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It blatantly doesn't or else you wouldn't be campaigning for it's removal.

If you play the same was as you would with Engagement in, it does. If anything it adds to the gameplay. Like I said, I need to do more videos that thoroughly demonstrate what it adds and what the problems are and what needs fixing. I have already spoken about some of those things - attacks don't interact properly with moving targets and there are some animation blending issues among other things.

 

Those things are actually present in the game with Engagement, but they're hard to reproduce. I've seen them occur sometimes even with it in.

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When are we going to see a reply to this thread by a developer ? Engagement has been discused over and over and we need to know how OE views our views.

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Well, we  have discussed engagement in a general sense and they have responded to that by stating they are going to look at ui changes and visual feedback as a partial solution. This is a different discussion though. This is an exploit. They have to test it and have some discussions about it, etc.

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Or you know, give melee classes CC abilities i.e. Knock Down.

Yes! Because:

 

A) They don't already have those.

B) Why give your Fighter the ability to engage 3 people at once when you could have him just go "KNOCKDOWN! KNOCKDOWN, KNOCKDOWN! Oh, you're getting back up? KNOCKDOWN! Oh, there are 3 more people headed this way trying to get to my Mage? Fighter lieutenants, COMMENCE KNOCKDOWN DEATH BLOSSOM!"

 

/sarcasm

 

How many knockdowns per encounter do you think we should give each Fighter, to be able to passively handle this whole "I can't really stop you from jogging past me" situation in place of some form of engagement mechanic?

 

It would be even better with good AI, actually. But for some reason people around here seem to think that good AI = enemies that target your backline. Enemies did this in the very earliest Pillars of Eternity builds if you opened combat with your Wizard etc ... and it was laughably easy to exploit.

I worded that poorly. I should've said "how obvious of a fix would it be if the AI were actually good?" Anything in existence would be better without worse AI. That's kind of a given. What I'm saying is, maybe making design evaluations around bad AI isn't as good of an idea as working on the AI before evaluating the splendor of some other mechanic's removal.

 

This is completely incorrect. In the Infinity Engine games you could employ positioning, movement, tactical blocking, tactical retreating, manipulation of the AI targeting clauses AND crowd control abilities. Pillars of Eternity's Melee Engagement solution is the polar opposite of this and gets it all backwards.

No... no it doesn't. Not the concept. Engagement is a part of tactical decisions. It's a condition. It's no different, conceptually, from "Oh, you're jogging around in front of that dragon like a moron? Well then, when he breathes fire, you're going to get annihilated by that. Want to not get hit by fire? Don't jog around in front of the Dragon." All engagement does is say "Want to not have bad things happen to you? Then don't try to jog directly past a melee combatant who's on you like white on rice."

 

Or an aura? what if a Paladin had a Slow aura? Or any creature, really? What, that inherently goes against tactical choices? "Oh no, under certain circumstances, you suffer something negative! But under others, you don't! TACTICS = OUT THE WINDOW!" Obviously not. Engagement is a circumstantial condition.

 

We're talking about a sword that's currently all blade and no hilt, and while I'm saying "maybe we could not sharpen the bottom part, and maybe put a hilt on it," you're saying "Pssh... a sword's just a horrible idea. You're GOING to cut your hand, no matter what. It's completely impractical." That's true, of the problematic state of the sword, but not true of the very idea of a bladed weapon.

Edited by Lephys
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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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It basically does. Sensuki's already released one video showing how it plays the same. He already said he'll release more. 

 

The crux of his argument isn't that engagement will ruin the game. It can be removed via modding after all, but rather getting it to work decent will require way too much work and resources. Especially since it doesn't really contribute much of anything to the game.

 

I've seen the short video you reference, and while it doesn't turn the game into a 4x game, there are obvious differences, one of which is that you can now retreat characters from the front lines without penalties and, when the AI is sorted out, the enemy will be able to do the same (indeed the only reason it looks remotely similar is because the current targeting clauses are practically non-existent).

 

The crux of Sensuki's original argument was that AoO cannot be dragged from turn-based straight into RTwP and that prohibiting combat movement by anything other than active ability CCs reduces tactical play and is contrary to the "spirit" of the IE games. The idea that getting it to work will require way too much work and resources has been very much an afterthought by the engagement crowd and is certainly nothing like the crux of the argument.

