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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.

Pretty much every single spellcaster, including random fights like an Ogre Mage in Gullykin.

 

I find the fact that AI no longer casts spells on characters who are immune to spells a significant improvement. Enemies move out of AOE. They call for help, they respond to what abilities you're using just like a player Wizard would. They even change targets whenever it's more beneficial, it's not uncommon to see a random archer start targetting your Wizard the moment his Stonenskin is down. The reactivity it gives to the enemies is a massive change and I dare to say that no cRPG game ever did it better than SCS. "Slightly" my arse.

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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.

 

That is correct. But it was done. For free. And yet the games we get nowadays still have ****ter AI than SCS.

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Posted (edited)

 

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.

Pretty much every single spellcaster, including random fights like an Ogre Mage in Gullykin.

 

I find the fact that AI no longer casts spells on characters who are immune to spells a significant improvement. Enemies move out of AOE. They call for help, they respond to what abilities you're using just like a player Wizard would. They even change targets whenever it's more beneficial, it's not uncommon to see a random archer start targetting your Wizard the moment his Stonenskin is down. The reactivity it gives to the enemies is a massive change and I dare to say that no cRPG game ever did it better than SCS. "Slightly" my arse.

 

 

And in this, SCS contains plenty of blatant cheating. I'm not saying it's bad or wrong, but that's what it is.

 

The AI shouldn't be able to know what you're immune to without testing it first, whereas in SCS it does know. (From what I've used it.)

Edited by xzar_monty

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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.

That is correct. But it was done. For free. And yet the games we get nowadays still have ****ter AI than SCS.

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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.

Pretty much every single spellcaster, including random fights like an Ogre Mage in Gullykin.

 

I find the fact that AI no longer casts spells on characters who are immune to spells a significant improvement. Enemies move out of AOE. They call for help, they respond to what abilities you're using just like a player Wizard would. They even change targets whenever it's more beneficial, it's not uncommon to see a random archer start targetting your Wizard the moment his Stonenskin is down. The reactivity it gives to the enemies is a massive change and I dare to say that no cRPG game ever did it better than SCS. "Slightly" my arse.

 

 

And in this, SCS contains plenty of blatant cheating. I'm not saying it's bad or wrong, but that's what it is.

 

The AI shouldn't be able to know what you're immune to without testing it first, whereas in SCS it does know. (From what I've used it.)

 

The AI can see what sort of protection spells you cast on yourself. Just as you can do when facing enemy Wizards, with both graphical effects and battle log. No cheating involved.

 

Do you know what's cheating? Enemy Wizards randomly getting uninterruptable spells and cast time. I still remember how effing annoying that was. This is something that SCS removed.

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Posted (edited)

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.

 

I agree.  Most of the things hit were clearly over-performing.  I think it's important to draw a distinction between down-tuning something that is over-performing and making a major functional change to an ability to it, especially when the functional change makes it bad.  There's a big difference between 'my character isn't as powerful' (which players may grumble about, but is valuable long term) and 'my character doesn't work at all anymore', which is what happened to War Caller.

 

Set to their Purpose isn't wildly overpowered infinite resources anymore, but it's also a bad skill that you shouldn't take.  Charge and Mob Stance were doing stupid things with constant zero recovery full attacks, though in retrospect those were really carrying a lot of water for the class and it's kind of underwhelming without them.

 

Not saying that those changes were bad - they were important! - but they did invalidate a character, and the lack of any substantial follow-up has left that combo in a 'yeah don't play this it's kind of bad' state.

 

 

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.

 

I don't like to speculate about a company's internal processes, but yeah, the backlash (which, mind you, was also a predictable consequence of obviously poor balance at release) might have spooked them from making further balance changes, which has left the game worse off than it should be at this point.  They should have plenty of data to bring up many of the known underperforming sore spots at this point.

Edited by Ensign

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What was the backlash to 1.1?

 

A lot of people really, really did not like the widespread nerfs in 1.1.  I bet it showed up in their metrics too.

