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Malekith

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About Malekith

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  1. Not really. For example: ... harm isn't so much a hard-counter, more a broken spell to begin with, as you can use it almost everywhere, not just the dragons. So I'd say it should imho be left out of the discussion. mordenkain sword is immune to Firkraag's (and iron golem's) basic attack and breath. 2 swords can tank the dragon indefinently, giving you all the time in the world to kill him. I don't see this as a problem but as a boon. BG2 magic system was so great, that you gave you the tools to achive anything (and trivialize any encounter in the game with the correct obscure combination of abilities). And that puzzle like approach to battles, and the moment you go "aha, that should work against this fukker, let's try it " was the most enjoyable part of any RPG combat to date. BG2 with SCS installed is...perfection. PoE doesn't even come close. Trash combat in PoE is more difficult/interesting than trash combat in the IE games, but that's it. And trash combat is...trash. Uninteresting by default.
  2. That's why i say that it's a design problem and Obsidian can't fix it. You "numbers tweaking" would require such amound of tweaking that would effectively mean abandoning Josh' ideas. So the only hope for this game is the modding community. Well, let's hope the next kickstarter to have a completely different designer team.
  3. I think the deal with "no hard counters" wasn't really that. The impression I get is that Josh really dislikes win-or-die RNG effects. So it's more like the other way around. Umber Hulks are horrid until you discover Chaotic Commands; Kangaxx is incredibly scary until you find out about after which he becomes trivial, that sort of thing. Having enemies with high (=near-hard) defenses is different. Nothing in Kangaxx's encounter is base on RNG though. The whole point of hard counters is forcing you to change strategy and MIX it up, as your usual tactic is 100% doomed to fail. Fighting Kangaxx straight up was futile, no matter your level. But if you put some thought to it, there were 10 different ways to win that battle. Same with Umber Hulks. That is good design in my book, and i would want PoE to apply more of it. Arcane Vail for example should offer complete protection to physical damage (or 95% reduction if you prefer) in order for enemy mages not going down like flies like they do curently. Then you as the Player would have more interesting choices. Waste your mages spells in order to counter the enemy mages? Shoot them with bullets (guns bypass AV as per lore) wasting your first voleys on the mages, allowing the melee opposition to close on your gunners? Ignore the mages in order to deal with the rest, accepting the spells mages will dish on you? The whole game system should be redesigned in such a way.
  4. Better encounter design, +1. No hard counter policy: I think simply cranking up the resistances significantly would be sufficient. Since CC abilities don't have to last long to be highly effective, grazing with a status effect often is functionally equal to hitting or critting with a status effect. This makes CC way more powerful than DD all around. Getting rid of status effect grazes would already make things a lot more interesting as you couldn't just Slicken high-resistance enemies. I.e. I see that as a numbers issue rather than a fundamental design problem. Re itemization, IMO it's not as bad as that -- better than BG1, although not as good as BG2. However I find the enchantment system rather dull: it's too easy to slap enchantments on things, which makes found items much less interesting. If you had to at least trek to a workbench to enchant, it would already be a good deal more interesting. The biggest flaw with itemization IMO is that the truly unique items are disappointing; they should be powerful enough that you'd want to build a character just to use them (cf Crom Faeyr or Carsomyr). Again, these aren't systemic design issues IMO, but balancing/numbers issues. Well, if you crank up the resistances to the point of resempling hard counters then yes, you can call it a numbers issue, not a design one. But then it defeats the whole point of not having hard counters in the first place. And for me itemization is worse than BG1, to the point i would prefer if PoE abandoned the whole "magic items" consept and just have the same mundane weapons through the whole game. BG1 was more low level than PoE, but the few Special items felt more special than anything PoE has. Varsona +2, The spider bane, ring of wizardy, gauntlets of dexterity,the +3 gratshord in Durlang's tower.... Varscona is just a +2 sword with added cold damage. But when it's the ONLY +2 sword in the whole game, and the only weapon that has cold damage, it feels Special. in a way that PoE's diablo inspired loot doesn't Nothing in PoE comes close to these items. And in BG1 you didn't fought dragons for them. Dragon scales in BG2-> you craft a special set armor, unique to the whole game Dragon scales in PoE-> enchanting adds +2 to your sh ity armor
  5. Well, that's my problem. Maybe i lack imagination, but i cannot think Obsidian could do something to improve the gameplay, because the design parameters are the problem. Well, they should have way less copy paste encounters, and preferable cut the overal combat in the game to half the amound it has. But the actual gameplay would be just as boring, and the same tactic would work on everything. It's not an accident that the only interesting spells in the game are the realy OP ones, that singlehandely change the flow of battle. In order for the game to get interesting, it would require a system redesign, abandon the no hard counter policy, and completely remake the itemization (my biggest disapointment with the game currently)
  6. And yet it was doable. People just opted not to do it. Of cource it was doable. Your point is? The spells weren't balanced for you to use them in every fight, and that was clear in most people minds.(people with functioning minds at least). Yes, it was very easy to sidestep the restriction, abuse the system. So what? If someone didn't make the correlation between :game too easy->spamming 3 dragon's breath in every encounter, chances are he was to dumb to win otherwise and should be thankfull that the BG2 devs allowed for an ingame easy/cheat mode. So it was the devs giving a freebie to less-autistic players and not them using what was an easily exploitable system that was easily exploited? Holy ****, take off your nostalgia goggles. This is absurd. No, it was an exploit, and IE games were easily exploitable. So is PoE in a different way. What of it? Read my above post. PoE main problem isn't that the game is exploitable.
