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Pretty disappointed, this launches in December?

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I'm pretty sure by now that we're dealing with a subjective preference: tactical movement as opposed to tactical positioning.

Exactly

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.....

 Suppose, for example, a rogue had the innate ability to avoid disengagement attacks (or perhaps a modal ability called "move deceptively" or something). Does that address your concerns about adding spell like abilities or do you mean something else?

Well, I'm more worried about how these abilities would not really obey the same rules as the rest of the game. ...

Like I said, with the original ruleset you would have a pretty obvious framework where the spells are a bit more dynamic .....

 

That's the d&d sickness that PoE actually solved with the ruleset initially. But which OE decided wasn't such a good idea to keep, for whatever reason.

 

 

 

 Ok, I think I understand your point now. You may be right, but I think a lot of the system design necessarily ends up being redesigned/finalized during play testing. On paper, a designer puts together something using logic and probabilities that has enough complexity to be interesting, but when users get ahold of it, only then do you see if your sufficiently complex ruleset turns out to be fun to play. So, I tend to think that OE played with the new ruleset and added new things and jettisoned old things to improve it incrementally. I don't personally design games but I have experience in the UX process for other software and that's usually how it goes (somebody's brilliant vision gets dashed on the rocks of real users' experience with it). YMMV.

 

:) Well, I've seen a lot of brilliant ideas like that too, it's not that. I've also seen very bad solutions chosen over and over again from the idea that the existing solution's familiarity would be less risky than any alternative. Which is a real and understandable concern when you're selling something like the "successor" to the IE games, like Obsidian is in this case. And "core fans" start clamoring about how the kickstarter goals were betrayed, and things of that sort. And you also have a publisher turning up who have done excellent business for marginal titles by appealing to active small communities directly.

 

The problem is that they barely had anyone see the system before declaring it was unplayable. Worse, it seems they were practically looking for ways to discredit it, by asking what people with an established opinion wanted long before showing what they actually had. Josh were talking about things they couldn't do because of the d&d license long before PoE. This was, in some very significant ways, sold as a wish Obsidian had to make a game that they wanted. Something Josh went through in detail when confronted with whether or not the lack of a Wizards license was a problem - which he said it wasn't at all, in fact the opposite was the case. And the agnostic "interesting, let's wait and see" approach I think a lot of us had wasn't paid much attention to in that situation. Which was a bit disappointing - after all, we know for a fact that very few of the kickstarter supporters played the beta. And even fewer have actually had any vocal opinion about it at all.

 

So you can say on the one hand that it's laudable that Obsidian is listening so attentively to their fans. That paying very close attention to the fans of the IE games and their wishes doesn't just make economic sense, but also is making a commitment to the designs that made the IE games a.. well.. at least a legacy of sorts. That's obviously a valid point of view. 

 

On the other hand, you could make the argument that the IE games had some awful weaknesses, derived directly from the pnp rules that had to be included, that make very little sense when playing the game on paper. And frankly even less when you make a video-game. Which arguably is why modern RPGs that actually are successful in spite of simplistic designs, shy away from obeying traditional pnp rulesets. And for example why good GMs avoid d&d rules to a great extent when using the ruleset in their games. I've done that myself, and know a few GMs who also do that consciously. Because otherwise you hamper the actual role-playing too much: you very quickly start to invent new rules to let people play the characters they want well. 

 

In games as well - the NWN games being great examples - you end up with design conventions that are not just cumbersome to implement, but also difficult to create an entertaining game from. In fact, even the IE games avoid the d&d conventions whenever they can get away with it, Icewind Dale 2 in particular, because the conventions often make very little sense. The adventure day, resting, the number of spells, the leveling curve, the hit-die for weapons and base damage. All of these have been frequently discussed on this forum as well, and it derives from the fact that the d&d conventions are ill-suited for an "action" game, when the ruleset obviously is designed for an adventuring day that perhaps contains two major battles and a few monsters - rather than what you get in the IE games.

 

And I think that if we were honest here, we would admit that the design conventions that are so dear to some people are not the d&d conventions themselves, but the augmented version from just the IE games. That, as I'm very fond of pointing out, are a bit haphazard and in many ways suffer from being exactly the d&d pnp conventions shoehorned into a game that rather would ignore them altogether if it could. Something for example NWN2 does, utterly and completely.

