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As I understand it the Dev's seem to be leaning towards a quest/objective Exp only system. I can understand why they would want to do this as to leave the way in which to achieve these goals is left up to the player. IE games also had quest/objective but they also gave Exp for killing things as well. This system meant the best way to advance your character was to kill as much as possible. Because the player recieves pure benifite they then feel compelled to choose a certain playstyle and thus is a form of DG(degenerate gameplay). However from what I have read about the mechanics in the game so far I don't see the current course of devlopement solving the issue of "Compelling a certain style of play" or DG.

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I don't get it either seeing that PE is supposed to be a game based heavily upon tactical and strategical combat and is not a "one hit to kill" type of game. That is why you have combat xp.

 

Here is an example:

What if I am wandering around (adventshurrin' ya know) and see some orcs? I won't bother to attack them, because it is pointless. I won't need the loot (Josh said, enough loot even for not engaging in combat), and you don't get xp for combat. And if they attack me I'll be like "Screw those raiding, pillaging, filthy, child killing super evil orcs, combat is just a pointless chore and a waste of time and resources. I'll just run away now, so, buh bye evil orcs". Wash, rinse, repeat for every encounter which isn't an elite mob or boss / lieutenant with good loot $$$.

 

Unless of course I get a quest reward for killing them. Yeah, "Kill 20 orcs for 500xp" sounds like a great quest and a lot of fun, right? And what if I only feel like killing 15 orcs? Well too bad. Go back and kill some more even though you don't want to.

 

Sounds like fun (no not really). :biggrin:

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Pillars of Eternity Josh Sawyer's Quest: The Quest for Quests - an isometric fantasy stealth RPG with optional combat and no pesky XP rewards for combat, skill usage or exploration.


PoE is supposed to be a spiritual successor to Baldur's GateJosh Sawyer doesn't like the Baldur's Gate series (more) - PoE is supposed to reward us for our achievements


~~~~~~~~~~~


"Josh Sawyer created an RPG where always avoiding combat and never picking locks makes you a powerful warrior and a master lockpicker." -Helm, very critcal and super awesome RPG fan


"I like XP for things other than just objectives. When there is no rewards for combat or other activities, I think it lessens the reward for being successful at them." -Feargus Urquhart, OE CEO


"Didn’t like the fact that I don’t get XP for combat [...] the lack of rewards for killing creatures [in PoE] makes me want to avoid combat (the core activity of the game)" -George Ziets, Game Dev.

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You assume that PE will have you wandering aimlessly in the wilderness with absolutely no reason to kill the Orcs. Maybe your goal is to get to the other side, in which case sneaking past them would (and should) be equally viable compared to killing them outright. Ignoring the Orcs after they have attacked you could easily be more costly than just killing them outright (unless the game mechanics were designed to allow kiting, the Orcs would be able to do significant damage to your stamina pool, not to mention lowering your health pool. In other circumstances, however, killing the orcs could be part of the goal, such as trying to reclaim the woods for a group of loggers, or attempting to recover an little girl's doll that was stolen by an unknown Orc. In any event, a game that rewards you for killing things leads to DG more than a goal oriented system. If you can avoid combat in that particular instance, good for you. If you can avoid all non-elite encounters and are given every motivation to do so, than that is bad game design.

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If you don't like fighting, then why do you want more reward for fighting?

So you would do side quests, even if there was no xp reward? Interesting.

 

By the way, combat xp if for those who DO like combat. Makes sense right?

In any event, a game that rewards you for killing things leads to DG more than a goal oriented system.

Yeah, just like in Fallout, Baldur's Gate, Planescape, Icewind Dale.... Those degenerate games with ****ty systems. Oh wait, whats this?

Miss classic cRPGs like Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale, and Planescape: Torment? So do we! Introducing Obsidian's PROJECT ETERNITY

 

Hmmm.

If you can avoid combat in that particular instance, good for you. If you can avoid all non-elite encounters and are given every motivation to do so, than that is bad game design.

Sneaking? Never heard about this? All classes can sneak and avoid the pointless combat. It's a feature. hehe

Edited by Helm

Pillars of Eternity Josh Sawyer's Quest: The Quest for Quests - an isometric fantasy stealth RPG with optional combat and no pesky XP rewards for combat, skill usage or exploration.


PoE is supposed to be a spiritual successor to Baldur's GateJosh Sawyer doesn't like the Baldur's Gate series (more) - PoE is supposed to reward us for our achievements


~~~~~~~~~~~


"Josh Sawyer created an RPG where always avoiding combat and never picking locks makes you a powerful warrior and a master lockpicker." -Helm, very critcal and super awesome RPG fan


"I like XP for things other than just objectives. When there is no rewards for combat or other activities, I think it lessens the reward for being successful at them." -Feargus Urquhart, OE CEO


"Didn’t like the fact that I don’t get XP for combat [...] the lack of rewards for killing creatures [in PoE] makes me want to avoid combat (the core activity of the game)" -George Ziets, Game Dev.

