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Daudastund

The DLCs want me me to bin this game

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Posted (edited)

 In Beast of Winter DLC the boss fights were artifically hard. 4 Concentration and op Corossive Touch which I could only avoid with Withdrawal. BULL****! After this turn of events I was totally dreaded, especially when my reward was to sell my soul to Rymgarnd, because I had no resources left after the dragon fight ( and to be honest, i was tired of this ****) 

Now I'm against this Oracle of Wael fight, and **** this ****, I play on lowest difficulty for this crap. This game is not enjoyable to this point, though I like the concept of the story. 

Edited by Daudastund

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Ok, cool. So... Megabosses next?

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Posted (edited)

.

Edited by daven

nowt

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I think it's quite tough to balance this game. My original party was so incredibly weak vs what I create now. Choosing the wrong skills and abilities and the wrong party comp can make some fights really difficult. Also the in-game descriptions are so poor (much like in POE1) that a fresh player will not understand what he is choosing. Gearing and balancing the game towards people that breeze through on PotD makes the game incredibly difficult for new players.

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On 3/18/2020 at 3:21 PM, Daudastund said:

 In Beast of Winter DLC the boss fights were artifically hard. 4 Concentration and op Corossive Touch which I could only avoid with Withdrawal. BULL****! After this turn of events I was totally dreaded, especially when my reward was to sell my soul to Rymgarnd, because I had no resources left after the dragon fight ( and to be honest, i was tired of this ****) 

Now I'm against this Oracle of Wael fight, and **** this ****, I play on lowest difficulty for this crap. This game is not enjoyable to this point, though I like the concept of the story. 

A big problem with the PoE games is that a large portion of the loyal fanbase are vocal veteran powergaming players for whom the game seems ridiculously easy and would constantly complain thusly.  Personally, I'm not one of these power gamers.  I prefer a more role playing play style and usually play on the "Normal" difficulty setting.  This makes balancing the game incredibly difficult because there are also players who are new to this style of game who have a difficult time handling the toughest fights.  And honestly, I don't know how they can satisfy both ends of that spectrum.

 

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Um... this may be a hot take but: with the difficulty settings? ;)

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The difficulty doesn't balance the game. It changes stats of enemies. Balancing the game towards a specific difficulty will unbalance it for the others. You can't have both. The game has so many tools and options that people with no knowledge of the game may struggle while more experienced players have an easy time on PotD.

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11 hours ago, AeonsLegend said:

The difficulty doesn't balance the game. It changes stats of enemies.

That is not entirely correct. In most instances it also affects the composition of encounters (more/less enemies and different enemies).

So the goal IS to give every player a somewhat balanced experience. You can't please everyone though - and you shouldn't try. 

Somebody who can rush through the main game but gets completely stuck in one of the DLCs clearly is a very rare specimen of player. You can't balance a game for those players and not screw it for the others who usually improve while playing the game for some time until they reach the DLC areas - so usually you are more experiences once the late game begins.


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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

That is not entirely correct. In most instances it also affects the composition of encounters (more/less enemies and different enemies).

So the goal IS to give every player a somewhat balanced experience. You can't please everyone though - and you shouldn't try. 

Somebody who can rush through the main game but gets completely stuck in one of the DLCs clearly is a very rare specimen of player. You can't balance a game for those players and not screw it for the others who usually improve while playing the game for some time until they reach the DLC areas - so usually you are more experiences once the late game begins.

True it makes it more difficult. That was my point. But that is not balancing Boeroer. Balancing means how things affect eachother as a whole. If you balance the game around a single difficulty setting then it is likely you unbalance it for lower difficulty settings. POE2 has built it around complexity, but complexity doesn't disappear when you just start the game and play it on easy.

Edited by AeonsLegend

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I wouldn't call myself a power gamer, but I thought the DLC fights were designed so that they were difficult but doable by a regular party. Especially the Beast of Winter's Neriscyrlas (had to google the spelling, I got it *almost* right the first time, except for swapping the y and i's position) fight has a bunch of built-in aids like the spirits you can get to fight with you. I'm not gonna say it's easy, but if you pay attention to how to counter her abilities, it's perfectly doable even if you don't have a particularly minmaxed party.

The Oracle of Wael is rather hard and it took me a fair few tries on Veteran, *but* you're also given some time to prepare at the start of the fight and I think an important skill to learn during it is which targets to prioritize and how to interrupt some of its abilities (yes, theoretically it's immune to interrupts, but no one said anything about Prone, eheh). That said, I do believe that, outside of the mega-bosses, it's the hardest fight in the game, so I completely understand the frustration.

