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That is, provided a certain baseline of class and character viability, I don't see how somebody in a single-player game whose major (or sole) focus on gameplay is narrative and character based is really concerned with how strong each class or ability is relative to each other or to combat enemies.

 

Because you want a similar experience no matter what class your MC has. Is that really so hard to understand?

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As far as I understand Josh Sawyer is at least partially in charge of overseeing the balance changes, as he was on PoE1.

 

He has on multiple occasions made it clear that he strongly believes that balance matters, even in singleplayer CRPGs.

 

If you want to make your opinion heard or vent, please go ahead, but know that more balance changes (both up and down) will come.

In fairness, that letter written by Sawyer is framed in a very biased and inaccurate manner. For example, he statement " Which set of changes do you think I heard more feedback about? If you guessed the marginal drop in proc rate on the soulbound item that had only worked properly for two weeks, you’d be right." is...intellectually dishonest. The dagger in question had it's proc rate dropped from 10% to 3%; that's not "marginal", that's 2/3rds of it's bonus proc percentage. But acknowledging that doesn't hep the narrative Sawyer is trying to frame, so he implies that it's a smaller change than it actually is. The whole thing is full of stuff like that; it's not an honest discussion of why Sawyer believes these things so much as it is a justification for his view of game systems.

 

 

To be completely fair, this is not aimed directly at Josh Sawyer. I used to work with him as external QA and I can tell you that he's not a tyrant hell-bent on his own concept. Quite the opposite, he's very open to reasonable suggestions.

 

I have nothing against balance itself, but I strongly believe it should be mostly completed before the title is released. Small tweaks after that are fine. Completely overhauling the game a month after it launches is just.. mean?

 

 

From where I sit, he is certainly hell-bent on the notion that "balance", in single player RPG, is important. 

 

I will reiterate, for those who have not read it from me yet, that while who (vocal) majority and (vocal) minority is, is probably impossible to determine, it's possible to determine whether the majority will get to experience "balance" or not. I would guess, that majority will not, simply because the majority will be done with the game long before "balance" will be achieved. If this assumption is true, Josh Sawyer, does not have a rational argument to try to "balance" after the majority played it already. 

 

I kind of like when artists are hell-bent, have their own ideas about stuff, but I also like when they are intellectually honest about it.

 

Also, let's not forget that metaphysics never proved anything. In other words, there is no truth about the importance of balance to be found here, there are just more sophisticated arguments and less sophisticated ones. Wanna know who the majority is? Do the research, it's pointless to argue over. 

Edited by knownastherat
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POTD players are and should be a minority.
Most of the players I knew didn't enjoy POE1 because Veteran was initially stupidly easy. But they couldn't pass Cad Nua in POTD
I'd say the vast majority of players are those who want some semblance of challenge throughout the game, like a bit of role play, but certainly aren't min-maxers.

I really don't understand the tendancy of these games to lock players into a difficulty, sure disable POTD achievements, but let players monitor their own difficulty.

Sure the game should have been released as an early access or perhaps some similar term, but I still think the majority of players are happier with a relatively balanced game.
Perfectly balanced probably isn't necessary though, 

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I'm not trying to make the OP feel like being attacked, but tbh when you say "fun character" I get a strong impression that that character is someone who can wipe out every encounter by himself, and can singlehandedly manipulate the encounter as he wishes. Now that he can no longer do such things, you feel like he's "garbage". Part of the reason why I feel this way is because you only mention your character. You said nothing about other party members (assuming you do have a party with you). Do your entire party feel like garbage now? Or just your character?

 

So IMHO, I'd like the OP to elaborate more: what do you mean by "fun character"? What was your character like? What kinds of things was he able to do that he was so fun to you? Now you say he's "garbage" and "unplayable" after the patches - what exactly do you mean by that? Can he no longer solo every encounter? He needs significantly more help from party members?