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As taken from the Level Scaling and its misuse thread"

 

Loot in IE games (and PE games) is typically hand-placed with very little randomization involved. I.e., it is not systemic. Some loot is in containers, some loot is given as quest rewards, and some loot is on creatures. Not all creatures carry loot. In Temple of Elemental Evil, on the fourth level of the temple, there's a massive fight before a room containing treasure chests with molds/jellies/puddings. You don't have to actually do the massive fight to get to the treasure chests (and if you're sneaky enough, you don't have to fight the critters near the chests). However, Hedrack, the high priest, carries several nice items. If you want to get those items, you have to weigh your own personal material cost to get through the fight against what you will get out of it. The important thing is that there's a decision to make. In terms of gaining loot, it's not a no-brainer.

 

Hacking terminals in Deus Ex: Human Revolution is pure benefit. Killing every hostile creature you detect in Icewind Dale is pure benefit. You always get something out of it and you are implicitly short-changing yourself when you pass up an opportunity to do so, even when you don't particularly want to do it for any other reason. That's because the rewards are systemic, universal to how the game works. You can systemically micro-reward every action the player performs and attempt to balance all of these things relative to each other, or you can back the systemic rewards out to something that is less specific, more abstract, and easier to balance overall. For us, quests are pure benefit. Completing objectives within quests are pure benefit. At a high level, pursuing objectives and completing quests comprise a huge amount of what you're focused on doing in the IE games (and will in PE as well).

 

E: Bonus picture of my halfling thief robbing the temple and avoiding the massive combat.

 

superthief.jpg

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As I understand it the Dev's seem to be leaning towards a quest/objective Exp only system. The goal in their current system is to leave the way in which players achieve goals left to the player. IE games also had quest/objective but they also gave Exp for killing things as well. This system meant the best way to advance your character was to kill as much as possible. Because the player recieves pure benefite they then feel compelled to choose a certain playstyle and thus is a form of DG(degenerate gameplay). However from what I have read about the mechanics in the game so far I don't see the current course of devlopement solving the issue of "Compelling a certain style of play".

 

So what do we know so far. We Know that there are going to be two resources for staying alive: Stamina(easily regenerated resource) and health(resource much harder to recoup). We know that so far they plan a roughly 1:4 ratio on health to stamina for damage taken and that even on a miss half minimum damage(ty rjshae) will be dealt. So every encounter with the enemy will mostly likely result in taking away of the longevity resource Health. Also depnding on the difficulty per day resources and consumables may be used as well. So in essence the more you fight the more you use up these resources while completing a quest, the harder the final confrontation becomes.

 

Next I'm going to define what i consider an entirely avoidable encounter. The is an encounter in which you must fight to progress the quest or will gain something of significant value(Exp or an Item upgrade). Now I know there are some on these forums that would also love to see the vast majority of oppenents leave behind gear with little to no real value. Should this be the case then bypassing completely avoidable encounters becomes pure benefit as it will leave you in better condition to continue without delays and the risks associated with combat(especially in harder difficulties). Fighting in entirely avoidable encounters will carry more risk, drain more longevity resources, and net you the same Exp and Good items. So instead of compelling players to fight as much as possible you compelled them to avoid combat as much as possible as they are rewarded in the avoidance of risk and the conservation of resources.

 

Now I personally don't believe the Dev's would make the most enemies carry worthless items. However the value of those items only matters as much as the things you can do with it. And I doubt they would balance the game so that more then 10-15% of the wealth you could gain from a given quest would come from the completely avoidable encounters. And depending on how rare/expensive healing resources might be you could still be worse off for fighting. And should you gain too much money from the fights it again leans back to the "DG" of "I must fight everything for gain. Which doesn't solve what the dev's were trying to "fix" in the first place.