 

When are we going to see a reply to this thread by a developer ? Engagement has been discused over and over and we need to know how OE views our views.

 

I don't think there is much in this, or any of the other engagement threads, for a dev to reply to. We're not asking questions so much as making sweeping demands, and a dev presence here would only like serve to antagonise things. If they do drop it, expect an update in the usual place and expect them to distance themselves from the community. If they don't drop it, expect to hear about the improvements to engagement that have been made for the next patch update.

Edited by Kjaamor
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Or you know, give melee classes CC abilities i.e. Knock Down.

Yes! Because:

 

A) They don't already have those.

B) Why give your Fighter the ability to engage 3 people at once when you could have him just go "KNOCKDOWN! KNOCKDOWN, KNOCKDOWN! Oh, you're getting back up? KNOCKDOWN! Oh, there are 3 more people headed this way trying to get to my Mage? Fighter lieutenants, COMMENCE KNOCKDOWN DEATH BLOSSOM!"

 

/sarcasm

 

How many knockdowns per encounter do you think we should give each Fighter, to be able to passively handle this whole "I can't really stop you from jogging past me" situation in place of some form of engagement mechanic?

I have neither the time nor the patience to properly respond to this kind of idiocy.

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When are we going to see a reply to this thread by a developer ? Engagement has been discused over and over and we need to know how OE views our views.

 

I don't think there is much in this, or any of the other engagement threads, for a dev to reply to. We're not asking questions so much as making sweeping demands, and a dev presence here would only like serve to antagonise things. If they do drop it, expect an update in the usual place and expect them to distance themselves from the community. If they don't drop it, expect to hear about the improvements to engagement that have been made for the next patch update.

 

There is plenty for them to reply to. They could for example; let us know that they are dealing with the fact that the engagement mechanic can be horribly abused. The last time they talked about it all they said was that it needed better UI and some animations. They didn't say a peep about how broken it is.

 

Letting us know that the issue can and will be resolved within a reasonable time frame would certainly give me a lot more reason to think the mechanic should stay.

"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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No... no it doesn't. Not the concept. Engagement is a part of tactical decisions. It's a condition.

Engagement is not really a part of tactical decision making in Pillars of Eternity. It forces you to put more emphasis on strategy and opening than reactive tactics, because it prevents many forms of movement based reactive tactics. You might say 'it makes them expensive', and the cost (spending character advancement points or sacrificing tactical and strategical health resources) simply isn't worth it, when you can just simply play around the system at no cost, instead.

 

It's no different, conceptually, from "Oh, you're jogging around in front of that dragon like a moron? Well then, when he breathes fire, you're going to get annihilated by that. Want to not get hit by fire? Don't jog around in front of the Dragon."

Dragon's breath is a ranged attack, which doesn't have anything to do with Melee Engagement

 

All engagement does is say "Want to not have bad things happen to you? Then don't try to jog directly past a melee combatant who's on you like white on rice."

Movement in combat is not jogging directly past a melee opponent. Combat itself is an abstraction. Pillars of Eternity actually does worse job at abstracting combat than the Infinity Engine games because they've tried to add too many 'realistic' things without considering the impact they have on combat (see run animation & speed). There is no reason why a melee enemy cannot smack you obeying the rules of real time when you run past him. If that melee unit is one of your characters, player input or auto-attack should determine whether he attacks an enemy running past, not an automatic system that gives him a free invisible hit.

 

Or an aura? what if a Paladin had a Slow aura?

If you do a search, you will see me making a suggestion that the Paladin could have an AoE slow aura that slows the movement speed of enemies, that would be a good way to make the Paladin somewhat 'sticky' if Melee Engagement is removed.

 

We're talking about a sword that's currently all blade and no hilt, and while I'm saying "maybe we could not sharpen the bottom part, and maybe put a hilt on it," you're saying "Pssh... a sword's just a horrible idea. You're GOING to cut your hand, no matter what. It's completely impractical." That's true, of the problematic state of the sword, but not true of the very idea of a bladed weapon.

This is a very poor analogy.

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Or you know, give melee classes CC abilities i.e. Knock Down.

 

Yes! Because:

A) They don't already have those.

