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Unwinnable Encounter(s)?  

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  1. 1. Would you favor having one or more encounters that are unwinnable in game?

    • No, my party is the "ne plus ultra" of this world and we should be able to overcome everything eventually.
    • Yes, but only *one* and only on an optional sidequest.
    • Yes, but only on optional sidequests.
    • Yes, but don't overuse them because I'm here to have fun, not to end up frustrated and ticked off.


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I have no problem with some impossible encounters as long as it's one that's easy to avoid. At a later point, I always enjoy reading how people managed to beat the "impossible" encounters. You know they will for sure. Think Firebead or Drizzt in BG1.

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I don't like when something is unwinnable by design. I hate it, in fact. However, when you're supposed to lose and you are fighting against the odds (like fighting against a party of a much higher level), but you can overcome the challenge at least theoretically, than I am fine with that.

 

Whilst it's not related to the story in any way, fighting a black troll early on in Gothic 2 immediately springs to my mind. There was also a nice encounter near the end of Dragon Age, right after you dealt with lord WhatHisNameWas (who betrayed your family) and was trying to leave his mantion a group of guards led by an important NPC stopped you and ordered you to surrender. The fight was supposed to be hard (it wasn't, but it still was one of the hardest fights the game) and so you could surrender and end up in the dungeon or fight and lose (and end up in the dungeon anyway) or win and get a very nice sword and an experience boost as a reward.

Edited by True_Spike
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If by unwinnable encounters you mean come back later and try again but it will still be hard, then yes that sounds good.

 

If you mean no matter what you do you will never beat this monster, even though you can attack it or will be attacked by it then no, waste of time even putting it in the game.

 

Because everything in the game must exist only to fuel the players ego or to be killed by him?

 

I DETEST, DESPISE, HATE that kind of thinking.

And now I hate you too for utttering it.

* YOU ARE A WRONGULARITY FROM WHICH NO RIGHT CAN ESCAPE! *

Chuck Norris was wrong once - He thought HE made a mistake!

 

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I would find it stupid as hell that you can win every fights.

 

Sure, it depends what your level is by the end, and the lore. But the "stronger" beings/people should be able to own your party without any trouble whatosever, whatever you do. Maybe if you go in extreme preparation mode, you could -possibly- make them run or something. If you do so, you should win some pretty incredible artifact or some such.

 

Let's say, for example, the king. If you attack him, all his bodyguards would come out of the shadows and attack you- if you manage to survive, you should win something, but it shouldn't be a "winnable"fight unless this game already goes in the "epic" tier.

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Because everything in the game must exist only to fuel the players ego or to be killed by him?

 

I DETEST, DESPISE, HATE that kind of thinking.

And now I hate you too for utttering it.

 

Very little logic to your point of view. This IS a game. The fun in a game is being challenged and overcoming the challenge to triumph. That can be as small as pickpocketing someone to as large as defeating a dragon.

 

As far as I can see your design would throw in random killer encounters for no reason other than to remind the player he is playing a game. Here is a monster, it is so strong you cannot defeat it, look at it and tremble and continue on your way! Yawn, what a boring waste of time.

 

Fine If I have to level up and come back later, fine if I have to try and try again to find the right combination of attacks and spells, fine if I need to recruit help from some faction, fine if I need some specific magical item.

 

Not fine if I just have to ignore the monster because...what?...I need to be reminded my character is just a character in a game and not an awesome priest righting all the wrongs of the world?

 

Why do you think just because everything is defeatable that it is pandering to the players ego? Because you think that way? How about people that just want an entertaining challenging game with the possibility to triumph over all adversity because that would actually be fun and entertaining? I live in the real world, I want to play in a world were I can blow up dragons (with some effort). Meaningless invincibility serves no purpose.

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Because everything in the game must exist only to fuel the players ego or to be killed by him?

 

I DETEST, DESPISE, HATE that kind of thinking.

And now I hate you too for utttering it.

Everything in the game world should exist to provide the players with an interesting experience. That can involve not stroking their ego and without killing.

 

Just make sure it's not about belittling them for petty reasons. Too many DMs fall for that trap and try to hide behind higher ideals. Teaching the player is, in my opinion, an interesting thing. But the line between teaching and obnoxious preaching is hard for some to see.

 

I think the healthy approach is to maintain a level of consistency. And focus on using rewards for appreciated behavior instead of punishment for behaviors your dislike. Give them a weapon for minding the signs, don't set them back an hour for not.

"Show me a man who "plays fair" and I'll show you a very talented cheater."
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I personally do not like scripted unwinnable encounters. It is absolutely what I despised about Witcher 2 / Kotor 2. Even in the final battle in Witcher 2 the developers stole your well earned victory by replaying the battle in a cutscene how they wanted it to go.

