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Please, No Lockpick or Trap-Disarm XP!

experience xp traps lockpicking mechanics skills

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Poll: Trap and Lockpick XP Poll (116 member(s) have cast votes)

Should picking locks and disarming traps--both Mechanics skill checks--award experience points, even though no other XP pools are strictly bound to a specific skill?

  1. Yes (56 votes [48.28%])

    Percentage of vote: 48.28%

  2. No (60 votes [51.72%])

    Percentage of vote: 51.72%

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#101
Cantousent

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In terms of the XP argument, I'll leave that to stand.  I think both sides have made a good account of why they feel the way they do.  I'm against any sort of incidental XP, and other want it and want more of it.  Fair enough.

 

However, my wandering friend, you are not above the fray in this.  I respect most of your arguments, agree with some, and disagree with your conclusions.  Hey, that's why this forum exists.  We fight over the ideas behind the design.  ...But you're down here with the rest of us, getting dirty and slugging it out.  We like you better that way anyhow.


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#102
Lephys

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Give me a freaking break - it's locks and traps - they are there for you to open/disarm - they are not there for show or mood or any other reason - if the devs want to give me some experience for spending some skill points so that I can open or disarm them then I am all for it - if you're not thats fine but stop with this ridiculous off the wall reasoning that getting a few points of experience for doing so means you can't freaking roleplay.


You could give yourself a break by actually reading and fully processing what it is I'm typing before you respond. I can't stop with the reasoning that getting XP prevents you from roleplaying, since I never started with that reasoning. You misunderstand.

You've established that, if you're roleplaying, you don't care about XP, because, as a mechanic, it appeals to the human player at the computer, and not the character in the game world. Basically, your character isn't thinking "Oooh! 25XP!," or you're not roleplaying. Thus, to roleplay, you have to ignore XP rewards. So, if you have to ignore them to roleplay, and it's a roleplaying game by name, then why would the game sprinkle XP rewards all over random tasks throughout the game, if the only purpose they serve is to directly entice/reward the player and not the character?

I'm going to go ahead and pre-emptively stop the "So you're saying XP shouldn't exist?" argument that my Spidey Sense is tingling about. XP's existence isn't the problem. You can roleplay your way through a quest, for example, and gain XP for it, and your roleplaying was never at odds with the XP reward. XP represents improvement/progression in your character, as I've already stated. Improvement and progression which actually exists in-character. So, that's not an issue. But, "Hey, for every single one of these bear traps you disarm, you'll get 25xp!" in no way reinforces or supports roleplay, since your character doesn't really have a reason to disarm every single bear trap.

In other words, what is the purpose of sprinkling rewards of any kind, really, throughout a role-playing game, that have nothing to do with roleplaying? Your argument has yet to provide any actual reason for that, other than "Well maybe they feel like tossing in some XP rewards for having spent skill points." So, the reason is "because they felt like it"? That's a fantastic reason, when you're objectively designing a video game. Also, reward the player for spending skill points... as opposed to, what... not-spending those points? "Oh, you just hoarded all your points? PSSH! No XP rewards for you!"

Also, if they wanted to do that, they could just reward you for the act of spending the skill points. "For every point you put into Mechanics, you get 100XP!". That would be just as purposeful.

I make this sound so extreme because that's exactly how it looks to me - just another case of overstating a point in a an effort to "win" an internet
argument


And how it looks to me is that you're disregarding half of what others are saying, because you've already decided what their motive is -- just to win, instead of to discuss.

If you're going to decide I'm not worth responding to, then just don't respond. Responding to half of what I said, and deciding what I mean halfway through reading my post, doesn't get anyone anywhere.

#103
Karkarov

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I get you, Kar, but that cuts both ways. Don't pretend it breaks RP because you get XP, but don't pretend your only incentive is the XP and it harms you not to get it.

I am not sure you did get me.  My whole point is EXP has nothing to do with it and most people will open the locks, doors, and disarm the traps just because it is in their nature to do so.  As far as EXP goes it has nothing to do with RP.  A serious RP'er will do what fits for their character and never consider the EXP connotations, a person who only cares about maxing out their power and loot will never care about RP and will always do what rewards the most EXP and loot.

 

This is all nonsense anyway because most people assume that some large chunk of game EXP will be gated behind "illegal" activities like stealing from some innocent slob.  Fortunately past IE games show that situation was few and far between and represented a very very tiny part of the trap disarming and lock picking you did over the course of a game.  I would say less than 5% even.



