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Let me say at the outset that I have nothing against turn-based games; I thoroughly enjoy DOS and DOS 2, however, this is not what this post is about. POE was conceived and developed on the very basic concept of pause and play, which is, by its very nature, fundamentally different from turn-based. Look at duration; in turn-based, such as DOS 2, negative and positive effects are based on, logically, turns. It makes sense. In pause and play, duration is based on basic time units.

This is just to cite one example among many that would naturally lead to a clash of visions and more importantly, implementation. The prominent Affliction Bug, which remains to this day, as we wait on the patch to fix it, seems to be highly correlated with the emergence of turn-based mode.

Whatever ambitions Obsidian might have had, and one can well laud them for it, turn-based was an unnecessary diversion of resources that could have been funneled into the base game by improving pause and play game-play , stability and all other aspects of the core game.

To the best of my knowledge, very few people of the most devoted player-base actually cared excessively for turn-based in POE, which won us all over via pause and play, not turn-based. I sincerely hope in the future, IF there is a POE future that turn-based is avoided as an unnecessary distraction from the core game.

Edited by Stardusk78
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I wanted to read this but the wall of text has just demotivated me completely.


nowt

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Several of the threads in the build forums from self-proclaimed new players have specified that they are playing turn-based mode, which suggests that it actually is attractive to potential new players.

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41 minutes ago, Jayd said:

Several of the threads in the build forums from self-proclaimed new players have specified that they are playing turn-based mode, which suggests that it actually is attractive to potential new players.

But at what cost?

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I also wanted to say that I saw a rise in forum activity since TB mode came out. This may be a hint that it indeed motivated players who are not interested in RTwP to buy the game and play it. Which might have been the no. 1 reason to introduce it in the first place.


Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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20 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

I also wanted to say that I saw a rise in forum activity since TB mode came out. This may be a hint that it indeed motivated players who are not interested in RTwP to buy the game and play it. Which might have been the no. 1 reason to introduce it in the first place.

Well, if that is the case, it still does not invalidate the argument that the balancing issues between the two are probably too massive to tackle.

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Maybe. But it's an argument that's based on an assumption. Let's wait for the big patch that is immanent (Steam is rumbling in preparation for the patch already) and then we will have a better understanding whether the issues are too massive to tackle or not.


Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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The patch adding turn-based mode certainly seemed to bring a lot of issues across both modes. That's unfortunate.

There was quite a bit of happiness when t-b was announced and from colloquial evidence it seems to bring new players in - Obs can look at the sales and stats and see if it was worth it or not.

T-b mode doesn't necessary detract from anything, though it's addition did have negative impact on overall quality. 

Hopefully, the next patch will squash all the bugs. 

Whenever, it was redesigned enough to fix some issues which come from translating rtwp system into t-s remains to be seen.

I have been enjoying t-b mode quite a lot, and it might become my preferred mode, if it won't feel as mechanically inferior in certain areas.

Edit: typos

Edited by Wormerine

h1dczBG.jpg

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TB mode is coming to PoE? Hmm, maybe that's the tonic I need to finally install and play! RTwP combat was a total kludge for me and I quit during beta.

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image,Gfted1,black,red.png

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With all the discussion relative to the merits (or demerits) of T-B, I favor turn based, the increased control I receive is substantial. I understand the release of T-B was clearly couched with the beta tag, and I am very optimistic that OBS will correct these issues for the sake for their customer base and credibility (for future title releases). 

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This is laughable. In the end, I'd rather have more options that increase a game's accessibility to more players (not to mention greatly enhance the game's replay value) than a few less bugs.

Not to mention that this "diversion of resources" was not "unnecessary", as the addition of turn-based mode will be of great benefit to the console port of the game. Real-Time is almost impossible to do well on a controller, as it necessitates extremely long pauses due to the incredible need for micromanagement in this type of game. No matter how good your control scheme is, this would make the game feel like a complete slog. Turn-based on the other hand never interrupts the flow of the game, and thus fits much better into the slower pace of gameplay that a controller creates.

