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So TL;DR: don't play my games until I release the final patch? Got it, that's actually good advice.

 

You really think they have programmers whose only job is to add balance changes to the code? And you somehow think that this code is completely different from anything else in the game? I wish C# in Unity was that easy, I really do. But it's not.

 

The people who "do" the balance passes are not the same ones who actually implement them in the game. Those who implement them are the ones who are also doing the bugfixing, because they're working on their own code anyway. And if you have to waste time tweaking damage numbers for spells because your PM told you to, you're taking a break from figuring out how to fix bugs in your code. And if your changes happen to accidentally break something along the way, boy, yer gonna have so much fun :D

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Balance is more important in online competitive games. ... Passed a certain pt it just begins tipping the scales too much. 

 

...

 

ok, so to be clear, balance efforts, beyond an uncertain and elusive point, results in unacceptable tipping of scales?

 

...

 

and two people (so far) liked.

 

am... speechless.

 

HA! Good Fun!


"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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Maybe if people would really read the post from Josh they wouldn't repeat this statement over and over. But since it doesn't seem to be enough to link to it I will quote it here:

There's something interesting i found in that Josh's post:

 

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.

 

[...]

 

In Patch 3.04, the soulbound dagger The Unlabored Blade had a bug fixed where its 10% Firebug proc was never firing. Two weeks later, Patch 3.05 reduced the 10% proc to 3%. This was a change I had requested for 3.04 but it had been overlooked. I requested the change because daggers have a fast attack rate and that dagger has a +20% attack rate enchantment.

So... Josh deemed Unlaboured Blade "so incredibly powerful across the board that it’s almost impossible to make any content challenging with them in play" based on what? Just on his theory. Wasn't it a bit too little? What about taking practice into consideration as well?

 

And practice, actually, said a different story. Players liked pre-nerf UB the way it was, they were happy it can compete with durgan-refined weapons.

 

But maybe Josh knew that and still decided to deem UB "so incredibly powerful across the board that it’s almost impossible to make any content challenging with them in play"?

If something is "so incredibly powerful across the board that it’s almost impossible to make any content challenging with them in play" then shouldn't it be so not only in theory but in practice as well? I'd say it should.


Vancian =/= per rest.

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And practice, actually, said a different story. Players liked pre-nerf UB the way it was, they were happy it can compete with durgan-refined weapons.

 

 

 

this is not the conflict you suggest.  crpg players like overpowered and unbalanced even when such stuff does tend to ruin game challenges.  you are assuming player rationality and reasonableness, when in practice, player feedback tells a different story. simultaneous complaints 'bout developer excessive balance efforts may be widespread even when same folks is complaining 'bout ease of game.  player wisdom and self awareness is elusive. 

 

HA! Good Fun!

  • Like 1

"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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Having fun is all that matters. That's what games are for. If fun keeps getting stolen away, the player moves to another game. And the developer sells to Microsoft to avoid bankrupcy ;D

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Fair pt about the bugs.

 

Otherwise it's just opinions. My opinion, Josh's opinion as stated, etc. I mean look at how they addressed the main story - people complained about the verbose and often times superfluous nature of PoE1...so they did a complete 180 with PoE2 and made the main story super short, which players seem to hate even more.

 

And "maybe people would read" if the post wasn't the size of a short story. No one's got time for dat.

Edited by Verde

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Having fun is all that matters. 

agreed. 

 

two most common complaints of every obsidian game, at least previous to poe:
 
the game is too hard.
 
the game is too easy.
 
every game.  all games has 'bove two as most common complaints.  both complaints.  same games. is folks complaining 'bout how game is less fun than they wish or hope.  

 

so how do you make game fun for most players?  am thinking is pretty well established some amount o' balance in crpgs is necessary.  refer to josh post if are still unclear why balance is essential even in sp games.  so, how you gonna balance?  balance the game so is fun for folks who is using a small number op builds and weapons?  if balanced for op play, then for folks who do not use such op stuff, the game will be difficult and frustrating... less fun.  balancing while keeping op op will also functional reduce customization options as actual useful builds is limited. an alternative balance scheme is to make op stuff less op... which is what the past few pages o' thread has addressed.

