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About GloatingSwine

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  1. I'm not "assuming" others do. I know others do, if you google "the problem with RPG consumables" you'll get pages and pages of people saying they never use them, almost always because they're hoarding them because they feel limited and therefore too important to actually use, whether they actually are or not. It's a super common response to consumables.
  2. Ah, the "saving the world" tax. I know it well. I'm generally a "good guy" in games, protect the weak, punish the guilty, so on and so forth. But if you've got something really shiny don't turn your back on it.
  3. But you end up in the same place by a different route. You end up with loads of consumable options that don't get used within the normal flow of play. In PoE it's because there's usually another way to achieve the same effect but better, in some games it's because they're useful in niche situations or early on but don't scale well enough to keep being useful, and in some games it's because they feel too limited in availability so you hoard them against an eventuality that never comes (at least until a second or third playthrough where you know the pinch points and know when to use them). But it's always the same in the end, consumables always get left in your pack. Ironically I think the solution is to make them not-actually-consumable and to limit them in other ways. In a game like PoE that would probably mean locking down when you can change your quickslot items and making them per-rest charges instead of consumable. Then they can be balanced against other per-rest options.
  4. You mean you don't end every single RPG ever with an inventory full of consumables that might be worth holding onto in case you need them but you never do? That's just weird man. I've also been playing RPGs since forever, and I never fail to end up with pages and pages of tat I'll never use but also never get rid of unless an inventory limit physically compels me to do so, because there's always an easily replenished non-consumable way of replicating the effect (and consumable versions often don't scale). Like I've played Baldur's Gate dozens of times and someone's inventory is always full of just-in-case scrolls and someone else's all the special fancy arrows that are never getting shot even at Sarevok because I'll forget. And literally the only fights that I even potion up for are basilisks and that one last fight in Ulgoth's Beard. Because you don't need to.
  5. That's not unlike literally every RPG ever though. It's super rare that you'll come across a game where using consumables is a regular event because they're usually just about the worst way of doing whatever you were trying to do and when they're not they're too useful to use unless it's really a real emergency. And it's never a real emergency because the final boss might have another even harder form.
  6. Yeah, Galaxy is basically Steam but with a UI that isn't fifteen years old.
  7. Steam's numbers peaked at about 2/3 of the first game, which you have to view in the light of: Steam got worse. There's more crap per minute clogging the new releases making everything harder to find. That also drives more people to other platforms like GoG (where I got both games) where you can't see player numbers. and PoE2 is less of a curiosity, the first one was early on in the wave of new Infinity Engine successors and so would pick up some curiosity sales.
  8. When there's a Steam sale on, anything that doesn't have one of those little green boxes on is getting ignored. Better to be in the sale with a sustainable discount than have everyone's eyes just skip over it because no little green box. (Also, for a crowdfunded game sales don't necessarily mean the same as they otherwise would because the highly engaged people who would give you your early sales spike are already playing their backer copies). (All I've bought in the sale is the DLC for XCOM 2 now I have a PC that sucks less at running it)
  9. Exploding dice are often fun. The Star Wars D6 game also had an exploding dice rule. One of the dice you rolled in each handful was special, and if it rolled a 6 it exploded and you rolled it again. It allowed even improbable events to sometimes happen (your skill at a thing was determined by the number of dice you rolled, so if you were average you'd roll 2 or 3 but if you were really good you might have 5 or so). IIRC it also made fumbles happen though, if you hit the success total but the special dice was a 1 it was "you succeed but..." I'm not a fan of hugely complicated damage rules. They might be fun to write and fun to read in a rulebook, but boy are they slow to play. (stories of improbably long damage rolls aside, Munchkin D20 had the Nuke spell. Roll one million D6 damage separately to every object within one mile of the target.) In other tales of crazy dice systems, old school Deadlands had a fun one. You used all the dice, your stats were each a number and type of dice, ranging from 1D4 to 4D12. And if that wasn't enough you used a pack of cards to cast spells with (play a hand of poker with the devil to determine strength of effect, hope you didn't draw a joker).
