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Everything posted by Razsius

  1. That's because this game from the top down is basically designed to limit as much player agency as humanly possible while still being called a "game". It's easy for every design decision you see to simple ask "Will this limit me as a player?" and I guarantee your answer will almost always be a resounding "yes" whenever it comes to the design decisions Josh has made for this game. Take for example prebuffing, there's more than one way to limit and/or "improve" it than flat out not allowing a player to cast said buffs till combat starts. Anything from having short duration buffs to having buffs that degrade over time. Engagement, attack resolution and even armor mechanics all also suffer from such limitations. Damn near every single facet has this new (or maybe not so new... I dunno) breed of design exacting hellbent control how you play your game. I'd say this directly flies in the face of everything the IE games actually stood for. It's why Mr. M felt that the magic system in the game doesn't feel like "magic". It's why Sen complains about wildly swingy damage variance on weapons and spells. It's why a good chunk of players utterly loathe the engagement system. ... Though i'm not sure everyone understands why this sort of design would be bad... and that does indeed make me a little sad.
  2. I feel like being slightly honest tonight. I swear Sen I don't know where you get the patience some days but I'm rather glad you have it. For example, if I read between the lines of Obsidian basically never posting balance notes then I could extrapolate that they really don't care about high or even low level feedback of the beta backers because if they did care then they would post them. I don't think my reasoning is unfounded either considering that as Sen stated above even small indie developers can post patch logs with extensive balance changes listed for the world to see (and for a beta no less!). Obsidian Entertainment being at least a mid range studio most definitely does have the resources to do it however it is clearly not a priority. As well it is rather telling of the state of the backer beta when some of the listed bugs that "require verification" would quite literally take seconds to check to see if said bug was actually a bug. It becomes even more ridiculous when a sharp backer realizes that some of the bugs listed have been in for quite a number of builds. QA on the other hand seems to respond to bug threads through the roll of the dice. Bumping long since outdated threads to reply with "Thanks! We're looking into it!" or some such. It's bloody insulting to have to watch this happen to Sen and some of the other posters who were tirelessly tracking these things down and reporting them and i'm not even in their shoes! Tack on the fact that none of the information relevant to understanding how some of these game systems actually work is ever really present on the forum designed to gather your chumps backers together and well... wouldn't you know it I can't seem to understand really any of the reasoning behind most of this outside the fact that we are simply along for the ride. I suppose i'm just really tired of watching poster after poster vanish from these forums because the only thing it tells me is... they have better things to do then post on this forum. To be honest... that does scare me a little. I hope Obsidian fulfills at least this one wish of yours Sen... I really do.
  3. Apologies in advance for my slow responses as i'm a slow typer and I was knocked out cold for a while there. My engagement limit section is indeed proposed in order to allow the player a little more freedom of movement to do things but it does not completely nullify the engagement system entirely. Both you the player and enemies mobs do not necessarily have to have an engagement limit of only 1. It might be a limit of 2 or 3 hell it might even be 4 but it does allow you to "tie up" and interact with a set of mobs. The neat thing is it gave would give the engagement limit system a little more "meat" to it. Things like Hold the Line might actually be a viable talent for your off tank (pardon the mmo expression) to pick up. Being able to hold off 5 units in melee between a fighter in defender mode and an off tank with Hold the line between the pair might be a good example to providing a safe or safer melee environment for otherwise squishy characters. Sometimes it might only hold off a total of 2 enemies it really depends. It does however, give the player more options. I might be alone here but talents being more useful and more player options is something I will always consider a good thing. If you notice the 2 examples I gave involving null-engage were both hobble abilities. Currently, hobble abilities function as a relatively minor defense debuff, something that can proc a sneak attack and a movement penalty that doesn't matter after engagement. Null-engage would make hobble abilities movement penalty actually matter. If there was a big nasty spider all over your wizard eating his face off hitting it with a Crippling Strike would do the equivalent of almost nothing. I mean sure yea now it moves slower but the minute your wizard moved it would basically be over for him due to the incoming disengagement attack. So what then is the functional purpose of a hobble? Is it a debuff only useful during the alpha strike phase of combat? Even I consider that a little unforgiving and i'm certainly no casual player. As above, it would change some of the landscape of abilities and spells. For example, it would make the Wizard movement speed spell much better without adding a disengagement break on the spell itself. UI issues aside (and why I have The Visuals as my first section) the fighter issue was something I was worried about 3 months back. For what it's worth I did have ideas on how to make monks feel a lot more "monkish" while being able to fill the fighters tanking role. To be honest the classes in PoE really fail to impress me for the most part. Obsidian could've taken the ball and ran with it but they didn't. They delivered the same stuff i've seen time and again. I would've posted said ideas but i didn't feel like they wouldn't restructure any of the classes 3 months ago and I certainly feel the same way if not more so now. As for crackwise's idea it is sound but does not necessarily address what I believe Obsidian wanted to be addressed. Bester: Ya I hear ya man. The Wizard changes (see nerfs) were about the last thing I ever wanted to see implemented in PoE. Wizards now have the same mundane, boring spells that every other game gives them. Different colored balls to do different colored damage. Doesn't help that anything a Wizard can do a Druid can do better and then some. But that's a fight for another time (that likely won't be won). In regards to AI: I originally had an AI section in that giant arse post of mine but considered it a bit too opinionated. The intention of the thread was to show players what engagement did and what it could do as well as to get feedback in those regards. The changes were proposed as an attempt to add robustness as well as allow it to be easily understood and (somewhat) manipulated by the player. I divorced AI from the contents of the original post thereafter. Truthfully, I think the AI