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Everything posted by jethro

  1. Its uselessness ;-). It would have been a useful example and comment if you said something like "But we have to be careful to not make the variance too much, because example". Instead you just planted that senseless example and now seem to try to paint that as general disadvantage of the staggered approach. You didn't mention any con in your first post. Your senseless example showed no con and definitely didn't illustrate redundancy if that is your story. But okay, lets move on. Redundancy is what you propose since last post as a con. To be redundant is (citing wiktionary.org) "Superfluous; exceeding what is necessary". You say staggered leveling is redundant to the existence of the leveling process itself. But the leveling process itself doesn't achieve that your characters don't all level at the same time. Which makes the staggered leveling NOT redundant with the leveling process itself. As I demonstrated by my example you can easily implement the scheme so that it is impossible for Imoen to hit level 3 while the wizard is still at level 1. As you say, barely gaining capabilities is beside the point. So don't dwell on it and continue with it even in the next paragraph. COULD YOU PLEASE READ THE TITLE OF THIS THREAD. I don't get it, I have been mentioning the reason again and again. The title of this thread says it and the first post by Kjaamor explains it. Essentially: To not get new abilites all at once. So that you can try out new abilites and not overlook the smaller ones because of the shiny ones like it usually happens. Not one big lump of presents at Christmas but presents distributed over the year You said "when is the introduction of a change/upgrade/new thing to which to react on a regular basis a BAD thing". Which implies the staggered approach is non-regular. Now above you are arguing staggered is also regular. I would say we were both confused on the interpretation of each others statement. THANK YOU. Finally you clearly state a disadvantage instead of just muttering cryptic hints in your beard. And yes, that is a disadvantage I didn't catch. Should be added to the list in post#38. In my opinion it is a quite small disadvantage, usually people play with mixed groups. So you are saying, it doesn't lead to "Let's Not Have Everyone Level At Once", the thread title? Now I really don't know if you just did never read what this thread is about because of all your other postings in this forum or if you have some blind spot or if you just want to say, in a really roundabout way, that you don't know why anyone wants to "Let's Not Have Everyone Level At Once"? Or do you want to say "Because staggered leveling doesn't accomplish the stagger in every and each case (i.e. not with 5 characters of the same class) it accomplishes nothing." ? Then say so. And I would counter that it isn't necessary to have differences in leveling in every single case. If we look at the method of gaining varying amounts of XP for actions for example, this method also can't garantuee that characters level differently because the random xp gains could equal out. But it is not important to have 100% success rate on this, no matter how this is accomplished. So, you're both saying I'm wrong about this particular method being rendered pointless by the greater pro-to-con ratio of alternative methods, AND acknowledging here that this particular method is unnecessary thanks to the the other known solutions you've listed in another post? Why am I not surprised that you didn't pick one. There are other solutions, but they have disadvantages too or are only good if certain preconditons are true. So why is this paricular method pointless when it might be the best of those 4 methods? "The greater pro-to-con ratio" you just drop like a hot potato into this conversation without ever doing a real comparision of pros and cons.
  2. Yes. The plan is to change something flat like edition 3.5 into something with different level requirements (just as a thought experiment). Lets say we leave the fighter as before, so he levels at 1k exp. The mage we change to achieve the new level at 1.1k instead, the bard at 1.2k and so on. See, now the previously flat system would have different level requirements for the classes. And since the xp difference is the same as you would get from a single combat encounter it would mean that if you had a fighter and a mage in your group, the fighter would level first and one combat encounter later the mage (not every time, but probably quite often) I said "order the from fastest to slowest" because if you want to have different level requirements, you would use that to fine-tune the classes a bit. You would select the class that seems weakest in play-tests to level first to make up somewhat for the weakness. The next-weakest class would come next. No, not at all. You were replying to me and asked what the hell I was talking about. I might not be good at explaining, but I will try.
  3. "Bioware perform great job and invent new gameplay strategic elements". strategic? STRATETIC???? BWAAAAHAAAAHAAAAA oby, you are a very funny man. But the best part of your satire was the bioware movie full of empty he-man action perfectly suited for twitchy 11 year old boys who dream to be heroes by hitting buttons on their controller at the right moment.
