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Josh Sawyer on the "naked ranged characters" issue


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http://jesawyer.tumblr.com/post/96794297651/currently-in-the-pe-beta-backers-like-myself-are

 

 


enverxis said: Currently in the PE beta, backers like myself are playing ranged characters in no armor because there's virtually no reason to suffer the reduction in DPS from the reduced action speed from armor if you're not getting attacked (that much anyway). Do you think this is degenerative gameplay and if so, what would you propose to make ranged armor wearing a viable choice ?

 

That doesn’t seem degenerative because it’s entirely within the spirit of the game — it’s just dull because circumstances never demand anything different.  The players are making a strategic choice based on the available (undemanding) content.  If, in 3.X, you removed armor proficiency feats but retained ASF, most wizards would only wear heavier armor if their characters were frequently being targeted by AC-based attacks.  That would either require them to enter harm’s way or for the DM to specifically target them.  Otherwise the trade-off isn’t worth it.

 

What’s happening right now is that the enemies aren’t using anything beyond the most basic targeting preferences and most of the enemies in the BB do not have AoEs.  It results in the “dog pile” behavior where one character (usually the BB dwarf fighter) takes the lion’s share of attacks and damage.

 

I’ve been talking with Adam, Steve, and Dave about how targeting preferences need to work to make both tactical and strategic considerations more interesting.  The discriminations the AI needs to make are not complicated or fuzzy, but without them, combat lacks dynamism.  AIs should prefer spellcasters, targets with low Stamina, low defenses, specific Afflictions on them, whoever inflicted the most damage on them, etc.  Those preferences result in different characters being attacked at different times and often in a target switch mid-combat.

 

Ultimately, if your ranged characters don’t wear armor (or wear light armor), that should be a decision that is evaluated and re-evaluated with different areas and sets of enemies — and occasionally has negative consequences when someone beelines for you with no regard for provoking Disenagement Attacks or specifically hurls an AoE into the back line.

Edited by Infinitron
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Basically what I pointed out in the Armor thread. I have no idea why people were actively looking for reasons to artificially require ranged characters to wear armor.

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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."


 


 


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[slap Aloth]

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Yep. It's all about the AI baby

 

And when those ranged characters start getting hit, your tanks soaking up all the damage and shortening your adventuring day will become less of a problem as well.

Edited by Infinitron
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Well, I'm all for better AI as long as it's not something like: "naked guy! suicide rush!!!" or other cheap AI tricks like that :)

 

Note: I swear, soon as I get my time machine working again, I'll bloody lobotomize whoever came up with that stupid concept of "degenerative gameplay" before it can spread. It's all you hear about now!

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Tbh, the more I think about it the less I mind the "tanks soaking up all the damage and causing resting" issue. It makes sense - if you (in "real" life) had one person doing all of the close-range fighting and taking hits, of course they'd be the driving force behind you having to rest. The issue with healing stamina being disincentivized still needs to be fixed - but the fact of one character taking most of the hits and then causing a rest isn't really something I mind at all.

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Well, I'm all for better AI as long as it's not something like: "naked guy! suicide rush!!!" or other cheap AI tricks like that :)

 

Note: I swear, soon as I get my time machine working again, I'll bloody lobotomize whoever came up with that stupid concept of "degenerative gameplay" before it can spread. It's all you hear about now!

 

 Degenerative gameplay is a very useful concept, when applied properly. The current health/stamina system's way of making you not want to heal your frontliners in combat, letting them fall instead - that's degenerative gameplay. :p

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Tbh, the more I think about it the less I mind the "tanks soaking up all the damage and causing resting" issue. It makes sense - if you (in "real" life) had one person doing all of the close-range fighting and taking hits, of course they'd be the driving force behind you having to rest. The issue with healing stamina being disincentivized still needs to be fixed - but the fact of one character taking most of the hits and then causing a rest isn't really something I mind at all.