 

Now some of you might argue "well how do they whats avoidable?" Well aside from common sense avoidables "like patrols, guards, grunts, or monsters that you've previously seen to carry nothing of value" The entire reason this system is being implemented the way it is to prevent those from seeking to squeeze every drop of Exp possible from doing so. Those types of players are much more likely to seek any advantage they can find. And from whats been told the system will be rewarding the avoidance of combat. I respect the Idea of wanting to make everything Viable as far as gameplay goes but it feels very backwards to me that the road with the most confrontation/risk yeilds the worst results.

 

 

(edit) Alright appearantly the forum posted part of my post before it was finished. The post above this is the full and complete post. Sorry for any confusion

Edited by UpgrayeDD
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So what do we know so far. We Know that there are going to be two resources for staying alive: Stamina(easily regenerated resource) and health(resource much harder to recoup). We know that so far they plan a roughly 1:4 ratio on health to stamina for damage taken and that even on a miss half damage will be dealt.

My understanding was that on a miss it would do half minimum damage, which is considerably less than half damage.


"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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So what do we know so far. We Know that there are going to be two resources for staying alive: Stamina(easily regenerated resource) and health(resource much harder to recoup). We know that so far they plan a roughly 1:4 ratio on health to stamina for damage taken and that even on a miss half damage will be dealt.

My understanding was that on a miss it would do half minimum damage, which is considerably less than half damage.

fixed ty rjshae Edited by UpgrayeDD

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Rule #1 of PE, any gameplay that insnt in lockstep with the developer is degenerative gameplay. To combat these players daring to choose how they want to play, all normal mechanics will have some form of negative reinforcement tacked on to make it inconvienient to use.

 

So what do we know so far. We Know that there are going to be two resources for staying alive: Stamina(easily regenerated resource) and health(resource much harder to recoup). We know that so far they plan a roughly 1:4 ratio on health to stamina for damage taken and that even on a miss half damage will be dealt.

My understanding was that on a miss it would do half minimum damage, which is considerably less than half damage.

 

I though a miss was a miss but a glancing blow would do half minimum. Are we back to being unable to miss again?

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The degeneration is actually a very interesting topic. Even Cat solves degenereshoun efficiently.

 

 

Once upon a time there was this degeneration of killing quest givers after completing the quest.

:cat: You don't have to reward xp for that if you script it differently.

 

Then there was this huge problem of being able to genocide whole towns and villages for XP. (Who cares about the consequences for doing so, anyway.)

:cat:Townfolk and peasants don't have to give more than 0 XP.

 

Dear Lord, and what about grinding!?

:cat:No respawns or no XP for respawns and generic random encounters?

 

Diplomats and sneakers will surely be at a huge disadvantage if people who defeat monsters get XP for doing so!

:cat:If they design the game so that selecting dialogue options or sneaking past enemies is as complex and time/resource consuming as defeating monsters, then sure, you should get some XP for avoiding a combat encounter.

 

 

Now it's about things being systemic.

:cat: *cat shrieks with laughter*

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So what do we know so far. We Know that there are going to be two resources for staying alive: Stamina(easily regenerated resource) and health(resource much harder to recoup). We know that so far they plan a roughly 1:4 ratio on health to stamina for damage taken and that even on a miss half damage will be dealt.

My understanding was that on a miss it would do half minimum damage, which is considerably less than half damage.

 

I though a miss was a miss but a glancing blow would do half minimum. Are we back to being unable to miss again?

I was just responding based upon the original Josh Sawyer on Hit and Miss posting, but yes I think somewhere along the way it was indicated they were considering adding in the possibility of a true miss. Shrug.


"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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I don't recall seeing any devs talking about glancing blows and having full misses. The things I try refer to are things said from the devs not players.

Edited by UpgrayeDD

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How is degenerate gameplay even a thing?

You can't play a game the wrong way. It's a game, enjoy it!

 

No one wants this game to be a tedious affair, and they won't design it like that.

 

No XP for combat? Who cares if the combat is fun.

 

I am a person who would do side quests with no reward if it had an interesting story or gameplay. I don't need that extra validation if the game is satisfying on it's own.

 

Now if the combat in this game ends up sucking...well the game won't be that great. But it's all speculation really, I trust Obsidian to make it fun and tactical. If they don't oh well, it's the risk I took.

