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Discussion: the PoE beta xp system


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I don't think balancing it is all that hard considering there's a level cap. Just keep the xp from enemies that respawn really low to make grinding hopelessly inefficient and it's pretty easy to predict what level players will be at any given point. After all, in poe not all the area's/quests are going to be available right away.

"Good thing I don't heal my characters or they'd be really hurt." Is not something I should ever be thinking.

 

I use blue text when I'm being sarcastic.

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This is the real root of all otherwise baffling decisions, including the absolute need to avoid the Spectre of Quest Staggering.

 

Although a backer (I'm not) might say "balancing Baldur's Gate 2 wasn't easy either. So?"

 

 

Baldur's Gate 2 had much more people working on it and it still failed in that balancing (similarly as all IE games failed), why they want to do things differently this time.

 

How did BG1 fail to balance the xp? By what metric did it fail?

"Good thing I don't heal my characters or they'd be really hurt." Is not something I should ever be thinking.

 

I use blue text when I'm being sarcastic.

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Furthermore, kill xp and ad hoc xp awards is not easy to implement and balance.

This is the real root of all otherwise baffling decisions, including the absolute need to avoid the Spectre of Quest Staggering.

 

Although a backer (I'm not) might say "balancing Baldur's Gate 2 wasn't easy either. So?"

 

 

Baldur's Gate 2 had much more people working on it and it still failed in that balancing (similarly as all IE games failed), why they want to do things differently this time.

 

I thought balance in Baldur's Gate 2 was fine. Then again, I don't metagame very hard.

 

I believe that if OE genuinely felt combat XP made the game better, they would include it. They don't seem to feel that way. They don't spend their resources on this beautiful IE successor with meticulously-designed assets and complex mechanics, and then say, "combat XP is tricky to balance so it's outside the scope of what you can expect."

 

Elerond, I'm not sure what your goal is with digging up links to every Obsidian response to this issue and insisting that they can never go wrong. Just...cut it out.

 

Dragon Age: Origins is a better example of poor balancing. Encounters ranged from way too easy to nearly impossible for your party's current level.

Edited by PrimeHydra

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Furthermore, kill xp and ad hoc xp awards is not easy to implement and balance.

This is the real root of all otherwise baffling decisions, including the absolute need to avoid the Spectre of Quest Staggering.

 

Although a backer (I'm not) might say "balancing Baldur's Gate 2 wasn't easy either. So?"

Baldur's Gate 2 had much more people working on it and it still failed in that balancing (similarly as all IE games failed), why they want to do things differently this time.
Will PoE's final price be a fraction of what was Baldur's Gate launching price, in order to reflect the low number of people working on it? If not, why should it matter to the final quality?

 

By the way, I'm sure all those people who remember Baldur's Gate's Chapter 2 so incredibly fondly do so exactly because it failed completely to achieve any semblance of balance.

Edited by frapillo80
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Some stuff about XP from Sawyer

 

To elaborate, our XP is all derived out of a relatively small table. We establish tiers of quests (by character level) and allocate a total amount of XP to be spread among all quests marked for that level. In turn, each quest is marked with a given level and as major, standard, or minor. The major/standard/minor classifications determine relative proportion of XP share that the quest gets when all quests are taken into account. So if 28 quests are marked as level 4 and level 4 quests only have 1000xp allocated for them, the per-quest reward is really tiny. We mostly just adjust the allocated XP in each tier and what quests are classified as, level-wise. To accommodate additional sources of XP, we start by determining those fixed-pool allocations and subtract them from the total quest XP. The exploration-related XP is a) not large and b) easy to quantify. The bestiary-related XP is also relatively easy to quantify because we associate total XP per bestiary entry, of which there are a fixed amount. We still have to tune after that basic estimation, but it's not a hard or time-consuming process overall.

 

We currently track within 1 level of our expected targets for XP acquired over the course of the game, so I'm not too worried about it.

Edited by C2B
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Some stuff about XP from Sawyer

 

 

To elaborate, our XP is all derived out of a relatively small table. We establish tiers of quests (by character level) and allocate a total amount of XP to be spread among all quests marked for that level. In turn, each quest is marked with a given level and as major, standard, or minor. The major/standard/minor classifications determine relative proportion of XP share that the quest gets when all quests are taken into account. So if 28 quests are marked as level 4 and level 4 quests only have 1000xp allocated for them, the per-quest reward is really tiny. We mostly just adjust the allocated XP in each tier and what quests are classified as, level-wise. To accommodate additional sources of XP, we start by determining those fixed-pool allocations and subtract them from the total quest XP. The exploration-related XP is a) not large and b) easy to quantify. The bestiary-related XP is also relatively easy to quantify because we associate total XP per bestiary entry, of which there are a fixed amount. We still have to tune after that basic estimation, but it's not a hard or time-consuming process overall.

