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Any interest in starting a No Reload Challenge?


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#1
Alesia_BH

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Hey there, hi there, everyone! Is anyone here familiar with the No Reload Challenge in the Baldur's Gate community, either the legacy Bioware forum edition or the current one on the Beamdog forums?

 

For the uninitiated, the Baldur's Gate No Reload Challenge lets players document attempts to complete the BG Trilogy (now Tetralogy) without reloading along the way. The challenge has been active for over a decade now and continues to be a source of enjoyment for players and followers alike.

 

Is there any interest in establishing a similar challenge here, a Pillars of Eternity Saga No Reload Challenge? If you have any thoughts on this, feel free to share!

 

Best,

 

A. 

 

(Oh, and btw, hello everyone! It's good to be a part of the PoE community!)


Edited by Alesia_BH, 29 October 2018 - 10:21 PM.

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#2
Serg BlackStrider

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Hi, Alesia! =) I see you are going to stir this community the way you did it back there in the Baldur's Gate community! A noble goal I wholeheartly support! =)


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#3
Alesia_BH

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Serg! You're here! I had no idea! That's awesome. Is anyone else from our community around?

 

Have you tried PoE no reloading yet?

 

Best,

 

A.


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#4
Boeroer

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Hi!

There is the Trial of Iron expert setting in PoE and Deadfire that only does one single auto-save and prevents reloading (except of course when you quit and come back later). If you die the savegame gets deleted automatically.

If you play both games with ToI on you'll basically have your challenge.

Edited by Boeroer, 29 October 2018 - 10:51 PM.


#5
Serg BlackStrider

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Hi!

There is the Trial of Iron expert setting in PoE and Deadfire that only does one single auto-save and prevents reloading (except of course when you quit and come back later). If you die the savegame gets deleted automatically.

If you play both games with ToI on you'll basically have your challenge.

Yep, but the point of those (bioware's and beamdog's) no-reload challenges is not just to play as no-reload but to share your run with the community - tactics applied, approaches, some even post it as a story. Personally, I see PoE as far less challenging compared to SCS moded BG but I like it nonetheless and it would be nice to have something like those challenges here.


Edited by Serg BlackStrider, 30 October 2018 - 03:23 AM.

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#6
Alesia_BH

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Thank you for your reply, Boerer! And thank you for highlighting the ToI setting: that may be a useful tool if and when we do establish a challenge.

 

The ToI setting alone would not, however, provide the experience that I, and perhaps Serg, am/are seeking. In the BG No Reload Challenge, we share our adventures -typically in text, sometimes role-played text- documenting every step of the journey. It's a community experience and a joyful one at that. We introduce our characters, post reports on each session, and follow each other's progress, celebrating triumphs, lamenting losses. The core of us who've participated have by now been friends (close friends, albeit online friends) for over a decade with our sole point of contact being the No Reload Challenge experience. The Baldur's Gate NR Challenge has never been about achieving goals within the game world, really- at least not primarily. It was about -and is about- sharing our mutual enjoyment of the game in a collegial, friendly, and supportive environment. It's allowed us to play together, without competing with each other, to learn from each other by sharing, rather than through a question/answer, teacher/student format. It's been a way to grow as players while having a whole lot of fun, too.   

 

I and others who've participated would have tired of BG, long, long ago, were it not for the NR Challenge. And that shouldn't come as a surprise: Playing is always more fun when you play together.

 

That, then, is the proposal: a consolidated thread that would provide a platform for players to share their No Reload/Trial of Iron journeys, with the goal being to establish a community of skilled and fun-loving adventurers, allowing us to derive renewable pleasure from the game, even after the story, mechanics, and foes have become old hat. It's more than a setting. It's about community, fun, and friendship.

 

When the old Bioware forums closed, Serg archived and hosted the content from the original No Reload Challenge. I'd happily share the link to illustrate the concept in practice, but I feel Serg should do the honors: he's the one who did the work of preserving the thread, and we're all grateful to him for doing so. The thread contains hundreds of pages - has received millions of views over the years- and, for us participants, hold a warehouse of memories: good memories, shared with friends. It would be fun to get something similar going in the PoE world.  

 

Best,

 

A.


Edited by Alesia_BH, 30 October 2018 - 05:15 PM.

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#7
Hazmy

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I think the no reload challenge is a great idea especially with the same rules as in Baldur's Gate forums. I would be up for participating ^^

Welcome @Alesia_BH ! :p

 


Edited by Hazmy, 30 October 2018 - 01:54 AM.

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#8
Serg BlackStrider

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Serg! You're here! I had no idea! That's awesome. Is anyone else from our community around?

