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Experience from combat or not - an immersion perspective


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I personally think experience from combat is bad because if you dont get experience from combat, the main reward from combat is cut off and combat becomes something you just have to wade through - which it is supposed to be. Even if its that - its stil going to be fun, because once you are done with the combat, you can proceed to do quests and so on, which give deeper reward to the player if they give experience to the players characters. Actually doing the combat itself would obviously still be alot of fun if the combat system is good. This feels much more authentic. If you were an explorer in a pseudomedieval low-fantasy world - you would not go like, hell yeah being on the 10 halforcs I can see marching towards us - I am gonna gain some damn good experience from this. From a common sense viewpoint, seeking out combat by itself simply doesnt make sense, unless there is a very clear extraneous motive (such as killing a big evil thing to end its reign on the people or achieving the purpose of a quest or even earning money in the arena or whatnot), but gaining experience from purely slaughtering things in games like the infinity engine games always in my mind at least brings on a mindless motive to go through combat - which is represented by the rewarding of experience for it. I repeat that this would not make combat less fun in my view, simply it would make combat a more different aspect of the game compared to experience rewarded activities and increase the immersion.

 

Quests are like helping good beings or standing out for a good cause whereas combat is overcoming those who would harm you or other good beings. So quests are doing good in a direct way and combat is inhibiting bad which is kind of doing good in an indirect way, but not really. So based on this it makes sense that you are most of all rewarded for actually directly doing good, not for killing your enemies no matter how bad they are. (If you play an evil character this is simply slightly altered, as evil is kind of an ego form of doing good - not really good at all, but it is "good" in a way from the evil persons perspective)

 

So direct and simple and visible gaining of experience from combat kills alot of the immersion from my perspective.

Edited by Sheikh
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I like quest only xp but I think the bestiary xp is a pretty good compromise and it doesn't break immersion because the more you learn about a creature the better you are at killing them.

Of course the same could be said of plain old kill xp since the more you fight the better you are at fighting but I think that quest only xp promotes different solutions to those same quests since it may be better for you to only kill some of the enemies some of the time conserving resources(spells, potions etc.).

 

An example would be Fallout New Vegas where I would routinely sneak around hostile compounds like caves or buildings and where instead of just sneaking past enemies I would always take them out for the xp. If xp was out of the picture I would only kill those that were at choke points or those that were wearing armour that I wanted to conserve ammo and other resources.

 

And again I think bestiary xp is a pretty good compromise between no xp for combat and pure kill xp where you lose nothing for killing bad guys since you can always use xp more then some other resource.

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I like quest only xp but I think the bestiary xp is a pretty good compromise and it doesn't break immersion because the more you learn about a creature the better you are at killing them.

Of course the same could be said of plain old kill xp since the more you fight the better you are at fighting but I think that quest only xp promotes different solutions to those same quests since it may be better for you to only kill some of the enemies some of the time conserving resources(spells, potions etc.).

 

An example would be Fallout New Vegas where I would routinely sneak around hostile compounds like caves or buildings and where instead of just sneaking past enemies I would always take them out for the xp. If xp was out of the picture I would only kill those that were at choke points or those that were wearing armour that I wanted to conserve ammo and other resources.

 

And again I think bestiary xp is a pretty good compromise between no xp for combat and pure kill xp where you lose nothing for killing bad guys since you can always use xp more then some other resource.

 

What is bestiary xp?

 

If combat capabilities/experience and general character progression plus other capabilities/experience were seperate that would be fine in itself I think. The problem in infinity engine games is that combat is the main activity to do to progress your character (without neccessarily being the main xp source either) and this is bad. You kind of have to do combat, at least if you want your characters to advance (well) - which in itself is one of the main fun things in the games.

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As far as I know the original plan for this game was to have quest only xp, then people started complaining because they would miss kill xp.

