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People hold BG2 in high regard because it's just simply BETTER than Deadfire in most non-technical ways.  Deadfire's combat is just too barebones and simplistic.  I don't care much about balance problems because BG2 was certainly no star when it came to balanced gameplay anyway.

 

If Deadfire combat is more simplistic than BG Then you must have been playing a completely different game. I dunno what to tell you.

 

 

Deadfire combat is more simplistic. 

 

How can it be more simplistic when in BG2 most classes rarely did anything other than auto-attack?

 

 

Let me rephrase simplistic to lack of strategic layer, as Barleypaper called it, because with regards to our earlier exchange I am lead to believe that you consider queuing buffs with shift, casting CCs then AoEs as complex.

 

Strategic layer is not about the number of abilities one can use, if it was ancient combat would had zero strategic layer, but how encounters are designed and what kind of approach they require from players. BG2 encounters are like puzzles, which once solved are admittedly easy, unlike PoE encounters are mostly not puzzles and all they require is a brute force.

Edited by knownastherat
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Strategic layer is not about the number of abilities one can use, if it was ancient combat would had zero strategic layer, but how encounters are designed and what kind of approach they require from players. BG2 encounters are like puzzles, which once solved are admittedly easy, unlike PoE encounters are mostly not puzzles and all they require is a brute force.

The (difficult) encounters of BG2 require metaknowledge. And, as you point out, when you have that knowledge it's quite simple.

 

So claiming that is more complex than PoE is really a stretch. Particularly when you take into consideration that the devs have clearly stated from the beginning that they wanted to, and have tried to, move away from encounters that hinges on metaknowledge for the player to be successful.

 

It's still your prerogative to prefer metaknowledge encounters, however that is not the same thing as the BG2 encounters being more complex when you make a comparison.

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I'll do it, for a turnip.

 

DnD item quality description mod (for PoE2) by peardox

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Strategic layer is not about the number of abilities one can use, if it was ancient combat would had zero strategic layer, but how encounters are designed and what kind of approach they require from players. BG2 encounters are like puzzles, which once solved are admittedly easy, unlike PoE encounters are mostly not puzzles and all they require is a brute force.

The (difficult) encounters of BG2 require metaknowledge. And, as you point out, when you have that knowledge it's quite simple.

 

So claiming that is more complex than PoE is really a stretch. Particularly when you take into consideration that the devs have clearly stated from the beginning that they wanted to, and have tried to, move away from encounters that hinges on metaknowledge for the player to be successful.

 

It's still your prerogative to prefer metaknowledge encounters, however that is not the same thing as the BG2 encounters being more complex when you make a comparison.

 

 

It is the same thing. 

 

If an encounter can be won simply be walking in and doing the same thing as in previous encounters, its simplistic by definition.

 

Sure to solve a puzzle for the second time is easy but change few parameters, like different party makeup or spell selection, and its can be a whole new puzzle. 

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People hold BG2 in high regard because it's just simply BETTER than Deadfire in most non-technical ways.  Deadfire's combat is just too barebones and simplistic.  I don't care much about balance problems because BG2 was certainly no star when it came to balanced gameplay anyway.

 

If Deadfire combat is more simplistic than BG Then you must have been playing a completely different game. I dunno what to tell you.

 

 

Deadfire combat is more simplistic. 

 

How can it be more simplistic when in BG2 most classes rarely did anything other than auto-attack?

 

 

Let me rephrase simplistic to lack of strategic layer, as Barleypaper called it, because with regards to our earlier exchange I am lead to believe that you consider queuing buffs with shift, casting CCs then AoEs as complex.

 

Strategic layer is not about the number of abilities one can use, if it was ancient combat would had zero strategic layer, but how encounters are designed and what kind of approach they require from players. BG2 encounters are like puzzles, which once solved are admittedly easy, unlike PoE encounters are mostly not puzzles and all they require is a brute force.

 

Yes. I also eat with my feet.

 

In BG2 you could make a character who is literally immune to everything. That "strategic layer" you speak of matters only during the early game. Which is what Deadfire has too, with ruins Drake and Gorecci. And I'm not even talking about potential exploits, or using gear that wins fights just by having it equipped (hello Beholder, meet Shield of Balduran).

