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Will Pillars of Eternity have better combat system than Dragon Age Origins?

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Yes, you do. But that interpretation is entirely yours, and not founded on anything the devs have said. Read what Josh has said about the reasons he changed that mechanic. It was not to get rid of the need for counters, but to get rid of the necessity for trial-and-error-reloading. Before, if your main caster was hit by a paralysis, petrification, or death effect, you effectively lost the battle. Now, you will have a chance to react to the turn of events after it happens. I.e., a surprise attack by basilisks suddenly becomes a possibility that won't trigger an automatic reload. It does in no way imply that you won't need protection from petrification anymore. That would be silly.

 

 

I understand that the motivation is to prevent save and reload game play and agree that this feature will achieve this goal.  I disagree that this goal is desirable enough to be worth the cost.  YMMV

 

In any case, we are moving into a fruitless discussion, I think:  The reason that I brought these topics up was not to argue that whether they are bad or good, but to point out ways in which the mechanics of this game are far more similar to DA:O mechanics than IE mechanics.  Regardless of the merits of the individual design changes, can you argue that combat is far more likely to resemble DA:O than IE?  If not, what ways do you expect PoE combat to distinguish itself from DA:O combat (& resemble IE games)?

Edited by MReed

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* "Flypaper" ability for fighters: http://www.pcgamer.com/2014/04/18/pillars-of-eternity-interview-josh-sawyer-on-world-building-magic-psychic-warriors-and-more/ (" PC Gamer: Will you be able to combine spells and abilities in any interesting ways?")

Yes, we know there's a "flypaper" ability for fighters. What you pulled out of your behind is that it involves messing with or switching off enemy AI. It merely means that a fighter can stickily engage multiple enemies at once. I would expect that enemy fighters have a similar ability.

 

 

If the AI, without interference from the player, would accept a disengagement penalty in engage target B, but is blocked from doing so by a player activity ability, this is "disabling the AI".  "Taunt" and "Heat" mechanics work on the same principal:  granting the player an advantage by forcing the AI to make decisions than it would otherwise avoid.  If, after all, the AI would have remained engaged with the fighter without the ability, then what was the point of the ability again?

 

I think it's possible you're incorrectly understanding how engagement works.  Everyone can engage one target in melee.  If someone tries to move out of the engagement, that provokes a disengagement attack, which is NOT a player activated ability.  It just happens, though I believe it has either an accuracy or a damage bonus.  This is also a two-way street--if I try to bull past the AI's front line to get to their casters, I'll suffer disengagement attacks in exactly the same manner as the AI would if the AI were trying to bull past my front line.

 

Fighters have an modal ability that allows them to engage three targets--hence the flypaper description.  But an AI fighter could use the same mode and make my life difficult.  It's not an asymmetric mechanic like aggro in an MMO.

Edited by tajerio
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In any case, we are moving into a fruitless discussion, I think:  The reason that I brought these topics up was not to argue that whether they are bad or good, but to point out ways in which the mechanics of this game are far more similar to DA:O mechanics than IE mechanics.  Regardless of the merits of the individual design changes, can you argue that combat is far more likely to resemble DA:O than IE?  If not, what ways do you expect PoE combat to distinguish itself from DA:O combat (& resemble IE games)?

 

I think there are a few major differences between likely PoE combat and DA:O combat that would tend to make PoE a lot more like the IE games:

 

1. Extensive class variety: DA:O has three classes, two of which aren't really that different from one another (hell, warrior and rogue share the entire Dual Weapon and Archery family of talents).  PoE, on the other hand, has eleven classes, each with their own suite of abilities, which is a lot more reminiscent of the IE class-with-kit variety.

 

2. Ruleset symmetry between player and AI: In DA:O, enemies have abilities the player can't have, the player has abilities the enemies can't have, and the enemies have hitpoint totals that occupy another universe than those of the player's party.  In PoE, Josh is aiming for the AI and player to draw from a not-dissimilar ability pool and to be in the same area vis-a-vis hitpoints--which is very like the IE games.