B) Why give your Fighter the ability to engage 3 people at once when you could have him just go "KNOCKDOWN! KNOCKDOWN, KNOCKDOWN! Oh, you're getting back up? KNOCKDOWN! Oh, there are 3 more people headed this way trying to get to my Mage? Fighter lieutenants, COMMENCE KNOCKDOWN DEATH BLOSSOM!"

/sarcasm

How many knockdowns per encounter do you think we should give each Fighter, to be able to passively handle this whole "I can't really stop you from jogging past me" situation in place of some form of engagement mechanic?

I have neither the time nor the patience to properly respond to this kind of idiocy.

Just pull an analogy out your ass and let him spend several walls of text pulling it apart. If it can be said in ten words, Lephys will say it in a thousand.

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Been looking around at this thread. In the past i have been a big supporter of AoO systems for many of the same reasons as the devs (long history with table top RPGs), Sensukis vids though have moved me several steps away.

 

One thing i have always thought (after years of playing 3.5) is an attack was too big a penalty for moving away then it should be (at low level in 3.5).

For PoE maybe we should make engagement slow the targets movement by 50% instead? It would make front line characters literally "sticky"  and would help the "things are moving too fast" problem some of us have been having with the game.

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So, what is the alternative to engagement? All I see are "stupid AI that attacks whatever is closest/most recent to attack it/etc" or "fighters have no special way to protect the backline."

 

I understand if the answer is just "there aren't resources to fix it", but it looks like many of you don't even support the general concept of melee stickiness at all.

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Been looking around at this thread. In the past i have been a big supporter of AoO systems for many of the same reasons as the devs (long history with table top RPGs), Sensukis vids though have moved me several steps away.

 

One thing i have always thought (after years of playing 3.5) is an attack was too big a penalty for moving away then it should be (at low level in 3.5).

For PoE maybe we should make engagement slow the targets movement by 50% instead? It would make front line characters literally "sticky" and would help the "things are moving too fast" problem some of us have been having with the game.

A fresh idea with much promise !

Matilda is a Natlan woman born and raised in Old Vailia. She managed to earn status as a mercenary for being a professional who gets the job done, more so when the job involves putting her excellent fighting abilities to good use.

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Metaphor: A construction site, and the workers are building a house. They've placed some doors in it, but they are creaking and the door knobs aren't screwed on entirely. Is it a test door, or is it an architectural flaw in the door frame?

Do you build a new door and door frame, or do you oil the hinges and screw on the knobs tighter? What takes most time?

Edited by Osvir
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I am out, I was ok when Sensuki show us how to expoit engagements - this really needs fixing, but once he start calling IE games having RTS feel. That we should pick ideas from CoD and DoTa... no sorry this is too much.

Edited by Chilloutman
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So, what is the alternative to engagement? All I see are "stupid AI that attacks whatever is closest/most recent to attack it/etc" or "fighters have no special way to protect the backline."

 

I understand if the answer is just "there aren't resources to fix it", but it looks like many of you don't even support the general concept of melee stickiness at all.

 

As I understand it, Sensuki is saying that some level of stickiness has been around all along in the AI targeting system. Currently the AI is actually just 'attacking whatever is closest/most recent to attack it' due to engagement. Improving the AI to reacquire targets cannot be done as easily with the engagement system because it would be stupid for the AI to break engagement. And we already know that the devs are not going to build an incredibly advanced AI that can efficiently determine when to break engagement or not. So the problem here is not that people are against melee stickiness, or even necessarily engagement as an idea, but that engagement leaves us with more problems than it solves.

 

Metaphor: A construction site, and the workers are building a house. They've placed some doors in it, but they are creaking and the door knobs aren't screwed on entirely. Is it a test door, or is it an architectural flaw in the door frame?

 

Do you build a new door and door frame, or do you oil the hinges and screw on the knobs tighter? What takes most time?

 

All these misleading metaphors.. In this case the alternative door and frame is just standing next to the faulty one, while the faulty one has to be more or less rebuilt in order to work equally well. The point argued against engagement is not just replacement vs fixing, it is the amount of effort required to achieve the same result.

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Chilloutman, on 04 Dec 2014 - 11:13 AM, said:

I am out, I was ok when Sensuki show us how to expoit engagements - this really needs fixing, but once he start calling IE games having RTS feel. That we should pick ideas from CoD and DoTa... no sorry this is too much.