Edited by jivex5k

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EDIT: "Degenerate gameplay" seems to be a thing whose meaning changes depending on who says it, and I bet Sawyer regrets ever bringing the phrase up for that very reason. As he uses it:

 

"Gameplay degeneration isn't a pejorative commentary on players using it. When I write about gameplay degeneration, what I mean is that both the intended gameplay styles (from a design perspective) and the players' desired gameplay styles effectively go out the window because the system rewards some other method(s) of gameplay. It's not a gamer's fault for making use of an obvious loophole or method of min-maxing, but it is our responsibility (as designers) to try to align fun design intention with actually fun gameplay."

If you don't like fighting, then why do you want more reward for fighting?

So you would do side quests, even if there was no xp reward? Interesting.

If I liked the quest, yes.

 

Rule #1 of PE, any gameplay that insnt in lockstep with the developer is degenerative gameplay. To combat these players daring to choose how they want to play, all normal mechanics will have some form of negative reinforcement tacked on to make it inconvienient to use.

You're not pushing a conversation forward if you just make things up, tovarishch. They have proposed precisely zero things to actually stop us from fighting. They have removed one of the rewards for it, and if you think that that's the same thing, then I don't know why you care all that much because apparently you don't like fighting in the first place.

I though a miss was a miss but a glancing blow would do half minimum. Are we back to being unable to miss again?

Last I heard, they were still on glancing blow for half minimum damage, and considering full-on misses/dodges. Don't think I've seen a JE Sawyer post on the topic since then.

Edited by Tamerlane

jcod0.png

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How they do so is debatable, but never forget that effort, risk, and reward have to balance out at some point - when it comes to a game. Challenge, in my opinion, is very important and should always be present. I'm not a fan of 'trash' encounters for that very reason, and I'm less in favor of trash encounters with reward attached to them, mostly because I feel - again - challenge is important, however, I'd add that so is rewarding the effort and risk involved in taking on a challenge. As such, if you do have trash or easier encounters I like a system that makes those 'a part of a whole challenge' rather than presented as a challenge themselves, because, simply, they rarely are. I never am happy with an encounter I don't have to think about, and take on tactically. If I can steamroll, or get through somehow without real thought, then something has gone wrong . . . at least for me.

 

But that's my opinion, which, really, doesn't amount to much.


"Step away! She has brought truth and you condemn it? The arrogance!

You will not harm her, you will not harm her ever again!"

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How is degenerate gameplay even a thing?

You can't play a game the wrong way. It's a game, enjoy it!

 

*Concision edit*

 

Quite the contrary. Logic dictates what is wrong. If you design a program intended to produce the correct mathematical answer to the problem "2+2=", and it produces 4, then it is right. Anything else would be wrong. However, if you design a program to produce the number that is 1 more than the answer to "2+2=", then "4" as a result would be wrong.

 

i.e., right and wrong are determined by contextual factors. If there was no wrong way to play a game, then literally any action you took would be a correct way to play the game. Eating a sandwich with your computer not even powered on would be a correct way to play the game, just because you decided it was. Either something dictates what's correct and what isn't, or nothing does. You can't have both or neither.

Edited by Lephys

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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If you don't like fighting, then why do you want more reward for fighting?

 

Because they don't like fighting. If you go to work and hate your job, why do you go? Because you're rewarded with money, not "just because."

 

Another subject that we've covered before, so I'll reiterate a position I took before: I think you should get experience for combat, but it should decline over time for each enemy of a given type/class/species that you defeat, which would be rather realistic. Eventually you would gain no experience for defeating an enemy. It simply doesn't make sense for combat not to result in experience, especially novel/new combat experiences. Initial combat encounters with a given enemy would provide substantial experience, but each following encounter/defeated individual of this enemy type would reward less experience, and this decrease in experience would accelerate until you eventually stop receiving experience, because you already "know" the best ways to fight and defeat/kill this creature.

 

When combat is no longer something which provides rewards in terms of character growth, combat simply becomes an obstacle to the progress of the narrative for people who don't enjoy it but are interested in the story. Furthermore, if combat at a given point is too difficult for one such person, and no sidequests are available or there isn't enough sidequest experience available to level up, they're effectively stonewalled and locked out of the game. Assume for the sake of this hypothetical situation that they're already playing on the easiest difficulty. It's generally safe to assume that people who don't enjoy a given combat system are likely not proficient in it.

Edited by AGX-17

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Because they don't like fighting. If you go to work and hate your job, why do you go? Because you're rewarded with money, not "just because."

Good thing this is a game, and not my job?

