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Gregorovitch

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About Gregorovitch

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    Gregorovitch

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  1. I have been a huge fan of Obsidian, and Black Isle before it, for many years. I am angry about this, sure, but mostly I am just deeply sad and disappointed. I feel the need to calmly explain my position. 1. I have no problem at all with competition for Steam. Open a store, trade games, offer community services, good developer services. If you beat Steam, fine. Steam could do with a good kick up the backside. I am quite happy to buy games from multiple sources so long as I get a Steam key if I want one. 2. I will not fragment my library. I am not interersted in running multiple launchers. If I am unable to get a Steam key for a game it doesn't exists as far as I'm concerned. Steam is centre of where my gaming identity and my gaming community lies and is where my gaming friends are. 3. This is not to say I will never change that, just that there will have a to be a very strong reason to do so, to wit, something that I think is a significantly and materially a better experience than Steam offers and crucially many or most of my friends do too. 4. But I will certainly not be coerced into fragementing my library. 5. Obsidian have accepted a bribe for an exclusive deal with Epic so that they (Epic) can attempt to blackmail me into installing their launcher. I am devastated that Obsidian have sunk to such depths. Suffice it say that my opinion of Obsidian has changed dramatically. Perhaps it is just that Obsidian has changed and I've only just realised it. 6. I will not be buying Outer Worlds on Epic under any circumstances, or any other game on that platform, ever, in view of their business practices revolving around bribery and blackmail. This is huge disappointment because I was greatly looking forward to it. 7. I am at this point undecided as to whether I will buy any game in future by any developer that has involved themselves with this Epic bribery/blackmail scam. I may buy Outer Worlds when it is released on Steam, I may not. It will certainly give me pause before I hit the buy button.
  2. This poll is so depressing. Indicates the community is split right down the middle on the matter. And there is very little hope of solving this becasue those who support per rest system simply don't understand that those mechanics are not remotely difficult and are only tedious. Challenge can come from ANY system, you just need to figure out what you want the focus of the combat to be. Seriously, this game IS challenging. I've wiped several times on normal difficulty. Everybody wants it to be "difficult" but no one can define what that even means. I'd be surprised if 10% of the playerbase can/are willing to beat PotD. I'd call that a more than reasonable challenge. The game is not remotely as challenging as either PoE1 or DOS2. It's about as challenging as Tyranny (apart from the one battle at the end of the prologue). Far more importasntly it doesn't feel challenging either. It has no drama, no terror. Once you've figured out how to fight your party, you just rinse and repeat for success every time. That's why streamers are dropping LPs of it. No drama, no views. People are not looking for difficulty per se. What they are looking for are thrills, chills and spills. They want to be terrified. But they will see through illusory versions. You have to have real difficulty, real chance of failure to make it work, You can read the long verison of this in a post I made about this on my favourite Steam group, eXplorminate (a 4X group promarily) if you are interested. https://steamcommunity.com/groups/explorminate/discussions/0/1729828401663390942/ The evidence for this is everywhere. Most notably in the fact that according to Steam's overall sales for 2018 currently published on the end-of-sale page DOS2 is Gold and PoE2 is Bronze. In 2018, note, DOS2 was released Sept 2017. So DOS2 is still outselling Deadfire by maybe 4:1 even ignoring the millions it sold in the first months following release last year. It also has a rock solid 94% review rating. And DOS2 is a genuinely terrifying game, certainly on Tactician. It's not hard to join the dots. Are you sure? I think the dozen of threads complaining about "difficulty" would disagree with you. Also, what data says Deadfire isn't selling well? It was top of the charts for awhile at launch, and its still selling well. Nay, I don't pretend to be sure, which is why I call this a hypothesis in my eXplorminate post. As far as I can see at this time it fits the evdience and has little evdience to invalidate it. The central evidence is (generally speaking amongst all games) there is a general trend that sales are directly proportional to the number of threads whining about difficulty and inversely proportional to threads whining about the game being too easy/no challenge. Anotrher key indicator is the number of snarky "Git Gud" posts, the more of them meaning the higher sales. This observation would seem to directly contradict another piece of evidence that is clearly true of both cRPG and 4X/grand strategy that only a very small % of players play at or even near max difficulty. The same effect is seen in 4X and strategy games, for example extremely complex games like Europa Universalis and Crusader Kings selling more than 2m each and continuously making ground against the 1000lb gorilla of the genre, Civilization. There is a contradiction here in that the conventional wisdom that the overwhelming majority of players don't care about the issues a small bunch of stroppy vociferous opinionated veteren PotD players have appears on the evidence to be flawed, it doesn't fit the facts. My hypothesis offers what I think is a reasonable explanation for why. On sales data, the evidence is incontravetable that DOS2 has sold overwhelmingly better than Deadfire, it still has three or four times as many concurrent players on Steam etc 9 months post release. DOS1 also sold better than PoE1, but not by that much, they were in the same ballpark (1m-2m range each).
