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With the beta coming up soon, it'd be nice to start listing possible difficulty options they could include for players who want an easier or harder game. I've gone through several threads on difficulty to compile this list, but I probably haven't put everything down.

 

List all things you'd like to be optional in game settings/configuration. Not everything will make it in, but we can still make a list!

 

 

Enemies

Enemy hitpoints (and/or stamina points?)

- half value

- normal value

- double value

 

Enemy damage

- half value

- normal value

- double value

 

Enemy critical hit chance

- half value

- normal value

- double value

 

Enemy dodging ability

- half value

- normal value

- double value

 

Enemy number in each encounter

- fewer enemies

- normal number

- more enemies

 

Enemy focus fire

- enemies seldom focus fire on a player character (multiple foes attacking 1 player character)

- enemies often focus fire on a player character (multiple foes attacking 1 player character)

 

Enemy distracted*

- enemies will be easily distracted from attacking a player character

- enemies won't be easily distracted from attacking a player character

*For example: stopping to attack a [mostly] non-threatening melee character instead of continuing to attack a more dangerous ranged caster.

 

Enemy drawing

- enemies can be drawn one by one without alerting other enemies in the group

- enemies can't be drawn one by one without alerting other enemies in the group.

 

Enemy respawning

- enemies never respawn in an area

- enemies sometimes respawn

- enemies always respawn in certain areas

 

Enemy stats

- the player can view to-hit chances or hitpoints when attacking an enemy, as well as view damage type weaknesses (eg. fire)

- the player can view to-hit chances or hitpoints when attacking an enemy

- the player can't view to-hit chances or hitpoints when attacking an enemy

 

 

Non-attack options in battle

Switching weapons in combat - time

- switching weapons has no penalty on character action (ie. it doesn't affect a character's actions per round bar/gauge)

- switching weapons has a mild penalty on character action

- switching weapons has a major penalty on character action

 

Drinking potions or applying salves in combat - time

- drinking potions or applying salves has no penalty on character action (ie. it doesn't affect a character's actions per round bar/gauge)

- drinking potions or applying salves has a mild penalty on character action

- drinking potions or applying salves has a major penalty on character action

 

Drinking potions or applying salves in combat - number

- you can drink an unlimited number of potions and apply an unlimited number of salves during combat

- you can drink a limited number of potions and apply a limited number of salves during combat

- you can't drink potions or apply salves during combat

 

 

Friendly Fire

Physical Weapons*

- physical weapons will not harm other party members

- physical weapons will harm other party members

*For example, your arrows will or won't shoot right through your other party member; your whirlwind blade attack does or doesn't hit adjacent party members.

 

Explosive Weapons and Magic (explosive potions/gunpowder, fireballs, stinking clouds)

- explosive weapons and area effect magic will not harm other players

- explosive weapons and area effect magic will harm other players

 

 

Items

Item Damage

- explosive (or corrosive or ice-ifying) attacks have no chance of destroying an enemy's or chest's equipment

- explosive (or corrosive or ice-ifying) attacks have a chance of destroying an enemy's or chest's equipment

- explosive (or corrosive or ice-ifying) attacks always destroy an enemy's or chest's equipment

 

 

Environment

Light Modifications

- darker areas will never effect a character's to-hit values

- darker areas will lower to-hit values of characters who can't see well in the dark

 

Rain/Storm Modifications

- stormy weather will never effect a character's to-hit values

- stormy weather will lower to-hit values of characters who can't see well in the dark

 

 

Injury

Death

- when hitpoints reach 0, a character is maimed or knocked out and can be revived later

- when hitpoints reach 0, a character is permanently dead

 

Instant Death

- no attacks will cause instant death

- certain attacks will cause instant death

 

Wounds (eg. bruised ribs, twisted ankle)

- wounds are healed after few rests

- wounds are healed after many rests

 

Stamina Regeneration

- stamina regenerates during combat for all classes

- stamina regenerates during combat for some classes

- stamina regenerates only after combat -- immediately or almost immediately after combat

- stamina regenerates only after combat -- slowly after combat (eg. 10-30 in-game minutes; maybe 5 minutes real-time)

 

 

Resting

Resting locations

- there are many resting locations

- there are few resting locations

 

Ambush

- there are no ambushes during resting

- there are sometimes ambushes during resting

- every time you rest you will be attacked by demogorgon, who will take his time

 

 

Conversations

Viewable conversation choices*

- unselectable conversation choices will be viewable

- unselectable conversation choices won't be viewable

*Conversation options won't be shown unless the player character has the required skills or attribute values to select those options.

