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Can I even handle a game like PE any longer? Well, I sure hope so!

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Right, I didn't want to say pre-buffing was strictly necessary in all encounters, but it certainly helped greatly in certain ones.

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Wow, this is a really good question - One that I don't have an answer to since it's been more than a decade since my first play-through of each of the IE games. I simply don't remember the time before my "adaption" process began. Couldn't have been that bad though, since I ended up re-playing those games.... over and over and over....for more than a decade.

 

Most of the challenges I listed are logically obviated on successive playthroughs.  If those elements were really as important to your enjoyment as you say they are, and so many of them manifest due to a lack of foreknowledge/familiarity, that doesn't add up.  If literally "half the fun" of playing a bad build is discovering it's bad halfway through the game and you've played the game over and over and over, how does that circumstance (the discovery) even arise for you?

 

As for attributes and bad builds, let me put it this way: in D&D 3rd Ed., let's say Str, Dex, and Con are the only three stats in the game.  You make a fighter and you can have an 18 in one, 16 in another, and a 10 in the last.  The things that fighter is good at will shift significantly based on how you place those stats -- but the character is still clearly a fighter.  You may be able to make a convincing case that one build is markedly better than another, but they'll all give you different strengths and weaknesses.  Now figure out a way to do the same thing for Int, Wis, and Cha in the core rules and that's essentially what we're trying to do for PoE.

 

"No bad builds" is not the same as "all builds are equal" and "all builds are functionally the same".  It means that if you distribute your points in different ways across our attributes for a character of any class, the strengths and weaknesses of the character will shift in interesting ways and still be viable.  If you dump Resolve for your fighter, you will suffer.  If you boost Resolve for your fighter, you will benefit.  Some classes in D&D already do this better than others.  Monks and paladins have a more difficult allocation of stats to consider than fighters.  If you want to shift the difficulty of combat, we have a level of difficulty slider.  The attribute system is not meant to be a covert way of haphazardly achieving difficulty.

 

As for buffing, we're not eliminating buffing, but we are eliminating pre-combat spell buffing.  Buffs in PoE have an opportunity cost because they're combat only spells.  They're good and they're powerful, but when you cast them, you're choosing between buffing or engaging in offense or taking some other action against hostile enemies that are engaging the party.  As others have already posted, aside from hard counters (which often require metagaming or prescience), most pre-buffs are rote actions.  There's nothing strategic about it other than asking the question, "How many resources would I like to expend now to increase the power of my party members?"  That is a choice, but it's not much of one.

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Wow, this is a really good question - One that I don't have an answer to since it's been more than a decade since my first play-through of each of the IE games. I simply don't remember the time before my "adaption" process began. Couldn't have been that bad though, since I ended up re-playing those games.... over and over and over....for more than a decade.

 

Most of the challenges I listed are logically obviated on successive playthroughs.  If those elements were really as important to your enjoyment as you say they are, and so many of them manifest due to a lack of foreknowledge/familiarity, that doesn't add up.  If literally "half the fun" of playing a bad build is discovering it's bad halfway through the game and you've played the game over and over and over, how does that circumstance (the discovery) even arise for you?

 

As for attributes and bad builds, let me put it this way: in D&D 3rd Ed., let's say Str, Dex, and Con are the only three stats in the game.  You make a fighter and you can have an 18 in one, 16 in another, and a 10 in the last.  The things that fighter is good at will shift significantly based on how you place those stats -- but the character is still clearly a fighter.  You may be able to make a convincing case that one build is markedly better than another, but they'll all give you different strengths and weaknesses.  Now figure out a way to do the same thing for Int, Wis, and Cha in the core rules and that's essentially what we're trying to do for PoE.

 

"No bad builds" is not the same as "all builds are equal" and "all builds are functionally the same".  It means that if you distribute your points in different ways across our attributes for a character of any class, the strengths and weaknesses of the character will shift in interesting ways and still be viable.  If you dump Resolve for your fighter, you will suffer.  If you boost Resolve for your fighter, you will benefit.  Some classes in D&D already do this better than others.  Monks and paladins have a more difficult allocation of stats to consider than fighters.  If you want to shift the difficulty of combat, we have a level of difficulty slider.  The attribute system is not meant to be a covert way of haphazardly achieving difficulty.

