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Posts posted by ComplyOrDie

  1. Regarding AI:

    You should watch the video in the latest update of Divinity: Original Sin 2 (Meet our new AI). The devs said that their new AI did things even they did not expect and most players say that the game is much harder and better now (except the ones who die every few minutes). Enemies buff themselves and defuff you. After debuffing you they cast spells that exploits your debuff (like first they slow you down with oil and then they set you on fire). They take care of positioning (to hit all your chars with a spell or stay out of your line of sight) and they walk around dangerous areas if you cast a spell between you and them.


    This sounds good for the hard and very hard difficulties, but in easy and normal mode you should not overdo it so that not so good players have a chance to finish the game.


    2 more things:

    - I know it is hard to balance this. There are new players who must still learn the basics of CRPG, there are average players like me who had no problem to finish the game on hard but I had to skip some optional battles (alpine dragon) or come back when I am overleveled and there are hardcore players who seek the ultimate challenge. It looks like the hardcore players are most active in the forums. But does it make sense to make the game so hard that only a few elite players have a chance to succeed?


    - I admit that you did improve the AI of PoE1. In the beginning enemies attacked the first thing they saw, so one untoucheble tank and 5 glass connons were a good choice. After some later patch enemies acted a bit more intelligent and I liked that change. But I see that enemies are still quite dumb and good players can easily exploit this.

    It's definitely a fair question to ask how many people want this (and how much, and to what extent) but it does feel like there's an increasing desire for it as per Divinity example. I would never suggest that it's hard mode or no mode, some people don't play the game for the combat, whereas I see it as integral. For me it's always odd to craft all these cool abilities and spells and then have a game where it doesn't really matter what use you make of them - that's an exaggeration for pillars but was the case far too often for my taste.


    I laughed at the dragon every encounter comment but in all seriousness if you have made the conscious choice to play path of the damned you are probably hoping for some form of challenge in each fight. Of course sticking a random lich among the wolf pack or increasing the number of wolves to two and a half million/ upgrading them to cyber death wolves of doom isn't very immersive or engaging but I definitely felt there weren't enough punishing encounters in pillars. I did my first run through on path and got to the last battle at lvl 8/9 and was just enjoying the story while the fights felt lacking , so while the final fight was a nice surprise I was pretty sad I'd been able to get through the game so quickly. Probably should have gone to Od Nua but I ended up wanting to save it for next playthrough.


    I have also seen the argument tough encounters should be reserved for side quests but I think that's completely untrue for path (buy the argument completely for normal difficulty, maybe that's why these encounters in particular didn't scale well for path), obviously the path players wants the main quest to be sodding difficult as well!


    Thanks for the responses it's always a difficult one to get right and impossible to please everyone.

    • Like 1
  2. I'll be brief(ish):

    • Pillars was great - not in dispute
    • Path of the Damned (PotD) was sold as a challenge for masochistic IE (SCS) veterans
    • PotD came up short for the majority of the game

    • AI scripting was poor, most encounters were "tank and spank" (push/pull mechanics sound like a good start)
    • "Kith" enemy parties were noticeably bad at using their abilities, fights like this feel like they would take a lot more scripting effort to be good. I think you probably notice this moreso because in the encounters vs creatures all the enemies from every difficulty level were there whereas it might just be a set party of kith so it's tough to make them much better without scripting proper PotD AI.
    • The creatures you came across generally had a very limited set of abilities - while 1-2 abilities is fine for lower level stuff it does make for somewhat repetitive/easier combat - why does EVERY orge druid have the same script? Phantoms had the daze/stun on hit which was pretty good against low lvl parties but we need more of these pain in the arse abilities to deal with.
    • I think if you are going to make a mode like this it makes sense to just err on the side of making it too hard rather than trying to get it spot on and perhaps being a bit cautious. I can always go play on hard with my tail between my legs if I fail.

