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Clearing Watcher's Keep straight out of Irenicus dungeon is one of the most satisfying ways to play it. I hope Obsidian just makes the dificulty imposible for a low level party instead of artificialy blocking progress, unles there is a strong story reason to do so

 

Completely agree. But the XP breaks the game and the current dev paradigm at Obz would describe this as 'degenerate.' Why they care when it's a SP game is anybody's guess.

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And they'd be accurate, minus the single quotes. If the game is designed to challenge you (be it Easily, Normally, or Hardly) on a gradual curve, and you're allowed to clear an entire dungeon's worth of XP to progress wildly outside of that curve, then the game has literally defeated its own design. Whether it's that the curve was set wrong, or that XP allowance was too great, take your pick.

 

An extreme points it out more clearly. If, in a "cutscene" 10 minutes into the game, the main villain is there, and you can somehow kill him, that literally breaks the narrative, since the narrative is designed specifically to last much longer than a 10-minute prologue. People would say "If he's got finite hitpoints, and I can figure out how to kill him and accomplish it, then how is that degenerate?" It isn't. The self-defeating design is degenerate. The fact that you're simply doing what you're supposed to do (using the resources the game provides, within the rules it provides, to take down your foes) literally results in something that, by design, isn't supposed to happen and actually denies the player the rest of the narrative is degenerate.

 

I love how that word just gets tossed around like it doesn't mean anything specific. "Ohh, some people said that character's armor should be blue, and that painting it red is wrong. The devs probably thing choosing the wrong color is 'degenerate'."

 

And, of course, the best part is that it always gets quotation-marked, like its mere existence is alleged. :)

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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And they'd be accurate, minus the single quotes. If the game is designed to challenge you (be it Easily, Normally, or Hardly) on a gradual curve, and you're allowed to clear an entire dungeon's worth of XP to progress wildly outside of that curve, then the game has literally defeated its own design. Whether it's that the curve was set wrong, or that XP allowance was too great, take your pick.

 

 

That logic doesn't really fit in a non linear game, if you can break the game by doing a dungeon too early, then you can equally break the game by doing main quest sections in a different order

There were several large scale quests in the old games that could be done in any order, and some were optional, doing any one first meant you were more powerful for the  the later ones...that's how it was, was it really so bad?

It does go hand in hand with not making the character go from being a weakling peasant to a superhuman god in the space of a few days though...if levelling is fairly restrained than balancing this kind of stuff will be easier.

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And they'd be accurate, minus the single quotes. If the game is designed to challenge you (be it Easily, Normally, or Hardly) on a gradual curve, and you're allowed to clear an entire dungeon's worth of XP to progress wildly outside of that curve, then the game has literally defeated its own design. Whether it's that the curve was set wrong, or that XP allowance was too great, take your pick.An extreme points it out more clearly. If, in a "cutscene" 10 minutes into the game, the main villain is there, and you can somehow kill him, that literally breaks the narrative, since the narrative is designed specifically to last much longer than a 10-minute prologue. People would say "If he's got finite hitpoints, and I can figure out how to kill him and accomplish it, then how is that degenerate?" It isn't. The self-defeating design is degenerate. The fact that you're simply doing what you're supposed to do (using the resources the game provides, within the rules it provides, to take down your foes) literally results in something that, by design, isn't supposed to happen and actually denies the player the rest of the narrative is degenerate.I love how that word just gets tossed around like it doesn't mean anything specific. "Ohh, some people said that character's armor should be blue, and that painting it red is wrong. The devs probably thing choosing the wrong color is 'degenerate'."And, of course, the best part is that it always gets quotation-marked, like its mere existence is alleged. :)

If by the time the party is able to complete the dungeon, they are close to the level cap, then no, it won't break the game. I don't think Obsidian is going to **** up badly enough so that a low-level party will be able to run through a mega dungeon.

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I see many "if"s flying at me. Notice that my post, too, bore an "if." I didn't say "games that let you do full dungeons early bear degenerate design."

 

The point is simply that, even in a non-linear game, there's some expected progression slope, as controlled by, at the very least, the availability of XP. If you have to go through some Level 10 Ogres to fight more things in this direction, and you're only level 4, then that's done that way for a reason. Even if you could, technically, defeat the Ogres, one by one, slowly but surely, you've got to put forth that much more effort by straying from the norm.

 

If you were supposed to have access to all things from the get-go, then there wouldn't be levels. Either you'd already be more capable, or enemies would be less challenging.

 

Progression pacing isn't in these games purely for progression's sake (so that we can go "Yay!!! Progression!". It affects all manner of things when you throw pacing to the wind. "Oh, these are fearsome beasts, and even give trouble to quite experienced folk." But then, you just run through a dungeon that's basically a 1 hour montage to take you from noob to expert, and now you can just run around tackling anything. "Oh no, at this part of the narrative, assassins were sent after me, but they're only level 2 and I'm level 10! Why oh why would someone who took the time to send assassins after me not actually evaluate my capabilities beforehand?!"

 

When Frodo can take down the Balrog with no trouble because he went through that dungeon first, I think it's obvious the narrative has suffered. That's one of the reasons for things like level-scaling.

 

But, pacing, in general. Even if you don't have a level cap, you've only got so many abilities and such that you can code into the game for each class. You don't want your players to gain 50% of their abilities 10% of the way through the game, then be bored out of their minds for the rest of their character's progressive lives. Is it the player's fault for simply playing the game? Nope. It's the design's fault. Hence, degenerate design.

