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Guest Ontarah
7 hours ago, xzar_monty said:

This is peculiar. When I started POE1, I quite obviously knew nothing about the ruleset. I played the game on the Classic mode (or Normal or whatever the name was: the not easy and not hard mode anyway), and there was nothing impossible about the game. The bear encounter in the cave was too difficult to do alone and at low level, but the guy who told me about the cave did explicitly say that to me as well. So I went back later at a higher level and with a bigger group and did just fine. The first Forest Lurker encounter was very difficult, but again: I retreated and came back later.

After a certain point, the only thing that was really difficult was the Adra Dragon.

I also didn't find the ruleset hard to learn or unintuitive, but this is of course very subjective.

To be fair, this probably isn't the only reason.  If you are brand new to this type of game you might be coming in with a generalized skepticism of stuff like isometric view and non voiced protagonist.  I've heard some people say the game is a no-go from the start for those reasons.  Some people find it really hard to connect with characters when they are hovering 100 feet above their head and never hear their voice or see their face.  If you are inclined like this but willing to try anyway because the story and characters and roleplaying options look good but find the ruleset an uphill slog, you are probably going to nope out. 

Likewise if you think of yourself as an RPG vet because you've played every Bioware, Bethesda, CD Pojekt Red, and Obsidian game for the last 15 years which all have really simple and easy to learn rulesets, you probably don't want to be relegated to playing on Easy mode which literally has a description which is like "If you are a newb, pick this one."  If you keep getting handed your ass and you've never had to read a game manual before to be good at a game, I can totally see some people noping on out of that situation.  This is certainly why I didn't want to lower difficulty even though it gave me a lot of trouble at first.  I had the added insult in that I've played every Infinity Engine game about half a hundred times so I felt like I *should* be able to play on Normal. 

Another thing is that POE explicitly tried to eliminate "cheesy" ways of getting around difficulty.  One example is the murder of Infinity Engine rest spamming and fog of war abuse by making it impossible to cast spells out of combat  *and* limiting how many camping supplies you could carry.  Some kind of "let me sleep how ever many times I want" toggle coupled with letting people cast defensive spells before a fight would have taken the edge off for a lot of people who didn't want to be regulated to "newb" mode.  

The old Infinity Engine games did not have this kind of "cheese" gatekeeping.  If things were too hard you had two options:  Get Gud or Revert to Cheese.  When I first started playing BG, I freely admit to doing things like Wand of Summoning abuse to beat Sarevok or summoning 4 or 5 fire elementals, hasting them, and sending them in to kill a room full of vampires or illithids for me.  This in no wise diminished my enjoyment of the game and it in no wise prevented people who found that cheesy from *not* doing that.        

The way the difficulty settings work in POE also make it hard to selectively adjust difficulty for 1 thing you might want an assist with.  Say that forest lurker.  If you lower difficulty, it doesn't apply to a map you've already visited.  So to get a bit of an assist in just that fight, you have to nerf the whole map and replay it.   In BG, I could just use selective cheese on the one thing that was giving me issues and then carry on playing normally. 

Maybe that kind of thing is terrible design, but it absolutely provides a kind of built in "hold my hand" solution that people can fall back on.  Eventually, I didn't need BG cheese and stopped using it because it made the game less fun.

On top of that, the Easy and Storytime modes are like stupidly, epically easy.   If your goal is to use them to learn the rules, there is 0 pressure applied in those settings and you thus have no way of knowing if what you are trying is a good strategy or if it's just that *anything* you do will work because you are in easy mode. 

A specific example of this for me is that I would lower difficulty to Easy for any assault at Cad Nua because I just found them so repetitive and pointless and wanted to get them over with.  I then forgot to raise difficulty again and proceeded to go fight the Adra Dragon.  I had to apply 0 strategy and just kept clicking on it until it was dead.  Thinking that was really weird, I checked difficulty and sure enough saw what I had done.  I raised it to "Normal" and tried again and proceeded to have my ass handed to me multiple times. 

This being made to feel like an idiot issue by itself is probably not enough to send off somebody who sincerely wants to get good at anything they play and likes learning new systems.  But for anybody who was harboring some skepticism but was willing to give it a try because everybody has been going on about this BG thing for 20 years or had 5 other games that required way less investment they could go play and not suck at?  Yeah, I bet a lot of them moved along.      

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Guest Ontarah
1 hour ago, 4ward said:

i disagree, BG2 was my first game (played it before BG1) and i did only need to play the tutorial to learn the basics and also that a sword +2 is better than sword +1 and to reduce armor class value as much possible. Never read a single line from D&D rulebook and had more than a dozen playthroughs.

