I completed a play-through on normal, hard, and POTD. No Scaling options. Custom Party usually consisting of a Lifegiver and multi-classed melee. No desire to play casters apart from Druid.
Overall the game was very easy, even through POTD. My party composition was able to essentially autoattack to victory, with help from the new AI scripts and healing from the druid. Only on POTD did I feel like I had to do some slight party management with consumables/tactics.
Excellent. Looking forward to seeing where this goes. But makes the game much easier.
Huge improvement being able to watch the visions instead of having to talk with some spirit for 5 minutes.
Still suffers from too much descriptive text. Please don't tell me what I'm seeing and how I feel about it. It's usually too verbose, doesn't add any substance, and often reduces the RP.
Multiclassing is good. However, I would like to see this go a step further and make this even more of a classless game. Give us all of the abilities and let us build our own class. Something closer to D:OS and the other POE.
Needs to be slowed down. Both in movement speed and damage to health. Most fights decided within seconds.
Passive v Active abilities:
The class resource system is really punishing compared to passives. Passives give powerful buffs during all moments. Most active abilities can only be used 2-4 times per fight, and compete with each other for class resources. Very rare for me to select an active ability over a passive.
At the very least, I would recommend more way to replenish class resources during fights (such as sworn rival).
Melee v Ranged:
Melee are much stronger than casters. By the time many spells are cast, the fight has essentially been decided by the melee. The cast/recovery/class resource costs for spells are absurd compared to melee classes which rely much more on passive abilities and autoattacking.
As other have pointed out. Way too strong compared to 1-H/2-H.
Not enough competing talent options:
You end up picking the same abilities/passives for each class. No real variation.
Such a hodgepodge. With the ability to choose this is not such a big deal, but spells really range widely in duration, cast time, power, etc. Most of which are meh, will never be used and make the game feel bloated and unpolished.
Way too important. Stack Armor and stack Penetration on every character. Downsides to heavy armor nothing compared to the damage reduction it brings and are offset easily by other abilities/potions.
Rarely worth using, 100% recovery is way too penalizing. Makes proficiency system immersion breaking as I would never want to use these modals.
Also, we are given way too many options for proficiency. I shouldn't be able to be proficient in four weapons just because. At the very least, don't force me to choose more proficiency. My Roleplay of a toon that only likes one weapon shouldn't be forced into being good at others. Most characters only seem use one type of weapon the whole playthrough anyway... let alone four.
The injury system is good. But...
The removal of the POE1 Health system has made healing rather absurd. Either I'm regenerating enough that I never drop below 90% or the mobs spike me so hard that I have to spam heals. This reminds be of TBC era Wow healing where raid bosses had to do absurd amounts of damage because that was the only way to counter the heavy healing.
Further, thematically many abilities no longer make sense: Second wind now instantly heals wounds? Standing around after combat for ten seconds heals wounds? It made much more sense when it was to renew stamina.
Also, why potions STILL have instant heals is mind-boggling. Josh made a mod for FO:NV to remove the absurd pause and insta heal with potions and food that is prevalent in Fallout and Skyrim. Healing potions should always be over time, never instant. I absolutely loath that I can pause the game, and instantly heal for 75% of my health with one click.
Potions in general are far too strong, as they were in POEI. Potion of Deftness gives 6 accuracy and 25% action speed. That is a talent point and over 8 dexterity in value. Way too much. As with health potions, the effects are practically instant (1.3 seconds). This makes using potions much more important that almost any other consideration. Potions should be heavily nerfed and have much longer durations
As with potions they are far too strong. Mouth Char gives +1 armor and a whopping 20% damage to weapons. Durations are much better than with potions, but for all the hoopla over pre-buffing before POEI, I'm surprised these made it into the game. Should be heavily nerfed.
On the flip side, the drug crashes are good, but probably shouldn't be so punishing.
Perfect. This is exactly how the system should be implemented. Long duration, low value, only one at a time. Excellent.