  4. Yes, level differences were only in D&D 0 to 2nd edition. From 3rd on it had to be flat because you could decide which class to advance on level up. If the 13.3 value from edition 3.5 irritates you, it is a value I found on the net by chance, it was a sensible value and it doesn't matter which existing realistic RPG system I use as a basis for a staggered/different leveling modification. It is a realistic example of how such a leveling scheme could look like. If the 1000, 2000, 4000 xp level-up numbers irritate you, they were just invented by me to illustrate the math. But I'm sure I've seen a few RPGs that had such a progression, so still realistic. Just not exactly D&D (I'm no D&D expert and have to look up every bit of information)
  5. Second sentence is a bit strange, you yourself posted the official statement "he or she is maimed (in standard play) or killed (in Expert mode or as an option in standard play)". Which makes it clear that it IS a toggle and that there are defaults: Off in expert and on in standard modes (slight mixup there as well). Ok, the toggle could be deactivated in normal play if we read too much into that sentence. What am I missing, what else could it be than a toggle?
  6. It's not a strawman, because A) It wasn't even aimed at anyone's argument, so it cannot misrepresent an argument when it's not representing an argument in the first place, and B) it was just an example as to why I feel that the "different XP amounts for leveling different classes" is objectively problematic. It's not even about balancing, even though it would probably serve that end as a side-effect. Call it what you like, the example is useless, it is inflated numbers into extreme territory and so can't be an example of anything being problematic. "Pidgeons on roofs are problematic. For example a pidgeon weighing 100 tons will crash through the roof". Useless example, proves nothing. Your whole argument construction seems to depend on level thresholds that are so monumentally different that it isn't even on a regular basis anymore. D&D's leveling differences were quite high (if I remember correctly), much more than what would be necessary to stagger level ups in actual play. Did you notice that adversly while playing? I didn't. Here is a sensible example: In D&D 3.5 it seems a level-up should happen after 13.3 equal level encounters. If you order the classes from fastest-leveling to slowest-leveling and make each class of this list to level 1 equal level encounter later than the previous one, level-ups would usually be separated by at least one encounter. You could fit 14 classes into this scheme without any class ever being 2 levels above any other. (And just to state the obvious, if this level-up difference is too much, halve it, there are no hard requirements) In absolute numbers it would mean something like this: Class A gets level 2 at 1000xp, level 3 at 2000xp and level 4 at 4000xp. Class B would get level 2 at 1100 xp, level 3 at 2200xp (to keep numbers round), Class C at 1200xp and 2400xp. No class would get level 2 at 2000 xp or more. Why, after we both seemed to concur that it is not about balancing, are you arguing about balancing again? Nobody cares if that balancing is redundant, it is not the reason for implementing the leveling scheme That is why I listed all 4 known solutions in a previous post. Take your pick.
  7. Well, lets think again, if you just reload after a death, you have an easier game play than someone who plays on with a maimed character. You agree? So something isn't right if the first play style is called the hardcore one. So either the developers didn't think at all when they made that comment or they were assuming that when you play with death enabled you really want death and don't want to reload. I.e. someone who reloads should play with maimed instead so that he doesn't need the whimpy reload anymore and really hardcore players turn death on. In other words, when the developers talked of hardcore they probably meant real hardcore, not the mass of players that were as whimpy in BGs times as they are now, including you and me.
  8. Please no strawman examples like 1 hour against 5 hours to make a level or even 2000 against 4000. Also said person plays a group, not a single toon, and the objective of this thread is to find a way that that group doesn't level at the same time. That is the point. It is not about balancing, more balancing is just what you get for free if you adopt such a leveling scheme.
  9. -------------------------------------------- A: "Well we had it tough. We used to have to get up out of the shoebox at twelve o'clock at night, and LICK the road clean with our tongues. We had half a handful of freezing cold gravel, worked twenty-four hours a day at the mill for fourpence every six years, and when we got home, our Dad would slice us in two with a bread knife." B: "Right. I had to get up in the morning at ten o'clock at night, half an hour before I went to bed, (pause for laughter), eat a lump of cold poison, work twenty-nine hours a day down mill, and pay mill owner for permission to come to work, and when we got home, our Dad would kill us, and dance about on our graves singing "Hallelujah."" C: But you try and tell the young people today that... and they won't believe ya'. -------------------------------------------- (If you don't recognize it, that's the end of the Monty Python "Four Yorkshire Men" sketch) In ye good olde days of BG I played with Minsc and whoever else I chose as companions from beginning to end. And if one of them died I reloaded (at least as long as "raise dead" as in-game reload-equivalent wasn't available). Because for me story was more important than playing a combat simulator. And I can't prove it, but I would bet a substantial sum that a majority of BG players at that time did exactly the same. So where do you see your very subjective "hardcore" in this mass of reloaders and raise-deaders?