  3. With repect that is factually incorrect. Within the PoE ruleset per encounter spells are next to impossible to balance becasue: a) you have to be absolutely sure exactly at what level the player will arrive at the encounter b) and even if you can do that you have a very narrow space between "impossibly difficult" and "easy" to work with. You may say that DOS2 has a per encounter cooldown based system and it works very well. True and true, but the DOS ruleset is very different: a) You have a very steep level power curve which automatically herds players into specific small sets of encounteres balanced for their exact current level b) Attack damage output relative to HP pools is extremely high compared to PoE and almost all attacks are 95% To Hit. This means that one mistake by the player can have serious if not catastrophic consequences, the merciless AI was coded specifically to exploit player mistakes ruthlessly. The upshot is that the outcome of encounteres can swing wildly according depending on how well the player plays. Thus the margin between "imposaible" and "easy" is actually pretty wide. c) DOS has a huge smorgasbord of "cheese" options available to the player. Dirty, sneaky tricks bascially. This enabled Larian to push the on paper difficulty of encounters far beyond what would be possible at all in a straight fight. Thus, on Tactician at any rate, the player had perforce to employ "cheesy" tactics, and be pretty damn creative about it too, or for them the game would be over. Again this opens up the margin between "impossible" and "easy". Essentially by removing "easy" and replacing it with various grades of "impossible" where nothing is actually impossible even if it feels like it. The PoE ruleset has none of this, it wasn't designed for per encounter casting, and Deadfire's open world precludes a) by definition.
  4. This poll is so depressing. Indicates the community is split right down the middle on the matter. And there is very little hope of solving this becasue those who support per rest system simply don't understand that those mechanics are not remotely difficult and are only tedious. Challenge can come from ANY system, you just need to figure out what you want the focus of the combat to be. Seriously, this game IS challenging. I've wiped several times on normal difficulty. Everybody wants it to be "difficult" but no one can define what that even means. I'd be surprised if 10% of the playerbase can/are willing to beat PotD. I'd call that a more than reasonable challenge. The game is not remotely as challenging as either PoE1 or DOS2. It's about as challenging as Tyranny (apart from the one battle at the end of the prologue). Far more importasntly it doesn't feel challenging either. It has no drama, no terror. Once you've figured out how to fight your party, you just rinse and repeat for success every time. That's why streamers are dropping LPs of it. No drama, no views. People are not looking for difficulty per se. What they are looking for are thrills, chills and spills. They want to be terrified. But they will see through illusory versions. You have to have real difficulty, real chance of failure to make it work, You can read the long verison of this in a post I made about this on my favourite Steam group, eXplorminate (a 4X group promarily) if you are interested. https://steamcommunity.com/groups/explorminate/discussions/0/1729828401663390942/ The evidence for this is everywhere. Most notably in the fact that according to Steam's overall sales for 2018 currently published on the end-of-sale page DOS2 is Gold and PoE2 is Bronze. In 2018, note, DOS2 was released Sept 2017. So DOS2 is still outselling Deadfire by maybe 4:1 even ignoring the millions it sold in the first months following release last year. It also has a rock solid 94% review rating. And DOS2 is a genuinely terrifying game, certainly on Tactician. It's not hard to join the dots.
  5. This poll is so depressing. Indicates the community is split right down the middle on the matter. And there is very little hope of solving this becasue those who support per encounter system simply don't understand and therefore do not accept that it has destroyed the challenge, interest and difficulty of the game, the very soul of it really. The only hope really is that Obsidian realise this from the sales figures.