utterly sucks in the backer beta. I've played C rank games with less "sticky" enemies. Thief enemies that would flat out ignore your tanks and take out your squishies and the like. I'd like similar dynamic AI in the games I play but apparently AI systems need to be built from the ground up so you get a "tricycle" level of AI vs. the "bike" level you hope is in the next installment. I am not particularly happy about the 15 years of "progress" that's been made in that regard. I neither see why cycling through wouldn't be an easy manner in fights with less enemies than party members nor which part of the idea I misunderstood. Care to elaborate whats preventing me from doing this when I go all out with a party of 4 melee characters on a single enemy like the ogre? Does the ogre have an engagement limit of 1? Does he have other abilities he can kill you with? Does he have friends? Is it bad that you can use 4 melee characters to do a damn good job of "holding a line"? I thought people wanted more reasons to use melee characters . As a note here is what Obsidian has currently prioritized in regards to my post: The Visuals 1) The Zone of Control - Needed clarity (Sensuki video special) 2) Engagement “Arrows” - Being addressed by Obsidian 3) Disengagement Animation - Being addressed by Obsidian The Mechanics 1) The Zone of Control - Needed fixes (Sensuki video special) 4) The Disengagement Attack - Needed fixes (Sensuki video special) 5) Targeting clauses - unaddressed so far As a side note guys it looks like Sen is working on some (rather hilarious) but really exploitative videos in regards to melee disengagement (see engagement) attacks that should outline some of the reasons i've taken the time to address some of the things that I consider issues with the current system.
  4. Well crap.. this is what I get for having to deal with a certain annoyance for most of my day. Yes, regarding the poll it "should" read. "Do you believe these fixes to the engagement system should be implemented into Pillars of Eternity?" I probably forgot to ask a "why?" as well. The devil is always in the details isn't it? As for what I proposed... well I tried to keep it mainly to fixes and some of the more obvious "corrections." As a sort of side effect it became a cohesive system that I could imagine in game. Right now, however, mechanically engagement is almost invisible and I don't state that as being a particularly good thing. Your particular playstyle might preclude you even noticing it's there but I all but guarantee "the masses" will notice. If not the gamers that buy the game then the general press reviews it will likely receive and let's be honest here you don't get a free pass unless you're a triple A game company which Obsidian Entertainment simply is not. I'm open to ideas though as biased as I may be. Thoughts? Concerns? Phobic fears? It should be noted that Obsidian has acknowledged that 2 of my 3 in The Visuals section need to be addressed. Namely the engagement arrows and the disengagement attack mechanic both need to be better expressed. Hopefully they'll acknowledge a few more of the sections.
  5. As a foreword this post is going to be lengthy. It has been edited time and again to be as concise as possible but I have had no help in compiling it. I have been known to type lengthy posts but I can assure you this will be worth your time to read. Please read it's entirety before offering your vote and voicing any concerns you may have. Without further ado... The Premise As most of you know the engagement system in the Pillars of Eternity Backer Beta is a love it or hate it affair. The reasons are simple. For one, it is simply a new system that the old Infinity Engine games did not have. Like it or not “being new” is another phrase for “completely changes the feel of.” Now, in practice, this is inherently not a bad thing. Games do have to evolve over time but as much of us here can attest and see with our own eyes game evolution is not always a good thing which leads me to the second reason. The engagement system limits player movement and thus the ability to be active and make tactical real time decisions including the dreaded kiting. This can be a real problem. One of the stated goals of the system was to limit kiting and to pay a cost for disengaging out of melee range. There's a number of abilities very important to their respective classes that give “outs” of the engagement system but in all honesty there is no actual choice in whether you should disengage or not. The answer is always “no.” A fighter engaged to 4 reasonably hard hitting enemies (which is about everything right now) is as good as dropped if he attempts to disengage which leads me to reason #3. Disengagement attacks are “completely free”; they are completely off the recovery time system. For a game that balances around every single action you take having an associated time “cost” it stands to reason that this makes little sense and can be quite abusable. If I had to guess this is probably Sensuki's biggest gripe with the system in general. No cost attacks of opportunity are indeed quite bad for the balance of this game. So what then do we do? We fix the system. The premise of this post is simple. How do we make a system that rewards player input, can be simply understood at a glance from the player and is not abusable? Read on to find out! The Visuals 1) The Zone of Control The first problem associated with the engagement system is the lack of visuals showing the zones of control that both enemy and player characters exhibit in the backer beta. While it is true that most of the players of Pillars will be able to easily figure out and visualize themselves where this zone of control is, it is inefficient game design to have to rely on that. Tack on the fact that there is at least one ability and weapon that will increase said zone of control and it looks somewhat shoddy to not have these zones shown on day 1. My gut non-ui programmer instinct tells me something along the lines of the rebel takeover shading in FTL upon character/enemy selection would probably be at least a passable workaround for showing these zones while someone a lot smarter than me comes up with an actual solution to the problem. 2) Engagement “Arrows” The good news is that these are already in the Pillars of Eternity Backer Beta. The bad news is that they aren't visually distinctive and that they instead perhaps add to the “clutter” of some of the choices regarding the Pillars art design. Regardless, it is in the Pillar's art team's best interest to make these as simple and player friendly as possible. Personally, i'd prefer something a little more icon based but it has a number of problems attached to it. It's difficult to show a two way street with an icon. For example, it might show that my fighter is engaged to a nearby spider but does it also show that the spider is currently engaging my fighter? Probably not.. or at least it would be difficult to do so. Some thought, however, does need to be put into this as it will play into the next section of my mini thesis. 