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Can we really play the whole game with just one character?


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#241
mur'phon

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Stun: I agree with you to a point, a single character should level faster, and with the right stats/skills could be able to complete several quests without combat, thus making it easier. However, the level cap is 12, and assuming an entire party of six can reach it, the game could become hellishly difficult for a soloer over time.



#242
Stun

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I doubt that. Sawyer said that difficulty wise, PoE will be easier than IWD2. Well? Icewind Dale 2 was not hellishly difficult to Solo. None of the IE games were. In fact, the BG games were actually easier to solo than they were to full party. And BG1's level cap was cripplingly low (level 8/9)

But we don't need to cite the IE games. Josh Sawyer has already told us that Soloing will be doable in PoE and that they didn't even balance the game it to require a full party.

Edited by Stun, 16 July 2014 - 03:01 AM.


#243
Namutree

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I doubt that. Sawyer said that difficulty wise, PoE will be easier than IWD2. Well? Icewind Dale 2 was not hellishly difficult to Solo. None of the IE games were. In fact, the BG games were actually easier to solo than they were to full party. And BG1's level cap was cripplingly low (level 8/9)

But we don't need to cite the IE games. Josh Sawyer has already told us that Soloing will be doable in PoE and that they didn't even balance the game it to require a full party.

I have a feeling that poe will be designed to require more teamwork than the IE games, and when Josh said it would be easier than IWD2; he probably had full teams in mind. Soloing in the old IE games usually involved either making an incredibly powerful character; which will almost certainly not be possible in the more balanced poe, or involved game exploits which likely won't be as common in poe as they were in the IE games.

 

I'm betting soloing will be possible, but MUCH harder.


Edited by Namutree, 16 July 2014 - 11:54 AM.


#244
Klixen

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Oh I really, really hope this is possible! Because I would so much rather control just one character than a whole party (but that's just my personal preference). I'm sure playing solo will make the game much harder, but as the game is going to support mods, surely the difficulty can be tweaked a little bit to make it more solo friendly *fingers crossed*.



#245
PrimeJunta

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I'd expect the built-in difficulty settings are enough to get it to be enjoyable soloable even if you're not as hardcore as Stun.

#246
Karkarov

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I doubt that. Sawyer said that difficulty wise, PoE will be easier than IWD2. Well? Icewind Dale 2 was not hellishly difficult to Solo. None of the IE games were. In fact, the BG games were actually easier to solo than they were to full party. And BG1's level cap was cripplingly low (level 8/9)

But we don't need to cite the IE games. Josh Sawyer has already told us that Soloing will be doable in PoE and that they didn't even balance the game it to require a full party.

A few things.

1: It was easy to solo due to the D&D rules system being very easy to manipulate to become OP, that and lots of bugs+exploits. 

2: Eternity doesn't use the D&D rules system... maybe not as easy to manipulate and become OP, and we don't know what bugs+exploits will exist (hopefully none).
3: No he did not say that, he said that they were not forcing you to use a team and you could try to solo the game if you wanted but they were not designing the game with solo in mind at all.  He much later even said no one in the office has even attempted a solo run.


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#247
Stun

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3: No he did not say that,

You are mistaken.

He said this:

While I have Josh attention, I'll sneakily wedge in a question of mine in another thread 4 days ago: How much thought and testing has gone into soloing PE. Is it even advisable? Sooner or later, I'm sure gonna try it. :)


We absolutely allow people to try it and we will probably not put much effort into balancing it. We do not design anything with the assumption you will have additional party members.

^they're not balancing the game under the assumption that you've got a full party.

Edit: Hell, why did I even waste time doing a forum search? Sawyer said this on page 1 of this thread:

Yes. The game doesn't structurally require you to take on additional party members to complete it.


Edited by Stun, 23 July 2014 - 11:57 PM.


#248
Silent Winter

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We absolutely allow people to try it and we will probably not put much effort into balancing it. We do not design anything with the assumption you will have additional party members.

 

^they're not balancing the game under the assumption that you've got a full party.

Edit: Hell, why did I even waste time doing a forum search? Sawyer said this on page 1 of this thread:

Yes. The game doesn't structurally require you to take on additional party members to complete it.

 

^That's not the same as saying it won't be 'balanced' around a party - just that mechanically it won't require you to take party members (so, for example, they're not designing a puzzle with the assumption that you have 6 people to stand one on each square).

