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No Defense scores or Skill check targets in Expert Mode please

poll expert mode defense skills

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Poll: Target Values/Defenses in Expert Mode (111 member(s) have cast votes)

Do you want to see target values in the UI and combat log in Expert Mode

  1. Yes (37 votes [33.33%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 33.33%

  2. No (34 votes [30.63%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 30.63%

  3. Don't care (33 votes [29.73%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 29.73%

  4. I do not plan to play Expert Mode (7 votes [6.31%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 6.31%

Would you be in favor of making it a separate option in the game settings?

  1. Yes - I think I should be able to choose (78 votes [70.27%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 70.27%

  2. No - They should always be shown for everyone (5 votes [4.50%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 4.50%

  3. No - They should never be shown (5 votes [4.50%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 4.50%

  4. Don't care (20 votes [18.02%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 18.02%

  5. I do not plan to play Expert Mode (3 votes [2.70%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 2.70%

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#81
Lephys

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E: If you hover on any entry in the combat log, you get a "verbose" dump of all of the elements that contribute to the formula.


So... Expert Mode obfuscates all the specific combat data... until you hover over an entry in the combat log? You have access to all the same information, only when hovering over a different thing (log entry instead of on-screen foe sprite)?

#82
Sensuki

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No E stands for edit and that's probably what happens on normal mode. I would prefer values be displayed like the IE ... I'm not sure what Obsidian has done, they're neglecting to say atm.



#83
Lephys

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Well, simply put, here's what I agree with:

 

At a certain point on the "amount of stuff we're obfuscating" scale, there is a "too much." Not because someone says so, but because logic. Some of that feedback is a key component to the tactical combat system, and integral to the significance of choices and decision-making. So, I intuitively comprehend (and am fine with) not being able to point at that Ogre at the beginning of combat and see its armor rating (or even an approximation of it). Never ever seeing that Ogre's armor rating is not problematic. Never being able to see any information that would allow me to make a decision such as "who should probably try to perform what action on that Ogre?" is problematic.

 

So, again, without a specific, official description of exactly what will be shown and what will not as a result of Expert Mode, I can't really say "OMG, EXPERT MODE IS NONSENSICAL!" And I'm not demanding that breakdown here and now or anything. I mean, we'll find out eventually. But, for this whole "who's right and who's wrong?" argument going on... there is such a thing as too much obfuscation, in that it begins negating the very strength of the decision-making process of combat tactics.

 

Most likely? It's just that the specific values of things aren't telegraphed to you in any shape or form, ever. But, if you see an Ogre wearing plate, he's still going to have roughly the same armor as any other Ogre wearing plate. So, you're going to be able to figure out how effective your equipment/characters will be against a plate-clad Ogre when you see one. You just won't have SPECIFICS without sitting down and doing the math yourself. But, as long as you've actually got enough feedback and info to be able to determine such a thing (should you choose to -- and I believe you will have this amount of feedback in P:E's Expert Mode), then everything should be fine. As to whether or not to use that mode? To each their own. But there's no need to go around telling anyone that there's absolutely no such thing as too much obfuscation. Maybe P:E won't use too much, but too much definitely exists/is possible.

 

That's all I have to say about that.



#84
Sensuki

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Well I certainly didn't think Baldur's Gate was non-sensical, and I'm sure you don't either. And once again, if you don't like obfuscation - you can just play without Expert Mode ticked and select the options that you like.

 

This thread is about a very small and almost redundant part of obfuscation and it's something that has been done before, many times. Josh Sawyer's GDC slides do actually reveal that there may be a change in combat log presentation in Expert Mode (not expilicitly but in the difficulty slide there is "verbose combat log dumps vs simple dumps" that could mean anything from in normal mode you get the whole formula in the popup, to no hovering popups in the combat log).

 

Now logically speaking, if you want to know about enemy defenses - you are going to want those stat popups, seeing Defenses in the combat log is redundant to that and the popups clearly display the information better. I can't for the life of me figure out why Mor was arguing that defenses should be shown in the log, when he's going to be playing with stat popups on - which you can't do in Expert mode.

 

You can probably play with 90% of Expert Mode options ticked, and 10% of them unticked - who's going to care? No one.



