved scripted interactions, and of course the wonderful job the entire art team did. Biggest step back is of course combat. It's really a shame that the White March expansions showed what the team could do by iterating on the original's combat system to just throw out all that progress when they more or less invented a new system. Obviously there's some carryover, but it's still a radical departure. And one that generally has not produced funner results. Because fight diversity has been shrunk by the need to make every encounter match up to a fully loaded party, a lot of shortcomings have been introduced into the system. RNG plays a larger role in the system, which can make some defeats feel unfair (as well as some victories). Encounters depend much more on one-off gimmicks such as ambushes, second-phases, or a peculiar weakness. So now the game is much more trial-and-error and memorizing the specific plot twists of a battle as opposed to learning and mastering a strategic system.
  14. I'm not sure how anybody can say the combat in Deadfire is more "fluid"? The combat, especially on higher difficulties, absolutely drags. And this substantially longer average length of encounters coupled with the ability to more effectively use monotonous strategies adds up to a combat system that, imo, may seem more compelling at first, but, in the long run, does not have the depth of its predecessor. At least in regards to an overall "dungeon crawl" experience. Secondly, I'm not sure what benefit Deadfire has to "having more spells" in each combat, if said spells have to then be nerfed? You're essentially ending up with the same dynamic of "timidly" rationing out empowers and some consumables, only instead of auto-attacking, you have to engage in a more tedious micromanagement (or set an AI) to exhaust the same-ish list of spells and abilities that you use in every battle. It seems to have added a layer of complexity to the combat to have all these spells and abilities be used more frequently, but I'd argue, once players get a handle on the system, it's only added a layer of tedium. Combat in the original (and even the IE games) is much quicker, more dramatic and more elegant.
  15. That's a fair summary Boeroer. I just wanted to throw out that it's just not as much of a difference in these games as it was in IE games or other DnD CRPG's. Failing to max the stat of your primary class often resulted in a significantly gimped character in regards to their combat role. Think of even a 16 strength melee fighter, which isn't even that bad of a strength score! But often had/has little to no effect on the RP elements of those games. It's quite the opposite in Pillars, in my experience. You can play just fine with a ~14 or so in might for your damage dealer or intelligence for your crowd control caster.
  16. I have to disagree with this. If anything, I think the RP elements of the stats is more important in Eternity games than it was in the old IE games or even modern DnD games like Pathfinder: Kingmaker. Because of the role of dialogue and other interactions. It's not even true, for example, that Wizards can't be "frail". It can be quite effective to make a high intelligence, high perception and low might wizard that just casts debuffs and summons. Barbarians and intelligence were one of the peculiar exceptions here, but that was simply because the carnage skill was super imbalanced (i.e. it wasn't really worth it to build a barbarian that failed to take advantage of the skill). This was especially true in the first game. But overall, you were at great liberty to do whatever you wanted with your stats, especially if you weren't playing on PotD. Hell, if anything, I think the stats were somewhat imbalanced not because of their effects in combat, but because of their disparate frequency on dialogue and interaction checks. Perception, intelligence and resolve do way more for you than dexterity and constitution.
  17. Ability scores are way different in the Eternity games than traditional DnD. They don't completely shut down abilities or even completely nerf your stats. Whereas in DnD you could straight up shut yourself out of abilities or carrying certain gear or being effective at one of your class's signature abilities with a low score. Nor is there the god-level takeoff of having high level stats as was the case in DnD. People make a lot of the ability scores in Eternity on threads like build descriptions, but the actual truth is that (aside from dialogue/interaction checks) they don't matter all that much. They're mostly just ways to slightly buff/debuff aspects of your character.
  18. I do think the original's writing suffers from being a bit too inscrutable on your first playthrough. This is especially a problem with the main plot, which relies on withholding critical information from the player for a very, very long time. So I can see it being off-putting. That being said, imo, the writing held up fantastically on subsequent playthroughs. The dialogue options are numerous and the emergent story-telling strongly rewards "role-playing" the dialogue and plot segments. If you're giving it a second chance, my advice is to turn off indicators in the dialogue such as stat or reputation checks, and to playthrough with some kind of consistent character attributes (Paladin and Priest classes help motivate this). The responsiveness in the writing creates a pretty immersive experience.