    • Put some time into good AI scripting - I sound like a broken record but I really like the way SCS went with this - I agree some of the precast stuff maybe doesn't look good on a shiny new release but good scripts with more variety would be most welcome (appreciate this takes lots of effort)
    • Err on the side of more difficult when attempting to balance
    • Give more varied abilities to enemy creatures
    • Allow for some options to e.g. reduce XP gain, force high level scaling etc.
    I backed at the 99$ tier but not sure I want to Beta test as I don't want to spoil the excitement so gotta do a plea here! Looking forward to it, thanks for reading!
    • Like 1
  3. So not a trash the game thread, as I loved it, however I've been playing through the BG series for the first time since PoE as a result of the SoD release and made the inevitable comparison. Plenty of good points for each game (have to add PoE needs an SCS mod or a far harder baseline PoTD mode) but one thing stood out a little more than most.



    Arriving in Baldur's Gate for the first time

    Final Battle of BG

    Irenicus encounter on exiting first dungeon in BG2

    Irenicus battle at the asylum with the mad wizard army

    Final battle in BG2 and Hell

    All BG2 Dragon encounters


    That's a list of the moments that will stick with me the most from the two games. Clearly there aren't any on PoE and I'm wondering if that's a slight failing and if others feel the same?


    Couple of caveats for the sake of fairness: 1. I was considerably younger when I played the BG series and had far less gaming experience/hadn't seen it all before. 2. The first 10 hours or so of PoE were general awestruck wonder as the game is so beautiful but I'm not counting that. 3. Maybe PoE was intentionally more understated, which is a fair enough design choice, if not one im 100% on board with.


    Finally, a few standout reasons why from my perspective.


    • Sarevok and Irenicus were better villains and I think this is mainly due to them being a bit more prominent in the games as a whole. I was going to say they were better voice acted (and they were fantastic) but Thaos was really well voice acted too, he just had bugger all involvement in the game except for a few specific points in the plot. The consequence of having the rest of the world oblivious to his actions, while interesting, made the main plot feel a little disjointed from the rest of the game. Sarevok and Irenicus were mentioned a lot more throughout as general menaces which added to the experience when you finally toppled them.
    • Memorable chapter end encounters. I didn't mention them in my list above but some of them weren't far off making it, particularly the Iron Throne fights. They were some of the toughest fights in the games, more of a "end level boss" approach. I feel in Pillars the tougher stuff was exclusively the side content so that the game was more accessible, but for me that detracts from the sense of accomplishment that compliments a good climax to a section of the story. Certainly on PoTD I would have expected more, but the humanoid enemy encounters were all walkovers in PoE.
    • Cutscenes. Could be budget to be fair, but who didn't love literally every Irenicus cutscene? In PoE they were done via the text based encounter system - ironically this was one of my favourite things about the game in all other situations - but I think the main story encounters needed a little more drama.
    • Music. Environmental music was brilliant in PoE, some battle themes were pretty good too, but the final battle scenes in BG1&2 felt much more dramatic thanks to individually made tracks, which were amazing.


    That's it. Just to reiterate, I love the game, but wanted to offer some feedback for the inevitable PoE2.

  4. While I can see the viewpoint of the reload argument, I prefer having a game that forces me to reload multiple times rather than playing Trial of Iron. Lapses in concentration can end a game, also you could easily lose hours of progress to an unlucky roll.


    There are many different ways to approach difficulty in a single player game, and having encounters that are so difficult that you need to reload multiple times is a perfectly valid way of doing it; there is nothing "lame" about reloading multiple times. I prefer this kind of difficulty and the gripe I have with Pillars is that there is nowhere near as much reloading needed on max difficulty as there should be.


    To have encounters that can be consistently killed at the first time of asking necessarily requires them to be much simpler mechanically and less punishing, if not you are forcing players to play through the game multiple times on progressively harder difficulties just to learn the fights so they don't die after 5-10 hours every time, which would fast become extremely boring, and in effect just a far more drawn out form of reloading.


    From my perspective, good "difficulty" involves frequent encounters where: the AI makes good use of its abilities, and are scaled sufficiently highly, that it takes me multiple attempts to work out a strategy that allows me to beat it. This is hardly groundbreaking in gaming and is why the anti-reload argument is overly simplistic. Making a game with as much variety, and as little ability to actually assess any given encounter before attempting it, as well as as massive as pillars, mean it is simply not the type of game to be designed around beating everything on your first attempt.