At least, that's how I read it.

 

This word 'balanced' (to me) means 'optimum challenge for enjoyment', not necessarily 'most difficult challenge'.  So while it'll probably be balanced around a full party, it may get easier/more difficult with different numbers (e.g. 4 may be easier, 3 may be harder, depending on tactics and composition).

I doubt soloing will be impossible - someone, somewhere will figure out some tactics to do it.


Edited by Silent Winter, 24 July 2014 - 12:53 AM.

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#249
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^That's not the same as saying it won't be 'balanced' around a party - just that mechanically it won't require you to take party members (so, for example, they're not designing a puzzle with the assumption that you have 6 people to stand one on each square).

At least, that's how I read it.

Exactly.  We already knew they were not going to prevent you from attempting to solo, so obviously they are not designing game elements like traps or puzzles assuming you have more than one character, because maybe you don't.  That being said, the combat gameplay itself is being designed around the idea that you aren't alone and do have a party.  Because if they don't design combat itself assuming you have a party than anyone who does have one will basically steam roll the game.



#250
Stun

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Exactly.  We already knew they were not going to prevent you from attempting to solo, so obviously they are not designing game elements like traps or puzzles assuming you have more than one character, because maybe you don't.  That being said, the combat gameplay itself is being designed around the idea that you aren't alone and do have a party.

In other words, it's exactly like the IE games, which were also balanced around party play. Since they were, you know, party based games.
 

Because if they don't design combat itself assuming you have a party than anyone who does have one will basically steam roll the game

Not really. Playing with a party of 3 in the IE games was actually much easier than playing with a party of 6. Mainly because XP was shared (as it will be in PoE, btw), which means the smaller your party was, the faster you leveled. And if you soloed, you leveled... 6 times faster.


Wait, isn't that what I've been saying since about page 3?

Edited by Stun, 24 July 2014 - 07:30 AM.


#251
fangGWJ

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I really like the idea that the game can be completed in whole or in part by a single character.  I myself really loved creating parties of 2 druids or 2 animate dead using clerics and seeing how far I could get in Icewind Dale 2.  One thing that will help this is if in the future they allow multiclassing.  Here are some other options this would benefit from:

 

I would love to see an option (in the future of course) to purposefully maim a character (in game or at character create) to gain further benefits/trade-offs for your character.  Like if you lose a hand, you can replace it with a metal or wood prosthetic that acts like an offhand weapon without penalty.  But of course the trade-off is that you can't equip shields or cast higher level spells (that with a lore based excuse requires fingers on both hands to cast as a possibility)

 

Or perhaps you have a prosthetic leg that slows your movement by a percentage permanently but is immune to roots and perhaps is more succeptable to knock downs and allows a special attack or automatic riposte when knocked down.

 

If you choose not to got with the limb replacement strategy, you can just cripple the limb for bonuses.  A crippled leg (with the same knock down vulnerability and movement speed loss) would increase strength and dexterity. (increased focus on use of arms growing up causes those bonuses)

 

A crippled arm removes the ability to use heavy shields or maybe only bucklers and lowers deflection but increases damage/penetration with one handed melee weapons.



#252
Silent Winter

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Because if they don't design combat itself assuming you have a party than anyone who does have one will basically steam roll the game

Not really. Playing with a party of 3 in the IE games was actually much easier than playing with a party of 6. Mainly because XP was shared (as it will be in PoE, btw), which means the smaller your party was, the faster you leveled. And if you soloed, you leveled... 6 times faster.


Wait, isn't that what I've been saying since about page 3?

 

Yes - until you hit the level cap (which I believe was already brought up) early-mid game much easier, end-game not so - so it depends on whether they're balancing the xp-rewards around the critical path to have a party of 6 reach the level cap (or perhaps level 11 - with the final level made up of some optional content).  Or whether that'll just let you hit level 9 or 10, in which case the solo-er may well be poweful enough at level 12 to  take the final boss ... but that could also mean the 6-person party at level 12 would beat that same boss far too easily.

We've heard that some of the optional bosses are harder than the 'final fight', so it may be that the main-game is soloable but the optional bosses are just that bit too tough.  Or not, we just don't know enough about the mechanics and any possible tactics/exploits.



#253
Hiro Protagonist II

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we just don't know enough about the mechanics and any possible tactics/exploits.

 

 

We do know we can exploit the enemy AI. I posted this in the Giantbomb video thread.