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But a purpose of a job is to actually provide you with a resource you need. The purpose of a game is entertainment/enjoyment. The game is the sum of all its rules and mechanics, so if progress in the game requires the controlling of characters in combat, and you don't like to do that, then you don't like that game. It doesn't make any sense to want a game that combat's a huge part of because of overall design, but then want it to not actually be required. If you go back to any of the old IE games and just take combat out, parts of the game aren't going to make any sense.

 

That's like wanting to build a fire, but not wanting the fire to be hot. The fire IS, by design (i.e. design by physics/nature in this instance) hot. If you want only one factor of fire (the light), then you find something else to provide light. You don't sit here spending your resources trying to burn wood without generating heat. It's silly. If you don't want P:E's design, then you want a different game. You can't simultaneously want P:E (which is only distinguished from any other game by the specifics of its design) AND want it to be some other design. You can WISH it was designed the way you wanted, so you wouldn't still be looking for the game you wanted to play, but you can't say it is in any way obligated to be designed in such a way that you don't 100% enjoy it.

 

That being said, this system actually makes a lot of sense:

 

 

Another subject that we've covered before, so I'll reiterate a position I took before: I think you should get experience for combat, but it should decline over time for each enemy of a given type/class/species that you defeat, which would be rather realistic. Eventually you would gain no experience for defeating an enemy. It simply doesn't make sense for combat not to result in experience, especially novel/new combat experiences. Initial combat encounters with a given enemy would provide substantial experience, but each following encounter/defeated individual of this enemy type would reward less experience, and this decrease in experience would accelerate until you eventually stop receiving experience, because you already "know" the best ways to fight and defeat/kill this creature.

 

 

And while it doesn't make sense in directly simulating realism not to award XP directly for the act of combat, I would have to say that it is plenty reasonable within the context of video games and their understandable abstractions of realistic principles (Like low-HP not causing you to uselessly lie on the ground, dying of internal hemorrhaging instead of still-standing, sword a-swingin').

 

Combat is still producing XP, just at a different rate. If you get through 3 rooms full of guards (by fighting and killing them), then escape, you're awarded XP for escaping, which you could not have done if it weren't for your combat prowess (if you weren't good enough at combat, you would've died and failed to escape.) Therefore, your actions in combat = XP. Sure, you could ALSO have snuck past all of them, if your party was skilled enough at sneaking, but when is the situation in which you simply aren't going to escape and remain in the same place forever? That would constitute a cease in gameplay progress. You would never actually play the whole game. Therefore, UNLESS you wanted to sneak instead of use combat and built your characters thusly, you would use combat as a tool to both escape (accomplishing game progress) AND obtain XP (which is necessary within the given system for character/party progress).

 

When combat is no longer something which provides rewards in terms of character growth, combat simply becomes an obstacle to the progress of the narrative for people who don't enjoy it but are interested in the story. Furthermore, if combat at a given point is too difficult for one such person, and no sidequests are available or there isn't enough sidequest experience available to level up, they're effectively stonewalled and locked out of the game. Assume for the sake of this hypothetical situation that they're already playing on the easiest difficulty. It's generally safe to assume that people who don't enjoy a given combat system are likely not proficient in it.

 

^ That's quite exactly what easier difficulties are for. They don't make dialogue and character control and sneaking easier. They make combat easier, mainly.


Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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If you don't like fighting, then why do you want more reward for fighting?

 

Because they don't like fighting. If you go to work and hate your job, why do you go? Because you're rewarded with money, not "just because."

 

Combat xp is for those who hate combat (Valorian's Kitty can solve this one):

:cat:Actually it is exactly the other way around. Quest xp only is for those who hate combat. Combat xp + quest xp is for those who actually like combat, seeing that combat is required and can not be avoided like the pest.

Edited by Helm

Pillars of Eternity Josh Sawyer's Quest: The Quest for Quests - an isometric fantasy stealth RPG with optional combat and no pesky XP rewards for combat, skill usage or exploration.


