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Was the backer beta a good idea?

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why hasn't any of them including Q&A mentioned their concerns with things like rest spamming. This was one of the degenerate things Josh criticised in the IE games.

 

I don't think Josh's "degenerate rest spamming" complaint against the IE games is about having to rest too often due to low health.

 

On the contrary, I think he just dislikes that fact that players could (and were in some ways encouraged to) game the system by resting arbitrarily often even when their health didn't require it, just to get back per-rest spells and abilities.

 

His solution was to introduce camping supplies as a limited resource (which makes rest spamming less feasible), and make more abilities per-encounter (which makes rest spamming less tempting).

 

At least that's how I understood it...

 

 

In PoE, you can game the system by rest spamming. And when you're resting quite often, daily powers become nearly encounter powers due to so much resting. Especially when you're very close to the side of a map or even in the town. And due to the maps being small (maybe it's just the areas we're in and there will be larger maps in the final game), you can cross a map very quickly and get to town to rest.

 

In the IE games, if I was in a town map and buying/selling items, I wouldn't necessarily trot off to the nearest inn and rest if I still had a large assortment of healing spells. PoE does encourage you to do so when you are in town. If only one of my characters has 80% or 90% health, I'll just rest to get it to 100%. PoE encourages me more to rest spam than the IE games ever did. And with 4th ed encounter powers, when you cherry pick stuff like encounter and daily powers from 4th ed but leave other stuff out like healing, the system will be flawed.

 

Anyway, you quoted me with the obsidian devs and Q&A not bringing up their concerns with rest spamming that we've seen in the latest video with Rose's play which is the core part of my quote. Nice selective quoting and response.

 

 

At least the rest system is logical here, you travel out to the crossing (4+ hours) fight for a few hours, if there is more stuff to do you and you bought camping supplies you rest using up some of your camping supplies (which would be bandages, food, fuel for a fire something on sleep on etc) and you fight some more then decide to head back to town, travel for 4+ hours get to town and sell your loot and then go to the Inn for a rest. That seems perfectly logical to me if I'd been fighting for part of a day then walked 4+ hours carrying a pile of loot plus my armour I'd bloody well want a drink and a chance to relax in a comfortable environment.

 

This makes a lot of sense to me for a couple of reasons resting/healing has a cost associated with it, either in hiring a room or buying camping supplies, it's not completely free like in IE games. There is now a limit to how much "healing and resting" you can do outside of areas designed for it, especially on the harder difficulties. It never made sense to me how in the IE games you could rest after pretty much every fight when working your way through a dungeon or similar full of enemies (if there was a random chance of an attack people just saved and tried again till they were successful).

 

Now this to me makes for a reasonable in game day, though possibly a little annoying from the point of view of a player and the amount of stuff you can do before you need to rest.

 

It also strongly encourages you to fight tactically, in the full game by the time we got to backer beta it's likely we'd have better equipment and a range of equipment sets designed for exploiting different weakness, ie the front line would have a crushing, piercing, slashing and ranged weapon available and you would be able to select the correct equipment and weapon for the fight to maximise the damage you dealt and thus minimise the damage you take. I think once people have had a chance to properly equip their party with a range of tactical options the length of the adventuring day will substantially increase deceasing the tendency of people to play like it's an IE game and rest after every fight. The down side of this is that wizard's may have insufficient spells per day and you'll have to horde them and use them for maximal efficiency.

Edited by aeonsim
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If it makes anybody feel better, I can guarantee you that there are people who loathe Wasteland 2 just as much as you do Pillars of Eternity.

 

There isn't a single Kickstarter that doesn't have a vocal "betrayed backer" contingent.

 

Those people exist everywhere.. I would like to think though that 90% of that angst can be removed if the company shows a true concern for their player base and actually communicates with them and has their best interests at heart.

 

I know there were a few people on the WL2 forum that were becrying the sky is falling.. but generally the community was pretty positive and InXile took a lot of that feedback to heart. Best of all, Brother None and Brian and Sea and many others are active in discussion and give players feedback on their comments and talk with their player base.. even if it's not what everyone wants to hear.. the doors are always open.

 

Josh just tells people they are wrong and he disagrees or ignores us completely. That's not really a discussion.. Then after the game ships and people aren't happy.. Josh blames the engine or time frame or that he only came in at the end or says that he could have improved x y z and will remember it as a lesson learned for the next game. :rolleyes:


From George Ziets @ http://new.spring.me/#!/user/GZiets/timeline/responses

Didn’t like the fact that I don’t get XP for combat. While this does put more emphasis on solving quests, the lack of rewards for killing creatures makes me want to avoid combat (the core activity of the game) as much as I can.

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Sometimes Brother None tells people they are wrong too. That's one of the reasons I stopped giving much feedback on WL2, because I found it was unwelcome.

