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Everything posted by demeisen

  1. ​Agreed. I think you hit on a key part of the problem: DF has been tailored for more casual players, and non-casual players coming from an "action" background where each combat stands alone. ​ And that is a much larger market than what you call the "tactical thinker" genre, so I understand why they'd move that direction. The unit of attention is now dramatically shorter, which really saps the fun out of the thing for people who like to manage a party over a longer time span than a fight at a time. ​ ​For me it also causes problems trying to "lose myself" in the game. I don't feel like it's a journey any more: it's just a series of independent little combats. There's no more satisfaction in beating a dungeon, because that concept no longer exists. ​
  2. ​ ​You never had to do that in POE1. Camping supplies were found in excess: there was literally no need to keep running back. On PotD you could only carry two at a time, yet I didn't even pick up 80% of the ones I found since I simply couldn't carry any more. Heck, after the early levels, I hardly used the ones scattered around at all. ​​ ​There were issues with the POE1 resting system, but "having to run back" was not one of them. If you're going to rest-spam, that's on you, not on the game, and it was never a reason to abandon all aspects of long term management that made the game feel like... an actual RPG. ​ The OP hit the nail on the head: the vast majority of the combats in DF simply no longer matter, and that destroys the very essence of a CRPG. The consequences of playing a fight poorly have been largely removed. The need to improvise has been largely removed, because I never start a fight with some weird combination of little used abilities. I get everything back each and every time. ​ It's maddening. ​It was a terrible choice, and that's a shame because there's so much else about Deadfire that is truly excellent. ​ ​
  3. ​I've been finding most of the voice work in DF to be pretty good, regardless of accent. There are plenty of American ones, but some British and others, and for the most part I haven't minded any of them so far. ​ ​Eder's voice work is great. There's lightly sarcastic humor, but it's done "plainly", and it works pretty well. ​ ​
  4. ​I don't think anyone expects full access to all their abilities, but merely preserving the long-standing ability to select from the whole spell catalog. There is a whole dimension of RPG gameplay which gets obliterated by these changes, and for many of us it was an important aspect of RPGs. BTW, many other casting classes (clerics, druids, etc) also had dynamic access to their whole spell catalog, so it's not just wizards. ​ ​Traditionally, dynamic selection was a core aspect of casting classes, going clear back to P&P and for decades of CRPGs since, but was balanced against real rest restrictions. However, this started to break down when CRPGs began to pursue a more mass market / casual audience, many of who would play by spamming everything they had even in small fights to feel powerful, and then be left in a lurch. Players complained, and CRPG makers responded by relaxing hard rest restrictions more and more, making them into soft restrictions, or sometimes no restrictions at all. That appeased the people who didn't like long-term gameplay decisions, but it did massive collateral damage: ​ ​It negates the importance of smaller fights. They no longer have any meaningful cost, because you auto-regenerate what you used right after. In the traditional way, even the small fights are part of grinding you down over time.​ ​You no longer have to play smaller fights efficiently. You're getting everything you used right back. ​You no longer have to make meaningful choices about which spells to use, or limit yourself strategically. They're all coming right back. An element of decision making is hence rendered obsolete (granted, one many people didn't like - but others found quite appealing). ​It removes flexibility around creating your own combinations. You get to pick a few permanent ones, but otherwise are restricted to "canned" sets, so a whole aspect of creating custom novel strategies is lost. Less thinking / creativity results. ​A class differentiator is now lost. Previously you had sustained damage classes, and powerful but intermittent damage classes. Some players couldn't tolerate one PC not doing something in every single fight, or doing only a little in some fights, so this differentiator has been more and more lost over time. ​There's little to no long term strategizing. The "unit of attention" becomes a single fight. ​The feel of being on a journey is eroded, and hence, the immersion of the game. Now I just feel like I have an unrelated series of standalone fights, and I'm reset after each one so I can meet the next with the full catalog again. ​There's no more satisfaction in avoiding resource starvation, because I'm getting reset after each fight. A whole element of enjoyment is thus erased.​ ​There's no more pressure when you start a fight down to a few weird spells you've never used before, and have to improvise and create clever tactics. All fights are driven towards the same thing, because start each fight with my spells reset. ​I could go on, but suffice it to say many of us see the loss of these things as a catastrophe for the genre. It sacrifices long term considerations on the alter of the short attention span appeal. ​ ​I understand many people like it and want that more "action" experience where all their skills and abilities are reset after every single fight. That's cool with me - to each his own! That's why I think it should be a game option, like "hardcore" mode: "Let me pick my own spells, but don't bloody reset them or my HP pool after each fight like I'm playing Diablo". That way both camps can have their preference. That has happened with other "casualizations" of CRPGs - e.g, early CRPGs had severely restricted saves, where you had to make it back to a safe place to save, and there were no quick-saves or mid-stream saves or any kind. There was a lot on the line, sometimes hours of gameplay, so you were forced to take matters seriously rather than mash F5. That annoyed a lot of players, so that also was changed, but many games still provide it as an option - and many players still use the option! That's all I want: an option, so I don't have to deal with what feels to me like an eviscerated RPG experience. ​ ​EDIT: fix missing words.