 

I don't know how many of you might have played Curse of the Azure Bonds, but early on there were extremely difficult encounters that could be skipped. The most difficult one was at the top of a tower with something like 20 black dragons -- an almost impossible encounter to win at the level the character was at. However, I was eventually able to come upon a combination of character build plus tactics to beat all 20 dragons. This was the same challenge as in BG 1 trying to defeat Drizzit. He was clearly labeled as an unwinnable encounter. However, with the right combination of character build plus tactics it was a just a very difficult encounter.

 

In both of the above cases the player was not forced into fighting. The player had to choose to start the fight and then get owned as it took quite a bit of head scratching to figure out how to beat each encounter. However, the payoff was quite large for each -- massive XP in Curse and great equipment in BG1.

 

I think too many of the immersion people forget that ultimately we are playing a game. Some people enjoy figuring out the tactical puzzles and some just want to enjoy the encounter without that. Trying to force a style of play onto a player takes away character agency and you might as well just read a story.

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I voted no because I don't believe that any encounter should ever be strictly "unwinnable". I'm a strong supporter of having encounters that do not scales and so will be impossible at a low-enough level. I'm also a strong supporter of ridiculously difficult encounters that need to be tackled in specific ways. Also, I think that there should be ridiculously difficult, but avoidable, encounters such as the aforementioned battle with Drizzit.

 

Examples:

  • In BG: The Original Saga, there are many areas that have creatures that are too strong to be defeated by a low-level party. The example I can think of from the top of is the Ogre Mage in the exterior Firewine Bridge area that is held in a jar or something and is only released if you try to help the NPC with it.
     
  • In BG: ToSC there are two fights in Durlag's Tower which I would place in the very difficult category. These are the fight with the Succubus on one of the upper levels and the end fight with the Death/Demon Knight with the mirror.
     

Edited by Ape_Style
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Brown Bear- attacks Squirrel
Brown Bear did 18 damage to Squirrel
Squirrel- death

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Here's the crucial thing: the game must never break its own rules.

 

Don't fudge the big bad's stats or blow on the virtual dice; don't switch me into a cutscene halfway through. As long as the rules are adhered to, you can throw in a super-tough enemy, or two... or as many as you think you can get away with without boring the player. In a well-structured RPG there's no monster levelled so high that it can't succumb to a combination of its own rotten luck and the player's good luck - or, best of all, some lethal, carefully planned combination of rare items, potions and mixed spell-effects. That's the way it should be.

 

And that's me speaking as someone who beat a dragon in BG2 by accidentally polymorphing it into a squirrel.

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I don't think any encounter should be "Unwinnable" but I'm not against being incredibly difficult and has a different result depending on how you do win or lose rather than a game over.

 

One of my old favourite classic D&D games was Curse of the Azure Bonds on the Atari ST. You had a Dracolich talk to you and as you to come with him, if you chose to fight him instead it was crazy hard but for winning you got a ton of xp and some loot and you ended up getting to where he was taking you to, but through exploration. If your party fell instead of game over he just carried you to his master.

"He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster...when you gaze long into the abyss the abyss also gazes into you..." - Friedrich Nietzsche

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I don’t think there should be any truly unwinnable encounters, but I think it is fun to have near unwinnable optional encounters in the game that are designed only to be beat by the highest level & best equipped parties that are using good tactics and lore dug up in the game world. As a player I want optional content that is going to challenge me outside of the normal difficulty of the campaign, it adds something new to strive towards in additional play throughs.

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depends on our definitions. For some reason I'm okay with devs throwing enemies that are so powerful that it's virtually impossible to kill them (yes, even if they are way, way, way, way more powerful than what the game allows your character to level-up), on the other hand I would hate some enemy to be undefeatable in a hard-coded way. In practice, its the same and I'm an idiot, but the principle of such design decisions is what matters.

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Enemies that you can't fight NOW because you are too weak or enemies where you need a special item for? Sure. Enemies, that you can't fight and kill ever? Retarded. I didn't like the fact in PS:T that I couldn't harm Lothar, he should've just been super strong and the game should end like it normally does when I kill an important person.

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Extremely difficult is fine (great actually!) But an encounter that is truly unwinnable in a computer game is just bad design.

 

People will just waste hours trying to overcome it before giving up and going to the forums to bitch about. If it becomes known that the encounter was designed to be unbeatable people will not be happy.

 

If this was PnP then that's entirely different. In an unwinnable fight a good GM will know to drop lots of hints, and this kind of move is really only reserved for especially arrogant or munchkin behavior.

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a good GM will know to drop lots of hints, and this kind of move is really only reserved for especially arrogant or munchkin behavior.

And if the game does the same?

Why would it be so different???

^

 

 

I agree that that is such a stupid idiotic pathetic garbage hateful retarded scumbag evil satanic nazi like term ever created. At least top 5.