 

the choice for developers wanting to maximize fun for most players is not gonna involve difficult calculus.  

 

HA! Good Fun!

  • Like 2

"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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Having fun is all that matters.

agreed.

 

two most common complaints of every obsidian game, at least previous to poe:

 

the game is too hard.

 

the game is too easy.

 

every game. all games has 'bove two as most common complaints. both complaints. same games. is folks complaining 'bout how game is less fun than they wish or hope.

 

so how do you make game fun for most players? am thinking is pretty well established some amount o' balance in crpgs is necessary. refer to josh post if are still unclear why balance is essential even in sp games. so, how you gonna balance? balance the game so is fun for folks who is using a small number op builds and weapons? if balanced for op play, then for folks who do not use such op stuff, the game will be difficult and frustrating... less fun. balancing while keeping op op will also functional reduce customization options as actual useful builds is limited. an alternative balance scheme is to make op stuff less op... which is what the past few pages o' thread has addressed.

 

the choice for developers wanting to maximize fun for most players is not gonna involve difficult calculus.

 

HA! Good Fun!

Blame the game is too easy on power gamers who turn everything into a chest beating competition.

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And "maybe people would read" if the post wasn't the size of a short story. No one's got time for dat.

"I really don't understand why they balance a single player game!"

 

"Here's a good explanation why."

 

"That's too long! I have no time for that! I'd rather write several more long posts about how I don't get why they balance a single player game!"

 

ArcticWelcomeIbisbill-size_restricted.gi

Edited by Boeroer
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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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Having fun is all that matters.

agreed.

 

two most common complaints of every obsidian game, at least previous to poe:

 

the game is too hard.

 

the game is too easy.

 

every game. all games has 'bove two as most common complaints. both complaints. same games. is folks complaining 'bout how game is less fun than they wish or hope.

 

so how do you make game fun for most players? am thinking is pretty well established some amount o' balance in crpgs is necessary. refer to josh post if are still unclear why balance is essential even in sp games. so, how you gonna balance? balance the game so is fun for folks who is using a small number op builds and weapons? if balanced for op play, then for folks who do not use such op stuff, the game will be difficult and frustrating... less fun. balancing while keeping op op will also functional reduce customization options as actual useful builds is limited. an alternative balance scheme is to make op stuff less op... which is what the past few pages o' thread has addressed.

 

the choice for developers wanting to maximize fun for most players is not gonna involve difficult calculus.

 

HA! Good Fun!

Blame the game is too easy on power gamers who turn everything into a chest beating competition.

 

you do realize such folks tend to be same people who gravitate to op builds and sooper weapons, yes?

 

regardless, is not a fault issue.  it simple is.  obsidian takes customers as they find 'em.   obsidian is trying to make game enjoyable for power gamers and casual gamers and noobs.  obsidian creates a difficulty slider and folks still complain 'bout same two issues: too ez; too hard.

 

HA! Good Fun!

  • Like 3

"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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And "maybe people would read" if the post wasn't the size of a short story. No one's got time for dat.

"I really don't understand why they balance a single player game!"

 

"Here's a good explanation why."

 

"That's too long! I have no time for that! I'd rather write several more long posts about how I don't get why they balance a single player game!"

 

ArcticWelcomeIbisbill-size_restricted.gi

Lol you could have provided snippets...but I never said anything about not understanding. I understand why, I just don't agree with it :] but thanks for sharing. It will make for a longggggggggg bathroom read at some pt :p

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Having fun is all that matters.

agreed.

 

two most common complaints of every obsidian game, at least previous to poe:

 

the game is too hard.

 

the game is too easy.

 

every game. all games has 'bove two as most common complaints. both complaints. same games. is folks complaining 'bout how game is less fun than they wish or hope.