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The reason why (the easy to grasp) flat DR from PoE had to go was that it couldn't keep up with the increasing damage numbers. DR 0 or DR 20 doesn't matter that much once you get hit by a 200-point-damage attack.

Seems to me that the actual real problem was the damage inflation and not the flat DR.

In fact, even from an immersive/simulationist point of view, being able to increases that much your base damage feels absurd. So instead of ruining a perfectly good, logical and immersive system, they should simply have toned down the damage bonus.

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Seems to me that the actual real problem was the damage inflation and not the flat DR.

 

Not even the damage inflation, but the imbalance between damage inflation and DR inflation.  Damage was going to inflate from higher level, more damaging spells after all, and weapon attack damage needed modifiers to keep up.

 

There just weren't any ways to keep up on the DR side, and the few options were all flat +1 DR bonuses, never percentage bonuses - unlike damage bonuses, which were always percentage based.

 

Replace that with percentage armor bonuses, and a variety of outside armor sources that at least smelled like the variety of offensive boosts, and you'd have a perfectly functional straight DR system.  It is more difficult to tune and balance than their PoE2 system though.

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What was the backlash to 1.1?

A lot of people really, really did not like the widespread nerfs in 1.1. I bet it showed up in their metrics too.

Out of curiosity, I went back to the Announcements page and read the patch threads. Yikes. Pretty harsh.

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I am enjoying Pathfinder a lot, but I don't get how the combat system is easier than PoE. I was familiar with D&D 3/3.5 thanks to Neverwinter Nights 1 & 2, the Temple of Elemental Evil, and Icewind Dale 2, and I still found Kingmaker's lists of feats to be intimidating. I play sorcerer, so it is less complicated, but you are still pigeonholed into taking feats like Point Blank Shot and Precise Shot if you want to be viable. Not to mention customizing your companions, where you have to know all of their classes too.

 

I preferred PoE's (unofficial) take on D&D5e, in an AD&D skin. Deadfire opened it up even more.

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It's not. Deadfire is much more beginner friendly and the rules are considerably easier to grasp. In theory Kingmaker offers you way more customization with your characters, but unless you really know what you're doing (or use a respec mod lol), you can mess up pretty badly.

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It's not. Deadfire is much more beginner friendly and the rules are considerably easier to grasp. In theory Kingmaker offers you way more customization with your characters, but unless you really know what you're doing (or use a respec mod lol), you can mess up pretty badly.

 

I still have no idea how to really use the non D&D classes. Magus was easy to understand, and that companion is a beast. But, I have no idea why people rave about the alchemist, since he seems liked a gimped spell caster that has a limited supply of bombs per-rest. Only level 7, so he was mostly leveled for me, so no idea if I broke his build or not. Inquisitor is confusing, with super-limited class resources. At least the tiefling warlock equivalent is pretty straight forward.

 

Now, the arcane trickster is awesome and seems like your stereotypical 3.5E broken non-sense. Full spellcasting and sneak attacks, sneak attacks applied to touch spells, and eventually, she can sneak attack with fireballs.

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Posted (edited)

Lv 1 in vivisectionist gives u mutagen (+2 natural armour, +4 to physical stat and -2 to mental stat) and 1d6 sneak attack which is absurd. U can also take true strike which is a good for those annoying high AC low HP targets like mages. Thats why ull see almost all physical attackers taking it.

 

Iirc alchemist bombs target reflex instead of AC which makes them really good against certain annoying mobs like those 40+ AC sisters or whatever they were called. Alchemists can switch up damage types without blinking as well. Hello holy bombs.

 

They dont scale off charts like casters, but pathfinder is basically d&d so caster primacy is a given.

 

Inquisitors are funny if u go for the stern gaze build with max intimidate and cornugon smash / dazzling display. Many of the teamwork feats are quite tasty. Only problem i have is that if u aint lawful and abusing monk, ur rather squishy. U dont have all those arcane defensive spells to back u up.

