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Backer beta: Developer Impressions

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With regards to combat xp... add in very rare "oddities" like in Underrail* that can drop from combat encounters.

 

Yep. If I remember correctly, in BG2, killed enemy mages (randomly?) drop some scrolls that you can't get anywhere else (or at least not as early), so even if there were zero combat XP in that game, powergamers would still make sure never to miss an opportunity to fight mages... :)

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"Some ideas are so stupid that only an intellectual could believe them." -- attributed to George Orwell

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I think the main problem with no combat XP in the beta comes from the fact that there's so much of it. Because there aren't a huge amount of quests the most predominant aspect of our experience comes in the form of combat. If most of the game came in the form of quests/dialogue, then the no combat XP thing would make sense. As it stands right now, with what we've been presented with, it doesn't seem quite right.

 

I'm sure in bigger cities with a greater amount of quests - and I'm assuming less combat - it would become less of an issue, but when out exploring the wilderness - like what we can do in the beta - with the maps filled with enemies, the lack of combat XP does become quite noticeable.

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Let's crown Ziets as our KillXp King and give him a banner and worship him instead of Sawyer King of Balance.

 

Maybe them can also fight for us in the arena or something.

Edited by Shadenuat
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Let's crown Ziets as our KillXp King and give him a banner and worship him instead of Sawyer King of Balance.

 

Maybe them can also fight for us in the arena or something.

 

Except Sawyer would use his 'Rebuke Meta-Humour' ability and halt the whole thing.


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+"but combat kills xp is bad design and leading to difficulty in balancing. "

 

No, it doesn't. BG series is very balanced xp wise. And, combat kills xp wise has worked for DND (and others) for decades and for good reasons. Balance has NOTHINg to do with xp. XP isn't even about 'balance'. Whether xp is put in via combat or via quest completion or via whatever method, balance is achieved through other mehods.

 

but, again, what are the goals of xp? Why was it used in DnD and other games? Answer that fully and you know why XP system is subpar (thus far, might work in full game) in PE ebat but works well in DOS and SRR? Hmmm...

How does balance have nothing to do with xp when xp must be balanced to the type and strengths of its monster? If kobolds start giving the xp of a Tarrasque, someone made a mistake in the xp section. I don't think that kill xp is bad per se. But there are other ways.

 

Games like Dungeon Hack and Eye of the Beholder sagas (sticking to AD&D examples) do benefit more of kill xp. Combat focus? Totally! Dungeon Hack is pure combat and Eye of the Beholder has some story flavor all over it but still hack hack hack in a very delimited place. But in games like PoE you do quite more than advacing from one room of the dungeon to the next (or forest sqaure tile). You visit cities, talk to people, go shopping, do quests, exterminate innocent kobolds,... You need a more complex system. That it may contain or not kill xp is another story.

 

I like Shadowrun Returns and Dragonfall. And I don't see how PoE's system is worse when, from what I understand, it seems to try to do similar. In SRR I get karma for each mission, sometimes getting some extra during them (extra tasks/objectives, usually). In PoE, in its glorious bugginess, when you start the pig quest and reach the caves, you get xp. You haven't finished the quest yet but you get some from completing a step from it. Start a new game, talk to bridge guys, run to tavern, hire level 1 NPC, talk to noble about daughter, level up the NPC, TALK to Orlan gal, go to bridge guys, start combat, level up NPC before continuing combat (being able to do this is supposed to be a bug but whatever). There seems that xp in PoE is not only rewarded at quest completion.

 

The system is not that bad, just buggy and still can benefit from giving rewards for more stuff (exploring new areas or something). And I don't see how SRR's system is so vastly superior to the still in beta PoE system. PoE should me more open about its maps (SRR just city, rest are missions so no exploration or random enemies) so it need something more solid than SRR to cover all its bases, but I think that they both try to do something similar.

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Well, then how about you attempt to explain why it should be avoided at all cost? You will find yourself equally incapable of doing so.

 

If combat provided absolutely nothing and only wasted time and resources, then it would be easy to argue that combat should be avoided if possible (unless you just wanted to fight because you find fighting fun).

