Jump to content
Arsene Lupin

My thoughts on the progress of the Beta since August.

Recommended Posts

When Obsidian announced that Pillars of Eternity would be delayed into 2015, I thought it was good news: the initial November/December 2014 release window seemed perilously soon for a game that, as evidenced by the first few builds of the backer beta back in August and September demonstrated, still needed a bit of work.

 

Well, now that we're at (or beyond) that initial release window, I thought it would be a good opportunity to dive back into the latest build of the beta and see what's changed--or what hasn't.

 

And, sadly, it seems to me that very little has changed. In fact, the only difference that was immediately discernible to me was the addition of the FFXII-style attack "strings." To be fair, there was a lot to love in the initial build of PoE--and those fantastic elements are just as good now as they were then. But there were also several aspects of the game that needed to be improved, and I can't see that Obsidian has made any real effort to fix things.

 

Combat speed is still too rushed for a game that is trying to emulate the more tactical aspects of an old Infinity Engine dice-emulator. Terrain layer transparency still has a nasty tendency to make people look like floating torso while standing in tall grass. But most troubling of all: the experience system is unchanged. It is still the counter-intuitive mess today it was back when everyone was raising so much fuss about it months ago.

 

These forums have been home to a TON of feedback from fans, and as far as I can tell Obsidian has listened to very little of it. The beta now seems systemically identical to the original beta, and that... is not really a good thing in my estimation.

 

I'm curious, for those of you who have been dipping your toes into the Beta (so to speak) from the beginning: what do you think of the progress Obsidian has made with the Beta since then? 

Edited by Arsene Lupin
  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They're just trying to find out what feels right for the game's combat.  The last couple years hasn't been enough time.

 

It's a shame there isn't a spiritual successor in this vein of gaming that could be used to shortcut a lot of their development time by simply copying the games that made this kickstarter earn almost four million dollars.

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They're just trying to find out what feels right for the game's combat.  The last couple years hasn't been enough time.

 

It's a shame there isn't a spiritual successor in this vein of gaming that could be used to shortcut a lot of their development time by simply copying the games that made this kickstarter earn almost four million dollars.

ROFL.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nathaniel Chapman, an ex-Obsidian developer once said that games are rarely fun until right at the end of their development cycle, and I believe this is even more true of real-time with pause games. However, even with that in mind I think their is valid cause for concern - particularly if you were expecting a game with good, fun combat, while also being a game that tried it's best to 'feel' like an Infinity Engine game, combat wise. This is what I was hoping for. Doesn't look like it's going to be either.

 

While there is still three months to go, I am not very optimistic about the gameplay being anything better than passable. I don't think that it plays much like an Infinity Engine successor other than having similar camera and control schemes. Obsidian seem okay with that. They have definitely nailed or improved upon the Infinity Engine formula in some areas - dialogue systems, dialogue tone and quality, choice and consequence and in a few ways art-wise, too.

 

The game becomes more polished, stable and playable with every patch, but with EVERY patch there are more and more user interface changes that I dislike, which kinda rubs me the wrong way. Nevertheless, I'm gonna keep providing feedback and reporting bugs and get my damn Codex Preview finished before the end of the year hopefully.

Edited by Sensuki
  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It runs smoother. The skill system is much worse, and the attribute system still sucks; though for new reasons. The standard enemies are better balanced. The special encounters are too easy. The xp system is actually a bit better. The classes feel a bit more open, and the fighter is cooler than before. Engagement is still a mess, but Obsidian is dealing with it.

  • Like 1

"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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The skill system is being changed in the next patch to something similar to the old system with a better level up interface. Attributes aren't a big deal as they're easily moddable - although if you're allergic to mods then can't help you sorry. I honestly doubt we'll see another change to attributes other than some minor tweaks to numbers.

 

One of the issues with attributes atm is related to the speed of combat resolution. Since combat pretty much always ends very quickly, Dexterity and Resolve never get their time to be very useful. Except on grazes, the stock durations of spells are good enough for the current speed and Dexterity is broken at the moment (IAS increase isn't working properly), but the theoretical extra number of actions you get from Dexterity doesn't seem worth investing to me with the current pace of combat.

 

The issue is not action speed itself, but per-hit damage. There has been acknowledgement that there are balance issues with classes, abilities and creatures but nothing in the way of incoming DPS rate combined with the attack resolution system (more damage more often) creating pacing issues.

Edited by Sensuki
  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The skill system is being changed in the next patch to something similar to the old system with a better level up interface. Attributes aren't a big deal as they're easily moddable - although if you're allergic to mods then can't help you sorry. I honestly doubt we'll see another change to attributes other than some minor tweaks to numbers.

 

One of the issues with attributes atm is related to the speed of combat resolution. Since combat pretty much always ends very quickly, Dexterity and Resolve never get their time to be very useful. Except on grazes, the stock durations of spells are good enough for the current speed and Dexterity is broken at the moment (IAS increase isn't working properly), but the theoretical extra number of actions you get from Dexterity doesn't seem worth investing to me with the current pace of combat.