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You could but you did not have to and we can only speculate how many players actually have done it, have figured it out. It is not an argument against "strategic layer" claim. I've spent two years playing BG2 with relative intensity and I am quite confident I know all tricks there are, so saying this or that was possible in BG2 is lost on me.

 

It was agreed already, at least I thought so, that BG2 encounters were like puzzles and required meta-knowledge. This is the strategic layer PoE lacks. 

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Strategic layer is not about the number of abilities one can use, if it was ancient combat would had zero strategic layer, but how encounters are designed and what kind of approach they require from players. BG2 encounters are like puzzles, which once solved are admittedly easy, unlike PoE encounters are mostly not puzzles and all they require is a brute force.

The (difficult) encounters of BG2 require metaknowledge. And, as you point out, when you have that knowledge it's quite simple.

 

So claiming that is more complex than PoE is really a stretch. Particularly when you take into consideration that the devs have clearly stated from the beginning that they wanted to, and have tried to, move away from encounters that hinges on metaknowledge for the player to be successful.

 

It's still your prerogative to prefer metaknowledge encounters, however that is not the same thing as the BG2 encounters being more complex when you make a comparison.

 

 

It is the same thing. 

 

If an encounter can be won simply be walking in and doing the same thing as in previous encounters, its simplistic by definition.

 

Sure to solve a puzzle for the second time is easy but change few parameters, like different party makeup or spell selection, and its can be a whole new puzzle.

 

It's not the same thing. It's two different things, where you might find one more fun than the other, or both fun or both boring but they are not the same thing.

 

As for the encounters in PoE the intent is not to design them so that doing the one same thing over and over works every time in every encounter. It might be that way right now because of poor balance, or maybe even poor designing, but it was never the intent from the beginning.

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I'll do it, for a turnip.

 

DnD item quality description mod (for PoE2) by peardox

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Who said it was intended? Intended or obvious is the obsession of developers with "balance". Mr. Saywer wrote and spoke pages on it. Frankly, I do not care what was intended and whatnot, I care about results. 

 

It is the same thing. A problem not requiring complex approach and/or solvable by simple approach is not complex from the definition of the term complex: not simple, easy, or straightforward; complicated. 

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You could but you did not have to and we can only speculate how many players actually have done it, have figured it out. It is not an argument against "strategic layer" claim. I've spent two years playing BG2 with relative intensity and I am quite confident I know all tricks there are, so saying this or that was possible in BG2 is lost on me.

 

It was agreed already, at least I thought so, that BG2 encounters were like puzzles and required meta-knowledge. This is the strategic layer PoE lacks. 

 

I believe you. Seems like it's the only game you've played for the last 20 or so years.

 

What do you call rum mixed with water?

 

EDIT: sorry I'm gettin a little too sassy here fellas

Edited by Murp
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BG2 had many virtues - area design, atmospheric depth, clever worldbuilding, combat that ranged from pleasantly simplistic to chess-like in its complexity, memorable quests and villains, a willingness to be bizarre, and sheer scope. It had flaws, too, which others have spoken to, but I've seen enough modern gamers that have never touched an IE game suddenly enchanted as they play it to be sure that its greatness is more than just nostalgia.

 

But BG2 was also the product of another time, even in terms of its inspirations on the tabletop and the general design norms of various forms of gaming when it was created. At that time, it was a phenomenal risk that ran way over budget and could easily have ruined Bioware (even though it was the sequel to an enormous hit). It's also a game that has been in many ways vindicated by history - an expansion pack, twelve patches, hundreds of fixpack releases, and an absurdly dedicated modding community have helped make the game far, far better than it was at release. I find it difficult to compare BG2 to anything, because it's an astonishingly beloved, nineteen-year-old bottle of lightning, and so few other games have an even remotely similar context. PoE2 is something else entirely, something that I cannot say I love as much, but which I can appreciate for what it is.