 

And so on. I'm not judging your opinion, since I believe I can understand the frustration when your favorite character/build is nerfed to the ground. I've seen it happen to some twitch streamers that I follow (the game in this case being Dark Souls, lol).

 

I agree that tweaking enemies (greater number, tougher, smarter, etc) is one way to make the game harder. But when your own tools and resources are too powerful, it's only reasonable to tone them down. These two things are not mutually exclusive.

 

As for my personal experience with this game, my party is currently at level 14, and I've been playing on Veteran. I completely lost the sense of being challenged around level 8 or so. I'm not using level scaling, because it's my first playthrough and I want to see the "default" state of things. But I find the game too forgiving in general.

Edited by try2handing
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From where I sit, he is certainly hell-bent on the notion that "balance", in single player RPG, is important. 

 

I will reiterate, for those who have not read it from me yet, that while who (vocal) majority and (vocal) minority is, is probably impossible to determine, it's possible to determine whether the majority will get to experience "balance" or not. I would guess, that majority will not, simply because the majority will be done with the game long before "balance" will be achieved. If this assumption is true, Josh Sawyer, does not have a rational argument to try to "balance" after the majority played it already. 

 

I can only extrapolate and hope that he numbers for PoE are going to be replicated by replicated by Deadfire.

If that's the case, though, 80%-90% of the eventual owners have yet to buy Deadfire, probably much later. (PoE has ~1.3m owners on Steam, Deadfire 100-200k. GDPR blurred those numbers quite a bit, hence the range for Deadfire.)

That might be an Obsidian specific effect (usually, games make 80%-90% of there revenue in the first 2-3 weeks), or it might mean that Deadfire is anything but a commercial success.

I'm disinclined to belief the latter is the case, and if I'm right, the numerical majority is going to benefit from a proper balance introduced over time.

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The game at release was broken

 

hyperbole-hyperbole-everywhere.jpg

 

 

What do you call 'level scaling' not working at all?

 

Or how about a Fighter's 'Charge' ability coupled with a Chanter's ' have free unlimited class resources' invocation?

 

The game was entirely playable and I finished it and enjoyed myself but that doesn't mean that the balance was not broken and needed to be fixed as it now has been.

 

I call them "bugs". The game had problems, and maybe certain systems were not functional, but dude, if the majority of users can play through the game from beginning to end and the majority of systems within the game function to create a playable experience, then the product is by definition *not broken*. That's like claiming a dough mixer you bought is "broken" because the timer doesn't work if you set it for more than thirty seconds. Yeah, it limits what you can do, but...it's a functional item that does work for it's intended purpose, so...complain, don't ****ing exaggerate ****.

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I'm not trying to make the OP feel like being attacked, but tbh when you say "fun character" I get a strong impression that that character is someone who can wipe out every encounter by himself, and can singlehandedly manipulate the encounter as he wishes. Now that he can no longer do such things, you feel like he's "garbage". Part of the reason why I feel this way is because you only mention your character. You said nothing about other party members (assuming you do have a party with you). Do your entire party feel like garbage now? Or just your character?

 

So IMHO, I'd like the OP to elaborate more: what do you mean by "fun character"? What was your character like? What kinds of things was he able to do that he was so fun to you? Now you say he's "garbage" and "unplayable" after the patches - what exactly do you mean by that? Can he no longer solo every encounter? He needs significantly more help from party members?

 

And so on. I'm not judging your opinion, since I believe I can understand the frustration when your favorite character/build is nerfed to the ground. I've seen it happen to some twitch streamers that I follow (the game in this case being Dark Souls, lol).

 

I agree that tweaking enemies (greater number, tougher, smarter, etc) is one way to make the game harder. But when your own tools and resources are too powerful, it's only reasonable to tone them down. These two things are not mutually exclusive.

