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Everything posted by jsaving

  1. I think PoE1's vastly inferior companion AI is probably the most notable difference right off the bat. More trash mobs and a more linear plotline would be up there as well, along with a stronghold that at random intervals suffers damage unless you suspend whatever else you're doing and run back to it. The other thing I'd want to know when replaying PoE1 today (or playing it for the first time) is just how powerful priests and wizards were compared to the other classes in the game. Good luck!
  2. I'm not sure whether it is better for the Dyrwood to increase the birth rate (Berath), to strength those who are already alive (Galawain), or to right the Hollowborn wrong (Hylea). Similarly it's hard to say whether siding with Rymrgand or Woedica ends up making the Dyrwood worse off, though obviously both are quite bad for the Dyrwood's future.
  3. Well, companions do have quests associated with them so you do lose some xp and insight into the game world if you do without them. A few companions (Eder and Pallegina come to mind) provide useful commentary on in-game events while a couple of others (like Durance and Aloth) enable you to better understand in-game lore. So if you're primarily a role-player, you probably won't want to create any of your companions. For powergamers, on the other hand, the best course of action is probably to create your entire party on your own. The in-game NPCs don't have optimal stats nor do they generally have extra abilities/items that would make you want to adventure with them despite their shortcomings. This is a departure from IE games like Baldur's Gate where joinable NPCs usually did have something unique to offer (like Edwin's extra spell slots, Jaheira's expanded spell selection, or Minsc's berserk ability).
  4. Yes, that's right -- you use the souls to overload the machine, which destroys the machine and sends the souls back to the Wheel. If you instead choose to consume the souls, they "overload" you rather than the machine, giving you a stat bonus at the cost of the souls' permanent destruction and the assurance that the Hollowborn problem will return to that part of the city after you defeat Thaos. It's an unfortunate reality in PoE that you must often choose between the tangible rewards from "bad" behavior and the intangible rewards of the "good" ending slides...
  5. Electing to consume them ensures the "bad" ending slide. It's marked "cruel" because you are destroying some souls who would otherwise have been reborn, but because no one sees you do that, Defiance Bay thinks you simply turned off the machine and credits you accordingly.
  6. On the other hand, PoE2 drastically cuts back on the number of talents/spells/powers you gain automatically. Priests for example completely lose the automatic spell unlocks cited by the OP as his model for how ranger pet talents should work.
  7. There's a (mis)impression that D&D "bard songs" literally involved singing, when in fact they could be delivered through "poetry, chanting, singing lyrical songs, singing melodies, whistling, [and/or] playing an instrument." The only requirement was that there be a verbal component to the song (though some DMs allowed sign and other performance-art "songs" to count as well). So PoE's chanter is very much in the broad thematic tradition of D&D bards. What's different is that, mechanically, chanters can do lots more than bards could while singing. There's also the notion that chanters "charge up" their invocations by contributing to the fight, which wasn't true for D&D bards. To be sure there are problems with PoE using "number of seconds in the fight" as its measure of how much of a contribution you've made, because you can simply cower behind an obstacle or flat-out run from your enemies and still be counted as contributing as long as someone else in the party stays close enough to your foes that the encounter doesn't end. But it's always tricky to measure contribution for support/buff characters (unlike ciphers where the devs could let focus be refueled by damage-dealing).
  8. Exhausting all dialogue options and advancing through the critical path of the main game are the two things you need to do if you want to finish Durance's quest. Check and re-check to make sure you didn't miss parts of his dialogue tree, keeping in mind that PoE sometimes erroneously bolds options you've already exhausted and un-bolds options you haven't. Unfortunately nothing in the White March advances the critical path of the main game and I think you have to reach a certain point in Act 3 before you can wrap up Durance's quest. GM on the other hand you can complete (IIRC) simply by resting at Caed Nua. But with her even more than Durance, PoE's wonky bolding and unbolding mechanic can mean you've missed conversation options that are necessary to move things along. There's also one point where you have to correctly describe a dream to her, without which the quest won't progress further.
  9. You can completely ignore the stronghold once you acquire it (except for one or two quick visits to unlock White March content).
  10. You find enemy spell books in PoE at irregular intervals and they don't, especially in the first part of the game, contain a very broad cross-section of spells. Because of this, it is easy for people to get a few hours into the game and mistakenly conclude that wizards are too weak, unless they happened to pick a good initial spell selection (which is unlikely if they've played D&D as they'll go for something like magic missile which is notably weak compared to say, chill fog in PoE). The problem goes away for players who have the patience to continue (and as spellbooks pile up in their inventory), but it's still a problem in the early game, which is all some people are motivated to reach before they reroll as a different class.
  11. While I wouldn't want to see PoE2 decrease the number of wizard spells in the game, I do think there are issues worth taking seriously as development of PoE2 proceeds. One that hasn't been mentioned so far is that you can seriously gimp your PoE character if you end up memorizing the "wrong" spells, because some spells are far more useful in combat than others of the same level. Worse, players who try to use their D&D knowledge to take the spells they "know" are best, like magic missile and fireball, end up faring so poorly that they mistakenly conclude wizards must not be as strong as people say. Compounding this problem is the lack of wizard scroll shops and the inability to respec your spell book, which leaves some players needing to level up in order to get new spells but unable to progress in the game because of spell selection that retrospectively turns out to be poor.
