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How will Pillars of Eternity innovate as a CRPG? What will it do that others haven't done before?

 

Let's recall that Baldur's Gate and Baldur's Gate 2 were very innovative games for their time; nothing quite approached them in scope and their adaptation of D&D and the Forgotten Realms universe worked surprisingly well. 

 

So far PoE has mainly been marketed as "a game like Baldur's Gate", which was of course music to many ears, as nothing quite like that game was made since then; but can it ever approach its greatness without innovating in its own right? How does it push the envelope?

 

Discuss.

 

My take on it: I'm placing high hopes on the new combat system which, if done right, should take all that was great about tactical combat in the IE games, without the warts and rough edges of trying to fit a P&P game into a CRPG. I'm also hoping that it'll make a solid case for high-quality written dialogue in games.

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"Let's recall that Baldur's Gate and Baldur's Gate 2 were very innovative games for their time;"

 

No, they weren't. neither will PE. And, thank god. 'Innovation' can often be overrated. All that matters is if it is good and fun. PERIOD.

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PoE will take Balance to new heights of innovation.

 

 

Balance is good   :no:


Matilda is a Natlan woman born and raised in Old Vailia. She managed to earn status as a mercenary for being a professional who gets the job done, more so when the job involves putting her excellent fighting abilities to good use.

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No, no it isn't. Balance is illogical, unfun, unoriginal, uninnovative, boring,  and too much of 'everyone is a winner!' which is a huge plague in modern scoiety.

 

A thief (rogue) should NEVER be the equal of a FIGHTER! in a fight. It's silly talk.

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"Let's recall that Baldur's Gate and Baldur's Gate 2 were very innovative games for their time;"

 

No, they weren't. 

Lolwut? Baldur's Gate is widely recognized as single-handedly reviving the CRPG genre and both games were universally acclaimed for setting new standards and raising the bar.

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Lolwut? Baldur's Gate is widely recognized as single-handedly reviving the CRPG genre and both games were universally acclaimed for setting new standards and raising the bar.

 

 

And yet, there seems to be a lot of dislike for the game from a lot of posters on this forum. Especially BG2 and the arguments how bad it was and how it handled things. eg. spells, ruleset, no variety, etc

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Lolwut? Baldur's Gate is widely recognized as single-handedly reviving the CRPG genre and both games were universally acclaimed for setting new standards and raising the bar.

 

 

And yet, there seems to be a lot of dislike for the game from a lot of posters on this forum. Especially BG2 and the arguments how bad it was and how it handled things. eg. spells, ruleset, no variety, etc

 

 

 

That is b/c most young people today prefer to mash a single 'attack' button, kicking arses and calling that thing a RPG.

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Matilda is a Natlan woman born and raised in Old Vailia. She managed to earn status as a mercenary for being a professional who gets the job done, more so when the job involves putting her excellent fighting abilities to good use.

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No, no it isn't. Balance is illogical, unfun, unoriginal, uninnovative, boring,  and too much of 'everyone is a winner!' which is a huge plague in modern scoiety.

 

A thief (rogue) should NEVER be the equal of a FIGHTER! in a fight. It's silly talk.

 

 

No he shouldn't. But by performing his opportunistic striker's role he will turn out to be of equal if not greater value than the fighter.

 

Rogue's talents will require another member to flank/get aggro right ? I'm asking 'cause I'm not sure


Matilda is a Natlan woman born and raised in Old Vailia. She managed to earn status as a mercenary for being a professional who gets the job done, more so when the job involves putting her excellent fighting abilities to good use.

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Whoa, the Bitter Brigade is out in force, I see.

 

How does P:E innovate? I guess we'll see when we'll see, but one can always speculate. 

 

First off, it's billed very much as an evolutionary rather than revolutionary game. The innovation isn't going to be something knock-your-socks-off unexpected. It's going to be in the smaller things. Nevertheless, there's a quite a bit we know about already,.