 

As for my personal experience with this game, my party is currently at level 14, and I've been playing on Veteran. I completely lost the sense of being challenged around level 8 or so. I'm not using level scaling, because it's my first playthrough and I want to see the "default" state of things. But I find the game too forgiving in general.

I was playing an Arcane Knight (Bleak Walker/Evoker), who after the patch forgot how to tank and started shooting toothpicks instead of magic missiles. Buffing up, blowing my missile load, cleaning up with FoD. That was really fun. Now I'm not only squishy, my Evoker (and nerfs to items like the Evoker PL gloves) subclass makes no sense because my offensive spells are garbage and I can't just respec to a normal Wizard. All I could do now is either completely change my playstyle and play a gimped Paladin or restart after 30 hours. I don't think I can lower difficulty, too, because it's POTD.

 

My second save was a Loremaster by the way, I'm sure you can imagine which nerf completely ****ed it up ;)

 

And yes I focus on my PC only. Party members are just fodder running on AI scripts. But that's just irrelevant personal preference.

 

So let's say I start a new game, and make something else. I don't know, a Votary. Gonna have fun maybe. Then DLC comes and suddenly another patch breaks this class too. So am I supposed to restart AGAIN because - despite all their experience - they have no idea how to balance their game? I'd rather just quit instead of going through this crap again (looking at you POE1).

Edited by Manveru123
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Funny enough I don't think even many of 1% wanted "half everything" Sawyer did, they wanted stronger enemies and more high level content instead where they could use their powerful builds and items to test their parties. Like, I'm not sure anyone in particular asked for reducing hatchet's damage against plants from 100% to 30% or lowering the backstab modifier.

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Ok, there is something here I don’t understand:

 

Yes, PoTD players are a minority, as achievements for PoE1 show that a small fraction of players completed game on PotD.

 

That minority isn’t happy with the level of difficulty, which they crave when choosing PotD.

 

Because majority of players won’t play PotD, they should patch the veteran and PotD difficulty because...?

 

I looked through balance changes to classes, and is there anything which will make a difference on classic&below? I can’t imagine that any of the nerfs have any noticeable effect on those levels, therefore they shouldnt really break any builds. Charge is not as ridiculous. So what? On classic it probably still won’t matter. The only issue i can see is if someone started a casual game on PotD and now isn’t able to change.

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As far as I understand Josh Sawyer is at least partially in charge of overseeing the balance changes, as he was on PoE1.

 

He has on multiple occasions made it clear that he strongly believes that balance matters, even in singleplayer CRPGs.

 

If you want to make your opinion heard or vent, please go ahead, but know that more balance changes (both up and down) will come.

In fairness, that letter written by Sawyer is framed in a very biased and inaccurate manner. For example, he statement " Which set of changes do you think I heard more feedback about? If you guessed the marginal drop in proc rate on the soulbound item that had only worked properly for two weeks, you’d be right." is...intellectually dishonest. The dagger in question had it's proc rate dropped from 10% to 3%; that's not "marginal", that's 2/3rds of it's bonus proc percentage. But acknowledging that doesn't hep the narrative Sawyer is trying to frame, so he implies that it's a smaller change than it actually is. The whole thing is full of stuff like that; it's not an honest discussion of why Sawyer believes these things so much as it is a justification for his view of game systems.

 

 

To be completely fair, this is not aimed directly at Josh Sawyer. I used to work with him as external QA and I can tell you that he's not a tyrant hell-bent on his own concept. Quite the opposite, he's very open to reasonable suggestions.

 

I have nothing against balance itself, but I strongly believe it should be mostly completed before the title is released. Small tweaks after that are fine. Completely overhauling the game a month after it launches is just.. mean?

 

I'm not trying to attack Josh Sawyer or claim that he's some kind of tyrant, just that like most people he's biased--that he has goals and specific things that he wants to do or accomplish, and that his arguments tend to frame things in ways that support his arguments even when they're not directly related to those arguments. I don't think Josh is lying to us or trying to force his will on us, just that he thinks a certain way and up plays some things while down playing other things to make a narrative that supports him.