 

3. Tactical challenge and complexity: 1&2, in my mind, come together to produce this one, plus the fact that PoE has room for six party members while DA:O only allowed four.  The tactical challenge of PoE, due to the elimination of hard counters and the smoothing of power progression curves for the different classes, will probably be different from the IE games in kind.  But, I submit, it'll be much closer to the IE games in the degree of challenge and complexity than it will be to DA:O.

 

I could add some others, such as the likely breadth of enemies, non-regenerating health, considerable weapon differentiation, and so on, but I think those are the biggies.

Edited by tajerio
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PoE is different from DAO because...

1) lack of cooldowns 2) no stamina/mana pool 3) no healing potions or spells 4) permadeath, for realz 5) complex weapons system 6) 11 classes with no specializations, rather than 3 with specializations 7) no dump stats 8) engagement rules 9) no aggro 10) no class restrictions for equipment

 

Those are just differences in combat mechanics. In terms of plot, well I'll just say that Gaider is not quite up to MCA's caliber.

 

If you honestly think PoE is an imitation of DAO, you are delusional.

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DA:O is not by any stretch of the imagination a bad or even mediocre game. It is, in fact, a very good game. Furthermore, even I, someone who found DA:O's combat largely dull, would never say that every single combat mechanic in DA:O is A) a bad idea, or B) badly executed. There are plenty of good ideas in DA:O, and of those, many are well-executed. The crowd-control mechaincs are a good idea, for example.

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If the AI, without interference from the player, would accept a disengagement penalty in engage target B, but is blocked from doing so by a player activity ability, this is "disabling the AI".

And where did it say that the "flypaper" ability does that? I'm fairly confident that all it means is that the fighter, unlike other classes, and when that ability is active, is able to engage more than one target at once -- and possibly that his disengagement attacks are meaner. There's nothing about disabling AI there.

 

"Taunt" and "Heat" mechanics work on the same principal:  granting the player an advantage by forcing the AI to make decisions than it would otherwise avoid.  If, after all, the AI would have remained engaged with the fighter without the ability, then what was the point of the ability again?

Yet Josh has explicitly stated that "heat" (aggro) mechanics won't be present in the game, and has not mentioned the presence of "Taunt" at all.


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In any case, we are moving into a fruitless discussion, I think:  The reason that I brought these topics up was not to argue that whether they are bad or good, but to point out ways in which the mechanics of this game are far more similar to DA:O mechanics than IE mechanics.  Regardless of the merits of the individual design changes, can you argue that combat is far more likely to resemble DA:O than IE?  If not, what ways do you expect PoE combat to distinguish itself from DA:O combat (& resemble IE games)?

More to the point, your description of those mechanics WAS ALMOST ENTIRELY WRONG. Which kind of starts the discussion off on the wrong foot.


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"Dragon Age 2 probably cost more to make than All of the IE games... COMBINED."

 

I doubt that very much. DA2 was made really quick with lots of reused assets from DA1. Likely more expensive than any single IE game buyt all combined? You do realzie that BG1 and BG2 weren't cheap to make, right?

 

"1) lack of cooldowns"

 

Sure there is. 1ce per battle, 1ce per day are absically cool downs.

 

|"s 2) no stamina/mana pool 3) no healing potions or spells 4) permadeath, for realz 5) complex weapons system 6) 11 classes with no specializations, rather than 3 with specializations 7) no dump stats 8) engagement rules 9) no aggro 10) no class restrictions for equipment"

\

L0LZ

 

"In terms of plot, well I'll just say that Gaider is not quite up to MCA's caliber."
 

HAHAHAHAHA!

 

 

"If you honestly think PoE is an imitation of DAO, you are delusional."

 

No. You.


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The combat should be fairly different then Dragon Age. Due to DA being a 3rd person action rpg title with cool-downs.

 

But...isn't this also a 3rd person action RPG with cool-downs? At the moment, I'm not sure what the difference is, unless I missed something. Will this not have cool-downs? Or will it not have lots of action? Or will it not be 3rd person?