 

The issue is not action speed itself, but per-hit damage. There has been acknowledgement that there are balance issues with classes, abilities and creatures but nothing in the way of incoming DPS rate combined with the attack resolution system (more damage more often) creating pacing issues.

 

Hoping that also elements can be moddable, 4+3 is just not enough :p

any news on when the next build will be available?


In-Development: Turn-Based cRPG, late backing OPEN!

realms_beyond_logo_360x90px_transparent_

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Logic says the week before Christmas.

Edited by Sensuki
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Sensuki,

 

During my BGI&II, IWD playthroughs combat ended fast also. It was a matter of 2-4 rounds, with me micro-managing everything.

 

However, 4 BG rounds are longer than average PoE combat.

 

Obsidian may want their combat not to drag on, and this adds an element of realism that I like.

 

However, it won't hurt if combat gets a slightly slower pace in the way @Sensuki suggested, lower per-hit damage.


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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are still Elder Lions in the game :(

 

Those poor old Lions are still being murdered by adventurers...

 

You have understood it wrong they aren't called Elder lions (or wolves) because they are old but because they are older less domesticated race/species of lions/wolves who grow larger, tougher and are less afraid of people.

 

I would say it is sadder still see that those cultists use those giant beetles as their front door guards. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Who the hell domesticates lions? They invariably turn on their masters in practice. 

 

Also, lions that have never seen man are more likely to be AFRAID of them than otherwise. Man is taller on an average and has unknown smell to them. 


"The essence of balance is detachment. To embrace a cause, to grow fond or spiteful, is to lose one's balance, after which, no action can be trusted. Our burden is not for the dependent of spirit."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

There are still Elder Lions in the game sad.png

 

Those poor old Lions are still being murdered by adventurers...

 

You have understood it wrong they aren't called Elder lions (or wolves) because they are old but because they are older less domesticated race/species of lions/wolves who grow larger, tougher and are less afraid of people.

 

I would say it is sadder still see that those cultists use those giant beetles as their front door guards.

 

And still nobody would call them Elder lions. Elder comes from Dragons or Vampires because such creatures power increases with age. With normal animals their power decreases with age.

Elder is the opposite of how they should be called.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

There are still Elder Lions in the game sad.png

 

Those poor old Lions are still being murdered by adventurers...

 

You have understood it wrong they aren't called Elder lions (or wolves) because they are old but because they are older less domesticated race/species of lions/wolves who grow larger, tougher and are less afraid of people.

 

I would say it is sadder still see that those cultists use those giant beetles as their front door guards.

 

And still nobody would call them Elder lions. Elder comes from Dragons or Vampires because such creatures power increases with age. With normal animals their power decreases with age.

Elder is the opposite of how they should be called.

 

Actually, being older would mean they're more powerful. The fact that they've lived so long means they survived fights with other lions who were rivals for the position of leader of the pack. Their age is a testament to their strength.

Edited by Quetzalcoatl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you don't want something to be called an Elder Lion you can just edit the string table entry yourself. Problem solved.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nathaniel Chapman, an ex-Obsidian developer once said that games are rarely fun until right at the end of their development cycle, and I believe this is even more true of real-time with pause games. However, even with that in mind I think their is valid cause for concern - particularly if you were expecting a game with good, fun combat, while also being a game that tried it's best to 'feel' like an Infinity Engine game, combat wise. This is what I was hoping for. Doesn't look like it's going to be either.

 

While there is still three months to go, I am not very optimistic about the gameplay being anything better than passable. I don't think that it plays much like an Infinity Engine successor other than having similar camera and control schemes. Obsidian seem okay with that. They have definitely nailed or improved upon the Infinity Engine formula in some areas - dialogue systems, dialogue tone and quality, choice and consequence and in a few ways art-wise, too.

 

The game becomes more polished, stable and playable with every patch, but with EVERY patch there are more and more user interface changes that I dislike, which kinda rubs me the wrong way. Nevertheless, I'm gonna keep providing feedback and reporting bugs and get my damn Codex Preview finished before the end of the year hopefully.

Yea i can tell Metacritic IGN and other reviewrs are going to tear this game apart when it comes out, ill bet most well give it around a 6 out of 10 :/ i mean a lot may say thats a good score to give it but i dont know

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dunno about that. It's an Obsidian game and it'll be likely polished enough to get an 80 at least. "Good" metacritic score =/= fun gameplay though

Edited by Sensuki
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They're just trying to find out what feels right for the game's combat.  The last couple years hasn't been enough time.

 

It's a shame there isn't a spiritual successor in this vein of gaming that could be used to shortcut a lot of their development time by simply copying the games that made this kickstarter earn almost four million dollars.

 

 

Goddamn...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dunno about that. It's an Obsidian game and it'll be likely polished enough to get an 80 at least. "Good" metacritic score =/= fun gameplay though

This.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I actually like the "Profiency" or "Talent" screen in the character creation/level up. But...

... it is nothing, not even close, to this:
maxresdefault.jpg

This was what I hoped for when I suggested a "Scroll-Down" List for Skills. Points, leveling up individual talents, weapon proficiencies and so on.

