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I'm not in favor of save or die spells (the way they were implemented in the IE games at least).

But I do think there is room for big bad spells which have severe consequences. I think disintegrate type spells could be thrown in if these two points are addressed.

 

1. Make it clear that a big bad spell is starting to be cast. Spell casting information used to get lost in the sea of attack rolls. Maybe the icon of the spell will briefly hover the caster's head?

 

2. Give the player a chance to do something about it. You could address it with long casting times, or having a delay before the effect takes place. Maybe an hourglass or an animation of dripping blood over the affected character that indicates the time remaining.

 

At least this way a quick player will be able to swap grimoires and start casting a counter spell, or a spell to negate it's effects.

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I would be so sad if PE Monk's didn't have some classic quivering palm or "Five Point Palm Exploding Heart" techniques in their arsenal....

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I always thought finger of death, disintegrate, and others were very fun to use. I'd like to see them in but of course, it all depends on implementation, would be nice to not have to have death ward or some such spell just sitting there taking up a spell slot in case some random mage just happened to be in the forest who had finger of death ready to go.

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I'm really not a fan of the mechanic in RPG's. Insta-death mechanics make the Character's ability to survive based upon the whim's of the Random Number Gods, with no possibility for the Player to take any action to avoid it. Especially in CRPG's, all it does is make it a game of reloading and hoping the RNG's don't curse you again (And again and again).

 

I understand the arguement for symmetry in combat possibilities, but realistically, all that happens is it makes the player Reload, especially in a game that lacks resurrection.

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The easiest way would be just to put in option to allow modifying of game rules like e.g. BG had. That way everyone would be happy and could choose if they can die instantly or not.

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I hate insta-death effects in PnP. They add nothing to the game, they're cheap, and honestly, losing your character on a single roll (if you even get a roll) isn't fun.

In CRPGs I guess I hate them a little bit less because I can reload my game, but they're still cheap and unfun and add nothing but frustration and annoyance.

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I hate insta-death effects in PnP. They add nothing to the game, they're cheap, and honestly, losing your character on a single roll (if you even get a roll) isn't fun.

In CRPGs I guess I hate them a little bit less because I can reload my game, but they're still cheap and unfun and add nothing but frustration and annoyance.

 

I dunno, I like the fact that they're random. I like random critical hits too. I find it fun in games where you can't apply a mathematical formula to combat and determine automatically the statistical odds of success.

 

I don't like finite or dispelled effects ending my game, but somebody hits me with disintigrate as long as we both have access to it...again it adds a certain amount of chance (thus danger) to an encounter for me.

Edited by Amentep

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I wonder if you remember that this is a "game" it is supposed to be "fun".

 

My definition of fun doesn't include spending 30+ minutes grinding down an opponent with a bazillion hit points for the 3rd time because it's killed my protagonist twice before. Sometimes I do want to throw a Power Word: Kill at an opponent and other times I'll want to try the assassination. Of course, the latter is predicated upon having a skilled assassin in my party. Some parties might not tolerate such an NPC in their midst.

 

Bottom line, I want the option to use Harm (with a save), Power Word: Kill (with a save), assassination (with a save), and I also want you to be able to sit there for half the night chipping away at Mr. Mega Hitpoints if that's your desire. I'd rather go to bed on time, thanks.

What game are you playing again? Even WoW doesn't take 30 minutes to kill a raid boss these days, I probably only took about 3 to kill Irenicus in BG2. I really have no idea what you are talking about. Creating a boss with a million HP that takes multiple deaths and respawns sounds like an MMO or the crap of the month Diablo 3, not any game Obsidian ever made. That type of encounter is even less desirable than instant death magic as far as I am concerned.

 

Also there is one huge problem with these same weak arguments. This isn't D&D 2nd Edition. The most recent Edition of D&D by the way (4th) has a big complaint in that it is actually almost impossible to die. So no, even the much vaunted holy grail D&D doesn't do this save or die crap anymore.

Edited by Karkarov

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There is number of ways devs can adress this. Most simple is have an option that some spells can instant kill or not, either under difficulty setting or just somewhere under gameplay option. If play on hard lets say, spell may or may not kill a character, on normal it just deals a lot of damage. I dont see why this could not be a compromise of sorts? Those who want can have it, those who doesnt, dont. If someone else hasnt thought of such feature before I would call myself genius! :dancing:


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I think insta-kills can be ok if they are pretty high-level, and uncommon. if they are present though, I hope there is an option to auto-save before big battles --- Getting an insta-kill, and then realizing you haven't saved for a while would be pretty annoying...

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I'm not in favor of save or die spells (the way they were implemented in the IE games at least).

But I do think there is room for big bad spells which have severe consequences. I think disintegrate type spells could be thrown in if these two points are addressed.

 

1. Make it clear that a big bad spell is starting to be cast. Spell casting information used to get lost in the sea of attack rolls. Maybe the icon of the spell will briefly hover the caster's head?

 

2. Give the player a chance to do something about it. You could address it with long casting times, or having a delay before the effect takes place. Maybe an hourglass or an animation of dripping blood over the affected character that indicates the time remaining.

