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Thoughts on Experience

quest experience objective character player spiritualism

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#21
Osvir

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The only downside I can see to Osvirs Combat XP separation is that players who want to play a more stealthy, sneaky or diplomatic character could be gimped in combat later in the game because of their choice of how they play. And lets face it, eventually you will be forced into combat no matter how you play.


But that's just the thing Rabain, if you play a non-lethal approach, you'd be weaker than the combat/action approach, likewise, the combat/action approach would be weaker in dialogue and such. If you want a combat character you play and make a combat character, if you want stealth, diplomacy and charms you make such a character.

If you practice sneaking around kitchens for 5 levels you'll be better at sneaking around than if you had battled opponents for 5 levels.

You can't expect that those not partaking in fighting gains experience in fighting at the same rate as those who partake. Perhaps tools could be upgraded, things to use in battle to dazzle opponents and sneak past them fast etc. for those who want little to do with combat. Similarly, when you do get into such a combat situation that you can't avoid you'd have to use abilities where your strength in combat would be lacking. Taking down a boss with another method and other sets of tactical formations~ IF similar as to described.

#22
Gfted1

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I know you usually dont get anything from sneaking but arent successful diplomatic / intelligence / speech checks usually rewarded with experience?

#23
Somna

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I know you usually dont get anything from sneaking but arent successful diplomatic / intelligence / speech checks usually rewarded with experience?


Sure, in Planescape: Torment.
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#24
Gfted1

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So its very rare? (I never play a diplomat)

#25
Somna

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So its very rare? (I never play a diplomat)


Was thinking in IE games. Other games do reward you for avoiding combat, but I'm struggling to come up with examples as blatant as that huge XP mine of a conversation in Planescape:Torment between you, the Paranoid Incarnation, the Practical Incarnation and that other incarnation (who's theme escapes me at the moment). And the XP was huge because you were pretty much re- discovering really important secrets about yourself if you met the stat requirements and chose wisely.

#26
Labadal

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I doubt you'll only get experience once you turn in or complete an entire quest. My guess is that you'll get experience for clearing objectives for a quest. For minor quests, like kill a monster or something like that, exp will probably be awarded once the monster is killed. Some quests will most likely have many objectives, like they have had in other Obsidian games. Let's say you're supposed to reach a bandit camp that is located in a jungle that is hard to navigate. Let's say the onjectives looks like this:

Quest name: Osvir the Mad.

1. Find clues about Osvir the Mad's camp. You'll have to ask people around town about clues. You find someone, wich grants you some exp. The camp is in a jungle.

2. Find someone who can lead you to the jungle. You ask around and find someone who is willing to help. This grants you some exp.

3. Enter the jungle. You enter and gain experience.

4. Betrayal in the jungle. Your guide was not a guide, he lead you into a trap. Fight for your lives or talk your way out of the situation. You gain exp.

5. Survive the jungle and find the camp entrance. Regular encounters in the jungle give no exp. You finally find one of three entrances to the camp. You gain exp.

6. Meet with Osvir the Mad. Talk, sneak or fight your way to Osvir. Gain exp.

7. Kill Osvir or help him with his problems. Kill Osvir. Gain exp, but turn camp hostile or help Osvir, no exp yet.

8. Help Osvir. Help him, gain info and exp.

Quest complete. gain quest completion exp.
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#27
Gfted1

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That was an awesome example. :yes:

#28
Lephys

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That was an awesome example. :yes:


Seconded!

You forgot "Construct large, wooden rabbit, from which your party leaps at night, catching the camp not only by surprise, but also totally unarmed!" 8)

(Seriously, though, awesome example.)

You don't even have to worry about how much EXP diplomacy use gives as opposed to combat victory, because you're only giving it whenever a given situation is resolved.
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#29
Sharp_one

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Pay attention simpleton. Kill experience is not a DnD mechanic. Anyone can use it.


So? Did I say anywhere that it were? Pay attention!

You deliberately took away the adjectives for those features, again playing Obama to twist the truth and hide your own incompetence? That's one. Two, I don't see nothing about "exact the same mechanics" in Obsidian statement. Three, the reasons for objective based experience are plenty and explained in details in other topics. Last, I didn't know that "one" and "every single one" became synonyms, since when?


