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Please, No Lockpick or Trap-Disarm XP!

Trap and Lockpick XP Poll  

116 members have voted

  1. 1. 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?

    • Yes
      56
    • No
      60


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I'd say yes if this game has random encounters and unlimited XP.

 

This only leads to that you feel like you gimp yourself if you don't pick this and that

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Hopefully, someone can post this philosophy and see how lock/trap xp goes against it. I'm genuinely curious about this.

http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/61543-are-you-for-or-against-gaining-experience-points-only-for-completing-objectives/?p=1242415

 

I was really hoping someone else would post a link.  There are other things, but this is from over two years ago.  Note that the salient point regards gaming the system, which I would take to include lock/trap XP.  I'm sure someone could make the disingenuous (well... let's just call it intellectually dishonest since that's what it really is) argument that he's only talking about kill XP.  The fact is, "[g]ameplay degeneration occurs when a player engages in gameplay not because they enjoy that gameplay but because the game's mechanics put the player at a disadvantage for not taking advantage of it[.]" clearly describes a system where you go out of your way to disarm traps because the system incentivizes you to do so even in situations where you would benefit from leaving the trap in place.  It clearly describes a system where you are better off *not* finding a key before you find the locked chest because you actually get an additional award for picking the lock.  lol They should just put in an option for every chest and door saying, "would you like to pick the lock for experience or just use the key that you found on the body of a tough enemy who yielded you no XP when you killed him?"

 

Kill XP is bad because opportunities to kill will be ubiquitous.  ...But I actually have more sympathy for kill XP.  Sure, even with mine fields galore, it's doubtful that traps/locks XP will be unbalancing, so I guess the advocates have a point.  On the other hand, if the argument is that it won't yield too terribly much XP, why worry if you don't get it?  If it's significant enough for advocates to evoke strong feelings, then it is potentially unbalancing.  ...And my gut instinct is that there are fewer people clamoring for lock/trap XP than kill, so why cater to that crowd rather than the kill XP crowd?  Because the XP probably won't be significant enough to worry about, so, while it makes even less sense than kill XP, it creates less of a nuisance for the design team, so just give it as a way to shut up a minority so small it isn't even causing much of a ruckus anyhow.  All of this leads me personally to believe that the design team itself has internal debates regarding the issue.

 

 

I think they're trying to ignore the elephant in the room that is kill xp by rewarding players with other types of xp regardless if that other type is degenerative or not. There's obviously 'something' missing if the dev's are introducing other forms of xp and their original design with quest only xp hasn't achieved the desired results. The whole design right from the start has shown with trying to eliminate degenerative gameplay, the game still has degenerative gameplay including introducing new unintended types that were never in the IE games. This is not something new I'm bringing up and has been brought up before.

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Don't really care either way...could be neat for those who enjoy that sort of thing so long as it doesn't hold major XP weight... but I mainly voted yes because of the troll poll.

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I think you're woefully misguided about kill XP, Hiro, but I agree with some of your perspective.  I don't think the philosophy has failed.  I think the philosophy is sound, but that showcasing the XP system wasn't as important to the team as working through combat and the like.  The backer beta is one of those things that has a little something for everyone to hate if they're looking for it.

 

At any rate, I noticed that you were called out by name for the Tides kickstarter update.  Very nice, mon frère.  I'm hugely anticipating that title and even considering contributing a bit more to the latest update thing... the Gullet?  Something like that.  I notice that Tides doesn't have kill XP.  <.<  :Cant's guffawing and offering a beer icon:


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Remembering tarna, Phosphor, Metadigital, and Visceris.  Drink mead heartily in the halls of Valhalla, my friends!

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I know WL2 seems to be brought up a lot with clearing land mines but does it really unbalance the game for that one character if you do/don't clear them? Only one of your characters benefits from clearing mines and I haven't seen any unbalancing issues, even if you do/don't clear every mine in the game which I think would be tedious. I've found your character is neither OP or gimped in either case. The argument of unlocking something without using a key to get xp depends on how it's implemented. In WL2, you can do the same if you have a high enough skill. Did you do that in WL2 with unlocking things even though you had the key? I did check the percentage and always went with the key.