#104
Cantousent

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Fair enough. I will point out that my position has never been dependent on the *amount* of XP. I will say this refarding kill vs mechanics XP: people are more likely to eschew kill XP on RP grounds than mechanics XP. Anyhow, maybe I will actually take a stab at clarifying my position: but not on a phone
lol

#105
Fearabbit

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the number of times there was a roleplaying reason to not open the lock and/or disarm the trap in any of the IE games is for the most part minimal


These are the situations that happen all the time:
1. There is a corridor full of traps. I don't need to disarm them, there's a way around it. Guess what, I find myself disarming all of them anyway.
2. There is a locked door, but the room is accessible from a different door as well (which is the non-stealthy way so there's a fight). I enter through the opened door, and after the fight I go over to the locked door and unlock it. Even though that door is useless to me now.

If you say that hasn't happened to you in IE games or other similar RPGs you're simply not telling the truth.
The situations are there, I'd even say they make up a big part of the dungeon crawling experience. I don't like them and I think there is a game design that prevents them without changing a lot, making everybody happy instead of only the people who shouldn't care either way because they open every lock and disarm every trap anyway.
I only see advantages.


@Karkarov, see above. Concerning ludo-narrative dissonance, I did say that it's *always* there. You're dismissive because you think I'm using it as a discussion ender: "this game has ludo-narrative dissonance, that's bad, I win".
Not so. All I'm saying is that it's better to try and minimize it IF (!!!) there are two equally feasible and quite similar game designs.
If one of them is slightly better in that regard that's reason enough to design the game this way, especially because I've heard no good arguments for the other option yet.

BTW don't start with the "most people" arguments. ;)

#106
Silent Winter

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the number of times there was a roleplaying reason to not open the lock and/or disarm the trap in any of the IE games is for the most part minimal


These are the situations that happen all the time:
1. There is a corridor full of traps. I don't need to disarm them, there's a way around it. Guess what, I find myself disarming all of them anyway.
2. There is a locked door, but the room is accessible from a different door as well (which is the non-stealthy way so there's a fight). I enter through the opened door, and after the fight I go over to the locked door and unlock it. Even though that door is useless to me now.

If you say that hasn't happened to you in IE games or other similar RPGs you're simply not telling the truth.

1. I do it in case I run into a fight in a minute and want to back up / get hit by confusion/horror/runaway.  That's both an RP and a gameplay reason.

2. er...no.  I'll either stealth through the locked door or go the fight way (unless going out through the locked door afterwards is a shorter route back out of the dungeon).

 

not overly bothered by lock/trap xp being present/absent either way.

Would prefer the original 'objective' (as opposed to just 'quest') system I assumed there was going to be - that would cover all manner of playstyles without requiring any given one.

 

If we're rewarding all the little actions with xp then why not just do it all like in IE games? (Kill-xp, quest-xp, lock, trap, puzzle, convo, special).


Edited by Silent Winter, 24 October 2014 - 02:48 AM.

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#107
wanderon

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the number of times there was a roleplaying reason to not open the lock and/or disarm the trap in any of the IE games is for the most part minimal


These are the situations that happen all the time:
1. There is a corridor full of traps. I don't need to disarm them, there's a way around it. Guess what, I find myself disarming all of them anyway.
2. There is a locked door, but the room is accessible from a different door as well (which is the non-stealthy way so there's a fight). I enter through the opened door, and after the fight I go over to the locked door and unlock it. Even though that door is useless to me now.

 

 

Really??  All the time?? Can you describe even 5 places in any of the IE games where this ACTUALLY occurs as opposed to generic situations where it might occur if they existed?


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#108
Fearabbit

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Really??  All the time?? Can you describe even 5 places in any of the IE games where this ACTUALLY occurs as opposed to generic situations where it might occur if they existed?

 

Come on. What is this? Do you deny now that there are traps, and that you can usually go around them? Do you deny that there are often rooms with multiple doors, where some might be locked?


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#109
Karkarov

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1. I do it in case I run into a fight in a minute and want to back up / get hit by confusion/horror/runaway.  That's both an RP and a gameplay reason.

2. er...no.  I'll either stealth through the locked door or go the fight way (unless going out through the locked door afterwards is a shorter route back out of the dungeon).

 

not overly bothered by lock/trap xp being present/absent either way.

Would prefer the original 'objective' (as opposed to just 'quest') system I assumed there was going to be - that would cover all manner of playstyles without requiring any given one.

1/2: right on, my exact thoughts as well.  Turns out in the case of #2 that is almost always true as well, it is normally the faster route out.

 

I also agree that I would rather see them go back and do real objective exp, I think that is what most people who understood the EXP goals as originally stated wanted and expected.