  19. Coming back even more, it just seems like Deadfire still isn't polished, even after all the DLC's and all the patches. I think a big part to blame is the ever-increasing number of options on the game. Instead of creating a base product with perhaps a few difficulty tweaks, Obsidian seems interested in designing three or four different games with Deadfire. Resting bonuses unpredictably disappear. Party order gets reshuffled. The "push" system in combat creates unpredictable results and undermines the tactical intent of things like engagement. Per rest items do not always recharge on rest. And just so many other little things seems to go wrong or are unpredictable in Deadfire versus its predecessor. And yeah, I'll defend vancian casting systems and their strategic depth forever. They've been a part of CRPGs from at least 1988 to today. And are parts of titles considered not just some of the greatest RPG's but some of greatest games. I'm not saying an RPG *has* to have them. But I think a large party-based, open-world, 100+ hour RPG greatly benefits from maintaining a strong strategic layer in its system.
  20. Coming back after the DLC's and... it's still the original. Combat is just a drag in Deadfire. Because they moved almost everything into per encounter, combat on PotD relies on exhausting a full party's resources. This means there's often no decisive moments or moves in a battle. Instead a slow and steady exhausting of each of your toon's dozen or more ability points in that third or so of encounters that can actually challenge a player who is trying.
  21. I still feel like some kind of "Bronzeman" mode should be added to the game. Something between Ironman and regular play. It could either be -- can only save the game at an inn (and perhaps a handful of main plot specific areas, for example the opening beach on Maje.) That's my preferred version. Or it could be that manual saving is disabled. You can only reload from the autosaves. Less preferable but perhaps easier to implement. Still works as a limited-save-reload challenge.
  22. Folks are right about the solo play, and I dunno why you're pushing back on that so hard. It doesn't matter that it was an achievement. So much of the game is already written out, sometimes in key parts like Eder's narration in the beginning, to assume you had a somewhat typical playthrough. Solo play is absolutely extreme niche for a party-based RPG. Not to mention it requires extreme meta-knowledge of the game to pull off, so it's not like true role-playing is what you're going for in that kind of playstyle. They inserted a smorgasbord of reactivity into Deadfire. But that also means they can't account for every single possible PoE1 play choice. I had a similar experience with some things not seeming to add up to what I remembered doing in the original. My advice is just to suck it up and get on with your game. It doesn't actually seem to be a big deal.
  23. Pathfinder delivers combat challenge in a way that will be more familiar to Baldur's Gate type games. Combat is fast, abilities hit hard and create moments of absolute crisis in battle. Though obviously, your own spells and abilities can be just as deadly. Deadfire is only challenging on the highest difficulty, speaking for folks who are both veterans of the genre and willing to pay attention to the game's systems. In contrast, the hard battles on Deadfire tend to be long drawn out affairs. Status effects and spells aren't as decisive. Instead you're often slowly whittling down some very bullet-spongey type enemies. And there's no management of spells or hitpoints or other resources, so the challenge and feel of danger as you descend deeper into a dungeon or wild area is pretty much gone.
  24. I've played a bit of Pathfinder and am loving it so far. It clearly still has some launch issues (bugs and balance) and I think that's why it rightly has a number of negative reviews on Steam. However, if you're familiar with the DnD ruleset from the Neverwinter Nights games, it's very easy to get into Pathfinder. If you want the ideal experience, I recommend waiting. But for players like me, who really disliked Deadfire's turn away from strategic elements in its combat system, Pahtfinder delivers a refreshing take on combat and dungeon crawling. It also offers some pretty solid narrative, quest and character twists even early in the game, in a much gutsier way than the Pillars games have.
  25. Nah, I think BG2 did a great job of hitting the balance between open world and a compelling main quest. Minor spoilers ahead for those who haven't played. First off, you do not know your soul has been taken or tampered with initially. You might suspect as much, but none of this knowledge is certain until you finally catch up to the antagonist for the first time. Second, you're given a perfect hurdle to complete the main quest, a gold amount. And it usually requires completing at least two of those larger stronghold-related quests from chapter two. Third, you're told, repeatedly, that you're facing a powerful wizard. You lost almost all of your good gear from the previous game and you have plenty of reason to want to power up in some fashion. Fourth, you're given plenty of reason to agonize over your choice between the game's two main factions. The game clearly wants you to take your time with this decision. Lastly, you don't have to want to save your companion. The game gives you enough dialogue options so that you don't have to roleplay that way. I'm not going to compare how this works to Deadfire, but I've always felt that the arguments on here that BG2 compels you to pursue the main quest ASAP to not be an accurate recounting of the game. Yes, you can roleplay BG2 that way. But there's also plenty of in-world motivation for your character to take their time in chapter two.
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