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Because the majority of the players want unballanced mess of a game, yeeeah :biggrin:

Strawman, much? The question of why it's assumed that balance is inherently and always a good thing that must be achieved is a question worth asking in a single-player experience, once the basic component of viability for all classes and combinations is already a thing.

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So for some reason people around here feel that a purely single player game with NO competitive part requires constant rebalancing. My question is: WHY?

Improving and balancing game is Obsidian advantage. Other company might release and forget, which is the style you prefer. Then you could choose some money snatch project, there are  plenty on the Steam.

When you feel the difficulty rises up over your character build, then you can lower it by yourself. You could still feel that power of unstoppable of rolling at first level of difficulty. Feel free to have fun.

 

Everyone does balance. It's HOW, not IF. Check out Larian. They do balance with a sword. Obsidian uses nuclear weapons.

 

 

Larian dont give a crap about game balance. D:OS 1 and 2 are two prime examples of why balance is important for the combat part of the games. In the first game u'd rain+shock everything for constant CC and win with zero risk. In the second game when i played that u picked necromancer spells and pumped warfare and proceeded to one shot absolutely everything once u had reached a certain point in ACT 2. If i want a story ill read a book, if i want to roflstomp everything and feel allmighty id play a hack n slash game or Diablo. Not a "tactical" RPG.

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Ok, there is something here I don’t understand:

 

Yes, PoTD players are a minority, as achievements for PoE1 show that a small fraction of players completed game on PotD.

 

That minority isn’t happy with the level of difficulty, which they crave when choosing PotD.

 

Because majority of players won’t play PotD, they should patch the veteran and PotD difficulty because...?

 

I looked through balance changes to classes, and is there anything which will make a difference on classic&below? I can’t imagine that any of the nerfs have any noticeable effect on those levels, therefore they shouldnt really break any builds. Charge is not as ridiculous. So what? On classic it probably still won’t matter. The only issue i can see is if someone started a casual game on PotD and now isn’t able to change.

"Casual game on PotD"?! :grin:

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So for some reason people around here feel that a purely single player game with NO competitive part requires constant rebalancing. My question is: WHY?

Improving and balancing game is Obsidian advantage. Other company might release and forget, which is the style you prefer. Then you could choose some money snatch project, there are  plenty on the Steam.

When you feel the difficulty rises up over your character build, then you can lower it by yourself. You could still feel that power of unstoppable of rolling at first level of difficulty. Feel free to have fun.

 

Everyone does balance. It's HOW, not IF. Check out Larian. They do balance with a sword. Obsidian uses nuclear weapons.

 

 

Larian dont give a crap about game balance. D:OS 1 and 2 are two prime examples of why balance is important for the combat part of the games. In the first game u'd rain+shock everything for constant CC and win with zero risk. In the second game when i played that u picked necromancer spells and pumped warfare and proceeded to one shot absolutely everything once u had reached a certain point in ACT 2. If i want a story ill read a book, if i want to roflstomp everything and feel allmighty id play a hack n slash game or Diablo. Not a "tactical" RPG.

 

Actually some time after the release there was a big balance patch for DOS2. And like I said they used a sword, not a nuke. Not to mention that this game's system actually allowed you to completely reset yourself during gameplay and never forced a restart, so even if they dropped a nuke, it wouldn't be that big of a deal. The reset in POE1 was also somewhat manageable, but in Deadfire you have things like Subclasses and multiclasses which you cannot change without using an in-game editor or something. But who cares at least Charge isn't op anymore right.

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Ok, there is something here I don’t understand:

 

Yes, PoTD players are a minority, as achievements for PoE1 show that a small fraction of players completed game on PotD.

 

That minority isn’t happy with the level of difficulty, which they crave when choosing PotD.

 

Because majority of players won’t play PotD, they should patch the veteran and PotD difficulty because...?