  6. Not a lot of musicians actually think that nobody has surpassed the Beatles. Sure, there are many people who do have that view, but it's nowhere near as clear-cut as you make it sound, and I think the Beatles analogy is really quite poor. I agree that the Beatles did do a few things for the first time (although there a lot fewer of those things that you might imagine), but they have been surpassed by an awful lot of bands. All talk about "best ever" is just utterly meaningless in music: there are too many intangibles and far too few tangibles to make reasonable comparisons. With computer games, the tangibles are much more evident, although obviously it does come down to opinion in the end. You are of course right and I was not being entirely serious from a serious musicology standpoint. But the fact that many people still have that view is good enough for my purposes in this debate and I stand by it. It's about a reputation that has outgrown any sort of objective reality, and what you say about the reality of the Beatles (on which you are entirely correct on all points in my opinion btw) just serves to emphasise my point.
  7. This is it in a nutshell. BG1&2 took the Ultima 7 template and did something magical to it. One aspect was control of each character in the party which neither the Ultima games nor Fallout 1 & 2 had. Another aspect is the one great and unreproducable pair of chararcters in the series, Minsc and Boo, still to this day probably the most iconic and beloved RPG characters ever, Geralt of Rivia and Shepherd notwithstanding. The other characters in BG don't even come close. But mainly it's because the Infinity Engine games were the first to bring a reasonably authentic D&D experience in a form accessible enough for millions to get into, and millions did. It was a good game, but mostly it was first and it had Minsc. That's what done it. That's why it's impossible to reproduce it. Same reason no band has or ever will surpass the Beatles. It's impossible. It can't be done. No matter that people hardly ever actually listen to the Beatles anymore because modern music sounds so much better, is so much better played, is so much more intricate and is so much more varied. Doesn't matter. If you copy the Beatles you just get called a Beatles copycat. If you don't copy the Bealtes then you're not comparable, not the same thing, which since everyone knows The Beatles are the best ever means by definition you cannot be as good. The Beatles did something very special and they did it first. That "first" bit can never be changed and that's all there is to it. End of. But of course the truth is young people today don't look at the Beatles like that. Only their grand parents were around to experience listening to them when they actually made their records in the 1960's. Baldur's Gate was made in 1998, a mere 20 years ago, and there are still plenty of people playing RPGs who first played Baldurs Gate when they were a kid and had their mind blown by it. Nothing can compare to that experience. RPG will never be truly free from the cult of Baldur's Gate until every teenager who played the bloody game in 1998 is safely ensconced six feet under. Which is why these endless threads about [enter RPG of your choice] being inferior to Baldur's Gate are as pointless as they are tiresome.
  8. I think this is one of those zero sum game questions. Either single classes are better or multiclasses are better. I don't it's possible to perfectly balance this. In my game I played fighter/rogue, palldin/chanter, monk/priest, straight wizard and straight druid. The three multis where very strong. So were the two casters but really mainly for the one big empowered hit per encounter. This was mostly fireball/delayed fireball and Relentless Storm. Because you can do that with multiclassed wizards and druids as well if I play again I think I'd multiclass everyone. it's just a lot stronger. It's also a lot more fun IMO. The multiclassing is a star feature of Deafire for me, I really enjoyed playing my three multis. Nerfing multis relative to singles is going to make builds really hard to decide on. The closer they get the harder it becomes. A second danger is that you could push the nerfs far enough to make them equal to single class versions on paper but unviable in practice . For example builds like fighter/rogue, priest/monk, fighter/wizard etc are so good largely becasue they are so resilient. If you nerf the figthter/monk/palladin/barb component defences etc relative to the resilience of the singel class versions suddenly the multis are vulnerable in melee and can't tank properly and you say nah, they're not strong enough. Personally I's be happy to say this is bascially a multi-class game at heart and leave it at that (and take that rediculous "multiclass is for experts" message off the character creation screens, it's like totally the opposite) but I can easily see that if you like to play with single class characters that would be very annoying.
  9. It's not a bad game but nothing like as good as PoE1, DOS2 etc. Problem is what's good about it is very good, but what's bad is very bad, Good: Nekatetaka City and the Faction quest lines are excellent (except for point below) Art work, environments etc are excellent Multi-classing system is great. Bad: The narrative falls apart becasue none of the faction leaders engage in the problem of what to do about Eothas, what the consequences of destroying the wheel might be. They just carry one fighting each other and being greedy as normal which is not only totally rediculous but it also creates a complete disconnect between Neketaka/factions and the Eothas story line. As a result the end game falls flat on it's backside. The combat is far too easy and the world doesn't feel dangerous at all. This becasue of combination of open world design coupled with switch to per-encounter spell/ability use. This works in games like DOS and XCOM because in those games average damage per hit is about twice average HP pools, so deadly deadly. The PoE system is not like that, it's a long term statistical war of attrition, so outside one or two notable boss encounters the combat is stupidly easy since you can unload your entire arsenal every fight with no downside.
