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Typed Pillars of Eternity into Google News for the heck of it and found this great preview. These guys liked the beta, and they voice a lot of the same concerns we have. On the lack of combat XP (argue about it here, not in this thread): This debate already has a thread so I'm not going to touch the quote, just wanted to share their view. On pause-and-play vs. turn-based battles: This point deserves some serious debate--arguably more so than the XP thread. Granted, selection circles no longer overlap, but that hardly dilutes the argument. For my part, I agree that turn-based combat would solve the issue. I'd be fine with a well-implemented system, so don't count me among the "purist" backers; fun trumps purity any day. However, realtime-with-pause can work. The missing ingredient is AI scripts. Imagine playing an IE game without any basic scripts whatsoever, and clearing out a mob of baddies. Suddenly the micromanagement involved becomes more akin to the PoE beta. Realtime-witth-pause worked in the IE games because you could delegate no-brainer behavior, such as having your ranged character keep their distance or having a barbarian auto-engage their nearest enemy. Going up against a bunch of goblins requried a lot fewer clicks than tactically taking down a dragon. That's how it should be. Without any sort of scripting, I think I'll be spending more time in pause mode than out of it, and will miss the balanced flow of IE-era battles.