 

That said, PoE combat provides items and crafting ingredients. There is clearly some incentive to fight, even if that incentive is not XP. From this perspective, combat should be avoided unless it provides a net increase in player resources (or is unavoidable).

 

A bit like real life. LOL! So for once I agree about a game decision. I think it is very intriguiging to not give xp for combat. It makes you rethink many of your choices that would otherwise be standard in a game of this type. It is a fresh perspective and I support it. 

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I agree with him on combat xp (this is a dungeon crawler; we need murder xp) but I disagree with his criticism on inventory size (opinions..opinions...). I think he was too quick to judge combat speed considering, as he mentioned, that the state of combat is a bit buggy (moreover, I believe the issue is not speed but feedback).

 

It is not a dungeon crawler.

 

 

Sure it is.

 

I never would have called Baldur Gate a dungeon crawler. Dungeon Siege maybe. This appears to be more BG that DS. We will see. If you define a dungeon crawler by going to a dungeon, then yes you might be right. But judging from the beta, it is way more than that.  Dungeon crawlers usually aren't defined by a story (if so it is usually weak).

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Naw, in BG2 you stumbled from dungeon to dungeon killing dragons (red ones, black ones, white ones...) and making jackets out of their skin. It was a dungeon crawler. Sure, you could meander away from the main story... to go to some other dungeon. You could do a dungeon filled with large floating eyes or a dungeon filled with dark skinned elves or a dungeon filled with dead things or a dungeon filled with vampires or a dungeon filled with trolls or a dungeon filled with puzzles, dungeons with illusions, or a dungeon filled with brain eaters, etc etc etc. As for IWD, that was DEFINATELY a straight up dungeon crawler. BG1 tried to mix it up with overland crap but even those basically devolved into dungeons (like that wooded area with the wyverns and crap.. dungeon with trees more or less ). Hell, most players bitched after BG1 and demanded more dungeons which is why they did Durlag's for TotSC and why BG2 is a dungeon-palooza.

 

Those games had little to no choice or consequence. The character development was all made at level 1 (unless you Dual Classed, but that was crap) and the development was entirely related to combat.

 

Look, they had a nice narrative. I am sure it was like playing a table top game with Gary Gygax himself. But, they were dungeon crawlers and dungeon crawlers should have combat xp. Look at what Zeits wrote, he himself said combat was the damn focus.

 

Btw, I do not dislike this. I love dungeon crawling. I just recognize it for what it is.

You obviously played a different BG that I did. These game aren't  soap operas, they are RPG's. By your definition any RPG with dragons and swords is a dungeon crawler. Sorry have disagree in a BIG way. 

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but in a game that's heavily focused on combat and where the bulk of the abilities/talents/spells are oriented toward combat effectiveness, it makes little sense to me that combat yields no XP at all.

 

 

Why? Nobody has yet explained why a reward is necessary.

 

 

No one said it was necessary. Giving out XP for combat simply aligns with combat being one of the core (and most challenging) activities in the game. The good old "effort = reward" loop in our primitive brain isn't being stimulated by no XP for combat. Not rocket science.

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I'm not sure what the distinction would be here.

It's the extra step. Lets say you've got 3 things in your inventory. You then come upon a chest. The chest has 6 things in it. You hit the "loot all" button. Well, you won't be able to loot everything. First you have to move stuff to the stash to make room, then you can loot everything. Alternatively, you can click on a different party member and have them loot everything, assuming they don't also have 3 or more inventory slots filled. This is something I found myself constantly wrestling with in the beta.

 

An extra row of inventory space per character would really help here.

 

Or a "Loot all to Stash" button. Take out the stuff you want, dump the rest in the stash(like you'd do anyway).

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No one said it was necessary. Giving out XP for combat simply aligns with combat being one of the core (and most challenging) activities in the game. The good old "effort = reward" loop in our primitive brain isn't being stimulated by no XP for combat. Not rocket science.

 

Well yes but you could also argue that not being forced to kill every random monster with meaningles loot triggers the same areas. I killed every single lion in my first two playthroughs but in my third one I realized that I dont have too I can just walk around them, im not forced to do something rather boring just to not falll behind in levels.

