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How to fix combat? It's still the big offender in the BB.

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So, I don't own the beta, but watching that vid what I notice is

 

1) Why, for the love of god, pause THAT much? Why is that person selecting a NPC, using an action, unpauses and then immediately pauses. Why not order everyone around, then unpause? Many teammembers where twiddling their thumbs during that battle for no reason than pause was used for 1, at  tops 2 of the teammates rather than all. What's that about? Is everyone doing that?

2) Kiting. OMG, that was so bad. I assume that's because of the no-engagement mod? That really should not be in the final game, really.

 

Personally the biggest issue I see was with that persons pausing behavior, and lack of doing teamwide efforts, deciding to let some go to waste on the side... and that can hardly be blamed on the game. Maybe I vary my opinion playing, but that's what I got from the vid...

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I agree that that is such a stupid idiotic pathetic garbage hateful retarded scumbag evil satanic nazi like term ever created. At least top 5.

 

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Removing AoOs would take away the tactical part of moving around outside of time economy. As in, the shortest path to your target might not be the best one in all cases.

No it doesn't. AoO is a mechanic that was ported over from turn-based. It exists to prevent trap situations where the person who moves first loses - essentially, if you spend all your movement points on a turn to move up to an enemy, you then have to wait until the next turn to make an attack. However if that unit acted after you, they can simply just move away and the character that moved first loses.

 

I'm not really sure why turn-based designers didn't just split AP into action points and movement points to fix this (something which Underrail FINALLY did), but anyway.

 

In Real-time with pause (or just real time), if you move up to an enemy, they can attack you as soon as you do it, because units act simultaneously in real time.

 

2) Kiting. OMG, that was so bad. I assume that's because of the no-engagement mod? That really should not be in the final game, really.

You can still do that in the normal game, it's because the Enemy AI doesn't change targets when a unit moves away. If the enemy intelligently changes targets then kiting is way harder.

 

Personally the biggest issue I see was with that persons pausing behavior, and lack of doing teamwide efforts, deciding to let some go to waste on the side... and that can hardly be blamed on the game. Maybe I vary my opinion playing, but that's what I got from the vid...

Cubiq has an odd play style ;) I haven't recorded any videos with Engagement off yet, but I plan to.

Edited by Sensuki

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Now this is what I agree with.

AoO is a mechanic that was ported over from turn-based. It exists to prevent trap situations where the person who moves first loses - essentially, if you spend all your movement points on a turn to move up to an enemy, you then have to wait until the next turn to make an attack. However if that unit acted after you, they can simply just move away and the character that moved first loses.


I'm not really sure why turn-based designers didn't just split AP into action points and movement points to fix this (something which Underrail FINALLY did), but anyway.
 
In Real-time with pause (or just real time), if you move up to an enemy, they can attack you as soon as you do it, because units act simultaneously in real time.

 

 

This is what I do not agree with:

 

No it doesn't.

 

 

 

Yes, AoOs were carreid over from TB and thus do not fit very well within RTwP. But at the same time they fulfil the role of enabling tactical movement / positioning. I welcome you to suggest an alternative that is not agro based mechanics / "sticky" engagement and we shall see.

Edited by Captain Shrek

"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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AoOs remove/trivialize tactical movement and positioning in real-time combat. Once you enter melee, it's usually a bad idea to exit from it until there are no more melee opponents. It's not too bad in D&D 4E because of all the different push clauses in unit powers. I played in a 4E game this year and I regularly used some Druid powers to push enemies away from my friends so that they could use potions, or retreat without suffering AoOs.

 

That kind of gameplay is not "IE-style" though, and PE clearly has not been designed with pushes/slides etc in mind. It's also not turn-based.

 

Tactical movement in combat in any RTS-style game (and thus IE style game) is stuff like retreating low health units to the back for a heal, changing targets in the middle of combat, moving your characters to intercept an enemy chasing one of your characters. You can't really perform this kind of stuff in Pillars of Eternity at the moment if that character is engaged in combat by multiple enemies, you will die from disengagement attacks.