 

At least this way a quick player will be able to swap grimoires and start casting a counter spell, or a spell to negate it's effects.

There's a way to avoid some tricky parts bout it.

1. Vocal warning.

When your companions may shout "Interrupt the chanelling!", "Stop that Wizard!", "Sniper's aiming!", "Watch for backstabs!" or something similar so player can take action to prevent the casting or, as with PE setting, assassin's approach or handguns criticals.

2. Visual warning.

Make instant death spells be visible so player can see them being cast among the raging battle and take countermeasures.

4. Sudden instand Death

I don't see much problem if instant death threaten charaters in expected situations, but when you walk across the plaza and sudenly enemies pop up and start casting insta-killers, then you are almost assured to reload. I doubt that protection spells will last for hours and players could not maintain protection all the time, so you have to be prepared for dangerous enemies.

3. Cast time.

In BG2 some enemies have 0 or so cast time. So The fact that they can cast insta-kills is not a problem in itself, rather the fact that they can cast it instantly, without chanelling or preparation. We all remember demi-lich and his Imprisonment machine gun. So most of the time you started casting countermeasures and protection at the time when "death-projectile" already flying towards you.

 

Overall i think that instant death, should it be implemented, must go hand-to-hand with countermeasures. Break caster's concentration, sniper's aim and so on.

Edited by Cultist
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I hate insta-death effects in PnP. They add nothing to the game, they're cheap, and honestly, losing your character on a single roll (if you even get a roll) isn't fun.

In CRPGs I guess I hate them a little bit less because I can reload my game, but they're still cheap and unfun and add nothing but frustration and annoyance.

 

I dunno, I like the fact that they're random. I like random critical hits too. I find it fun in games where you can't apply a mathematical formula to combat and determine automatically the statistical odds of success.

 

I don't like finite or dispelled effects ending my game, but somebody hits me with disintigrate as long as we both have access to it...again it adds a certain amount of chance (thus danger) to an encounter for me.

 

The problem isn't that it's a random chance, it's a CRPG after all. The problem is that it's an instant effect with no warning, no counter (except if you have a wizard with the right spell and have played the encounter before, not an option in a PnP game btw), and no skill involved.

Getting a crit will only kill the opponent if you overpower them to a huge degree or have gotten their health low already.

Spells like disintegration in any sane versions of the D&D rules (that discounts AD&D completely) doesn't kill outright but deals huge damage (eg. 2d6 per caster level) on a failed save and only really disintegrates you if you die from the spell.

The lack of save or die effects and limit on save or suck effects is actually one of the few good things about the 4th Ed. rules.

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Perhaps something akin to a 4e solution where, allthough there's no instant kill, there is die if you fail enough saves (or repeat attacks agains applicable defences). This also provides more time to use items or powers to negate the killing effect. It can also provide an interesting variety of incrementing penalties prior to death and eats up actions and resources of the opposing team.

If these are included perhaps make them capstone spells/powers/abilities to a series.

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Have Stone to Flesh scrolls in your inventory, knowing that you will win the battle against some Basilisks but 2-3 of your party will turn to stone (your Main character included) and the game ends is BAD design. I could've just beaten that last Basilisk and returned my main character to Flesh.

 

There is also a quest which is impossible to say no to on the Coast of Baldur's Gate where this Sirine creature wants to give me a kiss, if I say no she kisses me anyways and I die. If I say yes she kisses me and I die. This is also BAD design because there is no way for me to say "No" as soon as the dialogue has begun. As soon as the Dialogue has been initiated there is a "No point of return". I know there's a story about the main character in Baldur's Gate disintegrating and turning to dust if he dies, so I forgive Baldur's Gate for the kissing, but not for the "Insta-death" Petrification which is outright stupid.

 

In the Final Fantasy game you get to the "Gameover" screen if your entire party is turned to stone. Please take this into consideration.

 

:o I just had an awesome idea for a quest/story regarding Petrification. Some Sci-Fi Influenced Cryo-Sleep but with Petrification? xD

 

EDIT: There should be a possibility to "Ward" insta-death spells by quick thinking and quick pausing. There should most definitely be "Insta-Blocks" and "Insta-Barriers" that you can use rarely (high high cooldown). An enemy doing a Hammer Smash that will knock your Fighter unconscious is an example, but you activate (time it~) his block right as the hammer hits and mitigate most of the damage (high cost to Stamina?).

 

Likewise, my Wizard could throw up a magical barrier or shield that blocks a fireball from hitting my entire party.