  10. No, someone was complaining that they kept the mage alive, and it did a good dose of damage to his PC. And that apparently meant BG wasn't tactical (rather than that his tactic sucked) and the solution would be to minimalise or completely do away with random factors, since that apparently would make a game better. I disagreed. Well, lets check facts. Post#94 of teknoman2: "all that is nice and good, but what do you do if the enemy mage decides out of all these, to target your main character with a spell and your character rolls 1 as saving throw? it is quite easy for one bad dice roll to send to hell your entire strategy that would offer you a flawless victory otherwise" Do you see any mention of a solution and specifically that the solution is to remove luck at all? Your answer in post 97: "So in order to add strategy we need to remove "bad luck"? No more rolls? No more variable damage?..." It is rather obvious that you misread teknoman2 and brought up the "no rolls" idea. He immediately answers "i dont say remove rolls and stuff..." "focus on preparation"? Insta-death spells have nothing to do with preparation. No one expects you to level your PC (take feats and powers) so that he is impossible to get killed by them. If you go without the right preparation into a fight where you are expected to know how to prepare, naturally you should fail. Or if you try to fight with your level 1 party against a level 10 group you even should expect to be one-shoted to death in the first round. What we have been talking about all the time is that you can't prepare against an insta-death spell. If there is no insta-death spell you still can lose, but if your party loses against a considerably weaker force (like a single mage of the same level as you) you can be relatively sure you made some mistake, be it in preparation or in combat. Yes, absolutely. Both Jagged Alliance and xcom (and also many strategy games for example) can be lost by wasting too many exp-points on killed troops. In other words: If you lost eventually, then you probably have been playing at a higher difficulty setting than your tactics and overall strategy waranted (or you just were too sloppy or impatient in fights for this setting). Xcom is a surprisingly difficult game. And it should get obvious much earlier in the game that if you have a death every second fight (just as an example) and never get your troops to higher levels as a consequence that that is too much.
  11. @Nemir: Ok, the point seems really important to you. So I tried to reread your earlier post and summarize and answer your points to the best of my abilities. First Scenario: PCs get maimed when they reach 0 HP and are out of the fight. If the whole group reaches 0 HP, the game ends -> Reload. Summarize: Fail. Answer: When only one PC is at 0 HP there is no "game over" message. If the reduced group still wins the fight, this one PC obviously has got wounds that put him out of the fight but didn't kill him. No need to reload. (Does this answer anything you tried to say?) Summarize: Why no bleeding to final death then? Bleeding is a nice way to turn up the tension. The player gets not only the penalty of having to fight with one man less but also the penalty of having to disengage a second character to heal that one. And it breaks immersion. Answer: Difficulty can be adjusted. Tension will also be high if most of your party blacked out and your last man standing wins (or not). But sure, bleeding is a nice mechanic, beta will show how good PE works without it (but lots of other RPGs did quite well without it by the way). Immersion? Now this is really far-fetched. You don't blink an eye if your fighter is battling at 100% effectiveness while at 1 HP and is instantly out and bleeding like a pig when at 0 HP? But a guy passed out with wounds that would need a lot longer than a few minutes to kill you guy and therefore don't need to be simulated breaks your immersion? RPG combat is an approximation and people have no problem to turn a blind eye if it is fun. Select your eye (or select death, that's why it is an option) Summarize: I might want to play with death enabled, but the option menu is just one mouse click away and could lead me to change it to maim-mode. Answer: Really? What about going into options and changing the game to "super easy"? Same problem. What about "save until you succeed with the difficulty check" that gets you the uber-sword ? Same problem. What about reading in the internet which house you have to burglar to get that +3 amulet? Same problem. You have to deal with your weak mind yourself, as it always was in single-player games.
