One of the interesting things in RPGs in the idea of risk versus reward. In some games, as we have evidence right in this thread, they opt to cut out the experience game from the typical fight. Some gives you the experience to level from sources like quests, others from boss-like encounters and still others from combinations of both or other sources. Then of course some games just axe experience and levels entirely.
As a low level character, I wonder if the idea that 'this trash enemy', for lack of a better term, yields them nothing is discouraging in some cases. Certainly they expended effort, and should be rewarded, so we reward them through means other than experience. Still, the idea that they aren't worth experience raises a question of 'challenge' . . . that being, 'if the enemy isn't challenging enough to warrant a granting of experience, then why are they there?'
Let's talk difficulty in general, and as ourselves, do you want 'trash' enemies that aren't on the level of bosses? Should not every encounter be a challenging situation begging tactical approaches? If the challenge is properly significant . . . then why no experience? If no experience, then what is the decider of what is worthy? If worthy than what if the point of those encounters not challenging enough to be considered unworthy? Are the encounters not to be taken on a singulars basis, but as a whole, part of the larger mission you encounter them upon, rather than on a case by case basis?
In the end, I don't really 'need' enemies to be experience pinatas. I do, however, need all enemies to be challenging enough to be worth my time, and not in that 'do lots of damage' or 'have tons of health' way, which I consider tediuum, no, I mean in terms of actual challenge. Smart enemies, good AI, complex attack patterns and tactical use of their numbers and abilities. Things like that. I enjoy, crave and absolutely require challenge. My worry is that enemies not worth experience will . . . not be a worthy challenge. If they are a worthy challenge, my worry is proper reward for the risk and effort involved. Obviously, as I said at the beginning of this paragraph, I don't need experience, so my issue isn't that experience be handed out as a reward. Rather, the real meat I'm getting at, is what reward will mean in the context of a system where some nemies do not grant experience.
I've played games that have done this. Some games have them full of loot. Some games have them hold abilities you can learn. Some games have them drop money. Some games have them drop what they're wearing. And so on, and so forth, on and on. I don't need experience as a reward for an effort, but I do like reward for an effort, and I'm not even talking about money or gear specifically. I'm not even sure the reward has to be from an individual encounter to be considered a reward for said encounter, as I mentioned a smaller encounter being a part of a larger experience/mission/quest/whatever.
Then you have questions, as in this thread, brought up in the sense of . . . what that larger aspect means. If not on a smaller, case by case basis, then how is the reward decided in the larger scheme? Is it static? Is it dynamic? If it changes, does it changed based on what you do/don't do? Does the reward vary based on the encounters along the way? If you avoided the encounters, using your skillset, does it mean you get less reward in the end? Or are you rewarded for properly using your kit. Are you rewarded differently depending on how you made your way through a quest? Is one path worth less than another? And so on . . . important questions, from a mechanics aspect anyways. Then you get into the idea of what those rewards consist of, and what sort of groupings exist from which rewards can possibly sprout (experience, money, weapons, armor, consumables, etc).
There are a lot of questions here . . . obviously I have no answers. I do eagerly await more information from Obsidian though.
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