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Combat XP - What Just Happened..?

What Just Happened  

280 members have voted

  1. 1. What Sources of Xp Do you think are justified?

    • Combat
      152
    • Quests
      264
    • 'Objectives' (Finishing Part of a Quest)
      233
    • Lock Picking / Trap Disabling
      118
    • Exploration
      207
    • Specific Combat Scenarios - Bosses or Special Encounters
      197
    • Bestiary Unlocking (With Limited XP To Be Gained)
      158


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There are two independent arguments there, really:

 

1) It is too costly (in terms of resources) to include every possible mechanic. 

2) It is "degenerate" to provide alternatives.

 

I can digest the first but not the second. 

 

It depend what is meant with degenerate

 

If degenerate is used in context where Josh for example uses it, ergo to mean ability to do things that designers didn't mean players to be able to do or rewarding player's for behavior that designers didn't meant to be rewardable in the game, then I can understand why they don't want to make same design decisions again in their new game. But of course I am not fan of problems where there is only one way to solve them, like content that can be accessed only one way. And I am not also fan of lockpick ability that works as way to get extra income for the party, even if lock-pick skill is not locked only for certain classes, because I feel that is bit lazy design decision. So I don't think that PoE's skill system is best or even necessary good one, as it is is quite simplistic.

 

Stealth is most interesting of the skill, but that is because it's only active skill. Mechanics currently gives  player extra money and can save some health in maps where there are traps, but mechanics probably will become more interesting when player gets ability to laid traps. Lore gives you more information about enemies, but that itself in my opinion is not enough to make it interesting skill, but it seems to be most useful skill in conversations, but I am not fan how it seem to become skill that gives characters faster xp gain by fulfilling bestiaries faster. I don't like that main point behind athletics is to make adventure days longer by increasing time that character can travel before they get fatigue statuses. Survival makes consumables more interesting choice to use, which make it probably most interesting skill after stealth and mechanics (given that using traps is as interesting as I hope) . Of course each skill has their uses in interaction events and conversations, which can make them more interesting in full game than what they are in beta, but I think that when number of skills is as limited as it is they all should bigger role in the game and preferably active functions addition/instead of passive buffs.

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Indeed. Passive skills suck. That mush is true. But honestly I would not prefer minigames that are repetitive as well. I am not sure if it is actually possible to implement skills as active abilities in IE like design. The best solution is to use them in dialogues/CYOA style. Which then hurts the game which has only 6 skills. 


"The essence of balance is detachment. To embrace a cause, to grow fond or spiteful, is to lose one's balance, after which, no action can be trusted. Our burden is not for the dependent of spirit."

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Degenerate design is design that goes against its own idea. It is not "oh, you did something, and I don't think people should play the game like that."

 

People referencing that term as if it's just "When you think no one should ever play as a Ranger... playing a Ranger is now 'degenerate.'"

 

I'm not saying some people don't mean that by it. But, I'm sorry... if someone's going to actually argue that you simply shouldn't do something purely because they don't think you should, that's just silly and no one should give them the time of day. Even if that person's advocating the same thing I am, I'm still going to tell that person that their argument is null.

 

Also, I think the biggest problem with this discussion (and why I've seen about 73 repeat arguments/responses from every new person who joins in) is that there's an awful lot of over-shooting going on in here.

 

If someone advocates combat XP, there's nothing wrong with that. It doesn't mean "Obviously you just want a bunch of XP for killing innocent children in the streets, and also you don't want people who don't kill to ever get XP." When someone points out that killing always giving XP would mean that people who fight lots of optional fights will be way ahead of the game, they don't mean "OMG, everyone should get EXACTLY the same amount of XP, no matter what they do." Etc.