  12. I know they aren't fixed, and for good reason.However some people here suggest that, and think it would add "tactics". But tactics are already there, without making the game dull and static. I don't know. It was my impression that it was you who brought up fixed values. Maybe you just misread some other post. You are right it is something more of a safety net, because the player can react. But I don't see this necessarily as easier. With insta-kill spells you go into a fight, get killed. But you know your chance of avoiding the insta-kill is high, so you just reload, don't change a thing and the game will reward you (with high probability) with an enemy mage wasting one high-level spell. Is that difficult? It isn't even dramatic. Without insta-kill the enemy mage hits you for 20 of your 50 HP the first round. You do something, try to engage the mage with your fighter. No use, the mage has shielded himself and hits you again for 22. Now you know the next attack is likely your end. Does it suffice to let the fighter attack, do you have some counter-spell that might work, can someone else of your party disengage his enemy and finish the mage? Maybe only a high-risk maneuvre can help you because the odds are dramatically against your too low-level group. Your actions in the first round might already have doomed you, or the encounter was only winnable by using a specific tactic. THIS is dramatic, this is difficult and you could fail very fast. BUT the chance to react was at least there, for one or two rounds. There is a reason the bomb in movies always has a timer ticking down instead of exploding immediately. Drama! If your elites top notch guys got killed and you had to take rookies in the endgame, yes, you were done.It might not have a fancy 'game over' immediately, but we all know you're screwed over without way back. See, you played the game one difficulty step higher but on a kill simply reloaded. Others play it a difficulty step lower and play on if someone is killed. Because they know that their soldiers life is dangerous and short they always build up more than one of each type, they have replacements ready to go. In games like xcom, jagged alliance or wasteland with no central PC this is "how the game is meant to play" i.e. the game is balanced that way. Now, I don't mean to critisize how you play xcom (In fact I did the same because I liked my troopers too much ;-). I just want to point out: Really really bad example for insta-kill being end-of-game.
  13. Your guy? Every guy in XCOM was replacable. If he got killed, take his understudy, the game doesn't end automatically. In BG your own character, not your companions, is a single point of failure, end of game if he is dead (if I understood teknoman2 correctly, I have played BG so long ago I don't remember myself)
  14. Yes, your solution has problems: The program has to record what you do and interpret what you do. In a relatively open area you could have just missed the enemies instead of actively sneaking by. Why should you get sneak xp then. Or you fight some of the enemies and sneak by others. The recording and evaluation is additional work for the game designers, every quest with multiple solutions has to be weighted how much diplomacy, fight and sneak is in any of the solutions and in any of your actions. And at the end across all quests and objectives the sum of xp should be approximately the same for diplomats, fighters, and sneakers. What about other classes like the priest class? Is it the diplomacy class because it neither fits fighter and sneaker? What about a solution where you solve a puzzle? Do we have a class good at solving puzzles? Sure, such a system could be done with some effort (and as you say we don't need to balance it to the last xp and weigh single mouse-click you do), but that would be quite a lot of effort just to make PCs not level at the same time. Pure objective xp is really simple. It gives equal xp to all solutions and it is easy to implement (as easy as kill-xp).
  15. Hassat, you can point out a hundred mistakes he did in this example fight, the simple fact stands that mages have insta-kill spells that you can't prevent completely from being cast. That's bad game design even if it happens only seldom in reality. Think about hail-mary passes in football. They can turn around a game but if the opponent leads by 20 to 0 even a hail-mary can't help anymore. What if a successfull hail-mary were an insta-win? Even if the success chance were much lower it would be a borked rule wouldn't you agree?
  16. It's only true if there will be only one way to reach certain objective. I believe it's not going to happen and in most cases player will be given a choice to hack'n'slash, talk or do whatever his character is capable of to accomplish his goals. And this is the point where different classes can be rewarded differently. You seem to misunderstand the principle of objective-only xp. The xp is given for the objective, for example finishing a quest. That way the xp gain doesn't depend on how you reached the objective. So it only makes sense if you have multiple ways of reaching an objective. You are correct that at reaching the objective different classes could gain different amounts of xp simply because their class is different, but that would just be a more rigid variant of method 4. (To make it clear, different xp gain for classes in method 2 is meant to be reached by giving xp for skill use, this was one of the discussed options in this thread) While I like the idea in general, I don't think it is a right way to balance classes. It can be used in such manner as a last resort, but classes should be balanced without it. These tables should desynchronize level ups, not put multi-level gaps between characters. It is not necessary to allow multi-level gaps. For example a class progression could be faster for a few levels but then slow down before it would lead to a 2-level gap with the slowest class progression. Progression speed could also be entirely erratic by assuming that a class needs more xp to achieve a level giving new skills than one giving only some more hit points.