 

And even if I did feel I could confidently say, "BG2 is better than PoE2," I'm not sure what the point of doing so would be. I've played a lot of games that weren't as good as other games I've played, and I've never felt like my time was wasted for that reason. I don't play BG1 on endless repeat because Durlag's Tower is absolutely amazing. I don't play Jade Empire over and over again because the scene at the end with the Water Dragon makes me cry. I didn't think, "well, Battletech seems fun, but will it have a scene like when Kreia sits on the edge of a dried-up fountain in KotOR 2 and for the first time seems old?" and then strike it off of my list. The story and setting of P5 failed to grab me in the way that P3 and P4 did, but I don't think my time would've been better spent playing those again. Riven still stands out in the adventure game genre for a variety of reasons, but that doesn't mean that the only adventure game worth playing is Riven. Analogue: A Hate Story is almost certainly better than Digital: A Love Story, but damned if Digital isn't worth exploring for its sheer inventiveness. Duel Savior is in no way the equal of something like Odin Sphere, but I still had a lot of fun with Duel Savior on its own merits. Momoyo's route in Majikoi resonated powerfully with me, but that didn't make the other routes unworthy of my attention.

 

I guess what I'm saying is that trying to compare pieces of entertainment and art as if they were mathematical sums is insane, even when it's possible ... and it's almost never possible. Comparison serves well as the source of analysis and critique, but it has no intrinsic merit. Art may exist in context, but context is not the entire source of value.

Edited by gkathellar
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If I'm typing in red, it means I'm being sarcastic. But not this time.

Dark green, on the other hand, is for jokes and irony in general.

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People hold BG2 in high regard because it's just simply BETTER than Deadfire in most non-technical ways.  Deadfire's combat is just too barebones and simplistic.  I don't care much about balance problems because BG2 was certainly no star when it came to balanced gameplay anyway.

 

If Deadfire combat is more simplistic than BG Then you must have been playing a completely different game. I dunno what to tell you.

 

 

Deadfire combat is more simplistic. 

 

How can it be more simplistic when in BG2 most classes rarely did anything other than auto-attack?

 

Yeah but in BG2 the game was more immersive because it had a better plot and story

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The (difficult) encounters of BG2 require metaknowledge. And, as you point out, when you have that knowledge it's quite simple.

 

Could you name me one BG2 encounter that requires metaknowledge? I don't think there are any. But then, our definition of metaknowledge might differ.

 

When I first played the game, Kangaxx gave me the most trouble, and indeed I couldn't beat him until I remember those two Protection From Magic scrolls on sale at the Adventurers' Mart. I have subsequently come up with other strategies.

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The (difficult) encounters of BG2 require metaknowledge. And, as you point out, when you have that knowledge it's quite simple.

Could you name me one BG2 encounter that requires metaknowledge? I don't think there are any. But then, our definition of metaknowledge might differ.

 

When I first played the game, Kangaxx gave me the most trouble, and indeed I couldn't beat him until I remember those two Protection From Magic scrolls on sale at the Adventurers' Mart. I have subsequently come up with other strategies.

Braccus Rex was a fairly difficult boss and I had to stack a whole bunch of boxes to hide behind in order to beat him.

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When the topic is "Something > Something else", usually what we need to look at is the overall score of each (which is subjective, of course). But as with most discussions of this nature, we tend to go down the path of "speaking as if one or two good (or bad) things about one contender completely represent everything about it".

 

I mean, if your argument is something along the lines of "just because you COULD do this" or "because you COULD do that", "so the WHOLE thing must be bad", personally, I don't find that very convincing. Having a couple of cheese tools in the game hardly makes the whole combat system bad. It's not like every single player playing that game abuses those things, and not like they have to force themselves not to. Not to mention, you could apply this kind of argument to pretty much every single game out there.