 

The word on the street is that they will implement xp for filling out a bestiary in the game for instance if the file on wolves has 3 pages you have to kill 3 wolves to fill it out and you get xp for doing it, but you don't have to kill all the wolves in the game so you might want to spare some, or even most.

Also your lore skill will help you fill it out faster so you need to kill less.

 

I don't know exactly how the system will work but I think this is the general idea for the game.(might not be 3 pages, it might be 3 paragraphs or 3 lines, or 62 pages for all I know)

The vast majority of xp in the game should come from quests not from killing (although I suspect you will be able to solve many of them by killing).

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The word on the street is that they will implement xp for filling out a bestiary in the game for instance if the file on wolves has 3 pages you have to kill 3 wolves to fill it out and you get xp for doing it, but you don't have to kill all the wolves in the game so you might want to spare some, or even most.

 

That sounds alot better at least  :)

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I too like the idea of Bestiary XP, but it depends in part on how fine-grained they choose to make it. If you slay the first wolf that attacks you, then proceed to encounter 1,000 more in order to progress through the game, that could get old. Hopefully there will be different wolf types that you can tackle at different levels. Or else acquire new Bestiary XP at different levels for the same creature type (because you've learned more about it).

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What if... instead of giving you XP, it just gave you an advantage toward future wolves? Thus, people whose playstyle does not involve seeking out combat will have tougher fights when they DO run into more wolves, while people whose playstyle does involve fighting everything they can will be rewarded with a relevant benefit.

 

I still think more combat-related stuff should fall under the purview of objectives/accomplishments/narratively-pertinent-noteworthy-things-that-award-XP (insert whatever term you wish), BUT, I dunno... thoughts?

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As I said I am a big fan of quest/objective/achievement xp, a great example would be Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines where there was a lot of fun combat, but non combat gave you more xp, although you had to invest in non combat skills to get it possibly making parts of the game harder( the end was almost a pure fps).

 

In VtmB you didn't get any xp for combat but it was really fun(especially patched) and I don't think anyone could say it detracted from the combat in the game.You didn't just get xp for finishing quests, you also got it for doing them in exceptional ways(mainly not getting spotted but that was kind of the theme of the game, hence the Masquerade part).

 

That said a lot of people feel just as strongly (if not more) about kill xp and I think that the devs will give them some form of xp for combat.

 

Your Idea about bonuses against enemies based on how many you kill(or learn about them) would be a better way to do it in my opinion but I guess the problem is that if there is one dragon in the game there isn't much point in getting a bonus against them after you kill it.

 

Also when you have a bonus against every common monster(wolves, goblins etc.) is it really much of a bonus? 

 

I also just had an idea that a high lore score could let you get info about monsters from books thus filling out your bestiary from the comfort of your local library.

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Your Idea about bonuses against enemies based on how many you kill(or learn about them) would be a better way to do it in my opinion but I guess the problem is that if there is one dragon in the game there isn't much point in getting a bonus against them after you kill it.

True, but nothing's forcing the design of the game to only have one dragon in the game, and/or not allow fighting against lesser draconic creatures to apply to the same creature bonus.

 

Also when you have a bonus against every common monster(wolves, goblins etc.) is it really much of a bonus?

Well, again... if you get a bonus against goblins, then you end up encountering some Goblin King or Goblin Shaman with some hardcore bodyguards, etc, you still have a bonus against them. It does depend on encounter design throughout the whole game, but it's still just something to consider. Under the right circumstances, it could work very well.

 

That, and I really would want the bonuses you gain to be quite interesting. Like "Knockdowns against this creature type last +3 seconds," or "critical hits against this creature type stun it," etc. Kind of pertaining to actual lore knowledge of "ohhh, I can do THIS to this enemy!", instead of "I learned this enemy's weakness, so now even when I GRAZE it -- which is supposed to represent a crappy hit -- I somehow deal bonus damage! Because I learned how to strike a very specific spot on this creature, but kinda miss and deliver a glancing blow, but still somehow utilize that weakness!"

