Jump to content

Welcome to Obsidian Forum Community
Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more. If you already have an account, login here - otherwise create an account for free today!
Photo

The experience system

experience combat leveling quests

  • This topic is locked This topic is locked
100 replies to this topic

#1
Tale

Tale

    Forum Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 11002 posts
  • Location:Home is where the heart is, mine is in my chest.
  • Steam:Tale
  • PSN Portable ID:Taleroth
  • Pillars of Eternity Silver Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
Old thread.

In the red corner, we have people who want to stick with the tradition of Infinity Engine games.

Over in the blue corner, the wide eyed idealists who want fair XP distribution for all players regardless of playstyle.

And apparently there's a few people who lept in and started painting another corner yellow advocating for learn-by-doing.

Still have plenty of corners in this ring, it's not a triangle. So give your feedback. But I want a nice clean discussion, no low blows or personal attacks.
  • Monte Carlo, PrimeJunta, IndiraLightfoot and 7 others like this

#2
Helm

Helm

    (6) Magician

  • Members
  • 714 posts

No experience from combat
 
 
Was a better title.


Edited by Helm, 27 August 2014 - 01:34 PM.

  • Monte Carlo and Giubba like this

#3
IndiraLightfoot

IndiraLightfoot

    Apex of the Obsidian Order

  • Members
  • 5588 posts
  • Location:Over the Hills and Far Away
  • Pillars of Eternity Silver Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
  • Deadfire Silver Backer
  • Fig Backer
  • Black Isle Bastard!

I'm sure as heck waiting for some feedback on the last straw I'm grasping at right now: the sub-quest xp. How often and when?



#4
Tale

Tale

    Forum Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 11002 posts
  • Location:Home is where the heart is, mine is in my chest.
  • Steam:Tale
  • PSN Portable ID:Taleroth
  • Pillars of Eternity Silver Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer

No experience from combat
 
 
Was a better title.

:bat:

I think we've broadened our discussion beyond combat XP.

#5
Helm

Helm

    (6) Magician

  • Members
  • 714 posts

 

No experience from combat
 
 
Was a better title.

:bat:

I think we've broadened our discussion beyond combat XP.

 

:alienani:

 

"No experience from combat, using skills, exploring or doing anything other than the bidding of villagers"

 

would be the perfect title actually. But I guess this forum could use a bit less controversy.


  • Zitchiock and Pendali like this

#6
Immortalis

Immortalis

    (4) Theurgist

  • Members
  • 301 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer

Old thread.

In the red corner, we have people who want to stick with the tradition of Infinity Engine games.

Over in the blue corner, the wide eyed idealists who want fair XP distribution for all players regardless of playstyle.

And apparently there's a few people who lept in and started painting another corner yellow advocating for learn-by-doing.

Still have plenty of corners in this ring, it's not a triangle. So give your feedback. But I want a nice clean discussion, no low blows or personal attacks.

 

 

If I'v gained any non-combat experience on this forum..

 

 

bka2q.jpg


  • Monte Carlo, Helm, Pendali and 2 others like this

#7
Sartoris

Sartoris

    (1) Prestidigitator

  • Members
  • 36 posts

Here is one of my major concerns with the quest only xp system. It can lead to the player feeling like they should only experience content if there is a quest directly associated with their current activity. I had this thought initially while reading Sensuki's comments about the wolf encounter in this thread.

 

One of the fun aspects of BG and BG2 for me especially on my first playthrough was simply wandering around.  Once you started BG2 Chapter 2 you were simply inundated with quests and new maps to travel to. Although it was often a quest that opened up the new map, you as the player were free to explore that content as you wish.

 

This would still be the case with Pillars of Eternity's quest only xp system, with one major drawback. If you are exploring an area simply because you enjoy wandering around to experience the content (heck maybe you are role playing as some Gandalf-like figure that wanders around getting cool nicknames and nearly getting smallfolk killed on adventures) and you run across those wolves in the ruins. You dispatch them, but not without taking some amount of health damage or expending a non-zero amount of consumable resources. If those wolves aren't directly tied to some reward then you as a player have just needed to spend strategic resources (or mental effort dealing with tactics) without equivalent compensation.

 

Maybe you are ok with this, just like some people are ok with playing a character that might receive less xp in BG2 for being diplomatic. If no, then no harm no foul. You move on.

