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1 hour ago, thelee said:

it's not your fault, it really is a game design trap. someday someone will design a game system where using consumables doesn't trigger people's instinctual hoarding instinct. i got used to using up consumables in poe/deadfire, i just started pathfinder: kingmaker and i'm falling into the (not-using-) consumable trap all over again. some instincts die hard, i guess :)

I can't wait to start Kingmaker next, you gotta tell me what you think of it once you get your head around it. If you remember :)

 

51 minutes ago, Scrapulous said:

But but but I might need them later!

It's a reasonable player instinct, though. Is the game harder early, or late? You can't know. Will this potion turn out to be the magic bullet in a specific fight? You won't be sure until you've played the game through a couple of times. The Adra Ban discussion highlights a great example. What's the actual precious material? Surely it can't be this one that's used to upgrade my weapons to middle-tier.

 

It's even worse then that, often by the time you have the knowledge to know to use consumables, that very knowledge allows you to defeat the encounters without them anyway. That's exactly what has mostly happened for me in Deadfire.

Looking online to use consumables to trivialise encounters without prior knowledge sucks too and just feels bad.

I think the issue is transparency. Deadfire is a moderately good example. One of my pet peeves is that I can't "scout" monsters stats until the fight actually starts, or I've completed the bestiary, and I'm still fairly lazy about using the bestiary. Maybe lazy isn't the right word, but stopping and reading the bestiary before every fight to remind myself about what this creatures stats or abilities are can feel pace breaking. If I could simply stealth up to enemies, pause the game, highlight over them, and have all the relevant information I needed to make educated decisions, along with hotlinks maybe to greater and more detailed information, I'd probably use different consumables way more. What's killing you, or what could kill you just needs to be more obvious! I don't think it takes away from the challenge or the mystery of the game either. I mean I guess sometimes it would, for boss fights etc. or encounters where enemies show up instead of being presented to you before, but I don't have answers on how to fix that...

The game is either balanced around using consumables, in which case make the information needed to use them really obvious, or it isn't, and in that case, just remove consumables, because using them often ends up trivializing content once you "discover" it.

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if i were to be honest with myself, i think the games that got consumables closest to "right" is something like final fantasy tactics.

there the game, as you say, is pretty much balanced around the expectation of using potions and phoenix downs and throwing bombs or some such - if not that, then the spell equivalents from a white mage or black mage. there's also a pronounced lack of scarcity - even if you can only afford like 10 potions going into one fight, you can be assured that you'll be able to buy more at the next town after the fight.

there's also katana, which one of the classes can use as a consumable - everytime you use a katana there's a 15% chance or so it breaks, but you can buy more katanas. There's also unique katanas with powerful effects, and I guarantee you most people who ever played a samurai in FFT hardly ever used those unique katanas for their abilities even for "only" a 15% chance of losing it, for the same reason that it's frequently a struggle to use a basic potion in a party-based RPG like deadfire; you never know if there's a harder fight just around the corner you *really* should save it for.

 

the reason why i say "if i were to be honest with myself" is because it's far from my ideal world where you'd have consumables that are (1) interesting [in deadfire you get unique effects with potions of impediment or invisibility or ascendance, and in poe1 you got some unique spell scrolls], (2) with the expectation that you could really get a leg up on a fight with them (instead of them just being part of the standard expectation in every fight like in FFT or Diablo 1/2/3), but also (3) don't induce anxiety to use every single time. it really seems like no one has really figured out a way to get all three.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, thelee said:

if you plan on doing some megabosses i am a big fan of shattered vengeance over kapana taga - kapana taga has -1 PEN and compensates by doing two different damage types, but i find most of the times I don't care about the secondary damage type i just would switch if blunt isn't enough. shattered vengance can also get you bonus engagement (it is also super on a non-tank since it can be upgraded to grant you immunity to engagement). however if you don't plan on doing megabosses, i'm not sure there are enough bullet sponges left to make it worth switching out and upgrading (pretty much just a few fights and final boss in SSS and then the endgame), since by this point you are probably beefed up enough to shred trash mobs without the need for the shattered vengeance damage buff.

does eder have flail proficiency? flails can be pretty handy, and there's a particularly good religion-powered flail in SSS that would be excellent for mobs.

