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Difficulty after 1.1 - Game is still too easy


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You people really think that most modern audiences would appreciate being put into starter dungeon with wizard and skeletons, modron maze or will easily go through Curst prison?

 

You just don't understand the level of proficiency you have even if you beaten nothing but PS:T or say NWN2.

 

Most people are very bad, so bad you won't believe. They don't like RPGs, even if you think that combat in a particular one is "easy", you'll be suprised how hard it actually is for them. They might even not notice the "Story" difficulty you made for them before you tweet them about it. And they will still ask for something easier than story mode anyway.

 

That's not even beginning on the discussion about that in PS:T you have to *read*, and a lot. Which is also "hard".

 

So saying that tweaking combat to be harder is for people who "like RPGs" might seem arrogant, but in modern meta - it's more often than not correct, because the bar is lower than lowest of the low.

Edited by Shadenuat
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You people really think that most modern audiences would appreciate being put into starter dungeon with wizard and skeletons, modron maze or will easily go through Curst prison?

 

Err, yes? It's what these games do? Would we not argue the same of the likes of Poko Kohara, the Drowned Barrows, Cignath Mór or Splintered Reef in Deadfire, which are arguably tougher what with their greater variety of challenges and enemies throughout?

 

 

That's not even beginning on the discussion about that in PS:T you have to *read*, and a lot. Which is also "hard".

 

And this is why defining "the hardest" is a good idea, I suppose, because when people speak of difficulty tuning here they're never really referring to "reading difficulty".

Edited by algroth
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This is going to sound pedantic, but we have to better define "the hardest."

In modern game design it's "for people who actually like RPGs / combat".

 

No. Just no. RPGs can be fun without a high difficulty, heck story quality and game difficulty are not linked. Combat can also be fun without being masochistic. Don't conflate your taste with everyone's standard of fun.

 

Though I am of the opinion that challenging gameplay can often enhance a story, I agree here. Heck, Planescape: Torment is hardly a very challenging game yet there are several in this forum (as shown by this poll I made a few months back for example) who consider it one of the greatest RPGs ever. I don't think the people who take part in the official forum for a developer dedicated primarily on the development of RPGs are not gonna be people who don't "actually like RPGs". Combat, now, that is a very different thing - but again, taking Torment's example above, combat isn't necessarily what RPG fans look at in their RPGs.

 

 

Game can just have a good story and be success planet torment is good example of that, but it wouldn't be wise move for obsidian to go down that road with POE.

 

Firstly POE has had combat from start and to suddenly remove would be to drastic a change. Lot of people buy POE if they bought POE 3 and found no combat they feel cheated. Secondly obsidian need to work on story telling, not trying be nasty but look at POE then tyranny and then POE 2, first POE has its issues story telling wise like finishing quest at the arrival of second city which does kill emersion as you feel reached the end before you made it to the end, then got white marsh great little story but badly thought out  as either do it at the end and soulbound are waste or do it in middle of game and level progression takes big hit.. Tyranny split into 3 acts on reaching act 3 makes person feel there is still lot to go and suddenly game ends, whole end could of been better thought out. POE 2 story is very story light and if had no combat would simple killed franchise when story not well enough done.

 

Most important point is building game that has sell on story line is dangerous gamble for game company as to make story whole of a game forces it to be rather perfect story or death of the game, there is very little forgiveness on game like planet torment and in its case it had the great story.

 

As for open world that has and always will have levelling issues., now with games like elder scrolls not issue as don't play them be challenged, I play them for the story and feeling of epic size. Lot of people got involved with POE cause it promised be in spirit of BG franchise so people expected it be challenging and rewarding. I understand deadfire is a rather open space but shouldn't been made open world, personally think they should of had it split into 4 sections like map is and shouldn't been able to explore section until you first travelled to to that area. If they done that would still felt rather open world but would given obsidian more control of levelling and when you actually arrive in each section would also helped with story as they could then put reasons why couldn't simply chased eothas and had to do side content. Honestly as it feels currently story takes back seat without any reasoning while you explore open world and eothas runs into setting sun but its ok we got all time in world.  Story and open world run counter to each other and it effects whole produce for it.

 

POE set itself up for those wanted challenge when it made POTD and iron man both sound like there designed to challenge and sound like designed for the few want extreme mode.

Edited by Stephen Unsworth-Mitchell
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Personally Id prefer a "cooldown" system with a few more active abilities. A priest for example would get more spells then they do in deadfire but less then they had in PoE 1 and spells had cooldowns. Powerful spells would have longer cooldowns then lesser spells.

 

Figurines would require souls gathered from kills to be recast, more powerful figurines require more souls etc.

 

A character/party would still need to rest and consume food/drink while doing so or they will get dehydrated/fatigue/starved. This is more for the immersion then anything.

