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An open letter to the devs about Magran's challenge

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The devs have done a fantastic job with Deadfire, and I am excited by the god challenges. In fact, there is an upcoming achievement tied to completing all god challenges at once ("Holy Crown" = triple crown with all god challenges).

Having experimented with Magran's challenge, I've come to the conclusion that I will never be able complete it, regardless of combat speed or difficulty level. This is because removing the ability to pause introduces a new dependence on physical reflexes. For those of us with physical challenges, no amount of practice will improve things.

In contrast to Magran, the other god challenges do not *remove* features; they add new mechanics (like Abydon) or increase the potency of existing mechanics (like Skaen). They rely on strategy, tactics, and resource management.

I understand that the god challenges are optional, and that the devs cannot tune the game to accommodate every person's unique strengths and weaknesses. But for the sake of consistency, and in fairness to players interested in the upcoming "Holy Crown" achievement, I would like to make a suggestion:

My suggestion is that the "no-pause" challenge be moved to a separate achievement that is not one of the god challenges (such as expert mode, solo mode, trial of iron, etc.). Moreover, I would reiterate my suggestion in another thread that the combat speed restriction be removed.

My suggested replacement for Magran's challenge is a modest experience penalty. A feature to reduce experience gain has been requested by many members of the community. Moreover, it makes sense in terms of Magran's portfolio: undergoing experience as a form of..."durance".

 

An experience penalty could be implemented in several different ways:

    -  as a sort of "fatigue system"

 

    (i.e. a debuff that reduces experience gain, which increases with game time and is only reset by resting)

     - a straightforward increase in the amount of experience needed

     (i.e. 25% to 50% more experience, like in the IE Mod for Pillars 1)

    - a *removal* of experience outright in response to player actions

    (e.g. resting, incurring an injury, or using empower removes 10% of experience outright)

I hope you'll consider these suggestions, and thanks again for the great work on Deadfire.

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As someone who's slightly visually impaired, I certainly hope that Obsidian heeds your advice. I'd love to try out Magran's challenge later on, and even that Triple Crown cheevo, and your suggestion of removing the "no-pause" bit is a great one.

 

So, whole-heartedly seconded! :skeptical:

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*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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For this challenge you have to rely on your configured AI and on a strong party who can deal with most situations with little input from your part. Picking the right party formation helps too. The idea is not to have lightning reflexes but a very strong party with good AI. It's like playing on autopilot with little intervention from your part.

Edited by Kaylon
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I don't think I've met anyone on the forums that actually enjoys the no-pause challenge. Hope they take your advice, OP.

Edited by Purudaya
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For this challenge you have to rely on your configured AI and on a strong party who can deal with most situations with little input from your part. Picking the right party formation helps too. The idea is not to have lightning reflexes but a very strong party with good AI. It's like playing on autopilot with little intervention from your part.

And Glenn's suggested adjustment doesn't change that in any way. It just gets rids of the reflex stumbleblocks, and actually add the quality of life of any such playthroughs (being able to pause).

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*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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Having experimented with Magran's challenge, I've come to the conclusion that I will never be able complete it, regardless of combat speed or difficulty level. This is because removing the ability to pause introduces a new dependence on physical reflexes. For those of us with physical challenges, no amount of practice will improve things.

In contrast to Magran, the other god challenges do not *remove* features; they add new mechanics (like Abydon) or increase the potency of existing mechanics (like Skaen). They rely on strategy, tactics, and resource management.

I think that is the very point of Magran’s challenge - not allow you to have full control over your party, and play it a bit more like RTS. It’s ok if it’s something you can’t play, and it is fine that it is something I won’t ever touch.

 

The question is: is there anyone who likes it, but that is something Obsidian might have to deduce by looking how may people use it.


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Changing this will set precedent to change the others for various reasons no? Holy Crown is optional, I know I wouldn't be able to do it even with your changes and that's fine because it's a challenge.

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Heh! As I see it, Glenn's just asking nicely to see if they'd consider his proposition, since it doesn't really change the challenge.

This is not a court system or some political system with set precedents and dead presidents on the line.