He never said that we should copy CoD. And the IE games had RTS feel. I also think Obs should take ideas from Warcraft 3 or Starcraft 2 (especially in spell effects), but if the wording sits ill with you, instead of taking ideas from RTSs, think of it as taking ideas from the IE games. Because so far PoE plays like a mix of NWN2 and DAO instead of BG2/IWD

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Been looking around at this thread. In the past i have been a big supporter of AoO systems for many of the same reasons as the devs (long history with table top RPGs), Sensukis vids though have moved me several steps away.

 

One thing i have always thought (after years of playing 3.5) is an attack was too big a penalty for moving away then it should be (at low level in 3.5).

For PoE maybe we should make engagement slow the targets movement by 50% instead? It would make front line characters literally "sticky"  and would help the "things are moving too fast" problem some of us have been having with the game.

You and I have same thoughts (but I have been brainstorming about it since yesterday). Not only 50% but add additional 10% slow per each additional person that is engaged with someone. Currently if you exit engagement with two people that is two attacks vs you but in this system you would move even slower.

 

It would prevent these abuses like in Sensuki videos. The enemy would run towards back line and through your melee engagement area and should then switch to your melee guys without your party being able to get lots of free attacks on him.

Reach weapons would still be useful as they would let you slow enemy a bit before they can slow you and let your ranged get an additional attack in before melee starts.

 

At the same time Barbarian burst of speed would actually become a useful skill.

Edited by archangel979
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Metaphor: A construction site, and the workers are building a house. They've placed some doors in it, but they are creaking and the door knobs aren't screwed on entirely. Is it a test door, or is it an architectural flaw in the door frame?

 

Do you build a new door and door frame, or do you oil the hinges and screw on the knobs tighter? What takes most time?

 

All these misleading metaphors.. In this case the alternative door and frame is just standing next to the faulty one, while the faulty one has to be more or less rebuilt in order to work equally well. The point argued against engagement is not just replacement vs fixing, it is the amount of effort required to achieve the same result.

 

Okay, that's why I asked "What takes most time?". Because I don't know, and I think Obsidian probably knows best. Not trying to discredit you, but I'll take their word of what they think is best professionally.

 

Also, the code isn't running right all the time, the combat log doesn't represent the phase or pacing of combat always (or so it feels), it auto-scrolls to the top on my machine (frustratingly), a sword says one type of damage, but deals another type of damage. "Most damage" done doesn't represent personal "most damage done" (IIRC it read 44.4 damage "In Party" but on "Personal" the character had 41.6 or something). DT seems to be an issue as well according to the mathematicians, and this is probably a bug as well. Disengagement Attacks attack when they shouldn't (which is a bug, not "design"), AI is clunky (not implemented 100%, I presume, not a priority I think). etc. etc. the list goes on.

 

These things, I believe, also needs to be taken into account in the combat system in the Beta. A lot of frustration comes from bugs as well, I'm sure. I don't think that the game is supposed to function or be expected to have such a faulty and technically flawed final product. Bugs are not Design, they are flies over a smelly pond, and to rid them you have to wade into the waters and clean them out. Or we can go to another lake, and try to clean out the bugs there as well.

 

Remember the Bug Reporting Format? "Expected behavior?" or "What should have happened?"

 

Should my Druid have been knocked out by 2 of Medreth's followers automatically because the code didn't run correctly and she was disengaged to death when she's both facing and have been targeting an adjacent enemy the whole time? Was it expected behavior? (She never attacked even though within range, she was just beaten down) I presume this is a bug, not a feature, or the game will have to visually show me a better behavior so I can expect better what happens and why it happens. The colorful GUI with arrows and rings and stuff really helped me with how the Engagement system works, and made it easier for me to understand it, so if we had more clarity on range and all of that, it'd be easier to understand the system I'm sure.

 

Still, some of the things being discussed to great lengths seem to me to be either a bug, or an exploit.

