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Immortalis

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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Voted 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Not sure about traps/lockpicks. Bestiary, only as long as it's a small xp bonus.

 

I'm not playing the beta, so I don't have a precise idea of how the bestiary works at this moment.

What I'd like too see it's for the bestiary entries to unlock combat bonus. You know more about the monsters, you should be able to fight them better.
And you could get poison/antidotes/potions/crafting recipes.  Extra encounters "you can now track this kind of creature...".

The bestiary page should be unlocked progressively, to allow different reward tiers.

Stuff you could need if you fight often, or fight often certain creatures, negligible if you don't.

Edited by Suen
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I've come to burn your kingdom down

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Also if there are encounters that give XP for fighting, you should probably get the same XP for resolving the conflict in a non-violent way as well.

Is there a peaceful way to defeat the spider queen? 

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The big burning question is: If you took all of them backers, 70,000+ peeps, and had them play the beta. How many would react negatively surprised at finding that there is no kill xp?

 

Even some of the critics of PoE lacking kill xp on these forums are still pretty big OE fans.

I have an eerie feeling that there are tens of thousands that instantly would be taken aback by this and complain that the gameplay in between quests feels empty and unrewarding somehow. Good thing that Josh & Co, and obviously Paradox, are already aware of this and are attempting to insert a similarly rewarding system.

 

Unfortunately, it's very strange to pick lock xp, trap xp and "kill x monsters and get xp"-bestiary fill-up to "solve" the issue of kill xp.

Like many have already emphasized in this thread: encounter xp (not just special encounter xp), and let player solve their own encounters, the way the want to, and reward them for it every time.

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*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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Is there a peaceful way to defeat the spider queen?

Don't think so. She's a really underwhelming boss as well. The first spider encounter inside the cave is tougher than her encounter.

 

Unfortunately, it's very strange to pick lock xp, trap xp and "kill x monsters and get xp"-bestiary fill-up to "solve" the issue of kill xp.

Yeah I would call this derping. I can understand the bestiary XP kinda, but not the Trap/Lock XP.

Edited by Sensuki
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Yes, finally a pretty good poll. My only quibble with it would be that "Specific Combat Scenarios" is redundant as it already falls under quest or objective XP.

 

I think that option expresses the desire that special combat encounters that you can stumble on while exploring (and choose to engage in at non-negligible risk to your party and non-negligible drain to limited resources), should be rewarded without the need to have talked to a quest-giver about it first.

 

This might help to...

  • add more excitement / feel-good-moments to travelling through areas with low quest density
  • motivate players to explore the world at their own leasure and role-playing motives, rather than being railroaded into repeating the same rigid routine of "1) talk to every single villager in town, 2) go to nearby wilderness and make a bee-line for quests points, 3) return" in every town/village you travel to

In other words, it's about mixing it up a little, adding some positive surprises, and rewarding independent-minded curiosity, not just compliance with things you're told to do by NPCs.

 

PS: The spider queen in the BB would be one possible example of such an encounter.

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

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The big burning question is: If you took all of them backers, 70,000+ peeps, and had them play the beta. How many would react negatively surprised at finding that there is no kill xp?

 

Probably a lot less than you think.

 

Outside of these forums, the only people I've seen cry over not combat XP are people who do not have access to the beta. The people, I know who played the beta didn't even realize there was no combat XP, myself included.

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Azarhal, Chanter and Keeper of Truth of the Obsidian Order of Eternity.


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What is the point of this poll?  What sources of XP are justified?  The only correct answer is all of them, because all of them can be justified as sources of exp.  I could justify my character gaining exp from brushing his teeth.  Just because something is "justified" doesn't mean your game design has to include it.  If you are going to make a poll make one that is fair and unbiased, not one that is about pushing your agenda, which seems to have backfired this time regardless.

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I'm not as aghast as some at the inclusion of trap-disarm and lock-pick XP. Obsidian are trying to solve a problem: Mitigate the drought of reward between quests. This is a real issue. I felt keenly while playing the backer beta. There are a lot of encounters, a lot of time spent away from quest givers (aka experience dispensers) with no progress to show for it.