 

Have you tried PoE no reloading yet?

 

I'm pretty sure there are plenty of our mutual friends here, but, unfortunately, I haven't met one until now. That's an awesome surprise indeed!

 

I've three completionist runs of PoE but not as no-reload (ToI) and I'm still waiting for all Deadfire DLC to be released before trying it - as you know I'm leisurely player and I'm tired to experience a major game mechanics' changes with each and every patch during my single run. Nonetheless I'm always ready to dive in at least PoE1 (which, I think, is polished enough already) Trial of Iron run.

 

When the old Bioware forums closed, Serg archived and hosted the content from the original No Reload Challenge. I'd happily share the link to illustrate the concept in practice, but I feel Serg should do the honors: he's the one who did the work of preserving the thread, and we're all grateful to him for doing so. The thread contains hundreds of pages - has received millions of views over the years- and, for us participants, hold a warehouse of memories: good memories, shared with friends. It would be fun to get something similar going in the PoE world.  

 

Thanks, Alesia, for your kind words! And here they are (For Those About to Rock No-Reload (We Salute You):

 

Baldur's Gate 1 No-Reload Challenge

Baldur's Gate 2 No-Reload Challenge

 

Here is hoping we could create something like that with local community.


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#9
Alesia_BH

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@ Serg Blackstrider. I'm glad to hear that you're interested! That's a boon and a huge help in establishing a PoE challenge. It will be great to have at least one other participant conversant with the norms of the Bioware community. Beyond that, it's wonderful to have a friend here!

 

@Hazmy. Thanks for the warm welcome! Have we met over on the Bioware forums or were you a reader only? No matter. In either case, you're more than welcome to participate (as is anyone and everyone!). I agree that the rule set and community norms from the Bioware challenge provide the right template for a challenge here. I'm sure Serg is on the same page. How much PoE experience do you have, Hazmy? Serg and I are experienced BG No Reloaders,  but we're novices on the PoE scene. I only started playing PoE about a week ago. And while I have completed a NR already, I still have a lot -and I mean a lot- to learn. It would be great if we could get at least one PoE veteran on board. If you're that person: awesome! If not, that's awesome, too! While having at least one veteran player would be beneficial from an educational standpoint, having players at a variety of skill levels -playing on a variety of difficulty settings, with different party compositions- will aid us in growing the community.

 

I do think three is enough for us to get started. Hooray! That means this is happening! We should discuss rules together soon, perhaps later today. Before we begin that conversation, though, I'd like to invite others to introduce themselves and, if they desire, let their voices be heard in the rule/guideline/norm establishment process. Is anyone else interested? Don't be shy! We're all friends here!

 

Best,

 

A.


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#10
Jaheiras Witness

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I would happily participate when I next do a playthrough. Well familiar with BG equivalent and the forums.
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#11
Jaheiras Witness

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In terms of rules/guidelines I would keep it very simple: can be party or solo, on whatever difficulty you like, but it has to be true to the concept of no-reload, i.e. you willingly and voluntarily end your run when your PC dies and never reload other than for when you start a gaming session; it cannot just be an attempt to game the ToI mode by quitting/reloading just before the character dies. Sad to say that a lot of “just completed solo Triple Crown lols” forum posts and youtube videos are just gaming the ToI mode. That’s not what we want :).

We might set some other guidelines about which options should be allowed or disallowed (e.g. maim before death should be off, conversation qualifiers/pointers should be off etc).

PS I have completed two solo no-reload playthroughs with Chanter, once on Core and once on Hard, but not yet PotD. I have played plenty with party too and other classes but never completed a no-reload playthrough with these. So I have quite a bit of experience and happy to help / advise / encourage as required!

Edited by Jaheiras Witness, 30 October 2018 - 09:40 AM.

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#12
Serg BlackStrider

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In terms of rules/guidelines I would keep it very simple: can be party or solo, on whatever difficulty you like, but it has to be true to the concept of no-reload, i.e. you willingly and voluntarily end your run when your PC dies and never reload other than for when you start a gaming session; it cannot just be an attempt to game the ToI mode by quitting/reloading just before the character dies. 

We might set some other guidelines about which options should be allowed or disallowed (e.g. maim before death should be off, conversation qualifiers/pointers should be off etc).

I absolutely agree that "to be true to the concept of no-reload" is essential and out of any questions. This is the spirit of the challenge itself. I'm not sure if 'conversation qualifiers/pointers should be off' is essential, though myself have them off every time. And I also don't think maim is also should be disallowed save for main character (i.e. if main character is ever maimed - run is over). Unlike Baldur's Gate, in PoE there is no option to pay a temple to resurrect NPC and since I always play PoE on PotD I'm well aware that one might run low of available NPCs rather quickly. Especially with completionist approach.


