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Zeckul

Is it just me or combat is really tedious?

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Ok, I had some free time and there's a new build out, so I tried having some fun with this game. I'm playing on "Normal" difficulty, which is one notch less than what they recommend for experienced IE players.

 

And man, this reminds me of playing BG2 with the SCS mod with everything turned on, as in: every single encounter I have to carefully plan every move I make and pause constantly, and if I do everything just right I'll win, and any mistake will mean everyone gets roflstomped.

 

Admitedly, I don't understand the system very well at all, whereas I understood that of BG2 perfectly, so this is why I'm not sure whether my criticism of PoE is fair. Still, in BG2, most battles were a simple affair of casting a few buffs and focusing fire, i.e. very basic tactics. In PoE, it looks like basic tactics are far from sufficient and you need to make good use of at least your per-encounter abilities. Focus fire is not that powerful anymore because enemies have just so many hitpoints. It's also difficult to correct any positional mistake because attempting to break engagement triggers repeated attacks of opportunity (or whatever the term for that is in this system); the penalty seems much more pronounced than in D&D 3.5.

 

I don't want every battle to be a really involving one, there should be tough battles yes, but not at every turn.

 

By the way, what are some good resources to learn about the combat system? Any tutorial videos? I'm quite confused by all the terminology and stuff happens in battle that I don't understand whatsoever.

Edited by Zeckul
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This is due to the Pause-with-Real-Timetm system that I posted about a day or two ago. Pause with real time is my "cute" way of describing PoE's combat system as a hybrid of real time with pause and turn based.

 

I don't mind it, really. In my mind, PoE is more a turn based style game than it is a real time game, so that helps me to justify the longer than normal pauses that occur.

 

The combat system does take some getting used to, so I expect you'll adapt to it more as you clock in more time.

 

 

Edited by Marceror

"Now to find a home for my other staff."
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PoE's combat has nothing to do with turn based systems, as it don't even have anything that one could call representing turn let alone having actual turns.

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PoE's combat has nothing to do with turn based systems, as it don't even have anything that one could call representing turn let alone having actual turns.

That's actually not the attribute of a turn based system that I'm referring to, ironically enough. Turn based systems are by their nature, methodical and ponderous. Combat in PoE is methodical and ponderous. There's your linkage.

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Isn't PoE more of a true real time with pause game? Bear with me.

 

In the IE games, you had 6 second rounds. Your party and enemies did everything in that round and then it started again.

In PoE, there are no rounds so it's every man, woman and enemy hitting everything. There is recovery time but that can depend on many factors. I find it more like an arpg with pause.

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Do you find yourself going through fights relatively quickly and easily once you master the system? Or is it always very involving? I'm going to get quickly bored playing this game if it constantly makes me work. This would be a big change of pace from the IE games especially the Baldur's Gate series. Icewind Dale had quite involving combat but that was the whole point of the game. This seems to be more involving than IWD but is supposed to be less combat focused? I'm confused.

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Isn't PoE more of a true real time with pause game? Bear with me.

 

In the IE games, you had 6 second rounds. Your party and enemies did everything in that round and then it started again.

In PoE, there are no rounds so it's every man, woman and enemy hitting everything. There is recovery time but that can depend on many factors. I find it more like an arpg with pause.

Either way there is a real time component. I don't necessarily see round based system as being "less" of a real time system than a system that doesn't have rounds. To me the lack of rounds just makes for a less "gamey" system.

 

 

Do you find yourself going through fights relatively quickly and easily once you master the system? Or is it always very involving? I'm going to get quickly bored playing this game if it constantly makes me work. This would be a big change of pace from the IE games especially the Baldur's Gate series. Icewind Dale had quite involving combat but that was the whole point of the game. This seems to be more involving than IWD but is supposed to be less combat focused? I'm confused.