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*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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Personally i will never use it. Is a good achievement, they should keep it. But changes all the combat in such a radical way but doesn't really add anything, the reason to play it will probably be to get the achievement and not for the fun of it, as i think it should be. Not everything has to be for everyone, and if people like it great, but seems like no one likes it, and if is the case would be cool if they replace it, and then change Eothas challenge, and then everything i don't like >:D yay good for me. Not a fan of your suggestion tho.

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I actually wanna try it, but with a mostly pacifist run.

 

 

 

Someone said they could reach level 19 without much combat (boat only?) in the pacifist thread. Who knows, maybe it is possible, specially considering that the end boss is optional.

 

 

 

Edit: spoilers

Edited by InsaneCommander

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Hoping they leave your advice. Its a challenge. Its literally an optional challenge. Because of this it doesnt need to fit with what you prefer or what you are good at.

 

At this rate they might as well add a no weapon challenge that allows for swords because not everyone liked it or was good at it.

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Hoping they leave your advice. Its a challenge. Its literally an optional challenge. Because of this it doesnt need to fit with what you prefer or what you are good at.

 

At this rate they might as well add a no weapon challenge that allows for swords because not everyone liked it or was good at it.

I gotta agree with the OP. Removing a core feature of this genre was just a bad choice for a challenge. The OP's point is more about how it actively punishes people who are physically unable to play this game without pausing. 

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"As the murderhobo mantra goes: 'If you can't kill it, steal it.'" - Prince of Lies

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The devs have done a fantastic job with Deadfire, and I am excited by the god challenges. In fact, there is an upcoming achievement tied to completing all god challenges at once ("Holy Crown" = triple crown with all god challenges).

 

Having experimented with Magran's challenge, I've come to the conclusion that I will never be able complete it, regardless of combat speed or difficulty level. This is because removing the ability to pause introduces a new dependence on physical reflexes. For those of us with physical challenges, no amount of practice will improve things.

 

In contrast to Magran, the other god challenges do not *remove* features; they add new mechanics (like Abydon) or increase the potency of existing mechanics (like Skaen). They rely on strategy, tactics, and resource management.

 

I understand that the god challenges are optional, and that the devs cannot tune the game to accommodate every person's unique strengths and weaknesses. But for the sake of consistency, and in fairness to players interested in the upcoming "Holy Crown" achievement, I would like to make a suggestion:

 

My suggestion is that the "no-pause" challenge be moved to a separate achievement that is not one of the god challenges (such as expert mode, solo mode, trial of iron, etc.). Moreover, I would reiterate my suggestion in another thread that the combat speed restriction be removed.

 

My suggested replacement for Magran's challenge is a modest experience penalty. A feature to reduce experience gain has been requested by many members of the community. Moreover, it makes sense in terms of Magran's portfolio: undergoing experience as a form of..."durance".

 

An experience penalty could be implemented in several different ways:

 

    -  as a sort of "fatigue system"

 

    (i.e. a debuff that reduces experience gain, which increases with game time and is only reset by resting)

 

     - a straightforward increase in the amount of experience needed

 

     (i.e. 25% to 50% more experience, like in the IE Mod for Pillars 1)

 

    - a *removal* of experience outright in response to player actions

 

    (e.g. resting, incurring an injury, or using empower removes 10% of experience outright)

 

I hope you'll consider these suggestions, and thanks again for the great work on Deadfire.

 

What difference does it make if the mode is just renamed?  Surely that'll just mean it's another mode you won't be able to do?  How is it any different?

Edited by Yosharian

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What difference does it make if the mode is just renamed?  Surely that'll just mean it's another mode you won't be able to do?  How is it any different?

 

The difference is it won't be a Magran's Fires challenge anymore. Some people have done some data mining and concluded that new achievements are coming that require having all god challenges on in a single run of the game. That would bother a lot of people if the reason they are locked out of 100% completion is something that's physically impossible for them to do.

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"As the murderhobo mantra goes: 'If you can't kill it, steal it.'" - Prince of Lies

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What difference does it make if the mode is just renamed?  Surely that'll just mean it's another mode you won't be able to do?  How is it any different?