 

We currently track within 1 level of our expected targets for XP acquired over the course of the game, so I'm not too worried about it.

Sounds a nice enough improvement over the current wilderness mobs. Thanks for sharing, by the way. Edited by frapillo80
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If you feel that fighting against some enemy is stupider choice than sneaking past them, then you should in my opinion sneak past them instead of demanding reason to fight that enemy.

This removes meaningful choice from the game just as much as punishing players for skipping combat does.

 

The minute one choice has an obvious advantage over another it means other other choices have less meaning. At no point in this game will fighting be a better option then bypassing combat if the expenditure of resources is not rewarded by something in return.

 

If combat was very difficult and had high costs to be successful then gave XP.. this would introduce choice. Can I keep fighting? Should I turn back? Should I stealth past? It's only when the non-combat xp crowd takes things to an extremist meta game level and say

"I CAN'T DO IT JOSH.. I CAN'T SKIP A SINGLE GIBBERLING.. PLEASE REMOVE COMBAT XP SO I CAN SKIP GIBBERLINGS.. I NEED EVERY XP AND YOU NEED TO STOP ME.."..

 

Me, Stun, Hiro, Volly, Indiria and the caffienated owl guy all enjoy the combat xp without meta gaming the **** out of games. Nobody defending combat xp actually wants it to break the game.. We just want meaningful progression for our choices.

 

It's only people in the non-combat xp crowd to have a problem with meta gaming systems and seem to not be able to help themselves.. despite the level cap..

 

 

 

So, the people at Eurogamer don't mind laborious combat... as long as they get XP goodies? If the problem is combat, it's combat. From a design standpoint, giving XP won't make people happy with the combat. I sure as hell hope that Obsidz sticks to their guns on this.

Wrong again.. It's been stated about 1000 times why this argument is crap
That's not a rebuttal. I could just as easily say that it's been stated about 2000 times why this argument is good.

 

And neither of us would be correct, because the necessity of combat XP for game (and combat) enjoyment is a matter of PERSONAL PREFERENCE. Stop acting like your position is the only reasonable one. Combat XP is a good reward system for RPG gameplay. That doesn't mean it's the only good reward system. OE is doing something different - good for them! Let's help them succeed instead of bitching endlessly about one single feature as if the game will live or die based on its inclusion.

The number wasn't important.. try to deflate your ego a bit.. The person in question knows exactly what rebuttals have been made to his argument.. he is rehashing old tales and knows it.

 

If you want to be pedantic about the number then go ahead. I wasn't trying to raise a good rebuttal but remind him of the last 4 closed threads of discussion we had on that argument already.

Oh I just pulled a number out of nowhere - no pedantry intended. My point wasn't that any specific number of statements had been made, just that his comment was thoroughly unhelpful and assumed his own position was right when in reality both arguments have merit and it comes down to personal preference.

 

Not really sure where you get egotism from that.. :3

 

EDIT: Sorry about the long-ass quote, I'm on mobile and trimming those is quite difficult when they're embedded like that.

Edited by Matt516
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Some stuff about XP from Sawyer

 

To elaborate, our XP is all derived out of a relatively small table. We establish tiers of quests (by character level) and allocate a total amount of XP to be spread among all quests marked for that level. In turn, each quest is marked with a given level and as major, standard, or minor. The major/standard/minor classifications determine relative proportion of XP share that the quest gets when all quests are taken into account. So if 28 quests are marked as level 4 and level 4 quests only have 1000xp allocated for them, the per-quest reward is really tiny. We mostly just adjust the allocated XP in each tier and what quests are classified as, level-wise. To accommodate additional sources of XP, we start by determining those fixed-pool allocations and subtract them from the total quest XP. The exploration-related XP is a) not large and b) easy to quantify. The bestiary-related XP is also relatively easy to quantify because we associate total XP per bestiary entry, of which there are a fixed amount. We still have to tune after that basic estimation, but it's not a hard or time-consuming process overall.

 

We currently track within 1 level of our expected targets for XP acquired over the course of the game, so I'm not too worried about it.

 

Thanks for sharing. Source?