 

A combination of exploration, trap, and lockpick XP will at least give us something for our troubles, some cookie crumbs to encourage us while we work toward the jumbo chocolate chip that is our current quest. Those little rewards sound hokey in concept, but in practice they're better than waiting to arrive to in town, collapse across the finish line, then get a massive XP chunk. That might work in pen-and-paper scenarios, where imagination and camaraderie overshadow content and reward, but it's too punitive for computer games.

 

The IE titles solved this by awarding experience for combat. Obsidian can't do this due to expectations set forth in kickstarter:

 

Avoiding combat does not lead to less experience gain. You shouldn't go up levels any slower by using your non-combat skills rather than your combat skills. We plan to reward you for your accomplishments, not for your body count. 

 

So, how do you sprinkle experience into your game without reneging on this promise? Well, what are the options? Exploration, traps, and locks are obvious choices. There are probably others as well, like crafting something you haven't made before.

 

Design is a series of tradeoffs. There is a cost to decoupling combat from experience. It doesn't come for free. You have to provide another source of incremental progress to the player. If you don't, well, you've sacrificed fun for RPG purity. Is that really worth it? Player reaction and Metacritic will answer for you.

 

We should be less concerned with what is the "right RPG thing to do", the "purest and most consistent design", and more with what will make PoE a more engaging experience. I agree that a quest-only experience system is more consistent than one which rewards the player for little things, too. But it's dry, and it's dull. I'm glad Obsidian realized this.

Edited by PrimeHydra
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Ask a fish head

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PrimeHydra: Indeed! And while I welcome hokey solutions too, even if they feel like crutches in this case, I'd still prefer that encounter xp solution, since it wouldn't require combat (cf. the quote you just cited), and it would reward all playstyles, well, except those who just loathe xp altogether, hehe. 


*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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The thing is, unless enemies are going to respawn on a timer, which they shouldn't, then ALL combat encounters should be special encounters. There's no reason to have trash mobs in a story-focused game.

 

And that's totally doable. BG1 had tons of minor quests and weird conversations and violent altercations out in the wilderness. Once you cut out the random gnolls and wolves, they actually made up most of the wilderness encounters.

 

Some wacky druids try to murder you? They should TALK to you first, and give you a chance to get out of (or into) trouble. And if you fight, they should come at you in a tactically sophisticated way. If you bump into some lions, they should be an actual pride, sneak attacking your party from above as they wander through a gorge, or whatever, such that finding easier ways through - like poisoning or distracting them, or going straight for the pride leader - is just as reasonable and XP-worthy as fighting off seven 500 lb cats.

 

So on and so forth. Get rid of trash mobs, make every encounter significant, and these problems all go away.

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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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PrimeHydra: Indeed! And while I welcome hokey solutions too, even if they feel like crutches in this case, I'd still prefer that encounter xp solution, since it wouldn't require combat (cf. the quote you just cited), and it would reward all playstyles, well, except those who just loathe xp altogether, hehe. 

I really like your per-encounter idea, Indria. I just don't know how they'd implement it successfully.

 

What constitutes sneaking past a mob? Being in stealth mode with all of them onscreen? Fair enough...you sneak past, you gain some XP. But what about on your way back? They're still there--do you now have to sneak past them again, or fight them? In a real choose-your-own-adventure, you'd slip through once and then they'd be gone. In game terms they'd disappear from the map. Otherwise you've not really brought closure to that encounter. It's a puzzle...

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Ask a fish head

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They won't answer

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gkathellar: Fantastic post, fantastic point!!! All encounters should be special enough - that's the crux and the key of it all.

 

PrimeHydra: Hmm, yeah. Well, if you sneak by all of them, they should perhaps disappear in some cases, and in others stay (but you won't get any xp for them, just some important quest item or some interesting loot.


*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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Objective only experience works ideally, but not in a game which emphasizes and often imposes combat. In the end, they should just award experience for everything, but impose an ECL system if they are worried about balance. I cannot understand why this is such a tenacious topic.

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Im gonna say first off, finally a decent poll.

