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Thoughts from a casual gamer


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Most of the topics on this forum are very in-depth and probably the most helpful for tweaking the game. My problem is that I care very little for the nitty-gritty of the game mechanics, and I'm feeling that those of us that just want to enjoy a game are being overlooked.

 

I think of myself more as a casual gamer. I almost always play on the easiest difficulty. I like a little challenge to my games, but not frustratingly so. This is my major annoyance with PoE as it stands.

 

I straight up hate the combat. I'm not annoyed, irritated, or even loathe it. I HATE it. It is so jarringly difficult (on EASY setting!) that it just tanks my enjoyment hard. Let me explain why.

 

I've found it pretty easy to get immersed in the world. By the time I've talked to everyone and seen everything in town I'm pumped to set off and go accomplish things. That's where I end up rage quitting the game. It takes all of about 45 seconds for my party to get wiped out by beetles. Frakking beetles. It's beyond ridiculous. My very first encounter on easy difficulty and I'm the victim of one of the most one sided battles I've ever experienced.

 

On the difficulty I want to play I don't feel I should have to pay excruciating detail to damage mechanics, what weapons do and don't work on what enemies, flawless tactics and wise use of spells and abilities. This was a huge issue for me in v278, and it feels even worse in v333. I don't know what it was like in v301, because unfortunately it seems being at work is my new hobby.

 

My hope is that someone takes notice of this and tweaks a difficulty setting for folks like me. I have enough analysis and planning to do at work; I have neither the time or patience for it in what is supposed to be my relaxing activities. 

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I straight up hate the combat. I'm not annoyed, irritated, or even loathe it. I HATE it. It is so jarringly difficult (on EASY setting!) that it just tanks my enjoyment hard. Let me explain why.

 

Don't worry mate, you're not alone there. Pretty much everyone on the RPGCodex (not necessarily casual gamers, but many play RPGs more for the story than the combat) straight up hate the combat as well. I fully agree with you - it is frustrating, punishing and there is a steep learning curve for new players, particularly those not familiar with the Infinity Engine games. The combat is too fast and requires too much pausing.

 

I have probably the most hours of in-game time than all of the Backers (sitting around 90 now I think) and I would consider myself pretty good at the game by now and while I don't think it's necessarily difficult, I definitely do not think it is very good, or very fun.

 

For a new player I can see people really struggling with the speed of combat, the lethality of combat (per hit damage is super high), the amount of activity/micromanagement required because all classes are more active than the Infinity Engine games, the User Interface is not particularly intuitive in many places and does not promote player engagement with the game mechanics as the designers want it to. There are also a tonne of systems to learn and understand, and many of these systems are not exactly intuitive and pretty 'gamey'.

 

I showed some of my casual gamer friends the game a few weeks ago. They loved the Infinity Engine games, and one of them I met because he heard us talking about Baldur's Gate 2 at school. They both thought the game looked like a 2014 Infinity Engine game, but the combat looked horrible, and felt nothing like the Infinity Engine games.

 

The reason I know what I do about the game is because I have been following every detail from the first day of the Kickstarter - every thread, every post, every interview that the developers have done - I have read it, probably more than once.

 

While I only test the game on Hard, I will keep raising these issues on the forums and on my youtube channel (speed, lethality, UI feedback, intuitiveness) and hope that by release - they are improved.

 

edit: Stone Beetles (and probably the other ones too) were given +50 Deflection in this patch, they now have 63 instead of 13. That's why they're harder.

 

Edited by Sensuki
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Most of the topics on this forum are very in-depth and probably the most helpful for tweaking the game. My problem is that I care very little for the nitty-gritty of the game mechanics, and I'm feeling that those of us that just want to enjoy a game are being overlooked.

 

I think of myself more as a casual gamer. I almost always play on the easiest difficulty. I like a little challenge to my games, but not frustratingly so. This is my major annoyance with PoE as it stands.

 

I straight up hate the combat. I'm not annoyed, irritated, or even loathe it. I HATE it. It is so jarringly difficult (on EASY setting!) that it just tanks my enjoyment hard. Let me explain why.

 

I've found it pretty easy to get immersed in the world. By the time I've talked to everyone and seen everything in town I'm pumped to set off and go accomplish things. That's where I end up rage quitting the game. It takes all of about 45 seconds for my party to get wiped out by beetles. Frakking beetles. It's beyond ridiculous. My very first encounter on easy difficulty and I'm the victim of one of the most one sided battles I've ever experienced.

 

On the difficulty I want to play I don't feel I should have to pay excruciating detail to damage mechanics, what weapons do and don't work on what enemies, flawless tactics and wise use of spells and abilities. This was a huge issue for me in v278, and it feels even worse in v333. I don't know what it was like in v301, because unfortunately it seems being at work is my new hobby.

 

My hope is that someone takes notice of this and tweaks a difficulty setting for folks like me. I have enough analysis and planning to do at work; I have neither the time or patience for it in what is supposed to be my relaxing activities. 