 

Plus, I just think situational effects are much more interesting than passive damage bonuses and the like.

 

I also just had an idea that a high lore score could let you get info about monsters from books thus filling out your bestiary from the comfort of your local library.

That's actually a pretty good idea. :)

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What if... instead of giving you XP, it just gave you an advantage toward future wolves? Thus, people whose playstyle does not involve seeking out combat will have tougher fights when they DO run into more wolves, while people whose playstyle does involve fighting everything they can will be rewarded with a relevant benefit.I still think more combat-related stuff should fall under the purview of objectives/accomplishments/narratively-pertinent-noteworthy-things-that-award-XP (insert whatever term you wish), BUT, I dunno... thoughts?

This basically means that the more a player dislikes combat, the harder it would get for him relative to someone who uses every opportunity to solve things through battle, i.e. you are punished for not fighhting battles. :)

 

My opinion on the whole question is that battles, when they are present, should always be memorable, and this should be what the designers should strive for. In other words, I'd like as few battles as the story/quests permit, but design them uniquely, make them count, so that I still feel rewarded after winning the battle, and the xp is an afterthought, not a reason to grind through a battle. The question "xp for battles or no" is the wrong question, because it pre-supposes that gaining xp is the motivation behind figghting battles. The right question is "what should the motivation be for the player to fight battles" And to this question my answer is - I prefer it's not the xp. And what's the difference if I get little xp from the quest and some from the battles while completing it, or if I get none from the battles but much from the quest? That is, for quests which require fighting to be completed.

 

Some examples of battles which I liked and battles which I disliked, taken from Baldur's Gate II: silly battles were those with the goblins in Irenicus' dungeon, but how memorable was the battle with the fallen paladins? I'd happily go through such a battle without xp. For me XP is like the excuse that I should bother fighting a battle, and if this activity, fighting a battle, has other attractive qualities, I'd do it without the XP 'compensation'.

 

A similiar example from the backer beta is fighting Medreth's gang vs fighting the beetles,

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Whether it "breaks immersion" or not, is just part of the argument. PoE is supposed to be modeled after the IE games - a successor of sorts, and all those games featured combat xp, and not only did it not kill immersion, it wasn't even detrimental to the gameplay.

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

- Lephys

 

 

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Whether it "breaks immersion" or not, is just part of the argument. PoE is supposed

 

No its not supposed to be anything. At the very least the devs decide what is it "supposed" to be not you. At the most, using the word supposed to makes your whole sentence invalid.

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Whether it "breaks immersion" or not, is just part of the argument. PoE is supposed

 

No its not supposed to be anything. At the very least the devs decide what is it "supposed" to be not you. At the most, using the word supposed to makes your whole sentence invalid.

 

Their original sales pitch did lean heavily on the implicit tie in to the IE games, so it does strongly suggest there would be some similarity.

 

"Project Eternity aims to recapture the magic, imagination, depth, and nostalgia of classic RPG's that we enjoyed making - and playing. At Obsidian, we have the people responsible for many of those classic games and we want to bring those games back…"

 

"Project Eternity will take the central hero, memorable companions and the epic exploration of Baldur’s Gate, add in the fun, intense combat and dungeon diving of Icewind Dale, and tie it all together with the emotional writing and mature thematic exploration of Planescape: Torment."

 

So yeah, the use of the word 'supposed' is correct here. That being said, I don't expect an exact copy because the state of the art has advanced since then.

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I doubt many people would support something to be done merely because it's the same as the IE games if at the same time they don't think it's fun. So I propose we don't use the argument "because it's like the IE games" without adding "and I consider it fun". Everyone who played the IE games knows that xp was given for killed enemies, that is a fact, so no need to argue about it. The question here is, did xp for kills make the game more fun or not. Anyone has their opinion on this question, and I have mine, which I've given in my last post. All I want to say is that it's not rational to ask for a not-fun feature to return, just so we can copy the IE games in their less fun sides. I think filler combat was not a fun part of the IE games, and I don't want it back, and I consider the xp for it the excuse for the non-fun battles, so if I only have fun and well designed battles, even if they are fewer, I don't mind not getting xp for them.