 

so how do you make game fun for most players? am thinking is pretty well established some amount o' balance in crpgs is necessary. refer to josh post if are still unclear why balance is essential even in sp games. so, how you gonna balance? balance the game so is fun for folks who is using a small number op builds and weapons? if balanced for op play, then for folks who do not use such op stuff, the game will be difficult and frustrating... less fun. balancing while keeping op op will also functional reduce customization options as actual useful builds is limited. an alternative balance scheme is to make op stuff less op... which is what the past few pages o' thread has addressed.

 

the choice for developers wanting to maximize fun for most players is not gonna involve difficult calculus.

 

HA! Good Fun!

Blame the game is too easy on power gamers who turn everything into a chest beating competition.

you do realize such folks tend to be same people who gravitate to op builds and sooper weapons, yes?

 

regardless, is not a fault issue. it simple is. obsidian takes customers as they find 'em. obsidian is trying to make game enjoyable for power gamers and casual gamers and noobs. obsidian creates a difficulty slider and folks still complain 'bout same two issues: too ez; too hard.

 

HA! Good Fun!

Oh I know...that's what powergaming is :) Open up that can of worms, and you get a big wormhole!

 

"But but but the game is too easy solo on max difficulty with x5 power mod...this is unacceptable and needs changed!"

Edited by Verde

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And practice, actually, said a different story. Players liked pre-nerf UB the way it was, they were happy it can compete with durgan-refined weapons.

 

this is not the conflict you suggest.  crpg players like overpowered and unbalanced even when such stuff does tend to ruin game challenges.  you are assuming player rationality and reasonableness, when in practice, player feedback tells a different story. simultaneous complaints 'bout developer excessive balance efforts may be widespread even when same folks is complaining 'bout ease of game.  player wisdom and self awareness is elusive. 

 

HA! Good Fun!

 

Is this why players complain about OP stuff ALL THE TIME? Including this forum.

We had a "Big nerf list" thread for PoE2. I didn't see any "Big buff list" thread.

There's lots of complains that stuff is OP/"too OP". If UB was "too OP" too there would be such complains as well.

 

 

Also, players can complain about game being too easy and devs nerfing class abilities. Because nerfing class abilities it not a good way to address low difficulty - enemies get nerfed too since they also use class abilities. It's better to improve encounter design or buff enemies (at least those that player can not summon).

 

 

the game is too hard.

 

the game is too easy.

 

If only someone invented difficulty levels. And did them right.

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Vancian =/= per rest.

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Difficulty settings should mean that the AI monsters got smarter and more abilities instead instead of just buffing their damage and hitpoints. 

 

*Start rant!*

 

This is also my main gripe about certain mods.

 

"You don't like the vanilla nightmare difficulty? My 'hellscape difficulty'-mod fixes that!

What does it do?

Every monster have 500% more hitpoints and do 200% more damage! Bazinga!"

 

*End rant!*

Edited by Frak

Nerf Troubadour!

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Difficulty settings should mean that the AI monsters got smarter and more abilities instead instead of just buffing their damage and hitpoints. 

 

Naaah that actually requires effort. Too much work.

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Difficulty settings should mean that the AI monsters got smarter and more abilities instead instead of just buffing their damage and hitpoints. 

 

 

You're right. However, and that's a galaxy-sized however, given where AI is at the moment, that's a biiiit difficult. These are (relatively) open-world games we're talking about, so the amount of possibilities available is approximately Chess^20.

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Difficulty settings should mean that the AI monsters got smarter and more abilities instead instead of just buffing their damage and hitpoints.

 

*Start rant!*

 

This is also my main gripe about certain mods.

 

"You don't like the vanilla nightmare difficulty? My 'hellscape difficulty'-mod fixes that!

What does it do?

Every monster have 500% more hitpoints and do 200% more damage! Bazinga!"

 

*End rant!*

That's not very practical. I can't think of too many games where increase difficulty doesn't mean inflated values.

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Cough. Sword Coast Stratagems.

