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Discussion: the PoE beta xp system


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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.

 

I will concede that it's annoying to scour every corner of a map that holds no remaining interest other than the possibility of a few XP vessels in monster form.

 

I'm not sure how experience division works in PoE, but they could split it among your party to create the same balance of "fewer and higher level" vs. "many and lower level".

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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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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? :)

 

I'm with you, but if they design their quests well, most will have multiple solutions. There is already a system of reputation and attributes in place. If this is leveraged properly, and quest dialogues fleshed out appropriately, you'll be able to:

- Talk the badass down rather than clean his clock

- Use your reputation to hire a hitman to do your dirty work

- Sneak around the mook guarding the second level to the dungeon

 

The question is, will they take the time to create problems that truly have multiple solutions rather than throw a bunch of monsters in our path? Time will tell. But I liked the ogre quest in this regard.

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.

I will concede that it's annoying to scour every corner of a map that holds no remaining interest other than the possibility of a few XP vessels in monster form.

 

I'm not sure how experience division works in PoE, but they could split it among your party to create the same balance of "fewer and higher level" vs. "many and lower level".

Each party member in the party cuts into XP by 5% I think. It isn't straight division(before being multiplied by 1.1) like in BG though.

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I will concede that it's annoying to scour every corner of a map that holds no remaining interest other than the possibility of a few XP vessels in monster form

Why do you do it then? Nobody's forcing you and the game certainly doesn't either.

Just wondering really...

 

I would do it to make sure I've grabbed all possible XP from the map. I'm throwing a bone to those against combat XP, because they are right in this regard: It is weird to have to go far out of your way (read: outside of any interesting context, unlocking the final fog of war in the upper-right corner) just to ensure you don't miss experience points.

Edited by PrimeHydra
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You do realize you don't have to do it right? It's you yourself forcing you to go there. Most of the time the games are balanced difficulty wise around the narrowest path so none of the extras are required.

I mean, it's the same logic with "rest spamming" or "save scumming". If you do it, take responsibility upon yourself, don't blame it on the game. The game is not forcing you to do it, it's allowing you to do it. What you do with that is upon you alone, nobody else.

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You do realize you don't have to do it right? It's you yourself forcing you to go there. Most of the time the games are balanced difficulty wise around the narrowest path so none of the extras are required.

I mean, it's the same logic with "rest spamming" or "save scumming". If you do it, take responsibility upon yourself, don't blame it on the game. The game is not forcing you to do it, it's allowing you to do it. What you do with that is upon you alone, nobody else.

Yes, mutonizer, I realize I don't have to do it. I'm talking about "have to" from a min/max perspective. There is a sense of missed opportunity for not having killed said monsters.

 

Not sure why you're so bitter on this point--I want a fun Pillars of Eternity as much as you do. Chill out.

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it's annoying to scour every corner of a map that holds no remaining interest other than the possibility of a few XP vessels in monster form.

 

Isn't that the same with loot, though:

If you don't explore the whole map, you might miss some containers/stashes.

 

And with quests:

If you don't explore the whole map, you might miss that one blue-circled NPC in the middle of the wilderness who has a mini-quest. (In BG1, each wilderness map had at least 1 local mini-quest like for example "Rescue my child from the wolves in those ruins over there!".)

 

For some gamers, exploration is a gratifying part of the cRPG "experience". The rest can choose to skip it, but they will miss out on stuff -- no matter whether or not there is combat XP.

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Sorry didn't mean to seem aggressive, I just really do not understand the logic behind it so I'm looking for some kind of rationale. 

 

Missed opportunity I'm not sure, that's psychological. min/maxing I understand, but isn't that usually an active process, as in, you decide from the get go to min/max? So wouldn't it frustrate you not to even be allowed to min/max? Or would you not just try to min/max anyway, just in other ways?

 

 


If you don't explore the whole map, you might miss some containers/stashes.

Good point, same thing really. 

 

 

To me sounds  a bit like people bashing all barrels in a game to find loot, then complaining about barrels being there in the first place. Why do you bash the barrels then?

Edited by mutonizer
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it's annoying to scour every corner of a map that holds no remaining interest other than the possibility of a few XP vessels in monster form.

 

Isn't that the same with loot, though:

If you don't explore the whole map, you might miss some containers/stashes.

 

And with quests:

If you don't explore the whole map, you might miss that one blue-circled NPC in the middle of the wilderness who has a mini-quest. (In BG1, each wilderness map had at least 1 local mini-quest like for example "Rescue my child from the wolves in those ruins over there!".)

 

For some gamers, exploration is a gratifying part of the cRPG "experience". The rest can choose to skip it, but they will miss out on stuff -- no matter whether or not there is combat XP.

 

Yeah, that's true. But it's less of a missed opportunity in that case. Experience is the most significant reward an RPG can dole out.