 

Don't really have anything against BNone though, he's moving up in the world - writing and design for Torment!

Edited by Sensuki

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Josh just tells people they are wrong and he disagrees or ignores us completely. That's not really a discussion.. Then after the game ships and people aren't happy.. Josh blames the engine or time frame or that he only came in at the end or says that he could have improved x y z and will remember it as a lesson learned for the next game. :rolleyes:

Can't say I agree with this.  I have had plenty of posts where Sawyer actually direct responded to something I wrote and basically said "I see what you are saying but..." and "told me I was wrong".  He did it by explaining their design, giving reasons, and making a coherent argument for why it is how it is.  Where I am from that is called a reasonable response.

 

He is the lead designer of the game.  He has the right to say "I feel really strongly about this thing, this is why, so we are going to do it".  However I have never seen a post where he just shows up and says "Nope you are wrong and we aren't going to do it that way, suck it." with no explanation.  Additionally it isn't like Obsidian has a community manager or anything.  I would hope Josh Sawyer has something better to do than read every post on the beta forums every day, as it would take 2-4 hours to do so and constant checking for new posts.  Not to mention most of them are just rehashes of older posts or "static" as some have said in other threads.

 

I am sure our posts are being read long term though and our feedback is being taken seriously.  I don't think people should need a response from the games Lead Designer to feel like their posts were read however.

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I'm all for discussion but see no reason why negative impressions of the game need to be stated in the angry, arrogant, the devs are freaking idiots, manner that pepper the conversations in every game forum I have ever participated in; nor in the MMO "he who shouts the loudest for the longest wins" style; nor the high school/university debate team style with the participants acting as their own judges pointing out the failed debate styles of their nemesis.

 

That of course leaves me very little to appreciate when it comes to scrolling through the forums but sadly it's the only place to learn more about these games so I mostly suffer through it and try not to worry about the rising blood pressure... :geek:

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Nomadic Wayfarer of the Obsidian Order


 

Not all those that wander are lost...

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I'm all for discussion but see no reason why negative impressions of the game need to be stated in the angry, arrogant, the devs are freaking idiots, manner that pepper the conversations in every game forum I have ever participated in; nor in the MMO "he who shouts the loudest for the longest wins" style; nor the high school/university debate team style with the participants acting as their own judges pointing out the failed debate styles of their nemesis.

 

That of course leaves me very little to appreciate when it comes to scrolling through the forums but sadly it's the only place to learn more about these games so I mostly suffer through it and try not to worry about the rising blood pressure... :geek:

 

That is simply not happening, 90% of the people are offering constructive criticism. There are people who like to call out Josh, but never to call him stupid (which he is obviously not), only stubborn and sometimes arrogant.

 

The bigger problem here is your perception of the criticism and people attacking people who have something negative to say.

Edited by Sarex
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I'm all for discussion but see no reason why negative impressions of the game need to be stated in the angry, arrogant, the devs are freaking idiots, manner that pepper the conversations in every game forum I have ever participated in; nor in the MMO "he who shouts the loudest for the longest wins" style; nor the high school/university debate team style with the participants acting as their own judges pointing out the failed debate styles of their nemesis.

 

That of course leaves me very little to appreciate when it comes to scrolling through the forums but sadly it's the only place to learn more about these games so I mostly suffer through it and try not to worry about the rising blood pressure... :geek:

 

That is simply not happening, 90% of the people are offering constructive criticism. There are people who like to call out Josh, but never to call him stupid (which he is obviously not), only stubborn and sometimes arrogant.

 

The bigger problem here is your perception of the criticism and people attacking people who have something negative to say.

 

 

We must be reading different threads...


Nomadic Wayfarer of the Obsidian Order


 

Not all those that wander are lost...

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I reckon, Wanderon's description of these forums and other game forums are pretty accurate, and your counterpoint, Sarex, is equally, valid. One thing is not correct, though. I'd say that merely 10-20 % is constructive criticism in average if look at it post by post and count them all individually. :)

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

 

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I reckon, Wanderon's description of these forums and other game forums are pretty accurate, and your counterpoint, Sarex, is equally, valid. One thing is not correct, though. I'd say that merely 10-20 % is constructive criticism in average if look at it post by post and count them all individually. :)

 

Yeah, but you will find that discussions devolve as soon as people start attacking those who have something negative to say about the game. In fact, I bet that if you counted bad post, it would mostly be those people who are defending the game from negative comments.

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Sarex: I haven't thought of that. Perhaps it's true. At least, since the beta started, posts delivering criticisms, regardless of tone, have been treated harshly, and those playing bash-a-mole with those rarely contain counterarguments or such stuff. Luckily, there are exceptions to this pattern.

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

 

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We must be reading different threads...