 

I am a (very) casual gamer and I approve of this message. ™

Edited by Rumsteak
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This is only more evidence that my thesis that trash mobs should be easy (at least for a mid-level party), and special battles should be difficult. Many casual gamers will rage quit over the very idea that they could actually die to trash mobs at mid-levels.

"Good thing I don't heal my characters or they'd be really hurt." Is not something I should ever be thinking.

 

I use blue text when I'm being sarcastic.

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I feel like this game is so close to being there. It's dancing on the edge of some really great things, but the implementation for so many aspects is just.....convoluted and questionable. Immediately from the beginning you're dealing with not-D&D names for everything. From there is nose-dives into the obtuse. The greatest offender is the class concepts. Choose an issue, and I can probably root it down to the class design. Unfortunately, that's one of the things least likely to change. *sigh*

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Glad to hear I'm not the only one feeling this way. I agree that this game is so close to the awesomeness that were the old IE games that I spent countless hours obsessing over as a teenager. I really, really hope combat changes before release. I'd really rather not have to use character editors to cheat my way through. 

 

@Sensuki: As always, I cannot express well enough my appreciation for all the work you put in to trying to get this game be the best that it can. You clearly have a firm grasp of what I at least would like to see happen with the game, but much more specifically as to be of more use to the devs. I'm sure there are more than a few people like me that occasionally peruse these forums and are happy to see you leading the conversations in the right direction.

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This is only more evidence that my thesis that trash mobs should be easy (at least for a mid-level party), and special battles should be difficult. Many casual gamers will rage quit over the very idea that they could actually die to trash mobs at mid-levels.

 

Nothing much more to add here. Guess I'll have to admit a certain casualness regarding combat.

If I have to really think about all the resources at my disposal to get through a single thrash mob without losing a party member thats just draining on my enjoyment and patience.

If playing on easy and normal it should be the other way around, with a mid level party against random nature critters it should be, more or less, optional to activate spells and abilities.

By this I mean that it should be near impossible to die but using spells, items and abilities still reduces the damage your party takes and speeds up the encounter.

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This is only more evidence that my thesis that trash mobs should be easy (at least for a mid-level party), and special battles should be difficult. Many casual gamers will rage quit over the very idea that they could actually die to trash mobs at mid-levels.

 

Nothing much more to add here. Guess I'll have to admit a certain casualness regarding combat.

If I have to really think about all the resources at my disposal to get through a single thrash mob without losing a party member thats just draining on my enjoyment and patience.

If playing on easy and normal it should be the other way around, with a mid level party against random nature critters it should be, more or less, optional to activate spells and abilities.

By this I mean that it should be near impossible to die but using spells, items and abilities still reduces the damage your party takes and speeds up the encounter.

 

Exactly.

 

Just to add insult to injury; they won't even give xp. The question isn't going to be how many casuals rage-quit, but rather how many don't. 

Edited by Namutree

"Good thing I don't heal my characters or they'd be really hurt." Is not something I should ever be thinking.

 

I use blue text when I'm being sarcastic.

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edit: Stone Beetles (and probably the other ones too) were given +50 Deflection in this patch, they now have 63 instead of 13. That's why they're harder.

... I see what you did there. :)

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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Um, the IE games had plenty of non-named mobs that posed legitimate threats at mid levels (winter wolves, ogres, umberhulks, etc) - especially if you didn't pre-buff, werent very well geared or didn't rely on the almighty stinking cloud. Every encounter at the mid levels wasn't just a casual romp through gibberlings or gnolls or whatever. Ultimately, the idea that you should be able to run around slaying non named mobs with impunity is silly - on any difficulty. Also, I would stress that the IE titles might have been a bit too easy - which is evidenced by the variety of dificulty mods which exist primarily to allow enemies to prebuff and use the same cheap tactics players use.

 

In any case, while I concur that difficulty could be toned a bit on easy, I feel some folks are overselling their points.

Edited by Shevek
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Um, the IE games had plenty of non-named mobs that posed legitimate threats at mid levels (winter wolves, ogres, umberhulks, etc) - especially if you didn't pre-buff, werent very well geared or didn't rely on the almighty stinking cloud. Every encounter at the mid levels wasn't just a casual romp through gibberlings or gnolls or whatever.

A) Winter wolves pose no threat to a mid-level party. 

B) Umberhulks aren't found outside, and it is generally understood that the game should be tougher in a dungeon.

C) Ogres don't pose a threat to  a mid-level party. In 1 section of BG1 they do, but that was a high-level area far off the beaten path.

D) On the main paths back and forth they were just a casual romp through gibberlings/wolves/gnolls. Are you suggesting that Dyford Crossing is a special high difficulty area?

"Good thing I don't heal my characters or they'd be really hurt." Is not something I should ever be thinking.

 

I use blue text when I'm being sarcastic.

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A) We may have consider what the mid levels are, but after 4 is considered mid level to me. Winter Wolves in sufficient number can be a threat.

B) I don't care where they are. That has no bearing.

