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About Ohioastro

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    (4) Theurgist


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  1. The writing in PoE was a postive feature for the large majority of initial game reviewers. It's always a challenge to make repeated game play workable, and it's utterly unsurprising that some people might not like reading the same story over and over. I really liked the Witcher 3 storytelling, for example, and also found the replay value extremely limited (basically, any surprise story elements aren't, well, surprises the second go around.) The writing here, especially for a game, is very well done. The books and backer and tombstones are strictly optional and I didn't bother with them
  2. The idea of balance in a single player game can be dangerous if the multiplayer definition is applied: e.g. that one class is more useful than another. In PoE terms, for example, let's say that a party containing six members of one class can trivialize the game. So what? Alternatively, let's say that it's almost impossible to solo the game with one class. Again, so what? The balance problem comes in when the design decisions needed to "solve" one or another of these problems interferes with things that people do in more normal contexts. So a chanter ability that is perfectly
  3. One of the advantages of the RPG renaissance is that we can see a lot of different idea in play. For example, in the roguelike TOME (which I like a lot, and yes it's difficult!) you have resource pools for melee (stamina) and spells (mana) that regenerate slowly in combat and quickly out of combat. Each of the many classes has a list of abilities, basically intermediate between the handful of melee and many spells of PoE. Repeat usage of abilities is metered by cooldowns, but they're also resource based. In PoE terms, all abilities are (sort of) per encounter, in the sense that you're draw
  4. This was the first game of this type made since DA:O. The reason it's not used in newer games is because we've had one representative in the genre for five years. D:AO used a mana system that was effectively per encounter. The optimal way to play the game was to cast storm of vengeance, mop up the extras, and wait for mana to recharge. That's more tedious, not less. If all the fights in the game except bosses are repetitive just play on easy mode until you get to bosses. That will also trivialize many fights. The purposes of a system isn't to make the game easy, it's to make it chall
  5. Basically, anything even slightly different from Icewind Dale and Baldurs Gate is a bridge too far for some.
  6. Thanks for telling us what we find tedious and how most of us play the game The ability to roleplay a wizard with lots and lots of spells which are useful in all sorts of situations is a design goal of this game, and part of the fantasy that it's trying to evoke. What you're saying is that fantasy can't or shouldn't be achieved in a computer roleplaying game, which is preposterous. There is a reason why this system is basically never used in newer games - and, no, it isn't because they're dumbed down. The cipher class is a counter-example: very much in the fantasy domain, no, and ver
  7. My quarrel with it is that it's never been a good system, period. You can trivialize trash encounters with spells, and the only balancer is making it tedious to do so. Furthermore, the reason why most people complain isn't the set-piece battles - which are designed around everyone doing everything. It's the fact that you have to slog through a bunch of filler fights, not using the tools to make them quick, because it's annoying. Having played plenty of other games, there is no particular reason to keep this approach. You can have a smaller tool-set that's still perfectly enjoyable - c
  8. Vancian spellcasting was a terrible idea from the beginning, and the sooner it goes away the better. It ends up rewarding metagaming; but the worst part is that you end up not using your spells because you're saving them for emergencies. So casters end up being crappy ranged damage dealers that you uncork for large battles. Instead of a limited number of specialized and overpowered spells, better to have balanced abilities that you can use indefinitely.
  9. If you can't be bothered to spend 15 minutes in game trying to figure things out, I suppose. Given that, Bejeweled might be a challenge.
  10. I actually hope that they start with either low or mid-level characters (think Baldurs Gate 2). High level characters, in every one of these games, tend to be massively imbalanced and finicky to run (basically, your wall of powers-o-death against equivalent ones for your foes.) The most interesting part of the game is where you have some powerful abilities but not overwhelming ones. To be truthful, my main hope is that they ditch the Vancian spells completely. Modern games have moved away from lists of hundreds of abilities with hot keys to a mode where you have a modest number of inte
  11. Torment made a real impression on me; it was genuinely different from any other game released at the time. It certainly had its problems (the combat system is awful, for example); but so what? There are games that really open up the genre and it's one of a small number of those. As for the OP: obvious troll is trolling. I'm surprised that they didn't add something about all of the people in the forum smelling funny.
  12. I think that chasing the crowd that will never be satisfied, and who will always complain about the game being too easy, is a fools errand. It's a computer game. Once you figure out the system you'll find it trivial, full stop, because unlike a real human opponent it has a fixed algorithm. Rather than giving some people a couple of hours until they crack the new system and proclaim it boring, I'd much rather see them designing new content and on working to expand (not shrink) the audience. I would like to see more encounters that make me think, but too often the "solutions" amount to
  13. Rather than scoring gotcha points on some old argument, it's more interesting to me to look at the numbers globally. It looks as if 500 K - 1 million in sales is about the range for well-executed games of this genre, which is about 10 times smaller than the Skyrim et al. audience. That's good news for us, because it means that there is an audience for games of this sort. But it also means that there is a real limit - the market doesn't support 100 million dollar game budgets. Ironically, the people complaining that PoE wasn't hardcore enough probably don't realize that the game would
  14. Do we really still need to remind people that the backer NPCs 1) funded the game and 2) are extremely easy not to interact with?
  15. There has always been a cadre of players who are very determined to stomp out any innovation in RPGs. In this game resting is basically just a time sink, so the only difference between per encounter and per rest is whether you give people incentives to waste their time mechanically running back and forth from A to B. I've never liked the spell per day limits in these games. They are so restrictive that they always end up getting bypassed, and they tend to lead unfortunate places in balancing (e.g. spells are overpowered to compensate for being rare.) We now have a lot of games where we
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