3) Disengagement Animation The last thing that needs visual work is the cue of actually eating a disengagement attack. Currently, disengagement attacks are an invisible damage phenomenon that happen whenever you character so much as shivers. Regarding the zones of control above, it should be readily apparent to the player that you will eat a disengagement attack if you stray outside of an enemy's zone of control. The animations for them should look “BIG” a halberd wielding enemy will go into a full swing animation, a lion or bear will reel back, etc. A mechanic you want to work simply should not be completely invisible to the player. The Mechanics 1) The Zone of Control Currently in the Pillars beta there are no what I call “zones of control.” After engagement, which happens instantly with no visual or audio feedback to the player I might add, if you take even a millimeter sized step in any direction you will eat one or more disengagement attacks. This makes little if any real sense, not only does it completely limit your movement but it simple is not an actual disengagement (meaning the player is attempting to break off, regroup, whatever). I'm more of a turn based player and even I realize this is unnecessarily limiting in just about every regard. What should be happening is something much like what Infinitron was attempting to convey here: http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/68761-the-problem-with-binary-melee-engagement-in-a-real-time-game-its-not-just-about-the-visual-feedback/ Visual and mechanical feedback to the player that they actually are engaging in melee and to which enemy/enemies they will be engaged to. I think the best solution would be something involving a really minor movement impairment (something in the 5-15% range) when you start entering a zone of control of an opposing enemy. Once you are engaged, you should be able to freely move within the zone of control without triggering a Disengagement Attack (so basically free movement around an enemy). Zones of control should also be extended a bit outside of weapon range in order to allow more freedom of movement. Pikes and other reach weapons should have a much larger zone of control. Lastly, zones of control should only start taking effect after movement has stopped as this is quite important to a later point I will make. 2) Engagement Limit The above is a term most beta players should be familiar with as it is simply the number of enemies any particular unit can be engaged to. The mechanic itself is certainly completely functional but I find it somewhat odd that there is almost no player agency involved in it. If an enemy engages you or you engage an enemy those small lines indicating engagement for the most part completely stay that way. But the question is... should they? As of right now engagement is simply another form of crowd control (and a particularly nasty one at that). It's similar in a sense to a knock down or a petrification effect in that you sit there and endure. Actually, there is perhaps a little more player agency involved in the crowd controls as a player can cast Suppression Affliction or use some of the other suppression effects to weaken or remove the crowd control. The only current way to break off engagement is one of the “hard” crowd control effects and only really for a short time. If this is the case then something much worse than a taunt like ability is already in Pillars of Eternity. This can be changed and the engagement limit is the answer. Engagement can and should be a two way street. What I mean by the this is it should be a dynamic experience that resembles reality. Assume that an enemy boss with a 2 engagement limit is currently engaged to 2 of your melee. You send a 3rd party member into the brawl and he also starts attacking the boss and becomes “engaged” into the melee. Your fighter is taking one hell of a beating so he attempts to disengage why then should he eat a disengagement attack? This makes little rational sense. Although it would be true that an enemy that turns his/her back to you becomes rather exposed to some brutal retribution this doesn't necessary apply to a melee fight with multiple opponents. Extending your attack(s) to include the fleeing enemy allows for a very real possibility to get flanked by the remaining two. An experienced fighter that can masterfully keep track of only 2 targets would not want to leave an exposed back to attack an enemy that will be leaving the engagement anyway. This should be reflected in game. As long as an enemy can engage up to it's limit of engagement (meaning there are enough targets within the zone of control) then it should not apply a disengagement attack to any fleeing parties. Further expansion of the concept would involve engagement limits nullifying each other in a plus minus system. In this case, a fighter with an engagement limit of 2 and a boss with the same engagement limit would tie each other up. Party members that aren't the fighter would be able to engage in and leave engagement freely similar to how it is presently. If the fighter wished to disengage, then 2 party members with an engagement limit of 1 would have to engage in melee in order to occupy the boss enough for your fighter to retreat (thought he still might die to things that aren't disengagement attacks). So what about multiple enemies? Well there's always... 3) Null-Engage I always found it slightly strange that there were abilities that could allow you to disengage and ignore engagement but not ones that could temporarily nullify an enemy's engagement outside of hard cc. The truth of the matter is that it should simply be a lot easier for the player to manipulate the engagement mechanics to his/her benefit as it promotes player agency and generally should contribute to actual fun. The reason is simple, players simply do not like being unable to do anything to address issues that effect them. If this was not true, then players would enjoy things like being in perpetual stun lock, watching their character get petrified and then instantly get smashed into rocky chunks, observing their characters completely ignoring their orders and beating on their own party members, etc. For engagement to be meaningful it has to continue to be something players can affect. With that in mind, the addition of null-engage abilities would have to be implemented. Null-engage abilities would simply be abilities that subtract a single engagement limit from an enemy for a short period of time. This would allow a short reprieve for a character that may need to “abandon ship.” There are even abilities already in Pillars of Eternity that putting a null-engage debuff on would make sense. Wounding Shot and Crippling Strike are 2 such abilities. Take that boss example above, if he had 2 minions each with an engagement limit of 1 but you only had 3 melee and needed to get one of your “off tanks” out of engagement with a minion then firing a Wounding Shot at the one who is engaging the character that needs to pull back would be a temporary solution to the problem which would also allow the hobble on the Wounding Shot to actually influence the battle. While I realize currently it can be very hard to do well timed abilities that is a problem with the recovery time system and does not have anything to do with engagement. Lastly, there are a couple final glaring holes I need to address. 