C) They don't. They do. Make up your mind. Again, where they are is of little difference.

D) Please clarify what exactly your point is. 

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I don't find combat difficult Shevek, however it certainly isn't fun. Some of the things that these guys are describing as 'difficulty' isn't really difficulty. The OP probably doesn't pause very much, and as a result he doesn't have time to issue all of his units commands without missing actions. That's not an element of difficulty, because you can pause the game. However it requires too much pausing, and that isn't fun.

Edited by Sensuki
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B) I don't care where they are. That has no bearing.

 

It matters as general exploration shouldn't be as dangerous as exploring a dungeon.

 

 

 

C) They don't. They do. Make up your mind. Again, where they are is of little difference.

 

There is one case in BG1 where they can be a threat because there are like 10 of them in this one spot. Besides that 1 instance; they are never a threat.

 

 

 

D) Please clarify what exactly your point is. 

In BG1 there are areas that must be crossed to access the primary cities of the game. There are also zones near these cities. These are the basic game world where players are expected to operate in order to complete the game. These areas should operate the way I have stated previously; trash shouldn't be a threat to a mid-level party in these 'basic' areas.

 

On the edges of the world map however, things are a lot more dangerous. The plot never requires or even suggest you should go to these areas. As a result; it is more acceptable to make these areas challenging as noob players are unlikely to visit them. The 10 Ogre location is in such an area. The Basilisk Den is a good example of a difficult area that is off the beaten path.

 

Had there been Basilisks just below Beregost; it would have been horrible. There is no way new players would be ready for that kind of challenge. Even if they were; they might be more in the mood to go to Neshkel than be so seriously challenged. Best to keep the idea of challenging trash mobs away from basic areas like Dyford Crossing. 

Edited by Namutree
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"Good thing I don't heal my characters or they'd be really hurt." Is not something I should ever be thinking.

 

I use blue text when I'm being sarcastic.

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It matters as general exploration shouldn't be as dangerous as exploring a dungeon.

Thats interesting. Again, I found Cloakwood to be one of the most difficult areas of BG1 and that was outdoors. Hell, the Bandit camp was harder than most dungeons in BG1. Only tough dungeon in BG1 was, what, Durlag's Keep? 

 

There is one case in BG1 where they can be a threat because there are like 10 of them in this one spot. Besides that 1 instance; they are never a threat.

Hell, you can get jumped by 10 ogres in random encounters anywhere when travelling in late game BG1.

 

On the edges of the world map however, things are a lot more dangerous. The plot never requires or even suggest you should go to these areas. As a result; it is more acceptable to make these areas challenging as noob players are unlikely to visit them. 

1. We have no idea where the beta content is in relation to the "main path." If anything, we have told we have been given a slice of the game with very few spoilers. More than likely, this is off the main path.

2. Um, BG1 had plenty of tough encounters right on the main path. The drunk in Beregost. The assassin outside the friendly arm inn and outside the Nashkell  inn (both towns!) could prove difficult. ALL of Cloakwood. The bandit camp. None of these are dungeons or off the main path and they can be challenging. Did you play BG1?

Edited by Shevek
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The beta content is from Act 2. Act 2 is set in Defiance Bay. It is apparently side content, so you don't have to visit the area at all.

 

Game goes like this

 

Act 1 - Gilded Vale, end of act 1 is at the Endless Paths of Od Nua (as stated in the Stronghold update)

Act 2 - Defiance Bay

Act 3 - Twin Elms

Edited by Sensuki
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Well, I did and I'm not ashamed to admit it. That being said, I enjoyed the difficulty. I didn't go on the Bio forums and complain about how killing poisonous spiders and wyverns wasn't as easy butchering mutant furry midgets.

DiseasedGibberlingB.png

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I suppose it depends on how much of the side content you complete, I usually do every wilderness area before I even go to the Bandit Camp, so I'm usually way overleveled for the content for most of the rest of the game.

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The beta content is from Act 2. Act 2 is set in Defiance Bay. It is apparently side content, so you don't have to visit the area at all.

 

Game goes like this

 

Act 1 - Gilded Vale, end of act 1 is at the Endless Paths of Od Nua (as stated in the Stronghold update)

Act 2 - Defiance Bay

Act 3 - Twin Elms

If that's the case then forget what I said. I was under the impression this was a standard area.

"Good thing I don't heal my characters or they'd be really hurt." Is not something I should ever be thinking.

 

I use blue text when I'm being sarcastic.

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I would politely point out that a certain degree of difficulty was one of the premises for the kickstarter, and that the IE games themselves were not casual in their difficulty and required a degree of strategy and tactics. I remember playing BG as a kid and getting my ass repeatedly handed to me on "Easy" mode. It doesn't happen now, of course, but then there are very few true RPGs where 20/20 foresight in the form of hindsight doesn't make things considerably easier.

 

That said, the combat is generally unenjoyable and less intuitive than the IE games at present. The reasons for this are many, there are many different ideas for solutions on this board, and we almost inevitably disagree on them.

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