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PrimeJunta's BB v257 summary

feedback summary review

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#41
PrimeJunta

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I like the engagement mechanic. It actually lets you hold a line. In the IE games you couldn't do that, at best you could block a choke point with a couple of characters shoulder to shoulder. It's nothing to do with the fighter's limited flexibility.

 

The more I think about this, the more I think the fighter design should be blown wide open. Add more talents, some ranged, some melee, and let the player pick from them from level 1. That would include what are currently the fighter's 'base' talents--the extra engagement target, stamina regen, Defender mode. Keep those, sure, but don't force them on the player. You could build a tank, an archer/gunner, or a combination (musketeer). Hell, while you're at it, let us assign those 35 accuracy points between melee and ranged as we like!

 

Fighters would still be low-maintenance and tied to a combat role, but we would get to build it into the kind of role we want.



#42
Sensuki

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I think the Melee Engagement system still comes from a turn-based design mentality rather than a real-time mentality. There's a bunch of other ways that it could be implemented. The Melee Engagement system works on paper, because well it's based off P&P design.

#43
Cubiq

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I like the engagement mechanic. It actually lets you hold a line. In the IE games you couldn't do that, at best you could block a choke point with a couple of characters shoulder to shoulder. It's nothing to do with the fighter's limited flexibility.

Can you really hold the line?

From what i've seen the reason is mainly the poor AI that makes them simply attack the closest thing at the start of the combat.



#44
PrimeJunta

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@Sensuki I'm intrigued. How would you have done it?

 

@Cubiq The AI needs work, yes, but it is noticeably harder for enemies to just move past your defenders. They get stopped and slapped hard if they disengage. It works. We'll see how it shapes up when the AI gets better.



#45
Yonjuro

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Nicely done.  :bow:

 

 

 

Crafting and Enchanting
 
Glanced at it, did not try due to all the inventory bugs. Maybe next build.
 

 

 I tried enchanting some armor. Overall, the usefulness of the enchantment system will depend mostly on how many (pre-enchanted) item you find vs. the number of ingredients.

 

 I like the idea that you can upgrade the armor you already have rather than swapping for something that you find - it, err, saves pixels or something, but it's a nice idea.

 

 The system works but could be improved.

 

 Right now, the only way to find out about enchantments is to click the enchantment button and then click all of the recipes to see what you need for each of them. To make the Armor of Might (+1, +2 or +3) you needed Ogre blood (makes sense and you'll remember when you get some of that) an herb (or something) that I can't remember and an emerald. I think the merchant who gave you the dragon egg quest hands you an emerald when you give her an intact egg (at least, that's when I noticed it).

 

 (You also need money in increasing  amounts for increasing enchantment levels.)

 

  For the herbs etc. it seems like you just need to notice all of them and stuff them into your stash in case you want to enchant something. I'm not sure I like the scavenger hunt with mundane items. I still remember that I needed gauntlets of Ogre power, a belt of (I forget which, frost?) giant strength, the Hammer of Thunderbolts and the scroll with it's true name "Crom Faeyr" to make Crom Faeyr - and that was a while ago. I don't remember what I needed to enchant my hide armor to hide armor of might and that was two days ago.

 

  The only way to know when you can enchant something is to remember the recipe - I recommend writing it on a post it note and sticking it to the frame of your monitor - perhaps that indicates that some kind of UI element to notify you would be a good idea.  The only other alternative is to check recipes early and often.

 

 

Edit: Post was redundant and also said the same thing twice.


Edited by Yonjuro, 27 August 2014 - 11:31 AM.

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#46
Sensuki

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@Sensuki I'm intrigued. How would you have done it?


Well I can only say this after having seen the system at work, which is currently fairly similar to the NWN/NWN2 AoO Clusterfûck, except only with enemies that you are "engaged" with.

Something less turn-basey, like an attack bonus with melee weapons against moving enemies. This is hampered a bit by recovery time though. Best to wait and see how it feels with the new pathfinding system.

Edited by Sensuki, 27 August 2014 - 11:38 AM.


#47
PrimeJunta

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I think the engagement mechanic is actually most helpful for writing the AI. Engaging/disengaging are nice, simple states to script; pathfinding around possible AOO's has got to be a lot harder. From that POV it works pretty well already IMO; the main issue is the pathing-related dogpile and general lack of transparency about who's engaging whom.


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#48
Stun

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Rogue: Underwhelming. Perhaps I'm missing something, but the only tactic I discovered was hobble+stab-stab-stab. Just a point damage machine, and not all that great at point damage. Sneak Attack needs to be beefed up to make using it worthwhile. Adding Talents that inflict a larger variety of status effects could help too. Feels weak.

I would agree that Rogues need their sneak attacks beefed up, except that Sawyer said something interesting on the "lame items" thread that totally blew my mind and made me withdraw that notion. There are enchantments you can place on weapons that cause status effects like Daze and Stun on a hit.

This means that if your Rogue is dual-wielding 2 weapons with those enchantments on them, you can achieve a situation where you are locking your foe into a perpetual Status + Sneak attack + Status + Sneak attack etc. affair that sounds rather over-powered to me. (and really fun! but that's a different point lol)

Beefing up a rogue's sneak attack more than it already is would probably be build-breakingly powerful.