I see, you have some axe to grind with Obama. Hilarios, and sad.


Again no arguments, insults. I don't have problems with Obama per se I have a problem with idiots. Care to address my arguments? No? Thinking is to hard for you, right?

Of course nobody said "exact same mechanics". None of the mechaincs Im talking about are exclusive to DnD. Anyone can use resting, experience points, saving, healing, etc... It is inferred by invoking the IE name that PE would be similar, which daily is being proven to not be the case. Honestly, youve never played an IE game have you?


PE will be similar which daily is being proven to be the case. You just cannot comprehend that similar is not the same as a copy. If you want a copy go play BG:EE. Being similar and being identical are also two different things, you are just to dull to understand this. Being spiritual succesor doesn't mean to skip improvement. Do you insist that they use the same engine also?

Edited by Sharp_one, 15 December 2012 - 12:11 AM.


#30
Osvir

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@Sharp_one: Nu-hu!

@Gfted1: Nu-hu!


:huh: huh?
:o *yawn*
-_- ..zzzz

I like Labadal's example too, I also get curious on what do you "spend" the experience on? Like... when you level up. There is still the issue of "sudden" improvement out of the blue (Do I suddenly become a Master Swordsman with no incentive/motive or reason to be one?). Do you get specific experience for the tasks that you do (Speech approach makes your character more Charming, whilst the Fighting approach makes you more Combat oriented).


I doubt you'll only get experience once you turn in or complete an entire quest. My guess is that you'll get experience for clearing objectives for a quest. For minor quests, like kill a monster or something like that, exp will probably be awarded once the monster is killed. Some quests will most likely have many objectives, like they have had in other Obsidian games. Let's say you're supposed to reach a bandit camp that is located in a jungle that is hard to navigate. Let's say the onjectives looks like this:

Quest name: Osvir the Passionately Mad.

1. Find clues about Osvir the Mad's camp. You'll have to ask people around town about clues. You find someone, wich grants you some exp. The camp is in a jungle.

2. Find someone who can lead you to the jungle. You ask around and find someone who is willing to help. This grants you some exp.

3. Enter the jungle. You enter and gain experience.

4. Betrayal in the jungle. Your guide was not a guide, he lead you into a trap. Fight for your lives or talk your way out of the situation. You gain exp.

5. Survive the jungle and find the camp entrance. Regular encounters in the jungle give no exp. You finally find one of three entrances to the camp. You gain exp.

6. Meet with Osvir the Mad. Talk, sneak or fight your way to Osvir. Gain exp.

7. Kill Osvir or help him with his problems. Kill Osvir. Gain exp, but turn camp hostile or help Osvir, no exp yet.

8. Help Osvir. Help him, gain info and exp.

Quest complete. gain quest completion exp.


For instance, I play 1-7, which gives me a certain specific reward and possibly a "boost" towards a more combat oriented character, whilst playing 1-6+8 (skipping 7) gives you a reward towards a more "charming" person. I could go into the example step-by-step and if there were "A's" and "B's" on each (e.g., 1a, 1b) the progression of your character could be more easily documented.

If you took path 1A you can't take path 1B, and both have a different type of reward making your character stronger specifically as they go along towards that path~

No?

Edited by Osvir, 15 December 2012 - 04:56 AM.

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#31
Labadal

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Different paths for 1A, 1B, etc could give different amounts of exp, sure. As we'll have regular levelling up, I'm guessing that no matter how you solve a given situation, you will still get your non-combat and combat skillpoints to choose from when you gain a level. At least that is how I understand it from what I have been reading so far.

#32
Umberlin

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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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#33
Osvir

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In the end, I don't really 'need' enemies to be experience pinatas.


But it is an experience. Not gaining experience for an experience, and not getting better per experience (and insight) seems odd but out of other parameters. I mean, I'm ambivalent and whatever Obsidian throws into the game gets into the game (and I'm 99% certain that I'll be satisfied), it's just adjustment and nervous curiosity to "something new" I guess.