This drastic increase in the appeal of the console port also has a secondary benefit in that many people who play RPGs prefer turn-based combat, which makes sense since the roots of these games are in a turn-based format and also since the gameplay in RPGs (but particularly in Pillars of Eternity) tends to have many layers of complexity. I'm very glad that more of the wider RPG community will care to experience the game, that turn-based mode will and has exposed Deadfire to a larger audience, as I'd greatly prefer forward-thinking, nuanced games like Deadfire to be leading the genre as opposed to games with shallow worldbuilding and storytelling (like Divinity Original Sin) or games overly obsessed with replicating tabletop mechanics in a format they weren't designed for (like Pathfinder Kingmaker).

Regardless, there's very little Obsidian can do to improve the gameplay of real-time combat in Deadfire without a complete overhaul. The few flaws that Deadfire's combat system has (like the Penetration System, for example) are fundamental, the kind of tweaking you can do post-launch can't account for fundamentally broken mechanics that literally every encounter in the game is built around. Even if the development of turn-based has turned away resources from adjusting the real-time gameplay, the fact that it operates differently also gives the developers working on that mode a lot more freedom, allowing them to get a lot more done with it then a focus on real-time ever would've carried. And besides, in the long-term, modders can probably more smartly handle such nuanced mechanical adjustments than the developers anyways. Like, there's already a penetration overhaul up on the Nexus last time I checked, and its really great. So if anything happens to fall through, the modding support this game allows for means that it can be addressed by the community anyways, so it is far more in the game and Obsidian's interest to expand on it's number of features and flexibility as a game.

Will turn-based ever be perfectly balanced? Probably not, but who cares? No game is ever perfectly balanced, as all things should be, but it doesn't mean it can't be very enjoyable regardless. I'd rather this community be larger and more influential than for Obsidian to be a few inches closer to a perfectly balanced game.

By the way, I think it's very strange to suggest that CRPGs as a genre are in fundamental conflict with a turn-based format, when they were initially built on top of a turn-based game: Dungeons & Dragons. Even POE, which greatly adjusted the format to function a lot better in real-time (which I would agree has caused some of the fundamental issues that TB mode currently has, like action speed), is still greatly influenced by that original material. So, if anything, the format is actually a great fit for these types of games as they get closer to replicating the core tabletop experience.

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Meh ... penetration isn't a flaw its an awesome feature ... I think they did a great job with it.

Turn-based combat seems awesome too.  I think Obsidian did a great job making RTwP a great experience.  I always like turn-based better, until POE2 now I think there is a strong argument for RTwP being better.  Either way am excited to have both options.

Edited by bringingyouthefuture

“How do you 'accidentally' kill a nobleman in his own mansion?"

"With a knife in the chest. Or, rather, a pair of knives in the chest...”

The Final Empire, Mistborn Trilogy

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Penetration is a problem because it separates break points way too far from each other. It means that extra points of penetration or armor are not always useful, which decreases the value of things which increase them. This is why the Penetration Overhaul in a mod like Deadfire Combat Tweaks is so great, and displays a change that a normal patch probably wouldn't be okay with introducing into a video game post-release, since it entirely changes a very nuanced facet of how the game plays.

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Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura is the best example of a game that has both real time and turn based combat and frankly playing this game in real time would be a real pain. 

I can't see why Pillars of Eternity 2 Deadfire couldn't benefit from having the option of playing in turn based mode.

Sure the turn based mode may not be for everyone and sure it may translate as a (somewhat) slower game experience but for players who like me prefer the option of playing the game like that the announcement of the turn based is an unexpected treat and a new way to experience the game. 

As for saying that it's an unnecessary diversion of resources, that's up to the OP but as far as we can tell  and unless a dev can weigh on that there is nothing to substantiate that claim. 

Personally as much as I enjoy playing real time with pause games like BG (which I still have installed on my PC) I do think the introduction of the turn based option is the best thing that could happen to this game. 

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6 hours ago, Novem said:

Penetration is a problem because it separates break points way too far from each other. It means that extra points of penetration or armor are not always useful, which decreases the value of things which increase them. This is why the Penetration Overhaul in a mod like Deadfire Combat Tweaks is so great, and displays a change that a normal patch probably wouldn't be okay with introducing into a video game post-release, since it entirely changes a very nuanced facet of how the game plays. 

Nah, that's just an opinion on it - I disagree though, for me it solves that age old problem of a dagger killing someone with a sword, armor and shield ... in most cases its just gonna bounce off.

 


“How do you 'accidentally' kill a nobleman in his own mansion?"