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Posted (edited)

The game was balanced around normal difficulty. And all things concerned it is a very well balanced game - superior in that regard to most other RPGs.

Now - "normal" players who start into the game will become better, more accustomed to the mechanics, more experienced and will have a lot more things at their disposal towards the end of the game. So naturally you have to make the late game content significantly harder (even in the scope of one difficulty tier and harder than the character level suggests) than the early game - which starts of with easy fights and have the character of a tutorial (besides the obvious "shockers" like Gorecci Street which are supposed to show you that this ride will not always be so easy as the fight against single boars at the beach).

Unsurprisingly most players seem to have no severe problems with the increased diffuculty of the DLCs. It is to be expected that:
a) late game DLCs are more difficult than the content before and
b) players who came that far are more experienced than when they started the game
- that should be the case for all difficulty tiers.

So in order to somewhat balance the game for most players you have to take those things into account. You can't balance it perfectly for all players.  

Difficulty tiers allow all sorts of players of differnt skill level (concerning RPG mechanics) to enjoy the game. BUT: they also allow you to enjoy the content you are suddenly not good enough for (or all of a sudden you are too good for . maybe because you suddenly understtod some profound mechanics better). Because you can switch to a different difficulty setting during the game. So if you feel an encounter is too hard for you and you become frustrated: you can easily tune down the difficulty for that encounter. That's more reasonable than ranting about it while countless others seem to have no problem with it. 

The problem is not the balance of the difficulty tier or the balance of the whole game - it is the ego of the player who can't accept that she/he has to turn down the difficulty in order to be able to progress - his/her inability to cope with frustration, too. 

So the answer to the question "How can they can satisfy both ends of that spectrum?" is definetely "with different difficulty settings". Because you can not only start at different difficulties - you can also switch during a playthrough.

What on earth could Obsidian offer you in addition to make the game approachable for individual players? Make a deep survey and an IQ test before you start and then procedurally alter the difficulty while you advance through the game? 

Sounds cool - but maybe the easier solution would be to put a reasonable amount of resources into balancing the game fairly well and then trust that the majority of players will not lose their sh!t while playing it.   

Edited by Boeroer
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They could start with better descriptions. Crap like "increases" or "decreases significantly" mean nothing. And they're even wrong in this game.

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That is correct. And I was one of the first to point out that Deadfire's descriptions are nearly as vague and obscure as those of PoE.

But this is deflecting because it has nothing to do with the problem of the OP who could play the game fairly well even with the crappy desriptions but suddenly hit a wall in the DLCs and only then complained about the difficulty.


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1 hour ago, Boeroer said:

That is correct. And I was one of the first to point out that Deadfire's descriptions are nearly as vague and obscure as those of PoE.

But this is deflecting because it has nothing to do with the problem of the OP who could play the game fairly well even with the crappy desriptions but suddenly hit a wall in the DLCs and only then complained about the difficulty.

I didn't play the DLC's with my first PT. I'm sure it would have been very very difficult. I loaded up the old save and was wondering how I ever got through some of the encounters. It being normal mode might have something to do with it. Thing is you can't balance a game around multiple difficulty settings and end up with a perfectly balanced game. The game requires you to have in depth knowledge of the mechanics to make the most out of it. I think the DLC are more difficult than the base game, which imo is fine. 

but we're just making assumptions. If we don't know the OPs party composition, abilities, stats and equipment we can't really help in making a correct judgement call on why the game would be difficult. I can give you a crap party with crap equipment and make even you struggle on normal mode Boeoer. Well at least a little ;)

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Posted (edited)
On 3/18/2020 at 8:21 PM, Daudastund said:

 In Beast of Winter DLC the boss fights were artifically hard. 4 Concentration and op Corossive Touch which I could only avoid with Withdrawal. BULL****! After this turn of events I was totally dreaded, especially when my reward was to sell my soul to Rymgarnd, because I had no resources left after the dragon fight ( and to be honest, i was tired of this ****) 

Now I'm against this Oracle of Wael fight, and **** this ****, I play on lowest difficulty for this crap. This game is not enjoyable to this point, though I like the concept of the story. 

You don't have to sell your soul, Rimrgard is a Ha... Ho... you must confront him and fight his per (the Giant beast of winter). In my first game, i arrived here without resting (0 improve/spells recharge) after the fight against the corrupted dragon, when i understood it was a fight, i loaded the save at the beginning of the area and rested... then i fought the beast .... more easily as cipher in hard mode than as wizard in normal mode...

