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About zoarster

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  1. I posted this idea for lockpicking on the non-combat skills thread, but think it bears repeating here--I'd like to see a lockpicking mechanic that incorporates risk and the feedback your character would get from the lock. Even if it's only a "you fail this time, would you like to get more aggressive but risk breaking the lock" type dialogue or option when picking, I think this would lend a lot more weightiness to the decision to pick or not to pick. With this kind of mechanic, you're not necessarily screwed if you sneak past a brigade of guards, a wizard, and his pet dragon only to find a chest just outside your lockpick range--you can still try it, but you may end up doing more harm than good. I liken this kind of option to a player in combat being able to go "all in" and trying to defeat that ogre at 25% health when his party is at 10% health--you can use the skill and take a risk, but the consequences of failure are higher.
  2. I agree with the first sentence, but for me it's a big no on everything else. Locks of varying difficulty, sure, but players shouldn't be punished for trying something difficult early on. For me, getting locked out of a chest is a reload situation. I want to explore everything everywhere; the game should never close off avenues of exploration for anything other than narrative purposes. For example, if I choose to kill the bandit chief and burn down his hut then sure, the trapdoor leading to his treasure room is buried under rubble and I can't get to it. That's fine, that was my choice. But if I've managed to sneak into the hut past his guards, I should be able try the lock and if it's too difficult for me, know I can come back later. Both reloading because you broke the lock and being given an infinite amount of chances to lockpick without any consequences sound unsatisfying to me, but right now I can't think of any solution. By the way, your scenario made me think that it'd be awesome to be able to carry some of the smallest containers with you in case you can't open them on the spot (ie. a jewelry box). It'd add to the mystery. I think one solution to this quandary would be to introduce levels of risk in non-combat ability use that are on a par with the risks you'd take in combat. In a combat scenario, when I am fighting a group of ogres, have almost killed them, but also have most or many of my characters at critical health, I have the option of either hanging in there--and risking character death--or fleeing--but forfeiting victory in the battle. I'd like to see a corollary in non-combat skill use; for example, if my low-level thief is picking a hard lock, I might get feedback from the game along the lines of "The bolt of the lock moves ever so slightly--or does it? Garrett knows that this lock might well be his undoing, but some days you get lucky..." and have the option to press on, with an increased risk of breaking the pick (and the lock, possibly), or quitting and keeping the lock for another day. Garrett might even get EXP for knowing when to quit--after all, in real life, sometimes you learn more from failures than successes. On a tangent regarding "real life" lockpicking, I've--ahem--heard that it's easy to do on a simple lock. Friends of mine who are butterfingers with other manual skills such as art have easily picked simple locks, but more difficult locks can stop even the steadiest hands. If a pick breaks and gets stuck in the lock, there's a very real risk that you might not only never be able to pick the lock again, but also get the metal stuck deep enough in the lock that the genuine key won't work either. Bashing, anyone? PS--Also love the idea of being able to steal smaller locked containers, lock and all!
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