 

At any rate, don't get me wrong--I'd rather have combat XP than none whatsoever. The Bestiary XP sounded like a cool idea, so I was offering a concession to the no-kill-XP side. I certainly don't want to argue against my own playing of devil's advocate.  The edge case of "unexplored missed opportunities" is far outweighed by the constant stream of unavoidable encounters in most of these games--which is why, at least for me, combat XP worked fine.

 

I just want us all to get along. To that end, here is a kitty: :cat:

Edited by PrimeHydra
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I did a considerable amount of combat testing the other day.  Almost 6 straight hours to be exact.  Saved *very* few times and didn't load a single time so the playthrough was mostly bug free.  The more I played the more I realized that combat at this time is simply not fun.  Aside from the fact that I can now basically "tweak" the difficulty of my playthrough based on the class I select at character creation, I have found ways to make any particular fight more or less difficult based on what I do so i can somewhat simulate difficulty that *should* be fun for me.  I say should simply because it's not (fun that is).

 

Combat currently is one of two things: pointlessly easy mowing down of enemies which reflects the "reward" you get from them or a difficult slogfest that reminds you of an mmo without any xp in it.  The few times I feel that it was a good, reasonable, difficult and balanced challenge that actually gives me satisfaction is the same moment i realized I just looted 6 spider venom sacs for my effort.  Don't even get me started on the underground cultist cavern... talk about the very definition of a pointless grind.

 

Let's be honest here the Baldur's Gate series was a series of murder hobo games.  You killed things lots and lots and LOTS of things.  By it's very nature it is was an "action" rpg.  Why then does combat in Pillars of Eternity feel like the most pointless thing in the world to do?

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Yeah, we're talking about various other forms of XP including exploration, trap, and lock XP.  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.  Also, kith (humanoid people) are not (and would not be) in the bestiary, and those are the characters most often associated with quests.

 

The main motivation for our quest-only XP system came from observing how many people, both regular gamers and QA testers, completed certain types of quests in the games we've made.  Those who completed a quest via stealth or conversations often backtracked to kill the people or critters they had just "spared" because the game's basic mechanics systemically rewarded that behavior.  You can set a bunch of flags for each quest and try to side-step around these cases but it's a huge amount of work for something that can be solved in a more straightforward manner by awarding XP for objectives and quests instead of individual creatures killed.

 

Since creatures (i.e., not humans/elves/dwarves/etc.) are directly involved in quests as non-hostiles with much less frequency, I think having XP awarded based on bestiary unlocks could work well.  If we set those unlock thresholds much lower than the total number of critters in the game, players will hopefully learn that they don't need to exterminate everyone/thing they come across and they will eventually exhaust the available XP for that type of creature.  E.g. Korgrak is an ogre, but he's by no means the only ogre, so if you don't kill him, you should still be able to completely unlock the entire ogre bestiary entry (and get all XP from it).

Josh, yes please!! I would looove to see exploration, trap, lock AND bestiary based XP.

 

I very much hope you will be able to add these elements.

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First, Thank you Josh for giving us some feedback on your plans. I havent played the beta, so I dont know if its currently implemented or not, but do mini bosses fall under quest categories or the bestiary group, or is the loot supposed to be the reward? For example the spider queen (which i don't think has a quest attached to it, although I am not sure - havent played the beta)?  I like the bestiary idea as well as exploration and other forms of xp, as it does remove the sting of no combat xp a bit. Thanks for including us all in the decisions Josh & Co. I think we all appreciate the hard work you guys are putting into the game in order to make it the best it can be!

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On other matters, you recruit a party member late and let's say there are very few quests left for you to do-- he is forever doomed to remain low-level...

 

 

 

Also, will there be random encounters that reward with XP ?(highly unlikely) -in essence this means that when you complete what there is to do in a certain area, it then becomes vacant & lifeless...

 

 

 

The whole XP deal needs careful thought or it can become a game-breaker.

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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.

 

What I do in D&D sessions is reward alternate solutions less, as much as or more than combat depending on the situation.

 

Yes they can come back and kill the critter, why not get their reward ? After all, they managed to proceed doing both routes.(of course they can get an XP penalty for doing that if it makes no role-play sense)

 

But my advice is not to remove 'kill XP', just make them marginally less than alternate ways you people want to encourage.

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To be completely honest, I think the devs are on witch hunt with the whole XP deal.

 

To make a video game a true role-play game, there are a ton other things you need to focus, rather than if players get XP for killing or not.

 

There is a rep system in the game, so why not somehow count what they kill and have to account for the slayers they are, with actual game impact(how the world perceives you).

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(double post,, rly sorry)

Edited by constantine

Matilda is a Natlan woman born and raised in Old Vailia. She managed to earn status as a mercenary for being a professional who gets the job done, more so when the job involves putting her excellent fighting abilities to good use.