 

Yeah I know it's a mod. But it's a good example of how can you improve the AI without simply buffing enemy stats.

Edited by Manveru123
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And practice, actually, said a different story. Players liked pre-nerf UB the way it was, they were happy it can compete with durgan-refined weapons.

 

this is not the conflict you suggest.  crpg players like overpowered and unbalanced even when such stuff does tend to ruin game challenges.  you are assuming player rationality and reasonableness, when in practice, player feedback tells a different story. simultaneous complaints 'bout developer excessive balance efforts may be widespread even when same folks is complaining 'bout ease of game.  player wisdom and self awareness is elusive. 

 

HA! Good Fun!

 

Is this why players complain about OP stuff ALL THE TIME? Including this forum.

We had a "Big nerf list" thread for PoE2. I didn't see any "Big buff list" thread.

There's lots of complains that stuff is OP/"too OP". If UB was "too OP" too there would be such complains as well.

 

 

Also, players can complain about game being too easy and devs nerfing class abilities. Because nerfing class abilities it not a good way to address low difficulty - enemies get nerfed too since they also use class abilities. It's better to improve encounter design or buff enemies (at least those that player can not summon).

 

 

the game is too hard.

 

the game is too easy.

 

If only someone invented difficulty levels. And did them right.

 

 

if you aren't seeing requests for buffs, you ain't paying attention... at all.  "__________ sucks" is an implied request for a buff after all, and the board is ugly with such observations.  abilities and subclasses and weapons is all targeted by folks who claim such stuff suck.  heck, need only go back through this thread to see folks complaining. is folks hand wringing only a few pages ago, w/o being ironic, that some subclasses is current useless.  and yeah, there is a few classes which could use a powerup, or at least a change.  before (and after) release o' deadfire, there were a whole lotta complaints 'bout cipher and ranger in particular.  if you claim not to have seen or remember such, you may do a quick search as am personal thinking is unnecessary to link such given how common and widespread were the negative feedback.  obsidian addressed concerns. is multipage threads in which folks is almost exclusive complaining 'bout druid firebrand and other summoned weapons.  thankful the obsinaties has ignored many such complaints, but firebrand got an upgrade.  regardless, were considerable demand for improvement.  didn't see?  weren't looking.

 

furthermore, the choice 'tween nerf op and improved encounter design is classic false dichotomy.  is nothing preventing the developers from changing encounters and nerfing.  in point o' fact, obsidian has done both at same time in a few deadfire release builds.  even so, changes to encounter design doesn't do any good if player power is woeful unbalanced.  is no encounter design so subtle and clever as to account for extreme differences in player power.  if bob has a broken and op party and sarah has a broken and underpowered party, how is developers gonna alter encounter design to make so both sarah and bob face encounters which is challenging but not overwhelming?  asking far too much o' developers. regardless, am much in favor o' developer altering encounter design based on feedback.  am much in favor of developers continuing to alter encounter design, but such an observation does not eliminate or even reduce need for balancing player abilities and gear and whatnot.

 

HA! Good Fun!

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"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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Sword Coast Stratagems is not particularly good in terms of AI, however. I agree that it's an improvement, but what's improved the most is the fact that baddies can also pre-buff. Their spell selections are also more intelligent, but only slightly.

 

I can't think of any single concrete example of significantly improved AI in SCS. Can you give me one?

 

And I want to reiterate: SCS is an improvement on the original game.

Edited by xzar_monty

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Difficulty settings should mean that the AI monsters got smarter and more abilities instead instead of just buffing their damage and hitpoints.

 

 

Oh they do some of that as well - enemy spell casters hammer you with Arcane Dampener on PotD as the most salient example.

 

Players complain about that too.

 

...and honestly they should. The 'smarter enemies' trope shows up in every game because it sounds like a smart criticism, but it isn't. The absolute, core gameplay of every single player combat game I know of is the player overcoming more powerful or numerous enemies by outsmarting them.