 

From what I've seen, it will have special abilities in combat, which, logically, means there'll probably be cool-downs of some sort (because something has to stop you from spamming your best ability as quickly as you can mash the button). Special abilities in combat tends to mean you'll be killing lots of things (rather than killing a few things, as was the case in Baldur's Gate), which indicates action-heavy. And doesn't 3rd person mean viewing the character from somebody else's point of view, as opposed to 1st person?

 

That's not the definition of "action" used in "action RPG" and I know you know it.

 

As for cooldowns, if you, for instance, look at update 71 you'll see that the anti-spamming mechanism appears to be limiting abilities on a per-encounter and per-rest basis.

 

 

Alright, I'll re-phrase my question. In what ways will combat be different from in DA: O? How is DA: O an action RPG where this game isn't? Because it looks similar to me. It even uses the same death mechanic (although NWN2 did that first). If DA: O is considered an action RPG, what is it about this game that makes it not?

 

Per-encounter and per-day abilities - I'm aware of that, but what's that if not a cool-down? To me, it's the same thing, just with a longer period. :p


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Alright, I'll re-phrase my question. In what ways will combat be different from in DA: O? How is DA: O an action RPG where this game isn't? Because it looks similar to me. It even uses the same death mechanic (although NWN2 did that first). If DA: O is considered an action RPG, what is it about this game that makes it not?

 

Per-encounter and per-day abilities - I'm aware of that, but what's that if not a cool-down? To me, it's the same thing, just with a longer period. :p

 

 

Well, as to your first point I think there are several posts above that outline differences between PoE and DA:O.  Also, I'm not sure I'd consider DA:O an action RPG.  The pausing, ability to control multiple characters, and slowness of the combat would seem to militate against that--not to mention that player skill has no effect on whether or how attacks connect.  To me, it's kinda halfway to action RPG but not all the way there.

 

As to the second, if you consider per-day abilities a cooldown then all the IE games had cooldowns.

Edited by tajerio

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Alright, I'll re-phrase my question. In what ways will combat be different from in DA: O? How is DA: O an action RPG where this game isn't? Because it looks similar to me. It even uses the same death mechanic (although NWN2 did that first). If DA: O is considered an action RPG, what is it about this game that makes it not?

To pick some of the most obvious ones, DA:O has aggro mechanics (and it's quite crucial to use them to play effectively), but P:E doesn't; DA:O has cooldowns, but P:E doesn't; DA:O has (plentiful) spammable potions for health and mana, but P:E doesn't; DA:O has maiming which is fixable on the fly with an expendable, P:E has maiming which requires you to rest (with limited resting); DA:O has no permadeath, but P:E does even in normal mode (a Maimed character whose health hits zero is permadead).

 

Per-encounter and per-day abilities - I'm aware of that, but what's that if not a cool-down? To me, it's the same thing, just with a longer period. :p

So spellcasting in the IE games was a cooldown too, because you had to rest to regain them? Okay then, glad we got that cleared up.

Edited by PrimeJunta

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I think it's possible you're incorrectly understanding how engagement works.  Everyone can engage one target in melee.  If someone tries to move out of the engagement, that provokes a disengagement attack, which is NOT a player activated ability.  It just happens, though I believe it has either an accuracy or a damage bonus.  This is also a two-way street--if I try to bull past the AI's front line to get to their casters, I'll suffer disengagement attacks in exactly the same manner as the AI would if the AI were trying to bull past my front line.

 

Fighters have an modal ability that allows them to engage three targets--hence the flypaper description.  But an AI fighter could use the same mode and make my life difficult.  It's not an asymmetric mechanic like aggro in an MMO.

 

 

If this is the way the "Defender" ability is implemented, I withdraw my objection.  However, I wouldn't use the adjective "flypaper" to describe such an ability, and I'd argue that such an ability shouldn't be a modal ability, but rather a class feature ("always on") -- under what circumstances would you want to turn it off, after all?

 

I'd use the adjective "flypaper" to describe an ability that works as I described earlier:  The enemy can't disengage.  This is something that is worthy of modal ability as well:  if you are low on hit points, you might well want to turn it off to try to escape yourself (since it works both ways -- enemies can't disengage, but neither can you!), or you might turn it off to try to grab attacks of opportunity on opponents that are moving past you.