 

As for buffing, we're not eliminating buffing, but we are eliminating pre-combat spell buffing.  Buffs in PoE have an opportunity cost because they're combat only spells.  They're good and they're powerful, but when you cast them, you're choosing between buffing or engaging in offense or taking some other action against hostile enemies that are engaging the party.  As others have already posted, aside from hard counters (which often require metagaming or prescience), most pre-buffs are rote actions.  There's nothing strategic about it other than asking the question, "How many resources would I like to expend now to increase the power of my party members?"  That is a choice, but it's not much of one.

 

 

Josh, what can I say! At least in theory, Pillars of Eternity is shaping up to be one heck of a CRPG. My scale of anticipation just went through the roof.

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*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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Ok, Can we just stick to criticizing the IE games implementation of (A)D&D, instead of making ignorantly false statements about the AD&D system itself which you apparently know very little about?

 

 

I've DM'ed D&D from the original boxed set to 3.5e, son. That's about 27 years straight. These were all new when I bought them.

 

 

If you don't want to criticize D&D, by all means don't, but I don't think it's your place to dictate to the rest of us what we're allowed to discuss or no.

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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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Well, Mr. Sawyer I can say that I trust you to make a great game. Fallout: New Vegas is one of my favorite games ever. There are, of course, multiple reasons for that though. 

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Two things come to mind (err, I mean, A pox on both your houses! :devil: ): 

 

...

Good god, people. What kind of a garbage bore-snore would BG2 have been without the buffing element?

 

 

I didn't read that buffing was being eliminated. I read that the IE games may have required too much of it (and some of not really even encounter specific). That said, I agree with your main point. Scouting and planning ahead was the way I usually played the IE games (and I like being able to do that).

 

 I especially didn't like when I scouted and planned ahead and then the game went into a cutscene and undid my planning. Or, in BG2,  changing the time of day to add a vampire encounter in the graveyard district - that's a bug not a feature. Let's add that to the list of annoying things the IE games did that shouldn't be in PoE.

 

 

...

Not a bore-snore, at all. Just a faster BG2, with all the story and the vibrant greatness intact, assuming it had been replaced by something requiring skill during the encounter.

 

 

 I'm not disagreeing with that but, as we all know, the IE games have a strategic element to them too. Once you know what you're doing, encounters get (a lot) easier. Some of knowing what you're doing is: scouting ahead/using stealth, using appropriate buffs, setting traps (thief traps, skull traps, cleric wards), summoning appropriate critters, spell sequences. (Of course, knowing the encounters makes them easier on subsequent play throughs too, but knowledge of the above carried over to the other IE games where you didn't know the encounters).

 

 Anyway, to me, this is a good thing that there's a lot more going on than who hits whom with what and in what order.

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Pre combat buffing was a nuissance in the BG series, I have to agree. Now if you could custom script  and chain 5 or 6 cleric spells it would work, that would be a tactical decision, but that's probably too elaborate.  The BG series had scripting options, but they weren't extensive enough. The buffs were a major reason I never bothered with clerics. Too much clicking. 

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Na na  na na  na na  ...

greg358 from Darksouls 3 PVP is a CHEATER.

That is all.

 

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I know there isn't multi-classing in this game, and I know they are trying to make it less-easy to inadvertently make a gimpy character...

 

... and I'm not a 2E AD&D fan, but I loved the freaky class combos in BG2. I know someone who created a Swashbuckler / Cleric (a pure WTF build) for a laugh and soloed the game with it. And there was a Ranger (Archer) / Cleric with expertise in slings! Edit - these were dual-classes. My own favourite was a genuinely sub-optimal but fun Assassin 'X' dual classed to fighter at level 16.

 

These aren't gimpy, there are simply clever ways of using a system to come up with unorthodox stuff. If PoE sort-of replicates this by, say, allowing for unusual but cool things to happen with Intelligence-Fighter or Strength-Mage then maybe that will be fun too.

 

And I have a cautious toe in Gfted1's sceptical camp, TBH, about some of this stuff. Am already finding the fatigue mechanic meh-some, but will see what it's like in practice.

Edited by Monte Carlo
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How can people possibly think that?