Edited by fced

Pillars of Eternity PS4 - RPG fan - Native language French, so please forgive my poor English speaking ...

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Posted (edited)
22 hours ago, ABearIsHere said:

I wouldn't call myself a power gamer, but I thought the DLC fights were designed so that they were difficult but doable by a regular party. Especially the Beast of Winter's Neriscyrlas (had to google the spelling, I got it *almost* right the first time, except for swapping the y and i's position) fight has a bunch of built-in aids like the spirits you can get to fight with you. I'm not gonna say it's easy, but if you pay attention to how to counter her abilities, it's perfectly doable even if you don't have a particularly minmaxed party.

The Oracle of Wael is rather hard and it took me a fair few tries on Veteran, *but* you're also given some time to prepare at the start of the fight and I think an important skill to learn during it is which targets to prioritize and how to interrupt some of its abilities (yes, theoretically it's immune to interrupts, but no one said anything about Prone, eheh). That said, I do believe that, outside of the mega-bosses, it's the hardest fight in the game, so I completely understand the frustration.

Agreed, the last Oracle of Wael (with the archmage male) was the toughest fight of the game (watcher wizard lv18 + Aloth + Fassina lv16 , Eder and Palegina), Hardest boss in the game...
i had to retry 5 times because each time the game crashed randomly, the first time i beat them i was not able to speak with them in the end, so i had to retry another time, this fight was really hard...
I am in my second game, and just arrived in Wael Temple in hard mode, everybody lv20, hope it will not be the same...

Problem is when you are lv18 Forgotten sanctum quest appear in quest menu at your level (no white/red dead head icon) so you think it is ok, i can do it, but to be comfortable it is better to do it as lv 19-20...
Beast of winter can be easily done at lv 18

Edited by fced

Pillars of Eternity PS4 - RPG fan - Native language French, so please forgive my poor English speaking ...

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I stay with it.. Corrosive Touch from that dragon is totaly op, 60-70 damage per 3 sec, kills me 2 times before being able to deal with the Concentration. Without Withdrawal I wouldnt have any chance. My party consisted of Ydwin (Rogue), Eder(Fighter), Xoti (Monk/Priest), Aloth(Wizard), and me (Harbinger).  Aloth didnt have the spell deflection skill at that time. Second dragon fight was actually pretty easy.. on Veteran. 

Oracle of Wael fight, just **** that. Immunity to interupts , but the biggest problem was the constant debuffs and damage pings, which cannot be escaped from, even with Withdrawal!!

At the end I lost only because I had no spells/resources left, and unless the devs wont fixed that crap, that I can only empower once per battle, I keep playing this chapter on easiest difficulty. I was lvl 18 when started this dlc, hit 19 after a few quests, but my party (Fassina, Aloth, Eder, Pallegina) were all beween 16-18).  

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Posted (edited)

 I usually play on Veteran so I can use the story companions without being that underpowered, so this isn't meant for PotD tips.

The best way to get through a seemingly unbeatable encounter is, in my experience, using either really specific equipment or some type of special rest-food that fits the boss/encounter. Captain's Banquet or that reflective shield for Splintered Reef comes to mind, or abusing Shark Soup against the Porokoa. Not that fun if you like the challenge, but once frustration sets in, abusing food is usually an easy way to get past a hurdle.

Otherwise, it's basically finding a way to keep control over the boss: interrupts, Prone, Temporal Cocoons, the works. Every Boss'll have something that works, and from then on it comes down to knowing when's the best moment to use them. The DLC's are quite a notable difficulty spike compared to the base game, and the Oracle's the hardest fight in the game (barring megabosses), so taking a certain amount of reloads is to be expected. Doesn't mean it's not damn frustrating, unfortunately.

Also, a big problem is that it's easy to pick the "wrong" spells, attributes or party composition, and then discover you can't stop Neriscyrlas from casting his Corrosive Touch/Safeguard, or can't properly CC the Oracle in any way. Deadfire isn't quite as bad as e.g. Kingmaker in that regard (and far better than Kingmaker's "combat is either way too easy or flat-out impossible late-game"), but it's something every CRPG suffers from.

In a way it's part of the charm: you can beat anything with proper preparation, but if you don't, gods have mercy on you.

Edited by Taevyr

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Guest Ontarah
Posted (edited)
On 3/27/2020 at 9:00 AM, AeonsLegend said:

I think it's quite tough to balance this game. My original party was so incredibly weak vs what I create now. Choosing the wrong skills and abilities and the wrong party comp can make some fights really difficult. Also the in-game descriptions are so poor (much like in POE1) that a fresh player will not understand what he is choosing. Gearing and balancing the game towards people that breeze through on PotD makes the game incredibly difficult for new players.

