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Difficulty after 1.1 - Game is still too easy

Balance PoTD

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#41
AeonsLegend

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Can you please elaborate how the game is too easy? I couldn't even touch the thugs in Gorecci street.

 

Was playing PotD, with ALL scaling, upwards only, 35 points of beraths blessings spent on stats, +4 lvls and gold.

 

In some attempts my guys would die before touching anything. There were 7 (or 8?) enemies, 1 skull to 3 skulls and i even tried hiring mercs for a full party. I barely touched them and they 2 - 3 shot anyone. I only managed to defeated them by turning scaling off.

 

And people were saying they can solo this? What type of character can solo 8 enemies that are way above his level in the early game? Genuinely curious.

A game is considere too easy if you select normal mode and have the AI win the game for you. Stating it becomes really hard on the hardest difficulty mode is good, but that doesn't mean the game itself is hard. The fact that you have to select level scaling to prevent you from falling asleep during encounters on veteran mode is just dumb.



#42
baldurs_gate_2

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Well it's the only challenge in the game. Party-Play is to easy and not worth my time nor do i like to micro all members all the time. Yes there is a AI system, but i don't want to use it. With one character, the gameplay is way smoother.

 

And that's fine, I have no issue with people playing solo or whatever they want to do. But the fact is, it's a tiny percentage of the game base that even plays POTD and then it is a tiny fraction of that who plays it solo. At the end of the day it's not reasonable to expect the devs to be balancing the game in any way for the .01% of their base who will ever do a solo potd play through. It's cool that there are people doing it, and I'm glad people are finding all sorts of ways to enjoy the game, but the game is never going to be balanced around that in any way, shape, or form.

 

They balanced PoE 1 for solo players as well, otherwise there would no TCS or FCS runs possible. So they should do that for this game as well.



#43
Wormerine

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They balanced PoE 1 for solo players as well, otherwise there would no TCS or FCS runs possible. So they should do that for this game as well.

The problem was that PoE1 wasn’t properly balances for team play. I also remember Josh saying that they don’t balance the game around solo players.

It would be my selfishly motivated opinion, but I would rather have an RPG well balanced for intended sized party (aka. 5 in Deadfire case) rather than poorly balanced RPG to allow you to play however you want. If you are good enough with the system to break it to the point of playing solo - cool, but why damage entire game?
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#44
Takkik

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Definitly improve AI.

 

But I think Deafire introduced another problem with it's per encounter system (even if I like it) : Attrition fights are useless. Even Injuries are useless since it's easy to rest/remove them.

 

One example of weird things happening in deadfire : A fight begin, kill a drake and couple of Xau.. (the kobold thing). Fight end, everything regen, I move 2m and a little kobold was left behind... and 4m in another direction another one. The aggro is one problem, less enemies make the fight easier and less interesting, fighting 2x1 small enemy is pointless.

 

I think they should have designed encounter like in a tactical game, like Critical role fights : 1 encounter/map. You're attacking a fortress, each floor count as an ecounter and the fight only end if you kill everyone, escape, make them surrender etc... and you get a 'short' rest between each floor where you actualy regen your abilities.

 

That introduce more interesting way to play with encounters and AI(scripts). In the case of the fortress, when a fight begin guards will not stay without moving, they will gather to the commotion aera. Some will stay behing to guard specific important aera. Some enemies will try to escape the map and bring back reinforcement from other levels etc... That can introduce far longer fights where attrition is a thing forcing player to escape or using different tactics, moving in the map etc... If the player escape the dungeon, each hours before the player return the enemy will reinforce, heal, be ready for the player. Need to design dungeon in a way the player need to do it in a go and be prepared for it or each time player escape they will be ready for is return (when applicable).

 

 

Even if I enjoy lot of RPG, I would prefer a class less, level less system, based on skills and equipment. Leveling and the power grow that follow is artificial in my opinion and make too much content obsolete (and auto scaling kinda defeat the point of leveling in first place). Smaller increase in power, where the characters progress throught the abilities they unlock and their gear. Less abrupt power curve is easier to balance I think.


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#45
Shadenuat

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Yeah, you don't really lose anything for doing stupid things in combat. As the system goes now, you can use party to gather mobs and fireball them all together with mobs, have 1 dude left standing and win, no problem. It's actually a pretty degenerate gameplay. Only thing that fixes it is Grog, by the way. Which is pretty funny.

