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As a heavy user of auto-pause in IE games, this is one relatively minor feature I'd love to see improved before release. I find it makes parties heavy with micromanagement (like six mages) far more tolerable. Here are a few things that I think should have auto-pause options, in addition to present ones:

  • Ability readied: Classes like the Cipher and Chanter, which have abilities that may become unexpectedly available mid-fight, would be a lot more manageable with an auto-pause to tell players, "hey, your whatever is now charged!"
  • Recovery completed: Pausing when the character finishes recovery for a non-repeatable action (i.e. basically anything that isn't attacking) would help to avoid wasting time.
  • Ability used: There should be better visual feedback for this type of thing in general, but it would be nice to have an auto-pause to alert us that a command was completed. If possible, I would like separate options for spell-type abilities (the traditional "Spell cast") and for special attacks (like Knockdown, Finishing Blow, etc.) so that it could be adjusted to fit party composition.
  • Idle: This falls under the same umbrella as some of the others, but basically, I'd like an auto-pause for when a character (a) can be doing something in combat, and (b) isn't.

In addition, there are some convenience improvements to the auto-pause system in IE games that I think would be wonderful:

  • Accommodating simultaneous pauses: Sometimes, for unrelated reasons, I'll pause at the same time that an auto-pause goes off - resulting in neither actually working. It would be fantastic if the system had sensitivity to timing, and could figure out when it shouldn't unpause.
  • Chains of "Target Destroyed": If a bunch of characters are focusing their fire, and the target goes down, the "Target Destroyed" option will go off several times in a row. This is a little obnoxious, and if possible, I'd like these to be compressed into one pause, indicating all characters it relates to.
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I can't remember if it's an option already or not, but, if not...

 

It would be great to be able to filter characters out of auto-pause options. What I mean is, instead of just "when a character is ready for another action" you could set "when selected characters are ready for an action," then have a checklist for which characters. Thus, if you have a PC who's a Wizard, and the rest of your party are Fighters, you can just auto-pause around when your Wizard's ready to do something new, etc.

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I have never been a fan of auto pause - played IE games for years without ever using it - fairly recently I did start using pause when trap found or in PoE when anything hidden is found but reading through the OP - I just have visions of a game that will never run more than a micro-second before something pauses it - I would tear my hair out (if I had any hair left :p )

Nomadic Wayfarer of the Obsidian Order


 

Not all those that wander are lost...

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^for me it's more about options - I wouldn't use all the options (so it wouldn't be pausing every second) but different folks might want different conditions for their pauses.

In BG I used 'enemy sighted', 'weapon unusable', 'trap found' and 'target destroyed' - I didn't use 'spell cast' but there were a few times my mage was idle or I gave them a new command thinking they'd finished their spell but ended up interrupting it instead so I probably should have :lol: - I'd like that 'idle' auto-pause suggested in the OP.

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I have never been a fan of auto pause - played IE games for years without ever using it - fairly recently I did start using pause when trap found or in PoE when anything hidden is found but reading through the OP - I just have visions of a game that will never run more than a micro-second before something pauses it - I would tear my hair out (if I had any hair left :p )

Yeah, all these requests are for toggleable options - not presets. Oh heavens no.

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I have never been a fan of auto pause - played IE games for years without ever using it - fairly recently I did start using pause when trap found or in PoE when anything hidden is found but reading through the OP - I just have visions of a game that will never run more than a micro-second before something pauses it - I would tear my hair out (if I had any hair left :p )

Yeah, all these requests are for toggleable options - not presets. Oh heavens no.

 

 

Oh yeah I get that but it certainly sounds like the OP wants to use most of them all the time - sent shivers up my spine just thinking about that ;)

Nomadic Wayfarer of the Obsidian Order


 

Not all those that wander are lost...

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^for me it's more about options - I wouldn't use all the options (so it wouldn't be pausing every second) but different folks might want different conditions for their pauses.

In BG I used 'enemy sighted', 'weapon unusable', 'trap found' and 'target destroyed' - I didn't use 'spell cast' but there were a few times my mage was idle or I gave them a new command thinking they'd finished their spell but ended up interrupting it instead so I probably should have :lol: - I'd like that 'idle' auto-pause suggested in the OP.

 

Pretty much identical to my own experience, except that I used Spell Cast. That and Enemy Sighted were both really good in terms of reducing worry.