 

 

 

I'll answer this question.

 

It's because people are used to simplistic RPGs where the only way in which characters can be different, other than social skills, is in how "good" they are at combat. So, if there are no dump stats, that must mean there's no way to make a character who's "bad at combat", therefore everybody is the same.

 

That's what you get from decades of RPGs where the stat that affects your chance to hit and the stat that affects your damage are one and the same. We've been trained to think of Strength as the "good at combat" stat. "What do you mean my Fighter doesn't need to have high Strength? What kind of nonsense is that?"

Edited by Infinitron
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So how long is each encounter going to be. Because combat only buffs may become useless. Take guild wars 2 for example they made a game that got ride of the trinity heal dps and tank and with there mechanic of dodging there was one build that was the best pure glass cannon because u could dodge 100 % of damage. Making it so if you went as a support char you were hindering your party because your damage wouldn't be good enough making fights last longer requiring more dodges witch if missed would be problematic.

 

So back to poe were there are no hard counters to things making the game a pure dps race to kill things before there big spells went off. It is a fine line your trying to ride, and if not done right will remove all tactics except pure unadulterated funk, errrr I mean damage.

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I have two problems with IE/D&D style prebuffing.  

 

In the first case, there are buffs that can be applied before combat that are very general and always useful--haste and stoneskin  spring to mind.  That is, as people have said, a bit boring and deprives the player of meaningful choice.  It becomes something one does by rote, without any conscious thought, not something one pauses to evaluate for strengths and weaknesses. 

 

In the second case, there is instead an array of specific buffs, some of which apply to only a very small number of situations.  Nothing wrong with that.  But there's no way for the player to know those buffs will be needed until it's too late, for the most part, without metagaming (which I despise having to do).  So instead there's a situation wherein the player character would have spent hours gathering information and arraying precautions, because the player character is actively trying to avoid death in the course of doing a highly dangerous job, but the player is just trying to have some fun, and instead the player character dies, the player doesn't have fun, and everyone loses.

 

Thanks to Josh, it appears we'll be dodging both of those.

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LOL my biggest BG2 problem was that by the time I'd put up my last buff, my first ones had run out.

 

I never liked contingencies and sequencers, nor really playing Mages. I always go for easier-to-use sorcerers.

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I have two problems with IE/D&D style prebuffing.

 

In the first case, there are buffs that can be applied before combat that are very general and always useful--haste and stoneskin spring to mind. That is, as people have said, a bit boring and deprives the player of meaningful choice. It becomes something one does by rote, without any conscious thought, not something one pauses to evaluate for strengths and weaknesses.

 

In the second case, there is instead an array of specific buffs, some of which apply to only a very small number of situations. Nothing wrong with that. But there's no way for the player to know those buffs will be needed until it's too late, for the most part, without metagaming (which I despise having to do). So instead there's a situation wherein the player character would have spent hours gathering information and arraying precautions, because the player character is actively trying to avoid death in the course of doing a highly dangerous job, but the player is just trying to have some fun, and instead the player character dies, the player doesn't have fun, and everyone loses.

 

Thanks to Josh, it appears we'll be dodging both of those.

 

But u know if u go into tomb level drain and undead will prob be there meta gaming not required

Edited by Fatback

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Most of the challenges I listed are logically obviated on successive playthroughs.  If those elements were really as important to your enjoyment as you say they are, and so many of them manifest due to a lack of foreknowledge/familiarity, that doesn't add up.  If literally "half the fun" of playing a bad build is discovering it's bad halfway through the game and you've played the game over and over and over, how does that circumstance (the discovery) even arise for you?

Well, because there's two different issues being discussed here. The first one is the frustration/oppression from a system that presents itself as overly tedious or cumbersome. Which was indeed a common complaint of the IE games from first-time players who were unfamiliar with AD&D rules. But the second one (having fun with bad builds) is something totally different. When you've already done 20 playthroughs of a game, there is no more frustration. No more difficulty. At that point, you pretty much have to intentionally handicap yourself if you want a challenge. BG2 allowed this. Try soloing a poorly built Beastmaster. it can be done, but it's really difficult, especially early on. I did that once. It breathed new life into the game. After that, I began actually trying to make wholly sub-optimal builds just to see how it would go.