 

I don't expect Obsidian to spend huge resources on complex solutions for POTD, though; that only serves a tiny fraction of their player base

I actually find all this deal "difficulty was not a priority" bizarre. You have a party based game where most of content is about combat, and difficulty was "not a priority". If combat difficulty was not a priority, then what was? What is even the point of the game then? It's main gameplay is combat. It's not a project like Numenera where combat, indeed, might not have been a priority.


Edited by Shadenuat, 10 June 2018 - 06:03 AM.


#46
KDubya

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The fundamental problem is the linear aspect of gaining levels and equipment upgrades, especially how they affect accuracy.

 

Accuracy controls everything and the biggest contributor is your level. If you can't hit you can't do anything. They need to either  flatten out the bonuses gained at higher level and the higher grade of equipment  or completely remove the bonuses from leveling.

 

The game is definitely better than it was on release but the basic gameplay system of accuracy gained primarily from levels still trivializes the game.

 

I like the idea floated by Takkik of making an entire level of a dungeon or map classify as one encounter, that'd be great. Probably would need to add in some spells per level but that'd be good anyway.

 

Unfortunately they will not be changing the entire level up system and the way accuracy is tied to it so its going to be either struggle hitting up-leveled enemies or design your squad around accuracy buffs and enemy debuffs that circumvent the disparity in defenses.



#47
Stephen Unsworth-Mitchell

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To make a game like POE 1 and 2 really work they need change things lot.

 

Having it made so a person can do a single player character run through bad idea as either becomes impossible to do single player run or it just not challenging enough for group.

Just choose or if got have both have check box for person doing single player character run, that tweaks difficulty for said run.

 

Empower just crazy way it is, as just can rest any time without any issues. Empower scales 10x up what ever used and can be used every fight. Resting also increases states from food to and food not challenge get. There not real financial challenge so you can afford every bit equipment. 

 

Level progression should be gradual curve and enemies should scale to that curve. Boss fights dragons etc should be few levels higher then rest. You should always feel challenged but not frustrated. Need keep some attrition like per rest from POE 1 so person can scale difficult for themselves to point. POE 2 has not real attrition system player can use to scale difficulty as per encounter system doesn't play well for it. Can't try lowering little of this make that higher while the progression curve is off, as you need sort that curve out first. playing with this and that will make start game more frustrating while not fixing the cake walk that happens after leaving city in POE 2. 

 

Fights in area really need good planning and placement stop having trash fights. Example if we build pirate stronghold then first think what sort bad guys can we use what fits said theme firstly pirates what else undead pirates etc. Then need define where put fights and each choice need think why here, what advantage would they have been this placement? What difficulty are we catering for how do we want difficult scale as player run through dungeon. 

 

AI needs serious help as it trips over itself, always goes for easy target and can easily be pulled through chock point. Teach AI gang up fast attack on one of a party doesn't need be weakest. Teach it not be stupid chase through choke point. 

 

Magic has to be scaled, yes nice have powerful spells but they should be very special not useable every fight. Per encounter and open world just way to many variables to make every fight really fit right level. Open world never know when person going go  a to b or from a to z.

 

Equipment yes we love finding new equipment but legendary equipment should be very limited.

 

People always want everything but ask really rich person done everything gets bit boring cause there nothing special left for them as got everything. So in games people want lots but don't give all easy or let them use special things all the time as stop things been special, make people work hard get special things or be able use special things.

 

If want build game that's per encounter and open world say it from first game and stick to it, don't change it so much system becomes something totally new. Can't please everyone design it for one set of people and stick to that. Changing systems pushing people out pull in few new, few new might not touch it based on some scared start franchise mid way through.

 

If your going do attrition system then needs to make people pay price for using example per rest needs have chance of been attacked when rest out in wilds. Per rest needs make people pay price for going back to town half way through dungeon each hour away from dungeon it refills said dungeon with bad guys, therefore after number hours said dungeons back to fall up. 

 

Honestly what ever system you have try have things that can be turned on to make it more difficult. I played tyranny and POE 1 so many times would be nice I can turn things up make it more challenge at times. It's really nice be able tweak game to fit your personal level at various times.