    Yes, I personally frown upon the idea of reloading 100 times until your off-screen fireball kills the enemies you need to make the fight winnable, but I *want* to be reloading plenty of times while I come up with the best strategy to progress, it gives you a sense of accomplishment when you finally do it. Pillars should not be designed to be a game where you can *figure out* an optimal one size fits all strategy that allows you to take on all if not most encounters at the first attempt when going in blind. That would make it incredibly stale.  Pillars (on hard mode) should be about encounters with enemies with  a wide variety of abilitiies that force you to think about the full capability of your party and gradually overcome each one. Pillars is generally disappointing on this front (ticks literally every other box for me though) which is why some people are frustrated.


    Nothing wrong with playing ToI, nothing wrong with wanting to be made to reload. Games like Pillars should always be designed around the latter, with ToI a welcome optional extra, but difficulty done well adds tons of longevity to a game, ToI is not a substitute.

    • Like 1
  5. I guess A.I. updates and changes to encounter design are out of scope for a patch and require more manpower than smaller balance changes. I'm actually happy they keep on fine-tuning their system alongside fixing bugs; it has come a long way since release imo.


    EDIT: To clarify, I definitely hope TWM pt. II brings further improvements to enemy A.I. and encounter design to the table (I also hope most of it will be high-level content, as in 14+)


    That would be fine by me too if Obsidian had ever stated their intention to do so or acknowledged the issues. Path of the Damned is heavily undertuned and while I really enjoy the combat system and the game as a whole, without the challenge it all feels a little pointless.


    I'm not just bashing here either, it's a measure of how much I like nearly everything else other than difficulty that I'm still checking the forums regularly to see if it will ever be addressed or acknowledged.

  6. For a single player game these small nerfs and buffs seem low priority. Sure if fighters suck relative to other classes boost them a bit but it's just increasing the power of the player in an already ridiculously easy game.


    Why not focus on making the game challenging more often than very occasionally and then balance stuff if really needed. At the moment fighters are slightly worse at completely crushing 95% of the game without thinking.


    Hard immunities seems a nice change at least and might help in that regard.

    • Like 1
  7. I think Pillars does some things pretty damn well, art, setting, atmosphere for starters. I think combat has great potential and preferred it at a basic level to DOS. Both games actually suffer similar issues although Larian are trying to address that which is the games are seriously easy on max difficulty. DOS is at least consistently challenging in the first area on hard until it totally falls off. Pillars PoTD is more the odd well designed fight in a sea of I don't even need to pause this encounters. It's blatant, and perhaps understandable, that it wasn't given much attention, whacking a bunch more dumb enemies to make a fight difficult when a player has so many options at their disposal never works.


    It's impossible to truly judge the combat system when you dont need to pay attention for the majority of the game anyway.


    For me this just prevents me from continuing, as it did with DOS (looking forward to enhanced edition).


    I do agree there is a bit of a lack of non direct damage related spells too.

  8. For me I absolutely blitzed the game for about 2 weeks on release. I put in 90 hours which is highly commendable for any game to get from me. My main run was on PoTD and I got to the last boss at level 9 and he was extremely difficult.


    I posted a fair amount back then about how disappointingly easy the majority of the rest of the game was compared.  In particular, tank and spank beat basically everything and the AI was woeful, particularly for an SCS Veteran. Not to mention experience bloat.


    I would echo the OP in that, while not wishing to bash the game, combat is extremely important to me. I'd love to come back, finish the game, experience the many quests I missed and the White March. I see claims the AI has been improved and tank and spank "nerfed". Is this noticeable and thus worth another go for me?


    So, I recently finished the game on PotD with my Monk (full tank) PC. Rest of the party was Aloth, Eder (specced as offtank), GM, Hiravius, Durance.


    This is how the perceived difficulty of the game looked like, documented by level and notable landmarks.


    Notice that I didn't do the second and third set of bounties, as I didn't want to trivialize the game further after reaching Dyrford Village.


    1.05 happened around level 6 for this party. As 1.05 mostly nerfed some OP spells, it's expected the game got slightly harder in those lower levels.




    - Difficulty is mostly fine until reaching later parts of Defiance Bay:

    Gilded Vale wilderness content and dungeons are challenging, The Raedric's Hold final battle is great, the first levels of Od Nua are actually challenging at their designated levels. The first set of bounties at level 7 is nuts. Two of the bounty battles took me dozens of reloads to win. Awesomesauce!

