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Having no fun whatsoever

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I signed up specifically to tell you guys how little fun I had with this game. This has be the most infuriating game I have ever played.

The best word I can use to sum up this game is, "futility." Nothing you do will ever make you feel a sense of accomplishment. Every encounter with the enemy requires at least 50-60 reloads. Evry fight is like hitting your head against a brick wall. As you get more people in your party, the fight becomes harder, not easier. Most enemies are immune to everything, making your stats irrelevant. 

Take one of the very early quest, Dweller, for example. The Warden gives you a simple contract. It was one of the first 4-5 contracts available. This is literally the beginner assignments.. And what does the game want to to do up against? An incredibly tough troll accompanied by floating rocks that throws insects swarms at you non-stop. No matter how you protect your tank, how you position your aoe dealers, you end up dead in 10 seconds. They have high-dps, high hp, and are immune to everything. And this is supposed to be the early part of the game.

You cannot bait them since everything comes after you as soon as one is triggered. You cannot snipe them since you can never deal high enough dps. You cannot grind yours stats because monsters do not respawn. The game went out of its way to ensure that there is literally nothing you can do except giving up.

And that's exactly what I will be doing. Thanks, but no thanks.

Edited by Bye
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Awwww, it cares so much it did not only register, it edited its ragequit post! :biggrin:

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in the off-chance new players come across the above misinformation by the OP ... most enemies are not immune to everything, and bounty quests from the Warden were not intended to be 'very early' or for 'beginner' parties ... the player stronghold must be rebuilt and upgraded over time before Warden bounties become available

 

above all, over the course of the game, save often; if your party gets wiped clean in seconds by an enemy, do not reload 50-60 times ... reload once before the battle and travel to a different map or pursue an alternate quest to gather experience and upgrade items and weapons before returning to a difficult encounter ... try it, it's fun

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All Stop. On Screen.

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On 10/6/2019 at 2:33 PM, Bye said:

The game went out of its way to ensure that there is literally nothing you can do except giving up.

Yeah well - other players might want to raise the question: "Why didn't you do something else first and came back later? It's kind of an open world game." and the only honest answer would be "Ooopsi, I didn't think about that".

This player went out of his way to gnaw on a bone he can't chew yet - while there were plenty of other, softer and meatier ones laying around. 

I wonder how he got past the infamous bear cave. 😲

 

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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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Try using a guide with a premade build that definitely works.  I have had the exact opposite experience, and started a second play through on hard (in which im streamrolling) the second I finished my first.

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To be fair the game gets a whole lot easier once you

a) gained some meta-knowledge (where to go, which enemies can do what) and

b) understand the mechanics a bit better.

Still: reloading 50 times because one can't win a certain (optional) fight and then ragequit instead of just pursuing a different route (and come back later) is just silly. 

 

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On 10/8/2019 at 1:29 AM, Boeroer said:

Yeah well - other players might want to raise the question: "Why didn't you do something else first and came back later? It's kind of an open world game." and the only honest answer would be "Ooopsi, I didn't think about that".

This player went out of his way to gnaw on a bone he can't chew yet - while there were plenty of other, softer and meatier ones laying around. 

I wonder how he got past the infamous bear cave. 😲

 

Hey, the bear cave caused me at least 3-4 tries with my Stag Druid (1st PC). Don’t knock it, it’s tough for newbies.😇

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No matter which fork in the road you take I am certain adventure awaits.

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On 10/6/2019 at 12:33 PM, Bye said:

I signed up specifically to tell you guys how little fun I had with this game. This has be the most infuriating game I have ever played.

[..]The game went out of its way to ensure that there is literally nothing you can do except giving up.

And that's exactly what I will be doing. Thanks, but no thanks.

People wanted a game in the style of Baldur's Gate. Obsidian gave them a far more complex combat system than BG's and one that isn't intuitive (it MAY be difficult to gimp your character, but Intelligent Barbarians and Mighty Wizards are not obvious, let's not even talk about all the tank builds that recommend no armour whatsoever - this game is bananas, B.A.N.A.N.A.S. ). The game is incredibly difficult to master comprehend, let alone master!