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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.

 

Emphasis mine. I have to say, this is a very compelling point. I hadn't thought about this, but it's true - right now, with the total absence of utility spells/powers/anything, you end up leveling up your fighting for not using your fighting.

 

 

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.

 

 

It did for a party of 5-6, which was generally what the game was balanced against. Parties of smaller size got ahead of the leveling curve pretty quickly.

 

 

By it's very nature it is was an "action" rpg.

 

While I do follow you, I feel compelled to point out (because I have a madness) that "action rpg" means something completely different than what you're referring to.

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While I do follow you, I feel compelled to point out (because I have a madness) that "action rpg" means something completely different than what you're referring to.

 

I'm aware.  Baldur's Gate is certainly no Diablo series (oh the abominations that are arpgs) hence my quotes around the word action.  Would you prefer the term combat oriented?  Regardless, there's still lots of fighting and PoE definitely continues on with that tried and true "statement."  I mean when you walk like 4 steps into the Dyrwood Crossing zone and hit two packs of beetles... pretty sure there's going to be killing.

 

Mutonizer definately hit the nail on the head.  I mean your diplomatic options tend to be sparse at best.  Also i'm pretty sure that at the very least for the ogre quest you actually get more xp for going the non-combat route.  So not only are you barely rewarded for taking the path of greater resistance but you get much more for taking the easy way out.  I wasn't even building a talky character and i still got the option of talking my way out of the fight for a big fat chunk of extra xp.  This was probably the biggest letdown of my 6 hour playthrough.  I think I said to myself "Well... that was anti-climatic."  Meanwhile, I see a huge chunk of xp pop into my log and everyone's gained another level.

 

Let's just say the feeling was a tad different than the BG 1 or 2 experience I had.

 

My problem with quest xp is that the 2 games i've played with exclusive quest xp have combat that is boring beyond belief.  V:tm is great... until you fight anything really and then it's just super easy and thus mostly pointless.  It also has perhaps the worst section in a video game ever created in the sewer system with 8 zillion of the little vampire, alien critter things all running around that you have a viable lore based reason to kill and you get zip loot and the exact same xp as a malk stealthing through the whole thing.  SRR is the second game and I slept through the combat on "hard."  When you streamline the xp system so that there is no variance then there's no variable difficulty really.  I assume the developers thought I would be at a certain level when I hit each area but because they had left little room for "error" due to railroaded xp rewards what they thought would be hard ended up with a yawn fest for me.  Seeing as how I derive my gaming enjoyment with actual challenge I do very much mind if you happen to be off the mark.  With a less controlled xp system you're allowed to be over or under leveled as both can be corrected through the player's actions.

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V:tm is great... until you fight anything really and then it's just super easy and thus mostly pointless.  It also has perhaps the worst section in a video game ever created in the sewer system with 8 zillion of the little vampire, alien critter things all running around that you have a viable lore based reason to kill and you get zip loot and the exact same xp as a malk stealthing through the whole thing.

 

FYI the concept of the sewer section was that you were overwhelmed and had to escape, not that you were employed as vermin control officer for LA. To that end, the section performed it's role generally well. The problem with the sewer section, although nowhere near matches the hyperbole you describe, is that it was too long and would've benefited from being shorter and possibly more difficult. Being overwhelmed can be very exciting, but being lost in an unpleasant area tends not to be.

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am understanding that josh wants to throw folks a bone, but wouldn't it be better to use quests to achieve your goals?

 

http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/68164-a-different-view-on-the-whole-xp-controversy/?p=1502749

 

whether it's exploration or a bestiary or even traps, we can see quests that would offer more options and ensure greater balance.

 

*shrug*

 

if the ultimate goal is to quiet the complainers, then we can see setting up various small objectives to give 'em a warm and fuzzy feeling, but you can accomplish the same thing with quests... but better. 

 

HA! Good Fun!

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am understanding that josh wants to throw folks a bone, but wouldn't it be better to use quests to achieve your goals?

 

http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/68164-a-different-view-on-the-whole-xp-controversy/?p=1502749

 

whether it's exploration or a bestiary or even traps, we can see quests that would offer more options and ensure greater balance.

 

*shrug*

 

if the ultimate goal is to quiet the complainers, then we can see setting up various small objectives to give 'em a warm and fuzzy feeling, but you can accomplish the same thing with quests... but better. 

 

HA! Good Fun!

I completely agree with this approach.  Not necessarily an official 'quest,' but something that has the same structure as a quest.

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honestly, we don't see an advantage of Not doing as a quest. in case it were missed, kgambit added ideas

 

http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/68164-a-different-view-on-the-whole-xp-controversy/?p=1502756

 

is more you can do with quest structure. more should be better if we is talking of choice in a crpg, yes?

 

HA! Good Fun!

"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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