#85
Lephys

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Well I certainly didn't think Baldur's Gate was non-sensical, and I'm sure you don't either. And once again, if you don't like obfuscation - you can just play without Expert Mode ticked and select the options that you like.


If it gave you no indication, whatsoever, that any of your foes was entirely uninjured as opposed to seconds away from slumping onto the ground under their own weight, then yes, I think that factor is a bit nonsensical. Just a bit.

And this isn't about whether or not I like what we're talking about. If it was, then my re-iteration of not-liking it would be just as pointless as your "once agains" telling me that toggle options will allow me to make it suit my own liking. If someone wants to play the game blindfolded, and they like that, then more power to them. That doesn't make it any less absolutely irrational.

Imagine, if you will, a sports competition. Baseball, lets say. You're playing baseball, with all its rules, but you don't have any idea where the lines are, or where the bases are, and you can't even tell when you've hit the ball, or how far it went, and you can't see who's on the bases. You don't even know what the score is, or what inning it is. Now, obviously, you could still PLAY baseball, and someone could still win. But, how is hiding ALL of that anything but detrimental to the actual act of playing baseball?

Again, I'm not saying that you can't hide ANYthing. But, simply switching to "injured, badly injured, near death," etc., from "120/250 health" is enough to obfuscate, without taking away necessary feedback that contributes to your ability to actually make significant, tactical decisions, and not just blindly use trial-and-error until good things occur. If you don't know exactly how much damage you're doing, and how much health something has, and how much faster your target is than you are, then you've still got to have some sort of relative idea.

Game example: Accuracy. You don't know what the target's defense is, but you still see your own attack rolls. So, when you see "55", and you miss, you know their defense is higher than your accuracy. How much higher? You still don't know. You keep attacking, maybe you roll a 67, and you STILL miss. Okay, now you know it's pretty ridiculously high, and you might want to switch targets. That kind of obfuscation is fine by me. You're obscuring the details, but still conveying valid feedback.

Now, imagine you don't even see your rolls. Okay, you swing at something 5 times, and you miss. Did you just get terrible rolls, or is its defense 100 higher than your accuracy? Who knows? Let's just keep guessing, shall we? 8D! Because tactical combat is most tactical when all your decisions are guesses.

See, that's what I'm saying doesn't make much sense. Eliminating all feedback, because Expert Mode. I don't care what it's called, or who likes it, or how much I don't have to use it. IF it obfuscates to that degree, then it makes no sense according to the game's own design.

Lastly, to use Iron Man Mode as an example, what if, in Iron Man Mode, you just got NO saves? Your game data was persistent, so long as you never died OR exited the game? That would be silly, right? So, you still get the ability to save, because the point of the challenge of the mode is to have to beat the entire game without dying, not to beat the entire game in one sitting. Just like with Expert Mode. The point of an extreme "you don't get spoonfed technical combat data" mode is to prevent you from pausing at the beginning of combat, planning everyone's first moves based on EXACTLY how susceptible all the foes are to all the attacks, and just roll from there. Not to prevent you from ever having any clue what the hell's even going on, and just guessing, 24/7.

So, Ironman without saving? Overboard. Ironman WITH saving? Not overboard. Expert Mode with 100% obfuscation? Overboard. Expert Mode with partial obfuscation? Not overboard. Higher Difficulty mode that makes all enemies invulnerable? Overboard. Higher difficulty mode that just gives all enemies an HP boost? Not overboard. I hope the pattern is evident.

Granted, I don't expect the details of Expert Mode to reduce the game to nought but guesses. However, I am curious to know exactly what amount of obfuscation we can expect to see in that mode. We'll just have to see how it works in a detailed fashion when they release that information. I'm not judging Expert Mode. I'm just observing its potential to be irrational.

#86
Sensuki

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You're using a straw man argument there for a few of those examples.

 

The discussion has mostly been about two things - display of health status which is on by default and off in expert mode - confirmed and unlikely to change; and about the display of defenses and DT - which are turned on by default. Stat popups are off in expert mode and the display of info in the combat log does change but we aren't sure what to.