 

You could say that in BG2 if you're a fighter you don't do much aside from basic attack and quaff potions. That is essentially true. BUT traditionally, the concept of the "fighter" is that it's supposed to be simple and "user-friendly". So I don't find that a bad thing. Now in PoE2, I agree that even the "supposedly simple" fighter has quite a decent number of skills they can use. However, from my experience playing the game, I find that all those skills only give me an illusion of playing a "complex" and "deep" class. How so? Someone posted this some time back and I still remember, he said his tank had 124 Deflection un-buffed, and every single fight he just threw that guy in, letting him tank everything until combat ended. There was no need for that tank character to do ANYTHING, because it is your back line that is the one doing EVERYTHING: dealing damage, crowd-controlling, healing, supporting. I had essentially the same experience late in the game. All those "fancy" active abilities Eder had really made it feel like the class was just trying hard to be complex, while there wasn't much point of that at the end of the day. From this angle, I actually think the fighter being simplistic is a "might as well" kinda thing, less pretentious, and avoids unnecessary hassles. At least in BG2 my frontline never became near invulnerable; I still had to move them back every once in a while, quaffed a potion, waited for the right moment, then went back in. In PoE2 your frontline doesn't even have to do anything once you've put him in the middle of all the bad guys, or wherever the "right spot" is. Talking about "being able to make an invulnerable character", eh?

 

And I'm a bit confused about the argument "requiring metaknowledge". What do you mean by "required"? Required for what? To have fun? To beat the game? Or what? I played both BG games years ago, as my second RPG ever, when I had NO CLUE whatsoever about the whole system, the entire ruleset, as well as the setting. What the hell is this THA-KOU (THA0)? Why does armor make my AC go down instead of up? Also, my first playthrough ever I played a freakin Bard - through both games. I had no idea what the concept behind the "bard" class even was. I picked it just cause its description sounded "kinda cool", and also because it was the only class name I didn't know the meaning of in my language. At the beginning of the game I had FOUR hp and a random wolf would kill me in a single hit. I was a total noob until the very end of the saga. Yet I had loads of fun playing through both, never had to "pull my hair out" or "smash my keyboard" just cause something was too harsh. I highly doubt I'm in the minority of players in this regard. Having metaknowledge in BG2 makes it a lot easier - but that's about it. A lot of things are tough to get used to (including tough encounters), but personally, I found that toughness to be about right.

 

PS: Yes, BG2 requires meta-knowledge. You need meta-knowledge to create all those "broken" stuff: broken class-combinations, broken builds, invulnerable chars, etc. In PoE2, you can do all this too. Without meta-knowledge.

Edited by try2handing
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The (difficult) encounters of BG2 require metaknowledge. And, as you point out, when you have that knowledge it's quite simple.

 

Could you name me one BG2 encounter that requires metaknowledge? I don't think there are any. But then, our definition of metaknowledge might differ.

 

When I first played the game, Kangaxx gave me the most trouble, and indeed I couldn't beat him until I remember those two Protection From Magic scrolls on sale at the Adventurers' Mart. I have subsequently come up with other strategies.

 

Kangaxx is a good example. I think extremely few players beat him on their first try.


I'll do it, for a turnip.

 

DnD item quality description mod (for PoE2) by peardox

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And I'm a bit confused about the argument "requiring metaknowledge". What do you mean by "required"? Required for what? To have fun? To beat the game? Or what?

 

It also becomes a bit of a truism - "this game requires metaknowledge and therefore is bad!" is an argument you see bounced around a lot, and I don't think it's a good one. Rewarding meta knowledge means rewarding investment in the game and its systems. In my most recent playthrough of BG2, I solo'd Kangaxx with a level 16 thief that couldn't use armor or gauntlets, and I did it without scrolls of protection from magic or protection from undead.  It required a ton of meta knowledge and demanded that I work out extremely specific aspects of how stealth, traps, and several items worked in game, as well as the timing and precise positioning of several scripts. It was also extremely satisfying when I succeeded.

Edited by gkathellar
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If I'm typing in red, it means I'm being sarcastic. But not this time.

Dark green, on the other hand, is for jokes and irony in general.

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And I'm a bit confused about the argument "requiring metaknowledge". What do you mean by "required"? Required for what? To have fun? To beat the game? Or what?

