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Discussion: the PoE beta xp system


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I highlighted this before in another thread.

 

Quest gives you two options:

 

1. The kill spree player goes through a dungeon killing everything in their wake and finish the quest. They received the quest xp and may have received not only 1 page in their cyclopaedia but 2 or 3 pages from killing various enemies.

 

2. The non-combat player who avoids combat through things like stealth only receives quest xp.

 

This encourages players to go on a kill spree to get more xp rewards for that quest. And this is what the quest-xp people have argued against.

 

Your number 2 point with the Spider Queen also encourages kill sprees which is something the quest-xp people have argued against. Unless it's tied to a quest, the combat player shouldn't get xp for killing. It's no different than just putting combat xp in the game.

Edited by Hiro Protagonist II
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One compromise that could have helped to bridge the gap between the combat xp proponents and the quest only xp proponents:

 

What if after killing a certain number of ...lets say 10 kobolts, you got xp for all of those, but after that you would start to get diminishing returns.. and at last reach 0% xp, or a very low percent so that degenerate grinding would not be encouraged.

 

(There is just so much you can learn from fighting the same type of opponent over and over)

 

This way you would solve some of the so called "degenerate" game play, and still advance.

The system would encourage you to explore, make your own adventures, discover the game, and try to find rare places and mobs.

(That is if there´s still left enough wiggle room for you to advance your level sufficiently so that you will still be able to explore outside your current dedicated level area)

 

Having an absolute number of an XP reward with increasingly higher requirements for each successive level already solves this problem without the need for a complicated % scaling-based-on-number-of-enemies-killed system.

 

To put another way, if you need 1000 xp to level up to level 2 and a kobold gives you 10, a kobold gives you 1% of the XP you need to level.

 

If you need an additional 2000 xp to level up to level 3, a kobold gives you only .5% of the XP you need to level.

 

If you need an additional 4000 xp to level up to level 4, a kobold gives you only .25% of the XP you need to level.

 

So on, and so forth, until at high levels the kobold effectively gives you 0% of the XP you need. (Note: the "increasing requirements" part is necessary, because if you always only need an additional 1000 xp, then of course the kobold will always give you the same benefit.)

 

This is what I never, ever, understood about the challenge rating system of 3e D&D. AD&D had already solved the problem of easy encounters providing trivial rewards to powerful characters, you didn't need to go out and add a whole complicated layer of abstraction on top of it.

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One thing to keep in mind, and sorry if this point has already been made, but the BG/BG2 games already solved the XP problem.

 

Combat, on a per-encounter basis, provided niggling XP in either game (less so in BG2 where they started tossing Dragons and Liches at you left and right). There was no incentive to grind (except for very specific cases like Basilisks in BG) because each fight rewarded you with like 35 XP/character when all is said and done (even less with the early kobold fights). Instead, all those many sidequests that dropped you off with thousands of XP was a major driver in getting your characters up. I've played BG/BGEE enough times where I can get my characters leveled up a couple times with only minimal fighting.

 

The beauty of this system is that grinding was not encouraged - the marginal gain from any one fight was neglible. Yet at the same time, it rewarded general gameplay because overtime, that combat experience would add up. And on a per-incident basis, questing was still heavily favored because of the simple gigantic rewards numbers you'd see for accomplishing X quest versus just going out and killing some random enemies.

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anek45 said: Would you consider giving XP for selected unique & difficult combat encounters outside of quests, like killing the spider queen or surviving a bandit ambush? Such encounters seem like a much more meaningful source of experience for an adventurer and much more deserving of a reward for players, than completing a fetch quest. Not to mention it would make wilderness exploration more compelling.

 

We’re doing that already.  Near the beginning of the project, we talked with people on the OEI forums about quest-based XP and said that we would have quests that were specifically “defeat this dude” or “clear this area”.

 

http://jesawyer.tumblr.com/post/97094696076/would-you-consider-giving-xp-for-selected-unique

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It doesn't, because things like the Skaen temple guard don't figure in the Cyclopedia.

 

It does. I'm talking about things like spiders in the ogre cave. Enemies that are in the cyclopedia. Clearing the ogre cave of all the different types of spiders would give the kill spree player more xp if they received those completed pages than the one who avoids most of it. That's encouraging kill sprees. And if it's not part of any quest, it's just combat xp wrapped up in a different way.

Edited by Hiro Protagonist II
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anek45 said: Would you consider giving XP for selected unique & difficult combat encounters outside of quests, like killing the spider queen or surviving a bandit ambush? Such encounters seem like a much more meaningful source of experience for an adventurer and much more deserving of a reward for players, than completing a fetch quest. Not to mention it would make wilderness exploration more compelling.

 

We’re doing that already.  Near the beginning of the project, we talked with people on the OEI forums about quest-based XP and said that we would have quests that were specifically “defeat this dude” or “clear this area”.

 

http://jesawyer.tumblr.com/post/97094696076/would-you-consider-giving-xp-for-selected-unique

 

 

And this is my point. Sawyer is tying combat to quests. If it's part of a quest, you'll get the xp. If it's not part of a quest, no xp. But it won't really be combat xp in the sense of the IE games. It will be quest xp when you hand in the quest.