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That's what I thought. I wouldn't have called DA: O an action RPG either for the same reasons, which is why I was a little puzzled when somebody referred to it like that. In fact, I wouldn't even say DA: O was a bad game.

 

 

To pick some of the most obvious ones, DA:O has aggro mechanics (and it's quite crucial to use them to play effectively), but P:E doesn't; DA:O has cooldowns, but P:E doesn't; DA:O has (plentiful) spammable potions for health and mana, but P:E doesn't; DA:O has maiming which is fixable on the fly with an expendable, P:E has maiming which requires you to rest (with limited resting); DA:O has no permadeath, but P:E does even in normal mode (a Maimed character whose health hits zero is permadead).

 

Okay, permadeath is good. In fact, the maiming mechanic would also have been good if it wasn't so easy to fix, so maybe that's good too. However, do these differences really mean the difference between an action RPG and a not-action RPG? By my definition, an action RPG is where the player's skill and dexterity is a decisive factor in the outcome of a fight. DA: O wasn't like that. Again, that's why I was puzzled to see people declaring DA: O to be one.

 

As to the second, if you consider per-day abilities a cooldown then all the IE games had cooldowns.

 

I can deal with cooldowns for magic related things, because *insert magic jargon that stops spellcasters from being too powerful*. However, I dislike cooldowns, and limited use abilities, for fighting. I find it hard to reason the idea that a swordsman can do a really good attack, but can only do it once a day, and must then continue using a less effective attack for the rest of the day.

 

As for magic...well, for magic to work, it has to be rare, and a majorly big deal, not something every Tom, Dave and Harry can do. I'm okay with the 3rd edition style moves that trade damage potential for something else, but I just dislike the whole "once per encounter/day" thing being used for non-magical classes that wouldn't have a limiting factor that can be reasonably explained in this way.

 

I know many won't agree with me, but I find this idea of "stamina reserves" which you can "dig into to do a really good attack but only once" silly. If you can do an awesome attack, you can always do it, otherwise you're doing it wrong. Robin Hood didn't have to "dig into the reserves of his stamina" to shoot an arrow that split somebody else's arrow, then declare that he can't do that again until he rests. :p

 

But I should stress, however, that this is just my opinion. :)

Edited by Suburban-Fox

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If this is the way the "Defender" ability is implemented, I withdraw my objection.  However, I wouldn't use the adjective "flypaper" to describe such an ability, and I'd argue that such an ability shouldn't be a modal ability, but rather a class feature ("always on") -- under what circumstances would you want to turn it off, after all?

When you want to move?

 

(Okay, not sure about this one -- I think I heard it mentioned somewhere that this is a "defend" mode that parks your fighter somewhere. Could be that it has some other trade-off, but I'm pretty sure there is one. Paging Dr. Sawyer to the OR, stat!)


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To pick some of the most obvious ones, DA:O has aggro mechanics (and it's quite crucial to use them to play effectively), but P:E doesn't; DA:O has cooldowns, but P:E doesn't; DA:O has (plentiful) spammable potions for health and mana, but P:E doesn't; DA:O has maiming which is fixable on the fly with an expendable, P:E has maiming which requires you to rest (with limited resting); DA:O has no permadeath, but P:E does even in normal mode (a Maimed character whose health hits zero is permadead).

 

 

Aggro mechanics:  To the degree that this doesn't exist in PoE this is a very good thing.  However, I believe that the "defender" ability is a move in that direction -- your opinion, obviously, differs.

 

Cooldowns:  How much difference this will make in practice depends how quickly "1/day" abilities convert into "1/encounter" (and eventually to "at will") abilities  and how long "average" combats are.  If the majority of encounters last 2 (real-time without pausing) minutes then the difference between "1/encounter" and "90 second cooldown" doesn't amount to much.

 

Potions for health and mana:  Technically speaking, this is true (health can't be recovered except by resting, and there is no mana at all) -- however stamina can be recovered via spells and abilities, and I haven't seen anything to indicate that stamina potions won't exist.  Given that the majority of damage comes out of stamina, I'm not sure how often the inability to recover health will come into play (within the scope of a single combat encounter -- obviously, over multiple encounters it will be a factor, but then resting comes into play).