Edited by Serg BlackStrider, 30 October 2018 - 12:36 PM.

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#13
Alesia_BH

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Welcome, Jaheiras Witness! It'll be great to have an accomplished PoE player who's also conversant with the norms of the BG NR Challenge here. I look forward to playing and learning with you!

 

On Rules. It sounds like we're all on the same page: strict commitment to the no reload concept, flexibility in other respects, although with community norms in place to facilitate mutual understanding of runs and encourage respect for player accomplishments. 

 

Here's a rough outline of what I'd like the rule set to achieve. Once we've reached agreement in principle, I'll compose an intro post for consideration

 

1) On Reloading. Very strict. No reloading for party deaths. No reloading for NPC death. No reloading for misclicks or player error (in combat or dialogue). No quiting or inducing crashes to evade death or an undesirable outcome. No reloading for minor bugs or bugs that are widely understood and largely accepted as part of the mechanic of the relevant edition. The only exceptions to the no reload rule will be: 1) hardware failures/crashes; 2) major game breaking bugs that unequivocally subvert developer intent. 

 

2) On Difficulty Level. Highly flexible. Players may enter on any difficulty level they like. Hall of Heroes entries will note the difficulty level.

 

3) On Settings. Highly flexible. Players are free to use whichever settings they prefer. Gameplay relevant settings should be noted in the intro post. Particularly important settings may be noted in the Hall of Heroes entry. 

 

4) On Party Composition. Highly flexibile. Players may use whichever party composition they desire. Hall of Heroes entries will note composition.

 

5) On Character Creation. Strict, but slightly permissive. Players are encouraged to use the standard, unaltered player creation mechanism. Hacked characters are not allowed. The only avenue to creation of a non-standard character will be through mods, see mod guidelines below for further details

 

6) On Item Set Manipulation. Strict, but slightly permissive. Gratuitous item set alteration is not allowed, although introduction of a minor, low powered, flavor personal item, similar to the NPC personal items, may be permitted, with community agreement. The only other avenue to use of a non standard item set will be through mods. Again, see mod guidelines below for further details.

 

7) On Mods. Moderately permissive. Players may use mods to enhance the gaming experience, but they are encouraged to use mods that are widely known and understood by the community in the interest of insuring mutual understanding and community respect for player achievements. All mods must be declared and described in the player's entry post. Links to the mod should be provided. Any mods will be noted in the Hall of Heroes entry.

 

8 ) On Tactics. Highly flexible, but with guidance. Players may use whatever tactics they desire- we don't want to be in the position of policing tactics. That said, players are strongly encouraged to keep community sensibilities in mind. Egregiously cheesy or exploitative tactics can alienate audiences and undermine respect for the accomplishments -past or present- of challenge participants. Do what you like, but keep your audience in mind and be respectful or each other and the challenge. Be thoughtful, be considerate, but, by all means, be you.

 

9 ) On Resolution Procedures. Accommodating, but firm. All rule issues will be addressed through a jury of peers/community consensus method. If a question or issue emerges, ask. Challenge participants will share their view, keeping the rule set, prior judgements, and community norms in mind. The final authority for all rule issues will be the player, in recognition of the fact that the thread is, in the end, no more than an avenue for players to share their adventure. Nonetheless players are highly, highly encouraged to abide by and respect the community consensus ruling.    

 

 

What does everyone think? Does that sound good, in principle?

 

Best,

 

A.

 

One question. Should we require use of the ToI setting? The problem I have with it is: 1) It doesn't really serve to verify, since it can be easily circumvented (Further, in any case, a challenge of this nature must ultimately function on an honor system); 2) it can be nice to have the saves of dead characters on file for further out of challenge recreational play and or experimentation. In the end, I don't really see an upside for our purposes (although I do think it's cool that Obsidian included it)


Edited by Alesia_BH, 30 October 2018 - 05:08 PM.

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#14
Hulk'O'Saurus

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One question. Should we require use of the ToI setting? The problem I have with it is: 1) It doesn't really serve to verify, since it can be easily circumvented (Further, in any case, a challenge of this nature must ultimately function on an honor system); 2) it can be nice to have the saves of dead characters on file for further out of challenge recreational play and or experimentation. In the end, I don't really see an upside for our purposes (although I do think it's cool that Obsidian included it)

 

I think it's down to the individual person. Some people may have cheesed their Ultimate, but I actually trust that most of the people who post here didn't... unless we're talking about a crash or something. 