 

example:

Kill x number of goblins in one area. No xp.

Hand in quest. Get xp rewards for the quest.

 

You're rewarded for completing the quest including clearing an area or defeat this dude. So the spider queen could be part of a quest for killing it. You just won't get xp for killing it without the quest giver.

Edited by Hiro Protagonist II
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My thoughts on this topic are evolving, ever so slightly. I have previously stated that I feel that at least more significant fights should grant experience. I'm less concerned about trash mobs.

 

My standing example is the difficult ambush that the player's party is forced to repel. Again, the idea is that this is a truly challenging battle that party members should become more experienced from if they survive.

 

But, I suppose even that scenario could work under the quest only implementation. Party enters a clearing. Party encounters a man in the road who declaims "leave your valuables at your feet... and my men won't kill you." The party refuses to comply and combat ensues.

 

Quest issued: Defeat the bandits in the clearing. Once the final bandit is defeated, quest xp is granted.

 

This concept could be applied to any battle of significance that isn't necessarily tied to a quest. If the party chooses to comply, I guess the could get quest xp for that -- i.e. hopefully they've learned not to be idiots and hand over their gear to a pack of bandits.

 

I will still miss skill based XP, but I suppose that I'll learn to cope.

Edited by Marceror

"Now to find a home for my other staff."
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It doesn't, because things like the Skaen temple guard don't figure in the Cyclopedia.

 

It does. I'm talking about things like spiders in the ogre cave. Enemies that are in the cyclopedia. Clearing the ogre cave of all the different types of spiders would give the kill spree player more xp if they received those completed pages than the one who avoids most of it. That's encouraging kill sprees. And if it's not part of any quest, it's just combat xp wrapped up in a different way.

 

 

Yes, and that's kinda also the point. This is no different than giving say giving XP for killing the spider queen and other uniques that may not always have a peaceful solution. They're spiders everywhere. Don't want to kill those in the spider caves? Kill those in the Lle a Ramen (or however you spell that ruin's name). The game isn't a stealth/pacificism simulator. If you're super concerned about that, you could also add bestiary books / conversations with local rangers / etc... that'd fill your bestiary with the same info, and get the same XP bonus.

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Yes, and that's kinda also the point. This is no different than giving say giving XP for killing the spider queen and other uniques that may not always have a peaceful solution. They're spiders everywhere. Don't want to kill those in the spider caves? Kill those in the Lle a Ramen (or however you spell that ruin's name). The game isn't a stealth/pacificism simulator. If you're super concerned about that, you could also add bestiary books / conversations with local rangers / etc... that'd fill your bestiary with the same info, and get the same XP bonus.

 

Rewarding kill spree players? That's been kind of the point for the last 2 years for the quest-xp people arguing for not rewarding kills and going to an objective / quest based system. The cyclopaedia is not part of a quest as we currently know, therefore killing for xp not related to a quest is just another form of combat xp.

 

And the argument saying the game isn't a stealth/pacificism simulator is false. Nobody in this thread has said this is a stealth/pacifist simulator. There are quest options in the Beta to solve quests like the Ogre Cave without having to kill everything. You can kill everything in the Ogre cave or avoid a lot of the fights through other means. I would've thought that's what you would have wanted? What your suggesting is rewarding the combat xp player more with their kill sprees with their cyclopaedia entries. 

 

Adding another system like lore books and rangers may help. But which will players tend more to? Which will be easier? If there's an easier option, then players will gravitate to that type of play. I would gravitate to lore books and rangers because it sounds like the easy option to me if it avoids combat. No danger at all. So it then becomes free xp for me.

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Quest xp isn't that great, I still hold it in higher light than kill+quest xp though.

The best xp system would be one with handplaced xp rewards for reacing certain points (ends of dungeons/room with treasure, finding hidden stuff, various unique scenic areas, finding new cities, etc) and handplaced rewards for certain specific interactions with specific characters (dealing with the orge one way or the other (never understood why you get experience from telling a guy you did something and not from doing something), other bosses, learning lore or ability related things through conversation, just various interactions deemed worthy really).

So....Arbitrary XP rewards from beginning to end?

 

Ugh... No.

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Well to be fair, pretty much all XP rewards are arbitrary.  I won't point out that the exception is kill XP.  <.<

 

Seriously, to be fair, I think that XP rewards and quests in general are arbitrary.  Then again, what artistic endeavor in which the artists wishes to interact with the public can help but be arbitrary?  Even kill XP, which I concede is less arbitrary, is still arbitrary in the amount it rewards per kill.  Even if there is a rational consensus based on the numerical values dictates that XP rewards be greater for a bugbear as opposed to a kobold, exactly what should that reward be?  3.x prevents players from getting experience from lower level monsters they meet at higher levels, and if I recall it right, the number of creatures doesn't matter, and yet folks can make the argument that facing a thousand orcs can be more dangerous than facing, say, a young dragon.  Rational people can always make good arguments for bad things.  Hell, in these forums, I'm sure we're all making a good argument for a bad position at some point.

 

I believe that the backers should trust the design team.  At some point, no matter what anyone says or how hard they try, we're going to subject to their artistic vision.