PoE is supposed to be a spiritual successor to Baldur's GateJosh Sawyer doesn't like the Baldur's Gate series (more) - PoE is supposed to reward us for our achievements


~~~~~~~~~~~


"Josh Sawyer created an RPG where always avoiding combat and never picking locks makes you a powerful warrior and a master lockpicker." -Helm, very critcal and super awesome RPG fan


"I like XP for things other than just objectives. When there is no rewards for combat or other activities, I think it lessens the reward for being successful at them." -Feargus Urquhart, OE CEO


"Didn’t like the fact that I don’t get XP for combat [...] the lack of rewards for killing creatures [in PoE] makes me want to avoid combat (the core activity of the game)" -George Ziets, Game Dev.

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If you don't like fighting, then why do you want more reward for fighting?

Another subject that we've covered before, so I'll reiterate a position I took before: I think you should get experience for combat, but it should decline over time for each enemy of a given type/class/species that you defeat, which would be rather realistic. Eventually you would gain no experience for defeating an enemy. It simply doesn't make sense for combat not to result in experience, especially novel/new combat experiences. Initial combat encounters with a given enemy would provide substantial experience, but each following encounter/defeated individual of this enemy type would reward less experience, and this decrease in experience would accelerate until you eventually stop receiving experience, because you already "know" the best ways to fight and defeat/kill this creature.

Well, Josh will have to fix it somehow, so that the game can cater to the the combat lovers (combat + quest xp) and to the combat haters (quest xp only).

Imagine the horror of those who pledged when they find out that PE is mechnically totally different than the IE games. Thats gonna be a real ****storm.

 

By the way, the system you described is already used in the IE games, well very similar at least.


Pillars of Eternity Josh Sawyer's Quest: The Quest for Quests - an isometric fantasy stealth RPG with optional combat and no pesky XP rewards for combat, skill usage or exploration.


PoE is supposed to be a spiritual successor to Baldur's GateJosh Sawyer doesn't like the Baldur's Gate series (more) - PoE is supposed to reward us for our achievements


~~~~~~~~~~~


"Josh Sawyer created an RPG where always avoiding combat and never picking locks makes you a powerful warrior and a master lockpicker." -Helm, very critcal and super awesome RPG fan


"I like XP for things other than just objectives. When there is no rewards for combat or other activities, I think it lessens the reward for being successful at them." -Feargus Urquhart, OE CEO


"Didn’t like the fact that I don’t get XP for combat [...] the lack of rewards for killing creatures [in PoE] makes me want to avoid combat (the core activity of the game)" -George Ziets, Game Dev.

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Helm (and apparently Valorian's arbitrary cat?) are correct. Which is precisely why I hereby propose Combat XP + non-combat XP. Do away with quest XP all together. Who cares whether or not you complete so-called "objectives." All that matters is that you fight, sneak, speak, and craft. I mean, if I randomly encounter a group of orcs, tromping around in the woods, why should I sneak past them or negotiate with them if I don't gain the reward of experience? Stealth and dialogue are pointless, because people can just combat their way through the situation without even having to put points into Sneak and still get XP.


Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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Here's the way I see it (beyond what I already said in the epic level scaling thread).

 

In a well-designed game, systemic rewards are aligned with in-game objectives. A racing game should reward you for winning a race. A RTS game should reward you for winning a battle, and the reward should be bigger if you manage to do it with fewer losses. A dungeon crawler like NetHack should reward you for stuff that gets you closer to getting the McGuffin you're chasing.

 

If systemic rewards and in-game objectives are misaligned, you get degenerate strategies. For example, suppose that in-game a druid is defined as a class whose mission is to protect nature. If the game rewards killing wild animals, you get a misalignment: a druid that kills wild animals whenever he meets them becomes more powerful than a druid who goes out of his way to avoid killing them. Or, for another example, suppose that your party's in-game objective is to close a portal that is spawning demons. If the system rewards staying put and slaying those demons until you've hit your level cap, a party that does that is more successful than one who attempts to close that portal as quickly as possible.

 

What's wrong with these degenerate strategies? They're tedious and boring, that's what. Battling your way through a demon-infested dungeon to close the portal before you get overwhelmed by the spawning hordes is inherently more exciting than staying put and swatting them until you hit level cap and then breezing your way through the now pitifully weak (by comparison) demons.

 

In sum, when designing a game, it's the writers' job to come up with exciting, interesting, and imaginative content, and it's the designer's job to come up with a game system that aligns with that content. In a game where the core mechanic for delivering the content imagined by the writers is the quest, with combat only one among several sub-systems (even if it's arguably the biggest and most important sub-system), it makes a lot more sense to tie XP to questing than killing.

 

N.b.: I use the term "quest XP" fairly loosely here -- I don't mean XP only for completing quests; I'm also including things like XP for discovering new locations, unearthing new lore, finding hidden treasure, and so on. Reward results (achieving in-game objectives) rather than process (the way you chose to achieve those objectives).

 

That is all.

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I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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