 

Merchants wouldn't have infinite gold to buy every piece of garbage Xaurip spear u drag with you. Merchants would regain some money each passing day because business.

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Yes I understand that having mutiple ideas and systems with in game will make lot harder work but thats for companies sort out. Honestly does company want just make money which case might well go route of micro transactions and building games for majority, but those companies games will never be remembered and nor will company when they gone. If company really wants stand out then got try new ways please more people and try make legendery games.

 

It's not about that though, it just a simple matter of finite resources: time, money, manpower. Regardless of whether a company is looking for a quick cash grab or is truly dedicated to making great games, they can only expend those resources once. Building two quite different gameplay modes into a game will inherently mean that resources will have to be split between them. Anything spent building one mode cannot be spent building the other, therefore the quality of each mode will almost certainly be less than it would have been had they decided to just implement that mode.

 

And personally, I think a game is much more likely to be great if the developers have a clear focus and vision and just go with that; rather than trying to hedge their bets and make something that appeals to everyone (or to a larger audience, at any rate). Not guaranteed by any means of course, the courage of conviction can just as easily lead to spectacular failure (ahhh, Daikatana...). But going for compromise and mitigating risk, I can't really ever see that going anywhere legendary.

 

Yeah you are right in some ways as POE will always be better known then deadfire. POE had vision and then people complained about per rest and obsidian changed it to per encounter but its not really per encounter cause you have wounds and rest still there so its mixed up mess. Resting and wounds has no real effect and isn't punished and unfortunately those like attrition can't really use either wounds or rest to increase challenge as its so badly done. 

 

But this doesn't change what I said as I suggested having choice which for player to make at games start so not mixed hybrid. Having both enables both to be worked on as both per encounter and per rest systems need have there issues sorted. Having both also force obsidian think how can we make each fight interesting and different for per encounter and not trash fights. For per rest because of the per encounter we have lost the annoying trash fights and still have ways make things more interesting challenge. So yes I think having both actually force obsidian make better game. I think having both might mean a smaller game but if we get legendary game that's slightly smaller prefer that to massive game that's good but not amazing.

 

Per encounter forces company think much harder about each fight. That's good thing. To make per encounter work is lot harder work. If take pirate island and do it so per encounter then got think what types bad guys can we use, got pirates and undead pirates. How do we make them interesting well pirate is rogue type so we can use rogue abilities to hide our sneaky pirate and let them sneak into back row and crit the back row for some evil damage. We can have mage and a dual blunderbuss rogues which is player going take out first as dual wielding blunderbuss going hit hard and crit for good damage or the undead mage who going try debuff party and hit you hard with few his big spells. I try take both using my mage by raining few meteors down on there heads oh that's not worked the mage countered my spell with shield.

 

Now for us like per rest having obsidian think like that because of the per encounter system will make each fight interesting and we have the ability use our per rest to adapt the level of challenge we want. Because the per encounter if done right give great fight first time but once know what to counter with second time is lot easier. 

 

Games are so much bigger and continue to grow, therefore company that tries new things can afford to make game bit smaller and have both systems.

 

On the general per rest vs per encounter discussion, I would argue that ultimately the best way would be to get rid of both. Though per encounter does work considerably better than per rest, in my view. I think the problem of the per rest system is that it is a holdover from P&P games that just never really worked in computer games. Generally speaking, neither the resting itself nor time having elapsed has any real cost associated with it, so by itself there is no disincentive to rolling through a dungeon with your band of merry narcoleptics, dozing off at every turn. Whereas in P&P the DM could just sick some ogres on them or whatever, or have all the hard work clearing out monsters be pretty much undone by the time they wake up, because as it turns out reality isn't static when outside the protagonist's view. 

 

Of course the resting can be restricted artificially in various ways, which works to some extent but to my mind doesn't really solve the core problem. What (I would argue) makes the need for attrition and resource management and such interesting is that you need to be strategic, tactical. You need to weigh the benefits of using some resources now against possibly needing them later. But for there to be actual strategy and tactical thinking to that, you need at least to some extent to be able to plan ahead, and thus you require information about what may be next. But there is often no organic way to really obtain that. It would require much greater ability to gather relevant information in different ways (which would also greatly increase options for adding valuable non-combat skills to the game), in terms of scouting, scrying, infiltration, studying tracks, what have you.