 

The most important thing is the enemy AI targeting clauses. Players need ways for their melee characters to snag enemies in combat. The IE games already had this pretty much perfect. We don't need disengagement attacks.

Edited by Sensuki

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Players need ways for their melee characters to snag enemies in combat. The IE games already had this pretty much perfect. We don't need disengagement attacks.

 

Yes we do, no they didn't, and yes we do.

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That kind of gameplay is not "IE-style" though, and PE clearly has not been designed with pushes/slides etc in mind. It's also not turn-based.

 

I think it should be pointed out very clearly in fore front that PoE combat has little to do with IE games. I have a feeling that it was never meant to be like them. So this is really not an argument.

 

 

Tactical movement in combat in any RTS-style game (and thus IE style game) is stuff like retreating low health units to the back for a heal, changing targets in the middle of combat, moving your characters to intercept an enemy chasing one of your characters. You can't really perform this kind of stuff in Pillars of Eternity at the moment if that character is engaged in combat by multiple enemies, you will die from disengagement attacks.

 

The most important thing is the enemy AI targeting clauses. Players need ways for their melee characters to snag enemies in combat. The IE games already had this pretty much perfect. We don't need disengagement attacks.

 

 

That is like your opinion man. You have this strange fixation that IE games are RTS games. They are not. The only similarity is the view and real time-ness. And that ends there. So maybe in your imaginary world they play like RTS games, for most of us they do not. RPGs are move involved and way more complex per unit that RTS games. So this kind of mass action thing is only a general principle in them than being some kind of specific universal strategy. I am of the view that IE games / RT RPG games should try to build on then instead of becoming RTS like.

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"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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No they didn't

That's a load of bull. Give me a situation or encounter where you think it didn't work - and I'll make you videos showing that it does. I have an entire Icewind Dale playthrough that showcases me completely manipulating the Icewind Dale AI in every encounter. I'm quite happy to play BG1 as that's pretty easy to get through and I've got a ToB install with a save in Saradush - so I can do anything in the Sendai Enclave or Abazigal's Lair easily enough.

 

That is like your opinion man. You have this strange fixation that IE games are RTS games. They are not. The only similarity is the view and real time-ness. And that ends there.

The Infinity Engine IS an RTS engine, and BioWare were devloping an RTS called Battleground Infinity before Feargus Urquhart suggested they use the engine for Baldur's Gate 1. The combat plays like RTS combat. The RPG parts are the to-hit systems and the character advancement.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infinity_Engine

 

It was originally developed by BioWare for a prototype RTS game codenamed Battleground Infinity, which was ultimately re-engineered to become the first installment of the Baldur's Gate series

Pillars of Eternity is supposed to play like an Infinity Engine game, I am not promoting that it does any differently. IIRC you prefer the NWN games to the IE games Captain Shrek.

Edited by Sensuki
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So, I don't own the beta, but watching that vid what I notice is

 

1) Why, for the love of god, pause THAT much? Why is that person selecting a NPC, using an action, unpauses and then immediately pauses. Why not order everyone around, then unpause? Many teammembers where twiddling their thumbs during that battle for no reason than pause was used for 1, at tops 2 of the teammates rather than all. What's that about? Is everyone doing that?

2) Kiting. OMG, that was so bad. I assume that's because of the no-engagement mod? That really should not be in the final game, really.

 

Personally the biggest issue I see was with that persons pausing behavior, and lack of doing teamwide efforts, deciding to let some go to waste on the side... and that can hardly be blamed on the game. Maybe I vary my opinion playing, but that's what I got from the vid...

*sigh* There's always a clueless smarass.

First of all i was intentionally prolonging the fight as much as possible. Because the whole point of the video was to cplump as much of the fight in to it as possible.

The point was exactly to show the use of some kiting where you can quicly prolonge getting killed by moving around a bit until you get healed.

