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My only major complaint with Deadfire after sinking 76 hours into it is the presence of enemies with Immunity to Common Damage Types (Piercing/Slashing/Crushing) and its impact on the gameplay experience. Now, before I get into it, I want to say that I can understand and appreciate Elemental Immunities - typically the only sources of pure elemental damage are spells, and usually if you're running into enemies with elemental immunities you can just cast a different spell. But outright resistance to the Common Damage Types sets my teeth on edge because it produces particularly strange logic in several cases.

 

For example, Skeletal Warriors (and other Skeletal [Class] enemies) are immune to Piercing damage. I can see the logic behind it: Skeletons are not known for having a lot of squishy parts. They're entirely bones and empty spaces, so it makes sense that weapons that rely on piercing fleshy parts to damage organs would have a tough time against them.

 

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Figure A: Skeleton Lectures Peasant On Why Gut Stabs Aren't Great Without A Gut To Stab

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However, just because a Piercing weapon primarily relies on touching things that shouldn't be touched to deal its damage doesn't mean that it would be useless: there's still significant force being exerted by the impact, even if effective impact locations are harder to come by. In this case, a high resistance to the damage type in question makes sense, but outright immunity doesn't - regardless of how wiggly and wily a Skeleton may be, a bullet or spear in the right place will still shatter bone.

 

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Figure B: Skeleton Politely Requests Peasant Not Move Pitchfork To Avoid Snapping Spine

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Things get even weirder when you factor in Bows. For some reason, War Bows and Hunting Bows were changed from Piercing to Best Of Slash/Pierce. As a result, Skeletons are immune to bullets and bolts, but still very much vulnerable to arrows (even though Slashing primarily relies on cutting, which... Skeletons don't have anything to cut!).

 

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Figure C: Skeleton Loudly Disregards Local Constabulary's Firearms, But States Respect And Fear Of Bowmen

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Nitpicking the logic behind it aside, the actual gameplay feel behind common damage immunities is just awful. There's no tactical depth to it: solving the problem is as easy as pulling out a backup - a Scepter or a Rod or a Sword or a Hammer - and it's just annoying. There's no huge additional challenge to dealing with enemies with these immunities, I'm just mildly inconvenienced while my characters use a slightly less optimal weapon so they can actually participate instead of complaining about how their weapon isn't working. Elemental or Spell immunities change the tactics you use because the majority of the spells in the game have unique effects and casting times and AOEs and what have you, but Common Damage Immunities just require you to use a different kind of stick.

 

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Figure D: Bored Skeleton Suggests That Poster Find Better, Funnier Gimmick

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Now, Skeletons are just an example of enemies with Common Damage Immunities, but they're probably the best indicator of why these immunities are simply annoying instead of challenging. Very rarely, if ever, do enemies with Common Damage Immunities pose a significant threat because of their immunities.

 

I would much rather see enemies with Immunity to Common Damage Types be given high resistance instead (for example, 20 or 30 at least) so that they still retain their logical defenses against such damage types.

 

This would encourage the player to switch damage types to better handle the situation but not require it. Continuing to use the resisted damage type would still be sub-optimal, but not so much that the experience becomes frustrating or immersion-breaking.

 

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Figure E: Local Skeleton Seeks Flaming Sword To Cuddle, Direct Inquires To Old City Caves Under Neketaka

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Overall, I've had a blast with Deadfire and have adored my time spent playing it. This whole Common Damage Immunity thing is literally the only thing I see as a flaw and I desperately want to see it changed, but I also understand if Obsidian chooses not to. If they don't, well... there's always modding, and it's not like I'm going to suddenly start hating Deadfire over something minor like this.

 

Anyways, thank you for reading, and I hope you have a nice day.

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  • 3 years later...

I'd rather just remove all immunities and replace it with 30AR in the corresponding damage type, so you will always deal -75% damage but at least it's not zero. Some classes have a really hard time with immunities -- it's not fun dealing with Fire Naga as a Priest of Magran.

Also, I'd delete poison/disease/ground immunity from the game entirely. It makes no sense that I can poison ghosts but not robots. It also makes Ancient druids super annoying to play due to plant spells basically all being related to either poison or ground.

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I must be in the minority here, because for the most part I appreciate a slight dusting of immunities. I think disease/poison immunity is a bit too common (not helped by the fact that some abilities and some immunities to disease/poison are hidden), and mind immunity is also similarly hidden (took me a while to realize that vessels are innately mind-immune without having an explicit immunity), but otherwise they spice up encounters and force one to have a more diverse toolkit. There's definitely an extreme that's unfun (most final fantasies i can remember most non-damage spells aren't worth using in part because enemies are arbitrarily immune to so many different things), but between D&D, pathfinder, deadfire, I haven't really seen these style of RPGs get too excessive in general (though it's up to area design to not load up a place with immunes).

The problem with like infinite AR is that players may try to brute force through that, instead of going for weaknesses, and unintentionally lead to unfun grinds. I think this was something that JES cited as a move away from the DR approach - players were just sticking with their favorite weapons even if enemies had like 3000 DR.

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