 

Strength of lawful alignment over neutral / chaotic serious problem with system imo but whatevs.

 

EDIT: maybe im missing something but poe not feel much like 5e to me. Not quite sure if any crpg yet resembles 5e. Maybe i need to play more games

Edited by Triple - A Foxy Lad

I AM A RENISANCE MAN

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What was the backlash to 1.1?

A lot of people really, really did not like the widespread nerfs in 1.1. I bet it showed up in their metrics too.

 

Out of curiosity, I went back to the Announcements page and read the patch threads. Yikes. Pretty harsh.

 

 

As Josh said - it is only in our heads!

 

We, in our human imperfection, are reading selectively. We pay much more attention to nerfs than buffs. Even when there's more buffs we think there's more nerfs.

 

I'm sure patch 1.1 has buffed more than it nerfed and we're just biased little players.

Long live the Sawyer and Obsidian.

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Vancian =/= per rest.

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It's not. Deadfire is much more beginner friendly and the rules are considerably easier to grasp. In theory Kingmaker offers you way more customization with your characters, but unless you really know what you're doing (or use a respec mod lol), you can mess up pretty badly.

 

I still have no idea how to really use the non D&D classes. Magus was easy to understand, and that companion is a beast. But, I have no idea why people rave about the alchemist, since he seems liked a gimped spell caster that has a limited supply of bombs per-rest. Only level 7, so he was mostly leveled for me, so no idea if I broke his build or not. Inquisitor is confusing, with super-limited class resources. At least the tiefling warlock equivalent is pretty straight forward.

 

Now, the arcane trickster is awesome and seems like your stereotypical 3.5E broken non-sense. Full spellcasting and sneak attacks, sneak attacks applied to touch spells, and eventually, she can sneak attack with fireballs.

For an Alchemist, all you need to do is to pick Extra Bombs feat quite often. Mid-to-late game you will never run out of bombs, because when you're running low you have to rest anyway because your party members need their spells restored. And while you're fighting, you're doing AoE damage without friendly-fire on each attack, with additional CC effects or elemental damage, whatever you need at the moment. With unique spells you can change your bombs to be single-target nukes, too. The only spells you need are buffs, and you can cast them on party members after you take a feat for that. Vivisectionist is a better Sneak Attacker than a Rogue, 1 level dip is common for almost every melee dps, and Knife Master/Vivi combo (you can build Nok-Nok that way) is a monster.

 

Inquisitor is like a super-powered version of D&D Favoured Soul. You're basically a cleric who casts like a Sorc, with you biggest boon being spreading Teamwork feats. Except one of this class archetypes has massive summoning abilities, allowing you to eventually summon extremely powerful monsters, and you can use this ability a LOT of times before you have to rest. You combine that with Animal domain to create one of the strongest builds in the game.

 

 

 

 

What was the backlash to 1.1?

A lot of people really, really did not like the widespread nerfs in 1.1. I bet it showed up in their metrics too.

 

Out of curiosity, I went back to the Announcements page and read the patch threads. Yikes. Pretty harsh.

 

 

As Josh said - it is only in our heads!

 

We, in our human imperfection, are reading selectively. We pay much more attention to nerfs than buffs. Even when there's more buffs we think there's more nerfs.

 

I'm sure patch 1.1 has buffed more than it nerfed and we're just biased little players.

Long live the Sawyer and Obsidian.

 

I love this post so much.

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Seems to me that the actual real problem was the damage inflation and not the flat DR.

 

Not even the damage inflation, but the imbalance between damage inflation and DR inflation.  Damage was going to inflate from higher level, more damaging spells after all, and weapon attack damage needed modifiers to keep up.

 

There just weren't any ways to keep up on the DR side, and the few options were all flat +1 DR bonuses, never percentage bonuses - unlike damage bonuses, which were always percentage based.

 

Replace that with percentage armor bonuses, and a variety of outside armor sources that at least smelled like the variety of offensive boosts, and you'd have a perfectly functional straight DR system.  It is more difficult to tune and balance than their PoE2 system though.