 

As for attributes and bad builds, let me put it this way: in D&D 3rd Ed., let's say Str, Dex, and Con are the only three stats in the game.  You make a fighter and you can have an 18 in one, 16 in another, and a 10 in the last.  The things that fighter is good at will shift significantly based on how you place those stats -- but the character is still clearly a fighter.  You may be able to make a convincing case that one build is markedly better than another, but they'll all give you different strengths and weaknesses.  Now figure out a way to do the same thing for Int, Wis, and Cha in the core rules and that's essentially what we're trying to do for PoE.

 

 

"No bad builds" is not the same as "all builds are equal" and "all builds are functionally the same".  It means that if you distribute your points in different ways across our attributes for a character of any class, the strengths and weaknesses of the character will shift in interesting ways and still be viable.  If you dump Resolve for your fighter, you will suffer.  If you boost Resolve for your fighter, you will benefit.  Some classes in D&D already do this better than others.  Monks and paladins have a more difficult allocation of stats to consider than fighters.  If you want to shift the difficulty of combat, we have a level of difficulty slider.  The attribute system is not meant to be a covert way of haphazardly achieving difficulty.

Ok, I'm trying to Conceptualize what you're describing here. let me use 3e monks as an example and ask you a question.

 

Monks in 3e D&D are unique in that there's 3 very *different* ways to build them based on their stats alone. You can build a STR-based monk who's front-line destroyer prowess can rival any Fighter's. Or you can build a Dex-based monk, and he'll be a will-o-wisp type. Really hard to hit, can dodge/evade blows better than a rogue. Or you can build a Wisdom-based monk, and he'll be a jack of all trades type... his stunning bows will be harder to defend against. As will his quivering palm. But he won't be as defensive as a dex-based monk, or as offensive as a str-based monk. And each of these three builds is given 3 different sets of abilities based on which stat he chose to focus on.

 

Question: is this the basic philosophy behind what you guys are trying to do with the classes in POE? Or am I way off?

Edited by Stun
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@Stun are you arguing that AD&D style character mechanics that easily yield squibs, which severely detracts from the enjoyability of the first, say, three play-throughs, is a good thing because it makes play-throughs 15 thru 20 more enjoyable?

 

If so, I find that a very bizarre position to take.

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@Stun are you arguing that AD&D style character mechanics that easily yield squibs, which severely detracts from the enjoyability of the first, say, three play-throughs, is a good thing because it makes play-throughs 15 thru 20 more enjoyable?

No, I'm arguing that BG2 allows for sub optimal builds (as well as average ones, and overpowered ones), based on BG2's specific mechanics, BG2's specific game world and BG2's specific combat encounter designs.

 

I'm arguing that I like the fact that the game allowed you to practically fail, Or, ridiculously succeed if you didn't use your head or if you shamelessly powergamed. And this is as it should be.

Edited by Stun

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No, I'm arguing that BG2 allows for sub optimal builds (as well as average ones, and overpowered ones), based on BG2's specific mechanics, BG2's specific game world and BG2's specific combat encounter designs.

 

I'm arguing that I like the fact that the game allowed you to practically fail, Or, ridiculously succeed if you didn't use your head or if you shamelessly powergamed. And this is as it should be.

Success or failure in BG2 was heavily, heavily based on metagaming, though. Most of the tougher encounters could not be beaten unless you knew what was coming. The same applied to character generation and development to a significant extent. Do you think that was a good thing?

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But u know if u go into tomb level drain and undead will prob be there meta gaming not required

 

 

if the probable enemies can be fairly deduced from the situation, I don't mind preparing for them.  If I'm going to a tomb in a magical world, then yes, I'm definitely making sure I've got my defenses against the undead ready.  The problem occurs with encounters the player has no reason to suspect will either a) occur or b) require specific counters.  And those happen in the IE games, and are the worst.

 

More generally, I think there's still room for prefight defensive strategy without having prebuffing.  I can have consumables along that will help me drop debuffs or better resist my enemies, and have my wizard bring a grimoire with a spell or two to help defenses against a specific type of enemy, without having to pause before every fight for Death Ward/ Stoneskin / Haste / Protection from Evil.