4) The Disengagement Attack The disengagement attack system as of v364 is currently very broken. For one, i'm not even sure there is an actual disengagement attack system in place. The reason I state this is simply because it triggers rather randomly. This might be due to bugs or it might be due to an overarching system not actually being in place. In my playthoughs i've seen a great many disengagement attack procs that simply would not be called a disengagement. Anything from watching an enemy spider get hit with a disengagement attack for engaging my Fighter with my Paladin standing nearby to eating procs when my Fighter switches enemy targets (no actual movement involved). The second problem is disengagement attacks are “free.” Disengagement attacks do not have a cooldown. This goes against the entire Recovery Time system where every action has an associated opportunity cost. Prebuffing was handily removed because of this aforementioned system so why then would you add a (broken) form of attack that is easily abused and doesn't abide by one of the overarching balancing systems? Problem #3 is that there is no cooldown on an act of reengagement. Reengagement is basically immediate which means another disengagement attack is also almost immediate. The good news is these problems can be fixed. The first problem is solved with the zone of control mechanic I outlined above. This would definitely require a bit more programming time but I believe it would be a more than worthwhile investment. A well intentioned form of movement system should be a big priority if engagement is to stay as currently players know little if really anything about the interaction between movement and disengagement. Gone are the bygone days of 20 something years ago where game systems were as archaic as they were opaque. It needs to be known to the player what does and does not trigger disengagement. The second problem can be resolved with two easy fixes. First, disengagement attacks should have an internal cooldown which would only really be put into play to avoid abuse. It is an exception but self buffs are also one such exception (they needed to be useful and thus are now instant cast and don't trigger the recovery timer). Second, disengagement attacks should lengthen your recovery time as if you had attacked (which you did). This is already in the current Pillars of Eternity in the form of weapon swapping. The last problem can be addressed as stated above. Only stationary characters/monsters should be able to trigger engagement and engagement should not be immediate. Thus, there should be a short engagement cooldown that works interactively with the player showing that they are in the process of engaging much as Infinitron stated in the linked post. 5) Targeting clauses One of the lesser known things about the engagement system is that it comes with a set of targeting clauses. What this means in practice is that both enemies and player characters have to abide by a form of taunt mechanic. It might not be called a “taunt” but it functions like one all the same. This is essentially what some players do not want to give up but at the same time is one of the systems if not the system that can be the most irritating for a player. The reason is simple, remember that one time you issued a knockdown command to your BB Fighter only he didn't actually do it? That was due to what I just stated. The recently added auto attack clauses function the exact same way. They both overwrite any action you might have input to your character. I do not believe it to be a stretch for me to state that this should not be the case for a player. For one thing, I do not believe engagement was ever stated to be a hard cc. Second, I do not believe that the general consensus was that there should be a taunt mechanic but rather simply one that made it non-trivial for an enemy to run past your melee to engage your backline. Engagement targeting clauses need to not effect the player. With the zone of control mechanic outlined above and better visuals for the player to see what is engaged to whom the visual feedback it provides would be unnecessary. There is no sound reason for these clauses to override player action. The Conclusion If you've made it this far then I offer my thanks for reading this post in it's entirety. It took me a great deal of time to actually get this thing typed out. More than once I realized in retrospect that i'd forgotten a section or two or three or five and would have to then go back and edit it into the appropriate place. This post was an attempt to come up with sound logical ideas to fix engagement that would abide by the already established balancing systems, be easy for the developers to implement, use existing systems to create greater cohesion, enhance player input and fun and solidify the game as a whole. At the end of the day however, I am simply one man. My (as well as others) ideas are simply the ideas of a single fallible individual but it was a labor of love to come up with, as well as present, them so I would be remiss to admit that it would be nice if engagement would get a reevaluation. As of v364 a few of these ideas are being looked at by the developers themselves and I hope more will be done to fix what could be a functional system. However, as of now I cannot say that it adds anything to the current game. I don't state it enough but thank you Obsidian Entertainment for attempting to bring back a game series that seriously that changed my life forever. Keep moving forward... and please... continue to take such “risks.”
  6. A "carbon copy" (BG series) of the second best "game" i've ever played in my life? .... Yea? If there was a kickstarter for a "spiritual successor" to Perfect Dark why the @#$% would I want a game that resembled a Call of Duty? Edit: As a sidenote, anyone know where to get the soul vessel for the ruins in Stormwall Gorge?
  7. More thoughts regarding the beta from me and because i'm a cranky cuss and really should give people their due diligence when they do right here's some more things I have noticed: - The ogre cave seriously looks amazing now. Even cooler that there's some animation effects built into the map now with the tiny, tiny, spiderlings (I assume) moving around in spots. The webs look great too. Helps that the spiders now move at a reasonable pace for a web based variant. Some spiders should move fast but one's with webs are only moderately fast usually. Still, if you've ever tried to catch a Huntsman (Wood) Spider they can be freakishly fast but that's largely because they run down their prey and don't build webs. Good job art team! Now go talk to some of your rts art team friends so you can discuss lawnmowing (trimming the grass) and not overwhelming special effects design. - While I do have some (serious) issues with the music design, the sound design is dead to rights top notch. The ogre cave and ruins especially have some rock solid design... probably some of the best i've heard tbh. Good job Justin Bell! Now go kidnap a composer so you can steal his music design and put your name on it . VO is pretty legit as well. I'm hoping there's at least one epic as hell (like Irenicus level) voice though. - Enjoying the weapon tweaks more than a little bit as well (DT bypass on guns and arbalests definitely makes sense). Damage has to come down across the board though and weapons still need tweaks for variance. Constitution should probably be buffed as well. As for... some... people in this thread I really have to ask. Why back PoE at all if you don't want it to look, feel, play, and sound like a souped up version of BG/IWD and the like?
