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Discussion: the PoE beta xp system


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I still think you could split the bestiary-xp-difference even further for a compromise between 'genocide' and simply unlocking a creature = xp.

 

Sorry if I wasn't clear, but bestiary entries are unlocked piecemeal over time, so you would be gaining progressive XP up to the point where you learn everything about that critter type.

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How does that modify gamer behavior away from degenerative gameplay? Now players will kill everything up to the limit because the "game's basic mechanics systemically rewarded that behavior." It doesn't even prevent the "sneak by then kill" example. Well, I guess it will after the number is reached and players are capped for that type mook?

 

I think there's a significant difference between being required to kill 100% of all ogres to get all XP from ogre killing and being required to kill 50% of all ogres.  You can skip individual ogres, groups of ogres, named ogres on quests, and still gain all of the XP.

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How does that modify gamer behavior away from degenerative gameplay? Now players will kill everything up to the limit because the "game's basic mechanics systemically rewarded that behavior." It doesn't even prevent the "sneak by then kill" example. Well, I guess it will after the <x> number is reached and players are capped for that type mook?

I think the difference is that now there is an actual in-game reason / justification for doing so. It kind of makes sense instead of just being a arbitrary game mechanical award. Plus, if it's designed properly you should eventually get all the bestiary stuff for everything given a "reasonable" playstyle.

 

Example inter-character conversation:

 

BOB: "I sure am glad we made it past those goblins and got the MacGuffin! I feel like I learned a lot from that experience."

LEEROY: "I kind of wish we hadn't snuck past them though.. I was really hoping to learn about goblin combat styles.."

BOB: "I guess we could go back and fight them. On the other hand, the village has been dealing with goblin attacks for a while so if you could stand to wait I'm sure you'll learn plenty about goblin combat styles eventually."

LEEROY: "Nope, wanna learn now! LEEEROOOOY...." *voice fades away*

SALLY: "Dammit, Leeroy..."

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Since we're likely not going to have per-monster kill XP, it will be important to not throw too much unavoidable combat at the player. Otherwise there will be a point at which the fighting feels redundant and unrewarding (of course even with combat XP, it might, just to a lesser extent).

 

From my experience with the backer beta there is plenty of unavoidable combat. I hope the final game balances the frequency of such battles against proper rewards. Bestiary unlocks will help; I hope there aren't a lot of such fights against kith. At least, given the ixnay on ombat experience-cay.

Edited by PrimeHydra

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*ombat experience-cay.

 

Eh, I was kind of hoping for a more combat centered game than Torment, tbh. More BG-ish. New Torment I'm expecting to be more like old Torment.

 

That's just me though. The writing and questing in the BB is already better than that in most of BG/IWD from what I've seen and heard, so if the combat is also great we may be looking at a best of both worlds BG/IWD vs PS:T scenario. Which I'd be totally cool with.

Edited by Matt516
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How does that modify gamer behavior away from degenerative gameplay? Now players will kill everything up to the limit because the "game's basic mechanics systemically rewarded that behavior." It doesn't even prevent the "sneak by then kill" example. Well, I guess it will after the number is reached and players are capped for that type mook?

 

I think there's a significant difference between being required to kill 100% of all ogres to get all XP from ogre killing and being required to kill 50% of all ogres.  You can skip individual ogres, groups of ogres, named ogres on quests, and still gain all of the XP.

 

 

Sorry, I don't understand. What I was trying to say is that by granting "some" kill XP in the form of beastiary XP, then PoE will still be incentivizing killing if for nothing more than maxing out the beastiary XP, which seems to go against one of your design goals. Whether we kill 50% or 100% to get the XP, you have reintroduced "killing just for XP".

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*ombat experience-cay.

 

Eh, I was kind of hoping for a more combat centered game than Torment, tbh. More BG-ish. New Torment I'm expecting to be more like old Torment.

 

That's just me though. The writing and questing in the BB is already better than most of BG/IWD from what I've seen and heard, so if the combat is also great we may be looking at a best of both worlds BG/IWD vs PS:T scenario. Which I'd be totally cool with.

If bestiary entries unlock at the right pace, more combat (than Planescape) would indeed be welcome. But the frequency of fights in the current beta far outpaces the rewards. I hope we get to test a bestiary-XP system to see if it feels right.

Edited by PrimeHydra

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How does that modify gamer behavior away from degenerative gameplay? Now players will kill everything up to the limit because the "game's basic mechanics systemically rewarded that behavior." It doesn't even prevent the "sneak by then kill" example. Well, I guess it will after the <x> number is reached and players are capped for that type mook?

 

I think there's a significant difference between being required to kill 100% of all ogres to get all XP from ogre killing and being required to kill 50% of all ogres.  You can skip individual ogres, groups of ogres, named ogres on quests, and still gain all of the XP.