I was also trying to capture on videos where they can use cc to prevent you from running away.

I got plenty of videos where you can kill the enemy in seconds if you use correct spells like the Warding Seal, but that's not the point of the video.

Second of all why i was pausing so much is because there is a monk that can 2 shot you in 2 seconds, and i still don't know why and when he can do that. Along with the rogue that can sneak attack crit you for 64 damage. If you screw up in rolls you can die in a second.

Edited by Cubiq

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I did specifically request Cubiq to help me demonstrate the mod as he seems interested in having Melee Engagement removed too. I plan to do some myself eventually.

Edited by Sensuki

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The Infinity Engine IS an RTS engine, and BioWare were devloping an RTS called Battleground Infinity before Feargus Urquhart suggested they use the engine for Baldur's Gate 1. The combat plays like RTS combat. The RPG parts are the to-hit systems and the character advancement.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infinity_Engine

 

 

 

 

Yeah. You pointed it out to me already. But the thing is that is only concerned with general display and render. It does not have to mean that the MECHANICS (which is at discussion here) is RTS-like.

 

 

Pillars of Eternity is supposed to play like an Infinity Engine game, I am not promoting that it does any differently. IIRC you prefer the NWN games to the IE games Captain Shrek.

 

 

Actually it says nowhere that it is supposed to PLAY like an IE game. What is says *paraphrase* that it will borrow from the dungeon delving of IWDs. Now why would any one think that is a good idea I am not sure.

 

As for NWN/2: Yeah, I prefer the mechanics as implemented in NWN/2 for the characted development. It is much much better than the 2E for IE games. NWN had a terrific advantage that it was a single char game. Which made it ideal for RTwP with D&D mechanics as far as I can tell. It's just that its OC was utter crap and the expansions were slightly better. NWN2 was yet again a huge improvement in terms of UI and character creation than NWN. Again its core gameplay was best suited for a single char design, which really shows itself in the relevent modules.

 

I do not dislike IE games. But I do not also feel that they were mechanically perfect.


"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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While I'm not happy with the current feel of combat, I'm still hopeful for the engagement mechanic to show it's worth. Right now the problem is that it isn't balanced to reward tactical play. If the movement speed of the enemies was slower and there were options for dealing with engagement, it might be possible to make a tactical retreat a viable option and that would open up many tactical possibilities. I still don't think it should be too easy to just run away from melee, but right now it's usually completely undoable.


And yes, I know my profile picture is blasphemy on this forum, but I didn't have the audacity to use The Nameless One.

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Actually it says nowhere that it is supposed to PLAY like an IE game. What is says *paraphrase* that it will borrow from the dungeon delving of IWDs. Now why would any one think that is a good idea I am not sure.

People are complaining in this thread that combat feels nothing like the Infinity Engine games. One of those reasons is due to Melee Engagement.

 

It does not have to mean that the MECHANICS (which is at discussion here) is RTS-like.

RPGs borrow mechanics from other genres, not the other way around. What's unique to RPGs is usually character advancement. We are not talking about character advancement here we are talking about systems. I came to Baldur's Gate from games like Warcraft 2 and Age of Empires 2 and I felt right at home. Units in the IE games control exactly like an RTS game, moving units around in Icewind Dale feels not too dissimilar from playing the Warcraft 3 single player campaign except that the IE games are a left-click game, not a right-click game.

 

AoO's might be an RPG-thing, but it's a turn-based RPG thing and most people (although no doubt not you because you prefer the NWN games) think that AoOs are bad in real-time.

 

It might be possible to make a tactical retreat a viable option and that would open up many tactical possibilities. I still don't think it should be too easy to just run away from melee, but right now it's usually completely undoable.

No, you need to make a tactical retreat when your units are in melee and have taken damage. The moment you move at all in melee combat, you suffer an instant disengagement attack that has no animation. Therefore it's usually a bad tactical decision to move at all, once in melee.