 

In Josh Sawyer's recent GDC Talk there was a slide that talked about the display of verbose combat log information versus simple. It may be that they have changed how the combat log is displayed in relation to Baldur's Gate, I'm sure we'll see tomorrow. It might be that instead of seeing your attack roll, you just get the standard IE games "you attack enemy: miss" with no to hit roll information - which would be annoying, hopefully that isn't the case.

 

TBH If you don't intend to play expert mode then there's not really much point talking about what you want it to be. It will be roughly akin to vanilla Baldur's Gate 1 or Icewind Dale 1 which do have quite a bit of old school obfuscation, which quite a few people enjoy. I don't believe they go overboard on anything and I've never found myself wanting or needing more information from those games to beat encounters.


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#87
Lephys

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Firstly, no I'm not. Nowhere in any of that have I intentionally set up a false argument to knock it down as if knocking down the actual argument. In fact, all I was doing was clarifying my own argument. So, unless I can somehow strawman my own argument, I don't understand why you think my examples are somehow strawmen.
 
Secondly, I have no interest in arguing with you as to the most significant meaning of "the discussion." I said things, and you said things in response. I'm not aware of the forum rule that requires my words to represent some kind of thread-council-approved collective stance on the thusly-approved issue. If you're arguing against me, against things I've not even specifically said or supported, then that's most likely the obstacle here in our mutual understanding.
 
 

In Josh Sawyer's recent GDC Talk there was a slide that talked about the display of verbose combat log information versus simple. It may be that they have changed how the combat log is displayed in relation to Baldur's Gate, I'm sure we'll see tomorrow. It might be that instead of seeing your attack roll, you just get the standard IE games "you attack enemy: miss" with no to hit roll information - which would be annoying, hopefully that isn't the case.


See, perfectly lovely paragraph you've got there, and I couldn't have said the last bit better myself. There seems to be an awful lot of arguing going on here for you to then make an example that expresses my sentiments almost perfectly. :)

And TBH, I AM interested in playing Expert Mode, which is precisely why I desire so strongly to know that it isn't going to obfuscate the tactics straight out of the combat.

#88
Sensuki

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There's a lot of people who say that, but the "fullness" of Expert Mode isn't really appealing to them. I think there'll be a large number of in-betweeners, who won't necessarily tick expert mode, but will toggle most of the expert mode style options on, bar a handful. I think the stat popups and hit point displays will be a deal-breaker for a lot of people.

 

The combat log stuff is probably the biggest deal breaker for me. If the combat log stuff mentioned in my previous post is dumbed down to the point of just being "Player 1 attacks Enemy 1" with no information whatsoever, then I'll just have to boycott the mode and select every option except for that one. I did play with To Hit Rolls turned on in the IE games, however the default mode didn't have any of that, you had to enable it.

 

If they're doing a Wasteland 2 or Shadowrun Returns style video tomorrow, narrated by Chris, Tim or Josh then we probably will get a going over of all the UI help features that they've included. So some discussion will likely be generated by that.


Edited by Sensuki, 26 November 2013 - 12:46 AM.

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#89
Lephys

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There's a lot of people who say that, but the "fullness" of Expert Mode isn't really appealing to them. I think there'll be a large number of in-betweeners, who won't necessarily tick expert mode, but will toggle most of the expert mode style options on, bar a handful. I think the stat popups and hit point displays will be a deal-breaker for a lot of people.


True, but, how do you even know if the "fullness" of Expert Mode is appealing to you or not if we don't even know what the fullness entails, exactly?

How do I know if I'm going to pick the olives off my pizza if I don't even know whether or not the pizza comes with olives?

So, at this point, I can only truthfully say that I'm interested in playing Expert Mode, as opposed to "I'm definitely going to play Expert Mode." An interest is not a decision. If the "fullness" of it eliminates any and all combat log details/feedback, then yeah, I'm probably going to toggle that off, just like I would toggle off "give all NPCs goofy cartoon cat heads" if that were also a part of the full Expert Mode setting list. For more than just subjective reasons.


Edited by Lephys, 27 November 2013 - 05:07 PM.


#90
Mor

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You're using a straw man argument there for a few of those examples.