Good overall implementation. Thematically rest is important and having a resting buff should be almost mandatory. Like consumables, rest should give long term, low value buffs, which it does. Further, resting outside of inns is generally substandard which helps with rest spamming issues.
My only complaint is that the different resting bonuses from each inn option are a bit silly in the variety, and some of the effects are far too strong. I would like an option to have negative penalties for lack of rest.
Mobs still run around like morons taking disengagement attacks all over the place.
My biggest gripe is that the AI never seems to use consumables. If we can use them, the AI should too. D:OS pulled this off. Why is my party the ones ones with the capability of drinking a potion mid fight, or having rest buff. This is an immersion killing and removes much of the tactical challenge of fights.
Also, why do we get empower and not the AI?
Mobs need to have bigger aggro chains. Too many mobs being singled out because they were too far away from my party when I pulled.
Also... some mobs should not just blindly chase. Make us go to them sometimes without requiring an ambush scenario.
I do like how the AI appears to wait until I'm casting something to counter with an interrupt. But, this is another reason why casters are inferior to melee.
Character Creation and Skill Points:
Backround, Class, Culture should not affect skill points. STOP THAT. Let me choose how to build my character. My devoted fighter should not have a point in explosives. My nature druid should not have two points in explosives. My timid orlan should not have more intimidation than my aumaua just because she is a kind-wayfarer. My laborer should probably have points in Mechanics, not Athletics.
Why are you forcing these absurd RP choices on us in a CRPG?
Spell selection on level up:
I love how classes (Druids in particular) are able to choose spells on level up instead of having a bunch of junk automatically thrown at them. This allows me to role-play the character I want and allows more interesting choices/tradeoffs on level up. I am sad that they decided to give priests automatic spells on level up, I would have just given an extra spell selection point instead of forcing a particular set of spells. More options is (usually) better than having them selected for you in an RPG.
It's a bit jarring to go from the beautiful maps to the meh overland map. The point and click movement feels so dated, and like a crappy mini-game. I would prefer going back to the POE1 system. I prefer to imagine how the travel went over this wacky ship movement. It also has these terribly obvious corridors that you are forced to travel through which ruins any feeling that you are in a world to explore.
At the very least, slow the ship down. I'm constantly clicking because the ship moves so fast and I can't give movement commands into the fog of war.
Further, I loath at the omniscient ability to see herbs and equipment caches from so far away. This is terribly immersion breaking. Why does my party know about some magical boots on the other half of the island??? Similarly, why are you telling me that this zone is too high level for me? STOP THAT. At least make it optional. Don't magically tell me things about the world my character should not know. Where did this hand-holding come from? We didn't get a warning pop up for the Temple of Eothas and the game was much better for it.
Combat only abilities/Pre-buffing:
Still immersion breaking to only be able to use some abilities out of combat. I can attack the enemy, but not buff myself... wonderful immersion.
The whole purpose was to avoid pre-buffing... but then they made ridiculously overpowered drugs, potions and other buffs. This is contradictory design.
I was never a fan of the magical bottomless stash. It has reached new levels of absurdity when I'm collecting huge loads of cannon shot and ship repair supplies. Another immersion killer.
Please make modding relatively easy as has been suggested it will be. We were promised robust modding in POEI and that didn't happen.
Allowing the community to tinker solves so many issues and increases the replayabilty.
Please allow us to break free to explore immediately or shortly after game start. I loath tutorial zones. Having to go through the camp, the talking, and the ambush, and the talking, and the berry hunt, and the talking, and the storm, and the talking, and the tutorial dungeon, then the 2nd storm, and the RP, and the talking, and the talking, and then through Valewood... every... single time... ugh. Drop me into the game and let me go explore as soon as possible.
Don't make me repeat the same start every play-through.
Empower: Nothing particularly wrong with it. Just doesn't really make sense Lore wise that I'm aware of and seems kind of arcadey. Also rarely used with little impact in the grand scheme of things. Seems like a lot of development work to force in this remnant of the vancian spell-casting system.
Actually looks like a fire sword now. \o/ (But a 6 second cast is laughable. It should be instant and last for the entirely of combat.)