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Experience point system in the beta and onwards


Your thoughts on the xp system in the beta  

217 members have voted

  1. 1. What kind of xp system to do you want to see after having played the beta?

    • Quest xp only
      30
    • Quest xp and objectives that are large in scope
      52
    • Objective xp that are per dungeon or per map (minus bosses), including exploration and quest xp
      78
    • Objective xp per encounter (including "trash mobs"), per picked lock, per sneak, etc., plus quest xp
      53
    • Kill xp plus quest xp
      76


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Well, having played through a bit of the backer beta, I can confirm two things: there's loot in them that hills (I mean to say that you find stuff when you do optional fights), and the fights were still just as fun without a "+XP" indicator popping up after each kill.

I have also played the beta for a few hours and I most definitely disagree with that last part, and some of the first part. I was exploring. I found a dungeon. I entered it. I came to a room FULL of Shades. It took every single tactical bone in my body to come out victorious. I literally felt fatigued when it was over.

 

And what did I get for it? Nada. It's like the fight didn't count. It's like the game didn't intend for me to kill them. It's like the game laughed at me and said: lol Sucker! here, have a fist full of NOTHING for all your hard work hahahahahaha.

 

Side note about loot drops: There's a small group of Hags guarding the entrance to that dungeon. this encounter did reward you...sorta - with crafting supplies. If you can call crafting supplies loot. I haven't crafted anything in this beta yet so I have no idea how "valuable" 4 pieces of Bark are going to be.

 

 

 

 

 

I have also played the beta for a few hours and I most definitely disagree with that last part, and some of the first part. I was exploring. I found a dungeon. I entered it. I came to a room FULL of Shades. It took every single tactical bone in my body to come out victorious. I literally felt fatigued when it was over.

 

And what did I get for it? Nada. It's like the fight didn't count. It's like the game didn't intend for me to kill them. It's like the game laughed at me and said: lol Sucker! here, have a fist full of NOTHING for all your hard work hahahahahaha.

 

Side note about loot drops: There's a small group of Hags guarding the entrance to that dungeon. this encounter did reward you...sorta - with crafting supplies. If you can call crafting supplies loot. I haven't crafted anything in this beta yet so I have no idea how "valuable" 4 pieces of Bark are going to be.

 

I have to agree with Stun. I was okay with objective xp, but I was assuming "objective" wasn't the same as quest. I just fought like, six lions at once and felt the battle was fairly challenging. I would have liked some xp or something; instead I got barely anything. 

 

I thought objective xp would have things like, "Cleared the road for travel +100 Xp", but so far at least objective xp has been the same as quest xp, and I feel it makes combat feel a bit more stale than it could have been.

 

If this is how they're gonna do objective xp; I'd rather kill xp come back.

 

 

 

I was kinda surprised to find out I actually like the "Since you don't get exp from enemies, you can't level up your character to get that extra skill you need to get enough lockpicking skill to open this door instead of finding the key" aspect of the system <_< I mean, thats how I usually do the things, I'm like "Oh, little more exp... Dang it, wheres the next enemy"

 

It does make the pacing feel different from old IE games though and it does avoid hitting the part of brain that feels pleasure for getting rewards for simple actions.

 

 

Having been more or less in the objective xp camp, I'm having second thoughts now, after five hours of beta.

 

I picked Easy, because I was in for some bug hunting as well. However, being a pretty seasoned CRPG:er, and I rarely pause too, I didn't even reload once. Without spoiling too much, I had my party of five (I added a six member right before I quit the game, and then wasting 4,000 cp on a lvl 4 adventurer that came out a lvl1 adventurer) doing the following tour: They did pick up a convo-hidden quest, but then decided to go into the Gorge six hours away and fight some pretty tough prides. I was proud after having survived those. Then I decided to do a little adventuring in Dyrwood Village again, and thereafter I went away to Dyrwood Crossing, and pretty much cleaned up there. Without return to the village, I pushed away a certain heavy stone feature, and found myself in some ruins with pesky cultists with some pretty rich loot to beat. I did everything there, and I only had a couple of doors to pick (Mechanic 7), when I went back to the village (all in all, five hours of playing), to rest for a second time at the inn.

 

-I didn't die once. No reloads. I used six camping rations in that time. Some encounters were hard, but I was happy to survive those. It was loads of fun.