 

The difference is it won't be a Magran's Fires challenge anymore. Some people have done some data mining and concluded that new achievements are coming that require having all god challenges on in a single run of the game. That would bother a lot of people if the reason they are locked out of 100% completion is something that's physically impossible for them to do.

 

 

Oh nooooo.....

 

What about the achievement related to the new mode that this gets moved to?  Or we saying that we can't have achievements that disabled people can't realistically complete, is that it?  This is getting ridiculous.

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I don't see how this is an accessibility issue.

 

I don't really have a stake in this matter, as I don't play these games for difficulty, challenge or achievements. I don't really know what all the other god challenges are either, from what I've heard there's one that introduces durability/weapon degradation, another that sets a hard time limit, etc.

 

I can only say what I think challenges are supposed to do: Apply pressure on the player's knowledge, experience and ability. Demand higher efficiency and give less room for error. Taking away the ability to pause doesn't do that, it rather fundamentally changes the game and thus subverts and invalidates player experience. Execution was never a requirement, now suddenly it is? That's completely outside this curriculum. Pausing is a defining property of the subgenre ffs, to demonstrate your mastery of a "real-time with pause crpg" you are to play it without the pause?

 

If what is intended is that the player is to rely on AI scripting/automation, I don't know what that is supposed to test. Anyone can lift a strong build from someone else, but you still need to know how to play it, and respond properly to what is happening in encounters. If you lift a strong script package all you have to do is press play on tape. Nothing is being tested there. For that reason It would make more sense to have a god challenge that disabled AI scripts completely, than have one that demands it. Disabling pausing to demand automation not only removes a defining property of the subgenre, but undercuts the defining property of the medium, interactivity.

 

If it were some off to the side curiosity achievement, fine, but if it is to be a required part of the top accomplishment, absolutely not. I can only imagine a Quake game coming out where the Grand Master Certification expected you to utilize an aimbot, whoever came up with that would be hunted down by the playerbase and pitchforked to paste.

 

I don't see how this is an accessibility issue because the challenge in itself is utterly degenerate when it comes to testing a player's ability to Play The Game, and is so regardless of whether achievements should take accessibility into consideration or not.

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I don't see how this is an accessibility issue.

 

I don't really have a stake in this matter, as I don't play these games for difficulty, challenge or achievements. I don't really know what all the other god challenges are either, from what I've heard there's one that introduces durability/weapon degradation, another that sets a hard time limit, etc.

 

I can only say what I think challenges are supposed to do: Apply pressure on the player's knowledge, experience and ability. Demand higher efficiency and give less room for error. Taking away the ability to pause doesn't do that, it rather fundamentally changes the game and thus subverts and invalidates player experience. Execution was never a requirement, now suddenly it is? That's completely outside this curriculum. Pausing is a defining property of the subgenre ffs, to demonstrate your mastery of a "real-time with pause crpg" you are to play it without the pause?

 

If what is intended is that the player is to rely on AI scripting/automation, I don't know what that is supposed to test. Anyone can lift a strong build from someone else, but you still need to know how to play it, and respond properly to what is happening in encounters. If you lift a strong script package all you have to do is press play on tape. Nothing is being tested there. For that reason It would make more sense to have a god challenge that disabled AI scripts completely, than have one that demands it. Disabling pausing to demand automation not only removes a defining property of the subgenre, but undercuts the defining property of the medium, interactivity.

 

If it were some off to the side curiosity achievement, fine, but if it is to be a required part of the top accomplishment, absolutely not. I can only imagine a Quake game coming out where the Grand Master Certification expected you to utilize an aimbot, whoever came up with that would be hunted down by the playerbase and pitchforked to paste.

 

I don't see how this is an accessibility issue because the challenge in itself is utterly degenerate when it comes to testing a player's ability to Play The Game, and is so regardless of whether achievements should take accessibility into consideration or not.

 

But it does test the player's ability to play the game.  Many players have gone to great lengths to set up their party such that the computer's AI is able to win the fight all by itself, simply by following the pre-set commands set by the player.  Magran's Challenge is perfect for those kind of players.