 

I could summon 15 Skeletons with the Chanters (I forgot/failed to cast with 1 Chanter, you can abstract 1 Chanter casting 3 extra Skeletons). This was an exploit, and presumably even a bug or a missed design consideration (And if you look at the portraits, it's most likely a bug or incomplete summoning feature, as the portraits simply interlap with the rest of the HUD). Heck, in an earlier build Skeletons were immortal and couldn't even die* or be unsummoned. That was a bug too. Disengagement attacks hitting my characters when I don't understand why it does it, is also a bug or needs clarification, and if it does it exploitably it is presumably a bug as well (as it presumably isn't "Expected behavior"). If something happens when it shouldn't happen mechanically... that's a bug? Isn't it?

 

Remember this? Or did you ever encounter this "exploit"? (Spider couldn't fit through the gap, and was stuck, it couldn't reach the party in essence) this doesn't mean that the Engagement system is bad just because the Spider couldn't reach and attack, it meant that the Spider was too fat or bugged out for the walk-mesh. Should I have considered this "reach-exploit" as a final version expectancy... or as a bug in the work in progress product?

 

I think it was Josh who said that they are working on showing Engagement Circles better IIRC "I have put a guy at work on showing the circles better". This might mean "We are putting work hours on it right now, and we've got a work schedule on it, and we intend to work on this system" or it might far-fetchedly mean "we're ready to drop it any second now".

 

* I'm not sure how Chanters function in this build tbh, so consider all of my Chanter talk as of the first build, as I haven't tested them whatsoever since.

 

EDIT: In essence, a lot of complaints doesn't seem to me to be "Expected behavior", it seems a bit "I want a completely different behavior". And of course, such feedback shouldn't be neglected, it should be taken into consideration as well :) as long as it's Obsidian that decides.

Edited by Osvir
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I like your OP Sensuki, and you know I definitely think Engagement could be done better and agree with lots of what you are saying.  That said I still think it is too late in the game for the devs to just outright remove it, as it seems like they designed it to be in game from the get go and planned a lot around it as a mechanic.  Once the actual visual feedback improvements are in I think they should move to addressing these exploits you have brought up.  Tons of it would be fixed simply by making it so the disengagement attack only happens when the engaged target actually "leaves" the engagement zone, and then putting in a "cooldown" so that once the disengagement attack happens the original engager can not reengage that target again for 3 seconds.

 

Also yeah, we need some better AI targetting clauses than....  "Attack the guy who attacked you first until they are dead".

Edited by Karkarov
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"It just needs to get fixed.  It just needs tweaking.  It'll be good when it gets patched up.  It's going to be good when it's working."

Hey people that love defending this mess, guess what?  This game was supposed to ship a while ago.  It didn't because it was felt by the team that it wasn't ready and needed more work.

The reason Sensuki is against this mechanic isn't just because of his personal opinion but because he recognizes that time is money, and money is limited with projects like like these.  Every second being spent on implementing, fixing, and changing this mechanic could be spent elsewhere.  Everyone has their opinion on what's good or not in a game, but the fact of the matter is that a core game play mechanic like this should have been in and working in the game a long time ago at this point in the development.

That's terrible logic.  It supposes that completely removing what is obviously a core design mechanic has no opportunity cost of its own. You could turn it on its head and say, every second spent making a new rough mechanic to appease a verbose but limited set of backers could be better spent fine-tuning the existing one.  And in reality, radical changes midway through a game development project almost never signal an uptick in quality.

 

And I doubt the engagement mechanic is the single thing holding back the game like you imply.  Christ, they just added limited VO that's been planned the entire time.  The Linux build isn't even working at all yet.

 

 

Look - if you want to fix this problem, you don't come up with a new solution and hope for the best. You look at what other games have done to solve this problem. Not a single Real-time game uses such a mechanic to solve the melee/ranged problem. They use other mechanics. CC abilities, AI. Dota2 has an intuitive turn rate mechanic that basically makes it extremely difficult to kite. And it lacks all this extra hubbub.

 

Real-time solutions for a real-time game.

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Metaphor: A construction site, and the workers are building a house. They've placed some doors in it, but they are creaking and the door knobs aren't screwed on entirely. Is it a test door, or is it an architectural flaw in the door frame?

 

Do you build a new door and door frame, or do you oil the hinges and screw on the knobs tighter? What takes most time?

 

All these misleading metaphors.. In this case the alternative door and frame is just standing next to the faulty one, while the faulty one has to be more or less rebuilt in order to work equally well. The point argued against engagement is not just replacement vs fixing, it is the amount of effort required to achieve the same result.