-I by-passed heaps and heaps of what I though were counting as objectives. I was mightily surprised to see that my xp gain during 5 h of RL time, or 26 h of in-game time, amounted to zilch and nada! :no:

 

I must say this: either what's counting as "objectives" need a big overhaul (it must be segmented into encounters and small segments - just quest xp is not enough for me to get that IE-inspired feel), or I'll join the xp-per-kill-camp with a vengeance. :yes:

 

These are but a few of the discussions, views and concerns since the beta went live, and people have been playing it. Seeing that that xp mechancis was running its course, I made a new one in preparation for the ensuing exciting discussion! :)

 

Oh, and don't forget to cast your vote(s) in that neat multi-choice poll!

 

P.S. This is also a continuation of Immortalis' thread: http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/66528-experience-point-mechanics-fighting-enemies/page-28

Edited by IndiraLightfoot
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And while it's possible that Bugs are a primary culprit here, I *doubt* it. The beta's pacing feels intentionally IWDish/ToEEish despite its heavy dose of exploration and wonderful dialogue. You cannot limit XP rewards to Objective-only in such an overbearingly combat-centric game and still honestly claim that it's hitting all the right notes. You. Just. Can't.

 

 

Indeed. Per encounter feels like a bare minimum right now, after those five hours and no character development at all to show for it. I reckon that's a record among all of my CRPGs I've played.

 

 

Hmm, yeah, now that I finished crossing and village areas(and got to the dungeon in the lion area), while I still don't think kill exp is only way to fix this, I admit that they give exp too rarely.

 

I mean, you don't get exp for finding new location, you get new exp if you went to location which causes quest update <_< Thats... Kinda boring since it doesn't really reward exploration. Seems like they have designed exp so that each time you get more exp, you get enough to level up? Not sure really, but yeah, I think they should give exp more often that what they are currently doing, even if that means stuff like giving exp for talking to people =P Or maybe not, just finding new locations or secrets should be fine...*sigh* But yeah, no exp even for entering the dungeon whether you do it through skull keyhole or the tower... Why do they for some reason give exp for entering spider/ogre cave, but not for entering dungeon? Thats not even internally consistent

 

I don't know if this is because years of conditioning in rpgs to have love for the exp pop up/sound effect or what, but yeah, I still like the demo, but it does feel "off" a lot.

 

 

 

Sarex: Heh! I wonder if OE needs to craft a special backer badge for Stun, you and a few others! It could be in electrum, a plaque saying "I told you so".

 

I really don't want to be right, I want this game to be great. I have such high hopes for Obs future in making these games. From reading everyone's comments on the bb, the consensus is that everyone liked everything except the gameplay and it's giving me that gut wrenching feeling. I know this is a beta and far from being finished, but I also feel that Obs took an unnecessary gamble with their "make or break it" game. They could have used the same formula as the IE games, used their own story and setting and once they had the "foundation" game out, they could have branched out in the direction they wanted.

 

I really hope it's just me and that I'm worrying for nothing.

 

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BrokenMask: I really understand where you coming from, having argued all those points for years, it seems, literally. The big question is: How to make a computer RPG with an entire party (already more game-y, and less RPG-y) feel rewarding enough without kill xp? And as it seems, it will take a very clever per-obstacle solution - per encounter (which actually may mean one single baddie - in such cases pure kill xp). Question #2: (which I realized today): Is it worth it? Is it better? This isn't Dishonored, after all. I have no magic solutions, but I do know that kill xp worked and that per encounter probably could work too.

 

 

 

Silent Winter, you raise a very valid point. The new power munchkin would take those railroads and become a tycoon in no time.

That's just it - the system was sold to me on the idea of being able to play the way you want and overcome obstacles (and I assumed go exploring for fun).

As it sounds from the beta testers, it's more like doing what you're told (which I believe the kill-xp crowd were presciently complaining about).

 

 

 

 

 

Silent Winter, you raise a very valid point. The new power munchkin would take those railroads and become a tycoon in no time.

That's just it - the system was sold to me on the idea of being able to play the way you want and overcome obstacles (and I assumed go exploring for fun).

As it sounds from the beta testers, it's more like doing what you're told (which I believe the kill-xp crowd were presciently complaining about).

 

 

Indeed. Let's get right to the core of things: experience points is a numerical abstraction, which reflects that your player character has seen stuff, learnt new things and evolved. If the game rewards five RL hours (26h in-game) of exploring, fighting, sneaking, talking, everything, with zero experience points, then they don't serve any function at all. Then, either remove them entirely (which would crush the entire system PoE is built on), or redo stuff entirely - either by re-introducing kill xp or make a kill-xp-like system (per encounter, per obstacle, per sneak, per discovery, per smart convo pick, per sneeze).