 

 

Sorry, I don't understand. What I was trying to say is that by granting "some" kill XP in the form of beastiary XP, then PoE will still be incentivizing killing if for nothing more than maxing out the beastiary XP, which seems to go against one of your design goals. Whether we kill 50% or 100% to get the XP, you have reintroduced "killing just for XP".

 

 

Well technically it's not just killing for XP it's killing to learn more about the creature (and gain boni if we end up facing them in battle later IIRC)

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Sorry, I don't understand. What I was trying to say is that by granting "some" kill XP in the form of beastiary XP, then PoE will still be incentivizing killing if for nothing more than maxing out the beastiary XP, which seems to go against one of your design goals. Whether we kill 50% or 100% to get the XP, you have reintroduced "killing just for XP".

 

My goal isn't to discourage killing/combat overall, but to avoid the emphasis of combat solutions as the de facto best way to resolve quests (unless the quest is fundamentally about killing someone/thing, of course) and to avoid the player feeling compelled to kill everything they come across.  I think it will be good for the game if a player can ask themselves, "Am I losing out by not completing this area with combat?" and sometimes answer, "Nah."  Quest only XP accomplishes this, but obviously a lot of people want to gain XP from fighting.  Short of having a separate mode where you get combat XP from everything and all of the quest XP is rebalanced around that, bestiary unlocking XP is the best solution I've come up with to accomplish both goals.

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Is killing the only way to unlock the nsstiary? If there are other methods for at least some, then the argument is moot. Instead of being cleverly semantic, which is all it is now.

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Sorry, I don't understand. What I was trying to say is that by granting "some" kill XP in the form of beastiary XP, then PoE will still be incentivizing killing if for nothing more than maxing out the beastiary XP, which seems to go against one of your design goals. Whether we kill 50% or 100% to get the XP, you have reintroduced "killing just for XP".

 

My goal isn't to discourage killing/combat overall, but to avoid the emphasis of combat solutions as the de facto best way to resolve quests (unless the quest is fundamentally about killing someone/thing, of course) and to avoid the player feeling compelled to kill everything they come across.  I think it will be good for the game if a player can ask themselves, "Am I losing out by not completing this area with combat?" and sometimes answer, "Nah."  Quest only XP accomplishes this, but obviously a lot of people want to gain XP from fighting.  Short of having a separate mode where you get combat XP from everything and all of the quest XP is rebalanced around that, bestiary unlocking XP is the best solution I've come up with to accomplish both goals.

 

Having quest XP dwarf kill XP by orders of magnitude worked well in Baldur's Gate 2, I will say. But since you have this nice bestiary feature and can tie it in with an XP reward...maybe that will suffice. Certainly much better than nothing!

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We've also discussed XP connected to unlocking elements in the bestiary, which is sort of a limited-pool form of combat XP that eventually gets exhausted and doesn't require you to commit genocide to reach it.

 

I like this idea.

 

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Is killing the only way to unlock the nsstiary? If there are other methods for at least some, then the argument is moot. Instead of being cleverly semantic, which is all it is now.

I seem to recall high Perception scores mean more/quicker bestiary unlocks. Maybe your rogue can sneak around and observe the lions, Disney Nature style! But maybe you have to kill the monster, and with combat currently being unescapable (correct me if I'm wrong), then...yeah, you're gonna have to fight some, son.

 

I doubt these unlocks would be so crucial to progression that they'll feel mandatory. Instead they should provide a healthy bonus for those interested in doing more than the bare minimum of combat.

Edited by PrimeHydra

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My goal isn't to discourage killing/combat overall, but to avoid the emphasis of combat solutions as the de facto best way to resolve quests (unless the quest is fundamentally about killing someone/thing, of course) and to avoid the player feeling compelled to kill everything they come across.  I think it will be good for the game if a player can ask themselves, "Am I losing out by not completing this area with combat?" and sometimes answer, "Nah."  Quest only XP accomplishes this, but obviously a lot of people want to gain XP from fighting.  Short of having a separate mode where you get combat XP from everything and all of the quest XP is rebalanced around that, bestiary unlocking XP is the best solution I've come up with to accomplish both goals.

 

 

 

Compelled by what, themselves, the game, making his PC better? Why would you as a designer care if they feel compelled? Shouldn't someone who spend the time and effort to hunt down dangerous beasts be better at it than someone who doesn't and prefers solving things via diplomacy?

I say better here because 99% of the entire game mechanics are about combat. There is almost NOTHING but combat mechanics in the entire game. Everything is new powers related to combat, new talents, better stats, better items...There's not even any utility out of combat spells like augury, invisibility, zone of truth and the like, that could make things interesting for diplomatic characters. And the only real thing that might come into play for non combat options are attributes, the one thing that are NOT impacted during leveling up! Where are all the diplomatic skills? Contacts networks? Hired agents that might make it interesting and rewarding for non combat interested players?

In the end, players who choose to go the diplomatic route get rewarded with XP, to level up in combat related stuff? And players who choose to go the combat route get jack? This is bonkers.