 

So in the end it's understandable that Obsidian would argue themselves ahead to a point where they would strike a balance of some kind, and drop the obvious parts of the ruleset that weren't identical to the IE games. Even though the lack of a license would necessitate that it's actually different, of course. So it's a difficult problem to solve - and that's making it understandable when it ends up with keeping a slightly different system with different rules - that then emulate the IE games as much as possible. So that the core fans are happy, the Wizards of the Sword Coast are happy, and the rest still get a brilliant story written and conducted by world-class GMs, that they never would have the opportunity to see without Obsidian making the game.

 

And that's a solid proposition in the end, conceptually.

 

But circling back to the beginning here, if they drop the engagement system (just like they dropped the specialization possibilities with the character builds), and fully emulate the "magic rules all" and have IE mechanics exploit Heaven - what happens is that it's a sound proposition as a concept, but it requires a serious rework of the game's implementations to actually work.

 

In other words, the grand idea proposition that is untested and unknown in this case is actually that of going back to emulating the IE games. It requires Obsidian to implement a different system, and it requires them to add a fairly large amount of mechanics that aren't present in the game, and changing abilities that have been designed as more subtle and less significant. It goes way beyond simply adjusting damage of the spells and removing the engagement mechanics - they need new spells, and dangerously similar abilities and spells in the licensed d&d games. Which is something Obsidian will want to avoid in the end.

 

So my argument, which it has been from the start, is that dropping those original designs requires an expensive effort that would have been better spent on fixing the presentation of the game (animation, better feedback to actually show how the mechanics work, so you don't have to be some sort of psychic to figure them out.. although in my opinion the proposed original is fairly intuitive, something I hope to show when I finalize my "Firebrand" spinoff ruleset based on that, but nvm). But also that trying to so consciously copy the IE games per request is not just undesirable from a design perspective and a gameflow perspective - but even from a licensing perspective.

 

I know that when I paid for the kickstarter, I did that knowing we would get something similar to the Obsidian type games, but that it would be different. That it would be something that no publisher would touch, that it would be something new in many ways and original. An in-house developed ruleset.

 

And like we've seen as well, I'm not the only person even on the intertron that have serious doubts about how wise it is to "force" Obsidian to end up dulling the design they had in favor of a more "true to the original" approach.

 

So I'm spelling it out for you now: if they actually take the suggestions seriously, as Obsidian and likely Paradox specially, wants - and completely emulate the IE games, they will run into a licensing problem. They cannot do it. They also cannot simply copy IWD or BG and call the spells something different - this is going to invite lawyers to the discussion as well. So they won't actually fulfill that request/requirement that some extremely vocal people have.

 

You also vastly underestimate the amount of work a "true IE successor mod" would take. An intelligent fan would have hooked in an Obsidian employee and asked nicely if Obsidian could for example make sure that the mechanics of the game was scripted in an external and fairly easy scripting language early on, so that they could technically do a mod if the opportunity arose. But as it is, none of you are going to be able to do it successfully.

 

Meanwhile, purely mechanically there are a lot of concerns with the game that should be addressed that apparently fell down on the priorities list. This is a huge mistake, since some (if not all) of the concerns "people" have had are connected to game-engine mechanical problems. And those problems will still be present even if the mechanics underneath are changed. Pathfinding and correspondance with animation and states, enabling and triggering abilities, even inventory management - these will still be problems on release, even if the core fans are happy and can work around the problems.

 

And if the current system is to be made into something that's actually fun to play and easy to watch - or at least similar to the IE games, without looking horrible - it requires implementation of new spells and new targeting systems for the abilities. We're talking sector abilities and new workarounds for pretty much every single spell in the book. And that takes a lot of work from the existing system.

 

And frankly, I don't think that even that will be worth it in the end. That not only will we end up with a game that would invite nastiness in the courtroom. But also get a profoundly boring game that demonstrates in utter vivid detail why Bioware, Obsidian.. even Black Isle back when.. shunned copying the d&d conventions too faithfully. I mean, Fallout 1&2 had it's own ruleset and character construction - it would not have worked with a d&d system.