    - Most major battle zones of Defiance Bay are challenging enough: Catacombs, Sanitarium, several event battles in houses, Lighthouse island


    - And then everything goes downhill. First major drop of difficulty happens at Heritage Hill. Compared to almost every single battle before Heritage Hill, there is a huge drop in difficulty here. You can mostly blaze through all of the battles except for the one guarding the tower outside

    - Dyrford Village and surroundings have a huge drop in difficulty to almost ridicolous levels. I could suddenly equip my tanks with 2H weapons, switch to lighter armors and overall could do well just auto-attacking everything

    - The only noticable spike of difficulty after reaching Dyrford village at level 8/9 were the lowest levels of Od Nua. Everything was a breeze.





    Twin Elms and Dyrford village are heavily undertuned. Up until this point, the game is almost perfectly balanced. The crit path needs a severe buff in difficulty. Considering Dyrford village was part of the Backer Beta (and thus, the most tested content in the game), I can not understand why the Dyrford village content is so ridicolously easy, compared to everything that comes prior to Dyrford.

    It's also worth mentioning that there is a severe flood of unique items happening once you reach Dyrford Village.

    Have you considered leaving certain things like the bounties which you yourself stated required reloads they were that hard for later or even not at all?  They give quite a bit of xp and so may get you overlevelled for the point of the game you are at.  Remember, the devs need to balance these games not only for those who do everything but also for those who don't do everything and without level-scaling this means not making it too hard just in case the player hasn't levelled up too much, or as in the case with these games where quests can often be done in different order meaning that one person might do one quest first and another a different one, with their levels being different for when they finally get to the same quest.  This issue cropped up in BG2 especially if you did all the sidequests in Athkatla and surroundings as they were all made available at the same time which meant they were all the same difficulty but by the time you finished the last sidequest you could be substantially higher level than intended, but I liked having all those quests open to me to pick and choose as I liked and I would not want level scaling in as it made the world feel real and my character like he was actually getting more competent.... *shrug*


    EDIT: Also as to hitting max level with so much of the game left, same thing happened again with BG2 until they released ToB, it seems to be a fundamental issue with these types of games that seems hard to get around even today.  Why do you think so many cop out with 'level scaling'?


    It's Path of the Damned...devs shouldn't err on the side of caution/balance, they should err on the side of this is far too hard, they spectacularly didn't.

    • Like 2
  10. You sound like you looked up argumentum ad populum on Wikipedia and just wrote it here to sound vaguely intellectual.

    We are talking about how the difficulty / complexity in PoE is perceived. Something that is inherently subjective.

    Objective claim -> same truth value for everyone ("earth is spherical")

    Subjective claim -> different truth value for different people is ("Anna is pretty")

    Maybe learn the basics before you "educate" others ?


    Most posts in General Discussion obviously wont pertain to tactics as there is a sub-forum just for those discussion in the "Strategies" subforum. A sub-forum which is full of tactics that would break the game; hence me contending those who are ridiculously active in the forum are not the best judge for the game's difficulty.
    There's certainly a lot of argument to be made that the game can seem simple by around the mid-game at least.
    But again, until someone comes up with an extensive documention on how it could be improved AND create a mod / patch for PoE. I just dont see how whining about it incessantly would solve anything.
    In any case I'm done with this thread. Unlike some, I dont have all the time in the world.

    Here's ad hominem for you since you love fallacies so much :instead of trying to "educate" people on the internet, perhaps you should look for work instead since you oh so proudly display for all the world to see that you're "destitute and nearing homeless" therefore didn't even buy the game...


    If you read the Hard mode is too easy easy thread you would see extensive discussion on how it can be made better.

    • Like 2
  11. But why should Obsidian follow your (our) every whims ?*

    We already bought the game. Most of us will buy the expansion and sequels anyways, no matter what we say in this forum.

    Those who starve for IE-like CRPGs gonna buy Pillars of Eternity anyways.


    As mentioned we represent a tiny minority who are very vocal.

    Business-wise they should somehow make the game more appealing to the wider masses.

    Increasing the difficulty is counterproductive to that.

    Catering to the tiny minority is counterproductive to that.


    I simply do not see the logic behind increasing the difficulty when the numbers of player is already so low.



    Moreover I just noticed you have freakin' 2500 posts in the forum.

    How is it you dont realize that you (even more than most in the forum) are completely, absolutely in the minority and do not experience the game the same way as most of us who did not go into the game knowing it inside and out ?