 

Maiming:  Correct -- but if maiming is as serious as it was in DA:O, who cares...  DA:O maiming was an absolute joke -- there were a number of times that I looked at my character sheet and discovered that I had 3 or more "maim" effects and I hadn't even noticed....

 

Permadeath:  Yeap, agreed -- that's a big difference.  How often fear of permadeath will influence gameplay decisions, however, is another matter altogether.

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@MReed, have you followed what Josh has said about maimed characters? By the sound of it they're seriously gimped, plus they will be dead if hit again. I've seen nothing to indicate that it'll be a DA:O style easy-to-shrug-off condition you can fix on the fly with a consumable or spell.


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If this is the way the "Defender" ability is implemented, I withdraw my objection.  However, I wouldn't use the adjective "flypaper" to describe such an ability, and I'd argue that such an ability shouldn't be a modal ability, but rather a class feature ("always on") -- under what circumstances would you want to turn it off, after all?

When you want to move?

 

(Okay, not sure about this one -- I think I heard it mentioned somewhere that this is a "defend" mode that parks your fighter somewhere. Could be that it has some other trade-off, but I'm pretty sure there is one. Paging Dr. Sawyer to the OR, stat!)

 

 

If it locks your fighter into place and doesn't lock your opponents into place then the ability is just outright bad.  I mean, really, sacrificing all mobility for the chance (if multiple opponents happen to walk by at the same time) to get an extra attack?

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It's not just one more attack. It's the ability to block critters from moving through your zone of control, and punishing them -- hard -- if they want to disengage and try another route past. This will solve the IE game problem where it was basically pointless to try to position your fighters anywhere there wasn't a conveniently-positioned narrow doorway, since the gankers will just scoot right past them to go after your squishies. This will make it possible to use actual tactics -- have a line of heavies in front of your squishies.

 

I hope it's going to also immobilize the fighter, as it will fix one more annoying thing about IE-style AI -- the propensity for your characters to run after enemies after they gank one (Guard button notwithstanding). Don't forget that it's an ability you can turn on and off at will. Pick a position, park your fighter at the choke point in defend mode, and you're all set.

 

Edit: note that there is a certain amount of speculation in the above. I'm extrapolating from what Josh has said are his intentions when designing the mechanics. It would be cool if he showed up to confirm/debunk, as appropriate.

Edited by PrimeJunta
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All this talk about the fighter's fly-paper ability makes me think of the Dwarven Defender and its Defensive Stance in NWN1 up until patch 1.67:

"Patch 1.67 altered the way personal space works for player characters. This has the effect of allowing other players or NPCs to move past a player character in doorways and other tight locations so long as there is a minimum of walkable space available. A Dwarven Defender in Defensive Stance could previously "plug" a door or other choke point significantly wider than himself."

I wonder if the very intention with that fly-paper ability is to be able to choke points and stop people for passing through. And even worse (better) - if the baddies try to escape, the fighter gets some kind of attack of opportunity. What I don't want to see is some kind of Black Hole spell (from D3 RoS) for fighters.

Edited by IndiraLightfoot

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It's not just one more attack. It's the ability to block critters from moving through your zone of control, and punishing them -- hard -- if they want to disengage and try another route past. This will solve the IE game problem where it was basically pointless to try to position your fighters anywhere there wasn't a conveniently-positioned narrow doorway, since the gankers will just scoot right past them to go after your squishies. This will make it possible to use actual tactics -- have a line of heavies in front of your squishies.

 

I hope it's going to also immobilize the fighter, as it will fix one more annoying thing about IE-style AI -- the propensity for your characters to run after enemies after they gank one (Guard button notwithstanding). Don't forget that it's an ability you can turn on and off at will. Pick a position, park your fighter at the choke point in defend mode, and you're all set.

 

Edit: note that there is a certain amount of speculation in the above. I'm extrapolating from what Josh has said are his intentions when designing the mechanics. It would be cool if he showed up to confirm/debunk, as appropriate.