  5. So far (potd wizard): ​ + The game is gorgeous. Agreed with someone above: it's the prettiest RPG I've encountered. Craftmanship permeates all aspects of the world-building that I've seen so far. I'm only a little ways in, but it's just a nicely imagined world. I wager Obsidian is the premier CRPG studio when it comes to this. ​ ​+ The NPC voice acting has been pretty solid so far - even some of the one off minor parts. ​ ​+ Dialog (so far) is nicely tightened up compared to POE1, but is still well done. No huge lore dumps, but you still get a feel for the world. ​ ​+ The archipelago environment is a nice changeup from the usual fantasy setting. Looking forward to seeing more of it. ​ ​+ Jury's still out, but I'm optimistic about the power level mechanic. + So far, I've seen no significant bugs. ​- Auto-health and spell regeneration seems more appropriate for console or action style RPGs. It detracts from the feel of the game: I'm not on a journey any more, I'm on a series of (nearly) stand-alone fights. I no longer have to consider whether to forgo using this or that spell: it's coming back right after, so it no longer matters, and a whole dynamic evaporates. I understand some people like this, but it should be a game option. IMO, this is a huge step backward from POE1 and it's my main problem so far trying to get into the game. ​ ​- Wizards have lost some flexibility and thus are no longer as fun to play as they were in POE1. They might still be effective, but a core element present since pen and paper days is dynamic spell mix and match. This is an important attraction for many players. Switching grimoires is not a suitable substitute. Unfortunately those two drawbacks are major ones in my view, and it feels like an overall "casualization", but everything else looks top tier. If those two could be somehow addressed, even as options so people can have it whichever way they want, the game would be borderline perfect. ​
  6. ​ ​Maybe, but they sort of threw the baby out with the bathwater, and made the class not nearly as fun because of it. ​ ​I think they could have made grimoires more "special" to find just by having more spells that were only found on grimoires you found in interest places or on difficult opponents, but couldn't learn via the level-up mechanic. But let me learn them, so I can select the set of spells I find most appropriate for what I expect to encounter, and form my own dynamic strategies via synergies between the ones I pick. ​ ​
  7. To me, the narrator voice actor would be awesome voicing a companion (maybe she does?), but isn't ideal for the narrator part. I'm ok with a female narrator, but feel she should have an "old / wizened" kind of vibe to it, which isn't the timbre of the narrator lady. It needs a bit of age and gravel. The POE1 narrator was great; he'd also do.