BG taught me the Dungeons and Dragons ruleset.  It was literally my introduction to fantasy *anything.*  When I started the game, I had no idea what even exceedingly basic things like Druids and Halflings were let alone a familiarity with what common spells do or expectations for monsters do what.

"Oh this thing is called a basilisk?  What's that?  Oh god, it insta-killed me!  How?  Why?"  "Hey, what does this Fireball thing do!  Oh god, I've set myself on fire!" More or less sums up my initial experience. 

Edited by Ontarah
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On 4/21/2020 at 4:27 PM, Ontarah said:

And the people I have personally talked to who tried POE1 and noped off of it hard (which admittedly is only a handful) all said the same thing which amounted to  "The game is impossible to play in anything above hold my hand mode without learning the ruleset through and through and that hard-to-learn, unintiutive ruleset can go f*** itself."

This is exactly what I have argued too about why I believe PoE2 did not sell well. The PoE mechanics/ruleset is too complex, confusing, and non-intuitive for the average gamer today. It is fine for hardcore cRPG fans/grogs, but the average gamer (who is not represented in forums like this one) is not going to care to invest time and effort trying to figure out those complex mechanics when they have plenty of other games to choose from, games with simple and shallow but intuitive and easy to understand and use mechanics (for example D:OS), that they can go play instead.

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But Pathfinder: Kingmaker did well, and not only is its ruleset equally complex, confusing and non-intuitive, to use your terms, it is also badly described and basically requires you to know an awful lot of stuff that is not explained in the game (which is not the case for PoE). So that cannot be the big reason.

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59 minutes ago, xzar_monty said:

But Pathfinder: Kingmaker did well, and not only is its ruleset equally complex, confusing and non-intuitive, to use your terms, it is also badly described and basically requires you to know an awful lot of stuff that is not explained in the game (which is not the case for PoE). So that cannot be the big reason.

Pathfinder is based on dnd so even if the descriptions aren't great (they are better than POE), people that are familiar with the d20 system and dnd will not have a hard time understanding it. I could pick it up without issues without any information whatsoever.

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52 minutes ago, AeonsLegend said:

Pathfinder is based on dnd so even if the descriptions aren't great (they are better than POE), people that are familiar with the d20 system and dnd will not have a hard time understanding it. I could pick it up without issues without any information whatsoever.

This is correct, but it also implies that the group of "hardcore cRPG fans/grogs" (mentioned by @kanisatha above) is significantly larger than the sales numbers of Deadfire would make you think -- and that was my main point. Surely we can agree that dnd is for hardcore gamers, right?

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Guest Ontarah

I actually think baseline knowlege of DnD is more common than it was 20 years ago as well.  For one thing, I think MMORPGs, many of which run on a kind of knockoff DnD ruleset, has taught younger players some of the basic things to expect from any RPG ruleset.  I haven't played Pathfinder yet so I can't really make a personal comparison on how sloggy the ruleset set is compared to POE. 

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1 hour ago, Ontarah said:

I actually think baseline knowlege of DnD is more common than it was 20 years ago as well.  For one thing, I think MMORPGs, many of which run on a kind of knockoff DnD ruleset, has taught younger players some of the basic things to expect from any RPG ruleset.  I haven't played Pathfinder yet so I can't really make a personal comparison on how sloggy the ruleset set is compared to POE. 

dnd 5e and pathfinder 2e are certainly much more easy to access than the old rule

but within the rpg player community nostalgic voice are far too loud and persistent

owlcat certainly caught the worst of it

it is unlikely they can change to much more reasonable 2nd edition rule in their future pathfinder games very soon

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4 hours ago, xzar_monty said:

This is correct, but it also implies that the group of "hardcore cRPG fans/grogs" (mentioned by @kanisatha above) is significantly larger than the sales numbers of Deadfire would make you think -- and that was my main point. Surely we can agree that dnd is for hardcore gamers, right?

Well dnd is very popular so it stands to reason that anything based on it will have an advantage over something like POE.

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53 minutes ago, daven said:

Really don't get the Fortnite thing, the game isn't anything special. Is it just good marketing? And fad mentality?

Most likely it's just critical mass. Once anything becomes popular enough, its popularity alone is enough to make it even more popular. It is impossible to predict which things this will start to happen to. Note: I know nothing about the Fortnite, have never seen it and have no interest in it. But I do know something about human psychology and its effects on consumer culture.

Right now, it is almost inconceivable that the prog rock band Emerson Lake & Palmer played at sold out stadiums in the late 1970s. But they did. It was the coolest thing of the era.

Edited by xzar_monty
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On 4/23/2020 at 12:04 PM, AeonsLegend said:

Pathfinder is based on dnd so even if the descriptions aren't great (they are better than POE), people that are familiar with the d20 system and dnd will not have a hard time understanding it. I could pick it up without issues without any information whatsoever.