 

It's gonna be when you're out of camping supplies, all merchants are out of camping supplies and you're not 2 hours into the game :)

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Note: I swear, soon as I get my time machine working again, I'll bloody lobotomize whoever came up with that stupid concept of "degenerative gameplay" before it can spread. It's all you hear about now!

 

Do it after he makes IWD2!

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Yep. It's all about the AI baby

 

And when those ranged characters start getting hit, your tanks soaking up all the damage and shortening your adventuring day will become less of a problem as well.

And Encounter Design.

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It's gonna be when you're out of camping supplies, all merchants are out of camping supplies and you're not 2 hours into the game :)

This didn't happen to anyone in the first build of the beta which suggests to me that it's a matter of difficulty tuning rather than an issue with the design itself.

 

 

 Degenerative gameplay is a very useful concept, when applied properly. The current health/stamina system's way of making you not want to heal your frontliners in combat, letting them fall instead - that's degenerative gameplay. :p

 

No it's not. Degenerative gameplay, as defined by Josh anyway (and I've never seen anyone else use it), is when the user is incentivised to do things that defy the spirit of the game. An example of this would be reloading until one is not interrupted by enemies while attempting to rest in the IE games. The current health/stamina system is working as intended when it makes you consider whether you need to heal to win the current fight or if you can afford to hold back in order to win future fights.

Edited by MasterPrudent
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An example of this would be reloading until one is not interrupted by enemies while attempting to rest in the IE games.

 

That could have been fixed, by having the rest rng stay the same no matter if you reload. Then you would have to fight and you would still have to risk it again by trying to rest again.

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Tbh, the more I think about it the less I mind the "tanks soaking up all the damage and causing resting" issue. It makes sense - if you (in "real" life) had one person doing all of the close-range fighting and taking hits, of course they'd be the driving force behind you having to rest. The issue with healing stamina being disincentivized still needs to be fixed - but the fact of one character taking most of the hits and then causing a rest isn't really something I mind at all.

 

It's gonna be when you're out of camping supplies, all merchants are out of camping supplies and you're not 2 hours into the game :)

Well, it sucks when you suck

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Re: frequent resting
 
A problem here, I think, is that some people are responding in an unexpected way to the efficiency incentive that Pillars of Eternity is trying to introduce.

 

By forcing you to use up a limited rest supply or return to town for resting, Pillars of Eternity is trying to say: "Hey, you! Play better, be more efficient! Don't get hurt so much, you are NOT supposed to rest so frequently! If you use your party's abilities more efficiently, you can do better!"

 

But I think some people may not realize that. Instead, they'll assume that they're supposed to get hurt that badly. After all, they did survive those battles, didn't they? A win is a win, and screw efficiency. And then they'll get mad at having to go back to town to rest all the time.

 
This is part of a more general problem in that the human mind isn't as good as evaluating things "continuously". A fight that took off 50% of your health is a harsh outcome in PoE, theoretically equivalent to two deaths and resurrections in the Infinity Engine games. But it doesn't seem that way. 
 
The upside here is that it also prevents savescumming. There might be an inevitable trade-off in having this sort of design.
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But their own devs played like that and rested the same as most of us.

 

Implying that a programmer is good at the game he's making is stupid. If you are playing bad, and need rest spamming, lower the difficulty.

Edited by Uomoz
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http://jesawyer.tumblr.com/post/96794297651/currently-in-the-pe-beta-backers-like-myself-are

 

 

enverxis said: Currently in the PE beta, backers like myself are playing ranged characters in no armor because there's virtually no reason to suffer the reduction in DPS from the reduced action speed from armor if you're not getting attacked (that much anyway). Do you think this is degenerative gameplay and if so, what would you propose to make ranged armor wearing a viable choice ?

 

That doesn’t seem degenerative because it’s entirely within the spirit of the game — it’s just dull because circumstances never demand anything different.  The players are making a strategic choice based on the available (undemanding) content.  If, in 3.X, you removed armor proficiency feats but retained ASF, most wizards would only wear heavier armor if their characters were frequently being targeted by AC-based attacks.  That would either require them to enter harm’s way or for the DM to specifically target them.  Otherwise the trade-off isn’t worth it.