 

 

I'm sorry if I have plenty of quotes from myself. Like Sarex said: Most of them ought to be from Stun. But hopefully, this small and recent selection reflects our discussion about the xp system flaws in the beta anyways. :)

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Is it too late for you to start a poll? For people that have experieced the beta - how they feel the current xp pacing is and what solution they would like to see?

 

try to make several options to capture the extremists either way then a few of the mid way suggestions..?

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From George Ziets @ http://new.spring.me/#!/user/GZiets/timeline/responses

Didn’t like the fact that I don’t get XP for combat. While this does put more emphasis on solving quests, the lack of rewards for killing creatures makes me want to avoid combat (the core activity of the game) as much as I can.

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Indeed. Let's get right to the core of things: experience points is a numerical abstraction, which reflects that your player character has seen stuff, learnt new things and evolved. If the game rewards five RL hours (26h in-game) of exploring, fighting, sneaking, talking, everything, with zero experience points, then they don't serve any function at all. Then, either remove them entirely (which would crush the entire system PoE is built on), or redo stuff entirely - either by re-introducing kill xp or make a kill-xp-like system (per encounter, per obstacle, per sneak, per discovery, per smart convo pick, per sneeze).

 

Poor Stun, he poured his heart out trying to explain the same thing throughout 25 pages now, not counting different threads, but there is no accounting for people being stubborn.

 

 

The problem still isn't the lack of kill xp, it's the lack of "everything that is not done as part of a quest" xp. 

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Is it too late for you to start a poll? For people that have experieced the beta - how they feel the current xp pacing is and what solution they would like to see?

 

try to make several options to capture the extremists either way then a few of the mid way suggestions..?

It wasn't too late, but my categories are pretty horrific. Perhaps they'll at least reflect some trend in some rough fashion.

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Is it too late for you to start a poll? For people that have experieced the beta - how they feel the current xp pacing is and what solution they would like to see?

 

try to make several options to capture the extremists either way then a few of the mid way suggestions..?

It wasn't too late, but my categories are pretty horrific. Perhaps they'll at least reflect some trend in some rough fashion.

 

 

I think they are good enough, good call on the multiple selections.

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From George Ziets @ http://new.spring.me/#!/user/GZiets/timeline/responses

Didn’t like the fact that I don’t get XP for combat. While this does put more emphasis on solving quests, the lack of rewards for killing creatures makes me want to avoid combat (the core activity of the game) as much as I can.

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The problem still isn't the lack of kill xp, it's the lack of "everything that is not done as part of a quest" xp. 

 

Case in point, stubborn. The problem is lack of xp, if you do it per kill xp or encounter xp is another matter. I personalty prefer xp for every single enemy as opposed to encounter xp.

Edited by Sarex
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The problem still isn't the lack of kill xp, it's the lack of "everything that is not done as part of a quest" xp. 

 

Case in point, stubborn. The problem is lack of xp, if you do it per kill xp or encounter xp is another matter. I personalty prefer xp for every single enemy as opposed to encounter xp.

 

Please don't imply that we are stubborn for having different opinion than you <_<

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Not voting as I've yet to play the game but if I were to vote, I'd be torn between choosing options 3 and 4 in a balance or 3, 4 and 5 since obviously only kill-xp wouldn't be the way to go but since that option's probably meant to be 'BG like, kill-xp plus quest-xp' it might be the simplest solution at this stage.

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The problem still isn't the lack of kill xp, it's the lack of "everything that is not done as part of a quest" xp.

It's both.

 

You were active on the other thread, you heard the arguments from both sides. The most vocal supporters of the Sawyer-design (yes. that's what I'm calling it from now on) made it a point to remind us over and over again that anything except hand-placed, greater-goal-specific XP rewards (ie. exactly what we got in the Beta) would constitute a detriment to balance and gameplay and it simply wouldn't work well. Some went so far as to label certain types of unacceptable objective XP as "systemic" (stuff like Getting XP for successfully engaging in one of your class skills).

 

My side was shouted down whenever we dared argue that the game would get tedious if players were subjected to such an XP starvation diet for 60 friggin hours.

 

Well, the beta probably isn't any sort of "smoking gun" for either side (it's too small), but it does give us hints. And those hints are that this game had better NAIL its narrative, because if it doesn't it's probably not going to be very well received.

Edited by Stun
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While I agree with the idea of getting most of the XP from completing quests or objectives, I think you should still get a little bit from defeating enemies. There will be times when you are just wandering or exploring and either get attacked or can't avoid combat when not actively working on a quest and I think you should still get some XP from surviving that. It doesn't have to be major, or much at all, but something. 