 

It also becomes a bit of a truism - "this game requires metaknowledge and therefore is bad!" is an argument you see bounced around a lot, and I don't think it's a good one. Rewarding meta knowledge means rewarding investment in the game and its systems. In my most recent playthrough of BG2, I solo'd Kangaxx with a level 16 thief that couldn't use armor or gauntlets, and I did it without scrolls of protection from magic or protection from undead.  It required a ton of meta knowledge and demanded that I work out extremely specific aspects of how stealth, traps, and several items worked in game, as well as the timing and precise positioning of several scripts. It was also extremely satisfying when I succeeded.

 

I wasn't arguing which system was better or worse, I was just pointing out that the devs were purposefully moving away from metaknowledge encounters (with pre-buffing and stuff like that). So the design we have now is not mistakenly different from BG2 but rather done so on purpose.

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I'll do it, for a turnip.

 

DnD item quality description mod (for PoE2) by peardox

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And even if I did feel I could confidently say, "BG2 is better than PoE2," I'm not sure what the point of doing so would be. I've played a lot of games that weren't as good as other games I've played, and I've never felt like my time was wasted for that reason. I don't play BG1 on endless repeat because Durlag's Tower is absolutely amazing. I don't play Jade Empire over and over again because the scene at the end with the Water Dragon makes me cry. I didn't think, "well, Battletech seems fun, but will it have a scene like when Kreia sits on the edge of a dried-up fountain in KotOR 2 and for the first time seems old?" and then strike it off of my list. The story and setting of P5 failed to grab me in the way that P3 and P4 did, but I don't think my time would've been better spent playing those again. Riven still stands out in the adventure game genre for a variety of reasons, but that doesn't mean that the only adventure game worth playing is Riven. Analogue: A Hate Story is almost certainly better than Digital: A Love Story, but damned if Digital isn't worth exploring for its sheer inventiveness. Duel Savior is in no way the equal of something like Odin Sphere, but I still had a lot of fun with Duel Savior on its own merits. Momoyo's route in Majikoi resonated powerfully with me, but that didn't make the other routes unworthy of my attention.

I literally got goosebumps reading this part. All those memories....

 

I couldn't agree more. Its like having certain books/series you rediscover every five years or so: they'll always have a special spot in your heart, but you won't just stop reading other books because of it: It's not because it's inherently superior or because it's flawless or anything: it's because you loved experiencing it, love rediscovering it every now and then and love shaking your head over the silly, stupid flaws that helped make it so great,even if they weren't noticed at first.

 

BG did that to so many people that it'll always be remembered as one of the greats. Other games that did the same are Skyrim and the third Witcher: I don't think I have to explain how Skyrim is an utterly flawed game (space launcher giants, anyone?); But its environment, atmosphere and feel of discovery make it one of my favourites, and mods made it far more than it was at the start.

 

As for metaknowledge, and encounter abuse, those can be used in any game if you put in enough effort: I distinctly remember beating Darth Sion with a horribly mistrained Atton by hiding behind a pillar until he stopped following, dropping every mine i carried, and blowing him up in a single glorious conflagration. Cheesing like that make for some of the best memories in gaming: Pillars' obsession with balance makes for a good game, but a bad sandbox for those who like tinkering with the mechanics. Poe1 did better than 2 in that regard, and BG2 was nothing but a sandbox of exploitable mechanics for those willing to use them.

Edited by Taevyr

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about balancing:

 

This is what I do not mean with balancing:

Create 100 chars with random race, stats, skills and talents, then let these random chars fight against each other and every char has a 50/50 chance to beat any other char or not.

In this case any choice would be meaningless.

 

This is what I mean with balance:

You read the information the game presents you, you think about what char you want to create and you select attributes and talents according to their description and according to what makes sense to you. With that you can make a char that is viable. It will probably not be the most powerful char ever and you will not win tripple crown solo first try, but with a full party and a bit trail and error you should be able to finish the game and your char will not feel complete useless. You do not need any meta knowledge, like "I have to solve quest X by chosing answer B, this gives me unique item C that turns combat against the otherwise very difficult enemy type Z into a piece of cake."

 

PoE2 is very balnced in this regard. The classes are different and some of them are more useful in some situations, but none of them feels completely useless.