 

So yes, I think the argument that everything that isn't identical to Baldur's Gate is proof of how developers are appealing to the casual crowd and secretly wish they could make action games instead - is false. It's not a question of whether you create either an IE game or else you are creating an action-game, and it never was. What we're talking about is creating a simple and comprehensible ruleset that allows deep role-playing and enabling predictable ways to script events that are interactive with those role-playing characters. As well as creating a ruleset that actually makes sense in a video-game, and that takes advantage of having a super-computer constantly doing the maths for you, when that would not be feasible in paper rpg sessions.

 

Sadly, we're apparently not going to see that achievement with this project, even though it was possible and actually implemented in August. And with that, my endless and pointless dissertation on game-design philosophy ends. Buy the book on Amazon.

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Engagement is more of a mechanic suited to turn-based than anything else.

 

 

In your opinion, Sensuki.

 

I like the way it works in P:E. Honestly I do. It's much better, clearer, and more intuitive than AOO's in DnD3-based games, I enjoy dealing with the mechanic, and I enjoy the way it stabilizes the battlefield.

 

As I said in the other thread, I also recognize that this is not how movement in the IE engine games feels, that enjoying that style of tactical movement is entirely understandable, and that you're legimately upset that P:E is so different in this respect.

 

I do object to blanket statements like "engagement is unsuitable to real-time combat." That's an opinion, not a fact.

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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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Thing is, I like engagement. ...

 

 Sure, I'll buy that. If you (and others) like the engagement mechanic for whatever reason, that's also a good argument for keeping it in. I didn't mean to suggest otherwise. When I posed the question about whether or not Sensuki's mod breaks the game for you, my point was that your ability to lock enemies in place in PoE might be due entirely to the AI. 

 

...

Been playing IWD today; almost through Kresselach's tomb. With Sensuki's hints I'm playing it better, but it's still not as much to my taste as P:E. I can run away when I get into trouble, but the unit I run away from chases me and I can't use other units to make it stop.

 

 I know this is a tangent, but you can make them stop by moving another character into place and attacking while your first character fades back (behind the new attacker). At that point, if  there isn't a big mob, your first character can attack again because your second character will be drawing the attacks from the enemy you retreated from. In some ways this is easier without engagement because your second character is free to move to the right place even if already in melee with other enemies (who will usually follow the second character to the new location). It's also a way to deal with a heavy hitter like Taugozs in BG (in the bandit camp) or Sarevok. Switch off one tank for another by retreating behind the second tank. 

 

... So regarding that aspect of IE gameplay -- movement -- the accusation you guys often level at us, that we never liked IE combat much, is actually true. Hate to admit it, but there it is. 

 

 For the record, I haven't personally accused anybody of not liking the IE combat due to their liking of the engagement mechanic. You are, of course, free to like whatever parts of the IE games that you actually like and to have the opinions about how the experience can be improved. I'm not in the business of determining who is a true IE fan.

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<The Nipsen Manifesto> 

 

 

 Ok, there was a lot here. :biggrin:  I'll respond to a few points.

 

 I think that most of the feedback has probably been from the internal play testers. I would be surprised to learn otherwise. They have the whole game and the devs can watch anything and everything they do. My guess is that not much has changed based exclusively on feedback written here on the forum so I don't really think that OE has made detrimental changes or really any changes based on anything anybody has said here. I would guess that the forum feedback is mainly used to gauge what a larger population of users is most concerned about and little else.

 

 There is certainly a lot of noise in the forum about what the "true" IE experience is and isn't. I am not personally making a lot of that noise, so I don't really disagree with the spirit of what you've written about that. This is a new game and the intent is to improve upon the IE experience and to establish new IP. We'll see how it ends up.

 

 I am not personally planning to work on the PoE=BG3 mod and I don't think anyone else is either. I wouldn't be surprised to see a mod adding combat XP (I would be surprised if that mod was an improvement, but I will never find out :dancing: ).  I also expect to see a mod to turn off engagement which I might try depending on what the combat feels like by the release date (and whether there is an AI upgrade released with the expansion that makes engagement more interesting).

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I just don't like that style of gameplay as much as being able to fix the battlefield with unit positioning. 

 

Do you play RTS games?

 

Even in open maps, you can fix the battlefield in the Infinity Engine games with unit positioning. Your issue is probably because you do not understand how the AI targeting clauses work in the Infinity Engine games, and this has been the problem of pretty much every person who has complained about movement and positioning in the Infinity Engine games. They pay no attention to how AI targeting works, and complain that they can't lock down the battlefield.