 

Personally if I was obsidian I make POE 3 and use POE 3 set how you really want build it per encounter or per rest. Used it to really find way balance scaling and gradual curve of levelling up. I would make POE 3 end watcher story. From that I start again with new story and character set in past or in future and build that franchise using what you learned from this set stories. 

 

I very want see how story gets completed. I be here for POE 3. I also want meet kyros in tyranny see how that works out for my fatebinder. I like see you build new story and for you really make it truly legendary set games that really push story companions and exploration.

 

Honestly want an open world game need do away with levels as we know it and have one fixed level define whole your character at start game, but if do that need reward player in different way and you need make sure story lines and companions are great and amazing.

 

Or

 

Have semi open world where to progress from an area need to complete set objective to progress, that way easier manage level progression and level scaling.

 

I don't dislike POE 1 or 2 or tyranny and not complaining as want you follow my way or nothing. I write in forum because want you build best games possible and I want play them in 20 years time want still remember them because they where special.



#48
Tigranes

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...

 

It seems to be an Obsidian thing.  Pillars was undeniably hardest in the early stages of the game, Tyranny peaked at the end of Act 1 and was downhill from there, and Deadfire is little different.  Maybe the majority of their effort is on the early stages of the game?

 

 

Oh no, it is a CRPG thing. Almost all CRPGs, especially after 2002 or so, share similar systemic problems where after the first 30-50%, the game becomes trivially easy, you have millions of gold, and so on.

 

POE1/2 does a far better job than games like KOTOR, where you really could go for a cup of tea during battles, for example. And many players have come to expect or enjoy this relaxing difficulty; we keep hearing about players who struggle with POE1/2 on Normal, for example.

 

But the whole point of having 5 difficulty settings was to be able to provide difficulty at least on POTD. And the whole point of crowdfunding a project like POE was to provide something a bit more old school than "mash the button and you win!!" trend some recent games have taken.

 

So, while I don't expect big things, I do expect that Obsidian wouldn't make POTD trivially easy on release (which they did), and I do hope that they will go further than what they did with 1.1. 


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#49
ThacoBell

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Yeah, you don't really lose anything for doing stupid things in combat. As the system goes now, you can use party to gather mobs and fireball them all together with mobs, have 1 dude left standing and win, no problem. It's actually a pretty degenerate gameplay. Only thing that fixes it is Grog, by the way. Which is pretty funny.

 

I don't expect Obsidian to spend huge resources on complex solutions for POTD, though; that only serves a tiny fraction of their player base

I actually find all this deal "difficulty was not a priority" bizarre. You have a party based game where most of content is about combat, and difficulty was "not a priority". If combat difficulty was not a priority, then what was? What is even the point of the game then? It's main gameplay is combat. It's not a project like Numenera where combat, indeed, might not have been a priority.

Um, its NOT all about combat. Obsidian deliberatly reduced the amount of combat in this game compared to Pillars1 and then went so far as to include FAR more options for avoiding combat. People are complaining about not getting Dark Souls level of "difficulty" in a game that has been almost entirely tuned around story, character interaction, world interaction, and roleplaying.


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#50
ThacoBell

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...

 

It seems to be an Obsidian thing.  Pillars was undeniably hardest in the early stages of the game, Tyranny peaked at the end of Act 1 and was downhill from there, and Deadfire is little different.  Maybe the majority of their effort is on the early stages of the game?

 

 

Oh no, it is a CRPG thing. Almost all CRPGs, especially after 2002 or so, share similar systemic problems where after the first 30-50%, the game becomes trivially easy, you have millions of gold, and so on.

 

POE1/2 does a far better job than games like KOTOR, where you really could go for a cup of tea during battles, for example. And many players have come to expect or enjoy this relaxing difficulty; we keep hearing about players who struggle with POE1/2 on Normal, for example.

 

But the whole point of having 5 difficulty settings was to be able to provide difficulty at least on POTD. And the whole point of crowdfunding a project like POE was to provide something a bit more old school than "mash the button and you win!!" trend some recent games have taken.

 

So, while I don't expect big things, I do expect that Obsidian wouldn't make POTD trivially easy on release (which they did), and I do hope that they will go further than what they did with 1.1. 

 

I'd be surprised if 50% of player could beat PotD, I wouldn't call that "trivially easy."