 

Rabbit.... no.  I am not thinking you used that as a conversation ender, I just don't like people using it at all.  Unless it is popping up in some heinous in your face cant be ignored way... such as the biggest occurrence of ludo narrative dissonance (why cant you just say "it doesn't make narrative sense") of Dexterity = action speed.



#110
wanderon

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Really??  All the time?? Can you describe even 5 places in any of the IE games where this ACTUALLY occurs as opposed to generic situations where it might occur if they existed?

 

Come on. What is this? Do you deny now that there are traps, and that you can usually go around them? Do you deny that there are often rooms with multiple doors, where some might be locked?

 

 

I thought not... :no:


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#111
CatatonicMan

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What I'm not understanding is....why traps and locks? Why is OE assigning arbitrary XP rewards to these activities and not, say, persuasion? Perception? Stealth? Hell, even kills?

 

These arbitrary XP rewards are the exact thing they were supposedly trying to avoid when making their XP system, and now they want to throw them back in? What gives?


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#112
Fearabbit

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1. I do it in case I run into a fight in a minute and want to back up / get hit by confusion/horror/runaway.  That's both an RP and a gameplay reason.

2. er...no.  I'll either stealth through the locked door or go the fight way (unless going out through the locked door afterwards is a shorter route back out of the dungeon).

1/2: right on, my exact thoughts as well.  Turns out in the case of #2 that is almost always true as well, it is normally the faster route out.

 

I also agree that I would rather see them go back and do real objective exp, I think that is what most people who understood the EXP goals as originally stated wanted and expected.

 

Rabbit.... no.  I am not thinking you used that as a conversation ender, I just don't like people using it at all.  Unless it is popping up in some heinous in your face cant be ignored way... such as the biggest occurrence of ludo narrative dissonance (why cant you just say "it doesn't make narrative sense") of Dexterity = action speed.

 

I fully agree with both of you. If there's a reason for me to disarm traps and pick locks, of course I'll do it. And I don't need an additional incentive to do it, so sticking an XP reward on it is unnecessary. And a real Objective XP system would be awesome.

I think the only game I've played that had something like it was VtM: Bloodlines. And I suspect that it would completely change the way I play an isometric RPG. Where I usually tried to clear a dungeon completely, I might not do that anymore, and stuff like that. And I'm really curious about that, which is another reason I'd hate PoE to go back to the old XP system.

 

(Concerning ludo-narrative dissonance again: I did write "it doesn't make sense for my character to do that" before, which turned into a discussion about roleplaying - not exactly what I meant. The term at least makes it clear that it's not about my personal restrictions imposed on the game because of roleplaying - it's about the narrative as it emerges from your actions within the game. If that narrative is bonkers, there's ludo-narrative dissonance. I'm sorry you don't like that term, but I think it describes the situation pretty well.)

 

 

Anyway, since we're already derailing this thread into a discussion of general XP systems again, I'd like to take the opportunity to repeat an idea someone had in another thread: There's a way to implement both systems at the same time that is still balanced and simple to do.

 

Basically, you implement kill XP, lockpicking XP and all those other small XP rewards. At the same time, the quests have lots of stages where you're awarded Objective XP. The twist is that the XP gained from killing and disarming traps and so on gets subtracted from the XP gained from quest stages.

So let's say you're in a dungeon and the next objective is "get to the final chamber and defeat the boss monster". Getting there gives you 1000 XP. But there are 10 traps in the dungeon, and you disarm them all for 15 XP each, also you kill a couple of enemies for 250 XP. That is 400 XP in total. And when you defeat the boss monster, you only get 600 for completing the objective. If you hadn't killed any enemy or disarmed any trap, you would've gotten the total 1000 XP, but all in all, you get the same amount of XP.

 

What is the advantage of such a system? For starters, it's excellent for people who don't care about questing and just want to explore the world. Short of removing Quest XP altogether, this is the perfect solution for people who want to do as few sidequests as possible.

There's also an advantage for people who like the small XP rewards in general: Sometimes, these XP rewards will be just enough to level up. Instead of having to wait until after the final boss encounter, you get your XP earlier and have an advantage over people who used stealth to get to the boss directly.

 

Personally I think this is a very good idea. It should be easy to implement too, since you don't have to worry about balancing at all.


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#113
Karkarov

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Basically, you implement kill XP, lockpicking XP and all those other small XP rewards. At the same time, the quests have lots of stages where you're awarded Objective XP. The twist is that the XP gained from killing and disarming traps and so on gets subtracted from the XP gained from quest stages.

So let's say you're in a dungeon and the next objective is "get to the final chamber and defeat the boss monster". Getting there gives you 1000 XP. But there are 10 traps in the dungeon, and you disarm them all for 15 XP each, also you kill a couple of enemies for 250 XP. That is 400 XP in total. And when you defeat the boss monster, you only get 600 for completing the objective. If you hadn't killed any enemy or disarmed any trap, you would've gotten the total 1000 XP, but all in all, you get the same amount of XP.

