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Combat Concerns


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So I didn't see the stream live the other day but I watched 20 mins of a demo where the programmer was showing us an Ogre quest and I thought it seemed pretty bad.

 

He couldn't even get to the quest. He just got slaughtered by beetles. They even stated they were playing it on easy.

 

I'm all for challenging combat but that seems ridiculous. Does that programmer just really stink at video games? Was he out lvled significantly? Was that really easy difficulty? Was his gear Horrible?

 

I dont remember IE games being that challenging for filler combat.

 

I would post the link but I'm on my phone and can't figure out how to share it since YouTube is in mobile mode but if you just punch in Pillars of eternity gamescon footage it is the first choice.

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He wasn't really putting any real effort in his play and paid the price (which, IMO, is what should happen, even on easy). Also, auto-attack doesn't seem to functional yet, so constant micromanagement is currently required for the whole party. Hopefully they'll fix this soon, if they haven't already.

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He wasn't really putting any real effort in his play and paid the price (which, IMO, is what should happen, even on easy). Also, auto-attack doesn't seem to functional yet, so constant micromanagement is currently required for the whole party. Hopefully they'll fix this soon, if they haven't already.

steve fixed the auto-attack bug in #pillarsofeternity btw. not sure if it will be in the initial backer beta release but it will be soonish.

 

Edited by Labadal
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I actually took it as a good sign, specially after watching the presentations on later days, where he breezes through the same encounters. For me that's a sign that the combat will be challenging and still retain that "puzzly" quality from the IE games.

 

After all the discussions about grinding down the randomness/hard counters/difficulty spikes (both up and down) it started to become a concern that the game would be kind of bland, with the players' combat goal shifting from just winning a battle to winning a battle with an optimal number of resources. But if what was shown is any indications we will still be challenged to overcome specific things.

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In Adam's defense, he may have been trying very hard to avoid the pathing issues. I saw a character spaz out a few times and he seemed to jump on it almost instantly. It isn't a big deal really to the backers because we know that it's going to get fixed (hopefully) before the game launches. But for people who have never seen the game before it may be a bit jarring. That's really the only thing I can think of that even partly explains Adam's performance at gamescom.

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So I watched a couple different run throughs of the gamescon demo on different days and I have to say I'm not jazzed by what I saw. My chief concern is that everything seems so dangerous the only strategy I saw implemented was  Freezing enemies in place and attacking at range. The Paladin stood there and did nothing in every encounter and the one time she did get attacked by the Ogre she was almost killed in one shot.

 

 

To me that doesn't seem like interesting combat. If I create a paladin as my main and every creature's attack is so powerful only a tank can stand it so I have to sit there like a bump on a log while my wizard and rogue blow it up at range count me out.  I'm all for challenging combat but that is going to turn me away very quickly. I'm going to want to create a mele dps character that GETS TO FIGHT SOME AT MELE RANGE. Not, oh freeze it at range......now cripple it at range, now stun it at range, okay now move in my tank, okay last second mele guys you can move in and swing once oh now it's dead.  Yeah not fun.

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I'm going to want to create a mele dps character that GETS TO FIGHT SOME AT MELE RANGE. Not, oh freeze it at range......now cripple it at range, now stun it at range, okay now move in my tank, okay last second mele guys you can move in and swing once oh now it's dead.  Yeah not fun.

 

How would you get that without making every fight easily winnable simply by having a party of melee DPS characters, Ctrl+A, click on enemy, repeat until dead?

 

From where I'm at it's much more interesting if you have to play tactically in order to get your DPS characters to where they can dish out the damage without getting killed.

 

My only concern with combat as shown in the videos was the strategic durability of the fighter. It's fairly basic tactics to have a tank hold the line, then outflank with other units to do the damage. If the tank's health gets bled off so quickly you have to rest after every battle, that's not so great. OTOH we don't know exactly what went into that fighter and how well Adam played to its strengths -- if you can pump health and deflection and improve durability with (self-)buffs (at the expense of DPS, for example), then that tactic's perfectly viable and interesting again.

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To me that doesn't seem like interesting combat. If I create a paladin as my main and every creature's attack is so powerful only a tank can stand it so I have to sit there like a bump on a log while my wizard and rogue blow it up at range count me out.  

 

Well, the creepy-crawlies were dangerous because of their poison, which is something clerics and druids should be able to counter (at higher levels, of course). And ogres wielding clubs twice as big as your character should be able to flatten you in one hit, regardless of stats, so it gets a pass from me on that front too.

"Lulz is not the highest aspiration of art and mankind, no matter what the Encyclopedia Dramatica says."

 

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I'm all for strategy, plenty of games have created plenty of challenging and interesting party tactic oriented combat that supports a mele dps character. How does making a mele Dps character viable jump you to they are automatically op/game will be a face roll everybody will just roll mele dps. NOT ONLY THAT, they have said they want you to be able to create any type of party combo you want. You think it's interesting to have a heavy armored Paladin with a sword just stand there doing nothing? You can't really believe that.