Edited by Stun, 27 August 2014 - 01:18 PM.


#49
GreyFox

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And I'm saying that it's a bad thing....probably will go over well too since 4E is so poplar eh?

That is also meaningless because it is too late to redesign the core combat mechanics of the game.

 

Except that making the fighter be an actual fighter isn't redesigning the core combat mechanics of the game.

 

Nor is adding tank viability to the other melee classes for that matter.

 

I understand that they went for a 4E feel which is why I didn't back this game for very much(because I wasn't clear exactly what I was backing). If they had came out and said 'we're doing a 4E lite IE inspired game' I highly doubt they'd have made as much and several posters in this very thread wouldn't have even backed the game.

 

It's not meaningless I promise you that...the way combat and classes end up playing are going to go a long way toward determining the success of this game as it is primarily a combat game.



#50
PrimeJunta

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I would agree that Rogues need their sneak attacks beefed up, except that Sawyer said something interesting on the "lame items" thread that totally blew my mind and made me withdraw that notion. There are enchantments you can place on weapons that cause status effects like Daze and Stun on a hit.


This means that if your Rogue is dual-wielding 2 weapons with those enchantments on them, you can achieve a situation where you are locking your foe into a perpetual Status + Sneak attack + Status + Sneak attack etc. affair that sounds rather over-powered to me. (and really fun! but that's a different point lol)

Beefing up a rogue's sneak attack more than it already is would probably be build-breakingly powerful.

 

Status effects tend to be fairly long-lasting as it is, and there are tons of ways to confer them. The simple Crippling Strike leaves an enemy hobbled for the duration of the battle already (well, most of the time). I don't think it'd make a huge difference if that was applied automatically... except to make the talent redundant, which would be a little annoying.



#51
Pray

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Really nice post. Also want to say "suck it" for asking for more feedback in combat - i suggested this the first day the beta was out and you poo-pood. it for nostalgia.

 

Also, I had to edit this post because I quite like your comment about the archer sub-type fighter. I think this is an absolute must and so very much fits into the ideals the designers have been espousing. The word fighter seems to be implicitly intended to be "low maintenance tank," when it should mean more than that, or not at all that, if you want it to be. Archer sub-type seems like a great start.


Edited by Pray, 27 August 2014 - 10:48 PM.


#52
PrimeJunta

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Really nice post. Also want to say "suck it" for asking for more feedback in combat - i suggested this the first day the beta was out and you poo-pood. it for nostalgia.

 

Also, I had to edit this post because I quite like your comment about the archer sub-type fighter. I think this is an absolute must and so very much fits into the ideals the designers have been espousing. The word fighter seems to be implicitly intended to be "low maintenance tank," when it should mean more than that, or not at all that, if you want it to be. Archer sub-type seems like a great start.

 

I did? I do not recall even thinking that let alone saying it. Are you sure it was me and we were talking about the same thing?

 

Edit: I hazily remember something about fidget animations or more animations in general. Could that have been it? 'Cuz those I still file under "nice to have but not essential."


Edited by PrimeJunta, 27 August 2014 - 10:55 PM.


#53
Messier-31

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So you say that the ranger simply MUST have a pet companion - as it is not facultative in the style of DnD wizard's familiar?


Edited by Messier-31, 27 August 2014 - 11:03 PM.


#54
Pray

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Really nice post. Also want to say "suck it" for asking for more feedback in combat - i suggested this the first day the beta was out and you poo-pood. it for nostalgia.

 

Also, I had to edit this post because I quite like your comment about the archer sub-type fighter. I think this is an absolute must and so very much fits into the ideals the designers have been espousing. The word fighter seems to be implicitly intended to be "low maintenance tank," when it should mean more than that, or not at all that, if you want it to be. Archer sub-type seems like a great start.

 

I did? I do not recall even thinking that let alone saying it. Are you sure it was me and we were talking about the same thing?

 

Edit: I hazily remember something about fidget animations or more animations in general. Could that have been it? 'Cuz those I still file under "nice to have but not essential."

 

I made a very eloquent post about how the game needed more graphical polish in order to better translate what was happening on screen into feedback for the player, and the old timers concluded that i was demanding a Diablo clone and yada yada IE never had good graphics etc! It was a rather absurd backlash, and you specifically said you'd rather have less graphical representation for nostalgia's sake. 

 

Oh how spurned i've been. 



#55
PrimeJunta

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Okay, I must've missed the "in order to better translate what was happening on screen into feedback for the player," and focused on the "graphical polish."
 

I still think the game's graphics are polished enough. By "feedback" I mean things like --

  • Character icon border brightening when mousing over the character in the scene, and vice versa
  • Icons representing status effects and the character's current action on the portrait
  • Character's selection circle+portrait border flashing in a different color when something important happens (Monk gains Wound, cipher gains Focus, chanter completes phrase and make an Incantation, character is Interrupted, etc.)
  • Sound effect associated with gaining a Wound, being Interrupted, Interrupting, etc. 
  • Character model turning grey when Petrified

Some of these are arguably graphical, but not what I usually think of in terms of "graphical polish." "Graphical polish" for me means stuff like more and better animations, more and better textures, more and better visual FX and so on. These are IMO already fine as they are.

