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PrimeJunta

Suggestion: Finer-grained XP rewards

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With the inflated XP in the beta it's impossible to say how the system will feel in the real thing, of course, but with that qualifier...

 

I would like the game to have more frequent but smaller XP rewards. For example, consider the Aelys quest. Instead of awarding the XP in large chunks when the quest progresses, break it up so that you gain a small amount of XP when ...

 

 

 

... getting the quest

... discovering that Aelys was pregnant

... discovering that something isn't quite right about Harond's story

... discovering the Trygil lead

... discovering that the ogre had nothing to do with Aelys's disappearance

... confronting Trygil

... discovering the Skaen cult connection

... and so on.

 

 

 

You would obviously miss out on some of that XP if you didn't meet the reputation or skill requirements to get the intel, but that's perfectly okay. It would give a smoother sense of progression and strengthen the incentive to poke around discovering stuff about the quest, not just getting big chunks when a part of it actually completes.

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while i like the idea it is probably to late to change every quest at this point in the development cycle to reflect your idea.

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Eh, PJ, with all due respect I can't support this suggestion, maybe if you complete an optional goal you can get a bit of extra XP, but it should be a goal, not every poke around you take.


I see the dreams so marvelously sad

 

The creeks of land so solid and encrusted

 

Where wave and tide against the shore is busted

 

While chanting by the moonlit twilight's bed

 

trees (of Twin Elms) could use more of Magran's touch © Durance

 

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Yes, please! I'll settle for scraps right now. Any step closer to something rewarding you regularly and cleverly, when taking on the numerous challenges and interacting with NPCs, areas and items, is more than welcome - even a bare-bone system in the next patch.

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

 

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I think people should stop to look at XP as a reward and start to think of it as a way to control the character's progression in the narrative.


Azarhal, Chanter and Keeper of Truth of the Obsidian Order of Eternity.


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morhilane: That makes sense, but then the name of them, "Experience Points," doesn't. I reckon, I'll refer to them as QP from here on: Quest Points. :)

 

I need to think of Poe as a narrative game from now on, PoE as an adventure game, a bit like Tex Murphy and the Tesla Effect - you get to talk to some NPCs, collect some stuff (Comic Books), tote a few weapons (guns), solve some puzzles (crack a safe code, move some statues)). ;)

Edited by IndiraLightfoot

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

 

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With the inflated XP in the beta it's impossible to say how the system will feel in the real thing, of course, but with that qualifier...

 

I would like the game to have more frequent but smaller XP rewards. For example, consider the Aelys quest. Instead of awarding the XP in large chunks when the quest progresses, break it up so that you gain a small amount of XP when ...

 

 

 

... getting the quest

... discovering that Aelys was pregnant

... discovering that something isn't quite right about Harond's story

... discovering the Trygil lead

... discovering that the ogre had nothing to do with Aelys's disappearance

... confronting Trygil

... discovering the Skaen cult connection

... and so on.

 

 

 

You would obviously miss out on some of that XP if you didn't meet the reputation or skill requirements to get the intel, but that's perfectly okay. It would give a smoother sense of progression and strengthen the incentive to poke around discovering stuff about the quest, not just getting big chunks when a part of it actually completes.

 

I agree with you overall but I would make a modification:

I think every quest should have a set amount of XP that it is worth (say 800XP for the example). Each step you listed can be worth 100XP. If you complete each step, you get 100XP each time and end up with a total of 800XP at the end. If you skip steps (say find the cult and finish it all before you even get the quest, or before doing any other investigating) you don't get the XP along the way but you still get 800 XP at the end.

 

The reason I think it should work this way is because part of the rationale behind the XP system is that they can better know how much XP players will have at any point. If a quest can be worth 400 XP if you don't explore/investigate or 800 XP if you do, that breaks down. Furthermore, that XP would be irretrievably lost, because it's not like you can redo the quest, and once it's over it's not like you can go and do the investigative aspects then. With no kill XP in the game I think that would be a big problem.