Only chanters can summon creatures at low levels, only ciphers can charm enemies at low levels, mages have powerful self buffs and priests are good with healing and party buffs for example.

 

This is what I mean with bad balanceing:

The game gives you many options that seem to make sense, but some are completely useless while others are OP. You cannot know what is what unless you have already played the game or you have read a guide.

some examples from BG2

- charisma is completely useless for every char. If you ever need it, there is an item that brings it to 18 an you can get it right after the starting dungeon

- int is completely useless for everyone except wizards and bards, they should max it ( no, fighting illithids in melee does not count as reason to take int )

- wis is completely useless for everyone except clerics and druids, they should max it

( regarding stats, in a PnP game a good GM can make each stat useful and can punish players for dumping them, but in the computer game many stats are useless)

- every char should max dex, because the AC bonus stacks with everything and ranged weapons are almost always useful

- I do not think that new players will know at once that fighter->mage is powerful but mage->fighter is crippling yourself. There are some other bad class choices. Basically mages are gods if they survive the early levels, clerics and druids can be very useful, rogues are needed to deal with traps and locks ( well, there are spells to deal with it but then you need meta knowledge about where to cast the spell because you cannot cast it every few steps unless you rest spam) and all other classes are meat shields who wave a pointy stick. Bards are just a weaker form of a mage.

- The game gives you items like the staff of the magi ( invisibility and protection from evil anytime, dispell magic on hit and several powerful spells per rest). OK, you have to win a difficult fight in a hidden location to get it. But once you have it no mage will ever quip anything else, it is just broken OP. No sane GM would ever give this to a player in a PnP game.

- Same thing for the holy avenger ( greatsword+6, dispell on hit, 50% spell resistence). When you create a paladin the game does not tell you that you cripple yourself if you do not chose greatsword profiency.

There are many other example where some things are either OP or useless and you cannot know this unless you already know the game or you read a guide.

 

BG2 is a great game and I enjoyed playing it a lot, but it had some design decissions where I am happy that they changed those things.

Do you think PoE would be better if the devs add the staff of the magi and make int useless for everyone ecxept mages?

 

I admid that things could be much worse than BG2 in this regard.

I played realms of arcadia 1+2+3 that uses exactly the PnP DSA rules ( Das Schwarze Auge, I am not sure about the english name of it). It was awarded as the best computer RPG in 1991, 1993 and 1995. This means the ability to implement PnP options into a computer game were very limited. The result:

- Most skills were completely useless. You could spend points into riding skill, but you could never ride anything in the game. Other skill are used very rarely but then you really need them. In the third game I remember 2 situations were you need swimming, but one of those checks is part of the main quest and its game over if you fail. Only a few skills are needed all the time and you should max them ( e.g. weapon profiency or some spells)

- Same thing for spells. Most of them are useless, some are situational ( one spell can be used at exactly one point and then it gives you a great item if you have or maybe a game over if you do not have it, ok you can reload to avoid game over but you cannot know that you need this spell or be dead in a certain room.). There are a few spells you need over and over again.

- Class balance is not existant. Mages are the best casters, taking a druid or witch means crippling yourself. All mages get a magic staff at character creation that is an unbreakeble magic weapon that is easy to use and it counts as torch and rope and it reduces your mana consumption. Mages will also have more HP and MP than other chars. Meanswhile witches get a broom as weapon that is crap and cannot be unequipped and druid cannot use any metal equipment.

As martial class you should use a fighter because they are the only class that can use all equipment. All other classes have equipment restrictions but they cannot learn skills that fighters cannot learn. Every class can learn every skill, only the starting value is different.

Its probably best to have a party of 6 mages. Their spells are much more powerfull than any heavy armor or big sword you could equip.

- Regarding items I did not find an item that is completely OP and makes combat extremely easier. But if you chose your weapon profiency you should know that there are several magic swords (1h and 2h), 2 axes, 1 bow and not much else as weapon. Like DnD, magical creatures can only be hermed by magic or magic weapons. There is no degree of magic ( like you need a weapon+3), something is either magic or not.