 

But similarly, it would probably need (and should encourage) much more tactical options for approaching a situation. Preparing an ambush, creating a distraction, but also actually being able to run away (and in the same vein it would be great of course if enemies can actually decide to run away (instead of suicidally keep attacking when it's clearly pointless), surrender, raise an alarm,rather than encounters essentially being in an isolated bubble disconnected from the rest of the world). In other words, make the world potentially more predictable and give the player more options to use information they have gleaned and make resource management and such actually strategic. Because as it is, it comes down much more to metagaming: you can manage your resources because having previously played through the same bit before; or there is a big glowing arrow saying "dungeon boss through this door", and you know you can bust out the big spells now. In that regard, it would also help in another sense to make the world less predictable as well, by making it dynamic; meaningfully changing over time as well as between playthroughs / reloads. Which could also easily make resting much more impactful: the world will have changed around you; the path you cleared behind you may not be clear anymore; you may have been detected and the defenses ahead been shored up, or an ambush may be around the next corner. 

 

Anyway, just some meandering thoughts; I just feel that though per encounter approaches clearly have their issues, the old school per rest approach doesn't fix them. And mind you, much of the above in a way can be applied to individual encounters as well. Adding forms of attrition within encounters. Adding more options for strategy, meaningful use of terrain. Making them less predictable (have reinforcements show up, have that fireball knock over a tree and cut off part of your party). In general I think, make things less binary, discrete (would feel much more interesting if there weren't for example fixed numbers of spells to cast, but casting (bigger) spells just makes the mage more exhausted and their subsequent spells less effective in various ways). Though admittedly that is much more difficult to design, but one can dream... 

 

Per rest does work but issue is that needs to punish as without punishment it gives chance for someone to cheese game with it. Per encounter works if company truly put effort into each fight make it interesting and challenge in different way each fight. If not per encounter becomes set path do x,y and z each fight and win.

 

Per rest don't need know what's coming as you working tactically every fight only using what you feel needs to be used for each fight and therefore saving stuff for next possible encounter. Truth is makes you feel good if can complete whole dungeon without having go back to town replenish and makes you feel good when you meet boss and get use those powerful spells you been saving as not able use them every fight which made them rather fun (using most powerful spells should be limited and feel good when get use not boring cause this 100th time you used it and it means nothing to you any more.)

 

If you remove per rest and per encounter what system are you going use?

 

As for ambushing and the other things yeah we should have things like that and not just our party but the bad guys to. Fights need have lots things make it different and interesting.

Edited by Stephen Unsworth-Mitchell
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Personally Id prefer a "cooldown" system with a few more active abilities.

 

You may not like what you will get. Tyranny had cooldowns. It made every combat into same monotony of rotating abilities for the win, exhausting every ability because there was no point not to.

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Personally Id prefer a "cooldown" system with a few more active abilities.

 

You may not like what you will get. Tyranny had cooldowns. It made every combat into same monotony of rotating abilities for the win, exhausting every ability because there was no point not to.

 

 

love tyranny game but yeah combat was cycle through your abilities and spells keep repeating. Could be even more frustrating when destroyed half an opponents health bar for it to refill as you used all strong abilities and had spend bit time on weaker ones. I think maybe there could be ways to improve said system.

 

I seriously wouldn't want change POE system for 3rd time to something different as it probably come up short as not have its issues sorted. I prefer sorting issues and having better sytem through improvement then new.

 

Also with tyranny system once got some special abilities add in weapon abilities and faction ones was kind of easy to just draw group in hit them with every powerful ability destroy few weaker bad guys and weaken stronger ones then attack one big target and destroy rest one by one. Enemy numbers didn't matter after that point so became walk in park.

 

Tyranny system wasn't really any different between classes as you could make mage rogue fighter that was capable of powerful spells could hold frontline and be sneaky.

Edited by Stephen Unsworth-Mitchell
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hmmm didnt read all the topic , so the following is only my personnal feeling

 

i Like to play with fun builds ( i mean i do more Rp build  ( one of my char is an inquisitor called Casandra Rivan darcozzi paladini who had a a far far familiy link with a certain lucia  rivan ^^ anyway thats my fun ) . I love the combat part but not solo i like to play with companion

 

before the patch i ran really too easily in normal and veteran and i enjoyed the potd but now with my way to play i m stucked with veteran level ..... i need to really micro manage everything during fight and IF one thing is goind wrong it s the end. so Normal is too easy and boring  veteran for me is Boring cuz too much micro management and theory crafiting  and most of it the addition to the encounters are ...... hmm odd

 

drake everywhere ? ? ?  army of critters ?? not really lore friendly

 

So maybe adding a level of difficulty bringing back the old potd will be a nice way to satisfy everyone

 

Cuz i perfectly understand some people play the game only for the challenge of the combat engine some only for the story ^^ but i guess many people are somewhere between the two extrem

 

my two cents

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Personally Id prefer a "cooldown" system with a few more active abilities.

 

You may not like what you will get. Tyranny had cooldowns. It made every combat into same monotony of rotating abilities for the win, exhausting every ability because there was no point not to.