 

I think that just getting the XP early, in smaller chunks is enough incentive to explore/investigate more along the way (plus for a lot of people it'd be more fun anyway) and so it's not necessary to make it possible to miss out on XP.

 

Edit: Here's a link http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/67523-combat-xp-poll-lets-see-what-we-think-now/?p=1487430 to an example I posted for how I think it should work in another thread. Basically the same thing I said here but including pure exploration steps as part of the quest. In other words, just discovering the cult's lair would be treated as "part of the quest" behind the scenes but the player would just get 100XP as soon as they found it (as a reward for exploration) and it would be included in the final tally of the quest's XP.

Edited by Answermancer
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morhilane: That makes sense, but then the name of them, "Experience Points," doesn't. I reckon, I'll refer to them as QP from here on: Quest Points. :)

 

Objection, Your Honor! I experience quests every bit as much I experience combat, sometimes more so.


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@Answermancer: I disagree. I think players who look under every rock and doggedly pursue every lead deserve a bigger reward than players who just beeline for the main objectives (metagaming or not).

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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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Answermancer: PJ's point is most valid. Please improve your system so that it accommodates for rewarding diligence, extreme curiosity and other kinds of challenge seeking. :)

 

PJ: Well, how about Delayed Experience Points, then, like in Delayed Blast Fireball?


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

 

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@Answermancer: I disagree. I think players who look under every rock and doggedly pursue every lead deserve a bigger reward than players who just beeline for the main objectives (metagaming or not).

 

Maybe, but it goes directly against stuff Josh has talked about before: no XP for kills, no XP for lockpicking, or other minor things like that which skew the balance of power.

 

And besides that's moot since it WOULD mess up the entire idea of being able to predict what level someone is at a point in the game unless you make the XP rewards so small as to be meaningless. Like I said above, if a person can do a quest and get 400 XP or 800 XP that breaks the entire system, how will that person ever make up the deficit in a game where there is no kill XP?

 

In a game with kill XP someone who rushes through quests could grind to catch up or something, whereas here that person will just forever have half as much XP as someone who checked under every rock. It's a "trap" as well since experienced players will realize they need to check under every rock (even if that bores them) to have proper XP gain while someone new might end up skipping through every quest and gimp themselves without knowing or meaning to. It just seems really broken to me.

Edited by Answermancer

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Answermancer: PJ's point is most valid. Please improve your system so that it accommodates for rewarding diligence, extreme curiosity and other kinds of challenge seeking. :)

 

PJ: Well, how about Delayed Experience Points, then, like in Delayed Blast Fireball?

 

Those things should not be getting rewarded with a limited resource like XP in a closed system where there is a finite amount of XP you can ever get (and where you can lock yourself out from getting it).

 

I am pretty confident the designers would agree with me on this one, the potential to gimp yourself forever is just too great. Reward those players with extra money or achievements or loot or something, but not XP.

 

Again the problem is that there's no way to make up for it later. If I do the noble's daughter quest and rush to the end (even unwittingly, which is easy to do, I did the first time I got it, finding the cultist lair on accident and before going to see the ogre) there is now no way for me to get the extra XP for investigating the case (talking to people etc.).

 

This is totally different than games where you can make up the deficit with grinding or some other way to "go back" and get that "lost" XP.

Edited by Answermancer
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 Reward those players with extra money or achievements or loot or something, but not XP.

 

Just wanted to throw that into the conversation. Loot is basicaly XP, at least good loot, because its either a powerfull item or money that can be turned into a powerfull item. Items in RPG's are basicaly stat boosters, means its basicaly equal to a percentage of a level. That also means it is equal to xp.

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Those things should not be getting rewarded with a limited resource like XP in a closed system where there is a finite amount of XP you can ever get (and where you can lock yourself out from getting it).

 

I am pretty confident the designers would agree with me on this one, the potential to gimp yourself forever is just too great. Reward those players with extra money or achievements or loot or something, but not XP.

 

Again the problem is that there's no way to make up for it later. If I do the noble's daughter quest and rush to the end (even unwittingly, which is easy to do, I did the first time I got it, finding the cultist lair on accident and before going to see the ogre) there is now no way for me to get the extra XP for investigating the case (talking to people etc.).