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you ain't punished.  you get same xp as those who sneak past combats even if you do get 1007 drops n' such that sneaky folks don't get.

He didn't claim he was being discriminated against. He claimed he was being punished. How else would you describe getting into a nasty fight, having to use up valuable consumables and limited per day abilities and then receive nothing for your hard work...except maybe the need to use up one of your camping supplies, or hike back to the inn for rest?
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Think of it this way: getting into an unnecessary fight is a strategic mistake. Such things should come with a price tag.

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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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Think of it this way: getting into an unnecessary fight is a strategic mistake. Such things should come with a price tag.

The problem with that line of thinking is that it damns the majority of the game as unnecessary.
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Think of it this way: getting into an unnecessary fight is a strategic mistake. Such things should come with a price tag.

The problem with that line of thinking is that it damns the majority of the game as unnecessary.

 

Only if the majority of the fights are unnecessary.


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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I'm pretty sure that won't be the case, however. The demo didn't give off a PS:T-like vibe to me.

Edited by Stun
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In any case, I particularly agree with this part:

Liked that I could mouse over lines in the combat logs to get details about how I had rolled, how the enemy’s defense stat had affected my roll, etc. This turned out to be a very effective way to quickly learn the basics of the combat system.

Surprising that people aren't talking about this feature more. It's really nifty. The IE games didn't offer this. You could turn on To-hit rolls in the settings, but that's all you'd get. This system offers far more information, along with the added bonus that it's hidden by default, and visible if you mouse over the specific line in the combat log. That's brilliant.

 

They really need to make it a toggle or make it so you need to hold a button for it to appear though, scrolling through the combat log with every line changing when you mouse over it is really annoying.
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They really need to make it a toggle or make it so you need to hold a button for it to appear though, scrolling through the combat log with every line changing when you mouse over it is really annoying.

 

 

I agree, the fact that details are not always visible but you can access them is great, but there has to some toggle button for it, looking something up in the log with every line changing under cursor makes it totally confusing.

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CatatonicMan:

Naw, you are over complicating things. If you go into a labyrinthine environment, kill crap and find loot, then thats a dungeon crawl. If the game is so full of dungeon crawls that most of play time is dedicated to it, then its a dungeon crawler. There really is no need to try to make some silly argument to the contrary. If you disagree, then disagree but stop trying to find logical fallacies where there are none.

 

No, I'm making things exactly as complicated as they need to be. You, on the other hand, are oversimplifying.

 

As a sidenote, it's a logical fallacy whether you believe it or not. Go have a read.

 

You lose any arguement by quoting Wikipedia. I teach this to my students. People who rely on Wikipedia lack any real research skills and proper critical thinking skills. We call that a psuedo intellectual. Instead of having someone read something from wikipedia try framing it in your own words. You get much more credibility that way.

 

 

Your students must get crappy grades in the classes they take after you if you tell them to put things in their own words all the time. Using an article from Wikipedia. when it is properly cited and vetted, is perfectly acceptable. Making monolithic statements about the authority of knowledge production on the internet is more likely to make you look foolish then quoting Wikipedia. 

 

In case you missed it, telling your students that all people who use Wikipedia have not critical thinking skills not only calls your critical thinking skills into question, but makes you a bad teacher. 

Edited by DCParry
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You lose any arguement by quoting Wikipedia. I teach this to my students.

 

You may have a point in cases where a Wikipedia link is presented as if it were a primary source sufficient for "proving" an argument where empirical evidence is in dispute.

 

But there's absolutely nothing wrong with linking to a Wiki page in an online discussion, when it neatly summarizes something in a way you agree with. Writing & posting your own 1000 word essay about it instead, would be just plain silly (and disruptive) if it's just a minor definitional thing tangential to the main discussion in progress.

 

The world wide web is all about linking rather than duplicating; Maybe you should start adapting your "teaching" to the 21st century...

 

People who rely on Wikipedia lack any real research skills and proper critical thinking skills. We call that a psuedo intellectual.

