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IndiraLightfoot

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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I'll be short since I already said too much on other forum about the issue, and other people said even more about nature of xp mechanics. I'd make a post from a non-mechanical perspective since talking about that as well as nature of roleplaying would take just too much effort and time again.

 

Me and my buddy talked about the aforementioned Ogre issue. In his DM opinion, narrative is most important, and he would never give xp to players if they would just decide to randomly go and kill an ogre for XP. He had same issue with Act 2 of Baldur's Gate 2 when CHARNAME was searching for his sister and could collect required 20k gold in an hour, yet CHARNAME could travel to some forest and kill random orks for XP.

I replied that he is thinking about it from a narrative perspective, and while narrative is important and it's a reason, say, PST gave so much XP for quests, it is not exactly how PoE is designed.

As it seems to me PoE would be designed a bit like Baldur's Gate 1, with plot being open-like during midgame, but final locations probably would move narrative more. But I wouldn't know.

It is also not the whole of what is expected from and IE successor. He agreed on that part.

 

Some people expect to explore fog of war while listening to a cool music and bathing in visuals. Some are happy for a proper literature dialogue window to return. And some people liked to chunk beholders on thousands of XP and see their characters grow.

 

If I'd design IE successor I would not take away any of these joys, since I like all of them, including the chunking&growing part.

So can I ask something? If the exp part is instrumental part of nature of classic IE games, then how come on D&D style stats and alignments aren't? <_<

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I'm not fond of the experience point system. It feels so empty.

I agree with the idea of resolving a quest by other way than killing monster(or people) but wihout rewards the end of the fights feels empty. ( I do not include loot in the rewards)

EX: I killed a queen spider, good, where is my rewards (except her skin). What is the point to kill such monsters? (outside the fact the spiders won't do anymore harm).

I don't mind if i do not win exp when i kill some "trash mob". But for a big one it's not fair and not fun at all.

There is an other point. If only relsolving quest give xp.There will be only one way to level up.
I like very much to wander in the wild, resolve some mysteries, killing some dangerous monsters ( it's part of an adventurer life).

IMO the only quest xp take away a lot of fun and a great part of an RPG.
 

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So can I ask something? If the exp part is instrumental part of nature of classic IE games, then how come on D&D style stats and alignments aren't? <_<

I guess it's a rhetorical question since I did not object to having those anywhere.

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So can I ask something? If the exp part is instrumental part of nature of classic IE games, then how come on D&D style stats and alignments aren't? <_<

 

For me; it's because you don't spend much time working on them. They don't dictate what you do while you're playing. As I have stated before; giving quest exclusive control over xp makes the game very quest focused.

 

Changing the alignments doesn't really change anything but the very beginning. Being able to put "Chaotic Good" on my character sheet didn't at all determine which ways of playing were viable. Getting rid of them doesn't matter since they were effectively cosmetic for all but one class; except for BG1 where they mattered a little, but still not much.

 

As for the D&D style stats; some people do feel that way, but not that many it seems. I would guess it's because most can clearly see the flaws of the previous system. Not only that, but the attributes weren't removed as much as changed. Kinda like if kill-xp had been changed into exploration xp. They weren't "cut" they were, "altered".

 

Kill-xp wasn't altered; it was cut.

Edited by Namutree

"Good thing I don't heal my characters or they'd be really hurt." Is not something I should ever be thinking.

 

I use blue text when I'm being sarcastic.

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So can I ask something? If the exp part is instrumental part of nature of classic IE games, then how come on D&D style stats and alignments aren't? <_<

I guess it's a rhetorical question since I did not object to having those anywhere.

 

Yeah, I know. I'm just confused at notion that "Don't even TRY to improve on old things", but nobody cares about alignments(which honestly kinda sucked. I mean, seriously, alignments are more important in actual P&P and tabletop game, but in IE games... They were kinda pointless) or having exact same stats as IE games. I mean, yeah, people want attributes to be more meaningful, but nobody says they should bring back charisma. So to me it seems like people are saying that "Don't change anything I care about"

 

Plus Immortalis is really insulting me and I'm being annoyed by it :p He keeps ignoring what I say(None of his quotes said "I backed this game because I thought they were giving exp for kills", they said they didn't like not getting exp for kills), misreading what I say(I say they might not mind not getting kill exp if objective exp system is improved greatly from current version, I wasn't saying they will like it if its fixed. Its still possible they will hate it even if objective system is made much better than what it is now, but Immortalis keeps misinterpreting what I say), calling me troll or idiot indirectly and now hes like "Oh, you aren't worth talking to"

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This is directed at Obsidian, but it's so obvious that it probably doesn't need to be said. On the other hand, maybe other people can get the gist of why the game is the way it is?