 

I understand the idea behind it and agree to some extend, but you're missing 50% of the game mechanics for that to actually make sense here so you end up with the entire thing feeling...forced, arbitrary, limiting and in the end frustrating and not at all interesting.

 

Also, doesn't the bestiary system work based on Lore? What's gonna happen if someone has no lore in the party? Do you NEED lore as a combat specialist to just get some xp? how does THAT make any sense whatsoever?

Edited by mutonizer
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My goal isn't to discourage killing/combat overall, but to avoid the emphasis of combat solutions as the de facto best way to resolve quests (unless the quest is fundamentally about killing someone/thing, of course) and to avoid the player feeling compelled to kill everything they come across. I think it will be good for the game if a player can ask themselves, "Am I losing out by not completing this area with combat?" and sometimes answer, "Nah." Quest only XP accomplishes this, but obviously a lot of people want to gain XP from fighting. Short of having a separate mode where you get combat XP from everything and all of the quest XP is rebalanced around that, bestiary unlocking XP is the best solution I've come up with to accomplish both goals.

 

 

Compelled by what, themselves, the game, making his PC better? Why would you as a designer care if they feel compelled? Shouldn't someone who spend the time and effort to hunt down dangerous beasts be better at it than someone who doesn't and prefers solving things via diplomacy?

I say better here because 99% of the entire game mechanics are about combat. There is almost NOTHING but combat mechanics in the entire game. Everything is new powers related to combat, new talents, better stats, better items...and the only real thing that might come into play for non combat options are attributes, the one thing that are NOT impacted during leveling up! Where are all the diplomatic skills? Contacts networks? Hired agents that might make it interesting and rewarding for non combat interested players?

 

I understand the logic and agree to some extend, but you're missing 50% of the game mechanics for that to actually make sense so that makes the entire thing feel...forced, arbitrary, limiting and in the end frustrating and not at all interesting.

 

Also, doesn't the bestiary system work based on Lore? What's gonna happen if someone has no lore in the party? Do you NEED lore as a combat specialist to just get some xp? how does THAT make any sense whatsoever?

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I am one of those who would like the effort I make in combat to yield XP rewards, particularly since combat in POE requires strategic thinking and depletes party resources.

 

To come out of an encounter empty handed renders the victory somewhat hollow to me.

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Having quest XP dwarf kill XP by orders of magnitude worked well in Baldur's Gate 2, I will say.

 

Are you sure that it did, overall? I, for one, doubt it.

 

Much of the quest XP was given to each character independently of party size, wasn't it? And yet, in my experience, a BG2 party with 3 or 4 members levelled up much faster than a party with 6 members.

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Having quest XP dwarf kill XP by orders of magnitude worked well in Baldur's Gate 2, I will say.

 

Are you sure that it did, overall? I, for one, doubt it.

 

Much of the quest XP was given to each character independently of party size, wasn't it? And yet, in my experience, a BG2 party with 3 or 4 members levelled up much faster than a party with 6 members.

 

That is in part because not all quests gave XP to each party member and also because learning spells and using Thief skills gave XP in xxxx numbers
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Having quest XP dwarf kill XP by orders of magnitude worked well in Baldur's Gate 2, I will say.

 

Are you sure that it did, overall? I, for one, doubt it.

 

Much of the quest XP was given to each character independently of party size, wasn't it? And yet, in my experience, a BG2 party with 3 or 4 members levelled up much faster than a party with 6 members.

 

I don't have the numbers, so I may be wrong technically, I just remember that at major plot points nearly everyone in my six-player party leveled up. I didn't play much with fewer chars in my party, so I can't speak to the incentive of going that route purely for greedier combat rewards. It just felt like when we completed a major quest, it was like, "OK here's the real money XP". But taking down a lich still felt plenty rewarding thanks to the (less) sizable chunk of experience.

Edited by PrimeHydra
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Having quest XP dwarf kill XP by orders of magnitude worked well in Baldur's Gate 2, I will say.

Are you sure that it did, overall? I, for one, doubt it.

 

Much of the quest XP was given to each character independently of party size, wasn't it? And yet, in my experience, a BG2 party with 3 or 4 members levelled up much faster than a party with 6 members.

I've never played BG proper, I've always done the trilogy so perhaps this may be different from someone else's experience.

 

Without factoring in mod added enemies, you gain much more XP per enemy killed in BG2 than BG. The quest XP is a bigger chunk for 6 person parties, but combat will definitely dominate parties of 4 or less. In both games, combat XP will likely be making up the majority of XP.

 

Personally, I like having XP awarded in lump sums for completing objectives because I don't feel like I'm playing the game wrong for trying to find other ways of progressing other than combat.

Edited by KaineParker

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Personally, I like having XP awarded in lump sums for completing objectives because I don't feel like I'm playing the game wrong for trying to find other ways of progressing other than combat.

 

 

That's cool, options are great.

That said, And you'll be progressing mostly in one thing: combat. So..what's the point again? :)

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