  8. Of course I say this and right after I notice a zone is completely missing and the other one I can't load into without a black screen. I'm trying here Obsidian.. I really am but I seriously wonder wth your QA guys do. Edit: Looks like black screen can be worked around by not saving and loading *cringes*. But you definitely forgot to load the crossing in this build . Oh there it is! But seriously... why the heck couldn't I unlock it on the northeastern corner exit? Well whatever i totally knew it had to be unlocked...
  9. Finally! A new build that gives me hope again. I have to say I was less than pleased with the last build. A ton of noticeable polish this time around. Stats finally have some oomph. Weapon damage has been normalized (which means might matters even more). Accuracy is (sometimes much) higher due to added talents to BB chars and Perception giving +2 per point. Slight damage boost to some spells (i believe) + new Might value... Yea i'm a lot happier. There are a few significant problems i'm noticing though. - Combat can feel like trash or complete awesome depending on your accuracy values. The swing between graze and crit damage is just absurd. The attack resolution system fixed basically nothing compared to the IE games. I'd actually say combat felt far less swingy in the IE games if you built your characters right. - I pump Perception first then Might second on basically every character I create now. Every other stat on any character takes a back seat to these 2 (Might is even more important now). There are only a few minor exceptions. - Game is a hell of a lot more relaxing WITHOUT the music. I've never said that about any game... ever.
  10. This thread is pretty much the "everything I hate about PoE combat" thread. Shevak's playstyle is an extremely boring playstyle that involves almost no forethought (other than party creation/level up choice) and little to no play skill. This would be perfectly fine on a difficulty like easy but on hard? You've got to be kidding me. Click drag, select enemy to left click then watch has to be the most droll combat i've literally ever seen. I've played visual novels with a more robust combat system (no i'm not joking). I have to thank Shevak though as I always sort of wondered wth kept bothering me about the PoE combat. I now know what it is. My actions don't actually matter. I mean sure I can save myself quite a bit of health loss or I can watch my fighter fall over "dead" and as the case goes and Shevak would say 'He'll get back up.' Any game that even pretends to be "balanced" has to abide by the laws of choice and consequences. If you pay essentially nothing then there was no choice to begin with. Welcome to the Pillars of Eternity Backer Beta... enjoy your stay. There are of course disadvantages to a game that's too easy and has otherwise really boring combat. Take Kotor 2. For much of the game various npcs will go on and on about Darth N (forgot his name) being the biggest, baddest, soul sucking boss baddie around. So when you finally get to him you're thinking "Man this fight is definitely going to SUCK." But he's an absolute pushover. Biggest roleplay break ever. You have this entirely too long conversation with Visas about how you can't possible win and here I am with the difficulty set on hard and i'm having trouble staying awake considering how easy it is. "Visas are you BLIND we're doing jus... err sorry you are." Would of been a great comedic section but i'm pretty sure Obsidian wasn't going for that. Pillars of Eternity combat is a lot like that. The pacing is simply one of it's many problems. Oh what I wouldn't give for the days of yore where difficulty settings actually mattered and potentially dieing was a real possibility. Where grazing fireballs for 9 damage wasn't a possibility. Where cold, hard, cc mattered and lasted for a LONG time. Where if your class had an active ability it gave the oomph you needed in a potentially dire combat. Where characters could actually miss and you weren't 3 shot at all but the lowest levels. Where per day abilities were balanced to matter... oh those were the days.
  11. Finished up the "zone of control" section that I was working on that addressed movement while being engaged and disengagement attack triggers. Next up is the "engagement limit" section that should provide reasonable mobility options affected by player agency that still has "cost" associated with it (it would greatly improve one talent as well). I'm seeing a whole bunch of discussion in this thread regarding engagement and have noted that there isn't a single thing about the mechanic I won't have accounted for. Best yet, the system makes internal sense, is fairly robust and wouldn't be overly hard to code (I think). For example, there would basically be no reason to nerf the damage of disengagement attacks (wouldn't really address the issue many have anyways). Won't have the time today to be able to write the rest most like. Just two more sections and a conclusion. C'mon Raz! We're almost at the home stretch! I honestly think you guys will like it. It just keeps getting better as I put more thought into it.
  12. For those that are wondering about engagement being addressed. I'm currently at a 1000+ word proposal (and still very much going). I'll attach a poll to the idea so people can weigh in. it's basically a complete overhaul that would still make sense within the premises that the system was designed around. I just got finished with my zones of control section which gives a nod to a fellow obsidian forumite (who ironically I tend to disagree with). I sort of want Sen to review the ideas but I know he's very much against keeping the system at all. We do agree on a lot of things but we're still individual people. Regardless, it will be reviewed by the beta testers themselves and they might even be able to fill the holes where my arguments are weak. The premise of this is simple. How do we make a system that rewards player input, can be simply understood at a glance from the player and is not abusable? I'm not sure if i'll finish today as I have to do a class review on abilities (to organize thoughts) and i've already added a section to the proposal.