This exactly. D&D/D&D-based mechanics are ok even when they are obtuse and confusing and poorly explained, because there is always a core group of gamers who "know" D&D. But going even further, P:Km's sales were not that great. The difference between P:Km sales and PoE2 sales is that for the former the expectations for sales were lower and those lower expectations were (more than) satisfied, so we declare that game to have been a sales success, whereas for the latter the expectations were higher and so we declare PoE2 to have been a sales "failure." Ultimately, it's about the gap between sales expectations and reality, and not sales in some absolute sense.

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On 4/23/2020 at 12:59 PM, xzar_monty said:

This is correct, but it also implies that the group of "hardcore cRPG fans/grogs" (mentioned by @kanisatha above) is significantly larger than the sales numbers of Deadfire would make you think -- and that was my main point. Surely we can agree that dnd is for hardcore gamers, right?

I would agree with this, though I'm not sure I'd say the group is "significantly" larger. I have no data to back this up but my gut feeling is that the hardcore group as I described it is probably around 1 million globally.

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1 hour ago, kanisatha said:

I would agree with this, though I'm not sure I'd say the group is "significantly" larger. I have no data to back this up but my gut feeling is that the hardcore group as I described it is probably around 1 million globally.

Well if Deadfire sold less than 200k, then that 1M is five times larger as a group, which in my view qualifies as "significantly" larger.

It'll be interesting to see if there'll ever be another isometric cRPG that isn't based upon DD. I mean, the Wrath of the Righteous is a DD-derivative, since it's Pathfinder.

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As complicated as D&D can be, some fundamental mechanics are fairly simple while their PoE equivalent is obtuse. Good example: the basic question, “how much damage does this weapon do?” is in D&D games easily explicable and displayed on the character sheet, eg “1d8 +2”. In PoE the answer is “11 - 16. But depends on weapon speed, action speed, recovery and enemy armour. And you’ll have to work that yourself; the final result isn’t displayed anywhere.”  It shouldn’t be so difficult for the player to determine such basic information.

 

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7 hours ago, Rooksx said:

As complicated as D&D can be, some fundamental mechanics are fairly simple while their PoE equivalent is obtuse. Good example: the basic question, “how much damage does this weapon do?” is in D&D games easily explicable and displayed on the character sheet, eg “1d8 +2”. In PoE the answer is “11 - 16. But depends on weapon speed, action speed, recovery and enemy armour. And you’ll have to work that yourself; the final result isn’t displayed anywhere.”  It shouldn’t be so difficult for the player to determine such basic information.

 

That is correct. However, I never felt any need to get into the specifics, because all weapons work well enough. I understand that this is a question of temperament: some people like to micromanage and calculate probabilites and so and so forth, but I wonder if you agree that you don't have to, especially in PoE and Deadfire. Everything works.

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19 hours ago, xzar_monty said:

Well if Deadfire sold less than 200k, then that 1M is five times larger as a group, which in my view qualifies as "significantly" larger.

It'll be interesting to see if there'll ever be another isometric cRPG that isn't based upon DD. I mean, the Wrath of the Righteous is a DD-derivative, since it's Pathfinder.

But where is that 200k number for PoE2 sales coming from? From all I can tell, the number is probably in the 400-500k range.

As for your second point, I think we will still (occasionally) see those games. But they will come only from small indie studios with modest sales expectations, games like 'Black Geyser' and 'Darkeye: Book of Heroes' being good examples.

Edited by kanisatha
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The number is calculated from the Fig investment returns that were paid to investors of the campaign. Since the rules of fig shares are transparent you can deduce the revenue. If you then assume an average price you're under 200K copies. However, that was some time ago and before it came out on consoles.

Edited by Boeroer
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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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@kanisatha: See the answer from @Boeroer above (of course you already did). That type of figure appears a lot more trustworthy than what anyone "can tell" from other sources, whatever they may be.

And indeed, the figure I refer to does not contain consoles, that's worth pointing out. But in the PC world, Deadfire surely bombed in a big way. What a shame.

Edited by xzar_monty
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11 hours ago, Boeroer said:

The number is calculated from the Fig investment returns that were paid to investors of the campaign. Since the rules of fig shares are transparent you can deduce the revenue. If you then assume an average price you're under 200K copies. However, that was some time ago and before it came out on consoles.

Not sure how Fig  investment agreements work, but I read a Reddit comment from the poster  who posted this information.  He mentioned it was a dividend payment from the initial investment.  If that is the case, then in almost all cases, these types of payments are only made on profit .  Usually one invests in something, they buy shares, so that is held in the investment until the owner sells the shares.  Dividends are paid on profit earned by the shares to the investors.  If that is the case, the sales number is closer of the sales to reach break-even + the additional sales.  according to the post, that would be closer to 700k sales.  Considering the Steam Spy sales numbers for this game are between 500k and 1 mm, the 700k total sales number seems more likely.  But again, I don't know how the Fig investment returns are structure, so take it with a grain of salt.