 

 

No system is perfect.

POE1 per rest system : encourage you to use everything and rest between each (big)fight or you don't use most waiting for a challenging fight.

POE1 per encounter system (martial classes): You just spam/use all your abilities since they return after each fight.

POE2 per encounter : All abilities compete for the resources, so out of situationnal cases, you use the most cost effective resource you have.

Tyranny cooldown system : You use the same skill rotation over & over.

 

Per encounter system is nice but you need to have quality fights. All fights need to be interesting and push you resource wise. Since you can always use a meteor storm, a fireball etc... your best skills, a fight you can end in one skill isn't interesting and shouldn't be in game. Problem of tyranny & poe2 they have the same design of a per rest game. you can fight in a map and don't aggro all enemies around (sometimes just 2-4m in the fog) that mean less interesting main fight and lot of useless fights where you are vs 1-2 enemies.

The attrition need to come in the length of each fight encounter, not in the number of fights you do between rest.

 

PoE2 have same design problem than dragon age origins: you enter a room full of enemies, cast all your aoe spells and kill every one. All your mana/per encounter uses return, go to next room full of monster and repeat. It's not really interesting. The way to counter this, is not allowing player to exit combat mode between rooms. Like each map/floor are a combat encounter and you can only restore your resources when you clear the map (or a limited restore between each floor). If you exit early, the map populate with some random encounter (depending of time passing).

That would allow designer to create each combat map as an attrition fight were each trap/small fight will drain your resources/wounds until you can take a rest. (short rest : you restore your resources and per encounter use. Long rest : you use the camp system, eat and restore every abilities but time pass and map can repopulate).

 

 

My problem with poe2 (and dragon age origins when it was released), allow to use big spells like aoe every fight really break the balance I find if you don't have a good attrition system that limit their use. How the game work right now, I would design classes like the warlock in d&d 5. You have some cantrip/at will abilities/spells you character can always use. You have your per encounter abilities based on resources (like the 2 warlock spell slots) and then you have your most powerfull abilities (like high level spells of 8-9 lvl) that are per rest uses (warlock arcanums). They are your jokers you use only in tough fights.

Remove camping/resting in dungeons, you must exit and some encounter can respawn (encouraging you to prepare well and do it in one go).

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hmmm didnt read all the topic , so the following is only my personnal feeling

 

i Like to play with fun builds ( i mean i do more Rp build  ( one of my char is an inquisitor called Casandra Rivan darcozzi paladini who had a a far far familiy link with a certain lucia  rivan ^^ anyway thats my fun ) . I love the combat part but not solo i like to play with companion

 

before the patch i ran really too easily in normal and veteran and i enjoyed the potd but now with my way to play i m stucked with veteran level ..... i need to really micro manage everything during fight and IF one thing is goind wrong it s the end. so Normal is too easy and boring  veteran for me is Boring cuz too much micro management and theory crafiting  and most of it the addition to the encounters are ...... hmm odd

 

drake everywhere ? ? ?  army of critters ?? not really lore friendly

 

So maybe adding a level of difficulty bringing back the old potd will be a nice way to satisfy everyone

 

Cuz i perfectly understand some people play the game only for the challenge of the combat engine some only for the story ^^ but i guess many people are somewhere between the two extrem

 

my two cents

 

I do understand your point and agree there does seem to be big difference between normal and veteran difficulty other difficulties not such gulf between. Does make it very challenging when first move up from normal to veteran.

 

Other part doesn't help with it is fact that higher difficulties made harder after release which they often end up making start out very micromanagement and frustrating, sometimes having cheese it bit till get enough spells, health etc that you can really start hold your own. Difficulty you choose after reaching point doesn't really matter as becomes cake walk when got high enough level.

Edited by Stephen Unsworth-Mitchell
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I doubt they'll ever do Dark Souls/Knights of the Chalice respawns/locking player out of rest. They'll say something like "it's too stressful to lock players out of their rests". It would turn encounters into a gauntlet. Which would be awesome, but only for aforementioned 1%. Although maybe single optional dungeon could make use of that.

 

My guess for PoE3 is just a more streamlined version of what we have now. Maybe work on encounters and make them a lot better&unique so every one makes you think which ability is best to use. Add some automatic light pre-buff system for you and enemy that would allow to put some spells like summoned weapons into there, but for player it takes money/resources/food/ingredients. Remove rest & per rest alltogether.

 

But it's all just guessing. There might not be PoE3, and for me personally a lot of things Josh does are still very hard to understand (recently tried to explain to a friend why priest's ability did 25.9 damage to undead while having 12 base damage +20%+24%, was hilarious).