Thanks.. I agree.. With this part.. not the rest.. Combat XP is obviously the best choice. :getlost:

Lol and you know what, good for you. Different strokes for different folks. Me im ok with the choices i made since i deleted exploration because tbh in my pnp games i did away with exp points in my game long ago and just have them level up at "milestones". Apparently on alot of boards for dnd and pathfinder, alot of people have done the same. And im thinking thats where Josh is getting at. From a GM and tbh i see the developers as a GM/DM sometime u have to reign ur players in or most will set boundaries at the beginning so to keep players in tune with the difficulty around them. Its seems to becoming a common practice in homegames for the "milestone" thing.

BUT seeing how i have no problem with this because of my viewpoint, i totally understand if someone does want combat or exp for unlocking/disarming. Hell its ingrained in dnd and pathfinder mechanics, just look at the core rulebooks for them. Theres nothing wrong imho for wanting that because it isnt "wrong" practice at all. And tbh i dont really care one way or the other, its just that playing without the combat exp im in a different mindset than i was with bg or other rpgs in that i didnt go looking for combat to advance, its just now it seems i dunno more natural without the inticement to stop what im doing and clear out each and every level so i can stay on par or above the current content. I dunno im liking it.

bah rants over and i need my coffee, dont mind my blathering. Just flapping my gums :-)

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@redneckdevil: In PNP, yeah, the milestone approach works great. It also works well in games with "mission" or "level" structures - but the IE style is just too open. You can't fit everything organically into missions or quests.


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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Thought I was the only guy that thought Josh's "compromise" was lame as hell... glad i'm not.

 

Voted combat (my brethren, where are you!?), quest and "objective."  Although, I should make note by objective I actually mean more along the lines of what Dead State did with it's goals system.  Which is an extremely well implemented system of awarding "xp" that makes sense within the game world context.  Not the currently listed "objective" which means to not totally suck at awarding quest xp correctly.  Anything else would've fallen into redundancy or just been way too similiar to mobas or mmos for my liking.

 

- Lock/trap is pretty obvious being as it's "degenerative" as hell when it comes to gameplay.  Locks should be unlocked with keys or lockpicking and not award you anything aside from progression.  Traps should award you with safety, the traps themselves, trap parts or some such.

 

- Exploration xp is one of those topics where I seriously question the sanity of some of you guys.  Now I realize I have a pretty good neurosis when it comes to little xp numbers hovering over my screen but you want to be awarded for just... walking around?  Regardless of how often you get it (special places and what not), it's still getting xp for basically pixel hunting.  So let me get this straight, the main feature of the game which will basically define whether it was fun or not should not be awarded for actively participating in it but instead pixel hunting *should* be awarded.  Did i miss something here?  Exploration xp should stay in WoW.  It needs to take a hike and not show it's ugly face ever again.

 

- Specific combat scenarios (ie boss fights) is covered if we just award killing things in general.

 

- Bestiary would make sense if it was tied to a decent objective xp system (like being a part of an explorer, scientific or archaeologist guild) but stinks of craptacular mmo design instead.

 

One of my biggest peeves with the game is that I can never figure out whether a fight is supposed to be difficult or not.  Sen wants the beetle encounters to be buffed.  Personally, since they award zip xp and a single beetle shell per dead beetle I want them to be able to be one-shot so I can move on to more important things.  They are the very definition of a trash encounter.  Without the xp "thermometer" to tell what should be hard and what shouldn't it leaves little desire in me to see fights be buffed to "correct" levels... whatever that may be.

 

The fact that I even typed the above when a game's difficulty directly contributes to whether I have any fun at all in it is... a little odd.

Edited by Razsius
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I voted for receiving xp from all sources in the poll. Moremoremore.

 

smiley_face_gold_star_sticker-r4070615a7

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Btw am I the only one who thinks it sucks how the forum software presents the results of this poll (and similar ones)? It shows the votes for each category as a percentage of the sum of all yes-votes cast -- which, in a poll where choosing multiple options is allowed, is pretty meaningless.