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#51
Shadenuat

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Um, its NOT all about combat. Obsidian deliberatly reduced the amount of combat in this game compared to Pillars1 and then went so far as to include FAR more options for avoiding combat. People are complaining about not getting Dark Souls level of "difficulty" in a game that has been almost entirely tuned around story, character interaction, world interaction, and roleplaying.

Sorry dude, but this statement is laughable. PoE2 has quite a lot of encounters where you talk to person and end up fighting that person anyway, most of content is about party adventure and dungeons, and it's character system has literally only 2 skills to level up, with skills not affecting story much in any way. Deus Ex 1 has more roleplaying, player agency and endings than PoE2 and it's built on an engine of 1st person shooter.

 

But the whole point of having 5 difficulty settings

I still can't think up any reasons why you need whole 5 difficulty settings in your game btw. In any game.


Edited by Shadenuat, 10 June 2018 - 07:41 AM.

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#52
theBalthazar

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Obsidian cannot balance all possibilities.

 

Often the start of the game is difficult in this kind of RPG. Because after that, you can optimize your choices. AND :

 

1) If this choice is irrelevant = no enough choice = no interest to play. The player have no impact on his environnement.

2) Relevant but far too much game breaker with few associations = no inteteresting to play = too easy.

 

But in this game, there is almost open world after port maje. It is extremely hard to put the cursor at the good place.

 

Few people will say : I want MAX difficulty BUT without "over-routing".

 

Few other say : No... If I CAN do that,  -this- must be included to the "meta" game, a new high level. (like considering that the player has found the best weapons after port-maje for example = consider this behavior like a new standard)

 

So POE2 is complicated to Balance for that I think.

 

PoTD is perhaps the hightest level of difficulty but he cannot be frustrating like : you must pick exactly theses and theses classes + this routing. And for example, if not, you are wrong and you lose systematically all your fights.

 

The best example is : Gorecci alley.

 

Few people say : I want to challenge this moment NOW because I want to play a very hard difficulty but without derived manners. (Return after few levels)

 

Others say : If this moment is too hard, come an other day (= routing)

 

If you are Obsidian you do what ?^^...


Edited by theBalthazar, 10 June 2018 - 07:51 AM.

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#53
Tigranes

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Tacobell,

 

(1) POE hearkens back to an Infinity Engine tradition which involved a huge number of fans who loved story and worldbuilding, and also a huge number that loved combat and character building. It's not really genuine to dismiss one over the other.

 

(2) You missed the numerous times when we all made the point that yes, very few people play POTD, so it's hard to devote huge resources to it, but at the same time, it needs to at least try to be more difficult, because it is supposed to be extrmeely difficult for grognards, and there are four other difficulty settings for everyone else. It's pretty nonsensical to set the yardstick at "50% of people should be able to beat the absolute hardest difficulty".

 

(honestly, it would be better to have a single difficulty level that they balance painstakingly for most players, and then tack on a story time mode and brutal mode on either side for the minority. managing 5 seems far too difficult.)


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#54
InsaneCommander

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I actually find all this deal "difficulty was not a priority" bizarre. You have a party based game where most of content is about combat, and difficulty was "not a priority". If combat difficulty was not a priority, then what was? What is even the point of the game then? It's main gameplay is combat. It's not a project like Numenera where combat, indeed, might not have been a priority.

 

I think it was not a priority when comparing it to removing bugs. Because they started addressing the difficulty after the hotfix, with some improvements on their first main patch. That's ok for me.

 

I'm playing on Veteran now and it's difficult enough for me. I expect it will become easy later but it's ok. By the time I replay the game I will want a good challenge on PotD though.


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#55
Undesirable

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I thought people were reporting that the game is difficult enough now in POTD with scaling turned on? I'm finding it pretty challenging. The op says it's all about leveling being too quick and accuracy, but if the enemies are scaling along with you, surely that makes up for it?

Edited by Undesirable, 10 June 2018 - 10:44 AM.

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#56
cokane

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Um, its NOT all about combat. Obsidian deliberatly reduced the amount of combat in this game compared to Pillars1 and then went so far as to include FAR more options for avoiding combat. People are complaining about not getting Dark Souls level of "difficulty" in a game that has been almost entirely tuned around story, character interaction, world interaction, and roleplaying.

 

 

This isn't true. Yes, the game is marginally less about combat than the original.

