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Shevek

Combat Vid - Hard with a Custom Party

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I went ahead and posted my perception of combat on Hard difficulty using a fully custom party. The recording software I use seriously sucks so it was making my PC frame heavily in parts (I still managed to play through). The gist of the video is I think the combat is fine and I wanted to show what my idea of fine is. Now, I didn't focus on boss battle or anything like that that require actual tactics. I just wanted to show what combat was like against non-named mobs right as you zone into Dyrford Crossing (basically, beetles and wolves). I showed the Medreth fight as well. Part of me wanted to keep going and show more combat but I felt the point is made with the combat shown.

 

I want to apologize if I sound a bit crabby in the vid. It was a long...LONG... day at work. The video quality is crappy right now but it will get better when Youtube gets around to making the HD versions available. 

 

LINK

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Shevek: Thanks for the vid! :)

 

There are lots of points in it I agree with:

-Once we've built the characters the way we want (and we are used to playing them), combat will be easier

-Once itemized, it will be easier

-Disengagement attacks (although slightly broken), is almost a non-issue (I even like the premises behind it)

-You can wear armour on chars and still be successful (I've never done that naked char playstyle)

-You don't need to pause excessively. I'm like you, I paused about that amount as well (however, in BG and NWN, I often didn't pause at all - not at the start, nothing)

-You don't need to use many spells or skills, even on hard

-Like others have proven, hard in PoE isn't that hard

 

Still, I remain adamant on (and I sorta heard in your tone while playing it that you do agree to some degree), that this kind of combat isn't much fun.

Why?

-For it to work, you need to repeat the same tank(s) at front, and ranged char(s) at back system all the way

-Baddies move too fast

-You get jumbled melee messes, and with the bright spell FX on top, you can hardly see what's going on

-Imagine playing a wizard with almost no armour, dual-wielding stilettos at the front, and then a fighter with a bow at the back. Well, PoE isn't very kind to those kind of set-ups, especially not when you level up and pick abilities and skills.

Edited by IndiraLightfoot

*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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Still, I remain adamant on (and I sorta heard in your tone while playing it that you do agree to some degree), that this kind of combat isn't much fun.

Oh, I think its plenty fun. I was just fighting trash and I had a crap day at work so was a bit crabby. I will say that I find fighting trash in this game about 1000x more interesting than executing entire generations of gibberlings and gnolls in the IE games. Also, ultimately, I really feel like I am playing an IE game for the most part. In fact, I feel like I am playing an IE game with pretty darned good encounter design.

 

-For it to work, you need to repeat the same tank(s) at front, and ranged char(s) at back system all the way

On hard. Playing on normal won't be quite that punitive. To me, thats fine. Difficult difficulty is difficult. Still, I always led with my tanks in the IE games.

 

-Baddies move too fast

I can see how that can be an issue for some. That right there is an easy issue to mod.

 

-You get jumbled melee messes, and with the bright spell FX on top, you can hardly see what's going on

Jumbled melee is an IE staple. The bright FX thing I agree with. The big annoying fx just need to be real translucent.

 

-Imagine playing a wizard with almost no armour, dual-wielding stilettos at the front, and then a fighter with a bow at the back. Well, PoE isn't very kind to those kind of set-ups, especially not when you level up and pick abilities and skills.

I would have liked a bit more build variability within classes as well. However, I am still pleased with the character development system we have. Ultimately, this is a party based game. If you take a step back and look at the PARTIES you can make, you have quite a bit freedom to make an interesting assortment of parties. Moreover, PoE is showcasing a very new system and time needs to be given for it to mature. Perhaps with expansions and sequels, the number of talents, possible class abilities selectable on level up and the like will grow and allow for more variability of builds within the classes themselves. This is akin to how the IE games themselves developed. Look at how moving from BG1 to IWD to BG2 to ToB led to massive increases in available spells, kits, etc etc etc.