You are still at it... I don't know about her arguments, but as far as I seen your arguments have been nothing but pointless repetition of your position, which is misrepresentation of couple notes about obfuscationand based on what you want expert mode to be as opposed to looking at each rule and see if it makes sense for this system.

once again, if you don't like obfuscation - you can just play without Expert Mode ticked and select the options that you like.

If you don't like expert mode that make sense, you can just play without Expert Mode ticked and select the options that you like.

#91
Silent Winter

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Firstly, no I'm not. Nowhere in any of that have I intentionally set up a false argument to knock it down as if knocking down the actual argument. In fact, all I was doing was clarifying my own argument. So, unless I can somehow strawman my own argument, I don't understand why you think my examples are somehow strawmen.

I think he just meant that comparing removing knowledge of the lines and bases from baseball is not remotely the same as removing the DC targets and health statuses from enemies in PE.  (Whereas you may have just meant that there are obviously reasonable limits to obfuscation and the question is merely where to draw the line).

It would be more like not knowing how tired the pitcher is when facing him - if you know his arm is tired then you can prep for a slow-ball rather than a fast-ball (NB: I don't watch/play baseball so my knowledge of the game is limited to what I've seen in movies - feel free to correct my assumptions).

Of course, the pitcher could be faking that he's tired and giving visual feedback to that effect when in fact he's got a fast-ball up his sleeve ;)

(And I know that's not the same as 'faking' bleeding to death)

 

Off the baseball analogy: I still hope that removing target values is an option (probably enforced in expert mode but optional for normal mode).  And although I like seeing 'uninjured'/'injured'/'near death', I can understand some people wanting to obfuscate that a little more.



#92
Lephys

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Firstly, no I'm not. Nowhere in any of that have I intentionally set up a false argument to knock it down as if knocking down the actual argument. In fact, all I was doing was clarifying my own argument. So, unless I can somehow strawman my own argument, I don't understand why you think my examples are somehow strawmen.

I think he just meant that comparing removing knowledge of the lines and bases from baseball is not remotely the same as removing the DC targets and health statuses from enemies in PE.  (Whereas you may have just meant that there are obviously reasonable limits to obfuscation and the question is merely where to draw the line).


That bit you've got in parentheses is exactly what I meant. My comparison was between knowledge and the effects/necessity of that knowledge, and not between lines in baseball and DCs in RPGs.

Honestly, though, there is a bit of similarity, even there, because some of the choices you make are based on the knowledge of specific goals. For example, if you want your character to be really good at picking locks, how can you do that if you have no frame of reference for how much lockpicking skill will be needed to pick the average lock? "Oh, well, I'll just put all 15 skill points this level-up into Lockpicking, just in case!". Oh, look, the locks are STILL too hard to pick. But you don't know that, because all it tells you is "you didn't pick it." You could be 1 point away, or 15 points away. So, you level up again, and just pump all 15 points into lockpicking again. But you really only needed 1.

Granted, that's just an example of similarity. I'm not saying you need to show lockpicking DC or all is lost. But, the point is, you can still give a message such as "this lock is beyond you," or "with enough time, you feel like you can probably bypass this lock," or "It's being a bit tricky, but it should be easy enough." Etc. Just like the "Injured, Badly Injured, Near Death" indicators, as opposed to HP. You don't know if something's at 10/100, or 100/1000 HP when it says "near death," but you at LEAST know that it's actually quite injured as compared to being perfectly healthy. You're not just guessing in the dark as to whether or not it would be prudent to fire every ability everyone has at that big foe, or just make more frugal decisions.

Again (again, again, again... :) ), my point is simply that there's a threshold at which point you're detrimenting the very tactical nature of the combat system, itself, and significance of the choices. Less-exact instead of exact feedback is one thing, but 0 feedback instead of any amount of feedback (in any given factor/area) is usually not a good idea. Usually. Sometimes it's fine. Just depends, really. 0 feedback in ALL areas is definitely a bad idea, as, without information, you're not making tactical decisions. You're just guessing. And guessing has nothing to do with tactics.