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I doubt many people would support something to be done merely because it's the same as the IE games if at the same time they don't think it's fun. So I propose we don't use the argument "because it's like the IE games" without adding "and I consider it fun". Everyone who played the IE games knows that xp was given for killed enemies, that is a fact, so no need to argue about it. The question here is, did xp for kills make the game more fun or not. Anyone has their opinion on this question, and I have mine, which I've given in my last post. All I want to say is that it's not rational to ask for a not-fun feature to return, just so we can copy the IE games in their less fun sides. I think filler combat was not a fun part of the IE games, and I don't want it back, and I consider the xp for it the excuse for the non-fun battles, so if I only have fun and well designed battles, even if they are fewer, I don't mind not getting xp for them.

 

The problem you are asserting isn't the fault of the XP reward; it's a problem with poor encounter design. My assertion would be that, all else being equal, combat without the expectation of a reward will be less fun than combat with an XP reward at the end.

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This basically means that the more a player dislikes combat, the harder it would get for him relative to someone who uses every opportunity to solve things through battle, i.e. you are punished for not fighhting battles. original.gif

Not quite. A) it doesn't get harder. It simply doesn't get any easier. The same is already true in games that give XP purely for combat victory, on top of any other XP rewards, because the person who fights everything gets more XP sooner and levels up earlier, so is better prepared for upcoming combat encounters.

 

And B), it depends on how encounters are presented. If there are plenty of avoidable ones, then it's automatically easier for the combat-avoiding person because they don't have to spend as much time trying to presever/replenish combat resources, and overcoming so many encounters. So, yeah, the inherently tougher encounters would be, in one way, more difficult due to the bestiary knowledge bonus you lack, but there's still a difficulty ceiling. If you had to have that advantage just to beat the encounter, it would be poorly designed. And if you couldn't avoid any (or very, very few) encounters throughout the entire game.

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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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 And B), it depends on how encounters are presented. If there are plenty of avoidable ones, then it's automatically easier for the combat-avoiding person because they don't have to spend as much time trying to presever/replenish combat resources, and overcoming so many encounters. So, yeah, the inherently tougher encounters would be, in one way, more difficult due to the bestiary knowledge bonus you lack, but there's still a difficulty ceiling. If you had to have that advantage just to beat the encounter, it would be poorly designed. And if you couldn't avoid any (or very, very few) encounters throughout the entire game.

 

As an alternative, the designers could provide bestiary XP in the form of rare tomes that are primarily accessible via non-combat paths through the game. Suppose you had, say, a pacifist faction rating because of your aversion to combat, then perhaps certain like-minded loremasters will be willing to part with these unique wares for a small fee.

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As an alternative, the designers could provide bestiary XP in the form of rare tomes that are primarily accessible via non-combat paths through the game. Suppose you had, say, a pacifist faction rating because of your aversion to combat, then perhaps certain like-minded loremasters will be willing to part with these unique wares for a small fee.

Mayhaps. That's not a horrible idea, but I'd honestly prefer for bestiary-related-lore/knowledge to actually serve some kind of purpose in the game. And about the only purposes I can think of that make any sense relate directly to combat, at which point it'd be strange for pacifist organizations to be all "Hey, since you never kill any bears, we'll present you with the knowledge of how to better kill bears, u_u." :)

 

But, like I said, sheer creature lore rewards could be pretty neat. I'm just not sure what purpose to have them serve.