Edited by Shevek

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The combat did its job. It posed mild to moderate challenge while causing some damage. This poses a mild to moderate drain on resources (rest supplies). This is more of a function than trash combats fulfilled in the IE games. I dunno, I think it feels about right. There were some additional combats in the zone that were a good bit tougher like the Ents and Druids (or whatever they are called) to the east of the zone but I would prefer to level once more before taking them on.

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Shevek: For some reason, I really liked your cool attitude/approach towards/on some party members going down - it being an integral part of PoE. I suspect you are right on that. In fact, it's quite like NWN2, which I love. However, it always felt weird that they actually "died" there and then woke up automagically, as it were, but here they are just out of action for the encounter. :)

Edited by IndiraLightfoot

*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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I think thats something people should adjust their perspectives on and realize is different in this game. Its not character death; its a temporary knock out.

 

Frankly, I think it works well with their 2 pool system and is an overall improvement.

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Shevek, if you have time please take a look at this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBR4tt4vOH4

The first time the guy takes on the enemy party, he fails. The second time he uses another strategy and wins.

During his fight he reacts to what's going on and changes tactics. He's moving his party members.

At some point he's involved in melee combat. Would he have succeded if a melee mechanic like in PoE was applied?

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1. The guy says "We are going to load and actually put up protective spells...blah blah blah." Why? Because some enemy instagibbed him. Right there is a major difference. In PoE he wouldnt have to necessarily metagame and reload. One guy may go down but he may be able to just deal with it and keep going since that guy will come right back after combat rather than be instagibbed like he was there. That speaks well for PoE in my estimation.

 

2. If that were PoE, he would be setting up engagement with his tank when he goes in at 7:53. At about 8:30 he runs from an enemy with two guys. In PoE, one of his guys would be hit with engagement attacks. I don't see anything wrong with this. This could be avoided by having any of his 4 guys use one engagement breaking skill or he could leave one guy engaged in combat and move the other one down and suffer no engagement attacks (unless the enemy can engage multiple targets).

 

3. At 8:47 he gets beat down by cone of cold for being stupid. The guy ran blindly in the general direction of an invised spell caster... Wtf... I have no problem with him being massacred by engagement attacks in PoE when he runs up. In fact, the fact that doesnt happen in the IE just goes to show how engagement attacks are a good thing. He also is having two characters twiddling their thumbs so his playing freaking sucks.

 

4. I am guessing you are referring to the nine minute mark where he runs into another room, the healer blocks the path and the idiot AI stands there like a moron. He then cheaps out the AI by running in circles... I just don't know what to say. Is this supposed to be good? After that I just stopped watching. I am happy that isnt entirely possible in PoE.

 

What all of this ignores is he could have just cheaped that combat out by tossing in some stinking clouds and cloudkills or at the very least he could have used summons or any number of other things against that invised dude.

 

I dont know how to respond further. All I can say, is that is a different game and that the situations are not entirely congruent so making a 1 to 1 comparison is difficult at best. I don't think I would put myself in the situations that player puts himself either - that makes comparisons harder. So, I guess if you are saying, what if in PoE, I run headfirst into a ****ty situation and eat massive AoE dmg, can I proceed to block enemies with my priest and do donuts kiting bad AI? I guess the answer to that is no.

 

However, I do think that PoE gives you tools to deal with situations like that. If that were a PoE barbarian that took that dmg, he might his his endurance regen, a PoE rogue might hit his escape skill and use his snare from range, a PoE fighter might use his a knockdown, a PoE chanter might sing the song which reduces the effectiveness of engagement attacks, etc. You could block enemy movement with summons. We also do not know what consumables will be like. That may give additional options in situations like that.

 

I dunno, end of the day, thats all apples and oranges. Frankly, I find the PoE options more attractive.

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thanks for taking your time and the reply. I do understand your point of view. There were other strategies for how to play out that battle, that’s true. Yes, he could have used cloudkill, summon, kiting them downstairs one by one, initiating the fight without korgan in the party and taking his time to set up his party and even try and charm one the enemies before even starting to attack. There were many possibilities, but i always thought that’s the beauty of that game. You could play it however you pleased.