Edited by Sensuki
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Assumption:

Tactics should depend on how clever you are at planning them, not on how skillfull you can micromanage.

 

Proposition:

A disengagement attack that does not reengage you lets you do all the stuff you could do without it, only without being a no-brainer as there is now a cost associated with it.

 

Question:

How does increasing the complexity of a system (without stripping options) make decision-making less tactical?

 

Corollary:

Removing the engagement system makes the game easier, as there is less planning involved.

 

Challenge:

Design a mechanic around holding the lines that is not dependent on having crowdcontrolling spells or aggro mechanics, such that frontline classes are actual somehow selfreliant.

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Right on Doppel there is nothing wrong with engagement, it just needs some fine tuning.  You take away engagement and "tanks" are nothing but DPS characters who suck because their damage is poor.

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Assumption:

Tactics should depend on how clever you are at planning them, not on how skillfull you can micromanage.

Incorrect. Strategy is 'how clever you are at planning'. Tactics is what you do in the moment - your reactions to in game events.

 

Proposition:

A disengagement attack that does not reengage you lets you do all the stuff you could do without it, only without being a no-brainer as there is now a cost associated with it.

Wrong. Generally the reason for wanting to disengage combat is because you are on low health, and if you stay in melee, you will die. Disengagement attacks make it almost certain that any attmept to disengage will kill you.

 

Question:

How does increasing the complexity of a system (without stripping options) make decision-making less tactical?

By removing options from tactical gameplay, and making it revolve solely around strategy (the decisions you made that determined your initial movements)

 

Corollary:

Removing the engagement system makes the game easier, as there is less planning involved.

No, it does not change the amount of planning involved. The amount of planning is the same. It gives the player an extra layer of tactical options to consider, rather than restricting them. It might make the game easier for the player, but that difficulty can be compensated for elsewhere.

 

Challenge:

Design a mechanic around holding the lines that is not dependent on having crowdcontrolling spells or aggro mechanics, such that frontline classes are actual somehow selfreliant.

Not needed - you just move your characters. Like I said, for the player all that is required is for the AI to have the right targeting clauses.

 

Many RPG players are "lazy" and/or do not like tactics that requires them to micromanage and would prefer more emphasis on strategy and planning.

 

The game does not need an aggro mechanic.

 

Right on Doppel there is nothing wrong with engagement, it just needs some fine tuning.  You take away engagement and "tanks" are nothing but DPS characters who suck because their damage is poor.

You are kidding right? Tanks exist to soak up damage. Party tanks can snag enemy AI by running to intercept them just like you do now. This gameplay element does not change whether disengagement attacks exist or not. An enemy tank is a melee character. Enemy tanks will have simple AI, they will most likely attack the closest unit/unit that targets them first as per the current attack clauses.

 

Have you seen my recent Sensuki vs Medreth videos? What do I do? I send my BB Fighter in first to take aggro. He does not take aggro because of the Melee Engagement system, the takes aggro because I ordered him to go in first and he is the closest unit to the enemy mob when combat begins - that is how you get your party members to take aggro. However the BB Fighter will not benefit from Engaging enemies, because none of the enemies will disengage.

Edited by Sensuki
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No, you need to make a tactical retreat when your units are in melee and have taken damage. The moment you move at all in melee combat, you suffer an instant disengagement attack that has no animation. 

 

Which can be addressed by adjusting how engagement/disengagement works. For example, add a zone of control around the toon, determined by weapon reach and visible in the UI, within which you can move without provoking a disengagement attack. 

 

You're throwing out the baby with the bath water here, Sensuki. 

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I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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No, you need to make a tactical retreat when your units are in melee and have taken damage. The moment you move at all in melee combat, you suffer an instant disengagement attack that has no animation. 

 

Which can be addressed by adjusting how engagement/disengagement works. For example, add a zone of control around the toon, determined by weapon reach and visible in the UI, within which you can move without provoking a disengagement attack. 

 

You're throwing out the baby with the bath water here, Sensuki. 