  10. One of the reasons systems use increasingly polyhedral dice is that it gives more room for characters to grow whilst having the random range remain relevant. (check my alliteration). Take the skill check system in D20 rules, for instance. You roll a D20 and add your skill, and if you hit the difficulty target you succeed. D20+Skill allows the random variance of the dice to remain relevant to the outcome if you have a low skill number like 4 or a highish skill number like 24 (I'm AFB and haven't D20d in a while, bit ISTR it's up to 4 points at level 1 and then 1 point per level to advance a class skill), because even at level 20 the random component of the die roll is still nearly 50% of the outcome. (Ofc. you can add bonuses to make it less so, but the concept is still there) If you used a straight 1D6 your skill numbers would have to be lower, and so the range of skill levels of a character your system could represent would be much narrower. Which is why games that use D6s like the WEG Star Wars game tend to have the player throwing handfuls of the little buggers. Even with D10s systems that use them like World of Darkness tend to use several at once.
  11. I found PoE1's combat vastly improved by enabling automatic slow mode. I disovered it quite late into my first playthrough and I expect subsequent ones to be greatly improved by it. It's more readable what's going on, you can do more to intercept things heading for your squishies because they don't zoom there quite as fast, respond to people needing heals faster, and so on. It all becomes much less scrappy. The Infinity Engine worked on a six second round (at 30fps). If you cast a spell then queued up another one it would wait until the next round before happening no matter the casting speed (which determined how long you paused in the casting animation and so how vulnerable that spell was to interrupt). Likewise if you had an attack speed of 1 you would make one real attack every six seconds (speed factor of the weapon deciding how far into each six second round it would happen), but the game filled in pretend attack animations to hide the fact that was happening. (In the enhanced editions you can turn those off in baldur.ini). You can make it expose the round based structure by turning on the end of round auto pause.
  12. Make Aloth romanceable too and most of the fandom will be happy. Make Aloth and Iselmyr romanceable seperately. It's the only way. I'm not married (har har) to the idea of companion romances in RPGs any more. It was fun back in BG2 but it's never really progressed beyond "pick the right multiple choice answer". If you want to have romance in a game it should be a foundation of the game and probably be between fixed characters and drive part of what those characters are about.
  13. I think to a large degree the MOBA genre ate RTS's lunch, due to having a considerably lower skill floor, and having actually a relatively similar space for strategic play. In an RTS or MOBA you know what your opponent is capable of doing but you don't know what they are doing unless you scout them doing it, so in an RTS your own strategic plan tend to fall into a pattern which accounts for what the opponent can do based on their faction and when during a game that faction is powerful (there being a MttH for any given set of units appearing based on how long it takes to tech to them). That tends to lead to a metagame with fairly set patterns. If as a terran player you know you're against Protoss you use the parts of your kit that are better against Protoss. In a MOBA you have the same knowledge (you know the team composition and where they're likely to be at given stages of the game based on which character they are) but because there are many more team compositions in a 5v5 built of 40 odd characters than there are in a 1v1 built of three, even if each character has a more limited set of tools than a whole race in an RTS they produce a similar range of strategic considerations out of that knowledge. That means anyone looking for that type of gameplay with that set of strategic challenges in it can get it from MOBAs, which have a vastly lower barrier to entry both in terms of management skill (Starcraft is as much a management game as a strategy game, if you can't macro properly you won't win even if you have the best strategic plans in the world) and eAPM, and being free. RTS games will still come out, but I think they're going to stay pretty niche.
  14. You have to remember that a ranger is two characters, and by the end of my playthrough Itumaak was a horrendous murder engine. If you have the pet present that forms part of the ranger's overall balance so the character themself might not feel as powerful without the pet.
  15. Limits for basic ammo don't add anything to the game, it's not a challenge beyond "remember to spam click the buy button occasionally" it's just busywork that came about as a legacy of (old crufty) pen and paper design but doesn't actually enhance a computer RPG (which tend to have considerably more combat). Even having limited quantities of special ammo was rarely useful, because what tended to happen in Baldur's Gate was that you just hoarded them and never used them because you might need them later, until the point where you didn't need them because you got the quiver of plenty anyway. Having special ammo as a per rest or per encounter equipment would preserve the "when do I use this" nature of special ammo without the annoying busywork part.
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