As long as you maintain the basic amount of information/feedback necessary for the player to make meaningful choices (even if that's sometimes the choice to diligently gather MORE information, manually, to make even MORE meaningful decisions, at the cost of the time/resources spent gathering it), everything's fine. I'm not here to argue every single factor and scenario that could possibly cross that threshold, versus all the ones that couldn't. I'm just pointing out the threshold. Nothing more, nothing less.

TL;DR -- Obfuscating all the things is a bad idea, and I don't think they'll do that, and I'm just curious as to exactly what will be obfuscated, and how/to-what-degree, in Expert Mode.
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#93
Yarmoshy

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According to the wiki with sighted sources

Known Expert Mode Options
friendly fire from area of effect spells and abillities.
A character dies permanently if he has 0 health, if this option is turned off he becomes Maimed instead. 
hide which Attributes and Skills are checked for options in conversations and scripted interactions.
show just the journal text of an quest in the journal, not the journal text and an explicite quest objective.
hide unqualified conversation options.
hide the reputation and disposition effect of an option.
hide the disposition values in the character sheet.
hide companion influence messages.
hide Defense and Accuracy tooltips.
hide higlighting from area of effect spells/abillities.
show only brief System feedback.
 
That last one links to a page that reads, "Brief vs verbose system feedback." My guess is this will range widely as well including showing dice rolls to not even showing target values. I like the idea of hiding them in expert mode. I too like solving the mystery of when I could hit something. 


#94
Aargh

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I think when you start obfuscating to-hit values, you get some awkward situations. For example, you keep missing an enemy, and you can't figure out why. Does the enemy simple have high defenses, are you very unlucky with attack rolls, or is the enemy actually unhittable? Things like that can be very frustrating, especially in an RPG where hitting or missing is (semi-)random. From a point of realism, I imagine a warrior would at least realise why he's missing his attacks, so there should at least be some way to estimate why you're missing, and if you're just barely missing your attacks or swining wide every single time. While I do agree this is a form of "help" and thus less suited to Expert mode, there's a point where you have to weigh "what would be most hardcore" against "what would be least frustrating."

 

I think a good compromise is to tie the ability to see these values to a skill. A game I've been playing recently is Blackguards, which has skills you can train specifically to see enemy values like this. Which, in my mind, makes sense. Someone who is unskilled won't know anything about his enemy, but someone with a trained eye might be able to estimate his opponent's skill, level of fatigue, etc at a glance. Alternatively, making it an option that can be toggled on or off would satisfy everyone's wishes.


Edited by Aargh, 28 January 2014 - 10:19 PM.

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#95
jrodman

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I think when you start obfuscating to-hit values, you get some awkward situations. For example, you keep missing an enemy, and you can't figure out why. Does the enemy simple have high defenses, are you very unlucky with attack rolls, or is the enemy actually unhittable? Things like that can be very frustrating, especially in an RPG where hitting or missing is (semi-)random. From a point of realism, I imagine a warrior would at least realise why he's missing his attacks, so there should at least be some way to estimate why you're missing, and if you're just barely missing your attacks or swining wide every single time. While I do agree this is a form of "help" and thus less suited to Expert mode, there's a point where you have to weigh "what would be most hardcore" against "what would be least frustrating."

 

I think a good compromise is to tie the ability to see these values to a skill. A game I've been playing recently is Blackguards, which has skills you can train specifically to see enemy values like this. Which, in my mind, makes sense. Someone who is unskilled won't know anything about his enemy, but someone with a trained eye might be able to estimate his opponent's skill, level of fatigue, etc at a glance. Alternatively, making it an option that can be toggled on or off would satisfy everyone's wishes.

 

Understand the proposal is to show your roll and bonuses but not the target.  So by infererence and being attentive you should get a good idea if the target is hittable or not, after a number of attempts.

 

Thus the difference isn't quite as severe as you suggest.

 

Personally I'm generally for giving the player either a very direct way to discover information (like putting it on the screen) or instead a fun in-game mechanic to discover and retain information.  For example have your character automatically remember what values did and did not hit so as to build up game-knowledge over time.  I mean, I enjoy games built around both those ideas.

 

As for this game, I don't imagine I'll be consulting a battle log very often (hopefully?) so when I do, I would hope it would be fully informative.


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