 

Selectable party members

- any party member can be chosen to speak no matter how far they are to a non-player character

- party members can only be chosen to speak if they are within a certain distance to a non-player character

 

Convincing non-player characters

- npcs are easily convinced to do as you would like

- npcs are not so easily convinced to do as you would like

- no matter what you choose, the npc will always insult your mother

 

Convincing recruitable-player characters

- rpcs are easily convinced to tell you about their lives and hardships, even risking their lives to help you in situations

- rpcs are convinced with moderate difficulty to tell you about their lives and hardships, possibly even risking their lives to help you

- rpcs are seldom convinced to tell you about their lives and hardships, and will rarely risk their lives to help you

 

+ as above, yet some rpcs will never trust you if your race, culture, or gender is not one they like

 

 

Reputation

Reputation - outside of party

- your reputation level is written down for all factions and individuals you've encountered

- your reputation level is written down for all factions you've encountered

- your reputation level is never written down

- in your log book, you only ever record the names of those who have insulted your mother

 

Reputation - inside of party

- if you can influence a character's behaviour or thoughts towards you, a gauge displays your level of influence

- if you can influence a character's behaviour or thoughts towards you, no gauge displays your level of influence

 

 

Hired player characters*

- once hired, hpcs will never again ask you for more money

- once hired, hpcs will occasionally ask you for more money

- once hired, hpcs will often ask you for more money

*This is assuming they're all hired from a mercenary guild rather than, say, recruited at an adventuring hall or tavern.

 

 

Inventory

Inventory space

- unlimited space not restricted by party member's individual inventory grid/spots

- limited space not restricted by party member's individual inventory grid/spots

- limited space restricted by party member's individual inventory grid/spots

 

Inventory weight

- unlimited weight (no weight restriction)

- limited weight based on the group's combined strength/vitality values

- limited weight based on party member's individual strength/vitality values (strong characters can carry more than weak characters)

 

 

Economy

Merchant Money - selling to merchants

- merchants have unlimited money to buy the party's sold items

- merchants have limited money to buy the party's sold items

 

Merchant Picky-ness - selling to merchants

- merchants of any type will buy any type of items from the party

- merchants of a given type will not buy any type of items from the party (eg. blacksmith won't buy your lovely lovely flowers you picked)

 

Merchant Offers - selling to merchants

- party items will be sold for higher value

- party items will be sold for normal value

- party items will be sold for lower value

 

 

Hardcore mode

- if selected when the game is made, the save file will be automatically deleted upon total party wipeout

+ there is only one save file; multiple save files are not allowed (game autosaves when you quit)

 

Ultra Hardcore mode

- if selected, Jon Irenicus will appear and spend hours explaining why you are so immensely stupid and insignificant and unworthy.

Meanwhile Sarevok will grab your arms and hit you with them while laughing 'why are you hitting yourself?' He never gets tired of it.

 

Hug Button

- if pressed, Minsc will appear to hug the player then proceed to beat up the evil.

- if pressed, Oswald Fiddlebender will appear to offer commiserations and offer you a ride to the nearest inn.

- if pressed, Fall-From-Grace will appear to kiss the player in an embrace. You die.

- if pressed, the tarrasque appears and farts in your general direction. Everybody dies.

- if pressed, Ravel appears and, after you complain of taking several trips to haul dungeon loot to your stronghold, she casts a spell which backfires and changes you into a chest (now everyone brings loot to you!). Jan Jansen then sets up a turnip stand nearby, regaling you with tales of turnips. He invites all his relatives. Eventually you become a latrine.