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Some stuff about XP from Sawyer

 

To elaborate, our XP is all derived out of a relatively small table. We establish tiers of quests (by character level) and allocate a total amount of XP to be spread among all quests marked for that level. In turn, each quest is marked with a given level and as major, standard, or minor. The major/standard/minor classifications determine relative proportion of XP share that the quest gets when all quests are taken into account. So if 28 quests are marked as level 4 and level 4 quests only have 1000xp allocated for them, the per-quest reward is really tiny. We mostly just adjust the allocated XP in each tier and what quests are classified as, level-wise. To accommodate additional sources of XP, we start by determining those fixed-pool allocations and subtract them from the total quest XP. The exploration-related XP is a) not large and b) easy to quantify. The bestiary-related XP is also relatively easy to quantify because we associate total XP per bestiary entry, of which there are a fixed amount. We still have to tune after that basic estimation, but it's not a hard or time-consuming process overall.

 

We currently track within 1 level of our expected targets for XP acquired over the course of the game, so I'm not too worried about it.

 

Thanks for sharing. Source?

 

SA

 

It was an answer to a question on how difficult it would be to change parts of the XP system (due to of course balancing issues). Sawyer's response was *Not very* and elobarated on it with that comment.

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This is the real root of all otherwise baffling decisions, including the absolute need to avoid the Spectre of Quest Staggering.

 

Although a backer (I'm not) might say "balancing Baldur's Gate 2 wasn't easy either. So?"

 

 

Baldur's Gate 2 had much more people working on it and it still failed in that balancing (similarly as all IE games failed), why they want to do things differently this time.

 

How did BG1 fail to balance the xp? By what metric did it fail?

 

 

By metric that Josh uses you get most XP by doing quest first and then kill everybody after wards. And taking combat option brings more experience than sneaking past enemies. Using thief open locks and remove traps brings more experience than using knock spell or strength to open locks and using detect traps spell to find traps so that you can avoid them.  

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It was an answer to a question on how difficult it would be to change parts of the XP system (due to of course balancing issues). Sawyer's response was *Not very* and elobarated on it with that comment.

That runs totally counter to what others have stated. How odd.

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"This is the real root of all otherwise baffling decisions, including the absolute need to avoid the Spectre of Quest Staggering.

"Although a backer (I'm not) might say "balancing Baldur's Gate 2 wasn't easy either. So?"

Furthermore, kill xp and ad hoc xp awards is not easy to implement and balance."

 

 

 

...

 

is that a serious question? because it is late september of 2014 and PoE will be released in 2014.  am not certain where the confusion is.

 

if you are asking why didn't obsidian in 2012 do as the bioware developers did, then you need simply read all of elerond's links... again. is going in circles. the obsidian developers believed that balance and encouraging diversity of character builds were worthy goals. quest xp is an elegant and simple solution, which allowed the developers to spend their limited resources on other features. kill xp and ad hoc xp coulda been added to PoE, but the developers necessarily woulda' had to spend their limited resources on seemingly mindless balancing that could be achieved much more elegantly via a quest xp model.

 

"I don't think balancing it is all that hard considering there's a level cap."

 

the developers, and even some kill xp proponents, disagree with you. you can dig around and find quotes if you wish. nevertheless, the developers disagree with you. compare to the bestiary and exploration suggestions, which is essentially just mechanical reward quests. you got a fixed number o' explore points that is small to middling.  the bestiary, which is a silly bone thrown to the dogs snarling in the corner, also is functional mechanical quest with a fixed reward based on achieving X number of kills of critter A, B and or C. 

 

"in any event, folks is fighting over when they get their pie. the developers does reward you in PoE. they got a very good notion that X amount o' hours o' gameplay will yield Y numbers of leveling opportunities. the developers has stated that they wanted to slow leveling down compared to recent d&d crpgs, but regardless, they gots a very good notion o' how quickly people will level in theircrpg, and leveling and getting loot is the typical rewards in these games. is not that absence o' combat is failing at rewarding players, is simple that players in PoE, as it is currently designed, is getting larger and more predictable xp rewards. end result is gonna be the same whether combat were implemented or not. however, you is necessarily demanding an extra (and unnecessary) step from developers as they would need try and figure out how to provide xp totals for gameplay that would result in their current rate o' leveling."

 

as we noted, the kill/combat xp stuff were just plain silly. you is gonna level at roughly the same rate and get approximate the same xp, but now some folks will Feel like they got the combat xp that were being withheld previously 'cause...

 

*chuckle*

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8Wvgs9q3js

 

is more than a few folks with cider in their ear that is gonna be happier for the liquid dribbling down their cheek, but if you is genuine happier, so much the better.

 

 

HA! Good Fun! 

 

ps our quote disappeared during the process o' posting. we were quoting 80.

Edited by Gromnir

"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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That's great info, C2B. I mean, I still think exploration XP sounds sketchy, but I also don't know exactly how they're going to handle it. Clearly, they're trying to accommodate people who don't want strictly quest XP.  If this method helps, I'm all for it, even if I still find some aspects dubious.  ...But  sometimes a truce dividing the hill in half is better than everyone dying on top of it.