 

Translation: "Plebs using popular & commonly accessibly information resources threatens my sense elitism & superiority that I derive from having worked my way up the ladder in the quaint and opaque world of 'intellectual' academia".

 

Did I get that about right?

Edited by Ineth
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"Some ideas are so stupid that only an intellectual could believe them." -- attributed to George Orwell

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^ LOL.

 

Wikipedia is awesome if you know how to use it. To turn your nose up at it is dumb.

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 As I played, I couldn’t shake the feeling that the mechanics would be better served by turn-based (or at least slower-paced) gameplay. However, that might be my own prejudices showing through.

 
 

 

This.

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I'm not sure what the distinction would be here.

It's the extra step. Lets say you've got 3 things in your inventory. You then come upon a chest. The chest has 6 things in it. You hit the "loot all" button. Well, you won't be able to loot everything. First you have to move stuff to the stash to make room, then you can loot everything. Alternatively, you can click on a different party member and have them loot everything, assuming they don't also have 3 or more inventory slots filled. This is something I found myself constantly wrestling with in the beta.

 

An extra row of inventory space per character would really help here.

 

 

Oh no, it's an extra step! If your charaters' inventory in the Beta is full then you don't understand the meaning of 'tactical'. By the way, I thought you found fiddling around with your inventory to be a "HUGE" part of the gameplay in BG2. Looks like your wish was granted, stun.

 

George was right: Combat is this game's central activity, and not rewarding it with experience points makes players want to shy away from that activity.

 

There may be a nice narrative surrounding it. There may be a decent number of dialog options. Some of those options may well allow you to feel clever by avoiding a fight. But at the end of the day, what are all those items and abilities for? Anyone who thinks this game is not primarily a tactical fantasy role-playing game is in the wrong forum.  I love nonviolent point-and-click adventure games, too. This is not one of those games. Argue all you like about whether it's a "dungeon crawler" or not. The developer's point about combat XP being missing was spot-on.

 

Combat being the game's central activity is not a reason. People shying away from combat, which nobody has yet demonstrated, is not a reason.

 

 

Why? Nobody has yet explained why a reward is necessary.

 

I'll see if I can make it clearer then. Note, first of all, that I don't have a big issue with the XP awards being only for completing tasks or quests. Paramount to me is whether or not the game is fun to play (and so far I'm having fun with the beta despite its bugs and issues).

 

Note second of all that I never said a reward was 'necessary' (interesting that a few posts later you complain about someone putting words into your mouth). What I mean is it seems very odd to me that the bulk of abilities/talents/spells you choose for your character are oriented towards being effective in combat/killing opponents. So you play through the game, building your character and choosing all these abilities to add to them which serves to make them more efficient killers. Level after level of abilities - acquired through leveling up that is only accomplished by gaining XPs - that are useful only for combat (many of which can't even be used except in combat). Yet you get no XP reward for being successful in combat.

 

The game dishes out encounter after encounter where you end up having to fight (yes, you can avoid some, but judging from the beta, you're going to spend a whole lot of time in combat - and Zeits even stated it's the 'core activity of the game'). Yet you get no reward for investing all these abilities/talents/spells and for completing the 'core activity of the game'. To me, this just doesn't make a lot of sense. Why have the character talents/abilities/spells geared towards an activity that gives no XP reward to the player? Why have no XP reward for the 'core activity of the game'?

 

 

XP is a reward, pedantry is not an argument. The whole "logic, makes no sense" nonsense argument has been dismissed in every single iteration of this discussion. You have many non-combat abilities that you also improve through leveling. As I have said earlier, getting better at lockpicking by stabbing beetles makes equally as little sense.

 

Quake II is a game focused completely on combat. At no point are you ever rewarded for killing enemies. You are rewarded for progressing through the game and finding secrets. For some odd reason, gameplay has not devolved into pure speedrunning to complete the game.

 

It's not a valid argument. The search for a reason for Kill-XP continues.


"You're a fool if you believe I would trust your benevolence. Step aside and you and your lackeys will be unhurt."


 


 


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