 

You can completely manipulate the AI targeting. Icewind Dale has very robust and sensible AI targeting clauses, but I'm not sure if that system actually translated to IWD:EE because it uses the ToB engine. If an enemy creature is targeting a unit of yours that you do not want them to target, you can use movement and positioning to make them change targets. You can tactically block the pathing to the unit they are targeting with a wall of characters, you may have to shuffle that wall a little bit if the creature tries to path around, but that should cause them to change targets and target someone in the wall.

 

Here is a video demonstrating how it works in BG2, it's different in IWD:HoW though, and much more sensible.

 

 

The fact that people ignore this makes me want to pull my hair out, because if everyone understood how to manipulate AI targeting, there'd be a lot less people complaining about unit stickiness.

 

edit: Subsequently, Engagement is the complete opposite of an RTS feel (or an Infinity Engine feel). It's a tool created for those that were bad at the Infinity Engine games to make combat easier, but for advanced players it hamstrings the crap out of them.

Edited by Sensuki
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Just one personal note - I would not have backed the Kickstarter if this had been a D&D game pure and simple.  What license would they have been able to buy 2.5, 3.5 or 4ed?  Not that it would have mattered to me although IMO edition 4 would have been the worse.  I wanted what they offered something in the spirit of the early games including Arcanum and Planescape/torment not a clone of those early games.  Story, characters, dialogue, quest choices are what are important to me.


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@Sensuki: I've played a lot of Total War series. Back in the day I put a lot of hours in Microsoft Close Combat series also, plus some Warcraft even before that. In all of these, I thought of the battlefield as a space where my job is to block enemy movement, hold my lines, and break theirs. This is not how the IE games work, and this is how P:E works.

I'm not getting on this tangent though. I stand by my point: I prefer a game where I think of the battlefield in terms of blocking enemy movement, holding my lines, and breaking theirs, rather than manipulating targeting clauses and rushing madly around to gank high-value targets. Even if I learned to play IWD like God himself, I'm pretty certain I would still prefer P:E.

 

What you and others have done is open my eyes to the fact that there is a particular kind of gameplay there, and that I can understand why somebody would like it. I've listened to enough Dimmu Borgir to understand why somebody would really dig it, and also to know that I still prefer Rammstein.

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I'm pretty sure by now that we're dealing with a subjective preference: tactical movement as opposed to tactical positioning. I prefer tactical positioning with movement -- after the initial rush to get into place -- more deliberate and costly. The grognard gang (and I am using that term affectionately) prefers tactical movement, with tactical positioning part of a constantly changing picture. 

i think cost-free and immediate repositioning in e.g. BG2 was necessary because of the abilities of the opponnets. Fighting e.g. Bodhi’s vampires in her lair in chapter 3 would be very difficult if not impossible with PoE’s melee system (unless you’d have negative plane protection work several minutes but that would make having these abilities pointless). I think while you might be having fun with the combat at the early stages, i’m not sure how much fun you’ll have at later stages of the game when your stabilizing of the battlefield becomes a clusterfield because you don’t have enough disengaging abilities. The combat in BG2 was perhaps boring to some at the start but later when i fought creatures with nasty abilities, i was pretty happy to be able to immediately disengage and reposition as i saw fit. I also think that in terms of balancing this game, perhaps it would have been better to start you off with let’s say level 5 with a group of 3 up to level 14 which would have made encounters also more interesting. I don’t think it’s a problem for you guys to level up to level 5 in the beta either is it?

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@Sensuki: I've played a lot of Total War series. Back in the day I put a lot of hours in Microsoft Close Combat series also, plus some Warcraft even before that. In all of these, I thought of the battlefield as a space where my job is to block enemy movement, hold my lines, and break theirs. This is not how the IE games work, and this is how P:E works.

 

PE combat has some similarities to Total War because when units go into melee in that game they stay there, and running away is bad (as units are groups, and interlocked).

 

IMO Infinity Engine combat plays more like/reminds me of RTS games where you have less units to work with - Warcraft 3 and Battle Realms spring to mind, where you're constantly moving units around, (particularly your hero unit in WC3). Even in Starcraft, if you're playing it properly, you need to move your units around and react to what your opponent is doing, you don't just move your units and stand them there, it's a dynamic reactionary battlefield.