Edited by Shadenuat
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Per rest does work but issue is that needs to punish as without punishment it gives chance for someone to cheese game with it. Per encounter works if company truly put effort into each fight make it interesting and challenge in different way each fight. If not per encounter becomes set path do x,y and z each fight and win.

 

Per rest don't need know what's coming as you working tactically every fight only using what you feel needs to be used for each fight and therefore saving stuff for next possible encounter. Truth is makes you feel good if can complete whole dungeon without having go back to town replenish and makes you feel good when you meet boss and get use those powerful spells you been saving as not able use them every fight which made them rather fun (using most powerful spells should be limited and feel good when get use not boring cause this 100th time you used it and it means nothing to you any more.)

 

If you remove per rest and per encounter what system are you going use?

 

As for ambushing and the other things yeah we should have things like that and not just our party but the bad guys to. Fights need have lots things make it different and interesting.

 

 

Making resting and time progression an actual cost does certainly help (though that rarely happens, artificial restrictions like the camping supplies thing are just a cheap hack; the main cost there is that it's annoying to have to get more), but without actually adding tactical elements over a larger time span it's still not particularly compelling. It also only works in certain areas. Wandering around a city area for example there'd be no natural disincentive not to just unload your big guns on whatever, because there's probably an inn or camping supply store around the corner. Something similar applies out in the open, since probably you're not that far from resting options (often just one loading screen away) and travel time has no cost either. Conversely in dungeons and such you get the original problem of still lacking any predictive information, not knowing how deep that dungeon goes or what's in it. So how frequently you can rest without running out of resting supplies too soon is just a blind guess.

 

And sure, some people may feel satisfaction about using minimal resources, but if that's all there is to it you're essentially just forcing the player to make his own difficulty level. That's not good game design. I imagine I'm not the only one who on the one hand would want to actually make use all their cool goodies and spells and whatnot, cause they're cool and fun to use; but at the same time, doesn't want to accidentally overuse them and make the game too easy, because as it turns out the power level of those things was balanced against a less frequent use. This is a fundamental problem: if the cost of resting / time is at best vaguely defined, balancing anything that relies on that cost to keep it in check is essentially impossible to do properly. Which is why such per rest systems simply cannot be made to work (absent something like a DM). I don't want to have to save my resources on some vague promise that I might get to use them later on a big boss fight at the end (itself a fairly tired trope btw), I want to enjoy using all the various aspects of my character and party and items in the understanding that the game is balanced and designed around me doing just that; that the game organically rewards me for thinking ahead, for making clever use of what's available, for not being wasteful. And I'm not saying that is by any means an easy thing to do, but simple per rest systems certainly don't deliver on this. 

 

Ultimately what I would want is to move away from artificial structures like per encounter and per rest, to a much more organic system. Where at least in some basic sense you can apply the same considerations as you would in reality, or some hypothetical version of reality. Wizards can only cast a fixed number of high level spells, why? We can imagine that it takes mental and physical effort to channel the energy needed to do so (and maybe it uses up specific (and scarce) additional resources as well). So instead of artificially restricting it two castings of a particular "spell level" (whatever that's supposed to represent), why not give them the ability to cast however much they want. Make them able to cast a spell with a little energy, with a lot of energy (or whatever); cast it quickly but maybe mangle it or miss, cast it carefully instead. And get exhausted as they do, which can affect them in all sorts of ways. As in reality, doing straining things repeatedly will wear you out; you lose strength, you lose accuracy, you lose focus, you make more mistakes; you might just drop unconscious from strain. And if you're backed into a corner, by all means try a last-ditch fireball at the limits of what you can do; maybe you'll just manage to save yourself, if the thing doesn't misfire and incinerate your arms. 

 

Anyway, it's just an example. There's all sorts of ways in which games can be improved, that they give you much more of an impetus to be varied in your strategies, to change and adapt and force you to come up with new solutions on the fly. That at least is my ideal (and yes, not one easily accomplished). And I think an important part is moving away as much as possible from artificial structures like 'per encounter' and 'per rest' (but also 'spell level'); and also, to give game elements just more varied qualities (from the basics up, eg. weapons, shields, armour; now they at heart only have a small number of qualities (AR and action speed penalty, say), given them more and having everything have more strengths and weaknesses provides a far greater incentive to vary things, change gear and strategy). 

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I was never making a comparison in the first place. Torment is an RPG, one that has found a very devout niche audience, and yet not a very hard one at that. In that sense, it proves that not all people who "actually like RPGs" are people who are actively looking to beat a game at its hardest difficulty or who even care about whether a game is hard or not at all. Whether it is an "open world game" or not, or whether difficulty goes up or down or sideways or whatever, is moot (and arguable too, considering how grinding is an option in that game that is largely non-existent in Deadfire, but again, it's all moot). The point is merely that saying "the hardest" means "for people who actually like RPGs" is a rather bull**** remark when it is utterly demonstrable that plenty of players who "actually like RPGs" don't necessarily play them in their hardest difficulty or look for a challenge when playing these games at all. It's just an asinine "no true Scotsman" remark that does absolutely nothing to answer the question it is allegedly responding.