"With a knife in the chest. Or, rather, a pair of knives in the chest...”

The Final Empire, Mistborn Trilogy

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But the Penetration system doesn't fix that problem. Daggers just as easily have their penetration buffed over the initial break point as any other weapon, and they have very similar values of the stat as compared to other weapons anyways. In fact, when you really think about it, POE1's system actually did a better job of addressing this hypothetical because a full suit of armor was actually generally worth something in most situations. Flat DR means lower damage weapons, like daggers, have a more problematic time against higher armor targets. Penetration means that any weapon can work in any scenario as long as you have the pen to reach the break point, meaning it actually CREATES the scenario you describe.

Of course, the thing is, Penetration wasn't built to do what you say it does anyways. It was part of Pillars of Eternity's wider effort to "demurk" mechanics to make them more clear. Penetration's function is certainly more clear, but that's only because it's incredibly simplified. Since there are only two break points for damage, it means damage on hit is generally very predictable, which was the intention. You've only really got three kinds of damage you can get on hit: next to no damage, normal damage, or tons of damage. This makes combat very readable and predictable, as in, it makes it easier to understand what's going on at any given moment and ascertain where the flow of combat is headed. Moreover, it makes decisions on who attacks what easier to parse.

But although that's a benefit, it came at the cost of meaningful equipment choice. Armor and weapon upgrades are inherently less meaningful in a system that doesn't consistently reward statistical increases. The simplified damage profile is nice, but meaningful choices are at the core of great RPG design, and are far more important to ensure as a result. The Penetration system is fundamentally flawed because it compromises on this concept, and even the overhaul I mentioned doesn't really address the problem because it just moves to a compromise between DR and Penetration (which is still a massive improvement from both systems, but still doesn't achieve the goal the Penetration system was designed to meet, and even the base Penetration system compromises on its own ideas a bit with scaling underpenetration). What really needs to happen is that there needs to be something that can create a simplified damage profile without robbing individual point investments of meaning.

I'm not sure what such a system would look like or be based upon, but I'm definitely going to brainstorm on it a bit and get back to you. I believe that there is some type of solution here.

EDIT: Okay, I came up with a theoretical solution, here's my idea. Not saying it's necessarily a good one, though I think it's a nifty suggestion, and open to a lot of nuanced tweaks needed to address any potential issues that occur during testing. Also, it addresses your hypothetical scenario a heck of a lot better.

- Penetration is removed as a stat.

- Instead, each individual attack either with a weapon or a spell will have a value called "Attack Strength", which will be an average of the lowest and higher possible damage number of a given attack.

- When that attack is used, the Attack Strength is compared against the target's Armor Rating. If the value is positive, the damage will be normal. If the value is negative, the damage will be severely reduced.

- Either way, that final value will be added to the damage calculation. This value will only be added to the final damage total, after a critical hit is processed (if one occurs).

Edited by Novem
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Can't please everybody. Ultimately I don't think the game was designed for turn-based systems. I'd fear if it was a core feature given a 3rd game being made, but the fact this was a bonus tact on makes me not all that bothered. Personally I don't think the game is designed anywhere near the ballpark of what makes turn-based games good (DOS is even further imo) and I'd really love to see the RTwP system pushed much much further in a future title with Microsoft money.

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6 minutes ago, injurai said:

Can't please everybody. Ultimately I don't think the game was designed for turn-based systems. I'd fear if it was a core feature given a 3rd game being made, but the fact this was a bonus tact on makes me not all that bothered. Personally I don't think the game is designed anywhere near the ballpark of what makes turn-based games good (DOS is even further imo) and I'd really love to see the RTwP system pushed much much further in a future title with Microsoft money.

That may be your personal opinion, but general consensus (and I would agree with that consensus personally) is that DOS has excellent turn-based combat. DOS gameplay has a lot of issues, but it's fundamental turn-based mechanics are exceptionally well designed. I would say that's probably why the series has sold so incredibly well despite it's wide swath of design issues. I would also say this is reflective that the future of CRPGs, likely including Pillars of Eternity, will probably be rooted in at the very least an OPTION for turn-based play. Turn-based is quite frankly just more accessible, it lets the developers maintain the depth of mechanics more easily while still catering to a wider audience. We'll see what Obsidian decides, but I think it's rather unlikely that a third-game focuses it's investment on improving the real-time gameplay over either including a turn-based option at launch or making it the focus of the game (even if it's treated like the Pillars of Eternity Tactics spin-off that's been floating around as an idea since the first game).