 

This is totally different than games where you can make up the deficit with grinding or some other way to "go back" and get that "lost" XP.

 

That is all just bad quest design.

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 Reward those players with extra money or achievements or loot or something, but not XP.

 

Just wanted to throw that into the conversation. Loot is basicaly XP, at least good loot, because its either a powerfull item or money that can be turned into a powerfull item. Items in RPG's are basicaly stat boosters, means its basicaly equal to a percentage of a level. That also means it is equal to xp.

 

 

It is an it isn't. The game has ways of crafting and enchanting items to make them good, but an item will not give you all the extra bonuses that a level does. You can buy items with money and that will increase your power, sure, that's why I said reward players with money or things like that. But levels are limited and more significant and your level 6 Wizard won't ever be able to spend money to get to level 7. That's why XP is special and need to be treated carefully.

 

Ultimately I still think you should just make the quest worth 800 XP whether you do every step or skip ahead, but doing every step will get it to you early and potentially you might face the challenge at the end of that quest a level higher than someone who skipped them all.

 

There are probably other solutions for "making up" the XP that you miss out on, and I'd be fine with those too, but I can't believe you guys are seriously advocating for a way for someone to miss out on a significant amount of XP forever due to inexperience or a different playstyle besides "super-completionist".

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Answermancer: Not to shock you or anything, but I approve 100% of games cutting you out over the course of the game, and in all kinds of ways - I'm very free-spirited that way, since I am an avid replayer for starters (if the game is good enough):

-Areas that are hard to reach, and just for a section in the game, or perhaps even with the help of a certain class? Yes, please!

-Quest options only available if you pick certain convo choices? Gimme, gimme, gimme!

-Secrets that are very, very easy to miss. Let them rain down on me!

-Slightly unbalanced classes and skill/talent systems that can be "meta-gamed" into better, unexpected, fun stuff with a bit of practice? Luv it! 

-Xp not perfectly the same for every character in every person's playthrough? I'd expect nothing less!

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Answermancer: Not to shock you or anything, but I approve 100% of games cutting you out over the course of the game, and in all kinds of ways - I'm very free-spirited that way, since I am an avid replayer for starters (if the game is good enough):

-Areas that are hard to reach, and just for a section in the game, or perhaps even with the help of a certain class? Yes, please!

-Quest options only available if you pick certain convo choices? Gimme, gimme, gimme!

-Secrets that are very, very easy to miss. Let them rain down on me!

-Slightly unbalanced classes and skill/talent systems that can be "meta-gamed" into better, unexpected, fun stuff with a bit of practice? Luv it! 

-Xp not perfectly the same for every character in every person's playthrough? I'd expect nothing less!

 

None of those are shocking and I would agree with most of them to some extent. Please don't act like I'm an idiot or trying to dumb the game down or something.

 

None of those are the same as someone potentially being stuck at half the level the game expects, which is exactly what will happen if you make the small-step rewards significant (and if you make them insignificant then what's the point?).

 

There's a huge difference between "some content is unavailable due to your stats/class/party, but other content opens up" and "you played differently than we expected, **** you, you are permanently gimped and can't beat the game now."

Edited by Answermancer

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Answermancer: Perhaps I misunderstood. I had no idea you meant that your pc/party would get stuck from the issue you brought up.

When you say "the level the game expects", do you truly mean that all progress needs to follow exactly the same pace, following the quest thresholds?


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

 

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Answermancer: Perhaps I misunderstood. I had no idea you meant that your pc/party would get stuck from the issue you brought up.

When you say "the level the game expects", do you truly mean that all progress needs to follow exactly the same pace, following the quest thresholds?

 

No, sorry, I meant as the game goes on the difference piles up and becomes an issue late in the game. Early on it's not an issue, but it compounds on itself.

 

In other words, if you "skip through" a lot of quests early on, even on accident, you might end up significantly underleveled at the end of the game and have no way to fix that since those quests are "used up" so to speak. Progress doesn't need a follow a strict progression but the encounter design is going to assume at certain points that you are at least level X, that's inevitable unless you use some sort of level scaling (and level scaling is, generally, the devil).