 

However, maybe not. Maybe you feel like the resources you had to expend to deal with the unrewarded fight was not worth it. This worries you because now you feel like you won't be as prepared to face the undoubted encounters you will face when you decide to actually do that quest that brought you here in the first place. You are now worried that by expending resources to deal with the wolves you have essentially "gimped" your party's ability to complete content that will be rewarded. I could go into detail about why this is silly, but I know there are plenty of players that will think this why.

 

Why do I know that? Because that is the same thinking underlying the "degenerate gameplay" that Josh Sawyer hates so much. What is so sadly ironic is that by trying to eliminate the possibilities of degenerate gameplay, the designers, with this quest only xp system, have ensured that a portion of players will participate in it.

 

There is a non-zero number of players who, when faced with the wolf scenario I outlined above, which we already know is in the game, will simply reload and sneak past or never engage the wolves unless they have a quest that requires it.

 

The only way the developers can ensure that kind of gameplay doesn't happen is to make sure each and every encounter is either tied directly to a quest or tied to other rewards e.g. loot (but not xp!) that makes it worthwhile. By trying to eliminate degenerate gameplay by removing combat, skill, or dialogue xp, Obsidian has just insured that a portion of the playerbase will participate in degenerate gameplay by reloading and not experiencing that content unless it is tied to a quest reward.

 

This is bad game design. XP is simply another reward system, similar to loot, or plot, or whatever. If you think you can remove degenerate gameplay by having quest only xp you have fundamentally misunderstood why some gamers play the way they do.

 

Moreover, quest only xp wasn't how the IE games handled this mechanic. So why change it? Considering that the developers laid out their guiding principals for this game as:

 

 

Project Eternity (working title) pays homage to the great Infinity Engine games of years past:Baldur’s Gate, Icewind Dale, and Planescape: Torment.

Project Eternity aims to recapture the magic, imagination, depth, and nostalgia of classic RPG's that we enjoyed making - and playing.

 

and

 

 

 

Project Eternity will take the central hero, memorable companions and the epic exploration of Baldur’s Gate, add in the fun, intense combat and dungeon diving ofIcewind Dale, and tie it all together with the emotional writing and mature thematic exploration of Planescape: Torment.

 

Why is there not a very high bar for changing these kind of core mechanics? Wouldn't it just be easier to stick to what is known to work (even if its not perfect) so that the development team can instead commit more resources to producing fun and engaging content?


  • Giubba, IndiraLightfoot, sodaTwo and 10 others like this

#8
Tartantyco

Tartantyco

    (6) Magician

  • Members
  • 787 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
  • Deadfire Silver Backer
  • Fig Backer

*flings poop*


  • Pendali and Immortalis like this

#9
Immortalis

Immortalis

    (4) Theurgist

  • Members
  • 301 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer

Here is one of my major concerns with the quest only xp system. It can lead to the player feeling like they should only experience content if there is a quest directly associated with their current activity. I had this thought initially while reading Sensuki's comments about the wolf encounter in this thread.

 

One of the fun aspects of BG and BG2 for me especially on my first playthrough was simply wandering around.  Once you started BG2 Chapter 2 you were simply inundated with quests and new maps to travel to. Although it was often a quest that opened up the new map, you as the player were free to explore that content as you wish.

 

This would still be the case with Pillars of Eternity's quest only xp system, with one major drawback. If you are exploring an area simply because you enjoy wandering around to experience the content (heck maybe you are role playing as some Gandalf-like figure that wanders around getting cool nicknames and nearly getting smallfolk killed on adventures) and you run across those wolves in the ruins. You dispatch them, but not without taking some amount of health damage or expending a non-zero amount of consumable resources. If those wolves aren't directly tied to some reward then you as a player have just needed to spend strategic resources (or mental effort dealing with tactics) without equivalent compensation.

 

Maybe you are ok with this, just like some people are ok with playing a character that might receive less xp in BG2 for being diplomatic. If no, then no harm no foul. You move on.

 

However, maybe not. Maybe you feel like the resources you had to expend to deal with the unrewarded fight was not worth it. This worries you because now you feel like you won't be as prepared to face the undoubted encounters you will face when you decide to actually do that quest that brought you here in the first place. You are now worried that by expending resources to deal with the wolves you have essentially "gimped" your party's ability to complete content that will be rewarded. I could go into detail about why this is silly, but I know there are plenty of players that will think this why.