  10. No you haven't missed something - just that every single NPC and companion in the game missed something. Namely, the exact same question you have asked. Which is a major problem with the Deadfire narrative IMO. It also creates the disconnection between the Eothsas quest line and Nekaetaka/faction quest lines. The problem is not that nobody has the answer. The problem is they don't ask the question. At all. If a bunch of aliens landed in the Sahara desert, for example, several things would happen with almost 100% certainty: 1. People would be freaking out right, left and centre 2. The only thing people would be talking about is whether they were friendly or not 3. Normal day-to-day life and concerns would be forgotten 4. All political leaders would be busy pretending they were in the process of establishing whether they were friendly or not and that they had a matters fully in hand if they weren't. Eothas arrival in the Deadfire, once his purpose becomes suspected, is exactly analagous to this situation, and would have the same results. It is simply not credible that not one person in the game asks this question, including the Watcher, as it is the first and most obvious question to ask. And once it is asked by anyone everyone else is going to be like "OMG, good point. How do we find out?". Becasue everything, life itself no less, is dependant on the answer. I mean even the bloody pirates are going twig that the extinction of the kith is going to mean a significant economic downturn, bad for buisiness and all. Even they are going to want an answer to it before taking any sort of position on what to do. Plundering Ukaizo is not going to be uppermost in their, or anybody else's, mind. IMO this is a massive hole in the Deadfire narrative. Almost a fatal one. One wonders what Obsidian were thinking.
  11. Gregorovitch, when he said: But there's also a broader point to be made about who the game is designed for, and how important high-level difficulty balancing is. It's more important for a traditional CRPG with a niche but fervent fanbase, but if Obsidian want to make ends meet, the bulk of their time is not going to be spent, at least pre-release, on tweaking numbers for optional side content on a difficulty setting that a tiny proportion of users ever try. I made this point earlier, and I'm going to make it again, because it's an absolutely critical question: what do people mean by "hard"? I agree that is both a critical question and a very interesting question. I think "hard" might be trhe wrong word. I think the right word to describe what people are after is "terrifying" which is not the same thing. Looking at DOS2 as an example, I think we can say it is genuinely terrifying for all but the hardest of hardcore players on classic and particularly Tactician difficulty. It certainly terrified me. The first part of Fort Joy has five major fights that are no laughing matter: the turles, the crocs, Milo, the frogs and the Kitchen fight (six if you include the arena but many do that a bit later). All these fights are lethal but in very different ways and need very differnt approaches to come out of in one piece. All of these are level 3 except turtles which are level 2. You then get several "ins" to the main keep, but each one is blocked in one way or another by various enemies: level 4 plus they are. After the mauling you almost certainly got from the crocs and the frogs these mobs are simply terrifying - new area, level 4, OMG! Later on, take Wrecker's Cave for example. You get kidnapped and imprisoned, have to fight your way out. Fighting your way out is again no laughing matter, no laughing matter at all, and it is by no means a given that you will be able to do so at all. After that experience you don't look at poking your nose into cave entrances etc in quite the same way again. Later still there are "trophy" fights you'll run into such as the witch Alice for example. She is almost certainly going to party wipe you in short order at first attempt. Or the scarecrows - OMG the bloody scarecrows, don't remind me............. You see where I'm going with this. If a bloody scarecrow is capable of party wiping you at the drop of a hat WTF is NOT capable of party wiping you in this game? This is what I mean by terrifying. You never feel safe. Ever. Even from an innocent looking scarecrow. The success of DOS2 (and DOS1 and PoE1) suggests IMO that this is what people are actually looking for, or at the very least it's what they are basing their game purchasing decisions on. And the problem is Deadfire just doesn't deliver on that. It never feels even dangerous never mind terrifying. Only twice during my game did I get that feeling, once in the flooded district of Port Maje against the looters and once when I got stuck down in the Old City, Neketaka after missing the lift and having to fight and sneak my way out at level 6 on PotD. My opinion on why DOS2 pulls the terror thing off so well but Deadfire doesn't is that even though DOS2 is cooldown based, no resting etc: 1. The incredibly steep level power curves in the game mean that stuff can be very, very dangerous just one level up from you and on equal levels it will will make short work of you if you are not very, very careful. Slightly higher level equipment in the hands of the enemy can spell your doom with huge damage output hikes and armour ratings arising from it. 2. Many, in fact most, encounters are designed such that knights in shining armour need not apply really. No "Damn your eyes, Sir, En Garde!". You have to play like a dirty rotten scoundrel. You need to pull every darstedly trick in the book and then some to survive it, on Tactician anyway. The game positively encourages such skullduggery offering many opportunities for it esepcially on the harder encounters. It enabled Larian to make a lot of encounters all but impossibly difficult on paper on the assumption the player would not be fighting fair.