 

Sorry about the misunderstanding (if that's what it really was).



#56
Cubiq

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@Cubiq The AI needs work, yes, but it is noticeably harder for enemies to just move past your defenders. They get stopped and slapped hard if they disengage. It works. We'll see how it shapes up when the AI gets better.

This is going to be my last post, since i'm kind of depressed how this game is turning out to be, so i just bare with it.

 

From all that i've seen, i don't believe that it will be easier to hold the line than in Baldur's gate.

I believe that it will be exactly the opposite, if the AI gets even slightly more intelligent.

 

Lets say you intercept 3 melee enemies that are coming at your 2 warriors.

Your warriors have now successfully held the line.

 

Now what would happen if all 3 of them chose a different target.

Your warrior would intercept one and would force the enemy to engage him.

Your 2nd warrior would chose a different target and would engage that one.

But now there is 1 free to attack your party. So how do you get 1 of your warrior to engage the 3rd target?

You either need to use a knockdown on the already engaged target, so you can disengage, or have a successful roll versus the stagger check when you eat a disengagement attack.

Now here comes the complicated part:

From what i've seen the knockdown only hits on your next swing timer and since the swing timers are pretty long and counting on whether or not your knockdown will even hit, the probability of the enemy reaching one of your party members before you can stop him with your warrior is pretty high (i've actually seen someone try to do this on a stream and failed)

 

Now if your party member needs to run away from the 3rd enemy, just so they wont reach him, then you're basically just doing what you did in Baldur's gate, and not really holding the line anymore.

However in Baldur's gate you could run away indefinitely, while here you have a limited amount of time before they reach you and engage you (unless you're running in a straight line to the other end of the map).

 

Now here is where i think it gets harder than in BG games.

Your character now needs to try using their escape abilities, (if they even have any) to stop themselves from getting killed, while in BG games you would just keep running in circles, and even get a spell off because their swing animations would slow them down.

So now you need to keep activating knockdowns with your warriors until they succeed or try to heal him through disengagement strikes, then try to get him to reach the enemy, all the while, you are using escape abilities with your runaway party character, just for 1 single bonus enemy. 

Potentially you could save them if you had another tanky class in your party, but what about if there are 2 bonus enemies or 3?

 

In Baldur's gate you could just have the weaker characters just run in circles and they could even attack with a ranged weapon of a quick spell, to slowly kill the pursuer, or even just have your melee quickly move in position to create a wall, without the fear of getting punished for it.

(i know you can use charm/stun spells, but you can also do that in BG)

 

 

 

The way that Sawyer talked about how "party positioning" will have a very important role in the game, makes me think that the AI actually needs to be this stupid, so that they will all run directly in a straight line at the first thing they see, otherwise you would have massive headache every little fight.



#57
Mayama

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First fighter engages one enemy second one the other and your cypher, druid whatever CC's the one that trys to eat your backline. It would be nice if theirs actually a challange which I cant cheese my way out with kiting a monster endlessly while the rest of my party whacks at it.


Edited by Mayama, 28 August 2014 - 03:50 AM.


#58
Sylvanpyxie

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First fighter engages one enemy second one the other and your cypher CC's the one that trys to eat your backline.

No no, that's not how it works. Not at all.

 

What you do is your Cipher CCs everything and then you kill them.


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#59
PrimeJunta

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@Cubiq fighters have an engagement limit of 3 in defender mode. They will engage anyone within melee range. A single sword 'n board fighter can control a pretty hefty region of space this way, more if you give him a reach weapon. Two characters side by side, one of whom is a fighter, will form a line.

I'm fairly confident it'll be a lot different than the shoulder-to-shoulder-in-a-doorway thing you had in the IE.

I'm sorry you're bummed about the game BTW. Betas are not for the faint of heart. From where I'm at this game holds enormous promise, but they do have their work cut out to bring it to fruition. They're also taking on a quite a task: they're inviting comparison with mature, five generations refined games, on their first try.

I played BG1 earlier this year, and frankly I didn't think it was all that great. The AI was primitive, the encounters often repetitive (I don't think I ever want to see another kobold again), and there were plenty of ways to cheese it. The engine came a long way from that to BG2 and IWD. If P:E manages to do significantly better than BG1 it will already have done well, even if it doesn't match the dizzying variety of BG2 or the meticulously crafted environmental combat puzzles of IWD.

So what I'm saying, I guess, is that mood swings are to be expected and it would be wise to attempt to moderate them as far as possible.
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#60
Mayama

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The engine came a long way from that to BG2 and IWD. If P:E manages to do significantly better than BG1 it will already have done well, even if it doesn't match the dizzying variety of BG2 or the meticulously crafted environmental combat puzzles of IWD.
 

I doubt (hope) that most here do not expect something with the enormous range of BG2. It was more or less a big expansion the basics were made in BG1.







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