  13. Yeah I've never actually lost to Medreth, but I just reload when one of my characters gets KO'd because to me that's a loss. Because v333 was so different from v301 and I was so used to just auto attacking stuff doing nothing it was a bit of a cold shower like "oh I actually have to try now". Eventually I worked out how to easily beat it, just had to read that the Monk was dealing 120 damage per hit if I so much as hit him once with anything. Here's my idea anyway: I don't like either of the components of Melee Engagement - targeting clauses that make your units attack enemies when engaged or vice versa, and I don't like the disengagement attack system. It's a poor attempt at implementing a turn-based system in real-time combat. So I just don't think Engagement should be a concept. The AI targeting clauses should be sensible and classes that 'should' have stickiness should be given passive/modal/active abilities to be sticky. Enemies probably aren't going to run away/move around much but they could stuff to give the player a harder time. When Melee Engagement is removed (tried it by modding it) it feels way more like playing an IE game because you can freely maneuver around. However there's a couple of things that need to be done in order to make it feel better. Currently the interaction between attacks and moving targets is not very good, and there are basically no AI targeting clauses outside of 'first enemy sighted' or 'enemy that attacked me first'. IE style targeting (from HoW or IWD2 or BG2) combined with some abilities for players to control melee should be fine, and those abilities while also being used to make units sticky also have other uses, such as being able to safely get away and will also likely create interesting chain combos and stuff like that. Have you seen my videos showing how broken Engagement is? I think we can make a case personally because for me it's like the #1 thing making it not play like an Infinity Engine game. I know heaps of people that don't like it as well. There's a couple of vocal forumites here that do though. Most people seem to be more concerned about being able to make the enemy attack them, and that's easy to do with targeting clauses. Right now it's actively working against the player though. I know, I know I hear ya Sen. Yes, i've watched almost every one of your videos and I do agree with a great many things that you post about. The "IE feel" is something I am MOST concerned about as i've probably got a good 800+ hours accumulated over the 5+ playthroughs of the Baldur's Gate series that i've done and only recently has Baldur's Gate fallen off my list of #1 most favorite game (series) that Razsius has ever played and been replaced with The Legend of Heroes VI: Trails in the Sky First Chapter (and soon friends). Trust me, i've got more than my fair share of vested interest in Pillars of Eternity kicking ass. I don't even want it to be "just good" I want it to smoke Baldur's Gate. However, I believe with some work on improving both visuals and enemy AI that the engagement system could be workable. It would be a swing away from a more RTS style (which I do enjoy) but it would probably add some strategic elements on ability use and party positioning. As for player abuse of AoO that was my biggest concern and probably the weakest part of my "rework" but I have at least 2 ideas for that as well. I think that keeping the engagement system is not a sane option. And when people say "well it's just an AoO after all, what's so wrong about it?" it's basically not looking at the whole picture. You can't detach melee engagement from the rest of combat system and defend it on the ground that there's nothing wrong with the concept itself. Eating an AoO is a really big deal in PoE not because AoO is a bad concept but because of how health/endurance and resting supplies systems make health a very limited and precious resource. I hear ya but there's a great many things already tied into the engagement system and considering how slow Josh is to change things... (I mean a freakin month of development time to split the abilities you got on your classes in half and allow you to choose one every other level and call it "choice")
  14. Sorry I wasn't really poking fun at you. Was more poking at beta testers saying the BB is "easy." Yea sure it's easy now but we've ALL made our fair share of idiot goofs to get to a level where it's now easy even on hard+ difficulties. It's high end meta knowledge requirement to even do what Shevak posted above. Took me exactly 2 tries on hard to down Medreth's group in v333 and the first time I almost won (only the cleric was left). Beat it after the second attempt with a paladin using one handed weapon style and a one-hander with a ton of health to spare. Getting "good" like this requires quite a bit of study into very opaque game systems. I think most of us forget that last part. I'll throw you a bone here Sen. No aggro mechanics or things like that and simple play that you should be used to if you've played the IE games. The first and broadest part of the "rework" is for multiple targets to be able to engage a single one and for it to play into disengagement as well. So if you say have a boss engaged to your fighter and you need to run your fighter out you send in a melee to engage the boss and the fighter can now run without eating disengagement damage (though he might still die to normal attacks, abilities, etc.). What about multiple enemies? Don't worry I have ideas for those as well but with the above you should be able to easily understand how the system is suddenly a whole lot less limiting. More on all this later as i'm a slower typer and I might as well post it in whole at some point and get everyone's thoughts. Note: I dislike AoO myself in real time games but I don't think it's going anywhere so I don't consider complete removal an option.
  15. Some "casual" gamers sure have gotten pretty uppity about a guy who doesn't want PoE to be the erratic, visually stifling, trap choice induced mess that combat in this game currently is. In a word, combat in this game right now is a joke. Here's just a few of the many trap choices you can make: Playing a Paladin (currently bugged), playing a wizard, playing a barbarian, playing a priest (lol buffs), using one-handed weapons (outside of rogues), using bows, using lvl 2 BB wizard spells, using any ability without the "proper" amount of accuracy, the list goes on. Combat consists of hitting the space bar every other second or so and issuing the one of 3 useful commands you can give to each character and hoping they don't graze. The masses would have a field day with this. The reviewers of various magazines would probably cry tears of blood. As for #3 Sensuki might have forgotten that he managed plenty of fail himself in his earliest beetle videos. How's that prayer against restraint working for you regarding wood beetle poison Sen? As for melee engagement, I came up with a system that rewarded: using your brain, tactical movement in and out of melee (without eating disengagement attacks) which also coincided with ability use, and proper use of "zones of control". Unfortunately, though I am going to post it eventually and see what the beta testers think about it the chances of melee engagement being reworked are I expect in the "slim to none" category so i'm not sure it even matters.