 

I just have visions of a game that will never run more than a micro-second before something pauses it

 

You'd be surprised, at least with respect to the IE games - and if PoE played like that with auto-pause options equivalent to the IE games, I'd hold that to be a problem with PoE. For me, auto-pause lets me relax somewhat, and take my time figuring out the micro so that it can run interference-free.

If I'm typing in red, it means I'm being sarcastic. But not this time.

Dark green, on the other hand, is for jokes and irony in general.

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^for me it's more about options - I wouldn't use all the options (so it wouldn't be pausing every second) but different folks might want different conditions for their pauses.

In BG I used 'enemy sighted', 'weapon unusable', 'trap found' and 'target destroyed' - I didn't use 'spell cast' but there were a few times my mage was idle or I gave them a new command thinking they'd finished their spell but ended up interrupting it instead so I probably should have :lol: - I'd like that 'idle' auto-pause suggested in the OP.

 

Pretty much identical to my own experience, except that I used Spell Cast. That and Enemy Sighted were both really good in terms of reducing worry.

 

I just have visions of a game that will never run more than a micro-second before something pauses it

 

You'd be surprised, at least with respect to the IE games - and if PoE played like that with auto-pause options equivalent to the IE games, I'd hold that to be a problem with PoE. For me, auto-pause lets me relax somewhat, and take my time figuring out the micro so that it can run interference-free.

 

 

I know a lot of people like the whole auto-pause thing but it's just not my style - I can find the pause key very well thank you very much and if I miss out on something by not letting the computer watch out for me that's ok - it just adds a little bit to the challenge and I kind of like that. On the other hand if I manage the party on my own there's nobody to thank for my success except.... well me... ;) 

Nomadic Wayfarer of the Obsidian Order


 

Not all those that wander are lost...

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It should be possible to have auto-pause immediately kick in whenever a choice is required from the player ‒ in order to get the most "tactical RPG" (rather than "action RPG") experience possible.

 

In practice, that means auto-pausing in the event of...

  • trap found  -->  pause to decide whether to immediately stop the characters or keep them on their current path, and whether to go around the trap or try to disarm it.
     
  • combat started  -->  pause to decide what initial buffs/preparations/maneuvers to perform
     
  • spell (or other ability1) plus recovery time completed  -->  pause to decide what that character should do next
     
  • special combat ability2unlocked  -->  pause to decide how to spend that ability
     
  • target gone3  -->  decide what the character who were attacking that target should do next

In each of those cases, a decision needs to be made - and I think auto-pausing to "ask the player" is better than letting the party AI handle it.

 

Btw with the above auto-pause options, gameplay will feel much closer to a tactical turn-based game than when auto-pausing every n seconds, which is just plain stupid in a cooldown-based system like this and the fact that they added that auto-pause option (but not all of the useful ones listed above) worries me as it suggests that the devs do not actually understand the point of auto-pause and only added options "blindly" based on the IE games.

 

So there you go, I presented one paradigm ("ask the player whenever a choice is required") that a good auto-pause system should support. There are alternative paradigms of course, e.g. "prompt the player only in case of problems" would be more suited to players who want to play in real time (or with manual pausing) most of the time, and only have the auto-pause system kick in when not changing course would probably lead to failure - e.g. auto-pause on 'weapon ineffective', 'health drops below 20%', etc.

 

By having enough auto-pause options, players could choose between those paradigms (and possibly others), or a mix of them.

The devs should think of auto-pause options in terms of making sure that certain auto-pause paradigms are fully supported, rather than randomly adding individual options "because game X had it" or "because it was easy to implement" while missing more important ones.

 

 

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1) Basically anything except normal weapon attacks ‒ those should not pause after each attack, but instead just keep on attacking in the same way.
2) e.g. a Chanter having completed enough chants to be able to cast an Invocation, or a Monk having suffered enough wounds to unlock wound-based abilities

3) e.g. dead, or teleported away, or went invisible, etc.

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"Some ideas are so stupid that only an intellectual could believe them." -- attributed to George Orwell

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On the other hand if I manage the party on my own there's nobody to thank for my success except.... well me... ;)

 

Actually, in the Infinity engine games it means that you probably let the party AI make some of the combat decisions for you. Whereas if you used auto-pause options (enemy sighted, spell cast, target gone) that kicked in right before the party AI would have kicked in to choose a new action for that character, you'd have done more of the tactical decision-making by yourself... :)

 

Edit: Actually, party AI could be turned off, which kinda invalidates the above above point.

Edited by Ineth

"Some ideas are so stupid that only an intellectual could believe them." -- attributed to George Orwell

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