 

However, gear, consumables, stats, half your level-up skills, and much more have nothing do with anything except combat. Virtually everything you spend gold on helps combat or the ship. There's almost nothing else to spend gold on! Arguing the game isn't focused around combat is simply false.

 

Moreover, combat is the only aspect of the game that has a challenge. People seemingly don't want fail-states for quests, or at least Obsidian doesn't, so there's no actual challenge in the other things you listed: story, character interaction, world interaction and roleplaying. There's no fail-states for these parts of the game. Thus there's no "tuning around" them.



#57
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...

 

It seems to be an Obsidian thing.  Pillars was undeniably hardest in the early stages of the game, Tyranny peaked at the end of Act 1 and was downhill from there, and Deadfire is little different.  Maybe the majority of their effort is on the early stages of the game?

 

(...)

So, while I don't expect big things, I do expect that Obsidian wouldn't make POTD trivially easy on release (which they did), and I do hope that they will go further than what they did with 1.1. 

Ha! You know what, we are so spoiled. I remember starting PoE1 and thinking to myself how much better it is than IE games where you had one real difficulty and other ones were awkward stat changes. It took me couple playtrhoughs before I started to be critical of PoE1 difficulty, as it was so much better than games that inspired it.

That said. Yeah, it can be better. I am diapponted to hear that later fights don't keep the difficulty. How are the "epic" fights"? (dragons etc.) I hope for something on the level of Adra dragon.  



#58
1TTFFSSE

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I thought people were reporting that the game is difficult enough now in POTD with scaling turned on? I'm finding it pretty challenging. The op says it's all about leveling being too quick and accuracy, but if the enemies are scaling along with you, surely that makes up for it?

In general it is I would say except maybe some extra tweaks to enemy ai. For more enemy "stats" I think a mod can do the trick but a mod for ai is not as good as what obsidian can do. 



#59
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I think it was not a priority when comparing it to removing bugs. Because they started addressing the difficulty after the hotfix

I think this is a bit full of gak, because varied and difficult encounters & core design for open world game remaining difficult should have been designed during development and be a priority, it's THE GAMEPLAY; it's their second PoE game, it's not the mega dungeon with copy pasted slimes anymore.

 

Speaking of bestiary, BG1 had goblins and bandits, BG2 added golems, vampires, dragons, celestials, demons, illithid, beholders, liches, drow - that's how proper sequel should probably handle new adventure, difficulty & new bestiary, don't you think?

 

I thought people were reporting that the game is difficult enough now in POTD with scaling turned on? I'm finding it pretty challenging. The op says it's all about leveling being too quick and accuracy, but if the enemies are scaling along with you, surely that makes up for it?

Monsters scaled around +2/-2, with fixes they're now +4 (?), add gear to that, empower, many things, and eventually you seem to outpace everything.

 

I hope for something on the level of Adra dragon

I thought so after release and a playthrough too.

 

Btw, there is definitely something wrong with big monsters like dragons, which is because of interrupt system. Party seem to be able reliably interrupt and cancel actions of big creatures like dragons and they never seem to finish their abilities (that's not even talking monks just kick flipping kraken in the air for massive lulz). I wonder if anyone noticed that, because just mashing various interrupt rogue/monk/barbarian buttons on magma dragon seemed to completely stunlock her.

 

These creatures should have immunity to interrupt maybe. I wonder what other people experience with these beasts is because I think current dragons are the easiest big creatures in the game.


Edited by Shadenuat, 10 June 2018 - 11:26 AM.


#60
Myztik

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Can you please elaborate how the game is too easy? I couldn't even touch the thugs in Gorecci street.

 

Was playing PotD, with ALL scaling, upwards only, 35 points of beraths blessings spent on stats, +4 lvls and gold.

 

In some attempts my guys would die before touching anything. There were 7 (or 8?) enemies, 1 skull to 3 skulls and i even tried hiring mercs for a full party. I barely touched them and they 2 - 3 shot anyone. I only managed to defeated them by turning scaling off.

 

And people were saying they can solo this? What type of character can solo 8 enemies that are way above his level in the early game? Genuinely curious.

A game is considere too easy if you select normal mode and have the AI win the game for you. Stating it becomes really hard on the hardest difficulty mode is good, but that doesn't mean the game itself is hard. The fact that you have to select level scaling to prevent you from falling asleep during encounters on veteran mode is just dumb.

 

What? That's the whole point of the setting







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