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Raz's Perspective: A Dissertation on Engagement mechanics


Engagement Mechanics  

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  1. 1. Do you believe this engagement system should be implemented into Pillars of Eternity?

    • Yes
    • No

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It was mandatory up until v301, which was an easy patch. In v333 you could do multiple Chanters very well. Now that Paladins have been fixed they are viable too.


Fighters are the best at it, but you can run a Chanter and a Paladin pretty well. They can take some hits, INT (+Deflection and AoE) is perfect for them and their auras are very very strong, and provide a lot of offensive capability.


Monks can also do it, but I feel that since the advancement change, they don't have enough abilities to spend wounds and thus aren't as good at tanking, but rather good at single-target DPS. I use my abilities as soon as I have enough Wounds, but there's always more Wounds coming in than what I'm putting out, even in armor.


Barbarians though, they are NOT good at tanking.

Edited by Sensuki
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If you call this a dissertation you're probably not a real doctor. shifty.gif



My engagement limit section is indeed proposed in order to allow the player a little more freedom of movement to do things but it does not completely nullify the engagement system entirely.  Both you the player and enemies mobs do not necessarily have to have an engagement limit of only 1.  It might be a limit of 2 or 3 hell it might even be 4 but it does allow you to "tie up" and interact with a set of mobs.  The neat thing is it gave would give the engagement limit system a little more "meat" to it.  Things like Hold the Line might actually be a viable talent for your off tank (pardon the mmo expression) to pick up.  Being able to hold off 5 units in melee between a fighter in defender mode and an off tank with Hold the line between the pair might be a good example to providing a safe or safer melee environment for otherwise squishy characters.  Sometimes it might only hold off a total of 2 enemies it really depends.  It does however, give the player more options.  I might be alone here but talents being more useful and more player options is something I will always consider a good thing.


If you notice the 2 examples I gave involving null-engage were both hobble abilities.  Currently, hobble abilities function as a relatively minor defense debuff, something that can proc a sneak attack and a movement penalty that doesn't matter after engagement.  Null-engage would make hobble abilities movement penalty actually matter.  If there was a big nasty spider all over your wizard eating his face off hitting it with a Crippling Strike would do the equivalent of almost nothing.  I mean sure yea now it moves slower but the minute your wizard moved it would basically be over for him due to the incoming disengagement attack.  So what then is the functional purpose of a hobble?  Is it a debuff only useful during the alpha strike phase of combat?  Even I consider that a little unforgiving and i'm certainly no casual player.  As above, it would change some of the landscape of abilities and spells.  For example, it would make the Wizard movement speed spell much better without adding a disengagement break on the spell itself.





Doppelschwert: In part, you misunderstand his idea. There will never be any cycling going on in any easy manner. Also, with such a system in this pretty quick RTwP-CRPG with a full party, all members doing their stuff (some may even be blocked out, knocked out or wiped out), good luck even trying to achieve such easy shifts. In fact, even pulling them off would be more or less fringe behaviour, worthy of an achievement, almost (perhaps on some boss, it could work). original.gif


I neither see why cycling through wouldn't be an easy manner in fights with less enemies than party members nor which part of the idea I misunderstood. Care to elaborate whats preventing me from doing this when I go all out with a party of 4 melee characters on a single enemy like the ogre?



Does the ogre have an engagement limit of 1?  Does he have other abilities he can kill you with?  Does he have friends?  Is it bad that you can use 4 melee characters to do a damn good job of "holding a line"?  I thought people wanted more reasons to use melee characters wink.png.


Regarding the first quote, I agree that it wouldn't be pointless to add the denial of engagement to already existing abilities. Making new abilities that can only deny engagement still seems kind of pointless to me, however.


Regarding the second quote, I was assuming that the ogre has an engagement limit of 3 or 4 and that he is alone, so I think what I have proposed is viable. Especially if there is an additional chanter with summons, which should have their own nonzero engagement limit as well. I wasn't judging whether it's a good thing or not that you are able to hold the line in this context, but I am remarking that this plays totally different from the way it works now, and that it may work contrary to what is intended.

The way it is now, if the near death guy retreats, the ogre attacks him with an disengagement attack and he probably dies, like he should because every human player would play this way if given the chance. The way your proposal goes, the ogre just spreads the damage around, never killing anyone, and eventually dies, which makes for rather bad AI in my opinion.


Even without the change to engagement limit, you could just hobble the ogre with your other suggestion or make some crowd control spells or just heal up your guy and so on and so on. However, I think it is intended that there are not many abilities to ignore the mechanic, so I'm arguing that your proposal is contrary to how the game is supposed to work.

I'm all for player agency and stuff, but if you have so many abilities and ways to ignore the disengagement mechanic, that you basically never have to suffer it if you don't want to, then IMO you might as well just remove it alltogether.

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As well intentioned as they are, I usually ignore threads like this and mark them as read, because tl;dr. However it has been recommended on the Casual Gamers Redux thread so I made an exception and gave it a try. Finally finished reading it after falling asleep once in between. :)


These are good suggestions Razsius, kudos. My opinion is either engagement should feel very good and natural (thanks to better visual and mechanics such as the ones proposed in this thread) or it should just die. No compromise, because it is an important part of combat.


I am also concerned by how engagement should feel good visually. I understand that visual cooldowns would be useful but it may add to visual clutter of combat, so these will need to be added very carefully in order to avoid mass rejection from the players (putting aside the fact that combat is already cluttered with high/low contrast fights on grass and over-the-top VFX, because some of these will be fixed).


This is going to be tricky but this is a nice challenge for the devs. As the saying goes, go big or go home. Good luck!

Edited by Rumsteak
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