It surprises me that Josh Sawyer doesn't understand this to be a major factor in customer retention:

https://jesawyer.tumblr.com/post/188915786456/will-there-be-a-pillars-3-that-is-not-something

 

The game did what it set out to do in terms of creating that Baldur's Gate style of game, but I believe many players found combat much less fun than anticipated and didn't want to come back for that reason. I don't expect hardcore forum-dwellers to react positively to this appraisal of the game, but I think it's important to express it.

Edited by Svartypops
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I am a hardcore forum dweller (maybe the most hardcore one given my post count... especially when it comes to POE) but I partially agree. Not the b.a.n.a.n.a.s. part (the mechanics of PoE are superior to that of the old IE games - it basically tries to be more coherent and that means making some compromises when it comes to "realism" vs. being clean and avoiding exceptions or special rules - which are a nightmare in any software).

But indeed the mechanics of PoE are often obscure and difficult to comprehend. You need a LOT of time (in forums, wikis and/or in the game) to master them*. Part of that is due to the awful, just awful job the game does in explaining the mechanics to you. This is my biggest complaint about PoE (which I mostly love dearly): tooltips, explanations, good and helpful UI features and the like: nope. 

So I think it is solid reasoning to say that this might have driven players away. 

I said it already but who wants to see a superb tooltip system that explains every effect in a solid yet unobstrusive way should play "Slay the Spire". I wish more game developers would adapt that approach. It's not even revolutionary, just thorough and neatly done.

* I like those deep, systemic-driven mechanics you can tinker with, but I am aware I'm the minority.

Edited by Boeroer
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I sorta agree but this assumes that people have to go into POE like an old d&d game. In those old games people needed to meta the crap out of the game to not screw their build with the wrong weapons or in the case of NWN games the wrong abilities. so there was a level of power gaming you had to do to get into the game at all. POE to me lowered the bar of what you needed to know to start the game but if players are used to d&d they may assume its the case so they may try to learn the systems really well and find out they are difficult like you mentioned. but if instead people just picked up the game and just played and made a character they thought they wanted they would find it worked out pretty well. I see this line of question to this day with new players saying whats the best build or is my build bad or will this build gimp me or will this build work with companions. and they havent played one moment of the game but assume they must power game or the game will be broken. this seems like a very dnd mindset and maybe fun for tabletop but for single player game it takes out some of the fun of just playing the game.

 but you are right they could have done better job explaining some stuff.   

i get im talking about a slightly different aspect but the builds question kinda bleeds into the systems question somewhat 

Edited by draego
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I watched this video about attributes and the game indeed meets the goals he set out to achieve. I think there's a need to fit into the descriptive world, rather than to just have the stats as labels or simply a variable_name with no attachment to the real world, since that is how players relate to "Might", "Intellect" etc. So using those labels MUST have a purpose, and the game seems to try to do that to a degree, meaning that weird things happen. It's not purely fitting into the variable_name style mathematician/coder's world nor the more descriptive "casual" player's world, but it attempts to stand astride the two and I suspect this is where all the confusion happens. People don't like being befuddled.

Josh says in the video that some solutions are unexpected - I think for this game they should have changed name of Easy mode to Normal. That may have appeased a lot of the confused players whilst not changing the game for people who want to play super challenging content, and perhaps have boosted sales of Deadfire.

 

Edited by Svartypops
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I think the problem with this game that some players might have is it that the game is awful at conveying what's happening at any given point. Visually the game is a swirl of meaningless visual effects. You want to know what's happening, you check the combat log but there are several problems there. One, it only goes back a very short time. Two, a lot of the info isn't expanded on. You're told a weapon was ineffective but it doesn't say why. You see that a certain attack did damage to several people. Of those it hit, sometimes it does little damge and to the person next to them it did huge damge. Why? Well open the inventory and mouseover everything to try and spot the difference between the two characters. Most RPGs make it clear what's happening as it happens without pouring over tooltips but in PoE things happen rapdiy and people are suddenly on half health and you have to basically research into why.