 

Throwing a saving Howling Gale and an Eye of the Storm on your dying carry together with a Zephyr on the enemy chaser 1 and Exhaust on enemy chaser 2, followed by an Ultimate by Janna (throwing chaser 1 into my team and chaser 2 further away) and finally flashing out of danger as the entire enemy team is closing in is insanely satisfactory, to be even more annoying I might even turn around, shoot a bullet with Hextech Revolver (50% movement speed impairment) and Shurelya's to make my team catch up with the rest of the opponent team :devil:

 

And to be most annoying I'd activate Oracle and throw a pointless ward at them to bait and frustrate the enemy team further :devil:

Edited by Osvir

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I don't like instant death spells because they make fighting enemies who are supposed to be special and tough luck based. OTOH, I don't like high level magic in general. It was fun in BG to Finger-of-Death and Disintegrate, but I'd rather there would be more tactics, preparation and positioning envolved instead. First time I killed Firkraag I did it with party without such spells. I got every fire protection item from dungeon and used my fighter to tank, I used protection spells, healing spells, summoning spells, and lost half of my party at the end. And I think that's how these fights are supposed to go.

I would probably prefer more gameplay with save-or-you-are-out-of-combat spells, like Sleep, Hold Person, Flesh to Stone and Maze. In Baldur's Gate 1, they were often almost as save-or-die spells, because sleeping/holded characters were hit automatically, which was true both for you and your enemies; however, it was't instant win-button, you had to change priorities in attacking, change tactics for your clerics - you wanted to either heal or to shield/dispells holded characters; and more "epic" enemies required special approach to kill them, like, even with hold monster Loup Garou screwed you up cause they were immune to anything but +4 weapons. In BG2, you could lower Adamantine Golem's resistance and save-or-die him. Wtf? The worst for me was Mask of Betrayer though. Wail of Banshee with DC 30+ lol derp.

Edited by Shadenuat
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I don't like instant death spells because they make fighting enemies who are supposed to be special and tough luck based.

Not necessarily, if you know how to protect yourself. There are many ways of avoiding death magic in D&D, especially with a party of 6. Having to be informed before going into a fight is part of the challenge, rather than charging in like 99% of Herculean heroes do in games, is a great game mechanic.

 

In D&D the sheer complexity of the enemies you may come to face, because of the potential arsenal of spells and abilities they may have access to, is part of the fun.

 

That said, I have to say I agree with you on almost everything you say. Making 'save or out of combat' spells very dangerous, almost equal to death, is a better and more challenging option. Much better. In PE, where stamina may be a real factor, this could really be capitalized on.

Edited by mstark

"What if a mid-life crisis is just getting halfway through the game and realising you put all your points into the wrong skill tree?"

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Not necessarily, if you know how to protect yourself.

I was talking about enemies. I'm not really that afraid of somebody able to one-shot my party, what I don't like is when party can one-shot bosses.

Edited by Shadenuat
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I've always hated insta death spells/skills. I think it just adds a frustrating aspect to any boss/battle. There are so many games where you end up with a random encounter/boss battle where the first spell cast wipes out half your party. I would rather that this types of spell be left out of a game.

 

Besides if you were an evil lord who could cast insta death spells wouldn't you just do that the first time our heroes show up to foil your evil plans?

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Besides if you were an evil lord who could cast insta death spells wouldn't you just do that the first time our heroes show up to foil your evil plans?

And if you were the hero, seeking to rid the world of this powerful lord, wouldn't you approach that lord with the necessary protection from death spells?

 

If you enter the castle of a great lord with no clue at all about what he might do to you, or what you might need to defeat him, I say let him wipe you out. It's a good lesson :).

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"What if a mid-life crisis is just getting halfway through the game and realising you put all your points into the wrong skill tree?"

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Instant death spells can be interesting if implemented properly, or a huge pile of aggravating bull**** if implemented poorly. Let the devs fool around with it and figure out what works.


The most important step you take in your life is the next one.

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In NWN: Hordes of the Underdark in case of death you find yourself in a "private" plane conversing with the Reaper that can bring you back. That kind of solution is not bad.


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I actually kind of like 1hit KO spells within limitations. Certainly, I'd say no more than a handful of enemies in the game should have them (only act/endgame/optional bosses) but I think realistically by the time you meet them your characters should be making saves against them anyway if balanced right. Actually I found that 1HIT KO vs save spells/abilities were a tactical aspect I hadn't really used until my latest Icewind Dale 2 playthrough - if you use them against major bosses, 99 times out of 100 they shouldn't work, but for instance, I found them very useful for quickly taking out mages to the bosses (who had low saves against quivering palm) or miraculously managed to disintegrate the black dragon and I was getting pummelled by.

 

So I'd say limit them to no more than 2 or 3 bosses, and for the player make them a bit of a wildcard option where you either succeed spectacularly or have just invested a lot of time and energy in something that does little to nothing beyond annoying your opponent.

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As much as i love to cast instant death spells (thats suprisingly didnt "instant death" the people i wanted and they could ALWAYS throw a save on it) i did hate it when i got hit with it, i still remember when i had a full party maxed out in BG2, top tier items hell even the uber staff for Edwin and ? and Irenicus throws power word: Death and it hits Edwin and kills him just because he didnt have health over 90 ? or some other crap? I say hell no to this kind of BS. But looking at PE i do hope there will not be instant death spells, but abillities/traps/ or just you doing something wrong and then get killed for it i say yes.

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Insta death done right is like the boss fight in missing link dlc for deus ex HR. Much better than the grind em down battles in the original.

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