    After 2.5k post, it sounds like it is time to move on.


    Difficulty is to many people a much bigger deal than you are making out, hence the several huge threads on the forum with many different posters. Making a super hard difficulty was one of their stated goals, it's one of the reasons I backed the game; the fact many people love these games to include really challenging combat was acknowledged during the Kickstarter. Difficulty is an inherent part of making a classic single player game, and is overlooked all too often.


    Case in point which goes against your theory, Larian are currently developing a nightmare mode for Divinity Original Sin, as part of a patch, including entirely reworked encounters. They have acknowledged that having made a really interesting combat system, there's little point in having difficulty fall off even on hard halfway through the game, hence they listen to the fanbase and work on something for them.


    I literally cannot fathom why people have something against upping the difficulty/AI/encounter design for possibly Hard and certainly Path of the Damned level. The AI is awful and many encounters are very samey; if you find it enjoyable on normal that's really great, but many people find that the vast majority of the game is piss easy on Path of the Damned and one tactic works for the vast majority of encounters. For me that prevents the game being an absolute classic - which I think it nearly is by the way. I do not think it's reasonable to expect me to use a naked Eder with DPS talents to have an enjoyable experience (and that still wouldn't solve the samey encounter/terrible AI issues).


    Nobody is saying cater to this "niche" INSTEAD of making the game appeal to masses, it is AS WELL AS. Many many old Baldur's Gate etc. players bought this game and are a significant part of the fanbase. Funnily enough there are also newer players who enjoy challenging games too, see the success of Dark Souls and the modern RTS/MOBA gamer. A decent number of these people, from these forums and elsewhere, are a bit disappointed with the current level of challenge in the game (you can't make a hard mode by just randomly inflating stats and shoving a few more creatures in, that's lazy). Nobody is whining, just constructively pointing out ways to improve the difficulty at higher levels for this game and POE2. 


    I agree ultimately a MOD will be the best option, but the baseline difficulty is the one thing that stands out to me in this game as not being top quality, the rest I absolutely love. It is perfectly possible to increase difficulty on Path/maybe Hard without alienating people who just want to chill and do Easy/Normal.


    I get that they had and have other priorities for release and the short term, completely get that. The patches are for improvements and polish however, so people hope they will address one of the big weaknesses and hence give feedback.

  12. Are we the right people to judge the difficulty of this game though ?

    Just by being active in the forum makes you a niche of a niche market. Or to puff up ourselves, we could say we represent the best of the best of all Pillars of Eternity players.


    Many in this forum are IE veterans, some even did so with mods that made the game more difficult.

    Some have tried the game in Beta.

    Some have deep knowledge of the game mechanics having backed it in Kickstarter and reading the update.

    Some have read character builds, combat tips and tricks in the forum even before installing the game.

    We represent years of accumulated game knowledge.


    If Obsidian were to cater to this super-niche player segment then they'd be just killing themselves. Many reviews have stated that even in Normal difficulty the game is rather difficult for the reviewers. Imagine if the difficulty is raised (way) higher as some in this forum would like it to be: It'd be lucky to break 100k in sales.


    Mod the game yourself. Wait for a mod. Restrict yourself from using the more powerful combat techniques. Whatever suits you except whining about it.

    And this would make perfect sense. If they hadn't included a mode called path of the Damned. Which could never have been targeted at anyone other than veterans of this kind of game. Even the description of hard mode suggests this. But path is far too easy, so no, it's not just right at least for that mode imo.

  13. It's hard for most people the first time they play it. But then they are applying that knowledge to subsequent playthroughs to complain "Its easy". When what they mean is "Its easy.... now that I know all the encounters and game mechanics".

    The game IS hard the first time. The problem is that the game will be easier the more knowledge of the game you learn.


    To prove my point. Quote this and answer me if you think the game is too easy:


    The first time you went to the temple of Eothas on hard difficulty, with only 3-4 party members - did you easily defeat all the shades? And more importantly, did you kill the 2 skuldr kings at the exit and their army of goons easily? Did you even make it on the first attempt?

    The difficulty of the game is imo, hard when you dont know the game and easy when you know it. But everyone who claims they beat the game easily with few reloads or deaths on their first playthrough on hard + is lying.