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Success or failure in BG2 was heavily, heavily based on metagaming, though. Most of the tougher encounters could not be beaten unless you knew what was coming.

Some fights were heavily based on meta-gaming, yes. (never heard of anyone beating Kangaxx the first time through without already knowing what has to be done to beat him. And there are a couple other encounters like that). But BG2 is a massive game with an unusually vast bestiary. To claim that this is any sort of norm is dishonest and false. There is a learning curve. So what? Does it mean that Devs must eliminate this curve for fear of the UNACCEPTABLE, TRAGIC, APOCOLYPSE KNOWN AS RELOADING?

 

I'm not a kid. I don't want my hand held when I'm playing an RPG. Let me fail until I learn.

 

The same applied to character generation and development to a significant extent.

Nonsense. And BG2's loot system made sure such a thing can never happen. Accidently built yourself a Fighter with 9 strength and then learned you can't wear any heavy armor or use your sword because you're too weak? No problem. In the very first shop you see when you exit the prologue, you will find a belt that boosts your strength to 19.

 

Ditto with Intelligence. Did you accidently create a Tank with 3 intelligence and are now discovering that Mind flayer fights are unwinnable? No problem. Simply start drinking the 2 dozen potions of Genius (or Mind focusing) the game's been tossing at you. Problem friggin solved.

Edited by Stun
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@Stun: Ideally, would you want changes to BG2's character creation and encounter design, or would you like those mechanics intact with new lore and story?  I don't think I quite grasp your position.  

Edited by tajerio

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Success or failure in BG2 was heavily, heavily based on metagaming, though. Most of the tougher encounters could not be beaten unless you knew what was coming. The same applied to character generation and development to a significant extent. Do you think that was a good thing?

 

 

Isn't that for a lot of games, not just crpgs? Maybe not character generation for some games (because you may get a pre-generated character) but certainly character development and what items to have. I don't understand why reloading seems to be a major problem with crpgs, but it's okay for other games. The only way to eliminate reloading is to eliminate death altogether and you never die, which some games sadly do.

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@Stun, thank you for the clarification. We clearly value very different things in games. It says something about the IE games that both of us found much to enjoy in them nevertheless.

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Isn't that for a lot of games, not just crpgs? Maybe not character generation for some games (because you may get a pre-generated character) but certainly character development and what items to have. I don't understand why reloading seems to be a major problem with crpgs, but it's okay for other games. The only way to eliminate reloading is to eliminate death altogether and you never die, which some games sadly do.

I don't enjoy challenges built for reloading in any games. A challenge that's designed to kill you until you memorize the right moves is just lazy design masquerading as difficulty. It doesn't reward skill, insight, or creativity, only persistence.

 

I think so many games are like this purely for historical reasons. Arcade games had to have an exponentially ramping-up difficulty curve to keep people pushing in the quarters, and this carried over to computer games where it no longer made sense. Now we're just used to it and expect it, and some of us even think they're somehow superior gamers for having a higher-than-average tolerance for frustration.

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Isn't that for a lot of games, not just crpgs? Maybe not character generation for some games (because you may get a pre-generated character) but certainly character development and what items to have. I don't understand why reloading seems to be a major problem with crpgs, but it's okay for other games. The only way to eliminate reloading is to eliminate death altogether and you never die, which some games sadly do.

I don't enjoy challenges built for reloading in any games. A challenge that's designed to kill you until you memorize the right moves is just lazy design masquerading as difficulty. It doesn't reward skill, insight, or creativity, only persistence.

 

First off, you're trying to paint the IE games' combat as a rock-paper-scissors type thing. They are not. Oh and before you respond by citing freak exceptions to the rule (Kangaxx! Twisted Rune!) Let me pre-empt your feeble argument: NO. In a party-based RPG like bg2 + TOB, which sees 150+ hours of content, and a leveling system that starts at 8 and ends at 40, a few unique, hidden and totally optional encounters do not prove your case.

 

Second, The IE games (all of them) richly reward ALL play styles. Including Skill, tactical thinking, Attrition, practice, trial & error, experience, creativity, teamwork, D&D knowledge, and oh yeah.... reading the friggin manual and load screens.

 

These games did not become all time classics for nothing.

Edited by Stun

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