 

Pillars of Eternity plays nothing like that.

 

 

 

I've listened to enough Dimmu Borgir to understand why somebody would really dig it

 

Bad analogy, because that's a horrible band lol.

Edited by Sensuki

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Everything death-metal made after Entombed and Bolt Thrower is kind of weak, have to agree with that.. "Yay, let's add some synth and electronic orchestral tunes on top of my ultra-pitched whiny voice. Now excuse me while I go eat some soy beans and salad to my Corona backstage".

 

 

<The Nipsen Manifesto> 

 

 

 I think that most of the feedback has probably been from the internal play testers. I would be surprised to learn otherwise. (...) I would guess that the forum feedback is mainly used to gauge what a larger population of users is most concerned about and little else. (...)

Well.. from what they've said (some not in public) it seems (my interpretation of it) that they've had a relatively reasonable discussion about it internally. And then decided between stalwartly going full Sawyerbrand as one extreme, and between dulling the edges and going with masking the differences to the IE games on the other end, based on the feedback they've had (while copying the IE games was never an option). And that this was something they had been discussing some time before the beta came out..

 

So when the only feedback they have comes very obviously from a.. particular audience. And they know that people who are a bit more agnostic about it will very likely not give any feedback at all, at least not before release. Just as they should know how.. noncontroversial some of the changes Josh suggested really were (and frankly, that design isn't some sort of bright idea by a AAA game-designer - I don't know Josh, but I know from how he talks about the designs, and how the game turned out, that he plays or have played role-playing games actively, not just designed computer rpgs. Say what you want, but Sawyer knows his stuff really, really well).

 

So it really ends up with being a false choice where they think all the gameflow complaints disappear if they just make a compromise.. any compromise.. While in the end, what we're ending up with is a slightly more creative and dynamic system than what the IE games had. But which still doesn't either fix the abstract design concerns people have had (copying the IE games never was an option), or truly sort out the perhaps not that critical problems with the gameplay-mechanics. I.e., it seems like another example of Obsidian ending up with a game that shows incredible promise, but isn't polished and as brilliant as.. well.. as we know for a fact it could have been.

 

That's my problem with this at least. And it's going to be difficult enough for me who have no investment in this to read reviews when the game comes out that end up saying things like "not very interesting combat, clearly designed for a hardcore audience, homage to the IE games". And marking the title as an anonymous and marginal title that couldn't have been made into a main-stream popular release, or one that only happened because super-fans shelled out masses of money on kickstarter out of nostalgia.

 

..when in reality we know that both PoE and Tides of Numenera had a huge overweight with small individual contributions compared to many other kickstarter projects.. I mean, the data is there to suggest they have a broader audience that isn't typically represented. Several other titles as well have been successful by marketing directly on interactive story-telling and immersion, completely outside the usual parameters. So it's not just a fancy to have that idea that there is an audience out there that AAA games doesn't appeal to - but Obsidian somehow chose to profile the title as that marginal super-narrow game anyway.

 

It's a mistake. Both economically and for the game on it's own.


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First impression of the beta,

 

Needs way more portraits, a touch more character model customisation, and yeah the combat would have been better turn based. 

 

Not disappointed though seems like its going in a good direction mostly.

 

That is all, just wanted to share :p 

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That's my problem with this at least. And it's going to be difficult enough for me who have no investment in this to read reviews when the game comes out that end up saying things like "not very interesting combat, clearly designed for a hardcore audience, homage to the IE games". And marking the title as an anonymous and marginal title that couldn't have been made into a main-stream popular release, or one that only happened because super-fans shelled out masses of money on kickstarter out of nostalgia.

 

..when in reality we know that both PoE and Tides of Numenera had a huge overweight with small individual contributions compared to many other kickstarter projects.. I mean, the data is there to suggest they have a broader audience that isn't typically represented. Several other titles as well have been successful by marketing directly on interactive story-telling and immersion, completely outside the usual parameters. So it's not just a fancy to have that idea that there is an audience out there that AAA games doesn't appeal to - but Obsidian somehow chose to profile the title as that marginal super-narrow game anyway.