 

Another way of looking at it would be that it requires to play out a fight in their head well in advance, to predict what might happen and prepare strategies to deal with those possibilities.  That's definitely testing a player's ability to play the game.

 

So you're wrong.  Also, Challenges are completely optional, and Achievements are optional.  There's nothing 'required' about any of this.

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What difference does it make if the mode is just renamed?  Surely that'll just mean it's another mode you won't be able to do?  How is it any different?

 

 

What about the achievement related to the new mode that this gets moved to?  Or we saying that we can't have achievements that disabled people can't realistically complete, is that it?

Hi Yosharian,

 

My suggestion to move "no-pause" to a separate achievement is to preserve it for those players who still want to attempt it. I don't want to remove other players' choices or achievements!

 

Consider the "solo mode" challenge; the devs didn't make it a God Challenge, but instead made it a *separate* difficulty option (Triple Crown Solo vs. Triple Crown). This was what I had in mind for the "no-pause" challenge.

 

I appreciate everyone's feedback, and hope the devs will take it into account along with my suggestion!


 

 

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What difference does it make if the mode is just renamed?  Surely that'll just mean it's another mode you won't be able to do?  How is it any different?

 

 

What about the achievement related to the new mode that this gets moved to?  Or we saying that we can't have achievements that disabled people can't realistically complete, is that it?

Hi Yosharian,

 

My suggestion to move "no-pause" to a separate achievement is to preserve it for those players who still want to attempt it. I don't want to remove other players' choices or achievements!

 

Consider the "solo mode" challenge; the devs didn't make it a God Challenge, but instead made it a *separate* difficulty option (Triple Crown Solo vs. Triple Crown). This was what I had in mind for the "no-pause" challenge.

 

I appreciate everyone's feedback, and hope the devs will take it into account along with my suggestion!

 

 

Wouldn't the same issue be present then? People who have accessibility issues won't be able to get the separate "no pause" achievement either. I personally don't care about achievements but for those who do the problem is still there.

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Seems like one problem is the unintended perception of the achievements and specially the God Challenges as a part of the main game experience, probably due to the gods themes and the introduction or changes to mechanics, in addition the popular perception of the achievements as an important part of their game experience.

I don't think there is really a reason for that they should change it, i personally just wanted it to be replaced because i don't find it fun to do and don't care about achievements so is just one less God Challenge for me, and if they replace it maybe the new Magran Challenge i would like.

Definitely the game shouldn't limitate everyone based on the limitation of some, even less with something like achievements that aren't intended to be an important part of the game, but still, since they are perceived as such, and specially the God Challenge, maybe would just be nice to replace it if is not much of a problem

Edited by esyvjrt

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People who have accessibility issues won't be able to get the separate "no pause" achievement either. I personally don't care about achievements but for those who do the problem is still there.

 

Hi Baramos,

 

It's true -- any achievement tied to the "no pause" challenge would be unobtainable for those unable to complete it.

 

That's OK! Some people won't ever complete the "solo mode" or "trial of iron" either. But those kinds of challenges -- the ones that remove core features from gameplay (expert mode, solo mode, trial of iron) -- have been kept separate from the God Challenges.

 

My suggestion is that "no pause" fits in better with those options, than with the special "God Challenges".

 

I agree with esyvjrt that the God Challenges have been given more prominence than other achievements. Many of us are excited because they add mechanics or make intriguing tweaks to existing systems, but don't remove features altogether.

 

I made this thread in response to other players' feedback. I can sense that I'm not alone, in being very interested in the achievement for completing them all at once ("Challenge the Pantheon!"). Like me, a number of players have pointed to Magran as a barrier, however.

 

By making God Challenges available at any difficulty, it shows that the devs are listening to player feedback. I hope they will consider this thread and other suggested changes to the God Challenges going forward. The God Challenges have generated a lot of excitement in the community, we all want them to turn out well.

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Hmm, but it is nice for people who like to build AI scripts to have an advantage in this, I mean either way someone gets left out ...


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