 

Giving enemies more and more abilities makes it harder to outsmart them, but it does so by making the possible solutions narrower and narrower. How do you maintain a class based role playing game when the right answers to all the tricks rely increasingly on mastery of system corner cases?

 

The extreme of that is even worse - it is not hard to make an AI with builds that will outplay the player. Perfectly timed debuffs and interrupts and stun locks are things AI is great at. Having the game outplay *you* consistently, to an extent that you are fighting weaker but much smarter foes, isn't smart design - it is an infuriating game that no one wants to play.

 

When you stick to the core principles of the game - players outsmarting superior foes, primacy of class balance, enabling multiple strategies - buffing the attack/ defense numbers with minor mechanical changes and nothing more is a mediocre solution. Unfortunately every other solution we know of is so, so much worse.

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Difficulty settings should mean that the AI monsters got smarter and more abilities instead instead of just buffing their damage and hitpoints. 

 

*Start rant!*

 

This is also my main gripe about certain mods.

 

"You don't like the vanilla nightmare difficulty? My 'hellscape difficulty'-mod fixes that!

What does it do?

Every monster have 500% more hitpoints and do 200% more damage! Bazinga!"

 

*End rant!*

Cough. Sword Coast Stratagems.

 

Yeah I know it's a mod. But it's a good example of how can you improve the AI without simply buffing enemy stats.

It's been said already, but AI is actually rather hard to get right. No matter how complex you try to make it it's not really gonna make it harder. Either it has a pattern that can be figured out and becomes trivial, or it's randomized enough that it just becomes a reflex dance. Either way most people don't see it as enough of a challenge once they've learned what to do.

 

That's why the AI in almost every game since the first one has had to cheat. Higher stats, abilities beyond what a player can do or just having perfect knowledge of the game state. Those are the only realistic ways for a computer to challenge a human currently.

 

EDIT: Also there are practical aspects to this debate. They already have the framework in the game for good AI, the party AI system. Problem is they would need to add a bunch of triggers, test that those triggers work, build an encounter using dozens of those triggers per creature at least, and test it for who knows how long getting it to a beatable state. Or they can spend an afternoon buffing the stats of everything and test the big fights for adjustments. When you're spending money you don't really have the choice becomes pretty obvious.

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

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Cough. Sword Coast Stratagems.

 

Yeah I know it's a mod. But it's a good example of how can you improve the AI without simply buffing enemy stats.

How long after the game's release was the mod made? And I'm sure it took quite a lot of polishing.

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Before Set to their Purpose got torpedoed Fighter/Chanter was a pretty popular build. There are still a bunch of obsolete ones in the build list. I doubt you'd want to touch one now - between the big fighter damage nerfs and the loss of Brilliant that class combo really did get nuked from orbit.

The philosophy of over-nerfing then bringing it back up is sound from the perspective of getting it right quickly. It does depend on the speed of the patch cycle though. We've only had one major balance patch since the game went live; everything over-nerfed in the 1.1 patch is still over nerfed in 4.0. It's harder to defend the over-nerf then bring back up philosophy when you don't do the second part.

I’m sympathetic to this feeling, but I think there really aren’t that many things that were overly nerfed in 1.1 that really need buffing back up. Gromnir mentioned on-crit items, which is one clear case. Also, if I remember, some kinds of graze-to-hit or hit-to-crit were nerfed, and in general, even in new additions, Obsidian is too conservative with those properties, likely because the designers don’t really understand the math of how they work. But generally things like charge, chanters with brilliant, recursively proccing crits with multi-hit weapons on monks etc., were changed to something pretty reasonable and don’t need further tweaking. You can’t make an unstoppable warcaller that obliterates everyone and is completely invincible, but it’s still a really tanky character with strong offense and utility. A new player who started a warcaller today without ever knowing about the situation before 1.1 would probably think they made a really strong character.

 

I do somewhat worry that excessive backlash to 1.1 and Josh Sawyer stepping back from development led to a fear of further balancing at Obsidian, which is a shame and might have prevented more buffs than it has stopped nerfs.

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