 

Okay, that's why I asked "What takes most time?". Because I don't know, and I think Obsidian probably knows best. Not trying to discredit you, but I'll take their word of what they think is best professionally.

 

Also, the code isn't running right all the time, the combat log doesn't represent the phase or pacing of combat always (or so it feels), it auto-scrolls to the top on my machine (frustratingly), a sword says one type of damage, but deals another type of damage. "Most damage" done doesn't represent personal "most damage done" (IIRC it read 44.4 damage "In Party" but on "Personal" the character had 41.6 or something). DT seems to be an issue as well according to the mathematicians, and this is probably a bug as well. Disengagement Attacks attack when they shouldn't (which is a bug, not "design"), AI is clunky (not implemented 100%, I presume, not a priority I think). etc. etc. the list goes on.

 

These things, I believe, also needs to be taken into account in the combat system in the Beta. A lot of frustration comes from bugs as well, I'm sure. I don't think that the game is supposed to function or be expected to have such a faulty and technically flawed final product. Bugs are not Design, they are flies over a smelly pond, and to rid them you have to wade into the waters and clean them out. Or we can go to another lake, and try to clean out the bugs there as well.

 

Remember the Bug Reporting Format? "Expected behavior?" or "What should have happened?"

 

Should my Druid have been knocked out by 2 of Medreth's followers automatically because the code didn't run correctly and she was disengaged to death when she's both facing and have been targeting an adjacent enemy the whole time? Was it expected behavior? (She never attacked even though within range, she was just beaten down) I presume this is a bug, not a feature, or the game will have to visually show me a better behavior so I can expect better what happens and why it happens. The colorful GUI with arrows and rings and stuff really helped me with how the Engagement system works, and made it easier for me to understand it, so if we had more clarity on range and all of that, it'd be easier to understand the system I'm sure.

 

Still, some of the things being discussed to great lengths seem to me to be either a bug, or an exploit.

 

I could summon 15 Skeletons with the Chanters (I forgot/failed to cast with 1 Chanter, you can abstract 1 Chanter casting 3 extra Skeletons). This was an exploit, and presumably even a bug or a missed design consideration (And if you look at the portraits, it's most likely a bug or incomplete summoning feature, as the portraits simply interlap with the rest of the HUD). Heck, in an earlier build Skeletons were immortal and couldn't even die* or be unsummoned. That was a bug too. Disengagement attacks hitting my characters when I don't understand why it does it, is also a bug or needs clarification, and if it does it exploitably it is presumably a bug as well (as it presumably isn't "Expected behavior"). If something happens when it shouldn't happen mechanically... that's a bug? Isn't it?

 

Remember this? Or did you ever encounter this "exploit"? (Spider couldn't fit through the gap, and was stuck, it couldn't reach the party in essence) this doesn't mean that the Engagement system is bad just because the Spider couldn't reach and attack, it meant that the Spider was too fat or bugged out for the walk-mesh. Should I have considered this "reach-exploit" as a final version expectancy... or as a bug in the work in progress product?

 

I think it was Josh who said that they are working on showing Engagement Circles better IIRC "I have put a guy at work on showing the circles better". This might mean "We are putting work hours on it right now, and we've got a work schedule on it, and we intend to work on this system" or it might far-fetchedly mean "we're ready to drop it any second now".

 

* I'm not sure how Chanters function in this build tbh, so consider all of my Chanter talk as of the first build, as I haven't tested them whatsoever since.

 

EDIT: In essence, a lot of complaints doesn't seem to me to be "Expected behavior", it seems a bit "I want a completely different behavior". And of course, such feedback shouldn't be neglected, it should be taken into consideration as well :) as long as it's Obsidian that decides.

 

Alright, I agree with you on that we don't know what is the most efficient solution (although I think that Sensuki seems to be making a good point in that possible solutions are readily availability without having to design much new stuff). I was just objecting to your metaphor as the point of it was to imply that one way is more efficient than another, and - as you just said - we don't know much about that. But as long as Obsidian don't refute Sensuki's suggestions as somehow more demanding, I'm willing to support the guy making reasonable arguments for one methods efficiency over another. I'm not saying that he is necessarily right, but without any reasonable arguments against his claims there's little reason to oppose him.

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