 

The truth is, nothing in the game should generate XP every single time you do it, UNLESS it's the simulationy system of actually improving that thing you're doing whenever yo do it. That's not hate for kills. That's just general design. In this XP system, there's no reason for every death you create to generate XP. Going back to overshooting, that doesn't mean that NO death you create should ever grant XP. The entire focus of this type of system is choice, as related to actual role-playing of your characters in a narrative setting. That's the very reason that quests give you XP. If you solve a problem for someone, why does that give you XP, when sometimes all you did was a lot of thinking and running around? Why does successfully convincing the magistrate of this peasant's legitimate claim to nobility somehow give you XP? Should you get XP every time you convince anyone of anything? Because the sheer act of using that skill successfully should give you XP?

 

No. It's the same with killing.

 

By design, XP and leveling just happens to be a part of the game, because it's an RPG. You could just as easily make a medieval fantasy tactical combat game with absolutely no leveling system whatsoever, and combat would just be one of the challenges you overcome in the game to progress and play the game. Then, you wouldn't get XP for ANYTHING, much less combat. And combat wouldn't be pointless.

 

So, no, just because there's XP in the game, and there's combat in the game, doesn't mean combat is useless unless it always grants you XP. XP does not legitimize combat.

 

That being said, It's perfectly fine for combat success to generate XP. Sometimes. Why it does when it does is kind of what makes an RPG an RPG, and not just a "do things and get better for no reason" game. That's what separates an actual RPG from a typical MMORPG. Why do you level up in an MMO? So that you can kill better things, and get better loot. Why do you kill better things and get better loot? So that you can level up... and so on.

 

I understand how character improvement for improvement's sake is enjoyable, but that doesn't mean some developer who's making an RPG is obligated to make sure you have the ability to do that. There are plenty of games out there that require you to actually produce some significant results with your actions before actually rewarding you with anything other than the enjoyment of gameplay itself.

 

Also, people keep saying how mind-blown they are that every-single-kill-XP would be not included in a "combat-centric" game. Well, when combat's "centric" to the game, that means that most of the stuff you're doing is going to be directly linked to combat. Meaning, even if you're not getting XP specifically for the act of combat, you're going to be getting XP for a lot more of the things you're accomplishing... things which, because of the pervasiveness of combat, are going to require combat.

 

I realize that doesn't cover purely-optional encounters, but, again, those don't inherently need to be covered with XP, any more than any other action needs to (trap-disarming, lock-picking, convincing people of things in dialogue, etc.).

 

The key here is the significance of what you're doing. There are plenty of situations in which fighting/killing and talking/sneaking/doing-anything-that-isn't-fighting-or-killing can yield significantly different results. Then, if you're deciding what gets XP and what doesn't (and how much you get) based on the results of your choices/actions, then there are plenty of opportunities for combat to produce significantly different results, and therefore significantly different XP, than some other option. And vice versa.

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Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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3. It may be fun to find most OP build, but it also may be very frustrating when build that you made don't let you to complete the game. Making sure that every build that you can come up in character creation is viable removes that risk that player finds themselves in situation where they need to rest start the game because choices that they made in character creation prevents them to completing the game or makes playing the game frustrating experience. Making are build viable don't mean that there isn't best build, but that there change that there is multiple as best builds, but that work in different roles or styles of play.

 

You know? A good way to solve that kind of problem is letting you play the game the way you want. If your build is underpowered, just grind some more experience.

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You know? A good way to solve that kind of problem is letting you play the game the way you want. If your build is underpowered, just grind some more experience.

That doesn't really help in a game with a level cap. Also, the build that IS over-powered, when it grinds some more XP, is going to remain proportionately over-powered in comparison to your bad build. Unless you somehow only allow the bad builds to grind some more XP. 8P


Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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To boil it down, if XP is awarded for the mere act of killing things, then not killing everything you come across is leaving money on the table, and a sub optimal playing style, which leads to greater development difficulties.

 

By that logic, not searching out and completing every single quest available is "leaving money on the table," as well, so what exactly is your point? Are you implying that leaving NPC's and townsfolk alive is "wasted potential" if combat xp is allowed? First of all, so what if it was, and second, how many people play that way?