 

And with Torment, I noticed Kevin Saunders and Colin McComb pledged for a signed print so I did as well. I'm not too concerned about the xp system in Torment. It sounds like it's very light on combat and it's mostly about storytelling.

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But this does, of course, 'promote' save-scumming.

It's not really so much that it promotes save-scumming. More just that it allows it. But, something like that's more of a question of "is luck maybe overstepping its bounds, here?" Because, it's fun to have a little chance involved in the outcome of something, but it's not fun to expend literally as much effort as you can towards maximizing your chances, only to have chance step in and hit you with that .5% chance to critically jam a lock. "Oh well... guess you'll just have to finish this playthrough, then start a new one and play the 30 hours back to this point to try this door again, and HOPE that you don't get unlucky next time! 8D" So, I think that's the lesson with things like critical failures, in regards to luck's involvement in things.

 

But I think at some point the devs have to stop worrying about how the players are going to bypass certain challenges and stop worrying about 'degenerative' game play if it's something the player has to consciously choose to participate in.

I mean, the way I see it: XP for traps and locks? I don't care. Does that mean that some players will max out Mechanics and then disarm every trap and search out every lock just to get every last possible XP? Yes, it does. Who cares? It's a single player game and they're choosing to play it how they want. Same with save-scumming. Same with XP for kills. It's the player's choice to do that.

This is true. at some point, they do have to not worry about what people will do. However, to answer "who cares?" regarding lock/trap XP... the problem is simply that nothing necessitates the design to award XP for these things. The link between XP and the player is already established as "you, the player, want XP whenever you can get it." Getting XP is never a BAD thing. And, as long as it's easy, why shouldn't you get the XP? That's the problem. Unlocking a door you don't even benefit from unlocking anymore isn't fun. Accomplshing something by unlocking a door is fun. "Oh, hey! we don't have to go around! My Rogue can unlock this for us! 8D!" Or getting something from a locked chest. Etc.

 

XP, as a mechanic, is purely a benefit. There is no "Hmm... maybe I should wait and get some XP later, instead of now by easily just using a skill on this thing."

 

It's one thing when there are infinite foes out in the wilderness, and you COULD go fight infinite foes, but you don't really need to. At least, then, you have to go out of your way to do it. And you don't need infinite XP. But, locks and traps might as well just be piles of XP lying around (some of them... unless you NEED to unlock and disarm every single thing in the game for some non-XP reason, in which case... I dare say that's a very linear/problematic-in-other-ways design). At which point, your game should not freely provide benefits, then say "Well, clearly, only a psycho player would just pick up all the piles of XP he walks past. I mean, you don't HAVE to pick them up."

 

That's basically what it comes down to. If you have to go out of your way, as the player, to produce degenerative behavior, then it really shouldn't be the developer's concern. For example, the sheer ability to save the game and load the game, at any point in time, coupled with the sheer existence of meta-knowledge that is unbeknownst to the player until he plays the game at least once. If someone wants to reload, then take advantage of some "I know that THAT guy's actually a bad guy!" tidbit, and go back to NOT help him, even though at the time they thought he was a good guy, then great. That's not a problem with the design, because the design doesn't encourage you to replay an hour of the game in order to change the outcome of the present. However, if the game litters a forest with individual coins, and there's actually 1 million coins there, but you'd have to run around clicking on every single one to pick them all up... that's just silly. The design, itself, is presenting you with beneficial money, which you don't already have infinite of purely because of the design itself. AND, it's giving you a free-yet-very-unfun way of acquiring that benefit that has nothing to do with the rest of the game. The act of picking up a bunch of coins is not founded in the purpose of the game's design at all. Getting the coins for doing other things is what the game's about. Fight your way to a chest, and unlock it? Coins! Spend time and effort completing a well-designed and enjoyable quest? Coins!

 

It's all about the design. The design, without lock/trap XP, says "Hey, if something's impeding you, or you want to get at the contents of something, try unlocking it or disarming it." Then, you throw on the XP, specifically for those tasks, and the game suddenly says "Oh, hey, if for no other reason, unlock/disarm things, because FREE XP!" Because XP is never not a goal. Unlocking things and disarming a whole room full of traps (that you've already gotten through and never need to go back to) wasn't always a goal, by design. The only thing making it a goal, at that point, is the XP. So why is the XP there? For no reason at all. So why, in a game built upon everything else happening for a reason, would you grant XP for no reason at all?