I missed responding to this.

Kapana Taga + Cadhu is fine for mobs, since for me, Eder's only job against mobs is to survive and hold them in place for Aloth to nuke on top of.

I have Eder scripted to switch to sword & board + defensive stance + shield wall when engaged by multiple enemies and then switch to conqueror stance + dual wielding against dispersed enemies + bosses. He has both two weapon style & sword and shield style.

I was more curious about which two weapons were worth equipping for single target damage and dual wielding. E.g. Grave Calling was great because it was inherently Legendary, but a portion of it's abilities are vessel/spirit only. What might be a better more universal choice? Based on my brief research, it's probably Scordeo's Edge + Beza's or Tarn's I think? Ignoring immunities of course, I keep Stalker's Patience + Rust's Poignard as backup.

Edited by NotBad
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Posted (edited)
38 minutes ago, thelee said:

if i were to be honest with myself, i think the games that got consumables closest to "right" is something like final fantasy tactics.

there the game, as you say, is pretty much balanced around the expectation of using potions and phoenix downs and throwing bombs or some such - if not that, then the spell equivalents from a white mage or black mage. there's also a pronounced lack of scarcity - even if you can only afford like 10 potions going into one fight, you can be assured that you'll be able to buy more at the next town after the fight.

there's also katana, which one of the classes can use as a consumable - everytime you use a katana there's a 15% chance or so it breaks, but you can buy more katanas. There's also unique katanas with powerful effects, and I guarantee you most people who ever played a samurai in FFT hardly ever used those unique katanas for their abilities even for "only" a 15% chance of losing it, for the same reason that it's frequently a struggle to use a basic potion in a party-based RPG like deadfire; you never know if there's a harder fight just around the corner you *really* should save it for.

 

the reason why i say "if i were to be honest with myself" is because it's far from my ideal world where you'd have consumables that are (1) interesting [in deadfire you get unique effects with potions of impediment or invisibility or ascendance, and in poe1 you got some unique spell scrolls], (2) with the expectation that you could really get a leg up on a fight with them (instead of them just being part of the standard expectation in every fight like in FFT or Diablo 1/2/3), but also (3) don't induce anxiety to use every single time. it really seems like no one has really figured out a way to get all three.

It definitely helps that one of the jobs in FFT are balanced around using said consumables. A Chemist is a darn decent class from start to finish, either as a secondary job or Mustadio's special machinist job and it's your only source of healing at the start of the game.The precedent to use consumables is already set right from the beginning. Definitely a great example. Priest spells also took time to charge, and you also had things like auto potion etc. which made using consumables painless.

I think if I remember right, the purchasable Katana powers were basically better then or equivalent to the rare ones anyway, so that worked out fine too in its own way. It's been so bloody long since I thought about this game. I was very young when I devoured FFT, and not against duping the heck out of those rare Katana anyway >_>... I think maybe Masamune was the best non-purchasable power, with Regen + Haste? Otherwise, there was a purchasable Katana that damaged every enemy in a line, and another purchasable one that provided provided protect + shell. IIRC those were the staples.

Ninja's also threw weapons, and THAT was hard to use at first, but even then, I think the second best item to throw was a purchasable axe if I remember correctly, so it was OK too.

 

Edited by NotBad
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39 minutes ago, NotBad said:

I was more curious about which two weapons were worth equipping for single target damage and dual wielding. E.g. Grave Calling was great because it was inherently Legendary, but a portion of it's abilities are vessel/spirit only. What might be a better more universal choice? Based on my brief research, it's probably Scordeo's Edge + Beza's or Tarn's I think? Ignoring immunities of course, I keep Stalker's Patience + Rust's Poignard as backup.

scordeo's edge is very good but these days i avoid using it or upgrade it suboptimally because the temptation to exploit blade cascade is too great, that's how good it is. even without blade cascade, the increasing accuracy boost is crazy, which for you would probably be adaptive for generic +20 accuracy when maxed out. you can't go wrong with it.