 

I don't see any reason to assume that an attack of opportunity is any more than a regular "default" attack that is made immediately and has a much increase chance of hitting.  I wouldn't expect a single default attack (even if it were an automatic critical) to be so serious as to either immediately kill your foe nor weaken the foe to the point where they are no longer a threat.  If it prevents the opponent from moving through your zone of control at all (even with an attack of opportunity) then we are getting back into "flypaper" territory.

 

I understand the problem that such abilities are trying to solve -- but the ability of monster's to bypass tanks to threaten weaker / more vulnerable targets is one of the few advantages that opponents in CRPGs have.  Any ability that is designed specifically to eliminate this capability is deeply worrying to me.

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I understand the problem that such abilities are trying to solve -- but the ability of monster's to bypass tanks to threaten weaker / more vulnerable targets is one of the few advantages that opponents in CRPGs have.  Any ability that is designed specifically to eliminate this capability is deeply worrying to me.

 

 

That is entirely incomprehensible to me, but to each their own I guess.

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It's not just one more attack. It's the ability to block critters from moving through your zone of control, and punishing them -- hard -- if they want to disengage and try another route past. This will solve the IE game problem where it was basically pointless to try to position your fighters anywhere there wasn't a conveniently-positioned narrow doorway, since the gankers will just scoot right past them to go after your squishies. This will make it possible to use actual tactics -- have a line of heavies in front of your squishies.

 

I hope it's going to also immobilize the fighter, as it will fix one more annoying thing about IE-style AI -- the propensity for your characters to run after enemies after they gank one (Guard button notwithstanding). Don't forget that it's an ability you can turn on and off at will. Pick a position, park your fighter at the choke point in defend mode, and you're all set.

 

Edit: note that there is a certain amount of speculation in the above. I'm extrapolating from what Josh has said are his intentions when designing the mechanics. It would be cool if he showed up to confirm/debunk, as appropriate.

 

I don't see any reason to assume that an attack of opportunity is any more than a regular "default" attack that is made immediately and has a much increase chance of hitting.  I wouldn't expect a single default attack (even if it were an automatic critical) to be so serious as to either immediately kill your foe nor weaken the foe to the point where they are no longer a threat.  If it prevents the opponent from moving through your zone of control at all (even with an attack of opportunity) then we are getting back into "flypaper" territory.

 

I understand the problem that such abilities are trying to solve -- but the ability of monster's to bypass tanks to threaten weaker / more vulnerable targets is one of the few advantages that opponents in CRPGs have.  Any ability that is designed specifically to eliminate this capability is deeply worrying to me.

 

 

Josh isn't trying to eliminate the ability of enemies to bypass the front line on the way to the casters.  He's trying to attach some cost to doing that, so that enemies can't waltz right by your careful tactical positioning, thumbing their noses on their way to stomping your wizard.  Instead, the AI has to make a "choice," about whether taking the hit is worth it in order to attack the casters or the ranger or whoever's back there.  And you as the player will probably be faced with the same situation. 

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All I can say, playing IWD2 atm, is that the game is severely lacking when it comes to your party members hitting moving enemies. If a baddie starts lumbering for some weak party member, all that happens when I click on it, is my character gets to pursue it, not hit it!! Never. It's a wild goose chase and not very logical as a combat game feature. This moving baddie can brush by me dozens of times, but my character can only click and follow, not hit him in those instances. That's weird, and something I hope we won't see in PE.

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Oh yes.

 

The converse is true too. Kiting is way too easy. Tedious, but easy. Sticky engagement with punishing disengagement attacks is exactly the right recipe to solve that problem, and giving fighters a tangible edge in that is a great way to differentiate them.

 

(Also, popping up enemies from nowhere behind you every once in a while is fine, but over and over and over again...?)

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Indeed. Those two - dare I say blemishes? - need to be blotted out from this new iteration of IE-inspired sweetness that is PE! :)

 

And enemies out of thin air, tell me about it! Those war drums outside the goblin fortress and in that weird cave right by it which was a mixed bag of everything in there, even a spider-eating goblin that was explicitly good), well they showered you with goblins on worgs, orcs, bugbears, ogres, whatnot.

Edited by IndiraLightfoot

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

 

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