 

I looked through balance changes to classes, and is there anything which will make a difference on classic&below? I can’t imagine that any of the nerfs have any noticeable effect on those levels, therefore they shouldnt really break any builds. Charge is not as ridiculous. So what? On classic it probably still won’t matter. The only issue i can see is if someone started a casual game on PotD and now isn’t able to change.

"Casual game on PotD"?! :grin:

 

Given that on release PotD was the only difficulty with even a potential of being difficult enough that you can't alt-tab out of all combat and let the party members auto-attack everything, that isn't as ridiculous as it might sound.

 

EDIT: And I'm not, in general a PotD player. I played mostly on veteran in Pillars of Eternity and struggled. Struggled the right amount for the most part too. I'm not the guy who wants that "You need to sweat/cry/bleed bucketfuls to complete the game"-difficulty anymore. But I do want a difficulty where I have to pay some attention. Preferably enough that I can't alt-tab out and win everything.

Edited by Jelei
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From where I sit, he is certainly hell-bent on the notion that "balance", in single player RPG, is important. 

 

I will reiterate, for those who have not read it from me yet, that while who (vocal) majority and (vocal) minority is, is probably impossible to determine, it's possible to determine whether the majority will get to experience "balance" or not. I would guess, that majority will not, simply because the majority will be done with the game long before "balance" will be achieved. If this assumption is true, Josh Sawyer, does not have a rational argument to try to "balance" after the majority played it already. 

 

I can only extrapolate and hope that he numbers for PoE are going to be replicated by replicated by Deadfire.

If that's the case, though, 80%-90% of the eventual owners have yet to buy Deadfire, probably much later. (PoE has ~1.3m owners on Steam, Deadfire 100-200k. GDPR blurred those numbers quite a bit, hence the range for Deadfire.)

That might be an Obsidian specific effect (usually, games make 80%-90% of there revenue in the first 2-3 weeks), or it might mean that Deadfire is anything but a commercial success.

I'm disinclined to belief the latter is the case, and if I'm right, the numerical majority is going to benefit from a proper balance introduced over time.

 

Just checked Pillars of Eternity owner numbers here, considering that it doesn't show the first four months, there is a more or less straight line starting at less than 200k, going up to 1.3m.

the_ultimate.png
 

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So for some reason people around here feel that a purely single player game with NO competitive part requires constant rebalancing. My question is: WHY?

Improving and balancing game is Obsidian advantage. Other company might release and forget, which is the style you prefer. Then you could choose some money snatch project, there are  plenty on the Steam.

When you feel the difficulty rises up over your character build, then you can lower it by yourself. You could still feel that power of unstoppable of rolling at first level of difficulty. Feel free to have fun.

 

Everyone does balance. It's HOW, not IF. Check out Larian. They do balance with a sword. Obsidian uses nuclear weapons.

 

 

 If i want a story ill read a book

That *really* does a disservice to the potential and capability of video games as a medium.

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Ok, there is something here I don’t understand:

 

Yes, PoTD players are a minority, as achievements for PoE1 show that a small fraction of players completed game on PotD.

 

That minority isn’t happy with the level of difficulty, which they crave when choosing PotD.

 

Because majority of players won’t play PotD, they should patch the veteran and PotD difficulty because...?

 

I looked through balance changes to classes, and is there anything which will make a difference on classic&below? I can’t imagine that any of the nerfs have any noticeable effect on those levels, therefore they shouldnt really break any builds. Charge is not as ridiculous. So what? On classic it probably still won’t matter. The only issue i can see is if someone started a casual game on PotD and now isn’t able to change.

"Casual game on PotD"?! :grin:

 

Given that on release PotD was the only difficulty with even a potential of being difficult enough that you can't alt-tab out of all combat and let the party members auto-attack everything, that isn't as ridiculous as it might sound.