This.  Another thing that comes up both for combat builds and for story RPG based builds is that having a huge range of options that are theoretically plausible isn't as great as it sounds because the game is finite and there is realistically only so much variety of what you encounter.

For instance in POE1 you fight a *lot* of undead and vessels so prioritizing builds for that actually matters.  Meanwhile, in POEII you don't fight many high level undead but you fight a ton of higher level rangers and druids and various nature magic havers.   This has a practical consequence of meaning that prepping for dominate/terrify/charm matters a lot in POE1 and is mostly irrelevant in POE2.  Meanwhile, you had better have something that deals with being spammed with various Thorny Roots type attacks that hobble you. 

Or, there's hardly any situations in which the Religion skill matters because you just aren't dealing with a lot of heavily religious quests in this game.  Meanwhile, survival is super important because a huge part of the game involves trekking through virgin jungle.  Or there were a *ton* of dialogue Resolve checks in POE1 and in POEII the dominant one seems to be Insight.     

The range of versatility in the ruleset is great if you are trying to create a campaign setting for tabletop with infinite possibilities.  But in the reality of a finite game some skills really objectively don't matter that much and some are completely critical.  And there's really no way to know which are which without just playing and potentially getting it wrong or being told.  

For some people, the process of figuring this out is deeply fun and exciting.  For others it's tedious and miserable.  The problem comes when you are somebody who neither wants the combat to be wildly skewed in your favor and overly easy but also honestly doesn't really give a crap about learning the ruleset inside and out.  In that case, you don't want Storytime mode and you also don't want Veteran mode.  And "Normal" does a bad job balancing this in my opinion.  I wish there was some kind of "We're going to teach you to play mode."   

I don't know how to actually execute this but in operation a more meaningful division of difficulty for me looks like:

1. I want to learn everything on my own mode/Throw everything you've got at me

2. I'm not currently great at this game but I want to learn it and I'd appreciate some help learning mode. 

3. I don't care about getting better/I just want to win mode. 

 

Edited by Ontarah
extra thought

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Guest Ontarah
On 3/27/2020 at 2:26 PM, Crucis said:

A big problem with the PoE games is that a large portion of the loyal fanbase are vocal veteran powergaming players for whom the game seems ridiculously easy and would constantly complain thusly.  Personally, I'm not one of these power gamers.  I prefer a more role playing play style and usually play on the "Normal" difficulty setting.  This makes balancing the game incredibly difficult because there are also players who are new to this style of game who have a difficult time handling the toughest fights.  And honestly, I don't know how they can satisfy both ends of that spectrum.

 

I personally think this is why Deadfire bombed on sales.  I've heard multiple stories from folks I know who were basically like "I was super excited by the idea of this and I've been hearing people lovingly talk about BG for *years* so I'm totally gonna try it!"  Followed by trying it and basically going "What madmen ever thought such death by game manual type gameplay is fun?  NVM."  

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On 3/27/2020 at 7:26 PM, Crucis said:

A big problem with the PoE games is that a large portion of the loyal fanbase are vocal veteran powergaming players for whom the game seems ridiculously easy and would constantly complain thusly.  Personally, I'm not one of these power gamers.  I prefer a more role playing play style and usually play on the "Normal" difficulty setting. 

I don’t believe so. I am not a power gamer - I have build better and worse characters but my first character is always purely roleplaying one - at least in PoEs, which allows to be beated even with unoptimised parties. 

I played PoE1 until Adra Dragon without really understanding mechanics as it wasn’t necessary. 

I don’t think, that PoEs issues are overwhelming depth or even difficulty, but the nature of this kind of system - turn-based design doesn’t translate well into real-time: a roll and stat based combat system, isn’t a natural fit for a real time combat. I am willing to bet, that most players stare at centre of the screen, while the actual gameplay takes place in small boxes in the upper left, and bottom right corners. Big bosses, or DLCs simply raise the difficulty to the level where players who don’t pay attention to actual gameplay systems won’t be able to brute force their way through. 

the thing that Divinities excelled at, was moving those systems over to the main screen - high advantage, environments, armor mechanic - even if I might not be a fan of how actual systems work, the way they are presented are easy to notice, engage with and they draw attention to themselves, 

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that corrosive touch are ridiculously strong

which is why so many player like to use it

its effect on teammate can be suppressed by a very cheap low level item twice per rest or a priest spell

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