 

What’s happening right now is that the enemies aren’t using anything beyond the most basic targeting preferences and most of the enemies in the BB do not have AoEs.  It results in the “dog pile” behavior where one character (usually the BB dwarf fighter) takes the lion’s share of attacks and damage.

 

I’ve been talking with Adam, Steve, and Dave about how targeting preferences need to work to make both tactical and strategic considerations more interesting.  The discriminations the AI needs to make are not complicated or fuzzy, but without them, combat lacks dynamism.  AIs should prefer spellcasters, targets with low Stamina, low defenses, specific Afflictions on them, whoever inflicted the most damage on them, etc.  Those preferences result in different characters being attacked at different times and often in a target switch mid-combat.

 

Ultimately, if your ranged characters don’t wear armor (or wear light armor), that should be a decision that is evaluated and re-evaluated with different areas and sets of enemies — and occasionally has negative consequences when someone beelines for you with no regard for provoking Disenagement Attacks or specifically hurls an AoE into the back line.

 

It sounds nice and all, but why didn't Josh come here and announce this? The backer beta forums, it doesn't make sense.

I still think armour needs a rather big reworking, even if the AI and the encounters would be better.

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

 

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By forcing you to use up a limited rest supply or return to town for resting, Pillars of Eternity is trying to say: "Hey, you! Play better, be more efficient! Don't get hurt so much, you are NOT supposed to rest so frequently! If you use your party's abilities more efficiently, you can do better!"

I've been doing videos of the same encounters with different classes, I have improved since my first video but the amount of Health lost after the first few beetle encounters on Hard doesn't vary all that much, due to the normalized damage output of the game. I can kill the beetles a little bit faster, but they're still dishing out roughly the same amount of damage every time. The only big difference appears to be when I get a Critical Hit with the Arbalest (which is the equivalent of two hits from the Morningstar, which is worth ~8 seconds of BB Fighter's time).

 

I think I can get a little bit better once I become more familiar with the spells.

Edited by Sensuki
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The devs were doing demos at conventions. After wiping on the beetles I am pretty sure they were playing it incredibly safe. They want to ensure that players see spells/abilities, skills, scripted scenes, dialogue, and the entire ogre quest chain. They didn't turn on a god mode which many FPS demos at the conventions do. Anyway, they were playing to show the game, but not trying to show the best of the best in terms of tactics. I wouldn't use them, or the demos, as a basis for how to play the game well. Just my 2cp

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Implying that a programmer is good at the game he's making is stupid. If you are playing bad, and need rest spamming, lower the difficulty.

 

They were playing on easy...

 

 

It's the weekend. Apparently he can't access the forums from home or something.

 

That was the issue since I came to these forums, I think it's about time he fixes that. For petes sake he sees the guy who made this forum every day...

Edited by Sarex
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By forcing you to use up a limited rest supply or return to town for resting, Pillars of Eternity is trying to say: "Hey, you! Play better, be more efficient! Don't get hurt so much, you are NOT supposed to rest so frequently! If you use your party's abilities more efficiently, you can do better!"

I've been doing videos of the same encounters with different classes, I have improved since my first video but the amount of Health lost after the first few beetle encounters on Hard doesn't vary all that much, due to the normalized damage output of the game. I can kill the beetles a little bit faster, but they're still dishing out roughly the same amount of damage every time. The only big difference appears to be when I get a Critical Hit with the Arbalest (which is the equivalent of two hits from the Morningstar, which is worth ~8 seconds of BB Fighter's time).

 

I think I can get a little bit better once I become more familiar with the spells.

 

 

I'm not denying that the system might need tuning, but no health ratio will help if players don't respond to incentives correctly. (And by the way, this is also a criticism of the game, not just of the players. It's the game's responsibility to make sure these things are understood.)

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