 

I mean, when do you beat the game? When you play through the whole story, right? What if you just beat the game when you clicked on a barrel in the prologue? You wouldn't just say "So, some people LIKE to do that. So what?" It makes absolutely no sense, and is at odds with the design of the game. XP happens for reasons, except for sometimes. Why not just make it always happen for reasons? And if you're not going to have a reason for SOMEthing, why have a reason for ANYthing? Why not just toss XP out every time anything happens, ever?

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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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I mean, when do you beat the game? When you play through the whole story, right? What if you just beat the game when you clicked on a barrel in the prologue? You wouldn't just say "So, some people LIKE to do that. So what?" It makes absolutely no sense, and is at odds with the design of the game. XP happens for reasons, except for sometimes. Why not just make it always happen for reasons? And if you're not going to have a reason for SOMEthing, why have a reason for ANYthing? Why not just toss XP out every time anything happens, ever?

 

Oh, you mean a reason like, you just took the time to pick a challenging lock, and you became more experienced at lockpicking as a result? I'm with you. Give XP only for reasons. Like opening a challenging lock, defeating a difficult foe, or completing an important quest.


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I challenge anyone to name a single IE game where the number of locks/traps that you would NOT normally open/disarm during the course of an average play through could possibly amount to enough experience to even be relevant to anything.

 

The concept that the numbers of locks/traps normally not opened/disarmed as part of a typical game is large enough that lock/trap XP will force people into degenerative gameplay  to open/disarm them is ludicrous.

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Same goes for Combat XP. Saying that all combat offers Xp == People killing everyone is qually over the top and idiotic. Just because some OCD devs play like that they think everyone else does. 


"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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I challenge anyone to name a single IE game where the number of locks/traps that you would NOT normally open/disarm during the course of an average play through could possibly amount to enough experience to even be relevant to anything.

 

The concept that the numbers of locks/traps normally not opened/disarmed as part of a typical game is large enough that lock/trap XP will force people into degenerative gameplay  to open/disarm them is ludicrous.

 

I think that's because in the IE games that's always your best option of opening a door. You can bash some locks though, but why would you when you can pick the lock for XP ?

 

In PE there will be (and is) more than one way to get around obstacles such as locked doors, but if you are (only) rewarded XP for picking locks, disarming traps - then why would you do anything else if you can get the XP for it ? And if you do want to take the other option, such as bashing the door, or going the alternate route, people will double back and pick the lock/disarm the trap for the XP.

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...troll poll.

That's uncalled for.

 

The poll is biased (I admitted as much), but I don't think I was antagonizing anyone.

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I think that's because in the IE games that's always your best option of opening a door. You can bash some locks though, but why would you when you can pick the lock for XP ?

 

In PE there will be (and is) more than one way to get around obstacles such as locked doors, but if you are (only) rewarded XP for picking locks, disarming traps - then why would you do anything else if you can get the XP for it ? And if you do want to take the other option, such as bashing the door, or going the alternate route, people will double back and pick the lock/disarm the trap for the XP.

In all fairness you realize how easy it is to simply change the reward to be EXP for entering the room by whatever means, or getting the loot from the chest regardless of how you opened it, or even disabling the trap no matter how the disabling was done.

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Yep, and that's the very thing I suggested when they first announced the change.

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If I get XP for disabling a trap, even though I spotted it and can simply walk around it without negative consequences, then that's a flawed design. The game would be rewarding me for wasting my time, and even worse: for breaking my own suspension of disbelief, for stepping out of my personal narrative.
There's also the argument about degenerative gameplay, of course, but for me the narrative issue is more problematic. My characters see a trap, and they can avoid it. There's no reason for them to be disarming it. Hell, in some situations you even want the trap to stay there, because you know there might still be enemies around.