tarn's is actually probably better overall than grave calling outside of metagaming and vessel fights - you don't have to ramp up your lash (which can take a while if dual-wielding with another weapon) so while grave calling maxes out higher, tarn's starts off higher which means grave calling spends a lot of time initially just catching up. it also has bonus PEN, which is always nice.

i also really like aldris blade of crow or whatever. it has a really great on-crit effect and the +10 shock damage is affected by other damage modifiers. it has also a subtle syenrgy if you pair with tarn's and its upgrade to reduce target deflection, making crits more common. (though if you're going with this synergy alone, scordeo's adaptive upgarde is better)

 

if you've done the valian quest line there's also animancer's energy blade, which is great for tough fights because of its speed and its ability to completely ignore AR. (it does lower damage, but it also has only a 3s recoveyr instead of a 4s recovery) this was good enough that i mained it for one of my glass cannon builds against megabosses.

 

edit: with eder, you probably have lots of primary attacks instead of full attacks - is tha tright? if so, you might just want one weapon and then a blunderbuss. that way you could max out on one weapon at the cost of having worse full attacks. (this also has fun synergies with the clear out family of abilities)

Edited by thelee
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9 minutes ago, thelee said:

edit: with eder, you probably have lots of primary attacks instead of full attacks - is tha tright? if so, you might just want one weapon and then a blunderbuss. that way you could max out on one weapon at the cost of having worse full attacks. (this also has fun synergies with the clear out family of abilities)

I don't think so actually. He mostly uses base Crippling Strike + Penetrating Strike. He also has Knockdown, but rarely uses it over Penetrating Strike resource wise. I didn't take Clear Out or Power Strike, no room. I originally loved the idea of Clear Out + Club modal on crowds, but ultimately, the accuracy boost on mobs was unnecessary/win-more and finicky to get off anyway against multiple fortitude checks.

 

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18 hours ago, thelee said:

my ideal world where you'd have consumables that are (1) interesting [in deadfire you get unique effects with potions of impediment or invisibility or ascendance, and in poe1 you got some unique spell scrolls], (2) with the expectation that you could really get a leg up on a fight with them (instead of them just being part of the standard expectation in every fight like in FFT or Diablo 1/2/3), but also (3) don't induce anxiety to use every single time. it really seems like no one has really figured out a way to get all three.

I guess if I were to try to meet all these, I'd give each character one potion slot by default (how realistic is it to drink anything in a battle, much less four things? also gives the opportunity for gear or abilities to increase the base. Also tightens the tactical choice about which potion to use.). Potions would be 1/encounter. Finding more means more of your characters can use that potion type in a given fight. Probably the same deal with scrolls. Deadfire already has all of these elements, just not assembled into a coherent system (or rather, assembled into separate coherent systems).

18 hours ago, thelee said:

scordeo's edge is very good but these days i avoid using it or upgrade it suboptimally because the temptation to exploit blade cascade is too great, that's how good it is. even without blade cascade, the increasing accuracy boost is crazy, which for you would probably be adaptive for generic +20 accuracy when maxed out. you can't go wrong with it.

tarn's is actually probably better overall than grave calling outside of metagaming and vessel fights - you don't have to ramp up your lash (which can take a while if dual-wielding with another weapon) so while grave calling maxes out higher, tarn's starts off higher which means grave calling spends a lot of time initially just catching up. it also has bonus PEN, which is always nice.

i also really like aldris blade of crow or whatever. it has a really great on-crit effect and the +10 shock damage is affected by other damage modifiers. it has also a subtle syenrgy if you pair with tarn's and its upgrade to reduce target deflection, making crits more common. (though if you're going with this synergy alone, scordeo's adaptive upgarde is better)

 

if you've done the valian quest line there's also animancer's energy blade

My problem with all of these (except Tarn's Respite) is how late in the game they all seem to come. I don't enjoy building around things like Scordeo's Edge, Engoliero do Espirs, or Voidwheel because so much of the game is behind me by the time I get them. Should I just get comfortable with rushing certain content and ... heh, maybe using a lot of consumables to get it done earlier than I might otherwise be able to? :)