  8. ​ ​ I've started with a potd wizard, and I'm really tempted to start over with a different class for that reason. ​ ​I do not have any complaints about the effectiveness of the wizard. It's doing fine. Merely the fun of the wizard. It's maddeningly stifling not being able to pick your own spell combinations, rather than be limited to the few you learn + what the grimoire has picked for you, minus any overlap. It's destroyed one of the primary enjoyments of the class, a tradition going all the way back to pen and paper. Long term thinking is gone too, due to the instant replenishing of spells after each combat, "action" style. Instant gratification central. ​ ​Don't get me wrong: the Deadfire world looks amazing, the art is unreasonably beautiful, the game is immersive, and the writing, humor, and voice acting are top tier. But oh man am I not happy with wizards. Probably going to restart with a different class and hope for an eventual fix or community mod. ​This would be easy to fix: the core mechanics are mostly alright. It's just the bits 'round the edge. People who don't want to edit the grimoires certainly would not have to do so. Just allow their editing as in POE1, and provide an "ironman" type game mode to turn off the infuriating Diablo auto-regeneration of health and spells, and I'm a happy Deadfire player. You don't even have to rebalance anything: I can pick an easier difficulty if potd is too hard with those restrictions. These two things are really sapping my enjoyment at the moment. Everything else seems wonderful so far. ​
  9. ​​ ​True, though personally I never had a problem with that, and actually enjoyed it. With 6 characters to control, I found it fine if 1 or 2 of them would do little or nothing in many situations, but be able of feats of powerful but bursty CC or damage when needed. There was plenty enough to do with the other characters, micro managing their more "constant output" abilities, and this aspect was a strong differentiator of classes. It seems like Obsidian wants to mash all classes into the same kind of mold now. ​ A key problem in POE1, I think, was that replenishing per-rest resources was far too commonly available. Even if you ignore the "march back to an inn" thing, the game was absolutely littered with camping supplies. I mostly ignored the ones I found, because (on PotD) you can only carry two, and I simply had no use for the deluge of them. Anyway, it was more fun to sometimes be forced into having to fall back on weird spells you didn't use much. ​ ​I'm not going to argue per-rest is the ideal system to balance burstiness. However, I do think that to make the game tactically interesting in a way that extends beyond a single fight at a time (which a lot of us absolutely hate and feel it destroys a key part of the RPG experience), there has to be some kind of resource that doesn't instantly regen after each fight. If I wanted to play Diablo, I'd play Diablo. ​ ​So I think the better direction is to preserve the burstiness of certain classes, but to balance that against real limitations so that you don't just spam everything you've got in every fight and then get it all right back. ​ ​Anyway I don't pretend to have the "right answers", but at the least, I feel the current DF situation is one of the wrong answers. ​
  10. ​​ ​ ​Well, I don't think it's a good choice to orient a system around save-spam style gaming. Sure, some people will play that way, but I don't find it very fun myself, so I don't. And I disagree about replays. I played POE1 in a very resource constrained way on both my replays, even more than on my first run. I didn't remember the minutia of what I would encounter next, so there wasn't too much metagaming at work (a little is inevitable), but I got to play through whole areas without rest, which led to a lot of pretty fun situations where I had to dig deep to scrape by, using abilities I'd never use normally. I had to play carefully, even on the small fights. That made them fun, in a way they weren't if I had unlimited resources to expend. ​ ​I don't think per-rest is an ideal system, so I'll agree with you that far. But I think the DF system throws the baby out with the bathwater, and negates a lot of the satisfaction people get from managing a party of characters over a dungeon. ​
  11. True, but thing is, POE1 could be easily played in the spirit of resource constraints by treating its soft constraints as hard ones. Then it is more strategic to think about how to handle an extended series of encounters, than just a single one, like a whole chess game is more strategic than just the opening few moves. The DF system doesn't really allow for that. It forces spells and health back after every fight, so it can't easily be played in a resource constrained style the way POE1 could by treating soft caps as hard ones. The unit of tactical consideration has simply shrunk and is now (aside from minor factors) a single fight. I think that's the objection, and why we don't find the DF system as fun. There is less long term thinking. You are insulated from the future consequences of your choices by all the resource regen the game heaps upon you, wanted or not. Thing is, we liked planning for a whole outing, to survive a trip into a dangerous dungeon and back with nothing more than what we started out with. When you keep giving us new resources, that satisfaction evaporates. I'd certainly like the solution you propose in your second paragraph I quoted above. POE1:WM had that in a few places, and they were (IMO) the most fun parts of the game to play through, because they forced you to try to play well, even on the fights you were certain to win. The small fights were were part of a larger picture. It's that larger picture which is greatly reduced now, in a way I can't do much about with my own local "house rules". I'm still hoping Obsidian would consider a new-game switch to switch off per-fight regeneration, and enable the former style of casters and per-rest melee resources. Certainly many people do like being given things back each and every fight, so it's more balance work, but both camps could have their preferred style.