 

If your game doesn't use any pacing, then so be it. But, again, that all but defeats the purpose of levels.

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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I'm trying to think back at how the IE games did it (w/ regards to progression and keeping the "curve")

 

Well lets see... BG1 handled it a couple of ways.

1) the game had a level cap. You could try to do Durlag's tower straight out of Candlekeep, and if you succeed, it will cause you to hit the level cap before chapter 4 lol. As silly as that sounds, the second half of the game was sill super fun, even if you were at the cap.

 

2) BG1 employed what I call "test" guardians for an area. if you could defeat them, then you earned the right to break the so-called curve. For example, the 2 Doom Guards that guarded the path to Durlag's tower. They were Nasty opponents for a level 2 party. you pretty much couldn't defeat them, and thus couldn't exploit Durlag's tower to get the unbalanced early edge you were seeking.... unless you were a really *really* good player. And if you were, then all talk of Game curves was irrelevant at this point, since you probably already beat the game about 10 times.

Edited by Stun
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Progression pacing isn't in these games purely for progression's sake (so that we can go "Yay!!! Progression!". It affects all manner of things when you throw pacing to the wind. "Oh, these are fearsome beasts, and even give trouble to quite experienced folk." But then, you just run through a dungeon that's basically a 1 hour montage to take you from noob to expert, and now you can just run around tackling anything. "Oh no, at this part of the narrative, assassins were sent after me, but they're only level 2 and I'm level 10! Why oh why would someone who took the time to send assassins after me not actually evaluate my capabilities beforehand?!"

 

 

That assumes that you will level up about 10 times in there...nowhere has anyone said that this is the case...I thought we weren't getting xp for combat.

anyway, I'm not saying it should be doable at level one, what I'm saying is that it should be doable in one go...

otherwise, from a gameplay perspective, then it's not actually a mega dungeon, it's a bunch of levels that happen to be in the same place on the world map, and therefore nothing we haven't seen 1000 times before

 

I don't care if you have to wait till mid-late game before you can do it in one go, I don't care if you have to prepare somehow, collecting ropes, equipment etc...

 

But I do want it to be achievable as one mini campaign, separate from the main quest, to me that's what the stretch goal suggested, and diluting it would seem to be wasting it.

I'm kind of assuming the game was already going to have smaller scale, separate dungeons anyway, even if they didn't achieve those targets on the kickstarter

 

 

1 hour montage

 I hope not! but if it is...then what the hell is everyone worried about :w00t:

Edited by motorizer
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On some level in the Endless Paths, it would be interesting to find a necrotic 'settlement'. As in the walled settlement in film 'No Escape', this is a fortified encampment inhabited by undead that have retained some vestige of their humanity and are battling for survival against the surrounding hostile forces.

 

The settlement inhabitants aren't necessarily all that friendly to humans--nor are they particularly virtuous in nature--but they do like what surface dwellers can provide so they allow them in... on probation. There the party can trade for some particularly unique items that have been scavenged from the surrounding areas (surviving much as in the shops in Nethack). The party could also do some non-combat side-quests related to the particular issues of the settlement, which only living creatures with souls can resolve. For completing these quests, perhaps they find some tidbits of information that are useful further down.

 

For the settlement to have survived as long as it has, there must be some unique feature that provides protection against the more powerful dungeon dwellers. Maybe an old shrine, or a well of life force provides a ward at the entrance requiring a certain key or crystal to pass?

Edited by rjshae
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That assumes that you will level up about 10 times in there...nowhere has anyone said that this is the case...I thought we weren't getting xp for combat.

anyway, I'm not saying it should be doable at level one, what I'm saying is that it should be doable in one go...

You have quoted me as if I was directly addressing your intentions. I fear you misunderstood the context and intention of my words. I was only briefly addressing the notion of degenerate design in regard to the effects of XP-producing combat in a concentrated chunk (such as a multi-level "dungeon") on narrative/progression pacing.

 

I apologize for the misunderstanding, but I meant no suggestion of problems P:E was going to definitely suffer based on its designs, or of my words being in direct opposition to what other people were definitely claiming.

 

You are quite correct in that, deaths not mandating XP gain, P:E could have no issues allowing the entire dungeon to be completed in one go. And, like you said, as long as it's made available at an appropriate time (as one would think you'd have something to gain from 15 levels of dungeon content, be it money/loot/reputation, etc.; XP is not the only thing that affects progression/pacing). It's definitely not preposterous to think it could be done all the way through in one go, under the proper circumstances, though.

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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On some level in the Endless Paths, it would be interesting to find a necrotic 'settlement'. As in the walled settlement in film 'No Escape', this is a fortified encampment inhabited by undead that have retained some vestige of their humanity and are battling for survival against the surrounding hostile forces.

 

The settlement inhabitants aren't necessarily all that friendly to humans--nor are they particularly virtuous in nature--but they do like what surface dwellers can provide so they allow them in... on probation. There the party can trade for some particularly unique items that have been scavenged from the surrounding areas (surviving much as in the shops in Nethack). The party could also do some non-combat side-quests related to the particular issues of the settlement, which only living creatures with souls can resolve. For completing these quests, perhaps they find some tidbits of information that are useful further down.

 

For the settlement to have survived as long as it has, there must be some unique feature that provides protection against the more powerful dungeon dwellers. Maybe an old shrine, or a well of life force provides a ward at the entrance requiring a certain key or crystal to pass?

Kind of like the Dead Nations in PS:T? I'm game.

Exile in Torment

 

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