  12. Balancing a game on a (supposed) rule of thumb that is not actually enforced or even explained at any point... I wouldn't exactly call that a brilliant design decision. I would disagree. Good players (or any player prepared to put the effort in really) will work out what is required of them and less good players (or those unwilling to put in the effort) who do not work it out will suffer the pain and ignimony of failure. Which makes mastering the game very satisfying and makes for a memorable, possibly even epic, gaming experience. The PoE1 resting and casting system offered a layer of gameply providing an element of mystery, challenge and difficulty to make that happen whereas Deafire doesn't. This is what people want. They are not interested in spending their valuable time playing games that offer no serious challenge and no satisfaction from mastering them. Not this type of game anyway. This is why (well, one of the reasons) they are not buying Deadfire. Bascially nobody is whining on the forums about how hard the game is or how they don't understand this or that. That is telling peopole that dispite the good reviews and resonable Steam review score, something is wrong.
  13. No, it doesn't. You guys have no real world evidence for your arguments. In fact, the real world evidence points in the opposite direction. But yall continue to assert that somehow it must be true. The fact of the matter is that Deadfire's nearly complete "per encounter" system makes it much more difficult to design *meaningful* encounters. I think this discussion about "difficulty" or "balance" is actually missing the point of why combat feels inferior in Deadfire. I laid out some of these arguments in this thread: https://forums.obsidian.net/topic/99893-combat-is-now-mostly-a-dull-chore/ And I think those statements still hold up. But I'd like to add a little more here. Making combat *meaningful* in PoE1 and even the BG type games was much much easier. One of the simplest reasons is that every amount of damage mattered in some way. Players were naturally driven to rest as little as possible, since that wasn't the fun part of the game, so most players would try to push their parties to their limits. This was all the "challenge" ever was in these games. What this meant is that the designers had a broad window to design meaningful encounters. So long as encounters met some minimum threshold of causing damage or risking damage, player decisions within combat had the same choice and consequence dynamic that Obsidian is striving for in all aspects of its RPGs. This had all kinds of excellent downstream effects, by the way. You didn't need to mess with potions, food or scrolls to beat the game, even on POTD. However, if you did mess with those things, you would be rewarded by being able to clear out areas faster, resting less frequently, and often never having to worry about doing the hike of shame if you ran out of camping supplies. This isn't just true of consumables, but also carefully buying the right gear, enchantments, and discovering great individual character builds but also party synergies. And these investments had payoffs the player could feel almost regardless of the monster level. However, in Deadfire, because there is no health loss, and almost no per rest resources to burn (and recovering them is just too easy), encounters have to exist in a much much smaller window to be *meaningful*. They have to, at a very minimum, threaten to knockdown a party member. Encounters that don't do this are literally wasting the player's time. So, it's actually the exact opposite of what some of you are suggesting. Combat is actually harder to balance in Deadfire, and the real-world evidence agrees. Moreover, because so few combats feel *meaningful* players get little visible payoff from the investments I spoke about above. This is why the game feels ludicrously easy in comparison, even though the original PoE wasn't a particularly hard game. This is exactly correct, a particuarly important point being the idea that the devs had a much wider range or "window" of difficulty options avaiable to keep the game fresh and dangerous in PoE1. I can explain this is a slightly differnt way: The rule of thumb for good play in PoE1 was three standard encounters per rest and one boss encounter per rest. Thus with two camping supplies available, plus going in fully rested, you're standard target was six standard encounters plus the dungeon end boss fight. You were expected to throw everything including the kitchen sink at the end boss fight, but you had to play accurately and carefully conservijng both your health and your resources to manage three encounters per rest on thew way down. Failure to do so meant perforce a hike of shame - a defeat to all intents and purposes. Some dungeons had more than six incidental encounters and in these cases additional camping supplies were provided to loot near the bottom so you could rest up for the boss fight. What this meant for difficulty was that every single stahndard encounter was a significant chellenge becasue you had to a) figure out how to beat it with minimum expenditure of resources and b) avoid getting hit and losing health. Therefore everything you did, every decision you made, every spell you cast, mattered. A lot. What this did for encounter design was to make a far wider range of encounters challenging. If