 

I'm just popping in to say I support the current approach. The only problem you guys at Obsidian have right now is balance. If the system isn't perfectly balanced or put together then folks are going to assume that the whole system is whack (duh!)

 

Some of you worked on VtMB. That was a great game that didn't give you XP for kills or exploration, but quests. It was balanced because it was easy for the designers to project where the player would be at any point level and skill-wise. The only problem you face is that PoE is more open than VtMB or Shadowrun: Returns. So it's harder for players to feel fulfilled if the XP metrics are off.

 

Consider TES:Oblivion. That game had level-scaling, so that as you leveled the monsters would as well. It was panned because the players felt that progression was meaningless. I happen to agree with that crowd. Getting stronger and feeling like your achievements matter really matters.

 

This coupled with the common concept that combat is the focus and completely necessary for advancement is why players want to get XP for killing.

 

On the other hand some players just want XP for exploring.

 

And some want XP for hitting story beats.

 

This leads me to believe that really, at the heart of this, players feel they aren't getting rewarded for doing whatever it is they want to be doing in the game. Which also suggests that each player has projected their own assumptions onto how the game would feel (also very obvious). Personally I like quest based XP only systems because it naturally causes the developers to not make combat and fighting and exploration overbearing, and that allows me to trust in the design of the game, which causes me to make choices I feel my character would make, and do things while being focused on the game, instead of invisible meta-gaming ruling most of what I do.

 

Ok, having established that let's look at the problem areas again. I'll use an example.

 

Consider the beetles just outside of town. They present an obstacle that's obvious, has little purpose, and feels like a chore to deal with because they take a good while to kill and really drain resources. Compare that to systems that use quest XP only. In Shadowrun: Returns every encounter is meant to justify itself just through its existence and they all logically fit in the world. You wouldn't fight random beetles on the side of the road in Shadowrun because that'd not really make much sense. And they wouldn't be staggered about either. Instead you might have a floor filled with fire beetles that only travel in small packs, but you can clearly see them and they all make for an engaging fight. This group of beetles is around a central pillar, this group is hiding in a dark room around a corner. Each is seen as a puzzle or problem to solve, not thrown out there because this is like D&D and a lot of terrible DMs roll random encounters for no reason.

 

In Vampire you similarly had groups of enemies that logically existed in the locations that they're supposed to inhabit. Ghoul guards are patrolling the area, some are playing cards in a train car, some enemies might be shambling zombies hiding behind a flimsy door, some are huge werewolves you can't even kill, some are hunters that are easier to sneak around.

 

By marrying yourself to PoE's aesthetic you're marrying yourself to requiring a lot of those bad design choices like beetles on the side of the road that serve no purpose (and I fully admit that that statement is 100% my opinion and that plenty of folks dig that sort of thing. But it's just, ugh... When I run a D&D or Pathfinder campaign I don't throw out random encounters because at that point I have to ask myself why we all don't just play Castle Crashers or Diablo?) As this is the demo perhaps a lot of thought wasn't put into enemy placement. Maybe the encounters are there as a weak simulacrum.

 

If not though, then you probably need to include objective/exploration/kill-XP. On the other hand I have faith that you guys and gals can set out to do what you wanted to do. If you can make me trust in you, that I won't need to power-level to accomplish tasks, and that even without XP I'll feel like I'm gaining traction then keep going.

 

If not, I dunno, make a mode where every encounter gives you an amount of XP equal to abs.floor(mean party level)/X where X is an array of numbers from 10 at level 1 to maybe 20 at level cap. Extend this to exploration, where when all the black has been removed from the map FOW the player is rewarded with a similar XP value but that array starts at 2 at level 1 and extends to 5 at level cap. Basically every encounter gives you 1/10th decreasing in XP and every map explored is 1/2 XP decreasing, where 1/1 is the value required to level up.

Other than we have a different opinion about what we enjoy, this was a perfectly stated post.  

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To be fair, if backers were following the Kickstarter, they found out about the quest experience literally one day before the Kickstarter ended through a Reddit discussion on 15 October 2012.   Of course, I realize not everyone followed the Kickstarter as closely as some others.