 

Technical. The 2D combined with 3D lighting and volumetric effects backgrounds are innovative. At least I don't think I've seen anything exactly like that anywhere, and they promise to take the top-down isometric experience to entirely new visual heights.

 

Mechanical. The game mechanics design goals of P:E are pretty damn ambitious. It wants to be both diverse and balanced, eliminate cookie-cutter builds and parties while producing genuinely different gameplay for different builds and party compositions. Breaking out of the "fighters are strong but dumb, wizards are smart but fragile" mold counts as fairly major innovation in my book.

 

Lore. The whole soul magic thing is original and highly intriguing IMO, and it looks like they've thought it through extremely thoroughly, from in-world explanations for the supernatural abilities various classes have, to magical materials like skein steel, to the politics of animancy, to its history, and so on.

 

Time period/history. There haven't been many cRPG's set in the Renaissance/Age of Discovery period, and fewer still in a 'colonial' setting where a new culture arriving from overseas collides with older, established cultures. Even better, it looks like they're doing this in a way that avoids making it a transparent allegory for how it went down in our world; for one thing it appears that the cultures are on a much more equal technological/military footing.

 

Languages. I don't recall seeing many cRPG's make even a slightly credible attempt at conlangs; fantasy names are usually just vaguely Celtic syllables strung together at random. P:E's have structure and feel and flavor. (That's a big, big deal for me personally BTW.)

 

Funding and production model. Doing something of this scale through Kickstarter is pretty innovative in itself, even if they weren't quite the first to do it. What's even more interesting IMO is the way they're using and sharing assets. Unity is largely OSS, and they're sharing both their tech and some of their people with a 'friendly competitor,' i.e. inXile. I find that pretty damn cool because it's a win-win situation.

 

That was just off the top of my head. I'm sure there's more -- but P:E looks pretty damn innovative from where I'm at, certainly more than the next AAA instalment in some well-established FPS franchise.

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"Lolwut? Baldur's Gate is widely recognized as single-handedly reviving the CRPG genre and both games were universally acclaimed for setting new standards and raising the bar."

 

Popularity does not equal innovative. btw, I love BG2 and enjoyed BG1 in spite its flaws immense

 

ly. BG2 is still top 3 in my book, and BG1 is definitely up there as well. But, that doesn't make them 'innovative'. They're D&D games for Bhaal's Sake.

 

 

"Technical. The 2D combined with 3D lighting and volumetric effects backgrounds are innovative. At least I don't think I've seen anything exactly like that anywhere, and they promise to take the top-down isometric experience to entirely new visual heights.

 

Mechanical. The game mechanics design goals of P:E are pretty damn ambitious. It wants to be both diverse and balanced, eliminate cookie-cutter builds and parties while producing genuinely different gameplay for different builds and party compositions. Breaking out of the "fighters are strong but dumb, wizards are smart but fragile" mold counts as fairly major innovation in my book.

 

Lore. The whole soul magic thing is original and highly intriguing IMO, and it looks like they've thought it through extremely thoroughly, from in-world explanations for the supernatural abilities various classes have, to magical materials like skein steel, to the politics of animancy, to its history, and so on.

 

Time period/history. There haven't been many cRPG's set in the Renaissance/Age of Discovery period, and fewer still in a 'colonial' setting where a new culture arriving from overseas collides with older, established cultures. Even better, it looks like they're doing this in a way that avoids making it a transparent allegory for how it went down in our world; for one thing it appears that the cultures are on a much more equal technological/military footing.

 

Languages. I don't recall seeing many cRPG's make even a slightly credible attempt at conlangs; fantasy names are usually just vaguely Celtic syllables strung together at random. P:E's have structure and feel and flavor. (That's a big, big deal for me personally BTW.)

 

Funding and production model. Doing something of this scale through Kickstarter is pretty innovative in itself, even if they weren't quite the first to do it. What's even more interesting IMO is the way they're using and sharing assets. Unity is largely OSS, and they're sharing both their tech and some of their people with a 'friendly competitor,' i.e. inXile. I find that pretty damn cool because it's a win-win situation."