- The first two games have several trap chioces where giving one wrong answer can make it harder or even impossible to finish the game. You will not know this because the game does not tell you that you just missed an item that is needed to finish the game. some examples:

In the first game you need to find pieces of a map to beat the game

- One piece can be found if you give a person the right answer. If you give the wrong answer you do not get it, you do not know that you could have gotten it there and you can never talk to that person again.

- One piece can be bought by a merchant who has a low chance to show up in any tavern. Depending on your luck you meet him in every second tavern or never at all.

- Same thing for another person that has a low chance to randomly show up at the harbor.

Basically the first two games are very hard to finish without a guide because there are so many trap choices that can prevent you from finishing.

 

Once again, I really enjoyed all the games I talked about and thats the main purpose of a game.

My point is that I prefer computer games with a rule set that was designed for computer games over a computer game with rules that were designed for a PnP game.

A PnP game is dependent on a good GM to create a fun and challenging experiance to the players and there are some PnP things that are very hard to translate into a computer game. The main difference is that you have to program all possible actions and reactions into a computer game before you start playing while a GM in a PnP game can react if the players want to do something.

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The (difficult) encounters of BG2 require metaknowledge. And, as you point out, when you have that knowledge it's quite simple.

 

Could you name me one BG2 encounter that requires metaknowledge? I don't think there are any. But then, our definition of metaknowledge might differ.

 

When I first played the game, Kangaxx gave me the most trouble, and indeed I couldn't beat him until I remember those two Protection From Magic scrolls on sale at the Adventurers' Mart. I have subsequently come up with other strategies.

 

Kangaxx is a good example. I think extremely few players beat him on their first try.

 

 

But it's not an example at all. Kangaxx is supposed to be bloody difficult, we're talking about a demi-lich after all. In realistic (ha!) terms, there are not that many things in the Forgotten Realms that are more difficult than a demi-lich. And in a classic table-top RPG, if the GM is doing his job properly, essentially nobody is ever going to beat a demi-lich (especially in DD 3.0 and onwards, I'm not so sure about AD&D 2.0).

 

If by metaknowledge you mean that you have had to lose to the baddie first before you can think of a way of beating it, you do have an argument. However, I think that's more interesting than what happens in PoE1, for instance. I walked into the lair of Cail the Silent, the red dragon I mean, fairly low on resources, and I just hacked him to death. There was no need for any thinking on my part.

 

I really liked the fact that Firkraag was difficult in BG2 and I had to retreat and level up before taking him on.

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The (difficult) encounters of BG2 require metaknowledge. And, as you point out, when you have that knowledge it's quite simple.

 

Could you name me one BG2 encounter that requires metaknowledge? I don't think there are any. But then, our definition of metaknowledge might differ.

 

When I first played the game, Kangaxx gave me the most trouble, and indeed I couldn't beat him until I remember those two Protection From Magic scrolls on sale at the Adventurers' Mart. I have subsequently come up with other strategies.

 

 

Kangaxx is the one where I'd say noone could ever realistically beat him on a first try without knowing exactly what's coming. Otherwise there's a huge amount of encounter-specific metaknowledge that makes the game far easier (e.g. you want a +3 weapon ideally with reach before doing the De Arnise keep so you can kill the Iron Golem, the fact there's one specific magic shield that trivialises otherwise enormously frustrating beholders, the fact that Shadow Dragon's big thing is level drain and you can bait out his death spell with summons while he's not hostile etc etc). Not a bad thing but understandably something that later games in the genre have been hesitant to copy.

 

 

 

 

People hold BG2 in high regard because it's just simply BETTER than Deadfire in most non-technical ways.  Deadfire's combat is just too barebones and simplistic.  I don't care much about balance problems because BG2 was certainly no star when it came to balanced gameplay anyway.

 

"If Deadfire combat is more simplistic than BG Then you must have been playing a completely different game. I dunno what to tell you."

 

 

It is, in many respects. Combat is a binary state in the POE games, so you don't have prebuffing and/or summoning and combat arenas are discrete, you can't combine stealth and traps in the same way with combat. BG2 has far more specific interactions than Deadfire and a much deeper pool of spells and effects. Ammo has been simplified/removed. Obviously certain systems have been made more complex and less discrete but as BG2 was happier for you to fail miserably and happier for you to break the game with shenanigans, it could afford some additional complexity that the POE series very reasonably doesn't want to get into.