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philby: That's so very true, but I figure we could be bolder than that, and say that the rewards should be more than tiny - they should be fair and reflect the exploring, RPG-ing, fighting, what not, that actually took place. It would be weird if one huge route of exploration gives you xp crumbs, and another equally long route, with almost the same stuff done, gets rewarded big time, since then all munchkins would take the quest-railroad route, and ouch for the sake of the game, if that gets to be the case.

Edited by IndiraLightfoot

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Where is the quest + objective + combat xp option in the poll? Like in the IE games?

 

EDIT:

I just chose Quest xp and objectives that are large in scope + Kill xp. Seems to be the closest to what I want.

Edited by Helm

Pillars of Eternity Josh Sawyer's Quest: The Quest for Quests - an isometric fantasy stealth RPG with optional combat and no pesky XP rewards for combat, skill usage or exploration.


PoE is supposed to be a spiritual successor to Baldur's GateJosh Sawyer doesn't like the Baldur's Gate series (more) - PoE is supposed to reward us for our achievements


~~~~~~~~~~~


"Josh Sawyer created an RPG where always avoiding combat and never picking locks makes you a powerful warrior and a master lockpicker." -Helm, very critcal and super awesome RPG fan


"I like XP for things other than just objectives. When there is no rewards for combat or other activities, I think it lessens the reward for being successful at them." -Feargus Urquhart, OE CEO


"Didn’t like the fact that I don’t get XP for combat [...] the lack of rewards for killing creatures [in PoE] makes me want to avoid combat (the core activity of the game)" -George Ziets, Game Dev.

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Helm: It's implied already at the first option: "Quest xp only". Technically, all those options in the poll includes quest xp as well. Obviously, we can discuss the size of those quest xp rewards, since it depends on which xp system that gets picked. :)

 

I've edited the poll to reflect this clearly.

 

In all fairness, I could have added a no quest xp or something, but for the sake of clarity, I will refrain from that. We all want quest xp, don't we?

Edited by IndiraLightfoot

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The problem still isn't the lack of kill xp, it's the lack of "everything that is not done as part of a quest" xp.

 

It's both.

You were active on the other thread, you heard the arguments from both sides. The most vocal supporters of the Sawyer-design (yes. that's what I'm calling it from now on) made it a point to remind us over and over again that anything except hand-placed, greater-goal-specific XP rewards (ie. exactly what we got in the Beta) would constitute a detriment to balance and gameplay and it simply wouldn't work well. Some went so far as to label certain types of unacceptable objective XP as "systemic" (stuff like Getting XP for successfully engaging in one of your class skills).

 

 

"Everything that is not done as part of a quest" includes killing opponents in my book, but whatever.

 

Proponents of objective xp argued that it's easier to balance the game around hand-placed (not necessarily goal-specific) chunks of XP with as little variation based on how said objectives are accomplished as possible. I still stand by the opinion that this statement is true. That doesn't change the fact that the implementation we've seen in the beta is a piss-poor way of doing objective xp.

Edited by aluminiumtrioxid
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I want XP to be like in Divinity: Original Sin minus XP from killing enemies. For those that didn't play, it means you get it from exploring different parts of the map, finding interesting stuff or Lore and doing quests. 

 

The point it, I want xp to come in smaller increments, not like in Gamescom video where it is nothing, nothing and then after Ogre instant Level UP. 

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It's already looking bleak for how the xp system seems to work right now in the beta build, which seems to be quest xp only (or some extremely large in scope objective xp  (as far as I can tell after hours of playing in several maps and doing most stuff). I really do hope they change into something more IE-inspired and rewarding. :)

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While I agree with the idea of getting most of the XP from completing quests or objectives, I think you should still get a little bit from defeating enemies. There will be times when you are just wandering or exploring and either get attacked or can't avoid combat when not actively working on a quest and I think you should still get some XP from surviving that. It doesn't have to be major, or much at all, but something. 

That doesn't have to be universal kill XP. I agree with the premise. But it can be XP tied to that encounter as an objective.

 

Really, my objection to kill XP is primarily focused on dungeons and quests. Places where there are clear objectives to accomplish that enable multiple approaches. Get to the 3rd floor, stop the goblins from attacking the town, recover the diamond tiara of Cthulhu. Each of these could have paths of stealth, dialogue, environment, combat, or probably a mix. Each of these should generate an XP reward that is comparable to the others, while disallowing the optimal path double dip where you complete it one way (by stealth), then complete it the other way (by combat), for increased reward.

 

The only goal of this is to allow people to take a variety of approaches to challenges without seeing one as gigantically more beneficial than the rest. In that regard, challenges that only have one viable approach should still yield a reward. Which means if you find yourself stuck in a cave with shades and the only way out is to disincorporate their ectoplasm via stabbing, some XP to be gained would not be inappropriate.