 

None of this innovative or original.

 

btw, 'Weren't the first to do it'  means it wasn't innovative. You do know what innovative means, right?

 

I believe PE will be a good and fun game despite my gripes (as my things I like about it outnumbers those) but innovative? Nah.


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Combining things in new ways is innovation too. In fact that's what most innovation is. I can't think of any game that has even most of this particular combination. Can you?


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Lolwut? Baldur's Gate is widely recognized as single-handedly reviving the CRPG genre and both games were universally acclaimed for setting new standards and raising the bar.

 

 

And yet, there seems to be a lot of dislike for the game from a lot of posters on this forum. Especially BG2 and the arguments how bad it was and how it handled things. eg. spells, ruleset, no variety, etc

Where?

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A thief (rogue) should NEVER be the equal of a FIGHTER! in a fight. It's silly talk.

 

I've never quite understood this.  Why is it that so many people insist that rogues shouldn't be as good in combat as fighters?  Is it because of the name (in which case I'd wonder why magic users get to be better than fighters)?  Is it because that's how AD&D did it?  Or is it something else?  I'm genuinely curious.

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I've never quite understood this.  Why is it that so many people insist that rogues shouldn't be as good in combat as fighters?  Is it because of the name (in which case I'd wonder why magic users get to be better than fighters)?  Is it because that's how AD&D did it?  Or is it something else?  I'm genuinely curious.

 

 

If we're talking D&D and having played a Rogue in 4th ed for around 3 years now, do you think the following is okay for say a level 8 human rogue?

 

At the start of combat, Rogue (Thief) rushes in and attacks an enemy and does the following damage:

 

-Backstab 3d8 + 3d6 + 11  (Superior Reflexes, Backstab replaces encounter power Positioning Strike, sneak attack, challenge seeking +1 weapon, and a +3 attack to the roll).

-Low Slash 1d8 + 9

-Sly Flourish 3d8 + 11 (Action Point, Slaying Action)

 

So that's 7d8 + 3d6 + 31 damage in the first attack. And this is a level 8 human rogue. And if the Rogue misses one of those attacks, they can use Heroic Effort to get a +4 attack bonus to hit on that missed attack to hit. So it's like a re-roll (reload).

 

Now if the enemy attacks the Rogue, the Rogue can use Swift Parry as an Immediate Interrupt and gets a +2 to their AC. Whether the attack hits or misses and it may very well miss due to that +2 to their AC, the rogue gets combat advantage again against the enemy and can sneak attack and doesn't need anyone to help flank. So the rogue then attacks again:

 

-Rogue's Luck, 4d8 + 9 (Sneak Attack from Swift Parry)

 

So in two attacks, the rogue has done 11d8 + 3d6 + 40 damage. And I haven't used my daily powers which deal more damage. These are all encounter powers or an At-Will power (Sly Flourish) Technically, an Action Point is a daily power, but what I mean is actual daily powers like Trick Strike which can do 5d8 + 9 as a sneak attack or 5d8 + 1d6 + 9 on an enemy on full health.

 

Compared to a level 10 Wizard who fires a fireball: 4d6 + 15 damage (and this is a daily power and can be used only once a day) Note that the level 8 rogue's trick strike could do more damage than this level 10 fireball.

 

So you're okay with a rogue being able to deal out this much damage than most classes, even higher classes like a level 10 Wizard throwing a fireball?

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No, no it isn't. Balance is illogical, unfun, unoriginal, uninnovative, boring,  and too much of 'everyone is a winner!' which is a huge plague in modern scoiety.

 

A thief (rogue) should NEVER be the equal of a FIGHTER! in a fight. It's silly talk.

You have to consider their different skill sets and abilities. If "Everyone is a winner" then every single fight should end in a draw. There's so much emphasis on the Player in these discussions, but what about the enemy Rogue and the enemy Fighter? Sure, AI can never be as good as the mind of a Player, but that doesn't mean that an enemy character (statistically) is at 50% of a Player characters potential power.