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The (difficult) encounters of BG2 require metaknowledge. And, as you point out, when you have that knowledge it's quite simple.

 

Could you name me one BG2 encounter that requires metaknowledge? I don't think there are any. But then, our definition of metaknowledge might differ.

 

When I first played the game, Kangaxx gave me the most trouble, and indeed I couldn't beat him until I remember those two Protection From Magic scrolls on sale at the Adventurers' Mart. I have subsequently come up with other strategies.

 

Kangaxx is a good example. I think extremely few players beat him on their first try.

 

Losing a fight does not mean it requires meta knowledge. That is called difficulty.

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The (difficult) encounters of BG2 require metaknowledge. And, as you point out, when you have that knowledge it's quite simple.

 

Could you name me one BG2 encounter that requires metaknowledge? I don't think there are any. But then, our definition of metaknowledge might differ.

 

When I first played the game, Kangaxx gave me the most trouble, and indeed I couldn't beat him until I remember those two Protection From Magic scrolls on sale at the Adventurers' Mart. I have subsequently come up with other strategies.

 

Kangaxx is a good example. I think extremely few players beat him on their first try.

 

Losing a fight does not mean it requires meta knowledge. That is called difficulty.

 

 

You don't lose to Kangaxx because of difficulty, though. You lose because he has enormously specific instant death abilities that you need to know about before he casts them which can only be countered with very specific things. It's not actually hard to cast Protection from Abjuration and Death Ward or Berserk and Death Ward and hit him with a +4 weapon, you just have no reasonable way of knowing you need to do that unless you've died to it or you've read a wallkthrough. That is meta knowledge.

Edited by Blovski
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Kangaxx is a good example. I think extremely few players beat him on their first try.

 

Kangaxx is a weird example actually - he's actually more of a "puzzle boss" than anything - at least for me. He's not even trying to be remotely fair. Kangaxx's borderline unstoppable - thanks to his unlimited Imprisonment that will one-shot you and your entire party and his immunity for everything that's below a +4 weapon (good luck finding a decent +4 weapon in vanilla BG2), unless you know *exactly* how to counter him - then he becomes a borderline joke. 

Once you figure out that he's *undead* and Imprisonment is the only spell he knows, the fight is over. One protection against Undead scroll on CHARNAME pretty much renders him helpless. Then just whack him with the upgraded Mace of Disruption (+4 against undead) that has a huge chance of kiling him in one shot and if you're particuarly mean-spirited equip Cloak of Mirroring and watch all his offensive spells bounce off of you. Or just transform into Slayer - its "fists" count as +4 weapon so they will pass through his immunities - and he doesn't have a lot of hit points actually.

 

I was always more intimidated by dragons thruth be told - Firkraag in patricular. One screwed-up saving throw against fear/wing buffet can turn a well-planned battle into a complete disaster and it is quite difficult to cheese a dragon - although even here Immunity to fear and crapton of protections against fire can work wonders. It was quite amusing when I realized that there is no cap on fire immunity - so you can buff yourself with so many Protections against Fire that the value goes into "negative" and Firkraag's Flame Breath actually *heals you* - tried it myself. I don't  now if it was a bug, but by God it was fun to abuse.

 

And then there is hilariously broken Cloak of Mirroring that renders every mage duel into a joke. I actually stood there and waited during the final battle at the Tree of Life for Irenicus to run out of his protections while he was throwing every spell in existence at me. It took a while - he has unlimited spells as it turns out. But it was cute to watch.

 

So yeah, for me one of the fun parts of BG 2 was to try to figure out in how many hilarious ways you can utterly break a game - there was a certain pride in that. And the game itself actually encouraged that - the beforementioned Kangaxx fight pretty much required you to counter cheese with cheese.

 

...Not to mention you can incapacitate Irenicus' pet demons during the final showdown in Nine Hells with puny level 1 "Protection against Evil".

Edited by aksrasjel
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