I have to agree with Sarex tbh. There are a few threads where stuff gets a bit out of control and there are arguments, but it's usually always started by the same 10 or so people. Pretty much everyone else has been pretty good regarding feedback about the game in this section of the forum.

 

Perhaps you simply just disagree with the majority of opinions or something.

Edited by Sensuki
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Unsurprisingly, most people in favour of more conservative adaptations of "IE spirituality" are more well-versed with this type of games:

-They know what they like

-they know what works or not

-Their opinions can always be backed up by real, existing examples taken from IE games. 

 

Other people, who are in favour of a new CRPG, preferably far from any of the IE games, have a much harder time. They just know that they want something else, because they didn't like X, Y, and Z in those IE games (some of them have perhaps never played them, or just one or two of them). As a result, they get very stressed out by all the criticisms from IE veterans that we see on these forums, and then they get defensive or annoyed.

 

If I generalize hard, we have great posters like PrimeJunta, Karkarov and Elerond, who really do enjoy PoE as a new take on the whole CRPG-thing, and they know how to defend it (usually, hehe). PoE, as seen in all the updates and in this beta, still is quite a bit like the IE games in spirit: scope, stats, combat, music, isometric style, party-based, but if you scratch under the surface, much stuff has changed. It takes courage to defend these new things, it's a bit like ad-libbing when going up on a stage, doing a performance. Guys like me, although I'm pretty moderate, have entire libraries of old rule books, decades of traditions, and entire games, behind us.

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

 

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I think it was a good thing to have the beta. The beta only shows a very small part of the overall story and landmass. I think most people who are interested in PoE have a huge interest in the storyline, which is a major part of IE games, which has not been revealed yet.

 

but i do hope the developers have thick skin and the will to go through with their vision for the game and its systems. there are some VERY loud armchair developers in this forum trying to make obsidian design a game for them. a lot of the discussion in this forum is sometimes very muddled by people just citing IE games as scripture, giving UNDULY praise to its AI, attribute system use etc. which is kind of mind-blowing in a way to see how much nostaligia seems to obfuscate objective discussion for some.

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reavor: Unlike you, I hope they also listen to those that have played these games for decades, since some of their knowledge and experience may be worth something,. While lots of stuff in the IE games are praised a bit too much, it is not unduly praised, and most important of all, there is no such ting as an objective discussion on what was good or not in the IE games, or even less so, regarding what works best or not in PoE, especially since anything new introduced has per definition never been tried before, so there can only be qualified guesses and high hopes if it will work or not. Furthermore, with the beta, we're seeing plenty of new stuff being introduced, which clearly isn't working very well at all.

 

EDIT: A simple way to look at the OE kickstarter is to claim outright, they sold PoE to us, and we swallowed it, hook, line and sinker, with nostalgia. However, that stuff, that "nostalgia" that so many people scoff at, is also, for real: absolute classics of CRPGs. In fact, they are the best ever made CRPGs according dozens of polls and game journalists votes over more than a decade now. Even, if they were not perfect - they were still amazingly good.

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

 

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I'm all for discussion but see no reason why negative impressions of the game need to be stated in the angry, arrogant, the devs are freaking idiots, manner that pepper the conversations in every game forum I have ever participated in; nor in the MMO "he who shouts the loudest for the longest wins" style; nor the high school/university debate team style with the participants acting as their own judges pointing out the failed debate styles of their nemesis.

 

That of course leaves me very little to appreciate when it comes to scrolling through the forums but sadly it's the only place to learn more about these games so I mostly suffer through it and try not to worry about the rising blood pressure... :geek:

 

That is simply not happening, 90% of the people are offering constructive criticism. There are people who like to call out Josh, but never to call him stupid (which he is obviously not), only stubborn and sometimes arrogant.

 

The bigger problem here is your perception of the criticism and people attacking people who have something negative to say.

 

^  

v

 

What the hell, Indira?

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I'm sorry Zansatsu. I simply don't take kindly to people using the No True Scotsman fallacy to crown themselves ultimate arbiters of what is or isn't the IE legacy.

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


 


 


Baldur's Gate portraits for Pillars of Eternity   IXI   Icewind Dale portraits for Pillars of Eternity   IXI   Icewind Dale 2 portraits for Pillars of Eternity


 


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Second Edition is (mostly) IE legacy, and I'm not really interested in revisiting that ruleset. It's an unbalanced and mechanically stiff system. 

 

"New" doesn't mean it's never been tried before. Quite a few of the "new" elements in PoE have been done in different RPG tabletop and vidya game systems. The question is, "Are we meshing the right elements?" or "Have we balanced each system and subsystem?".

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It doesn't really have anything to do with the ruleset. It's everything else.

 

Controls. UI Functions. Feedback. Responsiveness. Implementations of specific mechanics. Speed of combat. Speed of exploration ... all that stuff.