Like you say too, lots of questions and little answers. Patience I guess :)
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#34
Lephys

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Awesome post, Umberlin! There is, indeed, a boatload to be considered when dealing with mechanics that affect each other within the entire scope of a game. It even heavily affects the efficient use of development resources. If these enemies don't really serve a purpose, then should we have spent more time and effort on a different way of achieving our goal? Or, does what we've spent time and effort on here work directly against something else we've already established? If so, which one needs to be changed?

The fact is, you can't just have enemy A both give exp every time you kill it AND not-give EXP whenever you kill it and call it a day, feeling like you successfully made everyone happy. You literally have to go with one or the other and deal with the effects of that choice upon the rest of the game design, regardless of which players prefer what on that singular subject.

#35
Umberlin

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But it is an experience. Not gaining experience for an experience, and not getting better per experience (and insight) seems odd but out of other parameters. I mean, I'm ambivalent and whatever Obsidian throws into the game gets into the game (and I'm 99% certain that I'll be satisfied), it's just adjustment and nervous curiosity to "something new" I guess.


Well, like I said, I do believe effort should be rewarded. It's less about whether I agree, or disagree, I think, in the end, I just need to wait for more information. With the little information we have on the game all I have are questions, and a lot of not being sure how I feel on some aspects until I see them properly layed in place.

So, yeah, patience. :p

Awesome post, Umberlin! There is, indeed, a boatload to be considered when dealing with mechanics that affect each other within the entire scope of a game. It even heavily affects the efficient use of development resources. If these enemies don't really serve a purpose, then should we have spent more time and effort on a different way of achieving our goal? Or, does what we've spent time and effort on here work directly against something else we've already established? If so, which one needs to be changed?

The fact is, you can't just have enemy A both give exp every time you kill it AND not-give EXP whenever you kill it and call it a day, feeling like you successfully made everyone happy. You literally have to go with one or the other and deal with the effects of that choice upon the rest of the game design, regardless of which players prefer what on that singular subject.


I'm trying to wrack my brain to think if there was ever a game that gave XP on first encounter, of an enemy type, and less or progressive less to eventually no or just outright no experience on further encounters with said type. It seems like there should be an example of that out there. I can't think of anything right now though.

I can think of games, Chrono Cross, for example, where only specific encounters, would further your experience, but that's not what I'm trying to think of. I can think of games where only missions give you experience, and never enemies. I can . . . basically I can think of a lot of reward types, across various games, but for some reason I'm failing to think of a game that used that one, or a varient, of said system. I want to remember, if it existed, so I could remember if it was in any way serviceable.
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#36
Gatt

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I doubt you'll only get experience once you turn in or complete an entire quest. My guess is that you'll get experience for clearing objectives for a quest. For minor quests, like kill a monster or something like that, exp will probably be awarded once the monster is killed. Some quests will most likely have many objectives, like they have had in other Obsidian games. Let's say you're supposed to reach a bandit camp that is located in a jungle that is hard to navigate. Let's say the onjectives looks like this:

Quest name: Osvir the Mad.

1. Find clues about Osvir the Mad's camp. You'll have to ask people around town about clues. You find someone, wich grants you some exp. The camp is in a jungle.

2. Find someone who can lead you to the jungle. You ask around and find someone who is willing to help. This grants you some exp.

3. Enter the jungle. You enter and gain experience.

4. Betrayal in the jungle. Your guide was not a guide, he lead you into a trap. Fight for your lives or talk your way out of the situation. You gain exp.

5. Survive the jungle and find the camp entrance. Regular encounters in the jungle give no exp. You finally find one of three entrances to the camp. You gain exp.

6. Meet with Osvir the Mad. Talk, sneak or fight your way to Osvir. Gain exp.

7. Kill Osvir or help him with his problems. Kill Osvir. Gain exp, but turn camp hostile or help Osvir, no exp yet.

8. Help Osvir. Help him, gain info and exp.

Quest complete. gain quest completion exp.


You actually give a good example of why this system makes no sense.

Steps 1 & 2 - Gain experience for asking people a question.
Step 3 - Gain experience for walking into a jungle.
Step 4 - Gain experience for a scripted plot sequence.
Step 5 - Gain experience for walking through a door.