  12. + The artwork, the world building, the writing, it's astonishingly lovely. Pillars is a top tier RPG world, and I think Obsidian are masters of that craft, second to no other studio. Whoever is doing all that stuff... I'm a little bit in awe. - What others have said about caster problems, loss of long term resources, etc. E.g: Oh wow do I ever agree with LampStaple. I feel like that core aspect of the RPG experience is being eroded to appease the "action RPG" crowd. And as DexGames said: Those two posters (and others too) identified the root cause of some of the problems, IMO. That's not a balance tweak, it's a core change to the nature of the classes. Casters were always my fav to play in RPGs for the reasons LampStaple and DexGames get to: they were about planning, rationing, efficiency, breaking out the most powerful toys only when things got dire. Being forced to improvise when your fav spells are gone, and you are left with a few weirder ones in a tough situation. See what LampStaple said above about even the "easy" encounters being mentally engaging. While that's not 100% gone in DF, the game has moved the wrong way. As several up-thread have said also... it's just not as much fun now. Balance tweaks might help a little there, but it's not the core of the problem. RPGs for me are about journeys, not one-off fights. I don't want the game to woosh my health bars right back up (even if there's a bolted on injury system). I don't want it to give me all my spells back so I can spam them again in the next room. I will still play the game, because of how astonishingly immersive and beautiful the Pillars world is. But it'll be bittersweet, I admit. It absolutely nails one thing I want (an immersive world), while abandoning another. My hope lies in a future community mod to restore long term dynamics, and rebalance accordingly.
  13. ​ ​While I wouldn't say it's "too complex" (complexity in games is a good thing, if done well), I agree fully with this: ​ What Dukeisaac said perfectly states what I've been feeling about DF too. There's not a shred of doubt in my mind that the DF world is going to be utterly awesome, awe inspiringly beautiful, and a delight to explore. However, I really felt POE 3.0 had a well polished and enjoyable combat system, and I wanted to explore the DF world with a derivation of that ... not in a system that threw out a lot of the core mechanics like the long term health pool, core aspects of caster classes, etc. I won't argue the POE system was perfect. As Dukeissac said too, it could be tweaked and improved, no doubt. But just that... tweaked. ​ ​So... I've got a love/hate thing going with DF right now. I'm psyched about seeing a new part of the game world as imagined by the talented Obsidian artists and world-builders, who, based on POE1 and the DF demo, I consider to be the best in the biz. The game world is simply stellar, but the new combat is not doing it for me. Some of that is probably balance, and can be tweaked to improve it, but I feel a significant part is systemic, too. Too many core mechanics upended. ​
  14. I admit I only read about 1/5 of all of that, and skimmed another 1/5, but generally I'm either in agreement, or at worst neutral on the anonymous person's feedback. Certainly agree with these bits: +1 to all the above. The narrator guy in POE1 was awesome. His voice was perfect for that roll, evoking a complex fantasy setting, and it made an excellent, polished first impression of the game. I don't like 6->5 - at all (I hope that gets revisited for POE3). Combining interaction stats is a great idea. Sneak areas display is a nice improvement. I don't like firearms in fantasy games (but not because of any r/l objection: they just don't fit the mold very well in my eyes). I can live with it though: I just ignore them as far as possible, so I won't object too strongly. And yeah, I'm not happy with the Vancianish class changes either. Caster classes are most of why I enjoy the combat in this kind of game, and as much as anything the changes in this area have made it harder for me to get enthused about DF. I'd also add: I feel the loss of a long term health pool is a big step backwards from POE. Either he didn't mention it, or he did and I skipped that part, but DF's worldbuilding appears (from what little I've seen) to be even richer and more immersive than PoE's was.
  15. ​Thanks Cdiaz, but also note my update above: the latest beta fixed the problems with bad saves (and several others I saw), so I don't think there's any more need to waste someone's time to look at that one. It works now Editing to add: updated original post with that info. ​ There's still a minor issue with keybindings, though.