  12. I'd add a couple of other things to the great BG/BG2 points mentioned so far. Like those games, there is no level scaling so it is entirely possible to enter an area that is just too tough for your party at that particular point in time. But unlike those games, there is only a finite amount of XP in the game because you can't generate new foes by resting. In fact, you don't even get XP for defeating a foe (though there is a modest amount of XP you'll gain from time to time by advancing your bestiary). The other thing I would say is that you do NOT want to assume that PoE classes are exactly like their D&D counteroarts, Priests are probably the strongest class in the game but are very weak if you use them the way you would a BG cleric. Likewise druids, whose shapeshifting ability and call-lightning spell is nearly useless in BG/BG2 but quite strong in PoE. As I think about it, the same could be said for wizards as staple spells like fireball and magic missile are notably weak in PoE while woefully inadequate BG/BG2 spells like grease are surprisingly strong in PoE, not to mention Kalakoth's which is vastly better than the already-strong Melf's minute meteors in BG/BG2.
  13. I've gone through it a couple of times and can't say it's worth going through the first 11-12 levels just to see some semi-interesting content the rest of the way. On the other hand, Od Nua is a great place to advance your soulbound weapons because you can get numerous kills quickly and easily.
  14. High resolve, high lore, high perception, and being a cipher (in that order) are probably your best bets when it comes to expanding your dialogue options. However, dialogue prowess doesn't do much for you in PoE except for occasionally skipping fights (which you may not want to do if you're looking to fill out your bestiary, advance a soulbound weapon or obtain more loot).
  15. The purpose of reputation is mainly for dialogue checks and the like. By design, reputation has no impact on shop prices, though I agree there's an argument to be made that it should.
  16. I think you're right to point out this difference and agree it can be tough to know exactly where to draw that line. Similar discussions could be had with Dragon Age Origins (adventure game with RPG elements) and even Skyrim (sim game with RPG elements).
  17. If I remember correctly, Chris Avellone initially planned for that to be part of the game but it ended up getting cut before release. No idea whether the content was ever actually written and I don't think the devs have said whether they consider it to be canon.
  18. This is a timely poll as the rogue is by most accounts the worst-designed class in PoE. But it might be better to first ask what purpose the rogue should serve in PoE and then let the answer to that question guide which specific improvements should be made. RIght now a lot of people think the rogue's desired niche is single-target DPS and are focusing their improvement suggestions on how to give the rogue more of it. The problem is that a) several other PoE classes also focus on single-target DPS and b) focusing on single-target DPS is just another way of saying the rogue is a striker, which is true but doesn't justify why the rogue in particular belongs in the game. As I think about what makes rogues special in books and other RPGs, I come back to the fact that they best understand how to move undetectably, dish out conditions in melee to disable enemies, and leverage group positioning for extra damage. This would translate into letting them move much faster than other characters while in stealth (possibly even normal movement speed), being immune or at least resistant to engagement (even when out of stealth), having a wide variety of conditions to dole out in melee, and having unique options to deal extra damage based on group positioning (sneak attack). I'd support just about all the ideas in this poll, but I really hope the devs spend some time thinking about what makes rogues special. It was really the only "failed class" in PoE, in my opinion at least -- and I really regret that as rogues are my favorite class in most RPGs.
  19. Weird that people keep mentioning Dragon Age and Skyrim, I thought this thread was about RPGs... I think a lot of people under-rate KotoR2 because of its slipshod ending. If only they'd scrapped one of the planets in the middle of the game and spent that time giving KotoR2 the ending it deserved, it would probably end up on a lot more top-10 (or top-3) lists.
  20. The big reason to do Raedric's early is that it permanently solves whatever money problems you may be having until that point. This is especially useful if you're wanting to get the stronghold early and have some of its upgrades cranking out benefits for you over a longer period of time. The down side of doing it early is simply that it isn't easy for low-level characters to complete, although it is certainly possible to clean out Raedric's minions ASAP but postpone the actual battle with Raedric until later in the game.
  21. Hadn't seen that, thanks. It also looks like they intend to more closely tie the PC and his companions to the critical path, which should make for more immersive gameplay.
  22. I haven't seen many people ask the devs to make PoE2 more like Dragon Age, which some consider to be more of an adventure game than an RPG, but I do think you're on to something here. I always have to deactivate the AI in PoE and Tyranny because it is so far removed from how I play my characters, and it would be great to be able to have more input into their AI routines. I'd also say that Tyranny is underrated in some quarters and has more to offer than some people acknowledge. The PC is injected much more thoroughly into the critical path in Tyranny than he ever is in PoE, where new players often fail to perceive the critical path or actively rebel against it (either because they see being a Watcher as a benefit, see the Hollowborn issue as something they couldn't possibly affect, or see the ignorance of LK members as a sign that group couldn't possibly be a threat). I'm not sure this means PoE's critical path should have been "better" but the devs needed to do a much better job drawing the player into the critical path, making him care about its resolution, and making him believe he can actually do something about it. Another area where Tyranny outperforms PoE is in its factions. From the very beginning, you understand who Tyranny's factions are and you see throughout the game how your treatment of each faction impacts the narrative. On the other hand, it's not uncommon for PoE players to join a faction without even knowing there are any other factions and see little to no impact from joining a faction once Defiance Bay fades into the background. There are tiny tentative nods to the critical path, like the factions' varying stances on animancy, but it would have been much better to give the factions a clear stance on how to resolve the critical path and have them independently working on their solutions in the latter half of the game, with the player frequently bumping into their efforts and having the option to help or hinder them as the case may be. I also think, personally, that Tyranny was right to classify weapon talent/skills/feats by the type of combat you are doing (two-handed, ranged, etc) rather than by arbitrary group (warrior, knight, etc). There's nothing more frustrating than building, say, a two-handed combatant but being forced by the game engine to take weapon groups that contain lots of weapons you don't care about yet block you from using more than 1-2 types of two-handers without penalty. Soulbound weapons are in part a recognition that PoE's weapon groups were unsatisfactory but it would be nice to make the leap from "knight" or "peasant" weapons to "two-handed" or "one-handed" weapons (which could be done whether or not PoE uses the learning-by-doing approach to improving proficiency with those weapons).
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