  17. Again you could view almost anything that conditionally provides a bonus in exactly the same light, if you wanted to. Armor. The only time you will ever have fun with the extra DT "buff" is when you proudly buy the armor to get it. After that, it's just something you incidentally have whenever wearing that armor. The only difference is that it doesn't wear off at any point. But, you might find better armor, though, or "need" better armor for some tough fight. The moment you actively leave that fight to go back to town to buy new armor just to have the benefit of bonus DT protection, it becomes tedious. Oh sure, finding the armor is the fun part, after that it is the status quo. But it doesn't matter because you don't have to do any maintenance with it. It isn't exactly comparable to a pre-buff because the benefit is permanent as long as you wear it. I added the "tedious" sentence just for completeness sake, aka if you as the player turn it into an actively maintained pre-buff you also probably are ruining your own game experience. I don't mean that the stronghold buffs should be scraped, they are exactly how they should be and do what they have been created for. They are no-maintenance pre-buffs but also their actual influence in the game is very limited, but that's how it must be. As I said we just have a misunderstanding about the stronghold bonus, hope I could correct that. My point about pre-buffs is really that a normal RPG automatically has a high degree of buff mechanisms that need to be there that there isn't much room for more, especially the (somewhat "toxic") active (i.e. activated by the player) pre-buffs. As soon as you have a variety of spells you have combat buffs and often a few pre-buffs as well from that. In PE you also have resting buffs, stronghold buffs, surely potions. Like in many other normal RPGs. If done well, they are just the right amount, but it is an easy to apply mechanism, and designers easily fall into the trap to put too much of that into the game, especially with the spell system. There just isn't any room left for food pre-buffs in any normal RPG. It's like salt in supermarket pizzas. They usually have a good amount of salt. It is easy to add salt and it is used quite liberally by pizza manufacturers. If you want to further add salt use it very sparingly, it already is at the limit and it is even detrimental for your health. Better, just don't.
  18. It seems there are 4 ways to make leveling spread out: 1) Different starting xp, i.e. a bonus at creation. This is a good idea if the xp to get to the next level (lets call it leveling xp) is constant or very slowly increasing. PE could do this, it could just decide to give constant xp for objectives of similar size and difficulty and therefore not increase xp gain in the later game. It is somewhat more difficult in games with kill-xp because everyone expects to get more xp for more difficult monsters. If levels need progressively more xp for higher levels, this method gets ineffective quite fast (No class should have a bonus that gets it to level 2 instantly and every doubling of leveling xp halves the effective difference the bonus gives). 2) Different xp gain for classes. We made the xp system easy and play style balanced by giving xp only for objectives and now we should throw that advantage out again. Not a good solution. 3) No or different xp gains for companions not yet in the party. If leveling xp is constant late-comers will always lag behind, otherwise they will catch up fast. Advantage: You control their skill setup, not some automatic leveling-scheme. Disadvantage: Adventure Hall companions created at the same time still level at the same time 4) Classes have differing leveling schemes. Bureaucracy for a pen&paper but here the computer takes care of it. Gives the designer another dial to balance the classes. In summary, IMHO method 2 is out, 1 and 3 depend on the leveling xp scheme and 4 just works
  19. Good point, we are role-playing a character with his own intelligence interpreting what is said, it is not neccesarily about us interpreting the information. But in that case a low-int character should misunderstand stuff and overlook clues. A bit like the journal entries for a low-int character in Arcanum, only that the journal entries in Arcanum had the low-int speech patterns, but failed mostly to include any cluelessness (at least as far as I played that low-level character). So while ideally (for the idea behind role-playing) we should be using only the abilities of our PCs in combat and conversations, in reality the tactics is ours and the interpretation of the conversations too. Only that the journal hits us more or less with a clue bat, irrespective of our perception and understanding AND the PCs perception and understanding. Naturally for PE, which should appeal to all players, the compromise with the helpful journal is a good one. But since we already have the option to turn on a super clue bat (the "Kill Sammy" hint) it shouldn't be "bad design" to leave more room for interpretation in the normal journal entry.
  20. If we're bad designers, sure. I would have thought ambiguity was a positive attribute. But I guess the journal has to function as a fallback hint repository/clue stick in addition to its use as a notepad/memory refresher The Sammy quest is a good example why slightly nebulous "Frank wants you to deal with the Sammy problem" is better than explicit "Kill Sammy" even if killing Sammy were the only possible solution. Because "Kill Sammy" is taking the player firmly by the hand just like exclamation marks above quest givers, even if it later became evident that there are other solutions. So this configuration option is already an excellent idea. But I hope at least in the actual conversations sometimes even more is left unspoken and mysterious, even if the journal has to spoil the fun in case you didn't get it. Didn't we have a long discussion a few months ago about how cool it would be to have quests that never even get an entry in the quest log? You just see some injustice, something wrong or hints about some crime and you can just solve the problem without anyone commanding you to do so. This is somewhat similar.