Edited by tilly
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Keeping it simple:

 

http://pillarsofeternity.gamepedia.com/Mode

 

Many of the settings and sliders will be adjustable adjustable.

 

Though I would like in the settings screen to describe explicitly what easy, medium, and hard actually entails. For example, if like to know the setting in which everyone plays by the same hardcore rules.

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I'm very curious how the "

  • Hide explicit quest objectives in Journal i.e. show just the journal text of the quest, without explicit objectives saying what todo."

will pan out.

 

It has been such a long time since there have been games with little "helper" information, that many players will feel lost or overwhelmed without it. I know recently i started playing Original Sin, and got quickly overwhelmed with the lack of information the game provided, so much so that I felt like i HAD to reroll within a few hours of playing, and got frustrated enough to stop playing.

 

On the other hand, Fallout 1-2 was complex enough, yet gave enough information to the player (in the character screens, and quest log, etc) that I never felt overwhelmed at all.

 

I wonder what the testing for the mode will be like. 

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i'd like to have the option for a normal difficulty, but where if your whole party or leader dies then you lose game, or something along those lines. Something like in Diablo 3 hardocre. Also difficulty shouldnt be adjustable mid-game like in Baldurs Gate in order to get better hit point on level rolls or to beat a hard encounter. The difficulty you choose at character creation should be permanent for that character

 

I find it alot more enjoyable to play when theres considerable risk is involved...

 

Increasing difficulty via tougher enemies just makes players save/reload more often, and as a result the game does not become any harder

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I have no idea how to reply after reading the OP, which I failed to read completely. That gave me a headache.

 

 I say, use the KISS principle. Keep It Simple Stupid.

 

 easy, medium, Hard, HARDCORE as in perma death. If that fits in anyway.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've played games where there is no significant difference between difficulty levels (Looking at you Champions of Norrath). On Normal, it takes 1.5 arrows to kill a goblin. You finish the game and start one on Hard: you have way better gear and the enemies have their health boosted. Guess what? It takes 1.5 arrows to kill the goblin. Guess what happens when you start a Difficult game? Yes, 1.5 arrows.

 

If I was going to build difficulty levels I would build them so that each difficulty level provides a different experience for the player. LIke so:

 

Auto-play+ - Designed for players who have physical disabilities. The game would have mini-games to determine what the player's abilities are (ie: drive a car/horse around a figure 8 track). The game would adjust itself to get to a level where the player could (hopefully) find his interaction meaningful. The character only dies if it is part of the story.

 

Easy -  You have to work to die. Every hit is a crit. Casters run forward, warriors dance around at the back until it's their turn.

 

Normal - what the game is typically balanced around.

 

Hard - Enemies have bigger health pools to offset the better weapons.  But now they show some signs of intelligence. Casters stay back, warriors run to the front.

 

Difficult - Again enemies have bigger health pools. Enemies are smart and they use tactics. Not only do casters stay back,warriors run to the front and now healers heal the warriors and may even rez the dead.

 

Extreme - Again even bigger health pools. Strong AI aand tactics.

 

Cow Level: By now the game has learnt alot about the player (who has played it through 2-3 times) so it can adjust itself to seriously challenge the player.

 

BTW: to state the obvious: if this had online capabilities, each level could only play with/against others at the same level.

Edited by Silverfox
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I know it's orders of magnitude more complex, but enemy AI is really what makes me feel a difference in difficulty. Buffing their stats is obvious, plain and straightforward, but when they exploit the same tactical opportunities as the player can, it feels more... "real"?

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^This would be the best choice for me.

Simply increasing health for enemies is fine for an action game, but for this kind of rpg it needs to feel that I'm being challenged, not just the character.

Other than the bigger health-pools part, I like silverfox's ideas for different enemy tactics at different levels.  At lower levels they expose their weaknesses and don't take much advantage of yours, at higher levels they protect their weak-points and try to exploit yours.