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The number was deduced by people who took the returns, researched the fig terms and finally said it's not exact but gives a fair approximation. As I said that was some time ago. I didn't dive into the details. 

It was confirmed by several Obsidian devs, most notably Josh Sawyer, that Deadfire sold way worse than PoE. And PoE sold somewhere around 1 million copies at that time iirc. That doesn't sound like 700k at all. 

It was also said that Deadfire wasn't a financial desaster but very disappointing. If you assume a certain budget (let's say double the fig campaign's amount) and assume 200K copies then it may have covered the expenses. 

But of course then you have gained nothing for budgeting your next game. 

Tyranny was a similar story. It hurts. Both are not bad games in the slightest. It just seems the niches were too small. Which is unfortunate because it's exactly my niche. 

Edited by Boeroer
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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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Guest 4ward

between iwd2 and announcement of pillars1 it was 10 yrs i believe. Anticipation was high for an isometric party rpg with rtwp combat. The backer beta forums were full of people who kickstarted pillars and who participated in discussions with the devs. And the people who played the old games had specific, detailed wishes. When you finally get what you want, then you’re satisfied and turn to something different. When you don’t get it, you’re disappointed and turn to something different, it’s kind of lose-lose. New audience attracted by great reviews to try this specific type of game, probably found it difficult to get into. There’s lots of info to read. Compare char creation in Bg2 to more modern games. I create a BG2 char within few minutes and jump right into the game.

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2 hours ago, Boeroer said:

Tyranny was a similar story. It hurts. Both are not bad games in the slightest. It just seems the niches were too small. Wich is unfortunate because it's exactly my niche. 

Your last sentence precisely expresses my feelings. It may well be that our niche is quietly ceasing to exist, going out with a whimper. It's not a big loss, but if it does really happen, I do find it sad.

Heck, this is exactly the time when I'd love to have one of these games to play, but there just aren't any. I mean, I've played BG2 a few times, PoE and Deadfire twice, P:K once and that's it. I don't think there are any others that I could seriously dive into the way I dove into those games. I did try D:OS2 but man, it just isn't good. Turn-based combat is so unappealing, and the dialogues are poor.

If anyone wants to make suggestions, I'm very happy to hear them. Isometric approach preferred, narrative ambition and complexity pretty much required (although P:K didn't have it).

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22 minutes ago, 4ward said:

Compare char creation in Bg2 to more modern games. I create a BG2 char within few minutes and jump right into the game.

 

This arguably holds even more true for the first part, as there's less classes to pick. For all the refinements and streamlining made, interestingly in some aspects AD&D 2nd edition is actually simpler than what PoE/Tyranny have. This includes how damage is calculated, or what abilities you can pick. As I'd only ever played the Das Schwarz Auge (Realms Of Arkania) tabletop, my only contact prior to BG1 with D&D was from D&D computer games. Still, there's not a whole lot to chose neither on character creation nor on level up on BG.

It's a case of Budgeting. There are smaller independent studios that would love for seeling a couple 100k Units. The question may be whether Obsidian would consider such a worthwile Investment. Apparently Josh Sawyer's current project consists of a handful of people at that time. It's likely not gonna be PoE related, but would be interesting if that stays that way.

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38 minutes ago, Sven_ said:

This arguably holds even more true for the first part, as there's less classes to pick. For all the refinements and streamlining made, interestingly in some aspects AD&D 2nd edition is actually simpler than what PoE/Tyranny have. This includes how damage is calculated, or what abilities you can pick. As I'd only ever played the Das Schwarz Auge (Realms Of Arkania) tabletop, my only contact prior to BG1 with D&D was from D&D computer games. Still, there's not a whole lot to chose neither on character creation nor on level up on BG.

It's a case of Budgeting. There are smaller independent studios that would love for seeling a couple 100k Units. The question may be whether Obsidian would consider such a worthwile Investment. Apparently Josh Sawyer's current project consists of a handful of people at that time. It's likely not gonna be PoE related, but would be interesting if that stays that way.

If you're going to compare it then best to compare it to later itterations. I mean if you look at DND 3.5 (Neverwinter Nights 2) then char generation is fairly simple, even though there's quite a few base classes. Multiclassing doesn't start at level 1. You can multiclass with a maximum of 4 classes and have to work towards specific prestige classes if you want them by selecting specific skills/feats. There's almost an infinite way to build your character. I mean there's an entire website dedicated to it: nwn2db.com where you can theory craft your character. The way you can craft your character is much much more elaborate than in POE2.

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