 

Oh but you were making a comparison and you are doing it again in your reply just now. You are saying that people generally don't care about difficulty because <your Torment example>. To which I replied that Torment didn't have a difficulty issue because it was evenly difficult all the way. It doesn't matter that Torment wasn't difficult to begin with. It's about consistency. If Torment became easier as the game progressed then people would have complained about that.

 

Not many people complained about the difficulty at the start of PoE II. People have generally complained about the difficulty further into the game and this is due to the points I explained earlier. Open world and levelling system. Things that are completely different from how Torment was set up.

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...

 

Making resting and time progression an actual cost does certainly help (though that rarely happens, artificial restrictions like the camping supplies thing are just a cheap hack; the main cost there is that it's annoying to have to get more), but without actually adding tactical elements over a larger time span it's still not particularly compelling. It also only works in certain areas. Wandering around a city area for example there'd be no natural disincentive not to just unload your big guns on whatever, because there's probably an inn or camping supply store around the corner. Something similar applies out in the open, since probably you're not that far from resting options (often just one loading screen away) and travel time has no cost either. Conversely in dungeons and such you get the original problem of still lacking any predictive information, not knowing how deep that dungeon goes or what's in it. So how frequently you can rest without running out of resting supplies too soon is just a blind guess.

 

And sure, some people may feel satisfaction about using minimal resources, but if that's all there is to it you're essentially just forcing the player to make his own difficulty level. That's not good game design. I imagine I'm not the only one who on the one hand would want to actually make use all their cool goodies and spells and whatnot, cause they're cool and fun to use; but at the same time, doesn't want to accidentally overuse them and make the game too easy, because as it turns out the power level of those things was balanced against a less frequent use. This is a fundamental problem: if the cost of resting / time is at best vaguely defined, balancing anything that relies on that cost to keep it in check is essentially impossible to do properly. Which is why such per rest systems simply cannot be made to work (absent something like a DM). I don't want to have to save my resources on some vague promise that I might get to use them later on a big boss fight at the end (itself a fairly tired trope btw), I want to enjoy using all the various aspects of my character and party and items in the understanding that the game is balanced and designed around me doing just that; that the game organically rewards me for thinking ahead, for making clever use of what's available, for not being wasteful. And I'm not saying that is by any means an easy thing to do, but simple per rest systems certainly don't deliver on this. 

 

Ultimately what I would want is to move away from artificial structures like per encounter and per rest, to a much more organic system. Where at least in some basic sense you can apply the same considerations as you would in reality, or some hypothetical version of reality. Wizards can only cast a fixed number of high level spells, why? We can imagine that it takes mental and physical effort to channel the energy needed to do so (and maybe it uses up specific (and scarce) additional resources as well). So instead of artificially restricting it two castings of a particular "spell level" (whatever that's supposed to represent), why not give them the ability to cast however much they want. Make them able to cast a spell with a little energy, with a lot of energy (or whatever); cast it quickly but maybe mangle it or miss, cast it carefully instead. And get exhausted as they do, which can affect them in all sorts of ways. As in reality, doing straining things repeatedly will wear you out; you lose strength, you lose accuracy, you lose focus, you make more mistakes; you might just drop unconscious from strain. And if you're backed into a corner, by all means try a last-ditch fireball at the limits of what you can do; maybe you'll just manage to save yourself, if the thing doesn't misfire and incinerate your arms. 

 

Anyway, it's just an example. There's all sorts of ways in which games can be improved, that they give you much more of an impetus to be varied in your strategies, to change and adapt and force you to come up with new solutions on the fly. That at least is my ideal (and yes, not one easily accomplished). And I think an important part is moving away as much as possible from artificial structures like 'per encounter' and 'per rest' (but also 'spell level'); and also, to give game elements just more varied qualities (from the basics up, eg. weapons, shields, armour; now they at heart only have a small number of qualities (AR and action speed penalty, say), given them more and having everything have more strengths and weaknesses provides a far greater incentive to vary things, change gear and strategy). 

 

 

There's so much wrong in this post, I don't know where to begin. For one: "but if that's all there is to it you're essentially just forcing the player to make his own difficulty level. That's not good game design." Switch the word "forcing" to "allowing" and I actually think it's *good* game design. The player controls HOW RISKILY they want to play. Whereas in Deadfire, you are actually *forced* to one play style.