  16. DR is applied after I believe as DT would get slightly out of hand if it was before. The combat log would also suggest that DR is applied after. Though it might be a bad idea to ask me right now as i'm more than a little tired. I'm almost positive the above is how it's applied though as i have seen more than my fair share of 25 damage fireball hits and 9 damage fireball grazes (more than a little irritating I can tell you).
  17. I'm starting to wonder if anyone (including Sen) actually studies their combat logs or notices the floating damage numbers of their spells and physical attacks. I remember arguing about this before with Matt that accuracy trumps all. Not accounting for the fact that accuracy is going to help all your non-damaging abilities as well as damaging ones, it *will* help you more depending on the DT of the target. Take, for example, a fireball that has a listed "hit" of 40 damage. Which, of course, is well within the listed damage range of the ability. At a listed hit of 40 damage one of Medreth's unnamed goons will have a burn DT and DR of 9 and ~20% (DR doesn't matter overly much). The actual hit will then become 40 - 9 - 20% which will = ~25 damage (ouch I almost got halved here). Now a graze would then look like this 20 - 9 - 20% which would then = ~9 damage. Wait, that's interesting! That's not exactly a 50% decrease in damage between the two values after mitigation is it? It's actually a loss of ~64% of your after mitigation hit value and less than a quarter of what you originally hit for before mitigation. That's one gnarly graze isn't it? That graze % will simply go up as well as long as the DT goes up. At a value of 12 DT you're looking at ~71% damage loss on a graze of an *after* mitigation hit. Hitting a stone beetle? Well good luck as you'll be suffering a mere ~77-78% damage loss on grazes of an after mitigation hit. The only good thing is that Josh is going to raise the minimum damage on grazes to 20% but it's still not exactly appealing to watch your fireball graze for 8. The funny thing is critical % scales positively in the exact opposite direction based on the DT of the target. Let's use that same fireball again. At a listed critical damage of 60 the following occurs: 60 - 9 - 20% = ~41 damage after mitigation. Well wouldn't you know it! If we scroll up just a bit we end up realizing that it's more of a ~60% increase in after mitigation damage rather than the 50% we were led to believe. Naturally, it scales higher as DT goes higher. Seeing as how after mitigation values are really about the only thing a player is going to care about i'd say this is pretty bloody important. Yet, not a few posts up I see a chart of Matt's that only seems to account for deflection - accuracy and how might performs when comparing it to accuracy at the various values. You mean to tell me he somehow accounted for a sliding percentage loss/gain on both grazes and criticals based on DT as well as the accuracy - deflection and might values? Experience with the 4 BB builds would tell me otherwise.
  18. That doesn't explain why you hate bestiary XP. It just explains what kind of XP system you'd like even more. I still don't get it, other than from a purely emotional POV (you're upset at not getting exactly the XP system you want, and you feel they're patronizing you with a "half-measure"). Is that it? Because it is a half measure Prime and for at least a few of the pro-xp people (myself included) it won't cut it. The bestiary xp system is more than shoehorned in. It's a pathetic attempt to appease a crowd they deem unreasonable and it shows. I suppose this goes back to the original reason(s) of why combat xp was dropped in the first place. Supposedly, it was to create better balancing (ie making the game easier to make for the developers) and to improve the "freedom" of the player as a side effect it remedied what Josh called "degenerative gameplay." I can probably state for a fact that the first reason definitely got accomplished. With less total xp in the system I imagine it's a heck of a lot easier to balance the game. So the first reason, for "balance" is definitely true. The second was to create more player "freedom" but this came at a cost; the cost being the agency of a player who actually enjoys the combat itself and the thrill and rush of victory (the rewards too) of a good battle. Kill xp provided (or at the very least *should* provide) proper measurement over the difficulty of a fight. if you got 5 xp a kill you were probably fighting gibberlings which you could one-shot. If you got 10,650 xp you were probably tackling a dragon which you *shouldn't* be able to one-shot. If i fight a wurm in the BB it gives me zip xp and a wurm part. If I fight the spider queen I get zip xp and a venom sac. What tells me these two fights shouldn't be the exact same difficulty? Logic? Then why am I filling out a bestiary when I choose slave as my background? I'll allow that kind of slippery slope but I won't respond to it i'm afraid. When you have comments on youtube, steam and even from other designers going "Where's the combat xp?" you might have a problem bigger than a small obligatory "reward" for participating in it. Which takes me to perhaps my more important point in that it's a shoehorned in system. Bestiary xp would make a HELL of a lot more sense if you're an explorer or part of a guild involved with cataloging information on the world about you but you're not. You get to "choose" your background at the beginning of the game and it can practically make so very many design systems potentially a break in game logic to garner what is essentially a cosmetic choice. If that's not bad game design than I don't know what is. This brings me to some of the pro-objective xp posters. Why aren't you guys mad too? I see little if any real objectives in this game or rather one's that makes sense in game. All I see is a quest railroad. This comes after the fact that Dead State made me "see the light" in that regard. You don't get a single xp for a single kill in that game yet it feels rewarding and productive to kill things. Combat gets you more resources which you desperately need, it gives you additional safety and it indirectly awards you with "experience." You don't *have* to empty the entire map either. In fact, at times it might be prudent not to do so. There's no combat xp, there's no lockpicking xp, there's no quest xp there is only the goal (objective) system and the goals more than make sense as they are focused on safety and survival in a *gasp* survival based rpg. Right now we have a combat focused game with the "goal" system being what exactly? Whether you talk to an ogre to ignore a farmer who lost pigs? Whether you kill thug group A or B? Whether you save some annoying noble's daughter? Whether you fetch a big egg? Truly riveting. You might like being on that train but i, for one, do not. Edit: But then again I suppose this is what we get if we don't even know what we want...