Of course the counter-argument is the same as with anything that suffers from so-called degenerative gameplay - "so don't do it". But that argument can be turned around to "so just do it anyway" if there ISN'T a reward for disarming traps. (The arguments are completely interchangable with the ones regarding Combat XP.)
The only reasonable basis for any discussion is the assumption that the majority of players will follow the basic reward system to some degree. In that case, I think the rewards shouldn't oppose the goals and motives of the player, because nothing is gained from it. It only serves to frustrate people who don't want to miss out on XP and yet gain no pleasure from performing the unnecessary actions required to get the XP.
(Of course, I'm not saying that disarming traps or fighting enemies are actions that are annoying in and of themselves. But thinking "oh I'm missing out on XP right now because I didn't disarm that trap back there... sigh, better go back", that's the annoying part.)

 

Oh, and in sort-of response to what Karkarov said: why should you even get XP for opening the chest? The contents of the chest should be the reward for opening it, don't you think?

Edited by Fearabbit
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...troll poll.

That's uncalled for.

 

The poll is biased (I admitted as much), but I don't think I was antagonizing anyone.

 

 

Fair enough...Meant nothing personally against yourself...just the poll...the troll poll heh  

 

I hereby take it back and officially apologize while restating it as "biased poll".

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Fair enough...Meant nothing personally against yourself...just the poll...the troll poll heh  

 

I hereby take it back and officially apologize while restating it as "biased poll".

 

So you do it again, then offer a sarcastic apology. Nice!

Edited by PrimeHydra

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I challenge anyone to name a single IE game where the number of locks/traps that you would NOT normally open/disarm during the course of an average play through could possibly amount to enough experience to even be relevant to anything.

 

The concept that the numbers of locks/traps normally not opened/disarmed as part of a typical game is large enough that lock/trap XP will force people into degenerative gameplay  to open/disarm them is ludicrous.

I think this is really the crux of the matter.  It doesn't make any difference how much XP is awarded and this post shows it.  You don't think that the amount of XP awarded for picking locks is game breaking.  Neither. Do. I.  It would be worse if the amount of XP awarded for picking lock amounted to two or three levels difference, but that's not the problem.  The fact that some folks are fighting tooth and nail for something that they themselves don't believe is a significant XP gain makes the case against it in the first place.

 

Rewards are psychological.  It doesn't matter if they're large or minor.  It really doesn't matter if a reward is trivial.  A trivial reward for an action will incentivize people to do it.  Sure, a larger reward will be a greater incentive, but the incentive is still there.  ...And it's not a matter of the player, either.  Any rational player will automatically be incentivized to receive rewards.  He will always balance the effort against the reward, which makes picking the lock always the preferable action unless there is a significant drawback to taking it.  Even trivial rewards can be huge incentives, and nothing exemplifies that more than the desire for lock picking XP expressed by people who admit that the reward itself is almost so trivial that it would be insignificant.

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Join the revelry at the Obsidian Plays channel:
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Remembering tarna, Phosphor, Metadigital, and Visceris.  Drink mead heartily in the halls of Valhalla, my friends!

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I'm comfortable with lockpicking and trap disarming awarding experience points.  Perhaps it could be limited to locks picked/traps disarmed that are directly related to completing a quest? 

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I voted NO. Also i believe Josh was of the mind of just throwing ideas out, not actual serious ideas of "this is what we ARE gonna implement".

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Seriously, who gives a **** if you get those 10-40 xp for each lock and trap or not? I doesn't make a ****en difference!

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I agree, so why bother putting them in the design?

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Fionavar's Holliday Wishes to all members of our online community:  Happy Holidays

 

Join the revelry at the Obsidian Plays channel:
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Remembering tarna, Phosphor, Metadigital, and Visceris.  Drink mead heartily in the halls of Valhalla, my friends!

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I agree, so why bother putting them in the design?

 

Why bother leaving them out? :p

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Nomadic Wayfarer of the Obsidian Order


 

Not all those that wander are lost...

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Doesn't matter, too many people seem to be worried about how other people play.

 

SP game and there is no need for this over balancing nonsense.  I honestly believe their original XP design was because of time constraints more than anything else. This game could end up with BG style kill, lock, etc type of EXP. 

 

Watch the other games OE puts out and you're crazy if you think kill/other XP isn't coming back in the Pathfinder games or otherwise...I don't believe this whole idea that its their XP philosophy...time was more of the issue as it is easier to just place XP in zones than individual monsters.

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