 

The guy in the video goes with a more fair strategy. He ‘rushes’ in, true. First time he does it against the mage, second time he does it against the thief. And he does it with his melee fighters. At some point you can always say he ‘rushed in’ if that’s what it’s called when you have to enter a room to engage the enemy. I’m not sure about how much kiting you can do in a small room, true kiting would have been what I mentioned above. Kiting in PoE is very much possible I hear. I hope disengaging from fighting an enemy in melee is not regarded as kiting. As for using abilities, the guy used stun at the end of the fight. In the first attempt he might have continued with the fight and after the battle raised his fallen comrade in the near temple. He decided not to, I guess because the enemy was tough and he didn’t believe in his chances. You say that in PoE you use abilities to counter the mechanic. If I can use the abilities to counter a mechanic what purpose does that mechanic actually have? My ‘fear’ for PoE is that they nerfed the enemies to be able to set up combat with the engagement mechanic, that’s all.

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>"combat feels right"

>plays without pausing

>uses no tactics

>"combat feels right"

 

Lol.

 

I can just imagine you opening Notepad and then mentally compare it to MS Office. "Hm, typing things in notepad... ok, typing works... with any kind of keyboard. Yeah. It feels right. Why would I need office, all that office brouhaha, all that fuss. When notepad just feels right."

Edited by Bester
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IE Mod for Pillars of Eternity: link

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If I can use the abilities to counter a mechanic what purpose does that mechanic actually have?

One could use that line of thinking to streamline a game all the way down till it becomes pong. Having counters to a mechanic does not negate the purpose of the mechanic at all. The counters may not always succeed or be available thereby presenting the player with dynamic challenges.Moreover, planning for those counters adds another wrinkle to character/party creation and makes assembling your team more interesting. Finally, are you ultimately saying that all mechanics that can be countered are bad? Is damage bad since you can counter it with healing? Where does that leave us?

 

As to the rest of your post, the parts of the vid I saw were terrible. Yes, you can play the IE games in many ways. But all games present you with options. That player played very poorly and its an odd thing to ask, "hey, if you choose to run head long into death in PoE, can you just run away and then kite bad AI with impunity after you get smacked down for making poor tactical choices?"

 

To me, that kind of "mobility" (at least to the 9 minute mark) is cheese. That was the worst kind of IE play and showed all the worst AI/pathing abuse.

Edited by Shevek
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>"combat feels right"

>plays without pausing

>uses no tactics

>"combat feels right"

 

Lol.

 

I can just imagine you opening Notepad and then mentally compare it to MS Office. "Hm, typing things in notepad... ok, typing works... with any kind of keyboard. Yeah. It feels right. Why would I need office, all that office brouhaha, all that fuss. When notepad just feels right."

If I get your analogy, you feel that combat in PoE is lacking because it lacks the feature set of IE (as notepad is to word). I just disagree. I feel PoE has a pretty robust set of abilities and character/party building options to enrich combat.

 

Btw, thanks a ton for your mod. It has been invaluable.

 

Edit: I didnt use many tactics because I was fighting trash and I specifically wanted to address concerns by folks that combat in PoE required too much pausing and abiliy use even on trash.

Edited by Shevek

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Shevek, although I don't play the IE games, or even the Eternity beta nearly so passively, I find your videos to be informative and illuminating.

 

Like some here, I do find that the combat movement speed to be too fast, but your handling of trash mobs through the use of thoughtful build design gives credence that combat gameplay isn't broken, as others have asserted otherwise.

Edited by Leferd

"Things are funny...are comedic, because they mix the real with the absurd." - Buzz Aldrin.