 

If you can create a powerful Fighter, that means there will be powerful enemy Fighters. Same thing applies to the Rogue.

 

Let's say I roll a Fighter, and I'm walking some backstreets in the night. Would I survive an encounter against a Rogue?

 

I agree that if a Fighter and a Rogue would not be using their abilities and just auto-attack each other face-to-face, then the Fighter should win every single time. But if both of them start using their abilities and their different advantages against each other... who can say who would win?

 

Balance means more tactic and more strategy.

 

Chess is one of the most balanced games that exist, both Players have the exact amount of equal strength. By your definition of balance, does that mean that both Players win? Because "balance = everyone is a winner"?

 

Finally, balance doesn't only affect the characters, balance lies in the world, the economy in it, monsters, quests, abilities, gear, droprate/loot, experience. To draw a parellell to Chess again, balance lies in the game board, not in a single Queen, Pawn, Tower or any of the sort. You have to utilize all your assets to win.

 

What difficulty will you play or looking forward to play Volourn?

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I think, the essence of this trepidation/concern that many people feel over PE actually comes from the fact that Obsidian is leaving no stones unturned. Josh & Co are very thorough, and I commend them for that. It's intrepid and indeed innovative. For us that have followed the PE subforums from the KS and onwards, we have seen how far and extensive this new take on CRPG really is. Mechanics, systems, loot, etc., everything gets deconstructed. It's very exciting, but it also comes with huge risks. If they had gone for a Pathfinder version of PE, we wouldn't see this many concerned posts about it, and most likely the vitriol level would be lower overall. Personally, I just can't wait to see what they've come up with and how it feels gameplay-wise.


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You don't have to look hard.

 

Criticism, even strong criticism, is not the same as dislike. I'm extremely critical of D&D as a system, yet I played it as my primary PnP game system for 25 years. I would not have done that if I disliked it.

 

My criticisms of BG2 in particular are strongly related. It's a great game, but also hugely flawed. That is not a contradiction in terms.

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How will Pillars of Eternity innovate as a CRPG? What will it do that others haven't done before?

 

Let's recall that Baldur's Gate and Baldur's Gate 2 were very innovative games for their time; nothing quite approached them in scope and their adaptation of D&D and the Forgotten Realms universe worked surprisingly well. 

 

So far PoE has mainly been marketed as "a game like Baldur's Gate", which was of course music to many ears, as nothing quite like that game was made since then; but can it ever approach its greatness without innovating in its own right? How does it push the envelope?

 

Discuss.

 

My take on it: I'm placing high hopes on the new combat system which, if done right, should take all that was great about tactical combat in the IE games, without the warts and rough edges of trying to fit a P&P game into a CRPG. I'm also hoping that it'll make a solid case for high-quality written dialogue in games.

 

I'm afraid I also have to respectfully disagree, the Baldur's Gate games were not really innovative except in a couple of areas, that being a fairly good and more importantly fun approach to combat and the implementation of AD&D rules. When compared to earlier games such as Ultima, they were very much lifeless theatres of conflict, with no npc routines, no enviromental interaction and far less features. However they were very good looking and approachable with a solid intuitive UI, but that is hardly innovative.

 

In the end I believe where they did innovate in combat was ultimately a drawback, because with a lifeless world, no skills and very little else to do they were forced to rely on every encounter being resolved by combat alone. The world had very little to it that did not revolve around this feature, whether it was loot to increase ones combat potency, inns to return to maximum combat potency or temples to buff and heal. One of the few features that modern games have improved upon has become their crutch, and robbed their worlds of life and variety.

 

Torment I do believe did innovate in making that crutch purely optional, and making the world react to ones alignment, class, wit and charm rather than just what they could slay. That and like Betrayal at Krondor before it recognised the simple power of good prose as a medium of communication, which has almost limitless scope at a fraction of the cost of the equivalent graphics. A motion captured emotional scene in a modern 3d engine, with close ups of the protagonists face and his body language as he reacts to some event is prohibitively expensive for this project, so using the simple power and nuance of text to convey that is eminently more sensible and affordable.