 

Why do I know that? Because that is the same thinking underlying the "degenerate gameplay" that Josh Sawyer hates so much. What is so sadly ironic is that by trying to eliminate the possibilities of degenerate gameplay, the designers, with this quest only xp system, have ensured that a portion of players will participate in it.

 

There is a non-zero number of players who, when faced with the wolf scenario I outlined above, which we already know is in the game, will simply reload and sneak past or never engage the wolves unless they have a quest that requires it.

 

The only way the developers can ensure that kind of gameplay doesn't happen is to make sure each and every encounter is either tied directly to a quest or tied to other rewards e.g. loot (but not xp!) that makes it worthwhile. By trying to eliminate degenerate gameplay by removing combat, skill, or dialogue xp, Obsidian has just insured that a portion of the playerbase will participate in degenerate gameplay by reloading and not experiencing that content unless it is tied to a quest reward.

 

This is bad game design. XP is simply another reward system, similar to loot, or plot, or whatever. If you think you can remove degenerate gameplay by having quest only xp you have fundamentally misunderstood why some gamers play the way they do.

 

Moreover, quest only xp wasn't how the IE games handled this mechanic. So why change it? Considering that the developers laid out their guiding principals for this game as:

 

 

Project Eternity (working title) pays homage to the great Infinity Engine games of years past:Baldur’s Gate, Icewind Dale, and Planescape: Torment.

Project Eternity aims to recapture the magic, imagination, depth, and nostalgia of classic RPG's that we enjoyed making - and playing.

 

and

 

 

 

Project Eternity will take the central hero, memorable companions and the epic exploration of Baldur’s Gate, add in the fun, intense combat and dungeon diving ofIcewind Dale, and tie it all together with the emotional writing and mature thematic exploration of Planescape: Torment.

 

Why is there not a very high bar for changing these kind of core mechanics? Wouldn't it just be easier to stick to what is known to work (even if its not perfect) so that the development team can instead commit more resources to producing fun and engaging content?

 

I made this exact arguement my first day on this forum.. it hasn't changed one bit and I agree fully. One of my favorite things about BG 1 was that exploration.. I almost liked the lack of quests or direction.. I just walked in any direction and sometimes you would meet NPC's who were crazy or **** that shoot of a quick conversation then you wreck them.. gain experience for beating a fight that was potentially really hard for you.. had to use every consumable and every trick of the trade.. and you felt great.

 

Now it's like.. oh that big bad guy is here.. go fight him and a 100 ****ing beetles too.. when you get back ill give you a farmers hat +3 and 2 level ups. (exaggerated obviously but that's how it feels to me)


  • Giubba, sodaTwo, Zitchiock and 5 others like this

#10
Helm

Helm

    (6) Magician

  • Members
  • 714 posts

If I'v gained any non-combat experience on this forum..

 

 

bka2q.jpg

 

He would just call us an irrational grognards who love degenerative gameplay and hate balance, if he did show up here.

 

Then he would once again declare Baldurs Gate 2 as a terrible game, and that we are idiots for liking it, because Darklands is the best RPG ever.


  • Monte Carlo, GreyFox, Giubba and 3 others like this

#11
Helm

Helm

    (6) Magician

  • Members
  • 714 posts

*flings poop*

We don't want any monkey business in here, Tartantyco.



#12
Immortalis

Immortalis

    (4) Theurgist

  • Members
  • 301 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer

 

He would just call us an irrational grognards who love degenerative gameplay and hate balance, if he did show up here.

 

Then he would once again declare Baldurs Gate 2 as a terrible game, and that we are idiots for liking it, because Darklands is the best RPG ever.

 

 

I wonder how many people would kickstart a darklands RPG.. he's just an older grognard then us..

 

WAIT.. Josh is a Fanboy of his old school game and thinks IE is what we think PoE is.. IT ALL MAKES SENSE!


Edited by Immortalis, 27 August 2014 - 02:05 PM.

  • Monte Carlo likes this

#13
Helm

Helm

    (6) Magician

  • Members
  • 714 posts

 

 

He would just call us an irrational grognards who love degenerative gameplay and hate balance, if he did show up here.

 

Then he would once again declare Baldurs Gate 2 as a terrible game, and that we are idiots for liking it, because Darklands is the best RPG ever.