 

 

Do the devs balance for characters who killed every breathing creature in the game, or do they just balance for a lower, arbitrary amount of slaughter? Fpr the former, then it is necessary to seek out all new life, and new civilizations, and spatter their blood/ichor/ooze all over in order to proceed in the game. If they choose the later, then those characters who did in fact depopulate the countryside could very well trivialize the elder game content because they are so far ahead of the learning curve. 

 

Yep, it does sound like that's what you were implying...they could just assign xp values only to hostiles, or what the devs desiginate as enemies, so if you attack an innocent townsfolk and they turn hostile, they award nothing. If you attack a citizen that was already hostile or turned hostile due to a trigger in quest or something, then xp is awarded.

 

 

It is perfectly fine to prefer to kill XP, but it is disingenuous to act like it is a simple easy thing to balance or fix.

 

Well first we would need to come to the conclusion that the mechanic is in need of balancing or fixing in the first place...as already stated, IE games have it, and I don't typically hear the arguemtn that combat xp is one of the flaws or mistakes of those games.

 

 

Obsidian decided against experience grinding because that's not the kind of progression mechanic they wanted to have in the game.

 

I haven't played the beta, but from what I've read, they didn't decide against experience grinding, they decided against combat xp in general.

Edited by H0RSE
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artastrophe's custom BG2 portraits   --   preview

 

"Maybe they can make a loot item called "combat." Then, you could collect it, and turn it in to someone for an XP reward."

- Lephys

 

 

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Another relevant example: You do know that we can't break down doors/Chests right? Do you know the reason? It is so because that would make the lockpicking skill apparently useless. Now does that even make sense to you? It doesn't to me. 

Have you ever played any RPG's before? Fantasy RPG's where you can both pick open and bash doors have either:

 

1. Absurd door strength, making mages who can summon meteor rains incapable of breaking open simple doors with their magic. Or in the case of the IE games, literally incapable, since the game only let you attack doors with physical attacks.

 

or

 

2. Doors that are not very difficult to bash open, meaning the lockpicking skill is relatively useless.

 

So sure, you can implement a bunch of skills/options. If these are useless/superfluous however, this is basically a waste of effort and development resources.

Edited by Quetzalcoatl
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The poll is nice and I've already cast my votes, as I stated in a previous reply, but what I'd REALLY like is:

 

-ALL encounters yield XP (which effectively translates to combat XP), barring quest encounters, which will reward depending on the resolution the player chooses.

 

-Quest objective XP.

 

-Nothing more.

 

Come on developers, things can be nice and simple.


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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yes, they can be simple. No more grind xp.

 

Then are you happy with having your party venturing for days without gaining any XP, while helping some villagers can advance them a level ?

 

I hate to grind and then being overpowered for the game, but I understand that some people enjoy having their game that way.

 

What *I* would like is for the game to scale quest/key encounters depending on average party lv. Some modifier-buff applied to enemies or/and bigger enemy numbers.


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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yes, they can be simple.  No more grind xp.

You are a lost cause... getting xp for combat is not grinding xp... grinding is a process the players partakes in, with a specific goal in mind. Getting xp for kills is just a mechanic. You can grind kills for xp, just as you can grind quests for xp. It ultimately comes down to the how the mechanics are implemented in the game, (whether or not it's encouraged or practical to grind in the first place) and the what the player decides to do with them.

 

Yeah, by eliminating combat xp, you can effectively remove the ability to grind kills for xp, (however practical or not) but in a combat-centric game, it also works to make one of it's core aspects, utterly boring and pointless, with little to no incentive for players to even want to participate in the first place.

Edited by H0RSE
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artastrophe's custom BG2 portraits   --   preview

 

"Maybe they can make a loot item called "combat." Then, you could collect it, and turn it in to someone for an XP reward."

- Lephys

 

 

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yes, they can be simple.  No more grind xp.

You are a lost cause... getting xp for combat is not grinding xp... grinding is a process the players partakes in, with a specific goal in mind. Getting xp for kills is just a mechanic. You can grind kills for xp, just as you can grind quests for xp. It ultimately comes down to the how the mechanics are implemented in the game, (whether or not it's encouraged or practical to grind in the first place) and the what the player decides to do with them.