  7. And that's different from complaining that PoE is too easy if you stealth all the time and/or always use the best spells (for instance) how exactly? You're still using a system within the game to cheese its difficulty to a degree. To selectively label one abuse and another smart gameplay is a bit strange to me. Same with, say, abusing the stupid AI vs statistically genius Illithids by tank swapping. I fail to see how that way is any more ''proper'' than using summons. Fact is, both PoE and IE are heavily abusable. In different ways, certainly, but still. Whenever one is more abusable than the other seems like an academic discussion at best. Except that PoE being abusable/too easy isn't the main complaint against the game. The main complaints are that the game is boring/not fun too play, or that the game doesn't require for you too change your tactics. The same tactic works on everything because the combination of "no hard counters" design, and the engagement system making the AI very simple/predictable. Plus, stealthing all the time when stealth is free, or "using the best spells all the time" when said spells are per encounter? Can you spot the difference?
  8. And yet it was doable. People just opted not to do it. Of cource it was doable. Your point is? The spells weren't balanced for you to use them in every fight, and that was clear in most people minds.(people with functioning minds at least). Yes, it was very easy to sidestep the restriction, abuse the system. So what? If someone didn't make the correlation between :game too easy->spamming 3 dragon's breath in every encounter, chances are he was to dumb to win otherwise and should be thankfull that the BG2 devs allowed for an ingame easy/cheat mode.
  9. No one cares if you rest spam or no. But rest after every encounter AND complaining that IE games were too easy/had unbalanced spells is idiotic.
  10. Remove Engagement and nothing changes. The AI still acts like it's there. Engagement is not a very large part of how combat is designed in PoE, all it does is inhibit movement and forces everyone to cluster up and stay there, and saves the developers from having to make an AI that would move around and make decisions that would improve their position on the battlefield, for the same reason the player won't do it; it'll murder you with instant free invisible attacks if you even try to move *towards* the opponent that is engaging you. The biggest problem with Engagement has always been for it to excuse it's own existence. I play with it on simply because the game is made for it, and there are Abilities and Spells and Talents that deal specifically with it, and I don't want to break pre-existing interacting functionalities, but it doesn't really add anything by itself. I can't think of any RPG that ever had half-decent AI myself. Certainly not the IE games where enemies almost always just mobbed the first thing they saw. Difficulty in RPGs single-player game has never, ever come from the AI anyway in my experience, unless it's a very tightly scripted boss battle. It's always hard by making the enemy bigger and badder than the player so they have a challenge to overcome. Not really disagreeing with you, just pointing that out. Albeit I do think engagement is preferable to everyone running around willy-nilly like in Baldur's Gate, I love establishing a frontline. I think this is especially true in Baldur's Gate. It is filled with Mages which would be some of the most powerful ones in Faerun if they only knew how to open a door and well were smart enough for a sensible spell selection and usage of their spells. http://www.gibberlings3.net/readmes/readme-stratagems.html The frustrating thing for me is this has been done for Baldur's Gate by one person in their spare time (albeit over many years). It's a solid, partially randomized AI that basically makes intelligent enemies do intelligent things, example, they actually use good contingencies and sequences, and precast spells like stoneskin because if you were a mage you would have an 8 hour spell on so you didn't get backstabbed randomly one day. It doesn't break immersion, and nothing breaks the rules, it's just the AI intelligently uses the same tools that the player has available precisely how difficulty should be done. I just don't think game developers see AI as a priority, which is partially understandable, although less so for single player RPGs like this. I don't care that the Starcraft single player AI doesn't exist because the replayability comes from human opponents, for a game like this you don't have that luxury, and many players want that feeling of challenge everpresent not once in a blue moon as it is with PoE on all modes at the moment. Overall I actually prefer the systems in PoE, nearly all your options in BG came from spellcasters and particularly Wizards, but at the moment the vast majority of fights are basically decided in the first ten seconds, because nothing is thrown at you which forces you to adapt. This is a mix of scripting and bad/inaccurate/"bland" enemies (they look cool but are usually