 

 

I wonder how many people would kickstart a darklands RPG.. he's just an older grognard then us.. Omg.. Josh is a fanboy of his old school game and thinks IE is what we think PoE is.. IT ALL MAKES SENSE!

 

If you would compare PoE and Darklands and write down the similiarities, then I bet you would be very surprised.


  • skylander likes this

#14
Sartoris

Sartoris

    (1) Prestidigitator

  • Members
  • 36 posts

 

If I'v gained any non-combat experience on this forum..

 

 

bka2q.jpg

 

He would just call us an irrational grognards who love degenerative gameplay and hate balance, if he did show up here.

 

Then he would once again declare Baldurs Gate 2 as a terrible game, and that we are idiots for liking it, because Darklands is the best RPG ever.

 

 

The sad thing is that due to his misguided quest to remove any source of degenerate gameplay from Pillars of Eternity, he's simply introduced it in another form.

 

I can see the strategy guides on GameFAQs now.

 

"Ok so we're on the quest to kill the Ogre, so you can safely sneak by the first and third group of beetles, but we might as well kill the second group because we need the broken crown in the treasure chest from the attached room. You'll get another quest once you kill the Ogre to retrieve it."

 

"But definitely avoid the group of fire elementals on the 2nd floor. The +2 Longsword of Burning isn't worth the likely rest you will need to take between them and the boss. Especially since the +1 Longsword of Might that you have does only 8% less damage..."

 

UUUUGGGGGGHHHHHHHH

 

The inevitable strategy guides for this game are going to focus on which encounters to avoid and why, instead of providing interesting tatical setups for how to experience them.


Edited by Sartoris, 27 August 2014 - 02:18 PM.

  • Monte Carlo, Hiro Protagonist, GreyFox and 10 others like this

#15
Immortalis

Immortalis

    (4) Theurgist

  • Members
  • 301 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer

I can see this game being speed run..

 

Make a human rogue with these attributes.. make sure to buy invisibility scrolls from this vendor.. okay so use them here.. talk to this guy.. run here.. grab this.. kill that.. you should be level 6 now.. talk to this guy.. pass the diplomacy check.. okay go here and stealth past this entire map.. no reason just wolves and beetles.


  • Monte Carlo, IndiraLightfoot, Michael_Galt and 3 others like this

#16
IndiraLightfoot

IndiraLightfoot

    Apex of the Obsidian Order

  • Members
  • 5588 posts
  • Location:Over the Hills and Far Away
  • Pillars of Eternity Silver Backer
  • Kickstarter Backer
  • Deadfire Silver Backer
  • Fig Backer
  • Black Isle Bastard!

Brace yourselves for speed runs in PoE! *Shudder*

 

Programmable mouse macro:

Stealth+stealth+stealth+stealth

 

-skipping loot

-still be bad ass via quest givers

-use macro again


  • Sartoris likes this

#17
fortuntek

fortuntek

    (4) Theurgist

  • Members
  • 350 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer
  • Deadfire Silver Backer
  • Fig Backer

Sartoris and Immortalis are right about the problems with No XP.

 

Josh is also right about certain circumstances with where an "all creatures/enemies give you XP when you kill them" system leads to unwanted gameplay.

 

 

Why does it have to be one or the other? (I don't think you fairly represented the yellow corner, Mr. Mod!)

  • In quest chains, the worry is that if you are asked to side with NPC 'A' or NPC 'B,' siding none and killing all will always be the outcome that nets most profit via XP and loot. While this was true in IE games, this can be balanced by giving no XP is one or the other is killed first, or equal rewards for killing neither or only one, or alternating based on the situation, etc. I hope no one sees this as a problem.
  • Trash mobs in IE games gave a negligible amount of XP anyway. So what, 15xp from each Xvart split six ways, whoop-dee-doo! No big loss. But large, powerful creatures, or perhaps enemies above your level or that give some degree of challenge should give you a reward. Do you really want to only be killing things so you can collect the crap they drop and sell it?? It will very rarely be of use to your characters if every encounter works this way.
  • Why not give give varying XP, including none, based on the type of encounter? The only reason against doing this that I can think of is that it would require a lot of balancing and effort from devs. Don't get me wrong, this is a valid reason if true, but one that only a dev can comment on.