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I thought balance in Baldur's Gate 2 was fine. Then again, I don't metagame very hard.

 

I believe that if OE genuinely felt combat XP made the game better, they would include it. They don't seem to feel that way. They don't spend their resources on this beautiful IE successor with meticulously-designed assets and complex mechanics, and then say, "combat XP is tricky to balance so it's outside the scope of what you can expect."

 

 

It could be. Personally, I have the feeling that having to back up the claim that "every build will be viable" complicates things enormously in that respect, and having different mob composition for different levels of difficulty as well, although to a lesser degree, I think.

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That's great info, C2B. I mean, I still think exploration XP sounds sketchy, but I also don't know exactly how they're going to handle it. Clearly, they're trying to accommodate people who don't want strictly quest XP.  If this method helps, I'm all for it, even if I still find some aspects dubious.  ...But  sometimes a truce dividing the hill in half is better than everyone dying on top of it.

 

They already have exploration XP, but it is tied to quests/tasks and rewarded you instantly if you had quest/task already activated or in that point of time when you activate the quest. Only thing that they need to do is to write function that gives you automatically those experience points when your characters come in such point where exploration xp is awarded. And of course they could after that add more those exploration points in the maps that aren't tied on quests/tasks and they of course can classify exploration points that are tied to quest/tasks such that they don't award xp reward if corresponding quest/task isn't activated.

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...

 

 

This is the real root of all otherwise baffling decisions, including the absolute need to avoid the Spectre of Quest Staggering.

 

Although a backer (I'm not) might say "balancing Baldur's Gate 2 wasn't easy either. So?"

Furthermore, kill xp and ad hoc xp awards is not easy to implement and balance.

 

 

is that a serious question? because it is late september of 2014 and PoE will be released in 2014. am not certain where the confusion is.

 

if you are asking why didn't obsidian in 2012 do as the bioware developers did, then you need simply read all of elerond's links... again. is going in circles. the obsidian developers believed that balance and encouraging diversity of character builds were worthy goals. quest xp is an elegant and simple solution, which allowed the developers to spend their limited resources on other features. kill xp and ad hoc xp coulda been added to PoE, but the developers necessarily woulda' had to spend their limited resources on seemingly mindless balancing that could be achieved much more elegantly via a quest xp model.

 

"I don't think balancing it is all that hard considering there's a level cap."

 

the developers, and even some kill xp proponents, disagree with you. you can dig around and find quotes if you wish. nevertheless, the developers disagree with you. compare to the bestiary and exploration suggestions, which is essentially just mechanical reward quests. you got a fixed number o' explore points that is small to middling. the bestiary, which is a silly bone thrown to the dogs snarling in the corner, also is functional mechanical quest with a fixed reward based on achieving X number of kills of critter A, B and or C.

 

"in any event, folks is fighting over when they get their pie. the developers does reward you in PoE. they got a very good notion that X amount o' hours o' gameplay will yield Y numbers of leveling opportunities. the developers has stated that they wanted to slow leveling down compared to recent d&d crpgs, but regardless, they gots a very good notion o' how quickly people will level in theircrpg, and leveling and getting loot is the typical rewards in these games. is not that absence o' combat is failing at rewarding players, is simple that players in PoE, as it is currently designed, is getting larger and more predictable xp rewards. end result is gonna be the same whether combat were implemented or not. however, you is necessarily demanding an extra (and unnecessary) step from developers as they would need try and figure out how to provide xp totals for gameplay that would result in their current rate o' leveling."

 

as we noted, the kill/combat xp stuff were just plain silly. you is gonna level at roughly the same rate and get approximate the same xp, but now some folks will Feel like they got the combat xp that were being withheld previously 'cause...

 

*chuckle*

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8Wvgs9q3js

 

is more than a few folks with cider in their ear that is gonna be happier for the liquid dribbling down their cheek, but if you is genuine happier, so much the better.

 

 

HA! Good Fun!

I is serious, yes. I has shown I understand the devs' problem as well, yes.

 

But since you put it this way:

 

Then, the devs should just follow their vision and grit their teeth during these three remaining months, instead of caving in and compromising on bestiaries and such. When the fickle crowd will see the definitive, bug-free December incarnation of the game, will be swept away by the "simplicity, elegance and effectiveness" (or whatever) of the devs' quest system, will abjure any previous criticism, and will see stuff like the current pointless trash mobs under a totally different light.