It speeds up, and I know some have challenged themselves to pause less and still do well. I personally see the system as implying that pausing should happen regularly, since you can very effectively manage your per encounter abilities, spell use, positioning, etc. with a good amount of pausing.

 

IWD was one of the major inspirations of PoE, and I see more of an influence from that game with combat than I do with Baldur's Gate, personally.

Edited by Marceror

"Now to find a home for my other staff."
My Project Eternity Interview with Adam Brennecke

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PoE's combat has nothing to do with turn based systems, as it don't even have anything that one could call representing turn let alone having actual turns.

That's actually not the attribute of a turn based system that I'm referring to, ironically enough. Turn based systems are by their nature, methodical and ponderous. Combat in PoE is methodical and ponderous. There's your linkage.

 

 

Turn based systems are system where game flow is partitioned with well-defined and visible parts called turns, nothing more nothing less.  Although turn-based systems can be more complex than real-time systems without causing severe issues in game flow as by nature they have more disjointed game flow.

 

PoE having or not having complex, demanding, what ever system has nothing to do with turn-baseness. RTwP is system that is invented to allow more complex systems in real-time games by giving player option to pause game to control and command their characters/or what ever they need to do.  

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Right now at least combat is VERY tedious. After some BB updates that may be corrected though.

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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.

 

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Do you find yourself going through fights relatively quickly and easily once you master the system? Or is it always very involving? I'm going to get quickly bored playing this game if it constantly makes me work. This would be a big change of pace from the IE games especially the Baldur's Gate series. Icewind Dale had quite involving combat but that was the whole point of the game. This seems to be more involving than IWD but is supposed to be less combat focused? I'm confused.

 

One of their goals was to make combat feel as intense as it is in IWDs.

 

Most of tediousness in combat comes from fact that it is often hard to tell what happens in it and that controls don't work as well as one would want. And I also think that weapons and abilities don't currently have right balance which causes combat become maybe bit too hard if one is using less optimal combinations in combat. IMO

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PoE's combat has nothing to do with turn based systems, as it don't even have anything that one could call representing turn let alone having actual turns.

That's actually not the attribute of a turn based system that I'm referring to, ironically enough. Turn based systems are by their nature, methodical and ponderous. Combat in PoE is methodical and ponderous. There's your linkage.

 

 

Turn based systems are system where game flow is partitioned with well-defined and visible parts called turns, nothing more nothing less.  Although turn-based systems can be more complex than real-time systems without causing severe issues in game flow as by nature they have more disjointed game flow.

 

You're missing a detail here. Turn based RPGs pause the game while the player considers and enacts his turn for each party member they control. This is the methodical and ponderous part that I referred to.

 

I've played plenty of turn based video games in my day, that pausing component is a fundamental part of the experience. I liken that experience to the longer pause times that I experience also in PoE.


"Now to find a home for my other staff."
My Project Eternity Interview with Adam Brennecke

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Either way there is a real time component. I don't necessarily see round based system as being "less" of a real time system than a system that doesn't have rounds. To me the lack of rounds just makes for a less "gamey" system.

 

I find the lack of rounds to be confusing if I think in terms of the IE games. That's why I see PoE more of an arpg with pause. If I think in those terms, it makes more sense in what's happening in combat. There's no rounds where characters and enemies start over again, it's just constant real time.

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PoE's combat has nothing to do with turn based systems, as it don't even have anything that one could call representing turn let alone having actual turns.

That's actually not the attribute of a turn based system that I'm referring to, ironically enough. Turn based systems are by their nature, methodical and ponderous. Combat in PoE is methodical and ponderous. There's your linkage.

 

 

Turn based systems are system where game flow is partitioned with well-defined and visible parts called turns, nothing more nothing less.  Although turn-based systems can be more complex than real-time systems without causing severe issues in game flow as by nature they have more disjointed game flow.

 

You're missing a detail here. Turn based RPGs pause the game while the player considers and enacts his turn for each party member they control. This is the methodical and ponderous part that I referred to.