  16. ​​For what it's worth, I can confirm that the above problem #2 about resetting to the char creation screen on zoning is fixed in "v0.0.0.0052 Backer Beta Release 3.0984 BB". Thanks! ​ ​Can also confirm #4 about two identical auto-pause options is fixed. ​ ​Edit: #5, about bad rendering near initial water, also appears to be fixed as far as I've looked, although that's only for a few minute so far. (And it's nice! The splashing of waves on the rocks, the water translucency, it just all looks amazing. Although I'm not a fan of some of the combat system changes in DF, I plan to play the game just to see what your artists have made). ​ ​I still see issue #6, with certain keybindings performing two tasks, the one I want (such as highlighting interactables) and one I don't, such as toggling fast mode. ​
  17. ​Agreed 100%. POE1 was already pretty nice artistically, and Deadfire stepped it up. It's drop dead gorgeous. ​ About the whole "world building" thing, by which I mean art, music, the general "feel" of the world and its inhabitants and cultures and places: I'd say that Obsidian gets top honors. The craftmanship is obvious. ​ I'm hoping they also take some of the game-play suggestions to heart too: there are a handful or two of really insightful folks on the Beta forum who understand the system inside and out, and have made what I think are excellent suggestions to help DF on that front. ​
  18. Agreed 100%. POE1 was at its best when it was giving you intimate, personal little stories and situations. Things that impact one person, or a small group, or maybe a village. Those are meaningful if they are well written and presented with some grace and poignancy. Avoiding the "One-Upsmanship of Super Leet Epicness" feel of lesser games is part of its brilliance.
  19. ​ ​I have some confidence the situation will be improved. It's an early beta, so they have time and the feedback is pretty overwhelming that casters are broken. ​ ​I think we feel it's upsetting because POE1 was just so good on so many different levels, including by and large the combat mechanics. What I was really wanting from Deadfire was more world and stories to explore, with refinements and tweaks, but generally the same underlying system. So far in DF the basket of things I categorize as "world building" is still very much top tier, but there are some real problems introduced by combat changes. I think they'll be able to polish it up from where it is now and improve it somewhat, but that the new direction just has fundamental aspects I don't care for. I feel like some of those problems are introduced by caster changes away from per-rest towards per-fight. Per-rest has its issues, but this isn't the way to fix them. Once you start down that road, there's a logical series of steps that leads you in directions that people who love to play traditional casting classes don't like. It is logical... problem is, it's only logical if you took that very first step in the wrong direction. Once you can spell-spam because there's no balance from limited uses per rest, you need to make spells much weaker (longer casting and/or harder to hit and/or less impactful) to balance, which annoys people who like casters. The Pillars world itself is insanely good, so the idea of slogging through it with a combat system that I feel moves way too far towards Diablo-style instant health and spell regeneration is kind of heartbreaking . I guess that's what happens when you create an awesome first installment. People get passionate about it ​
  20. ​Even more info: The file it's failing to read is this, which exists: Pillars of Eternity II Deadfire/game/PillarsOfEternity2_Data/exported/design/fogofwar/ar_0101_village_huana_ext.los The game successfully opens that file - note file descriptor 46 here, which we'll follow: open("/home/demeisen/Pillars of Eternity II Deadfire/game/PillarsOfEternity2_Data/exported/design/fogofwar/ar_0101_village_huana_ext.los", O_RDONLY) = 46 fstat(46, {st_mode=S_IFREG|0644, st_size=3406173, ...}) = 0 Then the game succeeds in reading the first 8K from the 3406173 byte file: read(46, "... lots and lots of data...", 8192) = 8192 The file is closed before any more reads happen, so it appears something has gone wrong already, in the first 8K: close(46): then the error is reported. Here's the full thing, with all the text from the out of range exception: write(17, "Fog of War: Failed to read file /home/demeisen/Pillars of Eternity II Deadfire/game/PillarsOfEternity2_Data/exported/design/fogofwar/ar_0101_village_huana_ext.los. See the following exception.