 

And personally this is where I hope Poe innovates, in mixing good prose with Obsidians exemplary use of choice and consequence as seen in New Vegas and others, while hopefully making a world that is more than just a lifeless theatre of conflict. Also hopefully making combat not just fun but a risky and dangerous endeavour, rather than a grind to be undertaken every ten feet.

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Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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Well yeah, but rogue can do that once in a battle while lvl 10 wizard can cast few fireballs and bunch of other spells. Fighter has a chance of withstanding rogue first attack and kill him afterwards. Also rogue need to land those strikes or win in other throws to pull it off and he doesn't have the best attack. Not to mention there are skills and abilities that the opponent can use. It always amuse me how those combat mathematicians claims that their character can do this and that and then cannot pull this off in a game.

 

I prefer system where every character have numerous options and tactics in and out of fight. I dislike system where fighter beats rogue because he is a fighter regardless of circumstances and abilities.

 

 

No, the Wizard can only cast one fireball. They can't cast a few. And certainly not every encounter. They can only cast one fireball a day. That's why it's called a daily power. Daily means day. If there's four or five encounters during the day and they've used the fireball in the first encounter, then that's it for the rest of the day.

 

Also, the human rogue has one of the best attacks in 4th ed. Superior reflexes gives a +2 to rolls with combat advantage in the first attack during the encounter and another +4 with Heroic effort. Even without Heroic effort, you basically have to roll around a 5 or more on a d20 to hit because combat advantage gives you a +2 to attack rolls. I know because I've played the class for 3 years in pnp. And if I roll under 5, use Heroic effort with a +4 (with the exception of a 1 due to critical miss). I usually save the heroic effort for dailies. So it's incredibly rare that you miss, and when you hit, you do massive damage.

 

And you think a fighter can withstand 7d8 + 3d6 + 31 (average damage of 68, maximum damage of 105 not including crit dice) in the first attack with encounter powers and standard sneak attack which it can do on every attack (more with dailies) when a Fighter has around 85 hit points? He may well be very much dead before he gets off an attack if I was using Daily powers. Certainly will be dead in the second attack. And the Fighter does not have the damage output to kill a rogue in one attack. Their role is to tank, not deal out damage.

 

And the Rogue build I made isn't even one I use and made it up in the character builder in less than 5 minutes. It was only using a +1 weapon. I could make an even more powerful one. I do use one that is more powerful for Lair Assault encounters.

Edited by Hiro Protagonist II

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Torment I do believe did innovate in making that crutch purely optional, and making the world react to ones alignment, class, wit and charm rather than just what they could slay. That and like Betrayal at Krondor before it recognised the simple power of good prose as a medium of communication, which has almost limitless scope at a fraction of the cost of the equivalent graphics. A motion captured emotional scene in a modern 3d engine, with close ups of the protagonists face and his body language as he reacts to some event is prohibitively expensive for this project, so using the simple power and nuance of text to convey that is eminently more sensible and affordable.

 

And personally this is where I hope Poe innovates, in mixing good prose with Obsidians exemplary use of choice and consequence as seen in New Vegas and others, while hopefully making a world that is more than just a lifeless theatre of conflict. Also hopefully making combat not just fun but a risky and dangerous endeavour, rather than a grind to be undertaken every ten feet.

 

:yes:  :yes:  :yes:

:yes:  :yes:  :yes:

:yes:  :yes:  :yes:


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

 

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I think the whole 'Rogue' comes from the modern believe (thanks to WoW?) that Rogues are DPs rather than support characters (cause support in the trinity? Fo shame!)

And instead of holding true to it's own rogue D&D took over this other worldy rogue.

 

Another case where the MMO Trinity ruins everything... and I am sad to hear it's also used for base in PoE :(

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^

 

 

I agree that that is such a stupid idiotic pathetic garbage hateful retarded scumbag evil satanic nazi like term ever created. At least top 5.

 

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