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I'm sorry Zansatsu. I simply don't take kindly to people using the No True Scotsman fallacy to crown themselves ultimate arbiters of what is or isn't the IE legacy.

 

You don't take kindly to anything as far as I can work out.

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We must be reading different threads...

I have to agree with Sarex tbh. There are a few threads where stuff gets a bit out of control and there are arguments, but it's usually always started by the same 10 or so people. Pretty much everyone else has been pretty good regarding feedback about the game in this section of the forum.

 

Perhaps you simply just disagree with the majority of opinions or something.

 

 

It's not opinions that raise my blood pressure it's the manner in which they are often presented - you sir are one of the few voices of reason who consistently present your ideas calmly and thoroughly and yet are obviously passionate about the direction in which you would like to see this game go - I may not agree with everything you present but I am often swayed to your points simply because they are so well presented. Thank you for all you bring to the table here!  :thumbsup:  

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Nomadic Wayfarer of the Obsidian Order


 

Not all those that wander are lost...

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No worries. If you disagree with something always feel free to combat my points of view - argument is healthy and if there's flaws in my logic about something then I'd rather have them pointed out so they can be corrected. However many things are simply differing opinions such as how the UI should look and stuff like that.

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:) ..still don't want to start a huge thing. But I think people should have a little bit of respect for how open Obsidian, specially Sawyer, have been with how the mechanics work, and how it's /supposed/ to hang together. 

 

Aside from that, we haven't been part of the discussions leading towards the design-choices and the goals they've set either. Or have access to any compacts or documents describing that. So we're missing some of the insight into why certain things matter, why particular details would work against the design-goals, how it would help the developers create diverse gameplay, and so on. And we need to have respect for that.

 

In the sense that we're offering a point of view from the outside, that if described well could be valuable to the developers. 

 

Or, that we need to respect that some viewpoints and ideas must be described completely for it to be possible to look at it and see where it's coming from. "I know what works".. maybe, I don't know. It's difficult to tell sometimes. Between the huge sweeping narratives that draw wide implications for overall game-design. And the specific concerns that evidently have design-implications but are said to not have any, etc.

 

But have to say - with some of the issues, I think you're doing extremely well :p Arriving at identifying how it's a question about what sort of design should be chosen, instead of simply about some favorite feature being ignored. If I was a developer, that would be encouraging to me. And you really shouldn't short-change how useful that type of feedback can be.

 

But we really need to respect that we haven't been part of the discussions that created the game-design. That we don't know exactly the reason for picking such and such all the time. I guess I'm missing a little bit like: "If this is what they wanted to accomplish, what I take from it and what happens when I play is...". Or "I've found a way to do such and such.. was that intended to be possible? Why doesn't this and that work? Why do I have to rely on such and such to get past this encounter? Here's what I think this does to the length of the "day", and this is how I end up playing", etc.

 

I mean, a lot of the time when I see people pick up some problem or other -- I've no idea what sort of party they're using, how many times they've scraped through an encounter and reloaded before the attack "succeeded", how likely that was to happen, how reliant that was on spamming abilities and being lucky, etc.

 

Take the crystal spiders, for example. They can easily take out one character with each attack. And from what I can see in the logs, the probability of that happening is incredibly high. It's possible to get past - but you need to know the weaknesses, and maximize the chance you have, and then be lucky a couple of times in a row. Same with beetles and poison - they'll take chunks off your health and ignore stamina if you don't resist it every round (and if you do resist it, they're pushovers). So when people describe scenarios where they think they're losing too much health compared to stamina, and that this is forcing them to play in a certain way -- how specifically did that happen? Usually we don't know. And people are forced to speculate -- shouldn't need to do that if the feedback is written well.

 

Maybe the problem just was lack of obvious feedback to the player. But we don't know most of the time.

 

That's really the challenge for writing good feedback in a nutshell - you need to tie your specific observations somehow to an overall design decision. But.. we can't always do that, and we need to respect that we might really not know enough to be able to do that when viewing the game from an outside point of view. We're guessing, right..?

 

And then just describing what happened, describing how you play, how you expect things to happen, and then asking a question about is so much more polite, and much more valuable to the devs.

 

After that, there could maybe be a.. good discussion.. about how much Obsidian demands of the players for them to "adjust" to their design. That maybe they demand too much. As opposed to that people have become used to relying on mechanics that are counter-intuitive. And maybe end up with suggestions on how to tweak variables to make it very easy and obvious to pick the approach the design prefers. But not until people describe what they're actually doing first.

 

....Other than that, though -- have to admit I thought the "degenerative gameplay" thing was pretty perceptive. Just as taking a holistic approach to improving it, by providing a real system that makes sense, so you can get good results with a different approach that makes narrative sense in the game -- rather than demanding of the players to simply choose the less favorable style of playing the game to make the game look better, or for the design to succeed -- that was well done. Thought that deserved praise and respect, not snark.

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