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1 minute ago, Scrapulous said:

My problem with all of these (except Tarn's Respite) is how late in the game they all seem to come. I don't enjoy building around things like Scordeo's Edge, Engoliero do Espirs, or Voidwheel because so much of the game is behind me by the time I get them. Should I just get comfortable with rushing certain content and ... heh, maybe using a lot of consumables to get it done earlier than I might otherwise be able to? :)

the aldris blade doesn't come that late - ashen maw. i suppose it depends on how you run content. i tend to do most of the story content (hasongo and ashen maw) in one go around level 12-15. that still leaves more faction quests, high-level areas, and all the DLC, so it seems more mid-game to me.

that being said, i don't think these are necessarily "build-arounds" (with the exception of blade cascade), just weapons to look forward to. with the exception of blade cascade, they won't really make or break a build.

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Posted (edited)

And I'm finished!

So my final thoughts, spoilers for anyone who wants to stop reading here!!!

 

 

Story wise - definitely has some narrative and pacing issues which I won't get into - plenty said about that already all over the place. The story was satisfying however, for me.

When I first started my journey (over multiple restarts) I definitely went in feeling 100% pro RDC. The assasinations and Atsura ended that quickly. Something about their presentation felt off to me as well. They almost felt like a parody of their own motivations in the Deadfire.

I was then dead set on the Anarchist route. I won't ever get behind slavery, and of course the Huana caste system is probably not much better. No amount of logical loopholes either are going to allow me to believe leaving pirates in control is/was the right choice for Deadfire either. I was left really feeling like I had no good choice and saying a big F YOU to everyone was the best of a bunch of bad choices.

That's the route I  ended up going with.  In the final conversation with Eothas however, he mentioned directly that by not choosing sides, I had effectively lost my own hope in humanity as a redeemable species, which was the exact narrative I was against in relation to the gods as a whole.

With current world events, and thoughts that lately occupy my mind a lot, that actually hit way to close to home. I'm judging 3 (maybe 4, but I mean... pirates are pirates) cultures by their actions at a specific point in time, giving no thought to their potential redeemable features for the future, and auto assuming their negatives are going to be what defines them for the future going forward. In that context, Eothas actually felt like the better Hero and and felt/saw more in humanity then I did!

If I judged real life humanity the same way and wished chaos upon humanity for all our past actions, I'm essentially accepting that we aren't redeemable as a species either. I'm not mentally there yet.

My thoughts on faction choice then got a lot more complicated and I still haven't made my pick yet... Instinctually, I am pro Huana, but that mostly seems like a black and white decision based on it being their land, their home, and theoretically everyone else probably should GTFO or at least work with them with genuine integrity, rather then systematically undermining them for their own gain. In some sense, that is the line. If I come to the conclusion that all the factions are redeemable in some way (again, except maybe the pirates...), then ultimately, it's the Huana's land, soooooooooo... In order to not support the Huana, I'd have to believe that they were so set in their ways, that progress could never be made, but I don't have enough evidence to say that is so, and I'd therefore be back to concluding again that they aren't redeemable, despite their flaws.

Anyway, interesting stuff.

 

SSS was a bit of a wash, but I might have also been suffering from a bit of gameplay fatigue by this point. I genuinely expected challenging battles that would force me to use those bloody consumables again. I didn't use them, and I think I only struggled on two arena fights, mostly (some were hard, but not wipe multiple times tear your hair out hard)... The one where you change into a bunch of monsters (cute Obsidian, cute...), and the one where you had to protect 3 research tables I believe from being set on fire were the two most difficult ones. They were mostly mechanically frustrating however, rather then challenging.

It's probably because Ancient Memory really is that OP. E.g. most fights really are easily solved by Driving Echoes + repeated Missile spam on Aloth. The research table fight was eventually trivialized because I could cast unlimited amounts of Withdraw on them as well. Though in some sense, the outcome might be the same if I think about it, as without Ancient Memory, I'd probably be using a stack of scrolls instead. E.g. repeated Missile spam would probably just get replaced by repeated Maelstrom spam via scrolls, ditto with Withdraw. Dunno...

Edited by NotBad
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