    Sorry but this is just not true, I Played on path the first time and found it too easy, yes there are some good tough areas like the temple as you mentioned where reloading is required, the problem is they are so rare when you take the game as a whole that the vast majority of the time you use Eder to tank, five ranged guys, and win easily. There are no difficult human encounters and reams of no thought required monster encounters. You are quoting one of the few tough fights that you actually encounter at the appropriate level in the game. If it was all like the temple for a lvl 3 party, nobody would be complaining (that it was too easy, anyway).
    • Like 2

    I don't find the game challenging, and my perspective is the only one that matters! Therefore the game is too easy! Every encounter should begin with my PC punching me in the face and then stomping on my fingers and then setting me on fire! Anything less is unacceptable!


    Seriously though, I'm not really sure what can be done to satisfy your complaints. It's not like the AI in these sorts of games is ever going to be terribly good. If you want an opponent capable of human-level planning and tactics, play a tabletop RPG with a DM or something.

    i agree...the game is good and not so easy



    The mode was called Path of the Damned for a reason, there really is no harm in making it a challenge or to object to people wanting that, in it's current form it really isn't past the first few levels. As above, good AI has been done for this kind of game (see SCS for Baldur's Gate). Not even expecting that level, just hoping Obsidian and then eventually a modder will make it so there aren't <5 memorable fights in the game for people who like stuff really difficult.


    I don't find the game challenging, and my perspective is the only one that matters! Therefore the game is too easy! Every encounter should begin with my PC punching me in the face and then stomping on my fingers and then setting me on fire! Anything less is unacceptable!


    Seriously though, I'm not really sure what can be done to satisfy your complaints. It's not like the AI in these sorts of games is ever going to be terribly good. If you want an opponent capable of human-level planning and tactics, play a tabletop RPG with a DM or something.


    If that was directed at me, you haven't read my post. ;)

    I was asking for raised difficulty by modders, something you actually would have to install to apply it to yourself. I also said I like the lower difficulty in general especially for group play.


    As to your question what can be done to satisfy my complaints: just play Baldur's Gate on SCS and you will know what better AI looks like, it's still not on human level, but I didn't ask for that. :) (Even though I play Coop games too, sadly there is nothing truly good in the RP-sector.)



    This is fair but I still think at least Path of the Damned difficulty should be upped by Obsidian, I mean it's supposed to be for people who want a mega challenge so no harm in making it one. Sure modders will also come along one day hopefully and make it even harder. SCS took years though I bet.


    So don't bother saying anything. He enjoyed the game as many of us did. Keep your bitterness to yourself.


    Maybe "I am glad you were able to derive enjoyment from a feature I hate so much I cannot stop harping on it" or simply "good for you"?


    Why do you feel the need to spread your bs on a forum of a game you clearly hate?  Go do something else with your life.




    You guys are clueless and have awfully low RPG standards , and I'm gonna show you why.



    1) PoE has no encounter design like I said



    During most battles you just send a tank to engage their melee fighters and have the rest of the party attack them. You rarely face anything that requires a different tactic. There's no swarm of weak enemies to overwhelm your tank, no ogres doing a pincer attack inside a tight corridor, no archers in hard-to-reach places , battles inside traps, NOTHING! The only ambush you'll face the entire game is in the tutorial!


    Battles in PoE are  memorable due to their context (a lone powerful bear early in game, a big dragon, another big dragon, assaulting a fortress) and not for actual interesting fights. Most of them are just frontal fights with a straightforward approach , which brings us to point two below...




    2) laughable "tactical" combat




    a) either you are in open areas where you must protect your squishy characters, or

    b) you are in tight areas where you block the chokepoint with your tank, while the rest of the party chugs spells and ranged attacks



    The peak of this amazing "tactical" combat are teleporting phantoms and burrowing beetles (which are essentially the same thing, yeah)







    And guys, I am pleasantly surprised by PoE overall . Its far better than I thought it would be :). You are really destroying the modern criteria for these games with such remarks.


    Not sure how much of the game you have played but there are a number of ambushes. I can think of six off the top of my head. I am personally disappointed with the encounters but they are not badly designed per se it is just they are so easy that tank and spank works for the vast majority, and the enemies are quite samey/bland at the moment. It's the best game of its kind for a very long time.

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