  19. Yup that's intended. Welcome to just one reason why wizards suck so bad in the BB. Wizards make a roll on their spell casts just like melee do with their attacks. Doesn't help that you'll often target defenses that are higher than deflection either. Anything that targets fortitude tends to make me cry. That +10 or + 15 accuracy on the spell won't help you when their respective defense is 15-20 points higher anyway. As for secondary effects I believe graze will halve the duration on it, hit is normal duration and crit is +50%.
  20. Thought I was the only guy that thought Josh's "compromise" was lame as hell... glad i'm not. Voted combat (my brethren, where are you!?), quest and "objective." Although, I should make note by objective I actually mean more along the lines of what Dead State did with it's goals system. Which is an extremely well implemented system of awarding "xp" that makes sense within the game world context. Not the currently listed "objective" which means to not totally suck at awarding quest xp correctly. Anything else would've fallen into redundancy or just been way too similiar to mobas or mmos for my liking. - Lock/trap is pretty obvious being as it's "degenerative" as hell when it comes to gameplay. Locks should be unlocked with keys or lockpicking and not award you anything aside from progression. Traps should award you with safety, the traps themselves, trap parts or some such. - Exploration xp is one of those topics where I seriously question the sanity of some of you guys. Now I realize I have a pretty good neurosis when it comes to little xp numbers hovering over my screen but you want to be awarded for just... walking around? Regardless of how often you get it (special places and what not), it's still getting xp for basically pixel hunting. So let me get this straight, the main feature of the game which will basically define whether it was fun or not should not be awarded for actively participating in it but instead pixel hunting *should* be awarded. Did i miss something here? Exploration xp should stay in WoW. It needs to take a hike and not show it's ugly face ever again. - Specific combat scenarios (ie boss fights) is covered if we just award killing things in general. - Bestiary would make sense if it was tied to a decent objective xp system (like being a part of an explorer, scientific or archaeologist guild) but stinks of craptacular mmo design instead. One of my biggest peeves with the game is that I can never figure out whether a fight is supposed to be difficult or not. Sen wants the beetle encounters to be buffed. Personally, since they award zip xp and a single beetle shell per dead beetle I want them to be able to be one-shot so I can move on to more important things. They are the very definition of a trash encounter. Without the xp "thermometer" to tell what should be hard and what shouldn't it leaves little desire in me to see fights be buffed to "correct" levels... whatever that may be. The fact that I even typed the above when a game's difficulty directly contributes to whether I have any fun at all in it is... a little odd.
  21. Oh sure lowering health values is a "sound" idea when it fits into what one believes is a proper adventuring day. What poor Sen probably doesn't know is that when your health values lower that neon green bar goes from green to yellow to red. So when BB Fighter hits red and i'm out of all or almost all of my per rest abilities it feels like a "proper" adventuring day. In that case, the health bar could've been removed and nothing would change because you would've rested anyways. What i'm more concerned about is bumping into something unexpected at what you think is still a somewhat reasonable health total like 1/3 or something. Then you might find your party or part of your party doing a face plant and since health can't be healed you might not be able to do much about it. Which is just stupid.
  22. I play on Hard exclusively and I don't have the health bug but I also don't keep any of my saves around because they quickly become bug riddled messes. As an aside, it seems the 0 DT and DR bug on mobs seems to be back when you load a save. As a backer I was all but ready to throw in the towel on ever getting something that felt even remotely close to BG in v278 but that completely changed in v301. I can state with almost certainty that the adventuring day feels infinitely closer to what it "should" be. I think I had to rest only once during my run and the irony was that I didn't really need it because I had full health and endurance values because of a level up. At least with the current difficulty we are bloody close to being dead on with the health and endurance values (ie they are a non-factor). Of course, if the goal is health to be a non-factor then why exactly it is a part of the PoE experience is beyond me.
  23. Oh... bug city then. My BB characters start with what they should. So 2% of my "average" damage then? That would still be what? .7 damage added to the 35 modified by graze and critical. I'm still taking that point of perception regardless .
  24. Gonna have to wait and see the DEX + range % boost to judge but yea, lots of spells have absurdly small ranges :/ I think it's to artificially limit pre-igniting. Which is just stupid. I was one of the guys who wanted range to be influenced by attributes but I kind of meant in a way so that with high +range my wizard could be a mobile caster cannon that could bombard enemies with a spotter not a caster who has to have +range to get outside of giving a hug distance. Does Josh hate wizards that much or something? They were TERRIBLE before and now they're even worse. Edit: Sen i'm pretty sure health values are fine (based off their end at least). You might be thinking BB Fighter has too much because you gave him Boots of the Long March or something.
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