 

I don't get this idea. So you are saying that there is a zone around the engaging char that is immune to disengagement?? Isn't that totally counter-intuitive? 


"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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It might be possible to make a tactical retreat a viable option and that would open up many tactical possibilities. I still don't think it should be too easy to just run away from melee, but right now it's usually completely undoable.

No, you need to make a tactical retreat when your units are in melee and have taken damage. The moment you move at all in melee combat, you suffer an instant disengagement attack that has no animation. Therefore it's usually a bad tactical decision to move at all, once in melee.

 

Well, that is my point. Controlled withdrawal should be a reasonable option, but right now it isn't. I still don't want it to be too easy, but it should be a viable option. The rogue already has an ability that let's it escape engagement without attacks, perhaps other such abilities or other tactical options could make engagement a worthwhile consideration instead of a tactical dead-end.


And yes, I know my profile picture is blasphemy on this forum, but I didn't have the audacity to use The Nameless One.

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Which can be addressed by adjusting how engagement/disengagement works. For example, add a zone of control around the toon, determined by weapon reach and visible in the UI, within which you can move without provoking a disengagement attack. 

 

You're throwing out the baby with the bath water here, Sensuki.

No I'm not. The idea is to retreat from the front line away from your attackers, not two metres back so they can still hit you. Like you can in the IE games.

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Which can be addressed by adjusting how engagement/disengagement works. For example, add a zone of control around the toon, determined by weapon reach and visible in the UI, within which you can move without provoking a disengagement attack. 

 

You're throwing out the baby with the bath water here, Sensuki.

No I'm not. The idea is to retreat from the front line away from your attackers, not two metres back so they can still hit you. Like you can in the IE games.

 

But that extra space might let you use another character to step in and force the enemy to let the retreating character retreat or give room to any other tactical options that would let you achieve your aim of letting that character to escape melee. But that will only apply if there are some tactical tools to use in such a situation. But just letting characters just walk away from an attacking enemy without any repercussions or consideration surely isn't the only possible way to achieve viable tactical withdrawals?


And yes, I know my profile picture is blasphemy on this forum, but I didn't have the audacity to use The Nameless One.

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Right on Doppel there is nothing wrong with engagement, it just needs some fine tuning.  You take away engagement and "tanks" are nothing but DPS characters who suck because their damage is poor.

You are kidding right? Tanks exist to soak up damage. Party tanks can snag enemy AI by running to intercept them just like you do now. This gameplay element does not change whether disengagement attacks exist or not. An enemy tank is a melee character. Enemy tanks will have simple AI, they will most likely attack the closest unit/unit that targets them first as per the current attack clauses.

 

Have you seen my recent Sensuki vs Medreth videos? What do I do? I send my BB Fighter in first to take aggro. He does not take aggro because of the Melee Engagement system, the takes aggro because I ordered him to go in first and he is the closest unit to the enemy mob when combat begins - that is how you get your party members to take aggro. However the BB Fighter will not benefit from Engaging enemies, because none of the enemies will disengage.

You are assuming that is a side effect of bad AI and not engagement.  I have seen enemies plenty of times just run right by my "tanks" and ignore them.

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How close ? And to properly manipulate the AI targeting, you attack the unit that is not going to attack you to change their AI Targeting clause (that's how you can snag enemies in PE at the moment)

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Assumption:

Tactics should depend on how clever you are at planning them, not on how skillfull you can micromanage.

Incorrect. Strategy is 'how clever you are at planning'. Tactics is what you do in the moment - your reactions to in game events.

 

Granted, I worded my post in a bad way. I know the difference between tactics and strategy, I meant to plan what you want to do on the go, which is tactics. I thought it was clear from context, but what I meant to say was:

 

Tactics should depend on how good you are at making proper decisions, not on how skillfull you are to carry them out.

 

Also, for the rest of my post, pls tread 'planing' as 'proper decision making during fights'.