 

The key is the "always" part. No one ever said "Oh man, I had to grind through that whole main narrative just to get to max level and beat the game!". Grinding is when you repetitively partake in an activity that grants some kind of useful reward for every single iteration of that activity, solely for the purpose of obtaining a constant stream of that useful reward until you've gotten "enough" of it.

 

Take out the "always," and grinding isn't even an option anymore, much less any degree of necessary.

 

If you're not directly simulating the gain of actual combat experience from every iteration of combat (aka if your XP system isn't simulating that idea across the board), then there's no reason why only objectively significant bouts of combat shouldn't grant XP. It's not about combat XP automatically being grinding. It's not about anyone being compelled to kill every single living creature on the planet, even. It's just about consistency in the XP system. If I can't go around lying to everyone in town, and gain XP for every lie I successfully tell -- only the ones that actually get me past the guards into the castle, or convince someone to not-start-a-war, etc. -- then I shouldn't get XP for putting a sword through some never-hurt-anyone wolf in the woods, just because I'd like to walk through the space where it's standing.

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Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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Lephys summed it up right, read my posts.  I never said I was against combat xp, what I am against is grind xp.  Getting xp via combat for truly useful things I am totally okay with.  Feeling the need to murder everything on the screen though, is annoying as hell.  By getting xp for everything you kill, the game is then balanced around you killing EVERYTHING.  Which means it is less efficient for you to not kill everything.  Horse, you are the one being thick about this.  I have supported boss mob xp, and I am meh about the beastiary xp.  Guess it is better than grind xp, still though.

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Lephys summed it up right, read my posts.  I never said I was against combat xp, what I am against is grind xp.

But grind xp was never even the discussion, it was combat xp, so why even bring it up?

 

Feeling the need to murder everything on the screen though, is annoying as hell.

 

And completely up to the player...

 

By getting xp for everything you kill, the game is then balanced around you killing EVERYTHING.

no, it isn't... it may be the most beneficial to do so, but it isn't "balanced" around it. Besides, I already gave a potential solution to the "kill everything" fear you keep proclaiming. I also would like to meet a person that not only killed every single body in an IE game, but also did it with the intent to grind the xp.

 

Which means it is less efficient for you to not kill everything.

Just as it would be less efficient for you to not seek out every last quest in the game, so should we not get xp for quests, since quests like kills, can also be grinded? You can argue that the player actually had to do something to get xp from the quest, but that's really not the point. What if trash mobs were a lot more difficult - would xp for kills be adequate then?

 

Maybe they should implement a mechanic that checks that the player has actually read and understood the text and objective(s) of the quest, and has a genuine interest in what unfolds, rather than just simply treating NPC's as a job board, clicking on them and checking "yes" or "no," to help eliminate the "grindyness" of quests...

 

Horse, you are the one being thick about this.

I'm really not..you are making this a bigger deal than it needs to be, largely using "what if's" and worst case scenarios for your argument. "The game grants xp for kills, thus it promotes players seeking out every last living soul and extinguishing them." But of course it does...

Edited by H0RSE
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artastrophe's custom BG2 portraits   --   preview

 

"Maybe they can make a loot item called "combat." Then, you could collect it, and turn it in to someone for an XP reward."

- Lephys

 

 

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Why not just have an initial encounter xp for the first time you fight the creature and then progressively less the more you fight that creature?

 

ie first time 60xp

    second time 30xp

    third time 15xp

  

Or alternatively you could scale the creature xp reward down, depending on the character level your at, to the relative challenge of the creature your fighting

 

ie level 1 character killing beatle worth 300xp

    level 5 character killing beatle worth 100xp

    level 10 character ~ no xp

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Tuckey, that is what beastiary XP is.

