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@GloatingSwine: What?! PoE and Deadfire are the only RPGs I've played where scrolls and potions are meaningless. And I've been playing these games since the 1980s.

Edited by xzar_monty

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Just now, xzar_monty said:

@GloatingSwine: What?! PoE and Deadfire are the only RPGs I've played where scrolls and potions are meaningless. And I've been playing these games since the 1980s.

You mean you don't end every single RPG ever with an inventory full of consumables that might be worth holding onto in case you need them but you never do?  That's just weird man.

 

I've also been playing RPGs since forever, and I never fail to end up with pages and pages of tat I'll never use but also never get rid of unless an inventory limit physically compels me to do so, because there's always an easily replenished non-consumable way of replicating the effect (and consumable versions often don't scale).

 

Like I've played Baldur's Gate dozens of times and someone's inventory is always full of just-in-case scrolls and someone else's all the special fancy arrows that are never getting shot even at Sarevok because I'll forget.  And literally the only fights that I even potion up for are basilisks and that one last fight in Ulgoth's Beard.  Because you don't need to.

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2 minutes ago, GloatingSwine said:

You mean you don't end every single RPG ever with an inventory full of consumables that might be worth holding onto in case you need them but you never do?  That's just weird man.

You just changed the subject there. What you are talking about now is an entirely different thing. In BG, for instance, healing potions and several scrolls are life-savers and/or powerful weapons early on in the game. It is true that nearly all of them lose their relevance later on, and you do end up with plenty of them in your inventory, but that has nothing to do with my point. My point is that there's never a time in either PoE or Deadfire where you in any way rely on them or even get proper benefit from them.

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1 hour ago, xzar_monty said:

You just changed the subject there. What you are talking about now is an entirely different thing. In BG, for instance, healing potions and several scrolls are life-savers and/or powerful weapons early on in the game. It is true that nearly all of them lose their relevance later on, and you do end up with plenty of them in your inventory, but that has nothing to do with my point. My point is that there's never a time in either PoE or Deadfire where you in any way rely on them or even get proper benefit from them.

But you end up in the same place by a different route.  You end up with loads of consumable options that don't get used within the normal flow of play.  In PoE it's because there's usually another way to achieve the same effect but better, in some games it's because they're useful in niche situations or early on but don't scale well enough to keep being useful, and in some games it's because they feel too limited in availability so you hoard them against an eventuality that never comes (at least until a second or third playthrough where you know the pinch points and know when to use them).

 

But it's always the same in the end, consumables always get left in your pack.

 

Ironically I think the solution is to make them not-actually-consumable and to limit them in other ways. In a game like PoE that would probably mean locking down when you can change your quickslot items and making them per-rest charges instead of consumable. Then they can be balanced against other per-rest options.

Edited by GloatingSwine
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47 minutes ago, GloatingSwine said:

and in some games it's because they feel too limited in availability so you hoard them against an eventuality that never comes (at least until a second or third playthrough where you know the pinch points and know when to use them).

Again, you're assuming and metagaming rather a lot, here. Some of us only play these games once and actually enjoy not knowing how the story is going to go. And once they do, they don't want to play it again. Also, if you personally hoard these items against an eventuality, which is a fair strategy, please don't assume that others do. Some players, for instance, would really prefer not to save-scum, which means that if they have potions/scrolls/wands/whatever, they will use them.

Edited by xzar_monty

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4 minutes ago, xzar_monty said:

Again, you're assuming and metagaming rather a lot, here. Some of us only play these games once and actually enjoy not knowing how the story is going to go. And once they do, they don't want to play it again. Also, if you personally hoard these items against an eventuality, which is a fair strategy, please don't assume that others do. Some players, for instance, would really prefer not to save-scum, which means that if they have potions/scrolls/wands/whatever, they will use them.

I'm not "assuming" others do. I know others do, if you google "the problem with RPG consumables" you'll get pages and pages of people saying they never use them, almost always because they're hoarding them because they feel limited and therefore too important to actually use, whether they actually are or not. 

 

It's a super common response to consumables.