Besides, if that Microsoft money goes anywhere, I'd hope it goes into getting the TTRPG to a place where it can compete with stuff like D&D or Pathfinder in terms of production quality when it launches. I honestly believe that's a better investment for the future of the series, especially as far as expanding its audience is concerned.

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"Consensus" is just a filtering of personal opinions. Most people who dislike those games just don't chime in as much. I'm glad those people have a game that fits their fancy.

I'm not even a fan of it's fundamentals. I find those sorts of turn-based games to be incredibly shallow with very uninteresting mechanics. Much of it stems from having non-expendable units. Which is why I prefer Advance Wars far over Fire Emblem. Which is why I generally don't like tactics games. Which is why I love 4x, grand-strategy, Shogun 2, and other games of that variety.

RTwP works great with a party, where "death" is really just "near death = out of combat," "true death" is just "party wipe = reset to save point." I love the ability to recover the party with only one member consciously standing by the end, and the ability to fine tune engagement and disengagement. That to me is exciting and encourages all the right forms of game-design.

Once I get passed the veneer on games like DOS all I see is the rock-paper-scissors, and the need to preserve the unit(s) basically guides me down a very rote set of options. The difference between setting spilled oil on fire, or putting some dot on a mob starts to just become variety flare to crank out the requisite damage to advance. Even with the plethora of options seemingly available, it's the second order strategy that is just as rote to me. I want position, sacrifice, loss, risk, reposte. It's all more satisfying with expendable units.

In Pillars those units are just repeatedly expendable in each encounter, and the punishment for not preserving your units carries over into a meta-strategy between encounters. This is why I think POE in it's turn-based mode is still more than twice the game that DOS is in it's best fundamentals. I've never cared that people like games like DOS, it's not for me. They bore me. I hope none of that design finds it's way into my favorite turn-based and especially my favorite RTwP games.

 

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I mean you can feel that way if you like, but nothing you just described has anything to do with the fundamentals of each individual game's turn based design whatsoever. Not to mention your description of how Divinity's combat works is quite provably not in any way how the game actually plays. I don't disagree with your criticisms persay, but the conclusions you draw from those criticisms are just nonsense that honestly seems to stem from you just being bad at Divinity.

I'm not saying you're wrong to point out that the lack of "expendability" in Divinity's characters is a problem (it's super tedious and adds just about nothing to the game, it's a mechanic that very obviously only exists to replicate a tabletop experience and it doesn't fit in a video game whatsoever, I've been making the same complaint since Baldur's Gate), but your description of how combat plays out in response to that is just laughably wrong (not to mention has nothing to do with each "unit's" lack of expendability, and it is also a mechanic that is only tangentially related to Divinity's actual combat). Like, seriously, if you actually think that damage is the only thing that matters in Divinity's combat system, you don't know what you're doing. Crowd control, status effects, environmental manipulation, and positioning (especially with teleports and other mobility aids, hell positioning is more important in Divinity than any other game that's been discussed because it's the only one with height advantage), are more important in Divinity's combat than simple DPS by a hilarious degree.

If any game has a rock-paper-scissors dynamic going on (and I don't think that's a bad thing, in fact it's one of my favorite things about the game on a mechanical level), it's Pillars on many, many levels. Most clearly though, the Afflictions and Inspirations system, which has a literal rock-paper-scissors dynamic going on in Deadfire with it's complex web of very well-defined counters, To get the best efficiency out of that system, you literally have to be actively pulling out the very specific counter to afflictions you suffer and countering the inspirations your enemy receives. Combine that with things like how damage works, the penetration system, and a litany of other factors and Pillars is a far, far more mechanically straightforward game. And that's not a bad thing! Pillars manages to fit a whole lot of complexity into relatively straightforward mechanics. The game is really easy to learn, and manages to do that without compromising even a smidge on its depth as an RPG.

Anyways, it seems to me you're basing your analysis of the so-called "fundamentals" of DOS on a single structural decision the game makes in terms of the need for resurrection scrolls and using it to inform your entire opinion of the game's mechanics. That's absolutely ludicrous, there's a lot more to video games (and especially RPGs) than whether or not your units get up after combat.