 

EDIT: And I'm not, in general a PotD player. I played mostly on veteran in Pillars of Eternity and struggled. Struggled the right amount for the most part too. I'm not the guy who wants that "You need to sweat/cry/bleed bucketfuls to complete the game"-difficulty anymore. But I do want a difficulty where I have to pay some attention. Preferably enough that I can't alt-tab out and win everything.

 

Agreed, but being able to alt-tab out and have the party members auto-attack everything is the very definition of casual.

So it's not exactly ridiculous, but rather made me grin.

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Good balancing doesn't mean "make the game stupid hard for Triple Crown players only".

 

When you balance the game properly, you allow players on Classic or Veteran to also have a more even challenge, while providing POTD as an option for a minority.

 

Imagine an axe you find early on is stupidly overtuned by mistake and people end up one-shotting everything with it (which is a bit exaggerated, but milder versions of this were happening all over the place in 1.00). Tuning it down doesn't just serve hardcore players, it serves everyone.

 

I don't think anyone ever argued for making Classic harder, either.

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If i want a story ill read a book, if i want to roflstomp everything and feel allmighty id play a hack n slash game or Diablo. Not a "tactical" RPG.

 

 

Games and books both tell stories, only in different ways, and you'd be able to know that difference if you read any books. :getlost:(Not to mention better grasp of this thing called grammar)

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As far as I understand Josh Sawyer is at least partially in charge of overseeing the balance changes, as he was on PoE1.

 

He has on multiple occasions made it clear that he strongly believes that balance matters, even in singleplayer CRPGs.

 

If you want to make your opinion heard or vent, please go ahead, but know that more balance changes (both up and down) will come.

In fairness, that letter written by Sawyer is framed in a very biased and inaccurate manner. For example, he statement " Which set of changes do you think I heard more feedback about? If you guessed the marginal drop in proc rate on the soulbound item that had only worked properly for two weeks, you’d be right." is...intellectually dishonest. The dagger in question had it's proc rate dropped from 10% to 3%; that's not "marginal", that's 2/3rds of it's bonus proc percentage. But acknowledging that doesn't hep the narrative Sawyer is trying to frame, so he implies that it's a smaller change than it actually is. The whole thing is full of stuff like that; it's not an honest discussion of why Sawyer believes these things so much as it is a justification for his view of game systems.

 

I have to disagree, and you prove Josh's point about feeling losses more than gains nicely in a way.

 

 

I feel like PoE2 patch 1.1 nerfed more than it buffed. Is it just my feeling or is it actually true?

 

Unlaboured Blade was nerfed based only on Josh's theory. In practice players didn't feel this weapon is too strong, in fact some were happy it can compete with durgan reinforced uniques. Given Josh's approach to balance

And to restate what I wrote before, the balance is mostly important to the extent that viability, i.e., the ability to get through the content, is supported. BG, BG2, IWD, and IWD2 often failed that test. Once viability is addressed, I’m not particularly concerned about balance.

 

Tuning Down High-Powered Outliers

The exceptions are abilities and items that are so incredibly powerful across the board that it’s almost impossible to make any content challenging with them in play.

i don't think something that is OP only in theory should be subject to balancing.

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Vancian =/= per rest.

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The game needed reballencing POTD and Veteran were jokes, i'm not saying I am 100% a fan of the way they did it but it needed doing. As for this majority/minority thing, it was one of the biggest criticisms of the game and it was a big part of reviews that were negitive or not entirely positive. It's still not really all that hard and you can always play on a lower dificulty. This forum may not contain a majority of players but it does have a lot of backers on it if Obsidian wants us to back another game adressing our concerns is a good idea. I'm not saying cowtow to backers but the then majority of players aren't going to play on POTD.

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you can always play on a lower difficulty

 

That!

 

Accept it. You are not meant for whatever difficulty you are currently playing on. Your built is not broken, you just are not able to play it anymore, now that it is like it is supposed to be.

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