So... what's wrong with a little of column A and a little of column B? Can't we do a bit of both, specifically to address the problems of either extreme?


  • Tale, Pendali, Namutree and 3 others like this

#18
Immortalis

Immortalis

    (4) Theurgist

  • Members
  • 301 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer

Sartoris and Immortalis are right about the problems with No XP.

 

Josh is also right about certain circumstances with where an "all creatures/enemies give you XP when you kill them" system leads to unwanted gameplay.

 

 

Why does it have to be one or the other? (I don't think you fairly represented the yellow corner, Mr. Mod!)

  • In quest chains, the worry is that if you are asked to side with NPC 'A' or NPC 'B,' siding none and killing all will always be the outcome that nets most profit via XP and loot. While this was true in IE games, this can be balanced by giving no XP is one or the other is killed first, or equal rewards for killing neither or only one, or alternating based on the situation, etc. I hope no one sees this as a problem.
  • Trash mobs in IE games gave a negligible amount of XP anyway. So what, 15xp from each Xvart split six ways, whoop-dee-doo! No big loss. But large, powerful creatures, or perhaps enemies above your level or that give some degree of challenge should give you a reward. Do you really want to only be killing things so you can collect the crap they drop and sell it?? It will very rarely be of use to your characters if every encounter works this way.
  • Why not give give varying XP, including none, based on the type of encounter? The only reason against doing this that I can think of is that it would require a lot of balancing and effort from devs. Don't get me wrong, this is a valid reason if true, but one that only a dev can comment on.

So... what's wrong with a little of column A and a little of column B? Can't we do a bit of both, specifically to address the problems of either extreme?

 

If you go back and read the 1500 posts on this topic that are all in the threads that got locked.. I mentioned like 5 ways to get around this abuse.. one of them is close to what your saying.


  • Sartoris likes this

#19
Polanski

Polanski

    (2) Evoker

  • Members
  • 69 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer

What kind of constructive discussion of the beta is actually going on in this thread? I think the devs already understand the pros and cons about the current beta's xp system and are able to try something else or not based on that. This is going to be a long process. Let's discuss the problems that are current and solveable and needs to be shed light on.



#20
fortuntek

fortuntek

    (4) Theurgist

  • Members
  • 350 posts
  • Pillars of Eternity Backer
  • Deadfire Silver Backer
  • Fig Backer

 

Sartoris and Immortalis are right about the problems with No XP.

 

Josh is also right about certain circumstances with where an "all creatures/enemies give you XP when you kill them" system leads to unwanted gameplay.

 

 

Why does it have to be one or the other? (I don't think you fairly represented the yellow corner, Mr. Mod!)

  • In quest chains, the worry is that if you are asked to side with NPC 'A' or NPC 'B,' siding none and killing all will always be the outcome that nets most profit via XP and loot. While this was true in IE games, this can be balanced by giving no XP is one or the other is killed first, or equal rewards for killing neither or only one, or alternating based on the situation, etc. I hope no one sees this as a problem.
  • Trash mobs in IE games gave a negligible amount of XP anyway. So what, 15xp from each Xvart split six ways, whoop-dee-doo! No big loss. But large, powerful creatures, or perhaps enemies above your level or that give some degree of challenge should give you a reward. Do you really want to only be killing things so you can collect the crap they drop and sell it?? It will very rarely be of use to your characters if every encounter works this way.
  • Why not give give varying XP, including none, based on the type of encounter? The only reason against doing this that I can think of is that it would require a lot of balancing and effort from devs. Don't get me wrong, this is a valid reason if true, but one that only a dev can comment on.

So... what's wrong with a little of column A and a little of column B? Can't we do a bit of both, specifically to address the problems of either extreme?

 

If you go back and read the 1500 posts on this topic that are all in the threads that got locked.. I mentioned like 5 ways to get around this abuse.. one of them is close to what your saying.

 

 

Yeah, I'm not surprised. I've heard a lot from people who want Kill XP and next to nothing from people who don't. Do these people actually exist? :p

In the end, as Polanski said, the devs likely are already well enough aware of the pros and cons, I suppose all that's left is to show them our preference while there's still (possibly) a window of opportunity for such a big change to gameplay.

 

Actually, I'm not sure that they could even make such a big change at this point without delaying the game...


  • Immortalis and Sartoris like this





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: experience, combat, leveling, quests

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users