Edited by Answermancer

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And besides that's moot since it WOULD mess up the entire idea of being able to predict what level someone is at a point in the game unless you make the XP rewards so small as to be meaningless. Like I said above, if a person can do a quest and get 400 XP or 800 XP that breaks the entire system, how will that person ever make up the deficit in a game where there is no kill XP?

 

Fallacy of the excluded middle. There's a big range between "insignificant" and "game-breaking." I believe that it is vitally important that P:E's systems allow accumulated XP to move in this range. Otherwise I would feel robbed of agency.

 

-- The game has a lot of optional content anyway, including most of the Endless Paths. If it can allow that, it can certainly allow variable XP rewards depending on how completionist you were within quests.

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This is totally different than games where you can make up the deficit with grinding or some other way to "go back" and get that "lost" XP.

But there's more xp available in the game than necessary to reach the cap - Josh said before that critical path plus some optional side-content would be enough to get to level 12.

So if you miss out on some xp here, you could make it up there.

 

Also - needn't be equal xp distribution for each step - talking to an obvious npc to get some info might net you 25xp whereas finding a hidden passage might get you 50 (for a very basic example) with a bigger reward at the end for the actual resolution.

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Hi guys,

 

I'm new here and I have read most of the others thread about xp.

I must say, I like the idea to be rewarded by steps in a quest.

After playing few hours at the beta, I think I like to not gain xp in combat, it force you to reevaluate the common goal of combat in classics RPG.

But I'm concerned about to gain it in one time at the end of the quest.

To be honest, I have encountered so much bugs with quests that I'm not sure if the character progression will be smooth or with snap.

If we are rewarded throughout the quest, I think it would be less frustrating for people who want xp in combat.

 

I also like your idea PrimeJunta, to be rewarded only if I investigate well. Especially if the game has more xp than needed to reach the last level.

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And besides that's moot since it WOULD mess up the entire idea of being able to predict what level someone is at a point in the game unless you make the XP rewards so small as to be meaningless. Like I said above, if a person can do a quest and get 400 XP or 800 XP that breaks the entire system, how will that person ever make up the deficit in a game where there is no kill XP?

 

Fallacy of the excluded middle. There's a big range between "insignificant" and "game-breaking." I believe that it is vitally important that P:E's systems allow accumulated XP to move in this range. Otherwise I would feel robbed of agency.

 

-- The game has a lot of optional content anyway, including most of the Endless Paths. If it can allow that, it can certainly allow variable XP rewards depending on how completionist you were within quests.

 

 

Maybe but the way you were explaining your model in your OP made me assume that you wanted each step to have a meaningful-feeling reward. If you think they'd be satisfying even if the ratio of "step XP" to "quest completion XP" was low then maybe you're right, I don't know.

 

I just think it's dangerous to implement systems that let you permanently miss out on significant amounts of a limited resource. I think the progression should be made interesting by the order you do things in (which will effect when you hit what level and such since different quests will be worth different amounts of XP) rather than permanently cutting off big amounts of something you can never get back. I think they need to at least consider it closely, but maybe you're right and they could make it feel significant without creating a trap.

Edited by Answermancer

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Maybe but the way you were explaining your model in your OP made me assume that you wanted each step to have a meaningful-feeling reward. If you think they'd be satisfying even if the ratio of "step XP" to "quest completion XP" was low then maybe you're right, I don't know.

 

I want it to be somewhere in the happy middle. Completing every quest at maximum detail should get you to the level cap a bit early, and should get you significantly better gear by the endgame. Completing most optional quest a little carelessly should get you to the level cap by the endgame. Completing only the crit path carelessly should leave you underleveled for the endgame, but no so much it would be impossibly difficult at Easy. (I wouldn't mind if it was a serious challenge at Normal and genuinely tough at Path of the Damned -- I'm sure the folks looking for a challenge would like that.)

 

There's a lot of space between the extremes here.

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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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