 

What is the advantage of such a system? For starters, it's excellent for people who don't care about questing and just want to explore the world. Short of removing Quest XP altogether, this is the perfect solution for people who want to do as few sidequests as possible.

There's also an advantage for people who like the small XP rewards in general: Sometimes, these XP rewards will be just enough to level up. Instead of having to wait until after the final boss encounter, you get your XP earlier and have an advantage over people who used stealth to get to the boss directly.

Not a bad idea but I think it would be better just to do plain old objective exp.  Bearing in mind Objective EXP could be "you entered town X" have some EXP.  You don't have to be on any particular side quest for that.  The big thing I think people keep forgetting is the whole "well what about the people who don't want to do sidequests?"

 

Short answer: Who cares?  The devs have already said the game is designed so the main plot scales and a person can only do the main plot from start to finish and complete it just fine.  So the people who don't want to do sidequests don't have to.  It was designed that way from the ground up.  That said this isn't Elder Scrolls.  You can't do the main plot without doing the quests associated with it so if you just don't want to do any quests.... this is the wrong game for you don't play it.

 

So there is no point in considering the opinions of people who don't want to do sidequests, they don't have to, there is no reason to change the game for them it already works fine.


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#114
Hassat Hunter

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Okay, the issue with the discussion here is that there's a binary "you open chests anyway, so why does it bother"...

But... take, say KOTOR2 for example... the problem is that throughout everyone assumes lockpicking is the only way to open a container. Even in IE-games that's not true.

 

Now think the KOTOR2 way... there was a choice for opening chests;

1) Invest points, and open them for all loot.

2) Save your points, but risk loot damage.

 

Seems a fair trade-off and choice right? Makes people think what to pick... RIGHT?

 

WRONG!

Since they added XP to option 1 the entire decision shifted.

1) Invest points, get all loot, earn back your points with XP anyway

2) Save your points, risk loot damage, be lower level than the person who picks 1, and much underpowered compared to them.

 

Well, there is no more choice there is there? No more decision. No more waging pro's and con's... there is one definite clear winner, one definite clear loser.

 

Now do I want them to repeat this failure with PoE? HELL NO. Picking lockpicking over just bashing should be a decision on where to put your stats, waging those pro's and con's for yourself.

Adding XP to the 1 mechanical sollution to this (lockpicking) doesn't make it a choice at all... and as can be seen, previous experiences and games have already proved this, it's not even speculation.

 

Don't hit the same stone twice, Obsidian. Don't taint valid choices by making one superior since a XP-boost is attached to them while the rest just gets the sack. That's the whole Combat-XP discussion all over again... the more meaningful choices, even in character design (maybe especially in character design), the better. This would cheapen it.

If you are faced with a minefield and your mind goes "okay, I want to avoid having enemies walk in here and die since that'll cost me XP" (If you never thought this way during KOTOR2, you lie. And that just shows how bad this addition would be. Degenerate gameplay indeed)... you as game designer FAILED. Plain and simple.


Edited by Hassat Hunter, 25 October 2014 - 10:24 PM.

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#115
Gorionsson

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I have to admit, I'm one of those crazy folks who likes to have a relatively low level adventure.  I want it to build to epic proportions.  If it starts out there or gets there too fast, it takes away some of the fun.  I mean, second or third pieces in the series are different, but every now and then it's good that a dev starts low level and keeps it there for a bit.

Agreed. I always liked the low level campaigns. Every level up feels significant.

Always get a bit jaded in epic levels. 


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#116
kloperius

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I dont understant why we cant have xp in disarm and lockpick. But if many people have that problem (and if it is so little xp ), developers could put a menu option to disable that. For me i vote yes. I like do disarm things and receive xp for that. Obsidian could even put diferent levels of dificulty in chests. More dificulty more xp award. 



#117
GilliusThunderhead

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Don't see how people can support XP for lockpicking and trap disarm but oppose XP for actually killing enemies.Bizarre.Really gimps any unique playthroughs you might want to do IE with no rogue.



#118
kloperius

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Well, i support xp for lockpicking and trap, but i wold like to see xp for combat to. i want all possibilities. 



#119
wanderon

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Don't see how people can support XP for lockpicking and trap disarm but oppose XP for actually killing enemies.Bizarre.Really gimps any unique playthroughs you might want to do IE with no rogue.

 

Only if one assumes the only way to enjoy or "beat" the game is based on how many experience points you earn.







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