PS: I hate that you've made me go to such extent to defend Divinity. There's a great deal of reasons why both Original Sin games are nowhere near as great as they've been billed, but your take on them is just silly.

PSS: I don't know why you're complaining about Fire Emblem's so-called lack of expendability when the games have had a casual mode for nearly a decade.

PSSS: These games will NEVER resemble in any way the 4x strategy games you say you enjoy. The things which drive normal strategy game design completely conflict with the entire idea of narrative-driven role-playing games. Of course your units are expendable when you're managing an army of faceless soldiers rather than a small company of fleshed out adventurers. The more invested a player is on a "unit", whether on a personal or mechanical level, the less expendable that unit can be while maintaining the game's integrity. And those games are also ironically far shallower by necessity, since individual "units" in an RPG need to be complex by nature in order to reflect identity, while individual units in grand strategy games are very simple and exist within a system of predictable counters. Which is expected for units which exist in a game where the player is focused on a far wider scope of events. The idea that somehow Fire Emblem has shallower combat mechanics than something like Total War: Shogun II is completely laughable. Call me back when each unit in a Total War game has 8 different stats and different equipment that you have to manage on an individual basis, lol... but that will never happen because that much complexity would make a real-time game like Total War a complete slog. It needs to be shallower by the very nature of the way its designed as an entry within it's genre. Like, seriously, I can't get over this notion you seem to have that RPGs are somehow less complicated than most Grand Strategy games, which have very simple mechanics by the very nature of them being what they are. The more you expand a game's scope, the less complexity you can introduce (because micromanagement kills the pacing of real-time games), and what has more scope than a game that literally builds its brand around its scope?

Edited by Novem

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It seems people really like turn based in POE. That's fine but I could imagine a future title with turned based only POE and that WOULD SUCK. I just hope they fix the affliction bugs and do not alienate the original player base.

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20 hours ago, Boeroer said:

Maybe. But it's an argument that's based on an assumption. Let's wait for the big patch that is immanent (Steam is rumbling in preparation for the patch already) and then we will have a better understanding whether the issues are too massive to tackle or not.

This patch will finally get rid of the affliction bug?

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At least that's what was said. They had difficulties reproducing that bug but finally nailsed it down. Can't remember where I read it, I think in the relating bug report thread.


Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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5 hours ago, Novem said:

Daggers just as easily have their penetration buffed over the initial break point as any other weapon, and they have very similar values of the stat as compared to other weapons anyways ...

... Of course, the thing is, Penetration wasn't built to do what you say it does anyways. It was part of Pillars of Eternity's wider effort to "demurk" mechanics to make them more clear. Penetration's function is certainly more clear, but that's only because it's incredibly simplified. Since there are only two break points for damage, it means damage on hit is generally very predictable, which was the intention ....

... But although that's a benefit, it came at the cost of meaningful equipment choice. Armor and weapon upgrades are inherently less meaningful in a system that doesn't consistently reward statistical increases.

I mean I don't want to get in an argument over the mechanic, and you make a strong argument for your opinion on it, but you said "buff" - okay sure but I play often with a dagger in one hand and a sword in the other on a character - and the dagger always does less damage - and often becomes useless unless I buff, even though it should have a higher penetration ... so I still disagree.  I don't want to pull up screenshots :(...  I think I enjoy it because it makes me use the correct weapon for the correct job, makes me have various weapons for various characters and scenarios, and accomplishes this very well with the under penetration mechanic - or better than other games I have played.  Over penetration often involves my characters using up resources in a battle - so it makes me micro manage which I like.  You make it sound like simpler is bad ... but often it is the better way to go.  The other thing is it plays into Abydon's challenge if I understood how the challenge correctly works.   So I think your statement about meaningful equipment choices is wrong - I would say you are making an argument for other games that don't use such a system of attrition.

Anyway - I enjoy POE2 combat more than POE1 so I would prefer to keep the PEN system rather than go backwards.

EDIT:

I think they should always make it both TB and RTwP going forward just to stay on topic ... lol

Edited by bringingyouthefuture

“How do you 'accidentally' kill a nobleman in his own mansion?"

"With a knife in the chest. Or, rather, a pair of knives in the chest...”

The Final Empire, Mistborn Trilogy

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