 

I've played plenty of turn based video games in my day, that pausing component is a fundamental part of the experience. I liken that experience to the longer pause times that I experience also in PoE.

 

 

No in turn based game there is turns where player can do their actions and then there is turns for other parties usually AI or game master. Turns can consist very simple things like move one game piece to another square. Turn-baseness don't bring anything methodical or ponderous in the game, but turn-based systems allow more complex rules without making game unplayable in extent that most players can't play it.

 

Because of turns there is no pausing in turn based games as time is controlled by turns not by clock.

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One of their goals was to make combat feel as intense as it is in IWDs.

 

Most of tediousness in combat comes from fact that it is often hard to tell what happens in it and that controls don't work as well as one would want. And I also think that weapons and abilities don't currently have right balance which causes combat become maybe bit too hard if one is using less optimal combinations in combat. IMO

I hope this is true, but Marceror makes some good points about the emphasis on selectable abilities, timing and difficulty.

 

When the AI improves to target weaker characters, this is going to get just downright SCS-like in terms of micromanagement required. There's a big pacing issue there IMO if every battle is a tactically challenging one. It may sound good on paper but it's not going to make the game very enjoyable. IIRC Josh Sawyer said this was supposed to be less difficult than Icewind Dale 2, well IWD2 certainly wasn't this difficult. Even the first time I played the game and made some poorly designed party I was able to advance quite quickly on normal difficulty.

Edited by Zeckul
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I think some of the frustration that is felt with combat comes from being thrown into the deep end, so to speak. In a normal play-through, we will start small, with one companion, get a feel for the flow of combat, become comfortable with a limited set of abilities at first, which forms a solid basis for the expanding combat system. By the time we have 5 characters on the screen, we should be extremely comfortable with the system, how it reacts, and the particular types of feedback it gives. 

 

Starting with such a density of active and passive abilities can make things seem both tedious and hectic at the same time. Some are able to jump right in (like Sensuki) and cope and give great feedback on issues of mechanics and suggestions to changes/improvements. Others, like my first dozen starts, are nothing but fodder for our beetle overlords.

 

I am not saying that you shouldn't voice your concerns, but I think you might be slightly less worried if you contextualized them in terms of the beta start, character density, ability density and so on. 

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Combat can be tedious if:

- you are attacking things with the wrong damage type (check the combat log)

- you are suffering from the DT bug that can make mobs close to unkillable because their DT get buffed to insane numbers

- you are suffering from the DT bug that make you lost DT and super easy to kill

- you are not employing a good strategy for the group/encounter you are facing (aka learning curve of starting at level 5 with no prior knowledge)


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Combat can be tedious if:

- you are attacking things with the wrong damage type (check the combat log)

- you are suffering from the DT bug that can make mobs close to unkillable because their DT get buffed to insane numbers

- you are suffering from the DT bug that make you lost DT and super easy to kill

- you are not employing a good strategy for the group/encounter you are facing (aka learning curve of starting at level 5 with no prior knowledge)

-Having to switch damage type for trash mobs is tedious and should not be needed. At least not on easy/normal.

-The DT bug is a part of the problem.

-Again the DT bug is a part of the problem.

-One should not have to deploy a good strategy against trash mobs. IWD2 didn't even challenge you that much, and this game is supposed to be easier than IWD2.

 

Once the bugs are fixed the problem will be half solved.

Edited by Namutree

"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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Recently tried out a Muscle Wizard on hard and got stomped because of the DT bug. So too hard to say currently, it feels more.involved than vanilla BG to me, somewhere around SCS.


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I'm content with the level of difficulty on normal. I only FPW'ed once at this difficulty, and I suspect that was due to the DT bug. One of my problems with combat, is that I do not feel it is decisive enough. I would like encounters to be more chess like, rather than melees of attrition. Abilities and spells feel impotent while (Stamina) HP values tend to be quite high. With DT shaving off a large portion of damage every time, these influences only compound on each other.