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I think predictable AI is fine. You should design your bestiary so that you can create diverse and complex combinations where enemies complement eachother to provide the challenge.

 

for example:

Easy=fire type enemy defeated by cold spells and buffed by fire spells

Normal, fire type enemy defeated by cold spells, a healer and a cold type enemy defeated by fire type attacks and buffed by cold

Difficult= as Normal but with two paladins added providing buff resistance to elemental damage types.

 

That is why a large bestiary is so important, so that you have a lot of different challenges you can craft, each with different balance.

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CLOSED FOR BUSINESS (Expert or Higher Mode, Optional)
- The Adventurer's Hall is closed for business. You won't be able to hire any extra companions and can only go about with the V.I.P's.
How does it make it more difficult: A companion dies, permanently, you can't replace this companion by any means. Self-explanatory why it creates a difficulty. V.I.P Companions become much more significant.

ECONOMIC DRAUGHT (Expert or Higher Mode, Optional)
- You buy everything for more, sell everything for less.

How does it make it more difficult: You won't be able to get tons of great gear as fast as you otherwise could. 

LIMITED CAMP RESOURCES (Expert or Higher Mode, Optional)
- You just don't find as much camp resources as you otherwise would on lower difficulty.
How does it make it more difficult: You can't rest as often and have to manage your camp resources much more carefully.

LIMITED STASH & INVENTORY SPACE (Expert or Higher Mode, Optional)
- The Unlimited Stash becomes a Limited Stash.
How does it make it more difficult: You can't carry as much as with an Unlimited Stash. Even if you go back-and-forth, you will risk random encounters (on Expert+ Difficulty) and risk "Game Over" due to the higher difficulty foes you meet.

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^EDIT: I want to say that these are some things I want to try and mod in as well, attempt to at least. But if Obsidian wants to implement them and have the resources for it it would be cool too :D

PERMANENT INJURIES (Expert or Higher Mode, Optional)
- If you take an injury in combat, it can become a permanent injury unless treated. Not necessarily "more injuries" than any other difficulty, just more difficult to deal with. This idea is a little bit more extensive. Like, you get injured in combat, but you can treat it if you have resources, or if it is a major injury you've got to get to a doctor, but will suffer permanent injury afterwards (stat-reductions). Not dealing with injuries within certain time, causes permanent injury.
How does it make it more difficult: You can get permanent penalties from just fighting in combat.

Edited by Osvir
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A mode like New Game+ or difficulties like in Titan Quest, in which the level ranges are increased. For this the maximum level would need to be raised. Could be fun to replay the game a couple of times going from 1-10, 11-20, 21-30 etc.

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I think predictable AI is fine. You should design your bestiary so that you can create diverse and complex combinations where enemies complement eachother to provide the challenge.

Meh... personally, I still prefer the "challenge" to be a prompt for active adaptation/decision-making, rather than a narrowing of the list of possible solutions to a given situation. Not that you can't have both. I just like for the former to be present in adequate portions.

 

I think with AI, the best thing you can do is to have not-fully-predictable behavior. Not that you can't predict anything that creature/foe is going to do, but just that you can't always know exactly what it's going to do about its given situation.

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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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STARVATION (Expert or Higher Mode, Optional)
- You have to consume old-school FOOD variables* at some points in the game or you will starve. Starvation should have 2 to 3 states.

[Well-Fed] is the normal state. +/-0
[Hungry] you get minor penalties to stamina regeneration, stamina cost & damage higher. Enemies get slight extra critical chance on you.

[Starving] everything from [Hungry] applies at greater effect.

How does it make it more difficult: If you don't eat periodically, you don't perform well. If you don't eat at all, you starve.

*In many older PC games where food is a part of the game the developers chose to simplify the mechanic by simply combining "Hunger" and "Thirst" into FOOD. I think both a [HUNGER] and [THIRST], two separate mechanics, would be most interesting and fun, but FOOD is just so childishly simple (in comparison) and does the job just as well.