 

TSLRCM Official Forum || TSLRCM Moddb || My other KOTOR2 mods || TSLRCM (English version) on Steam || [M4-78EP on Steam

Formerly known as BattleWookiee/BattleCookiee

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a good GM will know to drop lots of hints, and this kind of move is really only reserved for especially arrogant or munchkin behavior.

And if the game does the same?

Why would it be so different???

Arrogant players and munchkins detract from a group. Single players detract from nobody.
"Show me a man who "plays fair" and I'll show you a very talented cheater."
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I'll just hint by saying "Eclipse".

 

That party turned tables, makin' the player's party feel like the mobs being thwacked for xp and lewt.

 

With Eclipse's gear however, the final boss and his minions went down like a bunch of kobolds.

 

Ofc there's gotta be some hard-to-take-down dudes \ parties, who'd make the player regret quarrelin' with them, or jumpin' 'em, like Drizzt, for example.

 

But no cheating invincible ubers pls.

If it's gotta be a god's avatar - give him a lot of stuff, but make it real. As lore-friendly, as the PC's party.

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I'll admit - something inside of me* twists uncomfortably at the idea of an unwinnable encounter.

 

I don't mind an encounter that is almost impossible - something you need to be maxed out at in terms of levels, have the top grade equipment, the right spells, the right strategy and where chance plays an unreasonably large role. In fact, those are the kind of encounters I love, because it gives me something to work on, even once I have completed the game and perhaps played it a couple of times in rather different ways. That's the kind of challenge that will get me playing a game again and again, even if I end up beating my head against my keyboard in frustration at times.

 

I think a few people have already said this and I agree - if it's a fair "unwinnable" encounter, then that's a lot less annoying. If some creature is utilizing the spells, teamwork and game mechanics better than I am, then yeah, I deserve to get my arse kicked. But if it's a scripted defeat, or done via cheesy "insta-kill" or immunity powers...well, that's just no fun at all.

 

 

*That's probably my ego. I'm a sore loser and was raised on a steady diet of strategy games. I know a computer can beat me at chess, but it doesn't make the losing any less painful.

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a good GM will know to drop lots of hints, and this kind of move is really only reserved for especially arrogant or munchkin behavior.

And if the game does the same?

Why would it be so different???

 

Why would the designers script in a fight that is usually a tactic designed to be punitive and put it in a single playet game?

 

That's the epitome of a flawed design.

 

But, bring on the pain in hardcore mode: which is how I will play it .

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a good GM will know to drop lots of hints, and this kind of move is really only reserved for especially arrogant or munchkin behavior.

And if the game does the same?

Why would it be so different???

 

Why would the designers script in a fight that is usually a tactic designed to be punitive and put it in a single player game?

 

That's the epitome of a flawed design.

 

But, bring on the pain in hardcore mode: which is how I will play it .

Edited by nikolokolus
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Why would the designers script in a fight that is usually a tactic designed to be punitive and put it in a single player game?

Why would the DM? Well, that reason thus.

But apparently one's "okay" and the other "not"... not sure why that would be so.

That's the epitome of a flawed design.

Well, there goes pnp-RPGing...

^

 

 

I agree that that is such a stupid idiotic pathetic garbage hateful retarded scumbag evil satanic nazi like term ever created. At least top 5.

 

TSLRCM Official Forum || TSLRCM Moddb || My other KOTOR2 mods || TSLRCM (English version) on Steam || [M4-78EP on Steam

Formerly known as BattleWookiee/BattleCookiee

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Honest-to-goodness unwinnable situations irritate me. In the '90s I played the Starfleet Academy videogame and repeated the Kobayashi Maru endlessly because I didn't realize how it was supposed to work.

 

In PS:T they talked up that guy with the skulls like mad, but you couldn't even fight him. It was so obnoxious.

 

Now I'm all for Kangaxx-like encounters, though if you use a little bit of strategy he's not hard to kill. Particularly if you have a barbarian in your party you can pretty much just enrage and attack him, though if you don't, then you've got to get some spell immunities or summons to distract him. But yeah, when I didn't really know what I was doing on my first play-through, he was pretty much impossible.

 

So yeah, bring on the crazy ridiculous critters that you actually have to figure out how to fight.

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No. I dislike the idea of "unwinnable" any thing. I don't want to have an encounter be impossible simply for the sake of being impossible. I'm fine with having very difficult encounters, but the idea of one that is arbitrarily impossible is not something I would want.

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The point of an RPG is to get strong and overcome difficulty, so impossible foes gotta be used, so you can have a sense of accomplishment after leveling up your party, and you can then smash those super strong guys that defeated you hours ago.

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A challenge is fine, but an impossible is a No. Everything should be winnable given the right conditions. That it can be done. Compared with an insurmountable task, you keep bashing your head against the wall, hoping it will break? What will that achieve except to waste IRL time? Even when you are having fun, you would want to make sure that time is used effectively right? At least that's how I see it.

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