Edited by frapillo80
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Then, the devs should just follow their vision and grit their teeth during these three remaining months, instead of caving in and compromising on bestiaries and such. When the fickle crowd will see the definitive, bug-free December incarnation of the game, will be swept away by the "simplicity, elegance and effectiveness" (or whatever) of the devs' quest system, will abjure any previous criticism, and will see stuff like the current pointless trash mobs under a totally different light.

As in the Sawyer quote I just posted the XP system is set up to be changed quite easily So why shouldn't they if the additional solution doesn't overly interfere with design goals?

Edited by C2B
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As in the Sawyer quote I just posted the XP system is set up to be changed quite easily So why shouldn't they if the additional solution doesn't overly interfere with design goals?

 

Preetty sure frap was being sarcastic against the OE stalwarts who shoot down any post questioning their designs.

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How did BG1 fail to balance the xp? By what metric did it fail?

 

 

 

 

 

 

By metric that Josh uses you get most XP by doing quest first and then kill everybody after wards. And taking combat option brings more experience than sneaking past enemies. Using thief open locks and remove traps brings more experience than using knock spell or strength to open locks and using detect traps spell to find traps so that you can avoid them.  

 

A) Doesn't killing people (Like quest givers) lower your reputation which causes other problems? Can you give me an example of the kind of situation you are talking about?

 

B) Isn't sneaking past enemies safer than fighting them? If so; fighting them should yield more xp since it is more dangerous/challenging. That would be balance. If fighting enemies yielded no more xp than sneaking past them; then the game would be unbalanced in favor of sneaking.

 

C) IIRC in the original BG1 disarming traps/opening locks didn't yield any xp. 

"Good thing I don't heal my characters or they'd be really hurt." Is not something I should ever be thinking.

 

I use blue text when I'm being sarcastic.

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It was an answer to a question on how difficult it would be to change parts of the XP system (due to of course balancing issues). Sawyer's response was *Not very* and elobarated on it with that comment.

That runs totally counter to what others have stated. How odd.

 

 

Although he suggestion to change system is to add more objectives in the game, where one is to kill x number enemies and get xp and second is to add more exploration points in the game that give directly xp when found instead of tying them in the quest and tasks, so there isn't much change to current system.  

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Then, the devs should just follow their vision and grit their teeth during these three remaining months, instead of caving in and compromising on bestiaries and such. When the fickle crowd will see the definitive, bug-free December incarnation of the game, will be swept away by the "simplicity, elegance and effectiveness" (or whatever) of the devs' quest system, will abjure any previous criticism, and will see stuff like the current pointless trash mobs under a totally different light.

As in the Sawyer quote I just posted the XP system is set up to be changed quite easily So why shouldn't they if the additional solution doesn't overly interfere with design goals?

But I am fine with it, I already said so. I was just following Gromnir's directives on the perfection of the current implementation of the quest system.

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"Then, the devs should just follow their vision and grit their teeth during these three remaining months, instead of caving in and compromising on bestiaries and such. "

 

agreed. point?

 

nevertheless, am s'posing some obsidian folks is at least considering the options o' implementing a largely cosmetic change to appease folks. we cannot be too hypocritical in our rejection o' such a notion as we suggested changing the name o' the fighter and the rogue 'cause having identical names to d&d classes appeared to be causing confusion amongst the rabble.  if a largely cosmetic change satisfies folks and obsidian believe they can do without too much effort, then so be it, but it nevertheless strikes us as unnecessary. however, PoE is a commercial product, so sometimes you need sacrifice principles on the altar of pragmatism.

 

HA! Good Fun!

Edited by Gromnir

"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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"Then, the devs should just follow their vision and grit their teeth during these three remaining months, instead of caving in and compromising on bestiaries and such. "

 

agreed. point?

 

nevertheless, am s'posing some obsidian folks is at least considering the options o' implementing a largely cosmetic change to appease folks. we cannot be too hypocritical in our rejection o' such a notion as we suggested changing the name o' the fighter and the rogue 'cause having identical names to d&d classes appeared to be causing confusion amongst the rabble. if a largely cosmetic change satisfies folks and obsidian believe they can do without too much effort, then so be it, but it nevertheless strikes us as unnecessary. however, PoE is a commercial product, so sometimes you need sacrifice principles on the altar of pragmatism.

 

HA! Good Fun!

Point, I very much doubt it would end up like in the sentence that followed the one you quoted. That's just me.

 

P.S. Do you ever write anything that is not on the tune of "You think you don't like [current implementation of feature x], but that's just because you only want a carbon copy of BG1/2 whatever. [Current implementation of feature x] actually is the best thing since sliced bread. Obsidian are never late, nor are they early. Obsidian arrive precisely when they intend to."?

Edited by frapillo80
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