But in none of those steps do you actually gain experience for doing something your character is trying to gain experience in. Step 5 being the most obvious example, you can wander the jungle and kill 1,000,000 critters and your fighting skills do not improve, but walk through a door and suddenly you get better.

Once again, what problem is it we're solving here? I still do not see any purpose to this implementation other than behavior control, or more specifically, because someone somewhere might choose to grind or exploit the system, which doesn't affect a single other person.

Because if we were actually trying to solve the problem of gaining xp for actions other than fighting, then the best answer is to give experience for actions other than fighting.

#37
Sharp_one

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I'm trying to wrack my brain to think if there was ever a game that gave XP on first encounter, of an enemy type, and less or progressive less to eventually no or just outright no experience on further encounters with said type. It seems like there should be an example of that out there. I can't think of anything right now though.


Icewind Dale 2

I can think of games, Chrono Cross, for example, where only specific encounters, would further your experience, but that's not what I'm trying to think of. I can think of games where only missions give you experience, and never enemies. I can . . . basically I can think of a lot of reward types, across various games, but for some reason I'm failing to think of a game that used that one, or a varient, of said system. I want to remember, if it existed, so I could remember if it was in any way serviceable.


Vampire Masquerade: Bloodlines (paper edition of World of Darkness also didn't have exp for enemies).

#38
PrimeJunta

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I would add Numenera, the upcoming deep-time/post-apoc PnP game by Monte Cook.

Characters earn XP when they make new, interesting discoveries (not from killing things, although combat is often necessary to make discoveries and accomplish missions). They also earn XP when the GM “intrudes” on the action of the game to introduce new complications. Lastly, players have the ability to award XP to other players for great ideas, useful actions, or other reasons.
XP can be spent to increase character abilities, or to affect events in the game (such as rerolling dice), gain short-term benefits or advance in levels.



I never liked the xp-for-kills mechanic, and haven't been using it in my PnP games for years. I find xp-for-learning-something, xp-for-accomplishing-something, and xp-for-exercising-your-skills much more interesting.
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#39
Sharp_one

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You actually give a good example of why this system makes no sense.

Steps 1 & 2 - Gain experience for asking people a question.
>> Wrong. Gaining exp for getting answers.

Step 3 - Gain experience for walking into a jungle.
>> Wrong. Gaining exp for finding the location you were looking for.

Step 4 - Gain experience for a scripted plot sequence.
>> Wrong. Gaining exp for dealing with plot sequence, notice that if you will kill the guy you will get exp for killing him.

Step 5 - Gain experience for walking through a door.
>> Wrong. Gaining experience for surviving the jungle. Notice that if you were fighting your way through you it will be exp gained for fighting.



But in none of those steps do you actually gain experience for doing something your character is trying to gain experience in. Step 5 being the most obvious example, you can wander the jungle and kill 1,000,000 critters and your fighting skills do not improve, but walk through a door and suddenly you get better.


You do, if you kill 1,000,000 critters you will get the exp for killing them. If you sneak through you get exp for sneak through. The difference is you get exp at the specific point in the quest. Like in many p&p RPG games when you get exp after the session not after every kill.

Once again, what problem is it we're solving here? I still do not see any purpose to this implementation other than behavior control, or more specifically, because someone somewhere might choose to grind or exploit the system, which doesn't affect a single other person.


It helps to keep track of what level could a player party be at any point in the game making the game easier to design. Its first and foremost a design choice. There don't have to be a problem to solve. This design choice forbids some behaviors like grinding for exp, but it's not the sole purpose of choosing such design.

Because if we were actually trying to solve the problem of gaining xp for actions other than fighting, then the best answer is to give experience for actions other than fighting.


Of course, there are various designs for leveling and experience gain. Obsidian chose this one, get over it. After all experience gaining and leveling is an artificial game mechanics that have no real life value.
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#40
Tamerlane

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Thangs

Making every fight A Big Deal is... not really ideal. You fall into the "everything is special; therefore, nothing is special" trap that I totally stole from The Incredibles. A story should have a rising action and a denouement, not just all climax all the time, y'know?





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