 

Mathematically, you're right.

But as I said in my post, immersion/simulationist-wise it's just absurd to get to deal ten times more damage on a hit by piling up bonuses. It's more a sign that you can get to extremes which break the game (and such extremes should not be possible) than a sign that the fundamentals are broken.

 

I DESPISE the penetration system. It's single-handedly the biggest reason which gave me a hard time to start the game, simply because it made the entire concept of "armor" nonsensical, incomprehensible and completely disjointed from the game world. I don't get this satisfaction of "well, now I'm shedding X points of each hit I take", because it's all about reaching a treshold and everything below that treshold simply doesn't exists. And it's not about blunting progressively the damage, but jumping from treshold to treshold until you get to the completely arbitrary "70 %/30 %/whatever" final step.

It's intensely dissatisfying.

 

I don't get why they broke the system, replacing a perfectly logical and immersive one with an absurd and obscure other, to keep the broken situations manageables, instead of actually repairing the broken situations. Gah.

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Posted (edited)

I don't get why they broke the system, replacing a perfectly logical and immersive one with an absurd and obscure other, to keep the broken situations manageables, instead of actually repairing the broken situations. Gah.

Josh says it is players feedback that made him re-examine AR/DR system in an attempt to make it less "mushy".

Here are a few related links:

- one

- two

- three

- four

Edited by MaxQuest

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Posted (edited)

 

I don't get why they broke the system, replacing a perfectly logical and immersive one with an absurd and obscure other, to keep the broken situations manageables, instead of actually repairing the broken situations. Gah.

Josh says it is players feedback that made him re-examine AR/DR system in an attempt to make it less "mushy".

Here are a few related links:

- one

- two

- three

- four

 

Oh gawd...

 

The whole accusation of "mushiness" doesn't make any sense to me - I mean that literally, I don't understand what it refers to.

 

As for this reaction to the feedback, it's pretty, well, between /facepalm and depressing. It seems to, again, focus entirely on the mechanist aspect while ignoring the immersion/simulationist and not realizing that maybe these complaints weren't actually valid...

The entire idea that all damage should be reduced the same is just idiotic, and a reason why I hate penetration... Small strikes SHOULD be much affected by armors, large strike SHOULD be less affected. That's logical, and that's precisely a mechanical difference allowing for variety instead of everything being the same, duh.

Edited by Akka

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The old armour system isn't immersive- what, does 20% of a real life club magically phase through plate armour to hurt you?- but it has the advantage of being an older system

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I don't get why they broke the system, replacing a perfectly logical and immersive one with an absurd and obscure other, to keep the broken situations manageables, instead of actually repairing the broken situations. Gah.

I don't disagree. Their new system is a lot more sensitive and difficult to balance than the core of the DR system.

 

But I also don't think that the precise functional form is as important. What matters are the core interactions - dagger vs plate, sword vs leather, greatsword vs cloth, and permutations - and how those work in practice. You can build a variety of functional forms that preserve those core interactions, and to an extent those are all ok.

 

The Deadfire armor system falls apart on two counts. First I don't think it preserves those interactions well (the worst weapon in the game against plate is...a greatsword?). Second, while it does ok at the core interactions their armor system badly falls apart at the edges, and significantly had a problem with over penetration. Having the marginal value of the -1 to 0 penetration point be huge, but the 0 to +1 be exactly zero is poor design.

 

You could rebuild the core interactions and scale them appropriately in DR space and have an overall much better design. It does require more tuning to get the core right than their system, but it is much more robust and easier to balance once you have done that up front work.

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The old armour system isn't immersive- what, does 20% of a real life club magically phase through plate armour to hurt you?- but it has the advantage of being an older system

Eh. That was an important fail safe. Reducing damage to zero as a core interaction is really dangerous balance wise. It's also utterly infuriating for a player to be whacking a target and have damage reduced to zero.

 

You could make that failsafe a little shinier in principle but it needs to be there.

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