a bag of hitpoints with varying degrees of (in)accuracy). You couldn't stand toe to toe not doing anything with many enemies for very long in BG no matter how pimped your tank was, certainly at higher levels. And yeah, the final fight in Vanilla BG1 was not more interesting than Vanilla PoE. Difference is Sarevok was fun but so were all the end chapter fights and a ****load more besides, here the final battle sticks out like a sore thumb in that you actually have to think a bit. SCS is nice but has its own problems. Most of them expanding on problems with the Vanilla game. Mages actually using spells appropriate seems logical but imo gives the game to many strong mages. The mages where only given such high levels in the vanilla game to compensate their crappy AI and when you are hit by an Abi Dazims Horrid Whitering for the first time you realize that enemies really casting spells at you works even worse than it does in PoE. Also SCS cheats with those contingencies and spells even more than the original game did and realizes a lot of them via scripts. This means they can't be interupted (intended for contingencies but not normal spells) and they are used even if they should not be able to be used. The game also turns into mage chess because mages are the only ones that can truly be protected against enemy spells and they are the only ones that can dispel the protections. And in vanilla fights against mages are: true sight, Breach, hack to death Really a lot of the problems with PoE are even worse in BG. I completely disagree, but that is the main reason i'm disapointed in PoE and i don't believe patches, expansions and the sequel will improve the game for me. The sole reason i liked IE gameplay was BG2 mage duels, and BG2 with SCS is...perfection. I would like a game made in the BG2 turned to eleven way, and it seems some people disliked the aspect of IE combat i liked the most. And since Sawyer desided to make the game for those people, i understand Sensuki's and Bester's desicion to give up on the game. Sometimes all you can do is accept you are no part of the target audience, and move on to other games/companies. I realy hope the next Obsidian kickstarter has nothing to do with PoE, and is designed from Avellone from scratch
  11. Yeah I didn't really enjoy it. Combat/encounters are boring, exploration and itemization sucks and I was really disappointed with the story/writing too What I don't understand though is, with all the testing/hacking that you've done, you must have known all of this even before playing the full game, right? You knew about combat, you'd seen the encounter design in the BB, the small maps... I mean, besides the story/writing, all the rest should not have come as a big surprise to you, am I wrong? PS: this is not meant as a personal attack or anything, I'm just a bit surprised is all. I haven't even started the game yet, but itemization and magic were boring in the beta as well, and most encounters had a samey feeling. The gameplay in general isn't to my liking, but i put my hopes to the writing/story, which is the main reason i donated to PoE after all. But if I don't like the story/writing, the game will be a failure to me as well. So i can understand Sensuki's dislike if he found the writing lacking.
  12. For the record, what kind of UI are you after? Something like Grotesques? Yes. Grotesques was very close to ideal. The problem i have with Karkarov's UI (apart from it not being U shaped) is that it's way too small /minimalist for my tastes. If it must be just a bottom bar, i would like it to be twice it's current size, closer to IWD2 in size. It should cover the spell/abilities buttons, having the rest of the elements more spaced out, and have more decorative elements in general. As it stands is just similar to Obsidian's UI with better placed elements and slight improvments.
  13. Excellent portraits OP. If you have more of them, please share!!! @Sensuki I get Bester's point, and truth be told it's not entirely unreasonable. But the way he excpresed it was needlessly antagonistic and rude. If he had asked if the OP would be interested providing images in the correct size without the watermark in order to be used as part of the IE (or another) mod, i doubt OP would have had a problem. She could have even provide the altered versions only to Bester to use in the mod if she had a problem uploading the images without the watermark on the Internet as a whole. Bester could have mentioned her in the mods credits and problem solved. More people would had seen her work and both sides would be happy. She could even had helped with drawing buttons, UI elements, whatever Bester needs. The way he asked it was... too rude. And i say that as someone who (while i disagree with Bester in many fronts) i realy respect his work in PoE. That's the reason i don't posting in your UI thread. Even if i don't like Karkarov's UI, and i disagree with Bester in UI design, it's not my place to bitch about it, when he provides me from free with other stuff i realy like.
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