 

Instead, it should be treating each checkbox-option as a separate yes/no (checked/unchecked) question, and show the choices as a percentage of the number of poll participants. Like this:

 

3GWOj8D.png

Ineth made this great graph half a day ago, so the numbers have changed a bit. However, if you block the two upper bars with your hand, one of which, at least, is already in the game, enjoy the view of all the green, cos that literally means that people...

 

...WANT MOAR XP MOAR OFTEN AND FOR MANY MOAR REASONS!!!

Edited by IndiraLightfoot
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*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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Also if there are encounters that give XP for fighting, you should probably get the same XP for resolving the conflict in a non-violent way as well.

Is there a peaceful way to defeat the spider queen? 

 

 

I don't play the BETA and the only ironic thing in my pseudo is "Sir" but maybe you can (or the dev. can implement that or not) negotiate if you are some weird druid/clerc from some obscure cult (i am thinking about BG1 and that cave in the forests and BG2 and that cave in the catacombs). Negotiation or subjugation or charm etc.

 

Just being silly don't mind me.

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The thing is, unless enemies are going to respawn on a timer, which they shouldn't, then ALL combat encounters should be special encounters. There's no reason to have trash mobs in a story-focused game.

 

And that's totally doable. BG1 had tons of minor quests and weird conversations and violent altercations out in the wilderness. Once you cut out the random gnolls and wolves, they actually made up most of the wilderness encounters.

 

Some wacky druids try to murder you? They should TALK to you first, and give you a chance to get out of (or into) trouble. And if you fight, they should come at you in a tactically sophisticated way. If you bump into some lions, they should be an actual pride, sneak attacking your party from above as they wander through a gorge, or whatever, such that finding easier ways through - like poisoning or distracting them, or going straight for the pride leader - is just as reasonable and XP-worthy as fighting off seven 500 lb cats.

 

So on and so forth. Get rid of trash mobs, make every encounter significant, and these problems all go away.

True, except for one problem. This isn't a story focused game. It's a combat/exploration focused game. The story is the cherry on a sundae; it's sweet, but it's hardly the focus.

 

It would be cool if every encounter were special, but there's a problem. Either the encounters would need to be much more rare, or Obsidian would need a lot more funding & time to develop the game.


"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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Addition Bestiary XP can cause light change to this as I don't think that there is, at least currently, peaceful way to fill your bestiary.

 

I have an idea on this. Maybe there could be monster hunting npc's who (for a price) will tell you about a given monster. Not only would you have to find a guy for each monster, but you'd need to pay him/her money to teach you about them. 

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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.

 

I use blue text when I'm being sarcastic.

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Btw am I the only one who thinks it sucks how the forum software presents the results of this poll (and similar ones)? It shows the votes for each category as a percentage of the sum of all yes-votes cast -- which, in a poll where choosing multiple options is allowed, is pretty meaningless.

 

Instead, it should be treating each checkbox-option as a separate yes/no (checked/unchecked) question, and show the choices as a percentage of the number of poll participants. Like this:

 

3GWOj8D.png

Ineth made this great graph half a day ago, so the numbers have changed a bit. However, if you block the two upper bars with your hand, one of which, at least, is already in the game, enjoy the view of all the green, cos that literally means that people...

 

...WANT MOAR XP MOAR OFTEN AND FOR MANY MOAR REASONS!!!

Not necessarily. The poll asked us what would be justified (aka we would be ok with in having) and not what we WANT. Like me for example, i voted quest, quest sections, and special encounters/bosses. I didnt vote that way because i WANT exp for those options, i voted that way because those are the options i would be ok with IF they implemented them :) so those numbers arent necessarily what people WANT, but numbers of what people would see as being ok with.

Then again i may have gotten the nature of this poll wrong as i have been wrong many times before.

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I would argue this is one of the most unbiased polls so far.

 

Take notes.

  • "don't know / don't care (i.e. whatever the devs think is best)"

 

 

Sorry I meant to state that this poll only applied to people with a functioning brain.. Fanboys need not apply. If you wanted an option that would allow you to just be an echo chamber for whatever the devs decide.. You don't bring any meaningful discussion to this thread.

 

Just log out and wait for the game to release and you will be happy with what we convince Josh to do.

Edited by Immortalis
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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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