In something like DOS2, you know what's happening as it happens. In every spectrum of RPG from Torment to Fallout (the real Fallouts) to Final Fantasy to Dragon Quest, I never feel out of the loop. In PoE it feels like a lot of **** happens, then you have to stop everything and check into it at length. Even in PnP, you'd see things happening as they resolve and always be on top of things. PoE has less status effects than a typical Final Fantasy yet it's far harder IMO to keep track of who's affected by what, and how to get rid of that effect, than in any other RPG I've played - and I've played a lot, both JRPG and WRPG.

Long story short, I llike this game - I just recently bought WM1&2 after buying the base game at launch - but it often feels like a mess. Keeping track of basic info is leaden and clunky, many level up choices are out of context as they only make sense with the knowledge of what you can choose later, the stat system is meant to get past things like dump stats yet ends up feeling totally unintuitive in how you end up with INT being great for barbarians for no other reason than that's how Sawyer decided to define a bunch of stats that have almost arbitrary names (e.g. an ill-defined "Might" making warriors hit harder but also healers heal more, Int increasing how much a crazed warcry spreads out over the battlefield, etc). I'm not trying to bash the game but for various design reasons it ends up feeling messy and badly focused.

Edited by Matroska

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Generally you are right: PoE does a very poor job of explaining things.

But your examples are mostly ill-suited to prove your point: the combat log goes back to the start of the battle at least - you just have to expand the window and scroll.

A weapon is ineffective if its damage gets eaten up by the enemy's damage reduction (DR). This can be seen in the combat log where you can inspect the dmg roll + dmg modifiers, damage type, the enemy's DR against that type of damage, your DR bypass and then the resulting dmg (+ eventual lash damage). A "MIN" tells you that the dmg you did was actually so low compared to the DR that it would have been near zero or lower and that the game granted you a minimal dmg value instead.

Sawyer not simply decided about a bunch of stats because "Hey why not smart Barbs lol?". He chose to make the attribute system more systemic instead of simulationistic (is that even a word?). Systemic approaches lead to an easier implementation, easier balancing and less trap choices - and they are also easier to predict for players: INT always impacts AoE and duration (no matter if Carnage AoE or spell AoE) - MIG always impacts damage done and healing done. That's not unintuitive. You are just used to a different take on attributes. It's not your intutition that tells you what a certain stat should do - it's your expectation based on experience. You might like that or not, but it's nothing that an experienced designer decided because he had a stiff gin tonic for breakfast.    
 
 

Edited by Boeroer

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6 hours ago, Boeroer said:

Snip

I'm pretty sure the combat log doesn't go far back. I recognise and respect you as someone a lot more experienced with the game than I am, but whenever I've checked the log, it runs out of info pretty soon. As for the point about Sawyer, it brings me to a point I've had for a while about RPGs. There are two extremes on a spectrum.  One is the idea that things should make obvious sense (e.g. Dex makes an archer do more damage, Str is useless for a mage because what does magic have to to with Str, but it's really good for warriors). The other is that, regardless of how it seems to make sense, it should be a good abstract system regardless , putting game  sense above common sense (e.g. Might  raises damage and healing for everyone regardlness of any "logic" concerns). In terms of the latter, in reality would the intelligence of a character really make a real difference to the radius of their blows compared to their strength? It's hard to say it would, but it does here because Josh is going for an abstract sense of "all stats are useful". The impassioned yell of a barbarian lasts longer based on the IQ of the barbarian? It doesn't make sense, but it DOES make sense in an abstract way focused on stat balancing.

But anyway, my overall point is just that the game does a poor job of relaying what's actually going on and thus you can either be mindless or you can be tactica; but that involves a lot of tooltip-checking and other busywork that doesn't add to the challenge or fun, but just slows eveything down and makes even simple things a bit of a chore.

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Again some of your examples are not well picked: Is it obvious that DEX should make an archer deal more damage? It's not. The obvious thing is that DEX would make him move faster and fire arrows faster. Why should his arrows deal more damage? In a simulationistic ruleset an archer should deal more damage because he hits more vital spots. In PoE DEX does increase an archer's dps though which his not the worst solution I guess. Why does his Might increase his arrows damage? Well you coukd explain it with some in-game soul blabla but what it boils down to is that you'll simply have to accept that this system is not going to simulate arrow damage properly. It's only an abstraction.

