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While I agree with that the game should make the players think time to time rather than letting them rely on a single tactics in any situation, that mage class-heavy buff/debuff rote of BGII may not be an ideal solution, either, which is, of course, just my opinion.

One of the probable reasons why PoE appears to get rid of critical-heavy gameplay is, I think, giving the players time to optimize their tactics if their party members begin to fight less efficiently.  In this case, rather than giving the players all-or-nothing means to solve situations, letting them notice that they are giving less damage while getting more damage is more desirable and think how they could turn around the table.  For AoE, at the moment, PoE seems to be letting the players to choose among FF AoE/FF-free and weaker AoE/Target-specific abilities when they find their party members are mixed with the enemies and I'm wondering how party composition/equipment play-out in this kind of choices.  Although PoE may generally shift its focus from preparation to real-time adjustment to some extent, I beleive party composition and characterization of each class would influence the latter.

As for positioning, beside the Fighers' ability of nailing a certain number of enemies, I wonder how the party chemistry play out in relation to AoE.  IIRC, Sawyer called Druid as a crowd-control king.  He/she may be able to prepare desirable settings for AoE casters.

 

 

I'm a fan of all the various approaches. I just wanted to supplement the list with all the ones we could possibly come up with. :). But, yeah, for what it's worth, I wouldn't JUST want to see "boost your defenses" builds being the sole thing that allows you to simply not-worry about dropping magical bombs on your own peeps.

Side-note:

They seem to have renamed Psyche to Willpower, but I'm not certain of this. I can't recall exactly where, but within the last month or two, I remember seeing an update post (or a Josh post?) which listed the four defenses as Deflection, Fortitude, Reflexes, and Willpower. *les shruggles*

Agreed here.  As for the side-note, I picked it up from the official wiki but, basically, if we are sure that we are talking of the same thing, there shouldn't be any problem since the game itself is WIP.

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