a mob could hurt you at all, if you needed to cast a single spell or use an ability against them, then they were at least some sort of challenge to get past and most of them had the capacity to hurt you more than a little if you were not very carefull and certainly required the application of more than one spell or ability. Which made the game consistently challenging and interesting, especially on PotD. This was the magic of PoE1 gameplay. And it is essentially why it is considered a classic and is a million seller. In Deafire with it's per-encounter system and auto-health regen all of this gameplay is lost with the exception of the end boss battles where you were expected to throw everything at a very tough encounter. And this is exactrly what we see in Deadfire. Some encounters are pretty good, but they are all boss battles. Floating Hangman, Gardian, Fampyre cave, giant cave grub etc. But the rest are trivially easy becasue you don't have to conserve resources or worry about health. The only solution to this would be to make every single encounter in the game a boss battle, hard enough to test a full strength party using every resource and tool at its disposal. Every time. But there are two problems with that: Firstly if every battle is a boss battle then you don't actually have any boss battles anymore, you just have and endless stream of the same thing with nothing stading out above the crowd, no drama. Secondly, specifically to Deadfire, you have an open world game where you cannot predict when a player will arive at a particualr encounter at all really therefore it is all but impossible to tune the fights to be challenging enough but not impossibly difficult except at the very beginning and end of the game (which again we see with reasonably good fights on Fort Maje and Floating Hangman and Guardian). For these reasons I cannot see at the moment how this can be addressed in Deadfire TBH. This per-encounter system was a collossal mistake, and one of the reasons why the game has dropped out of the top 100 into oblivion on Steam already (the other being problems with the narrative construction) whereas DOS2, for example, which is consistently hard as nails for most of the game and brutal at the beginning, is still in the top 40. It's a terrible shame.
  14. IMO the rest system in PoE was without doubt the best ever implemented. Far better than the IE games for example becasue: a) it killed rest spamming to farm XP b) it removed radom arbitrary rest restrictions based on random interruptions c) it succeded in limiting rests on pain of whimping off the dungeon to get supplies d) it provided an additional fail condition, i.e. whimping off the dungeon, to enhance gameplay and add depth, difficulty and exitement e) it enables genuine full on fail conditions by allowing player to get trapped with insufficient resources to escape for even more depth, difficulty and exitement The Deafire system does not even come close to it. Having finished Deadfire now I find it impossible to understand why it replaced PoE's state of the art system. It was a collossal mistake responsible for maybe 50% of what's wrong with Deafire, the difficulty problem especially.
  15. I played a druid last run PoE and carried that character forward to Deafire. I rarely used animal forms in first game except early on and I didn't in this one. It's just not very strong. After the early game it's pointless. Don't bother me though, I love my druid, absolutely lethal. I think the secret to ranger pets is to not use them as tanks/off tanks. They are not strong enough for that. In PoE I enjoyed playing with Sagani once I realised this. I would hold Itumaak back in reserve at the rear of the group at the start of an encounter and use him to intercept enemies sneaking in to attack my casters if necessary. When the main battle lines where established and locked down I would often then run him wide around sides to take down isolated enemy casters and archers in combo with Sagani or sometimes sneak in to chew up an enemy on the end of the line in safety. Merciless Companion and Take Down abilities made him lethal at this. Mage Killer/strike DPS basicially. Played like this he almost never got caught and almost never died. Haven't tried in Deadfire but I bet it's the same. I think too many people try to tank their ranger pets or switch on party AI which probably gets them killed all the time making stupid suicidal attacks.. Dunno though I don't use any AI at all. Ciphers are either too strong or too weak on the charm front since charms cause such massive shifts in the power balance of an encounter - or not. After Josh has applied suitable dose of his famous "Nerf Master 3000" to them in search of an illusive balance they always seem to promise more than they deliver. I guess they might be pretty good in dual class situation in Deadfire. Didn't use Serrafin so don't know. In PoE Backstab was always a waste of a pick. Disappointing results from far, far to much effort to pull off in too few situations. Having played Eder as fighter/rogue in Deadfire I would say there is even less reason to pick Backstab than in PoE. Why bother sneaking around when you can just saunter up to 'em and slice 'em to pieces? Rogue is the ideal mix-in class with something beefy for the ultimate dual-wielding harbinger of doom, I say.
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