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 doubt many people would support something to be done merely because it's the same as the IE games if at the same time they don't think it's fun. So I propose we don't use the argument "because it's like the IE games" without adding "and I consider it fun". Everyone who played the IE games knows that xp was given for killed enemies, that is a fact, so no need to argue about it. The question here is, did xp for kills make the game more fun or not. Anyone has their opinion on this question, and I have mine, which I've given in my last post. All I want to say is that it's not rational to ask for a not-fun feature to return, just so we can copy the IE games in their less fun sides. I think filler combat was not a fun part of the IE games, and I don't want it back, and I consider the xp for it the excuse for the non-fun battles, so if I only have fun and well designed battles, even if they are fewer, I don't mind not getting xp for them.

 

 

The problem you are asserting isn't the fault of the XP reward; it's a problem with poor encounter design. My assertion would be that, all else being equal, combat without the expectation of a reward will be less fun than combat with an XP reward at the end.

If I have been misunderstood the first two times. I'll reiterate - if combat is well designed, in my opinion, it should be a reward in itself.

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If I have been misunderstood the first two times. I'll reiterate - if combat is well designed, in my opinion, it should be a reward in itself.

 

You weren't misunderstood, and I agree that a well-designed, creative, and novel encounter can be enjoyable in and of itself. But that's, what, maybe 10-20% of the total for a typical game? Most of the innovation comes with Boss monster fights.

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If I have been misunderstood the first two times. I'll reiterate - if combat is well designed, in my opinion, it should be a reward in itself.

 

 

You weren't misunderstood, and I agree that a well-designed, creative, and novel encounter can be enjoyable in and of itself. But that's, what, maybe 10-20% of the total for a typical game? Most of the innovation comes with Boss monster fights.

Would you miss the filler combat if it was gone from the game? Actually, it doesn't even feel like filler combat, at least to me, with the current level of difficulty in the backer beta, although they've achieved that unintentionally. :)

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If I have been misunderstood the first two times. I'll reiterate - if combat is well designed, in my opinion, it should be a reward in itself.

 

You weren't misunderstood, and I agree that a well-designed, creative, and novel encounter can be enjoyable in and of itself. But that's, what, maybe 10-20% of the total for a typical game? Most of the innovation comes with Boss monster fights.

Would you miss the filler combat if it was gone from the game? Actually, it doesn't even feel like filler combat, at least to me, with the current level of difficulty in the backer beta, although they've achieved that unintentionally. :)

 

I don't consider it 'filler'. It's a core element of most cRPGs.

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If I have been misunderstood the first two times. I'll reiterate - if combat is well designed, in my opinion, it should be a reward in itself.

 

No it shouldn't/isn't. The point you are trying to make has been discussed to hell and back, multiple times. There is no logic in you statement, because it can be extended to the whole game. For an example if quest are well designed they should be a reward in them selves.

 

You would do well to at least skim the previous iterations of this thread.

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No it shouldn't/isn't. The point you are trying to make has been discussed to hell and back, multiple times. There is no logic in you statement, because it can be extended to the whole game. For an example if quest are well designed they should be a reward in them selves.

 

You would do well to at least skim the previous iterations of this thread.

I'm not so sure about that (that there's no logic in what he's saying.)

 

One of the things the game is trying to represent is character progression. Therefore, obviously SOME things are going to not-be just their own rewards. If you need XP to progress, and you never got any, that clearly wouldn't work. So, the game is either seeking to represent progression via every single iteration of any process or act whatsoever (simulation, basically), OR it's not. If not, then only certain things are, by design, going to produce XP rewards. If the things that aren't are not intended to be "their own reward," then that's a horrible game design concept.

 

It's not just combat, either. There'll be lots of dialogue that you'll read and respond to, and you won't get XP except for certain moments. So, it is expected that the act of reading and partaking in dialogues with NPCs is enjoyable, nonetheless.

 

Or, to look at it another way, everything in the game shouldn't be dependent upon the active progression of your characters just to be enjoyable. Otherwise, the only enjoyable thing in the game is character progression.

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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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