 

The idea that "per rest systems simply cannot be made to work"? CRPG's have had per rest systems from at least Pool of Radiance to Pillars of Eternity, dude. That's about 30 years of consistent design, with several award-winning, greatest of all time titles in there. How can anyone say this system "cannot be made to work" is to simply ignore facts.

 

Yes, the camping supply thing wasn't ideal in PoE, but it was a good iteration on the previous resting=random encounter chance system. And for all its flaws, it DID work. The game got great reviews and sales on launch and enough of a following for expansions and a sequel. And it's basically the flagship title for Obsidian right now. I'll never understand people complaining about the tedium of having to go back for camping supplies on here. That's the whole point! The system doesn't work, i.e. rest-spamming would be easy, if you didn't have some punishment for over-using camping.

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There's so much wrong in this post, I don't know where to begin. For one: "but if that's all there is to it you're essentially just forcing the player to make his own difficulty level. That's not good game design." Switch the word "forcing" to "allowing" and I actually think it's *good* game design. The player controls HOW RISKILY they want to play. Whereas in Deadfire, you are actually *forced* to one play style.

 

The idea that "per rest systems simply cannot be made to work"? CRPG's have had per rest systems from at least Pool of Radiance to Pillars of Eternity, dude. That's about 30 years of consistent design, with several award-winning, greatest of all time titles in there. How can anyone say this system "cannot be made to work" is to simply ignore facts.

 

Yes, the camping supply thing wasn't ideal in PoE, but it was a good iteration on the previous resting=random encounter chance system. And for all its flaws, it DID work. The game got great reviews and sales on launch and enough of a following for expansions and a sequel. And it's basically the flagship title for Obsidian right now. I'll never understand people complaining about the tedium of having to go back for camping supplies on here. That's the whole point! The system doesn't work, i.e. rest-spamming would be easy, if you didn't have some punishment for over-using camping.

 

 

No, I just have a different view of what works well in a game, 'dude'. 

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There's so much wrong in this post, I don't know where to begin. For one: "but if that's all there is to it you're essentially just forcing the player to make his own difficulty level. That's not good game design." Switch the word "forcing" to "allowing" and I actually think it's *good* game design. The player controls HOW RISKILY they want to play. Whereas in Deadfire, you are actually *forced* to one play style.

 

The idea that "per rest systems simply cannot be made to work"? CRPG's have had per rest systems from at least Pool of Radiance to Pillars of Eternity, dude. That's about 30 years of consistent design, with several award-winning, greatest of all time titles in there. How can anyone say this system "cannot be made to work" is to simply ignore facts.

 

Yes, the camping supply thing wasn't ideal in PoE, but it was a good iteration on the previous resting=random encounter chance system. And for all its flaws, it DID work. The game got great reviews and sales on launch and enough of a following for expansions and a sequel. And it's basically the flagship title for Obsidian right now. I'll never understand people complaining about the tedium of having to go back for camping supplies on here. That's the whole point! The system doesn't work, i.e. rest-spamming would be easy, if you didn't have some punishment for over-using camping.

 

 

No, I just have a different view of what works well in a game, 'dude'. 

 

 

Saying "I just have a different view" and "this system cannot work" are mutually exclusive arguments.

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Saying "I just have a different view" and "this system cannot work" are mutually exclusive arguments.

 

No, they're not. I have a certain view of what makes a good game (as I have elaborated on in some detail), and this is ultimately not compatible with for example these per rest style systems. You can disagree with my view on things, but that doesn't make my line of reasoning inconsistent. 

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I was never making a comparison in the first place. Torment is an RPG, one that has found a very devout niche audience, and yet not a very hard one at that. In that sense, it proves that not all people who "actually like RPGs" are people who are actively looking to beat a game at its hardest difficulty or who even care about whether a game is hard or not at all. Whether it is an "open world game" or not, or whether difficulty goes up or down or sideways or whatever, is moot (and arguable too, considering how grinding is an option in that game that is largely non-existent in Deadfire, but again, it's all moot). The point is merely that saying "the hardest" means "for people who actually like RPGs" is a rather bull**** remark when it is utterly demonstrable that plenty of players who "actually like RPGs" don't necessarily play them in their hardest difficulty or look for a challenge when playing these games at all. It's just an asinine "no true Scotsman" remark that does absolutely nothing to answer the question it is allegedly responding.

 

Oh but you were making a comparison and you are doing it again in your reply just now. You are saying that people generally don't care about difficulty because <your Torment example>. To which I replied that Torment didn't have a difficulty issue because it was evenly difficult all the way. It doesn't matter that Torment wasn't difficult to begin with. It's about consistency. If Torment became easier as the game progressed then people would have complained about that.

 

Not many people complained about the difficulty at the start of PoE II. People have generally complained about the difficulty further into the game and this is due to the points I explained earlier. Open world and levelling system. Things that are completely different from how Torment was set up.