 

Horse, of course that is what it is.  From a design point if you don't think about that, the game will be too easy as the characters will be too powerful for the area.  Which happens a lot in grindxp games.  Just like money usually ends up being a meaningless thing because there is an unlimited amount of it.  Also, I would rather grind on thoughtful quests then grind on 5million beetles (everything might as well be a beetle once you over level them).  Note, I said thoughtful, which means that it isn't just about grinding on mobs.

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Also, I would rather grind on thoughtful quests then grind on 5million beetles

The thing is, when you're grinding them, those "5 million beetles" tend to be focused in a specific area and are respawning, not scattered throughout the entire map of the game...

 

What you keep venting on is "grinding" only in technicality. For all intent and purposes, the usage of the term "grinding," isn't what you keep talking about.

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artastrophe's custom BG2 portraits   --   preview

 

"Maybe they can make a loot item called "combat." Then, you could collect it, and turn it in to someone for an XP reward."

- Lephys

 

 

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Tuckey, that is what beastiary XP is.

 

No it's not. You have to kill a certain amount of a specific critter, say 5 wood beetles and you get a 'completed' bestiary page in your cyclopaedia. Once that bestiary page is completed by killing the amount required (say 5 wood beetles), you only get a one off xp reward, regardless of what level you are. And then you get no xp rewards after that for that type of beetle. And so on for other critters like a spider, troll, goblin, wyrm, etc. It's a one off xp reward for killing a certain amount and completing a bestiary page in your cyclopaedia. You don't get any xp rewards until you kill a certain amount. That to me sounds more like grinding. I'm grinding through these enemies to get that bestiary page and one off xp reward.

Edited by Hiro Protagonist II

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yes, they can be simple.  No more grind xp.

You are a lost cause... getting xp for combat is not grinding xp... grinding is a process the players partakes in, with a specific goal in mind. Getting xp for kills is just a mechanic. You can grind kills for xp, just as you can grind quests for xp. It ultimately comes down to the how the mechanics are implemented in the game, (whether or not it's encouraged or practical to grind in the first place) and the what the player decides to do with them.

 

Yeah, by eliminating combat xp, you can effectively remove the ability to grind kills for xp, (however practical or not) but in a combat-centric game, it also works to make one of it's core aspects, utterly boring and pointless, with little to no incentive for players to even want to participate in the first place.

 

 

So true. 

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Lephys summed it up right, read my posts.  I never said I was against combat xp, what I am against is grind xp.  Getting xp via combat for truly useful things I am totally okay with.  Feeling the need to murder everything on the screen though, is annoying as hell.  By getting xp for everything you kill, the game is then balanced around you killing EVERYTHING.  Which means it is less efficient for you to not kill everything.  Horse, you are the one being thick about this.  I have supported boss mob xp, and I am meh about the beastiary xp.  Guess it is better than grind xp, still though.

Only if the game is designed for you to need all that XP. If the game is designed like in BG where you got much more xp through the game so you did not need to kill everything it is OK. 

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Caladin... If his posts are serious then I question if he ever played a single IE game at all.. :no:

Edited by TrueNeutral
edited out personal attack
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From George Ziets @ http://new.spring.me/#!/user/GZiets/timeline/responses

Didn’t like the fact that I don’t get XP for combat. While this does put more emphasis on solving quests, the lack of rewards for killing creatures makes me want to avoid combat (the core activity of the game) as much as I can.

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Lephys summed it up right, read my posts.  I never said I was against combat xp, what I am against is grind xp.  Getting xp via combat for truly useful things I am totally okay with.  Feeling the need to murder everything on the screen though, is annoying as hell.  By getting xp for everything you kill, the game is then balanced around you killing EVERYTHING.  Which means it is less efficient for you to not kill everything.  Horse, you are the one being thick about this.  I have supported boss mob xp, and I am meh about the beastiary xp.  Guess it is better than grind xp, still though.

Only if the game is designed for you to need all that XP. If the game is designed like in BG where you got much more xp through the game so you did not need to kill everything it is OK. 