 

I really had to re-evaluate my pledge given that information.   At the end of the day, my pledge was more about supporting Obsidian as a company than about the game.  There are so few mid-size developers left these days, and it's clearly a struggle for them to stay afloat.   I actually increased my pledge on the last day, but it was in spite of the announcement, not because of it.

 

I hope they will at least consider adding a little experience for exploration and overcoming obstacles or clearing a map using whatever method fits your style.  It would certainly add a lot to my experience.   I know they won't completely overhaul the system, but adding in some incentive for exploration would go a long way to making the game much more enjoyable for those of us who prefer quest/kill XP. 

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Read what I exactly said. "I doubt anybody literally gave them money BECAUSE of". Sure, they could still be disappointed by the change, but I don't think that was the main reason they gave the money.

 

If the new system is fixed so that it works great, then they probably won't mind it. They will mind it as long it works as bad as it does now.

the XP system is just the tip of the ideberg.

 

The gameplay mechanics are seriously flawed; I don't think it's just a matter of rebalancing the attributes. The combat is very confusing and it's difficult to follow what is going on. The game plays like a classless system but without the perks of going classless.

 

In the end, it feels nothing like an IE game. Even without using the D&D ruleset, they could have designed a system with a similar approach. The lack of combat XP is just one of the myriads of changes that make PoE look like a completely different game and, certainly, not a spiritual successor of BG/IWD/PST. Just because the story is set in a high fantasy world and it uses isonometric viewport, this is not enough to label it a spiritual successor of those mentioned games.

 

This is what makes me frustrated. If Obsidian had made clear that they wanted to design a RPG vaguely remineshent of some 'oldskool' games and using a novel approach, free of any publisher interference, then I would have had different expectations.

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The gameplay mechanics are seriously flawed; I don't think it's just a matter of rebalancing the attributes. The combat is very confusing and it's difficult to follow what is going on. 

I think these issues may get resolved in the future. I definitely agree on xp though.


"Good thing I don't heal my characters or they'd be really hurt." Is not something I should ever be thinking.

 

I use blue text when I'm being sarcastic.

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Your side has more than represented itself. I don't think there is any shortage of posts that are positive for the current system. Three or Four of these topics, up in different places all over the forums, don't all get to be close to 20 pages long because we all agree.

Good to hear.  I don't hang around here much.

 

Your assumption that because the reward system is 40 years old makes it outdated isn't true.

 

You're absolutely right, of course; cheerfully retracted.  An entertainment system isn't obsolete if people are still entertained by it.

 

However, it is worth taking note of the fact that we're talking about the very first character advancement system.  It seems like a lot of people here have never played anything but D&D, and while its XP system may still be fun for them, there are other ways to reward players.  There are simulationist systems, learn-by-doing systems, levelless systems, narrative systems, blah blah blah.  To cling so tightly to the familiar while refusing to recognize its failures and limitations is ... well, somewhat childish.  Note I am not referring to you Zansatsu or anyone in particular.  You seem prepared to acknowledge that classic XP systems have some serious imperfections.  Not everyone will.

 

 

 

People are fooling themselves if they don't think this stuff comes down to taste.

Yeah.  Strongly agree.

 

 

 

Please understand I'm not saying you're wrong about your "opinion", and this game may very well succeed. I hope it does! I'm very excited for it.  I'm going to play it.  I do think it would appeal to more people however, if done in the "traditional" way.

Sure.  Note that I'm not interested in mass appeal.  I can only argue for what I think would make the best game for me.  Taking away the cookies for killing things is a step in the right direction for players like myself.

 

Very good post overall by the way.  Thanks for the response and for setting me right where I got a little off track.   :)

Edited by Zombra
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Deus Ex HR also gives xp both for killing and nonlethally neutralizing opponents, where the lethal option is not only messier (you have to hold down the button, instead of just tapping it, and they make more noise), but also worth far less xp. (Which is arguably bad design, but you need to unlock a lot less augmentations to be viable as a combat monster than an infiltrator needs to be good at what he does.)

Yeah.  DX:HR is a lovely example of bad xp balance.  Stealth is by FAR the more profitable option.  The incentive there to be stealthy is huge.  The game coerces you very strongly to be nonlethal, the same way that kill xp coerces you to not only be lethal, but pick fights whenever possible.