 

It does seem you can kite and exploit the enemy A.I. I noticed the ooze at 14.25 ignored two of the party members when it went by them while going after the other party member that triggered it.

 

And the ooze kept attacking that character that triggered it and still kept ignoring the other party members while those other party members were hitting it. :lol:

 

Ah, it wouldn't be an IE games without the exploits. :thumbsup:


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#254
Lephys

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We don't know if that'll make it into the final build, though. Might be weeded out in the beta.

Also, Josh mentioned how the AI calculates the circumstances, and narrows things down to a set of possible actions, but it still somewhat randomly chooses from that list. So, maybe that time the thing ignored the closer person, but, in a different instance of that fight, it might change targets to the closer target. *shrug*

Edited by Lephys, 24 July 2014 - 11:01 PM.


#255
Stun

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It's an ooze. If Oozes in this game are anything like oozes in D&D, then it wouldn't make sense for them to display brilliant tactical minds. It is, in fact, normal behavior for an ooze to latch on to a single target and not let go of it until it's dead.

And there wasn't a crowd of them either, so it's hard to say if this game will suffer the same exploitable AI that the IE games did. We will be able to better judge enemy AI when we stumble upon larger packs of enemies and see how they react. If we get the same behavior and the game allows, say, 10 orcs to swarm the tank (or your summons) and not deviate even as the rest of the party walks right by and takes free pot shots at them, then yes, we'll be able to say that not much has changed.

Edited by Stun, 24 July 2014 - 11:59 PM.

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#256
Hiro Protagonist II

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We'll have to see when the beta comes out if more enemies and the A.I. are exploitable. From the video we know mundane enemies like oozes are. It wouldn't surprise me if other enemies and enemy packs will be as well.

 

EDIT: Okay, I'm just going through this video and the first encounter did the same as the ooze. Both wolves attacked Calisca. The PC was attacking from behind with a pole arm. Calisca goes down and the two wolves keep attacking her. The PC keeps attacking one of the wolves. Calisca gets up and runs away and both wolves follow her while one of the wolves who was getting whacked by the PC ignores the nearest enemy which was the PC. The PC keeps attacking one of the wolves.

 

Confirmed. Even the humans will target one person even in packs. You just need one person in front to tank. Send in your other party members and they are ignored by the enemy. We'll see if this is 'fixed' later, if enemies can change from attacking one of your party members to another. Not sure how that would be 'fixed' though.


Edited by Hiro Protagonist II, 25 July 2014 - 01:29 AM.


#257
Gfted1

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Doesn't the Fighter have a taunt-like ability (maybe Hold the Line?) that would have that effect? Maybe it was activated in those examples?



#258
PrimeJunta

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Josh has previously said that there are no aggro mechanics. That would imply no taunt.

#259
Gfted1

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Hmm, maybe a wizard did it?

#260
MReed

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I think the confusion stems from an earlier discussion of the disengagement mechanics in this game.  Some people (myself... :)) believe that the disengagement mechanics will end up creating the same effect as a taunting mechanic.  Many others disagreed, on the other hand.

 

Known information about disengagement can be found here: http://pillarsofeter...elee_Engagement

 

In my opinion, the net effect of this mechanic will be very similar to that created by a "taunt" effect is certain conditions are met:

 

1) The AI is incapable of managing disengagement talents effectively.  This may be because they simply aren't available to the monster's "class", or that the uses are limited enough that the player can exploit the AI to "burn" the usages without successfully attacking the AI's desired target.

2) The bonuses granted on the free disengagement attack are high enough that a hit is nearly assured (say, 85% chance of a hit), at least when fighting against level appropriate foes.

3) The AI always moves directly towards its desired target (only deviating from this path to avoid obstacles, and then only to the minimum amount required), and this path will (outside of scripted "ambush" scenarios) result in the monster's moving adjacent to "tanks" before reaching the preferred targets.

 

#1 seems to me to be highly likely to me to be true, given the limitations of AI in past games (although this is where the bulk of the debate occurred)

#2 also seems highly likely to met, given the bonuses to accuracy attacked to the disengagement attack, and the high frequency of hits associated with the combat mechanics (see http://pillarsofeter...ck_Resolution).

Finally, #3 seems to be a given, barring major innovations in the opponents AI (taking indirect paths to avoid tanks) and the player choosing a reasonable formation (tanks up front, squishes in the back) for combat.


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