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For the people who are struggling I believe this is because of a few problems:

 

1. Unfamiliarity with the System: You do not know how to use the abilities, spells and items properly whereas you do in the IE games

 

2. Your characters are underpowered: Characters in the BB (especially the PC) come with crappy gear and they would be better equipped at that stage in the full game.

 

3. Combat is more active overall than all of the Infinity Engine games: More classes have more active abilities to use, so you are required to micromanage more characters

 

4. Combat Feedback, High Movemement speed and high monster damage gives you the feeling that combat is too 'fast'.

 

Improving your familiarity with the system will help you feel less stressed out, but Obsidian also need to immensely improve the combat feedback, as well as tune combat movement speed, damage and health damage better so that you can face more encounters per adventuring day.

 

Try reading some of the wiki as that has pretty accurate information about the game. Prometheus is a diligent referencer.

 

I also have some combat videos against the beetles on hard, if you watch through you will see I improve my understanding of the system each video, however when I start doing more there should be a huge jump in combat efficacy because I have also learned some new things about Priest and Wizard spells that should help me in the future.

 

http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/68242-the-insane-beta-battles-crossing/

Edited by Sensuki
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combat is pretty decent thus far, but at times i have ended up in tedious situations of my characters slowly wearing down their opponents once their abilities have run out. however, this is not unlike other crpgs out there, so no big issues there yet. maybe non-ability/spell damage could be increased in some ways.

 

i do miss the ability to see combat rolls etc. on the message bar. but again, it's not a big issue and certainly nothing that need great improvement.

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I also would like to see at least the die roll without having to mouse over.

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I'm content with the level of difficulty on normal. I only FPW'ed once at this difficulty, and I suspect that was due to the DT bug. One of my problems with combat, is that I do not feel it is decisive enough. I would like encounters to be more chess like, rather than melees of attrition. Abilities and spells feel impotent while (Stamina) HP values tend to be quite high. With DT shaving off a large portion of damage every time, these influences only compound on each other.

Mm, good point. Only problem I have with it as well - as if you're either running into an encounter with very weak mobs, or else it seems you're sort of meant to use the per-encounter abilities every time, in addition to a good portion of the other abilities, and barely escape alive, etc.

 

But maybe things will end up being more chess-like once we figure out exactly how the damage types work. And when (all) the enemies have damage thresholds that are possible to beat..

 

(Outside of that.. I'm a bit fond of the idea that combat is something you try to avoid, unless you're well prepared, and are going to put some effort into it. That there's some risk involved, is what I mean. And that you can't just drink a potion and jump up to full strength again, no matter how much damage you've taken or how long you've been trekking. Or, that you have to turn back halfway through the trek because you need to rest - unless you really want to risk losing people. Never had to deal with that in BG. Or that you're forced to consider not fighting when the boss turns up, because you're low on health and abilities. But scraping through, barely hanging together. That makes winning an achievement instead of the end of a chore to me at least.

 

And since there's no reason to push for clearing every room and killing every monster. You try to reach new areas every time instead - if you can manage to get by the next obstacle. I mean, normally, I'd never spend an hour getting from one end of a dungeon to the next in a game like this. It'd just be trying to skip it. But not in this game - at least while there was a plot-reason to continue exploring.

 

I guess that puts some demand on the way quests are written, the way the mobs are tweaked, and how the dungeons are designed. But from what we've seen so far, Obsidian is doing well with most of that at least :p )


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I agree that the variation of enemies in the Backer Beta is not good enough. Many of the fights are long slogs of attrition as Mr. Magniloquent and nipsen have said, and some of them are best dealt with (likely due to DoT bugs) hard-countering, such as the spider poison.

 

There aren't really many ranged enemies. There are not many casters and there are not many enemies with AoEs. The Wolves in the Dyrford Crossing is the worst encounter in the game, it literally feels pointless.

Edited by Sensuki

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