"P-O-T-A-T-O-E" - Dan Quayle

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I've been away for the weekend so I haven't had the time to watch the video, I did when I got home. To be honest I wasn't too happy about the content and found there were many misconceptions, so I decided I'd make my own video reply to it. It's a little bit antagonistic, but I felt it was necessary.

Had to split the second video in half due to a Cipher ability bug: 

Forgot to mention that some classes and monsters can engage multiple opponents in the first vid, but eh, I think I still get my point across. 

 



 
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Shevek's problem isn't that he doesn't have a slightest clue about how CRPG combat should work. It's OK - lots of people don't know anything about mechanics, balance and tactics. His problem is that he's too stubborn to admit his cluelessness.

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Super effective there, Sensuki! :thumbsup:

 

What you clearly demonstrated is, once again, like I also commented upon, after Shevek's vid:

-Hard is not very hard at all

-You don't need optimized char gear

-With characters you built yourself, it will be much easier, etc

-And most importantly, combat working in this way is boring and simpleton

 

Oddly enough, Shevek actually loves this kind of combat:

 

Still, I remain adamant on (and I sorta heard in your tone while playing it that you do agree to some degree), that this kind of combat isn't much fun.

Oh, I think its plenty fun. I was just fighting trash and I had a crap day at work so was a bit crabby. I will say that I find fighting trash in this game about 1000x more interesting than executing entire generations of gibberlings and gnolls in the IE games. Also, ultimately, I really feel like I am playing an IE game for the most part. In fact, I feel like I am playing an IE game with pretty darned good encounter design.

 

 

One thousand times more interesting than killing gnolls? I still recall my first encounter with that gnoll camp. It was really hairy and difficult and exciting.

 

Having said that, though, Shevek's vid simply showed us that little pausing is needed and that combat doesn't take much skill at all versus trash mobs. 

 

The difference seems to be:

-Shevek says combat is great and not challenging

-Sensuki says that it's boring and not challenging

 

To be fair, there are plenty of trash mobs in BG1 (also low level) that are easy, like Gibberlings (well perhaps except at lvl 1), but I think that's OK. Were they fun, as in better and more varied and more open to various solutions than PoE BB curenntly? Yes. And here I suspect Shevek would have said a resounding "no".

Edited by IndiraLightfoot

*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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Sensuki:

I wasnt just aiming my response to you. The idea that I would make a 30 minute vid just to respond to you is silly and I am actually a little put off (and, I guess, flattered?) that you would make this to respond to me. The forum doesnt revolve around you, man. This was made for the forum. Just to note, I have not watched more than a few minutes of your videos. I do't need to. How much ego do you have?

 

Frankly, I find your little attitude abusive and totally unprofessional. I know how to utlize things to their "full potential" but I dont NEED to pause the game, issue 20 commands, cast heals constantly, buff/debuff/knockdown, whatever, just to save a few points of health. I can clear that entire zone (admittedly, save for the druids) without needing to rest. I can clear the area and have a good time on hard without micromanaging and super analyzing every moment of combat.

 

Sensuki, seriously, you need to learn to talk to people with some modicum of civility if you expect any kind of rational dialog to take place. Remember, its not all about you. Also, do not put words in my mouth, when you go off like a pissed off teenager about "he thinks picking active abilities equals difficulty... blah blah", I just turned the video off. If you do not know how to engage in civil conversation, then kindly take you "arguments" elsewhere.

Edited by Shevek
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Gents

 

We are not here to fight each other!

 

I have found these videos highly informative and helpful.

 

I will be the first to admit that I do not know how to play the game efficiently and i have nowhere near the same level of understanding of its underlying mechanics.

 

So you guys are helping me. There is no need to fight.

Edited by Anaeme
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Figured you'd be pissed off but too bad I guess. I started the talk about the Engagement system on the forums, who else would you be talking about when I've been basically the only person arguing about removing it. 