 

It's a mistake. Both economically and for the game on it's own.

That's an interesting observation. But I don't know whether we can come to an accurate assumption from the kickstarter numbers alone. Lets remember 2 things. First, Kickstarter is a relatively new vehicle for game development and we simply don't have enough precedent/trends in it to confidently conclude that the high number of low, individual contributions (about 70,000) = Broad, Underrepresented Audience. We could just be witnessing Kickstarter's blooming popularity in the gaming world itself, instead of anything specific to PoE. After all, POE set the video game funding record.... and then just a couple months later another title beat it out. In fact, I believe the KS record was broken 3 times in 2012. This suggests fast growing popularity of the vehicle itself.

 

Second, my gut is telling me that PoE's backer numbers may have more to do with the Obsidian name than most people think. Would some of the millions upon millions of people who loved Fallout New Vegas donate $20 to help fund the Next Obsidian game? Sure. Why not. And I suspect many did.

 

That being said, I don't think Obsidian is mis-profiling PoE. They're marketing it as a spiritual successor to the IE games. That's a pretty safe plan. The IE games were big sellers as far as PC exclusives go. BG2 sold 2+ million copies. I'm sure Feargus would be positively giddy if PoE came close to achieving that number. The only real problem that can arise from such marketing is if the game ends up looking, feeling and playing decidedly different from the IE games, because then we'd see nasty stuff come forth, like shattered credibility for Obsidian, or worse: bad word of mouth from the fans who were expecting an IE spiritual successor but ended up getting a cheap, low budget attempt at a modern AAA title instead.

 

And a final note: PoE was, in fact, envisioned as a niche title, for a niche crowd. Nothing else was ever an option. Otherwise we'd have seen Xbox and Playstation support as one of the stretch goals, yes?

Edited by Stun
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And a final note: PoE was, in fact, envisioned as a niche title, for a niche crowd. Nothing else was ever an option. Otherwise we'd have seen Xbox and Playstation support as one of the stretch goals, yes?

 

This here is the crux of it. There is a reason DA2 and 3 ended up being designed as they were, Bioware was going for the broadest audience and that meant the games being playable on PS and Xbox.

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.. Say what you want, but Sawyer knows his stuff really, really well). ..

 

 I agree with this. I have mentioned several times in the forums that the negative comments have gotten really over the top. I'm not sure why people are compelled to act like **** when they are in a semi-anonymous forum but that's what we see. I would rather see people taking a deep breath and taking a moment to realize that OE is populated by reasonable and competent people who genuinely want to make the kind of games that they themselves will like and that a lot of customers will also like.

 

 Comments suggesting otherwise are just wrong and only serve to reduce the level of enjoyment that the devs take in their jobs. If anyone who is reading this comes here with that as a goal: do everyone in the world a favor (including yourself in the years to come when you have to look back at all of the things you've said in your life) and just shut up.

 

... So it really ends up with being a false choice where they think all the gameflow complaints disappear if they just make a compromise.. any compromise... 

 

 I don't think we've seen any real game breaking compromises. E.g., the bestiary XP change was a compromise. It adds some kill XP but it doesn't turn the game into a grind fest and it works with the design of the game (that is, the "hard" difficulties don't become easier than the "easy" difficulties as they would with pure kill XP (due to the larger number of higher level creatures present when you turn up the difficulty slider)). Overall, it was a reasonable design choice in response to an issue that was important to a lot of people.

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Sensuki: The fact that people ignore this makes me want to pull my hair out, because if everyone understood how to manipulate AI targeting, there'd be a lot less people complaining about unit stickiness.

 

 

I don't want to play a game that basically asks me to abuse stupid AI in order to play strategically. If it is advantageous for the AI to pass my front line to kill my mage, I want the AI to try that, and I want a method of preventing it that is also available to the AI. Stupid AI targeting doesn't fix the problem at all. That may be one reason people are ignoring it.

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And when it works like that and you block the pathing space, the AI glitches out and runs on the spot in an Infinite Loop (this happens currently in the BB sometimes, you can force beetles in the Dyrford Crossing to do it).

 

Enemies in IWD:HoW have very robust AI targeting, especially compared to this game. That's a 14 year old game, too.