 

 

 

Proposition:

A disengagement attack that does not reengage you lets you do all the stuff you could do without it, only without being a no-brainer as there is now a cost associated with it.

Wrong. Generally the reason for wanting to disengage combat is because you are on low health, and if you stay in melee, you will die. Disengagement attacks make it almost certain that any attmept to disengage will kill you.

 

 

So, whats the issue here? I'm not arguing that the disengagement attacks are not badly balanced at the moment. If the attacks are properly balanced, it's just a matter of when you disengage. You can estimate how many attacks your character can endure and disengage early enough that the disengagement attack does not kill you, then engage the attacker with one of your other characters for a safe retreat, heal up and head back in. If you plan around the attack and the attack is properly balanced, you still have all the options you had before.

 

 

Question:

How does increasing the complexity of a system (without stripping options) make decision-making less tactical?

By removing options from tactical gameplay, and making it revolve solely around strategy (the decisions you made that determined your initial movements)

 

 

Again, I think this point is moot. The tactics are still available, only harder to pull off.

 

 

Corollary:

Removing the engagement system makes the game easier, as there is less planning involved.

No, it does not change the amount of planning involved. The amount of planning is the same. It gives the player an extra layer of tactical options to consider, rather than restricting them. It might make the game easier for the player, but that difficulty can be compensated for elsewhere.

 

 

Again, I don't see where the options go missing.

 

 

Challenge:

Design a mechanic around holding the lines that is not dependent on having crowdcontrolling spells or aggro mechanics, such that frontline classes are actual somehow selfreliant.

Not needed - you just move your characters. Like I said, for the player all that is required is for the AI to have the right targeting clauses.

 

Many RPG players are "lazy" and/or do not like tactics that requires them to micromanage and would prefer more emphasis on strategy and planning.

 

The game does not need an aggro mechanic.

 

I agree that there should be no aggro mechanic. Still, abusing proper attacking clauses seems like some kind of metagaming trick. And I argue that there will never be clauses that make for actual clever tactical decisions on the enemies part which you can't abuse.

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Tactics should depend on how good you are at making proper decisions, not on how skillfull you are to carry them out.

How does moving a character away from melee when they are damaged imply "skillful to carry out" ? You pause the game, you select your character that is injured, you click the ground away from combat .... it's not rocket science.

 

So, whats the issue here? I'm not arguing that the disengagement attacks are not badly balanced at the moment. If the attacks are properly balanced, it's just a matter of when you disengage. You can estimate how many attacks your character can endure and disengage early enough that the disengagement attack does not kill you, then engage the attacker with one of your other characters for a safe retreat, heal up and head back in. If you plan around the attack and the attack is properly balanced, you still have all the options you had before.

No, because moving away gives the character a free attack independent of recovery time. Even in the IE games when damage was pretty well balanced, you keep your characters at the front line until they are in danger, because their job is to tank the damage/keep the units attacking them occupied while your other units do other things. Even if disengagement attacks didn't do huge damage, the fact that they exist makes moving away from melee combat against multiple opponents a non-choice - move away and suffer a serious blow to your character's tactical (Endurance) and Strategical (Health) resources AT NO REAL TIME COST TO THE ENEMY, or stand still and take it.

 

Again, I think this point is moot. The tactics are still available, only harder to pull off.

It's not harder to pull off, it's easy to pull off, it's just a bad choice.

 

Again, I don't see where the options go missing.

Refer to above.

 

I agree that there should be no aggro mechanic. Still, abusing proper attacking clauses seems like some kind of metagaming trick.

Are you serious? This is how you beat AI in every single game, you learn their patterns and exploit it. This is also how you beat people at things too. Learn their weaknesses and exploit them.

 

And I argue that there will never be clauses that make for actual clever tactical decisions on the enemies part which you can't abuse.

No there won't be. So what? Difficulty does not need to be achieved by adding in un-fun mechanics to hurt/restrict the player because the AI is not a human. Encounter design can bridge the gap.

Edited by Sensuki

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