There is no Strength in PoE, there's only Might. The term was chosen for a reason since it includes not only bodily power (which should get resolved with Athletics) but also the power of your soul which everything evolves around in PoE games so far. For the same reasons I would guess. 

As I said above: it's a systemic approach instead of one where the rules should mimic some real world cases or meet the expectations we have from other systems. Fewer exceptions and edge cases, more generalisation and robust system. That's the idea at least. It's a matter of taste. Both have their pros and cons. Systemic approaches need you to let how of the idea that the rules have to simulate every action "properly" while simulationistic approaches tend to be very (often too) complex - because life of an adventurer is complex. ;) With a simulationistic system you always need a rulebook by your side (which table to look up for damage when falling down a stair?) while a systemic approach forces you overlook some cases where things might seem weird (INT + Carnage for example). And come up with explanations that might explain the workings for people who are not willing to accept it (e.g. explain the higher dmg of spells with the Might of your soul).

As I said above your general observation that PoE doesn't explain it's mechanics very well is totally true. I complained about that right from the start and sadly it didn't get much better in Deadfire. 

Edited by Boeroer

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Ye i think what happens is people get used to D&D system and think its mimicking real world stuff but its not. its an attempt to abstract and systematize stats just like POE but does a worse job. However, since everyone is used to that system it feels like the standard and any adjustment feels wrong. But if you examine D&D stats they are just as absurd and abstract compared to real life plus they have so many class restrictions and exceptions built in, it makes for a far more confusing setup in a game for someone that has no experience with either system. I never played table top d&d but did play some of the older d&d games and POE stats were a breath of fresh air stats and ability wise. I tried playing Pathfinder Kingmaker blind and the multitude of trap stats and abilities is just crazy you have to meta d&d so much before even attempting to play it. for a table top game i can see the appeal but in computer game i just preferred where POE was going

Edited by draego
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On 11/11/2019 at 7:18 AM, Boeroer said:

But indeed the mechanics of PoE are often obscure and difficult to comprehend. You need a LOT of time (in forums, wikis and/or in the game) to master them*.

Sure, but you don't need to master them to do fine in the game. Until you try to tackle Adra Dragon, you can pretty much stumble through the game, even on higher difficulty settings.

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I didn't say that you need to.


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Strictly speaking hit points is a terrible simulation.  A weapon would deal a very specific injury.  I remember an old console game Bushido Blade (not an rpg) worked like that and most any hit on you might injure your arms or legs or more likely it was fight over and game over.

 

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This is more for any potential new players than the OP since he/she already made up their mind.

First a little about me. I have been playing the Pillars games since the first month of PoE’s release. I do not consider myself one of the best players at the game nor am I a min-maxer but I do try to optimize my Watcher at least to get the most out of interactions and attribute checks. I have played into lategame on all difficulties. I use Companions and not Adventurers.

With that said even on POTD difficulty no encounter took me 50-60 reloads, and if an encounter is taking more than 10+ reloads its a sign that you are not powerful enough yet (or you haven’t learned how to play the game well enough yet). Secondly Bounties are not meant for Early or Midgame and certainly not Very Early game no wonder OP was getting crushed.

Lastly and most importantly I remember PoE having a very steep learning curve. It took me days to get confortable with all the numbers and mechanics the game throws at you so it is worth it to start on Easy or Story and take the time to learn what each attribute, affliction, defense, ability and so on does, as well as the combat system, Health & Endurance and Resting etc.

The game is loaded with Tooltips and they are very informative, sometimes too informative so just try to retain what you can from them but they are very helpful. Just hover your mouse/pointer over any blue text or any icon.

The game really does give you A LOT to learn but once you get the hang of everything it is one of the most satisfying and fleshed out RPGs out there and Pillars 2 will be a breeze when you jump into it.

Edited by Foxd1e
Minor spacing issues

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