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4 hours ago, xzar_monty said:

My point is that there's never a time in either PoE or Deadfire where you in any way rely on them or even get proper benefit from them.

You are not correct though. Maybe it's what you personally do and feel but that's not the actual case. Just because some potions' effects don't stack with other active effects doesn't mean that consumables in general are meaningless or you won't get proper benefit from them. 

I don't use them (not even healing potions) because the game is easy enough without them. Most of them are just too good (on top of all the other stuff you can use). Food can be very powerful. Look at all the immunity food. Potions and poisons are very useful in most cases as well. Before they were just ridiculously overpowered (with high Alchemy). Same with scrolls and high Arcana.  

Edited by Boeroer

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10 hours ago, Boeroer said:

You are not correct though. Maybe it's what you personally do and feel but that's not the actual case. Just because some potions' effects don't stack with other active effects doesn't mean that consumables in general are meaningless or you won't get proper benefit from them.

I agree that consumables in general are not meaningless: food, for instance, can be very powerful and usable. Potions and scrolls, not so much. Part of this has a lot to do with the game mechanics: you can't pre-buff, so that's one possible use taken away, and fights leave no lasting damage apart from injuries (which can't be healed by potions and scrolls), so that's another possible use taken away. So the game mechanics rather strongly limit what you can do with them, and within the range of what you can do, they are not that powerful.

And yes, the game is easy enough without even healing potions. I feel something went a little wrong here, for Obsidian, but the game is still excellent.

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Salve of Dissolution and Luminous Adra Potion remove injuries. You can't craft the salve, but you can do it with the potion.

I think it's unfortunate that some potions don't stack with similar active affects. On the other hand it would be too good. That's why I said they should do something else entirely. But they can still be very useful - for example a +2 PEN potion is very useful if you don't have other means of raising your PEN (no source of Tenacious or a fitting modal).

Scrolls are very good if you are not a caster yourself or if your resources get used up too soon (as many solo runs show). 

So I don't think that the consumables (including potions and scrolls) are not impactful enough - it's just so that giving them similar or same effects as class abilites sometimes feels a bit uninspired and redundant. It also takes away the uniqueness of some abilities or even (sub)classes (see Transmuter <--> Potion of Form of the Fearsome Brute). That's why I said I would be happy if consumables did something else (mechanically) as abilites. First of all you won't run into stacking confusion and secondly it doesn't make you feel that your cool abilites got copied and pasted onto a scroll - or distilled into a flask. Unguents are a step into the right direction: they usually only raise skills - which is pretty unique (except some items also do it but that's ok - they don't interfere with abilites). 

Edited by Boeroer

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To be honest just because I can make few endgame bosses much easier with food buff doesn’t make food good or useful in general throughout the game, it gets outclassed by just going to Luminous Bathouse and getting both bonuses for extra class resource,at least it won’t get replaced by random inspiration or active ability.

Meanwhile some potions and scrolls are really decent they are not very accessible, as they require materials that are pretty random to get(unless you spam wait at Cutzils) and some of them require materials that you will never use on crafting a scroll or a potion especially not in early-mid game where you want all the rare materials for item enchants, and by the time you can spare those mats for scrolls and potions you most likely don’t need them anymore as the game has been outleveled already.

Obviously with some meta gaming knowledge you can make good use out of all these consumables but the effort won’t be worth the effect more often than not. 

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3 hours ago, xzar_monty said:

...and fights leave no lasting damage apart from injuries (which can't be healed by potions and scrolls)...

There is a potion that can remove wounds - lumenous adra I think it is. I use that a lot.

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Luminous Adra potion is like a life-hack for deadfire however it is an exception and not really an active combat action but something you do after or before it to make your life easier (aka you don’t need to backtrack to rest,Backtracking to rest has no drawbacks tho so the potion might as well not be there, and majority of injuries you get from scripted interactions anyway) 

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I use scrolls and postions a lot but my biggest reason for them is NOT that they don't do much. It's because:

a: The AI intterupts you all the time when you are 10 milliseconds away from finishing consuming a potion and decides to attack someone on the other side of the screen

b: You are limited to 4 slots... every one should start with 6 slots (and while at it 4 weapon slots), I don't see why a talent is needed to give you one  extra slot. Why the limit?? I can carry every suit of armour in the world and every weapon, and every piece of clothing plus unlimited numbers of pets, pick axes and rope but for some reason I can only carry 4 types of potion

I find I use potions and scrolls more often long fights where my characters may run out of resource points.