  21. Sure I'll be more anxious, because if the game or my computer crashes I'm as finished as if I lost the game ;-). But I suppose you are thinking of the case where you are on the losing side of a battle and know the next hit will be your end. This would be the time where you could get weak, kill the game before it has a chance to delete the save game and continue. Ok, accepted. I don't believe it makes any difference while playing the game, but in that special moment, yes.
  22. The stronghold buff is definitely a pre-buff. It just isn't tedious usually because you don't have to do repetitious tasks to get it (as I said, this is one of the remedies, but it also makes the buff a bit superfluous). The only time you will ever have fun with this buff is when you proudly buy the facility in your stronghold to get it. After that it is just something you incidentally have if you recently visited the stronghold and it might make you hold off resting for one further fight because you want to still have the buff. The moment you actively go back to the stronghold only to have the buff for the next fight it becomes slightly tedious. The only good reason for the stronghold buff is (besides the meta-reason of having something to throw money at and give the stronghold a justification to exist) that you might encounter a fight that is so hard that you need every last bit of help and decide to make a stopp-over at the stronghold to get the buff. Sorry I'm so negative about this. I don't see a way around the problems and I think I showed why any conventional solution is bound to fail because of fundamental reasons. So in my opinion, if you want to bring food into the game, forget buffs, think about something completely different.
  23. Is Sammys situation so clear-cut? To deal with Sammy you could tell him to move to a different town and never show his face here again. This might suffice for Frank or it might not.
  24. "the idea is consistent". Not really. Some nice ideas in there, but some more suited to an open world RPG or a different game than PE altogether. A few comments: * Diamondman Save Mode: Either I don't understand it or this is just ironman save mode with the save game deleted as soon as you play. But if you really want to cheat yourself in ironman(which is nonsensical anyway), you would copy the save game before starting the game anyway so it doesn't seem to make any difference. So me not compute??? * AI: You want an excellent AI that reacts to you. Won't we all? Your Stand-outs seem to describe exactly how PE's tactical combat might work as described by Josh Sawyer, i.e. the fighter screening the mage, positions becoming important. If the AI is crap and doesn't know how to work with positions in a game with positional tactics, that would be a medium fail, not just for diamondman mode. I'm unsure what RTwP versus turn-based has to do with it though, turn-based would be a much better fit for this. * Aging: Many older games had this but it never had any noticable influence on the game. If made really noticable it would have a similar effect as the time limit in Fallout 1, but improved as there is no hard limit of fail, you just get slowly worse. I'm not a fan of it, but would fit really well into diamondman mode. * No spell descriptions, no mini map: Yes, I like it. Sadly in reality it won't have the desired impact because most players will play a normal game first, then try ironman modes. So they will already have the knowledge, especially about the spells. We need heavy doses of psychopharmaca between games ;-) * Adventure game obstacles: Why should this be confined to Diamondman?
  25. I disagree. I find buffing as much fun as attacking an enemy. I don't see any differences between clicking a button to attack someone or clicking a button to buff. I like to play support characters/have them in the group. That's why I like the concepts for chanters and paladins. Having a short duration stamina buff is in my opinion a good idea, if you use the spell you can't use a different spell/ this spell later so it's tactical decision. The same decision you would make if you use an attack spell. Josh Sawyer also mentioned that a lot of buffs you can only cast during combat (so no pre buffing for this abillities) We probably should have defined the term "buffing" before we started discussing about it. Especially I should have since I don't have much against spells/abilities that you can only use during combat. Especially if they are concentrated on specific (support) classes. If I find the support class too simple I can always switch to a different class. No, I'm specifically talking about what Josh called pre-buffs. Because they don't take time off your fighting time, there is really no reason not to do them and so it always is done. I would name Stoneskin as an egregrious example. In NWN2 it was nearly mandatory to put Stoneskin on your clothies after every rest. And if you wanted to be thorough, a few long-duration buff spells as well. Naturally if all combat-buffs are no-brainers it gets tedious again, but there are easy remedies: Combat buffs with short durations have to be used at the right moment. Combat buffs against specific attacks or spells/spell families help only if that attack or spell is likely to be used shortly. So, can we agree that pre-buffs are bad? At least if their use has no disadvantage? Then obviously you would take them all the time. Making them a chore if you have to do something to get them and static noise in the background if you get them automatically. Well, here are two ideas: By getting them automatically they at least don't seem like tedious chores. And if they have disadvantages (real ones, not whimpy INT-1 for the fighter) then their selection is tactical again. Now, to get back to food, it should be evident that food has to be on the pre-buff side of buffs. Which makes it hard in my opinion to make it fun.
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