Uh, no. I was replying specifically to the assertion that "the hardest" meant "for people who actually like RPGs". I was providing an example of a very easy game that is widely considered as one of the best RPGs of all time by people who "actually like RPGs" to show that it is incorrect to assume that people who like RPGs necessarily care about difficulty or do so because the games are diffuxult in the first place. Your comparisons regarding Deadfire and Torment are your own, and they are moot to the point I was making. Edited by algroth

My Twitch channel: https://www.twitch.tv/alephg

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Playing with Deadly Deadfire which cuts xp by almost 30% (28% to be exact) made me realise just how ridiculous the XP gains in this game are. Even with this cut, after finishing most basic business in Neketaka and doing a quest or two outside, I am level 10 anyway and most things become very, very manageable. I am not even sure that 30% cut is enough, since I don't do stupid stuff like rushing to give out all my bounties and roll around with cargo hold full of bloody heads.

 

Still with that 30% cut it feels a lot more like BG series, where every level after 8th or so felt earned, not just for free.

 

The XP gains seem to be balanced for player to go around Neketaka and some main plot, gaining 5-7k xp for things like walking 10 meters from one NPC to another (like that quest with island deed near Vailian embassy), hitting level 15. Somehow I doubt even the most story loving people would like not having ANY more party growth after ~20 hours or so, in a game that takes some ~70 hours to complete.

 

Then there's slight increase in HP, about 20%, which makes enemies not die to single fireball from Evoker or a 1-2 combo from a monk. Enemies still die quick though, and Empower is still broken and can simply 1-shot many enemies. But with PoTD armor scaling and that extra HP from mod now it takes not just spell and awesome button, but maybe a buff/debuff or two. And that's on levels ~10-12.

 

Although it does say things about your RPG system when 300-700 hp enemies "are not strong enough".

 

Obsidian should stop derping around with nerfing hatchets against plant enemies and fix this for their next difficulty reiteration.

Edited by Shadenuat
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@Shadenuat, you are right. Too high XP gain is a real problem. And it'll be probably even worse after a big DLC, because there will be more quests and more XP for completing them. Next thing that makes the game too easy is too high accuracy gain per lvl (+3/lvl). Baldur The Difficulty-Fixin' Pig-Buddy mod fixes it, by adding a flat +10 accuracy bonus (so early game is playable without maxing Perception) and applying -2 accuracy per lvl (so we gain +1 accuracy per lvl instead of +3/lvl) - this fixes 90%+ accuracy at 20 lvl.

 

But like I said before - mods shouldn't be a solution, vanilla game should be challenging enough on the hardest difficulty.

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On PotD upscaled + deadly deadfire hc mod the only fight so far where I felt like I needed to bring out my really big guns and "broken strats" - specifically scroll of meteors/+ power potion/incredible food was surprisingly the Lucia Rivan fight because my full lvl 16 party could not brute force it. like the other fights. Have not done Nemnok though yet.

 

 

new stats upscaled with mod: 

114 deflection, 162 for, 120 reflex, 144 will , AR: 16 / 19pierce

 

old stats:

90 deflection, 138 for, 96 ref, 120 will, AR: 12 / 15 pierce

 

 

post-211561-0-84155200-1529154905_thumb.jpg

Edited by 1TTFFSSE
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Yeah 1.1, with mod, has more enemies with 100-120+ in defences. Although sometimes design is kinda poor when enemies have 100 natural defences in everything, making pretty much any attack, including debuffs, fail most of the time.

 

Often I don't understand logic at all, like ogres having high will and undead having low will. Sometimes enemy design just feels random, as one enemy of same type would just have different set of defences or armor, even if armor looks similar to me.

 

And there are still some fire nagas in the game with 3 fire armor. Cause they're fire nagas. So you use fire to kill them. Getit.

Edited by Shadenuat
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It makes sense that if you have 8 eotens they will have some variations in defences, instead of being identical. I'd actually like a little more fluctuation.

 

But yeah, stuff like fire nagas weak to fire is just silly.

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Yeah 1.1, with mod, has more enemies with 100-120+ in defences. Although sometimes design is kinda poor when enemies have 100 natural defences in everything, making pretty much any attack, including debuffs, fail most of the time.

 

Often I don't understand logic at all, like ogres having high will and undead having low will. Sometimes enemy design just feels random, as one enemy of same type would just have different set of defences or armor, even if armor looks similar to me.

 

And there are still some fire nagas in the game with 3 fire armor. Cause they're fire nagas. So you use fire to kill them. Getit.

basically, it makes it that you have to use consumables...stuff like deadeye for accuracy, that one potion that ups weapon penetration

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