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Isometric Chicken

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

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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.

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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.


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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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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

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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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
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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

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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?


image,Gfted1,black,red.png

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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://pillarsofeternity.gamepedia.com/Melee_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://pillarsofeternity.gamepedia.com/Attack_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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Josh has previously said that there are no aggro mechanics. That would imply no taunt.

I wonder if he meant that there just aren't any specifically "aggro" mechanics (the same mechanical setup as in other games, namely MMOs now), or if there aren't mechanics of any kind that govern targeting, whatsoever.


Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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Maybe iam the only one, but the reason I solo'd in BG was to make controlling a party less complicated.

 

Perhaps if a party is very easy to control and manipulate using AI behavior models then there'd be less reason to solo.

 

It gets frustrating when Viconia with 9? constitution rushes first into combat or edwin tries to fight with his dagger, or characters bump into each other and turn around, or the many active abilities and different weapons for every NPC make it boring to micromanage them all.

 

In a way, soloing was easier (and faster playthrough) than playing a party because there was significantly less need to micro everyone. I hope POE solves this dilemma

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I suspect (and hope) that you are going to be disappointed, artyom -- if it were possible to play the game as you envision (set AI behaviors for companions, and only micromanage one PC) and still be highly successful in combat, then...  Well, that means that you would very likely be successful in combat if you provided no inputs at all during combat.  After all, at worst not providing any inputs would result in one (of 6) members of your party doing nothing at all, which is highly likely to result in a victory.

 

That isn't to say such a game might not be highly enjoyable, but as a programming game, rather than a conventional RPG.  In fact, I spent some time back in the days trying to engineer scripts in Infinity Engine games that could, in fact, automatically win most combats, with little success.  That's more a function of the very inelegant scripting language used in these games than anything else, though.

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Maybe iam the only one, but the reason I solo'd in BG was to make controlling a party less complicated.

 

Perhaps if a party is very easy to control and manipulate using AI behavior models then there'd be less reason to solo.

 

It gets frustrating when Viconia with 9? constitution rushes first into combat or edwin tries to fight with his dagger, or characters bump into each other and turn around, or the many active abilities and different weapons for every NPC make it boring to micromanage them all.

 

 

 Well, if you like party based tactical combat the so-called micromanaging would be the interesting part. Soloing is certainly an alternative but AI for 5 of 6 party members really is not, as MReed pointed out.

 

 Imagine playing BG as a Bard. Combat would consist of hitting the sing button and waiting for your party to demolish your enemies.

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All that being said (last two posts), artyom, it doesn't mean it's going to be as clunky as BG. The actual "make sure people are performing intelligent actions" bit isn't the obstacle, though. You can't group those two things together. The frustration you described stemmed heavily from things not really working like they should even when you DO give them orders. I mean, worst case scenario, you'll have to pause at the beginning of every combat, to briefly assign targets and such, then let it roll for a bit. Maybe re-assign or change if something major happens. It's not like you have to forcibly make the whole party take each individual step and perform each individual motion to attack, etc.

 

Decent party passive AI would be nice, but it would still need plenty of guidance in any given combat instance. On Easy, it'd need less, and on Hard, it'd need more. But, you never want "none."


Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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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?

 

I think Calsica was wearing her bacon pants. 

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