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While I agree with the idea of getting most of the XP from completing quests or objectives, I think you should still get a little bit from defeating enemies. There will be times when you are just wandering or exploring and either get attacked or can't avoid combat when not actively working on a quest and I think you should still get some XP from surviving that. It doesn't have to be major, or much at all, but something. 

That doesn't have to be universal kill XP. I agree with the premise. But it can be XP tied to that encounter as an objective.

 

Really, my objection to kill XP is primarily focused on dungeons and quests. Places where there are clear objectives to accomplish that enable multiple approaches. Get to the 3rd floor, stop the goblins from attacking the town, recover the diamond tiara of Cthulhu. Each of these could have paths of stealth, dialogue, environment, combat, or probably a mix. Each of these should generate an XP reward that is comparable to the others, while disallowing the optimal path double dip where you complete it one way (by stealth), then complete it the other way (by combat), for increased reward.

 

The only goal of this is to allow people to take a variety of approaches to challenges without seeing one as gigantically more beneficial than the rest. In that regard, challenges that only have one viable approach should still yield a reward. Which means if you find yourself stuck in a cave with shades and the only way out is to disincorporate their ectoplasm via stabbing, some XP to be gained would not be inappropriate.

 

I sympathize a lot with this sentiment. The question is: Can it be done? And if it's really complicated, will OE have time enough to make a decent xp system out of it?

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That doesn't have to be universal kill XP. I agree with the premise. But it can be XP tied to that encounter as an objective.

 

Really, my objection to kill XP is primarily focused on dungeons and quests. Places where there are clear objectives to accomplish that enable multiple approaches. Get to the 3rd floor, stop the goblins from attacking the town, recover the diamond tiara of Cthulhu. Each of these could have paths of stealth, dialogue, environment, combat, or probably a mix. Each of these should generate an XP reward that is comparable to the others, while disallowing the optimal path double dip where you complete it one way (by stealth), then complete it the other way (by combat), for increased reward.

 

The only goal of this is to allow people to take a variety of approaches to challenges without seeing one as gigantically more beneficial than the rest. In that regard, challenges that only have one viable approach should still yield a reward. Which means if you find yourself stuck in a cave with shades and the only way out is to disincorporate their ectoplasm via stabbing, some XP to be gained would not be inappropriate.

 

Ok, I understand this, but my question is why should they care? I mean there is xp cap, so it's not like the people who don't double dip will lose out on anything and if people find doing that fun why police them. It's a single player game after all, must everything be sacrificed to the crucible of balance?

 

I get the feeling that Josh is trying to police the gamers...

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I still don't understand why you can't award higher exp for solving quests peacefully.  Is it because you can do it peacefully, then kill the bad guys anyway?  I'm sure there is a solution to that problem that doesn't include taking out all combat experience.

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I still don't understand why you can't award higher exp for solving quests peacefully.  Is it because you can do it peacefully, then kill the bad guys anyway?  I'm sure there is a solution to that problem that doesn't include taking out all combat experience.

 

Yes, that's the largest issue.

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I still don't understand why you can't award higher exp for solving quests peacefully.  Is it because you can do it peacefully, then kill the bad guys anyway?  I'm sure there is a solution to that problem that doesn't include taking out all combat experience.

 yea I made this point several times.. I don't see why this is a problem..

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From George Ziets @ http://new.spring.me/#!/user/GZiets/timeline/responses

Didn’t like the fact that I don’t get XP for combat. While this does put more emphasis on solving quests, the lack of rewards for killing creatures makes me want to avoid combat (the core activity of the game) as much as I can.

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I sympathize a lot with this sentiment. The question is: Can it be done? And if it's really complicated, will OE have time enough to make a decent xp system out of it?

 

 

Way I see it, it looks a lot easier to implement than "assign arbitrary xp values for every creature type, tally all the xp one can get in the different areas of the game with the current xp system, make sure that the creatures' xp value remains steadily lower than the quest xp totals, assign an amount of xp to the completion of certain milestones in the quest that makes up for the discrepancy between the current xp totals and the kill xp totals, then figure out a way to reward noncombat resolutions with the same amount of xp as killing would, even when the player chooses to slaughter his way through some encounters and avoid others, and on top of that, make double dipping impossible, oh and also reward the use of individual noncombat skills such as Mechanics, taking care that the same amount of xp can be gathered with every possible combination of noncombat skills one might have". Because essentially that's what the implementation of kill xp would require if you don't want to **** over those who would prefer to solve their problems in other ways than turning the opposition into cute red stains on the floor.

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