 

 

 

 

I'm somewhat iffy on the idea of categorizing "screwing around in an imaginary world" as useful and relevant, whether one has a pre-set goal or just does it for kicks. I mean, it's a game, which you're playing to have fun, therefore achieving fun is the only metric by which it can be useful and relevant. I don't think there's a need to punish people whose idea of fun is different from yours.

The thing is that it goes both ways.  For everything you reward, you "punish" people who don't enjoy doing that.  If you reward kills, you punish people who don't like killing.  If you reward quests, you punish people who don't like to do quests.  This is the problem with an abstract XP system - players are driven to grab all the cookies, so anything that smells like a cookie becomes something they are "supposed" to pursue.

 

And obviously I meant "useful and relevant" in the context of the game world.  :)  The mayor's daughter is missing, that's a problem to be solved.  Hey, I heard there are some bears living in the woods, that's not a problem to be solved, it's just a bag of XP to go kill for no reason.

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Something interesting has come in this reply as well. While your opinion is very logical and I understand it (Minus the blatant over exaggerations).. This is not what the IE games were and this is not what was kick started. If Josh wants to beef up the new engine to overcome IE limitations.. we all agree that is the right course of action.

That's a totally valid complaint.  If a new IE game is what you wanted, and you think kill XP is necessary for an IE game, then yes, can't argue with that.

 

Personally, I don't want Baldur's Gate 1: Reprise.  I just want a good game in this general style.

 

Now you are obviously being extremist again saying that EVERY tree or EVERY building will have goodies and xp.. which is obviously not what anyone wants so again your over exaggerating to make my position look broken and less appealing.

 

If you hate being rewarded for exploration

lol.  Dude, what did you just say about how naughty it is to use blatant exaggerations?   :no:

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"To be fair, if backers were following the Kickstarter, they found out about the quest experience literally one day before the Kickstarter ended through a Reddit discussion on 15 October 2012.   Of course, I realize not everyone followed the Kickstarter as closely as some others."

 

To be fair, the backers were told not to judge the system until they tried it. And, we're called names if they argued otherwise.

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DWARVES IN PROJECT ETERNITY = VOLOURN HAS PLEDGED $250.

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To be fair, if backers were following the Kickstarter, they found out about the quest experience literally one day before the Kickstarter ended through a Reddit discussion on 15 October 2012.   Of course, I realize not everyone followed the Kickstarter as closely as some others.

 

I really had to re-evaluate my pledge given that information.   At the end of the day, my pledge was more about supporting Obsidian as a company than about the game.  There are so few mid-size developers left these days, and it's clearly a struggle for them to stay afloat.   I actually increased my pledge on the last day, but it was in spite of the announcement, not because of it.

 

I hope they will at least consider adding a little experience for exploration and overcoming obstacles or clearing a map using whatever method fits your style.  It would certainly add a lot to my experience.   I know they won't completely overhaul the system, but adding in some incentive for exploration would go a long way to making the game much more enjoyable for those of us who prefer quest/kill XP. 

 

One day before it ended.. through a reddit discussion.. common. :getlost:

 

That is pretty much the opposite of fair. Josh Sawyer is a great designer.. im sure people would trust him and back it anyways but it was a bait and switch to say IE**.

 

** As Josh Sawyer interprets it.

Edited by Immortalis

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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"To be fair, if backers were following the Kickstarter, they found out about the quest experience literally one day before the Kickstarter ended through a Reddit discussion on 15 October 2012.   Of course, I realize not everyone followed the Kickstarter as closely as some others."

 

To be fair, the backers were told not to judge the system until they tried it. And, we're called names if they argued otherwise.

 

To be fair, I was one of the people who were called names -- I believe one person described my (and others) position on quest/kill XP as 'disturbing'.  ;(   To this day, I can't figure out how wanting a quest/kill XP similar to the I.E. games would be considered 'disturbing'.   I mean it was pitched as a spiritual successor to the I.E. games which had quest/kill XP.  

 

It is what it is.  I'm still hoping they'll add something for exploration (which I always loved in the I.E. games). 

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Obsidian, this poem is for you:

 

I am not happy...

No exploration xp...

Just fix it okay?

Edited by Namutree

"Good thing I don't heal my characters or they'd be really hurt." Is not something I should ever be thinking.

 

I use blue text when I'm being sarcastic.

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To be fair, if backers were following the Kickstarter, they found out about the quest experience literally one day before the Kickstarter ended through a Reddit discussion on 15 October 2012.   Of course, I realize not everyone followed the Kickstarter as closely as some others.