EDIT: (Expert or Higher Mode, Optional) explanation, as these ideas could be optional on any difficulty mode. These difficulty ideas would have most impact on Expert or Higher, and for an Ultra-Hardcore run would be to activate all of them.

For some mere aesthetic ideas that does not really affect difficulty:

BLANK JOURNAL (No Auto-Updates, Immersion)
- If you find a guy with a quest, and you talk to him, the Journal will not auto-update but instead you will have to write down the details yourself. One aspect that would make this easier would be to be able to open the Journal whilst talking to someone, but not necessarily.
How does it make it more immersive: There is no robot code that gives you all the details for what you need to do to find or complete a quest. You will have to investigate and explore yourself with a mighty journal and quill!

BLANK DESCRIPTION (No descriptions, "Immersion")
Backstory: This idea might sound silly for many, but this was, to me, a very exciting and interesting occurance I encountered when playing Might & Magic 1. I had no descriptions and I didn't know what spell did what! So I brought out a pen and a paper, tested all the spell variants I could do, and then figured out what the spells did and I named them and described the effects they had.
- Idea: Blank Descriptions gives you items & spells without any description. Finding a spell scroll you have not seen or found before gives you an "unknown" spell. You will have to cast it several times and edit and write the description of what you see.
How does it make it more immersiveNot immersive per say, but the "Identifying Process" becomes more elaborate and active based on Player interaction, and you will have to try and "appraise" what you find and then "describe" it yourself.

EDIT:

GOLDEN WEIGHT (Difficulty, Optional)
- Weight applied to gold, money, cash. Copper, silver and so on and so forth. Weight also has different effect on characters based on how much they carry. Light-weight, Mid-weight, Heavy-weight, Encumbrance.
How it makes it more difficulty: Weight is applied to the currencies in the world and weight gives effects. Heavy-weight may, for instance, makes the character less likely to get knocked down or knocked back, but the character will attack slower and cast slower.

Spin-Offs to Golden Weight:
NEW HORIZONS MODE (Merchant Mode, Quest, Side-Story)
- Become a merchant! Trade in salt, cloth, weapons. Build a kingdom! New Horizons/Unchated Waters is a great SNES (Super Nintendo) game. Check it out here to understand the concept of this idea.

THE TREASURE CHAMBER/CURSE OF GOLD (Quest, Side-Story)
- With "Golden Weight" you'd have to stash your gold somewhere, and eventually it could match all of the gold that Smaug took from the dwarves... treasure hunterers will come and try to steal it from you! Create traps, hire guards. Attempt to breach it yourself.
What does it do: As you can't carry too much, you will have to stash gold, when you stash gold, thiefs will attempt to steal it. Everybody wants your gold!

Edited by Osvir
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I would rather stuff like Hunger be less of a constant-upkeep thing (which only really benefits the degree of realism/simulation, the most), and more of a choice/consequence thing. Maybe at certain points of the game, you can choose path X instead of path Y, then have hunger affect you because path X has your party being away from a town and/or edible foliage for so long that they begin to suffer from hunger (out of rations, etc.). I think the representation of hunger, and its penalties/effects as a significant consequence of whatever's going on with your party's story at the time, is all much more important than the play-by-play simulation of hunger increasing with time, and quantities of food being stocked up upon and carried around for the purposes of staving off the hunger.

 

Better example I can think of would probably be that you're out "in the middle of nowhere," traveling, and you come upon some captives or something. It's just assumed that you have trail rations and such, to last you for your travels, but these people have no food around, and it's days to the nearest town. Do you free them and let them starve on their way back to civilization? Or do you share your food with them, at the cost of your party suffering from hunger for the rest of the trip?

 

That type of thing. Ties it straight into the whole roleplay/narrative/character-decision aspect of the game, instead of just being something that's coincidentally going on the whole time in the background.

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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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The game that would've been a dream game for you was Guido Henkel's Deathfire.

 

Modding will take care of most of the above. Today, not a whole lot of RPG players are interested in feeding their characters as a survivalist requirement.