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Seriously. 

 

Just stop. Stop with these posts. They clutter the forum, they don't serve any actual purpose except as a soap box for personal preference. At the very minimum, take it to the general discussion forum. 

 

EDIT - Sorry, didn't notice the previous incarnation of this post had been closed, my bad. 

 

Also, re: Stun - All things in the (or any) game are arbitrary. 

Edited by DCParry
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I just want to remind Obsidian (If they're reading this) that discovery xp would make a decent portion of the people unsatisfied with the current xp system happy. At least it would make me happy.

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"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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eh DCParry. People are coming up with their solutions and debate is currently in progress why some solutions shouldn't be in. If the quest-xp only people who have been arguing for the last 2 years against the combat-xp players now want combat xp, they should say so. Trying to wrap it up in the form of cyclopaedia entries isn't going to fly. And I'll be here to point it out to them. :)

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It's not part of a quest. Maybe in the final game it will be part of a quest. Check Josh's comment above. - quests that were specifically “defeat this dude” or “clear this area” - Josh.

 

eg. Villager wants you to defeat Spider Queen. Kill spider queen or clear the spider nest in the Ogre cave including the Spider Queen. Hand in quest. Get rewarded.

Edited by Hiro Protagonist II
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Also, re: Stun - All things in the (or any) game are arbitrary.

No.

 

Working Systems, by definition, must operate with a modicum of consistency. Otherwise they're amateurishly flawed and you can't even call them systems.

 

And When it comes to experience distribution the problem is magnified. Lack of consistency does nothing but cause confusion and makes players feel like the game is a buggy mess. (ie. "hey, I got no XP for completing this quest!" Or "how come the last hidden passage I found granted me 200XP but, this one granted me none?")

Edited by Stun
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As long as people are within fairly broad confines of polite debate (such as not calling each other names or threatening one another), I can think of no reason why the pro-kill XP folks should not be allowed to voice their opinions.  You can be sure that if Obsidz did a 180 and changed their design, I would be here fighting like hell over it.  Anyhow, there's one XP thread, as you say DC, and it's like the other topics in threads in the forum, read at your own risk!  :Cant's looking over his shoulder icon:

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Also, re: Stun - All things in the (or any) game are arbitrary.

No.

 

Working Systems, by definition, must operate with a modicum of consistency. Otherwise they're amateurishly flawed and you can't even call them systems.

 

And When it comes to experience distribution the problem is magnified. Lack of consistency does nothing but cause confusion and makes players feel like the game is a buggy mess. (ie. "hey, I got no XP for completing this quest!" Or "how come the last hidden passage I found granted me 200XP but, this one granted me none?")

 

 

I think the issue is where the level of arbitrariness lies. It is a sliding scale. A system can be internally consistent but still be an arbitrary system. 

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Personally, I value fun, a varied flow of various rewards (to keep the interest of the player peeked), gameplay, and replayability very much higher in a computer game, and especially in a CRPG, than clever systems that try to keep track of player behaviour and control it, just to make it all balanced, fair and easy to regulate for the creators of the game. 

Edited by IndiraLightfoot
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Gfted1: I can now confirm that in V278, you do get subquest xp. So far my record is two subject xp incidents during one quest. 

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'd just like the option to turn off any notifications of XP gained, especially if they implement exploration XP, kill-XP or similarly pointless stuff.

For once I'd like to play a good RPG that doesn't make me feel like I'm in a fricking Skinner box.

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Gfted1: I can now confirm that in V278, you do get subquest xp. So far my record is two subject xp incidents during one quest. 

 

It has always been like that as far as I know. In my very first playthrough, I leveled up after killing the adventurer party guarding the drake egg (which was after cleaning the spider's cave). In fact, I didn't even realize there was no combat XP because of that.

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Also, re: Stun - All things in the (or any) game are arbitrary.

No.

 

Working Systems, by definition, must operate with a modicum of consistency. Otherwise they're amateurishly flawed and you can't even call them systems.

 

And When it comes to experience distribution the problem is magnified. Lack of consistency does nothing but cause confusion and makes players feel like the game is a buggy mess. (ie. "hey, I got no XP for completing this quest!" Or "how come the last hidden passage I found granted me 200XP but, this one granted me none?")

 

I understand your point, and I won't argue that you're wrong, because I don't think you are. However, at the cost of some confusion and some inconsistency, arbitrary rewards can properly reward various playstyles in a way I think only reward every single tiny action a player makes (like taking a step, or swinging a sword, or breathing) systems can, and those systems have their own inherent flaws. Quest xp (with or without combat xp tagging along) is also inherently extremely arbitrary, not much less arbitrary than my honest arbitraryness.

 

The way I see it, either you get an arbitrary quest xp system, an arbitrary quest xp system with a reward tiny actions system tagged on, a pure reward tiny actions system (which results in TES style xp progression), or just honest arbitraryness. The good thing about honest arbitrary xp is that you don't waste time building an inherently flawed and most likely arbitrary system, and that you aren't confined by such a system. I do however understand why some prefer systems, and systems generally are indeed a bit more consistent.

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