Edited by Zansatsu
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Yeah currently the combat looks clunky at best. It is super slow and it seems that it requires ridicilous amounts of clicking and pausing so atleast something can start happening. I remember the old RPGs being kinda like this but that was a looong time ago. I expected some kind of evolution from that.

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I'm all for strategy, plenty of games have created plenty of challenging and interesting party tactic oriented combat that supports a mele dps character. How does making a mele Dps character viable jump you to they are automatically op/game will be a face roll everybody will just roll mele dps. NOT ONLY THAT, they have said they want you to be able to create any type of party combo you want. You think it's interesting to have a heavy armored Paladin with a sword just stand there doing nothing? You can't really believe that.

 

No, I don't. 

 

However, I don't know if that is actually the best way to play a heavily armored paladin. Be a bit surprised actually.

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I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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 It is super slow and it seems that it requires ridicilous amounts of clicking and pausing so atleast something can start happening. 

 

Ignoring the "super slow" part of your comment (because the pacing is fine), making combat faster would result in even more clicking and pausing per unit of time.

Besides, there's no law saying that something awesome needs to happen each time we click on things.

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To me that doesn't seem like interesting combat. If I create a paladin as my main and every creature's attack is so powerful only a tank can stand it so I have to sit there like a bump on a log while my wizard and rogue blow it up at range count me out.  I'm all for challenging combat but that is going to turn me away very quickly. I'm going to want to create a mele dps character that GETS TO FIGHT SOME AT MELE RANGE. Not, oh freeze it at range......now cripple it at range, now stun it at range, okay now move in my tank, okay last second mele guys you can move in and swing once oh now it's dead.  Yeah not fun.

This does seem to be a legit concern. It seemed like anyone other than the tank getting attacked was very risky. The pally with high Con took a ton of damage. Even when the wizard had arcane veil up he still went down pretty quick. Although the rogues disengagement ability was very effective. 

 

In contrast the demos that highlighted the start of the game seemed much less bursty. It could just be that wood beetles and ogres are two creatures that do very high relative damage. 

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Paladins.

That passive paladin's ability of blessing everyone with near invulnerability (+100 to defenses for 10 seconds) when he kills a foe is insanely powerful. He has the same vitality of a fighter, equal accuracy and almost the same base deflection (-1 AC in d&d terms). I'd say the pally is good enough.

 

 

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That passive paladin's ability of blessing everyone with near invulnerability (+100 to defenses for 10 seconds) when he kills a foe is insanely powerful.

 

It's insanely powerful against numerous, weak opponents. Against a single, powerful opponent it's useless. These kinds of abilities tend to make you feel like you're doing very well - until everything crumbles down into total charlie foxtrot, which is why I'm not a huge fan of them.

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That passive paladin's ability of blessing everyone with near invulnerability (+100 to defenses for 10 seconds) when he kills a foe is insanely powerful.

 

It's insanely powerful against numerous, weak opponents. Against a single, powerful opponent it's useless. These kinds of abilities tend to make you feel like you're doing very well - until everything crumbles down into total charlie foxtrot, which is why I'm not a huge fan of them.

 

 

I totally expect powerful opponents to have their less powerful sidekicks fighting alongside them.

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He didn't look tough in any of the videos I saw. Either the whole party got raped, like in the first demo, or it was as I linked above, half the party just standing there. But take the pally out of it entirely, looks like the rogue is so fragile mele range seems all but impossible for him. I've played a lot of rogues in games, usually they are designed to do "some" toe to toe fighting even if they aren't "tanky". When Josh said they do a lot of damage but aren't good at taking hits I didn't think he meant THAT BAD. I thought it meant he can't get focused by Multiple enemies or a "Boss". That looks like if he is touched in combat he explodes.

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They said in one of the demos that enemies are in beta especially beetles are set to be quite difficult and they probably will make adjustments on them in final game depending on feedback about beta.

 

And before you start bash paladin you should note that area in game is from middle game, and in demos paladin only has her starting gear that is meant for first level characters, where other party members have better gear.

 

And they used cheesy combat tactics against ogre by holding it and killing it from distance, in which paladin couldn't have very active role because of lack of ranged weapon, but it should be noted that it is quite probable that cheesy tactic would work much less effective without paladins aura buffs that added damage and change to to hit for rest of the party. So she was far from useless in that fight.

 

And they had only very limited time for each demo, which meant that they used quite similar tactics in every demo after the first where Adam's parties were wiped out.

 

But anyway on Monday we will get hands on experience on how combat will work, so then we can say sure how combat actually feels and works and how different classes will fare.

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And they had only very limited time for each demo, which meant that they used quite similar tactics in every demo after the first where Adam's parties were wiped out.

 

This. The run-through (both days) seemed to be more "get to the action nao" than "get the party into a useful position" (i.e. stop at a merchant, get better gear, etc.).

Edited by neo6874
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