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The Seven Blunders/Roots of Violence: Wealth without work. Pleasure without conscience. Knowledge without character. Commerce without morality. Science without humanity. Worship without sacrifice. Politics without principle. (Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi)

 

Let's Play the Pools Saga (SSI Gold Box Classics)

Pillows of Enamored Warfare -- The Zen of Nodding

 

 

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currency: regions are locked to a type of currency and will only be paid in local coinage. your wealth is now tracked across various currencies and money-changers appear in various locations with unfair exchange rates.

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@JFSOCC: Wooo! You mean kinda like... on Easy-Medium all coins transforms to a universal value, and if you go Hard-Expert coins does not transform and different currencies only work in different parts of the world? Could there be an exchange rate as well? Like, I only have one Currency on my person, and I can't pay anything where I am at regionally right now... could there be an exchange rate?

Like, let's say I have 100 of one currency, and in the region where it used you pay 10 credits for a basic sword, but using this currency in another part of the world would cost maybe.... 15-20 for a basic sword.

Edited by Osvir
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yeah pretty much. I was really happy to hear multiple currencies were in, and disappointed when Obsidian back-pedalled and said they had multiple currencies but that coinage would automatically be transmuted into its standard copperpiece value.

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Great suggestions, guys. :D I can't wait to do a blind hardcore run of this game. c:


Ooh! Yes that is very good: I like the idea of not being able to change difficulty mid-game. :) But I think some players might complain if they've played for 20 hours yet can't get passed a fight. Maybe restrict changing difficulty in expert mode, trial of iron, and path of the damned?

If possible I'd like to switch a bunch of options on and off, customising the game, rather than have it all be set from easy/normal/hard. Eclectic hardcore, yeh! :3
Ask while you can. :D You don't ask, you don't get. ^w^


There's been a lot of arguments over combat xp -- over the past several months :p. I thought about it, and I may not mind having no combat xp. In fact, if they add combat xp, they could make it optional maybe. :) I'd also like to disable the stash, because it feels like cheating (the items magically go to your bank/stash/vault and appear in every town?). Then again, if there isn't an option to disable it, I just won't use it anyway. *shrugs* (Umm, well, unless they throw numerous tiny quest items at us that would fill up a party inventory really fast, with no bags or pouches to carry little things in.)

Combat XP
- yes
- no
Expert mode = no combat xp

Stash
- yes
- no (disable)
Expert mode = no stash

Edited by tilly
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Great suggestions, guys. :D I can't wait to do a blind hardcore run of this game. c:

 

 

Ooh! Yes that is very good: I like the idea of not being able to change difficulty mid-game. :) But I think some players might complain if they've played for 20 hours yet can't get passed a fight. Maybe restrict changing difficulty in expert mode, trial of iron, and path of the damned?

 

If possible I'd like to switch a bunch of options on and off, customising the game, rather than have it all be set from easy/normal/hard. Eclectic hardcore, yeh! :3

Ask while you can. :D You don't ask, you don't get. ^w^

 

 

There's been a lot of arguments over combat xp -- over the past several months :p. I thought about it, and I may not mind having no combat xp. In fact, if they add combat xp, they could make it optional maybe. :) I'd also like to disable the stash, because it feels like cheating (the items magically go to your bank/stash/vault and appear in every town?). Then again, if there isn't an option to disable it, I just won't use it anyway. *shrugs* (Umm, well, unless they throw numerous tiny quest items at us that would fill up a party inventory really fast, with no bags or pouches to carry little things in.)

 

Combat XP

- yes

- no

Expert mode = no combat xp

 

Stash

- yes

- no (disable)

Expert mode = no stash

There is no combat xp in any difficulty in PoE as it stands.

Edited by AGX-17
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There is no combat xp in any difficulty in PoE as it stands.

 

 

Yup yup! :) But the recent outcry for it makes me think the devs may add some limited combat xp. If that happens, I want an out.

 

I will be prepared! ^-^ *strikes a pose*

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