Edited by ArnoldRimmer

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Hey folks, I'm sorry to bring this up here, as it's not related to the question at hand, but clearly there are some experts around, so I'll go ahead anyway. You see, I was thinking whether there's any spot in either PoE or Deadfire where your whole campaign can grind to a halt because of the way the rest mechanics are built. Now, for Deadfire, I believe the answer is no, because you always gain all your health back after a fight. But for PoE, I suppose there is one spot where you can destroy your whole campaign. It goes like this: you descend into Caed Nua to do Kana's quest, and you are ever so slightly out of depth, which means that you have to use all your camping equipment. But you manage to do it: everybody in the group is on condition red, health-wise almost dead, and you've used all your camping equipment, but Kana's quest is finished. Now, we know that upon ascending back to the keep, on the first level, there is a scripted encounter with the folks hunting Kana, and you can't get around it. So, in other words, is this a spot where your whole campaign can realistically be destroyed? You can't rest before the encounter (all camping equipment is gone), and you can't get around it.

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On my first play through of PoE1 I jumped down the pit... that was a mistake and nearly killed my progress. The xirups there were so hard compared to my party at the time I almost gave up and started again.

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Yes. jumping into the pit (especially without any camping supplies left) could mean trouble if you tend to only use quicksave. On the other hand the game does have a list of the three last autosaves - so you really had to make some bad decisions in a row.

The example with Kana's quest is more severe if you don't know what awaits you and if have little meta knowledge. But you can always bypass them and leave Cad Nua "manually" by using the exit route to the throne room. In my first playthrough I did just that (unknowingly) and didn't meet the Leaden Key Assassins until I came back from slaying the Adra Dragon... 🥴


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On 10/18/2019 at 8:17 AM, GloatingSwine said:

That's not unlike literally every RPG ever though.  It's super rare that you'll come across a game where using consumables is a regular event because they're usually just about the worst way of doing whatever you were trying to do and when they're not they're too useful to use unless it's really a real emergency.  And it's never a real emergency because the final boss might have another even harder form.

it's worth pointing out that consumables in Deadfire used to be extremely good and then got hit with a nerfbat really hard (too hard, in my opinion, for some consumables). poisons used to scale 1:1 skill to power-level, and all potions used to have their effects get stronger based on alchemy (in addition to any PL-scaling). and all consumables (incl bombs, scrolls) benefited from perception, might, and intellect.

for me, deadfire isn't quite the level of BG2 where i'm too hesitant to ever use a consumable ever, but it's not where it used to be, where pretty much every consumable could be something to put your character over the top. (now there are some potions which really don't have much value without the alchemy scaling)

i think the hard part from a game design perspective is that consumables are essentially available to everyone, so there's a fine line between "so good it can obviate character build decisions [which was obsidian's justification for nerfing]" and "not good enough so you would never bother."

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On 10/18/2019 at 4:17 PM, GloatingSwine said:

That's not unlike literally every RPG ever though.  It's super rare that you'll come across a game where using consumables is a regular event because they're usually just about the worst way of doing whatever you were trying to do and when they're not they're too useful to use unless it's really a real emergency.  And it's never a real emergency because the final boss might have another even harder form.

WoW Classic. Consumables are very useful, for a ton of different situations and regularly. The later iterations have lost that. 


nowt

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4 hours ago, daven said:

WoW Classic. Consumables are very useful, for a ton of different situations and regularly. The later iterations have lost that. 

Ugh, too useful. I haven't really played since BC, but I remember having to farm mats for hours (especially Black Lotus) in order to do some competitive high-end raiding.

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I'm so happy I never played that game.


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12 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

I'm so happy I never played that game.

It's such a shame there are so few. BG2, PoE, Deadfire, P:K. That's about it. Sigh. 😀

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