\n \n(Filename: /home/builduser/buildslave/unity/build/artifacts/generated/common/runtime/DebugBindings.gen.cpp Line: 51)\n\n", 329) = 329 write(17, "IndexOutOfRangeException: Array index is out of range.\n at (wrapper stelemref) object:stelemref (object,intptr,object)\n at Game.FogOfWarLOS.ReadVertData (System.IO.BinaryReader reader, Game.FogOfWarLOS data, Int32 maxVerts, Boolean isBackside) [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0 \n at Game.FogOfWarLOS.Load (System.String filename) [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0 \nUnityEngine.DebugLogHandler:Internal_LogException(Exception, Object)\nUnityEngine.DebugLogHandler:LogException(Exception, Object)\nUnityEngine.Logger:LogException(Exception, Object)\nUnityEngine.Debug:LogException(Exception)\nGame.FogOfWarLOS:Load(String)\nGame.FogOfWar:OnyxStart()\nOnyx.OnyxBehavior:Start()\n \n(Filename: Line: -1)\n\n", 697) = 697 write(17, "Failed to load fog of war line of sight data.\n \n(Filename: /home/builduser/buildslave/unity/build/artifacts/generated/common/runtime/DebugBindings.gen.cpp Line: 51)\n\n", 166) = 166 Without source, I have no visibility into the processing of the LOS file, so I can't tug on the thread much more. Well, I could probably debug it at the assembly level, but that'd be a proper pain in the posterior.
  21. ​ ​About that save-game bug, I've experimented some more, and I may have Sherlocked my way into a clue! ​ ​First: I found that if I make a brand new game, create a char, enter the game, and immediately save, that save has the same problem. Re-loading it bumps me back to the char creation screen instead of loading the save. It seems I simply cannot make a good save outside of a building. ​ ​So, I made an strace of this event. I think I can ID the spot where things go wrong. There's a place where a whole mess of portraits are loaded, which I assume is where the creation screen appears. Just before that - exactly where I'd expect the problem to be triggered - I see this: write(17, "Fog of War: Failed to read file "..., 329) = 329 write(17, "IndexOutOfRangeException: Array "..., 697) = 697 write(17, "Failed to load fog of war line o"..., 166) = 166 ​Maybe that IndexOutOfRangeException is being caught by something which falls back to the C.C. screen? Or maybe it's a byproduct of that Fog of War read failure? The fact that I can load a save from inside a building is consistent with that, no? The inside save doesn't need to display the fog of war. However all my outside saves don't work. ​ ​I've tried re-installing the game from the installer, and that didn't change anything. ​ ​Hope that's a useful hint for somebody!
  22. That topic might deserve its very own thread. Lack of PotD difficulty was a problem POE1 had also (outside of some boss fights). I'm hoping it'll be tuned to be harder for DF. If a player wants more challenge, there's nowhere to go past PotD, so I feel PotD should be brutal (but NOT just by making everything a huge damage sponge). I can always play on a lower setting, but there's nothing higher past PotD.
  23. That's not a bad idea at all. It reminds me a little bit of Dungeon Master (1987), where you had a choice about how powerful to make a spell when you cast it. IIRC, it was balanced against chance of failure in that game, but no reason it couldn't be balanced against casting time. However, it has to be done carefully. For example, if the higher version gets you 2*N damage for 2*T casting time, you might as well just cast the lower end one twice. It has to scale super-linearly to make sense.
  24. ​​ Agreed 100% - I think you've nailed a major part of the trouble. I get the sense that the restrictions were an intentional design choice because some players were confused by the variety of spells. If things are more locked down, maybe there's less confusion for more novice players. Thing is, that flexibility and adaptability has been a key defining aspect of caster classes since forever. It was traditionally balanced by use limitations: per-rest with limited resting. Once the balancing factor is removed, the whole class concept falls apart, and one is left with very action-style play dynamics: spellspam + repeat. A few powered up casts isn't a good replacement. ​ My preference would be to restore how casters worked in POE1, which was more or less fine, and balance as required for the DF world. Failing that, maybe there are other ways to patch them up, like bringing back grimoire editing and/or more level-up choices, and reducing the casting times. ​ ​
  25. ​My opinion is still that Vancian-ish casters were not broken in POE1 and did not need to be "fixed". Tweaked and tuned, sure. Changed fundamentally, no.
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