 

 

Actually it's not balanced for killing everything it's balanced for more "normal play"  and thus when you DO kill everything your character becomes unbalanced (OP) - this is what makes it "grinding" - ie: to achieve something not intended by the games design - exploiting a "loophole" in the design etc.


Nomadic Wayfarer of the Obsidian Order


 

Not all those that wander are lost...

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Lephys summed it up right, read my posts.  I never said I was against combat xp, what I am against is grind xp.  Getting xp via combat for truly useful things I am totally okay with.  Feeling the need to murder everything on the screen though, is annoying as hell.  By getting xp for everything you kill, the game is then balanced around you killing EVERYTHING.  Which means it is less efficient for you to not kill everything.  Horse, you are the one being thick about this.  I have supported boss mob xp, and I am meh about the beastiary xp.  Guess it is better than grind xp, still though.

Only if the game is designed for you to need all that XP. If the game is designed like in BG where you got much more xp through the game so you did not need to kill everything it is OK. 

 

 

Actually it's not balanced for killing everything it's balanced for more "normal play"  and thus when you DO kill everything your character becomes unbalanced (OP) - this is what makes it "grinding" - ie: to achieve something not intended by the games design - exploiting a "loophole" in the design etc.

 

And that is bad how? It is my choice if I do this. How does this affect you if I have a bit easier fights?

Even If I complain the game is too easy, people will just tell me to play on harder difficulty. 

 

Not to mention the system that falls apart because players are one level higher than intended is a terrible system. 

Also see the conversations we had about how BG2 added more monsters if players overleveled the fights. 

 

All together makes for a 10x better game than what you want.

 

This just reminds me of people that complained on WL2 forums about how WL2 lets you savescum and wanted the devs to implement strict rules into base game so nobody can save scum skill checks. We sent them away and told them to leave people to play as they want. I can only say the same to you. Leave us to play the game as we want and ask for a game that supports both playstyles instead.

Edited by archangel979
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Lephys summed it up right, read my posts.  I never said I was against combat xp, what I am against is grind xp.  Getting xp via combat for truly useful things I am totally okay with.  Feeling the need to murder everything on the screen though, is annoying as hell.  By getting xp for everything you kill, the game is then balanced around you killing EVERYTHING.  Which means it is less efficient for you to not kill everything.  Horse, you are the one being thick about this.  I have supported boss mob xp, and I am meh about the beastiary xp.  Guess it is better than grind xp, still though.

Only if the game is designed for you to need all that XP. If the game is designed like in BG where you got much more xp through the game so you did not need to kill everything it is OK. 

 

 

Actually it's not balanced for killing everything it's balanced for more "normal play"  and thus when you DO kill everything your character becomes unbalanced (OP) - this is what makes it "grinding" - ie: to achieve something not intended by the games design - exploiting a "loophole" in the design etc.

 

And that is bad how? It is my choice if I do this. How does this affect you if I have a bit easier fights?

Even If I complain the game is too easy, people will just tell me to play on harder difficulty. 

 

Not to mention the system that falls apart because players are one level higher than intended is a terrible system. 

Also see the conversations we had about how BG2 added more monsters if players overleveled the fights. 

 

All together makes for a 10x better game than what you want.

 

This just reminds me of people that complained on WL2 forums about how WL2 lets you savescum and wanted the devs to implement strict rules into base game so nobody can save scum skill checks. We sent them away and told them to leave people to play as they want. I can only say the same to you. Leave us to play the game as we want and ask for a game that supports both playstyles instead.

 

 

I went back and reread my post 3 times and could not find anywhere that I said this was bad or people were bad for using it or people shouldn't play as they like or the moon is made from green cheese.

 

I just posted what I see as the facts in reply to what I thought was a mistake by one of the other posters in this quote (highlighted above)...


Nomadic Wayfarer of the Obsidian Order


 

Not all those that wander are lost...

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Then make yourself more clear next time. When talk about the balance but don't continue it is automatically assumed you want balance and anything that breaks that balance is bad. 

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