Edited by Sensuki

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When IE games are mentioned we need to remember that the IE games covered a wide spectrum of games.  How man D&D games were made with IE and how many non-D&D games?  A spiritual successor does not mean a clone.  I also think Obsidian's name was a draw.  Having C. Avalone as the lead writer was a big selling point for me.

 

I agree this was designed as a ntche game, PC users and those who played the various IE games as well as those drawn by the Obsidian name.


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When IE games are mentioned we need to remember that the IE games covered a wide spectrum of games. How man D&D games were made with IE and how many non-D&D games?

 

Every single game made with the infinity engine was a D&D game.

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And when it works like that and you block the pathing space, the AI glitches out and runs on the spot in an Infinite Loop (this happens currently in the BB sometimes, you can force beetles in the Dyrford Crossing to do it).

 

Enemies in IWD:HoW have very robust AI targeting, especially compared to this game. That's a 14 year old game, too.

That doesn't address the issue though. I want a system that lets me manage the front lines that is consistent with very smart AI. In other words, I want the PC to make the same sorts of decisions that I make. Otherwise, I feel like some kind of meta-god playing the game, which a) breaks immersion and b) makes it boring as all hell. Engagement might not be that solution, but stupid AI targeting sure isn't it.

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No one wants stupid AI targeting, but AI is not some magic thing that you can design and it thinks like a human. Good AI is deterministic and has a robust set of conditions.

 

In IWD:HoW, enemies will re-acquire targets if you try and kite them around. Many enemies in Pillars of Eternity just follow the original unit they targeted (eg. Beetles) so you can just run around in circles and kite that enemy around. Engagement gives the player an easy means of overriding AI targeting and forcing the AI to perform a certain action. It makes it easier for newer players, but for people who moved around in the IE games it really restricts what you can do in an encounter, and takes a lot of the fun out of it.

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No one wants stupid AI targeting, but AI is not some magic thing that you can design and it thinks like a human. Good AI is deterministic and has a robust set of conditions.

 

In IWD:HoW, enemies will re-acquire targets if you try and kite them around. Many enemies in Pillars of Eternity just follow the original unit they targeted (eg. Beetles) so you can just run around in circles and kite that enemy around. Engagement gives the player an easy means of overriding AI targeting and forcing the AI to perform a certain action. It makes it easier for newer players, but for people who moved around in the IE games it really restricts what you can do in an encounter, and takes a lot of the fun out of it.

 

What you showed in your video earlier was stupid AI. I don't want that.

 

That said, I don't see how smart AI solves the problem either. If we have smart AI without engagement, per your suggestion, the PC will just rush past the front line to hit the wizard/chanter/ranger/whoever in the backlines. No amount of "just step in front of them/move your other guy away so that the AI forgets" will help in the case of smart AI.

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That's BG2 AI. Icewind Dale:HoW is very different.

 

the PC will just rush past the front line to hit the wizard/chanter/ranger/whoever in the backlines.

Good, because that's how it should be (and how it was in the Infinity Engine games). Since I will be attempting to do a full re-balance of the game for no engagement, I will likely re-tune all of the encounters for it.

 

When encounters are designed well (eg. The Guarded Compound in the Temple District in BG2), there is a decision to be made about whether you beeline your Fighter for the backline enemies or stay to defend the frontline from the enemy melee opponents. In that encounter I find all of the melee enemies to be larger threats than the Wizard at the back. Koshi with his katanas, Ketta with her backstab and the Orog guys with their axes.

 

In the encounter in the Sewers, the archer Gallachobhair is the biggest threat IMO and I usually go straight for him first.

Edited by Sensuki

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No one wants stupid AI targeting, but AI is not some magic thing that you can design and it thinks like a human. Good AI is deterministic and has a robust set of conditions.

 

In IWD:HoW, enemies will re-acquire targets if you try and kite them around. Many enemies in Pillars of Eternity just follow the original unit they targeted (eg. Beetles) so you can just run around in circles and kite that enemy around. Engagement gives the player an easy means of overriding AI targeting and forcing the AI to perform a certain action. It makes it easier for newer players, but for people who moved around in the IE games it really restricts what you can do in an encounter, and takes a lot of the fun out of it.

Actually in the most recent patch I have seen enemies switch targets, though I am not totally sure what the driving decision was that motivated their switch.  They also no longer attack "the fight thing I saw".

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