 

 

No, it was actually much sooner.  Check near the end of Tim Cain's video at around the 4:12 mark in update #7 on September 22 (at least three weeks before the Kickstarter campaign ended) .

 

Here's the link to that page of updates:  https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/obsidian/project-eternity/posts?page=16

 

Tim said:  "We're not going to reward you for killing things.  We're going to reward you for doing the quests laid out in the game." 

 

There was even a thread about it that was started two days later.

 

http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/60641-xp-only-for-questing-some-observations/page-2

Edited by kgambit
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Guess many people missed that, I certainly did. Though it's worth adding that it's not just the xp system that is in question here but that is off topic.

 

Also reading the comments in the thread you linked now, just lol.

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@kgambit   If you go here in that thread, you'll see Feargus gave a different answer while he was manning the Kickstarter Comments section. 

 

Question from Backer:

"I know this has been answered by implication, but will the PCs be gaining experience only for achieving objectives or will they also gain experience situationally by picking locks and killing monsters and other skill based actions in the game?"

Feargus:

 

"You will get XP for both - Tim might have covered that in Update 7 (not totally sure thought)."  *

 

 

I actually asked it on the Comment section as well and was told a compromise would be reached.  The Reddit discussion was the confirmation that there would be no kill XP.  It was announced the same time as regenerating stamina and caused quite a reaction from the crowd. 

 

* Edit:  The rest of that post was Cantousent's opinion, not Feargus.

Edited by SqueakyCat
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@kgambit   If you go here in that thread, you'll see Feargus gave a different answer while he was manning the Kickstarter Comments section. 

 

Question from Backer:

"I know this has been answered by implication, but will the PCs be gaining experience only for achieving objectives or will they also gain experience situationally by picking locks and killing monsters and other skill based actions in the game?"

 

Feargus:

 

"You will get XP for both - Tim might have covered that in Update 7 (not totally sure thought)."  *

 

 

I actually asked it on the Comment section as well and was told a compromise would be reached.  The Reddit discussion was the confirmation that there would be no kill XP.  It was announced the same time as regenerating stamina and caused quite a reaction from the crowd. 

 

* Edit:  The rest of that post was Cantousent's opinion, not Feargus.

Like I have said before; there has been deception at play here. 

 

1st) People give money a game that plays like an IE game because Obsidian promised to make one.

 

2nd) Obsidian mentions the game giving quest-xp; implying xp is quest exclusive.

 

3rd) People ask if xp is quest exclusive.

 

4th) They are told they will get xp for kills and quests.

 

5th) Once Obsidian has already gotten a ton of money from IE fans- Now there's no kill-xp.

 

Like I said; deception. If not ought right lies; Obsidian was at the very least: Deliberately misleading.

Edited by Namutree

"Good thing I don't heal my characters or they'd be really hurt." Is not something I should ever be thinking.

 

I use blue text when I'm being sarcastic.

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Err ... let's not overlook the possibility that Feargus just didn't know what the **** he was talking about.  It sure didn't sound like he had a handle on it from those quotes.

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Err ... let's not overlook the possibility that Feargus just didn't know what the **** he was talking about.  It sure didn't sound like he had a handle on it from those quotes.

That could be I guess, but I am very suspicious. The timing of this "mistake" sure was beneficial to Obsidian. Then again; maybe I'm grasping at straws.


"Good thing I don't heal my characters or they'd be really hurt." Is not something I should ever be thinking.

 

I use blue text when I'm being sarcastic.

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I've been away for a day, and guess what I found in my in-box when I got home, a message from a dev (from Sking who did the first post about xp, saying it's quest only. In a reply to my wondering whether we'll get to have a more old-school, combat xp, in the game too (or even if modders like me can help them add one before it ships, Sking says:
 

"Once the game releases any mod you feel is necessary to heighten your experience, you should definitely do."

                                                                                                                              Sent 22 August 2014 - 08:22 PM

 

What this means, folks, is that OE isn't budging. We will have quest-xp only (their version of "objective xp"), so there's nothing to see here. Scram! Go home!

 

/Thread  

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*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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MY FINAL POST:

 

Obsidian; this decision was bad for IE fans, and bad for the potential of a poe trilogy. You shouldn't have gone in this direction.

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"Good thing I don't heal my characters or they'd be really hurt." Is not something I should ever be thinking.

 

I use blue text when I'm being sarcastic.

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