The main two recent discussions about Engagement have taken place in these threads:

 

http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/69133-sensuki-vs-medreth-youtube-series/
http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/69267-thoughts-from-a-casual-gamer/

 

There have been two main posters that have repeatedly argued in favor of removal: Myself and Cubiq. There have been people on the fence, people who don't care one way or the other and people that think that while the current Engagement system isn't very good that it only needs tweaking - such as IndiraLightFoot, HiroProtagonist II, Mr. Magniloquent.

You are free to take this video response as abusive and unprofessional, that's your decision, however since I found your entire video an affront to my views and play style and if left unchecked, potentially dangerous to the wellbeing of the game. I feel I have the right to defend my position and argue my point. 

I don't think the video is uncivil, I was very civil in fact and I even did you the courtesy of pointing my video at you specifically rather than passively aggressively mentioning stuff you said in order to give reasonable doubt that you were not a focus of my video. I have directly affronted several forum members for their opinions in the past - such as Karkarov and Hiro Protagonist II who I've had much bigger disagreements with over certain issues - and yet I now talk to both these guys on steam. The only put down I make in your video is that I think you don't play the game very well, otherwise I am simply disagreeing with statements you made in the video in the OP. I pointed this out because I wanted to make a point about the combat, at your expense.

If you're sick of my arguments and find them confronting, feel free to leave the discussion, because I intend to contest these issues all the way up until release.

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Well...this escalated real quickly into a sausage measurement contest.

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"Things are funny...are comedic, because they mix the real with the absurd." - Buzz Aldrin.

"P-O-T-A-T-O-E" - Dan Quayle

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Man, your entire tone was so angry, I showed it to my wife and we laughed for five solid minutes before I turned it off. (Edit: Also, I did EVERYONE the courtesy of not calling them out on a Youtube video! Wow, do you have Facebook posts about me too!? HAHA)

 

Again, I didn't make the video to show off "my mad gaming skills." I don't play competitively or anything else. I made the video to show that you can run through hard and fluidly clear a zone without needing to rest or pausing constantly or using whole bunch of skills. I don't care if guys go down or that I don't save every drop of possible health.

 

Seriously, man, take your ego and take it down like 5 notches.

Edited by Shevek

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The one thing I really like in PoE is that your characters are just knocked out. I've started playing BG:EE and had my first character go down. I had to tab out to figure out how you revive someone! ...That was pretty expensive XD I also think the effects for the spells could be toned down a little though. But generally, I don't find myself struggling much beyond the broken paladin/trying to understand how to build different party builds and the fighting, while fast paced, just takes some getting used to. 

 

Edit: Also, how did you get a custom party? Did you kill off all the other characters and buy new ones or did you mod them in?

Edited by YunikoYokai5

My Blind Journey through the Beta. Join my transgender Paladin as I struggle to get to grips with the game and its mechanics. Well, I never said my first journey into an isometric RPG would be smooth, now did I?

 

My Adventure through Baldur's Gate. Inspired by my play of PoE, I decide to pick up a much fabled game of the genre. Join Solana as I delve into this world of weird, wonderful and annoying people.

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Your video is a response to the casual gamer thread and your reply to several points discussed in that thread

You say that the talk on engagement is a "hubbub" and that it's fine and basically a less drastic AoO system

You said that people have been saying that the game is very difficult on hard - no one has said that, you find me a quote where someone has said that (in a recent thread specifically)
You take the statement about lots of pausing out of context
You talk about people's testing methodology and attack people who have been playing the game with the default PC and BB party and state that it is a flawed testing methodology

These are your opening points in the video

Later on you go on to say that combat feels right and once again bring up the Engagement issue, and it seems like you do not really seem to 'get' my problem with the system.

You said prove me wrong at the end of the video, so you were inviting a reply :p

As I have repeated multiple times in other threads, the removal of the Engagement system will not change or threaten the way you play. You don't even use it properly in your videos. Combat would have gone exactly the same regardless, however if it was gone it would open up the tactical options that removing it would add to the game for the people (such as myself) who want to use them. 

Edited by Sensuki

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