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#15
Alesia_BH

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I think it's down to the individual person. Some people may have cheesed their Ultimate, but I actually trust that most of the people who post here didn't... unless we're talking about a crash or something. 

 

 

 

Welcome to the conversation, Hulk O'Saurus! And thanks for sharing!

 

I'm inclined to agree that use of the ToI setting should be at player discretion. Use of the setting doesn't serves a communal purpose, really, and it can impose a personal cost. People should be free to choose.

 

Does anyone else have thoughts on this?

 

Best,

 

A.


Edited by Alesia_BH, 30 October 2018 - 04:09 PM.

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#16
Jaheiras Witness

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No we don’t need ToI setting to be invoked, it’s perfectly possible to respect no reload without ToI and I like having backup saves in case of major bugs and to go back for screenshots for instance when writing reports.

In my view (just my opinion) maim before death should not be allowed. In BG2 resurrection is part of the world/lore/game balance. In PoE it clearly isn’t. Besides the game mechanics mean it is hard to die (have to lose all your health as well as all endurance). Maim before death is basically a free “ok the first death doesn’t count, let’s give you a second go”. In my mind that’s not really in spirit of no-reload where the first death absolutely counts!

Other settings can also be discussed. Disabling injuries should probably not be allowed either.
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#17
Alesia_BH

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Noted. Thank you for your perspective, Jaherias Witness!

 

I'm inclined to see the "maim before death" option as a difficulty setting choice: it's among the parameters that provide the conditions for the no reload. I don't see it as violative of the no reload concept in and or itself. Large scale difficulty settings are up to the player (Normal vs PoTD, for example). I think minor difficulty settings should be up to the player, too.

 

What if we took this approach?: 1) Require players to announce critical game settings choice, such as "maim before death," in their intro post; 2) Note especially critical settings, such a "maim before death," in Hall of Hero entries, along with difficultly setting and mods (if any). That would grant players flexibility while simulatenously permitting viewers to fully understand and appreciate the tenor of the challenge that the player has undertaken/completed. Would that satisfy? What other settings would you add to the "critical gameplay" list (in other words settings that should be publicly declared)? 

 

Thoughts from anyone else? 

 

Best,

 

A.

 

NW: While I have an opinion on this presently, as stated above. I could definitely go either way ultimately. Further, it isn't really up to me, but to us, as a community. I'd really like to hear from others on this. Thanks for bringing it up, Jaheiras Witness!


Edited by Alesia_BH, 30 October 2018 - 05:00 PM.

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#18
Enuhal

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While I don't really post here a lot, I just wanted to give my support to this project. The no-reload challenge is great fun and an amazing community experience that has always brought me back to Baldur's Gate for many, many years. Serg BlackStrider has already posted links to the challenge threads in the old bioware forums. The community has mostly migrated to this thread in the Beamdog forum, so here's a link if people want to see how these types of runs might look nowadays:

https://forums.beamd...he-elfsong/p295

 

I might - at some point - share a PoE1 no-reload run (I've already completed one for the triple crown achievement years ago, with a Shieldbearer of St. Elcga), but current performance issues with PoE2 don't make the second game an enjoyable experience for me, sadly. No promises, though ;)

 

Good luck to everyone who decides to participate,

 

Enuhal


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#19
Serg BlackStrider

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@Alesia: Your rule set sound pretty solid to me so I vote for it with both hands.

 

On "Maim before death" - I'm still inclined to see it as an option, not a strict rule. But IMO this rule should not be applied to the main character, so it will not be a //free “ok the first death doesn’t count, let’s give you a second go”. In my mind that’s not really in spirit of no-reload where the first death absolutely counts!"//. Whenever main character's health drop to zero and he/she is maimed - game over.

 

On "Disabling injures" - better to be off in my opinion.

 

On "Trial of Iron" - I see it as an option too.

 

On "What other settings would you add to the "critical gameplay" list (in other words settings that should be publicly declared)? " - I think, "Expert Mode On/Off" or "Area of Effect Highlighting On/Off" would be nice to include here.

 

And one more thing I want to discuss - whether respec is allowed or not. Personally I don't respec my characters during the run but the opportunity is there, and using it could influence the run a lot, so...


Edited by Serg BlackStrider, 31 October 2018 - 11:16 AM.

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#20
Alesia_BH

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Thanks, Enuhal! It's great to hear from you! We appreciate your support. Double thanks for sharing the link to the current iteration of the challenge! 

 

I hope you'll get around to posting a run!

 

Best,

 

A.


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