There's also 10 on-screen "Skills" in this list. In Pillars of Eternity there's 8 on-screen "Skills". Compare (Steam Screenshot, Open in tab, Skill window Pillars of Eternity).

I can't quite put my finger on it, but I feel something is missing from the Pillars of Eternity version. Maybe because it's too much empty space, or no level ups on the skills/feats, or the UI doesn't fit like puzzle pieces (like the IWD example above). Regardless, they are dropping it and returning to what they intended at first (If I haven't misinterpreted it), which is only good because obviously the Skills window in PoE would require more attention than what Obsidian has to spare.

Other than that, I feel the Beta has progressed far in terms of functionality and playability. I too feel combat is a bit rushed, and would like to see a general/global slow down, perhaps 10%-20% slower, I'd also like to see walking instead of running when out of combat. I also think combat is fun and tactical (Try playing on Path of the Damned if you want a challenge).

For the Engagement Mechanic, I want to suggest Obsidian to take a gander at Blood Bowl: Chaos Edition and try the Real-time mode. It becomes a Real-time with pause mode, and it is reminiscent of the IE games in some ways. The point or potential inspiration I want to make is a bit difficult to do in words, but it has a great AoO mechanic and great feel to it as well. It is tactical and strategical, and quite fun too. I think it could give some insights after just 1-2 hours of free time/homework play (not work hours please).

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have welcomed almost all of the changes (that I can remember at the moment), except for the change to skills and talents. I hated that, but it seems like they will change it back to something similar to the old version (which I still don't find good, but better than the current one). 

The one thing I want from future development is more visual clarity. While combat speed feels better now, and improvements have been made to clarity, it's still terribly hard to see what is going in battles. It really needs to be addressed I think.

 

To me the game is on track for being fantastic. I think the combat is fun (a lot more fun than in earlier iterations), way more fun than I ever expected it to be actually. For me, I think it will beat out the IE games though it will *largely* depend on encounter design in the full game (I'm not a huge fan of RTwP, but encounter design in some of the IE games kinda saved the combat for me).

 

Even after reading the multitudes of (many times constructive) threads, I can't personally see how many people *don't* feel that this feels like a spiritual successor to the IE games, but everyone views the games differently I suppose. I'm personally glad that PoE is not closer to the IE games than it already is, that would be boring in my opinion. But I guess that's the problem with using a term like "spiritual successor", it's vague enough for everyone to read a *lot* into it.

  • Like 2

Listen to my home-made recordings (some original songs, some not): http://www.youtube.c...low=grid&view=0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When Obsidian announced that Pillars of Eternity would be delayed into 2015, I thought it was good news: the initial November/December 2014 release window seemed perilously soon for a game that, as evidenced by the first few builds of the backer beta back in August and September demonstrated, still needed a bit of work.

Little experience as I had had with the v278 BB, it was immediately visible to me that the game was impossible to ship in December anyway, so the delay which they announced as their decision, was more like something they had little choice but to do. Development is obviously not going by schedule. This in itself isn't a big threat to the quality of the final product, as long as we don't run into a situation where they have to release because they are out of budget, but there are still serious shortcomings which affect the gameplay [anyone can substitute with his most serious issue here original.gif ].

 

Combat speed is still too rushed for a game that is trying to emulate the more tactical aspects of an old Infinity Engine dice-emulator. Terrain layer transparency still has a nasty tendency to make people look like floating torso while standing in tall grass. But most troubling of all: the experience system is unchanged. It is still the counter-intuitive mess today it was back when everyone was raising so much fuss about it months ago.

The perceptions vary between players, about which should be Obsidian's first priority when it comes to improving the BB. I think they are using the BB discussion forums as a poll group and trying to prioritize between problems perceived by the poll group (with various levels of severity) vs problems they know exist but the poll group doesn't recognize/hasn't discovered.

 

These forums have been home to a TON of feedback from fans, and as far as I can tell Obsidian has listened to very little of it. The beta now seems systemically identical to the original beta, and that... is not really a good thing in my estimation.

I think they are listening to feedback, but they have to take feedback collectively. One person's feedback is something they will register, but they make decisions based on the sum of all feedback. You can't make a decision about a game everyone will be playing based on just one person's views, you have to see what the majority thinks about one suggestion or another. The more unanimous the poll group, the more probable it is that a change will be implemented. In other words, when any player offers feedback, he should think he is offering it to the rest of the BB players first, and then to Obsidian, because if the community disagrees, or is split about someone's suggestion, Obsidian probably won't give it much attention.

 

I'm curious, for those of you who have been dipping your toes into the Beta (so to speak) from the beginning: what do you think of the progress Obsidian has made with the Beta since then?

Hm, well, first, it no longer hangs on loading an area for me, which basically allows me to do testing in the first place. They slowed down combat a bit, although imo, not enough. Those are the two things I can really feel as serious changes. I'm not counting stuff like adding icons or fixing models/portraits, because they would have had to do this anyway.

 

Of course this whole question wouldn't have been asked if Obsidian just gave us a normal changelog after every BB update, in which case we could have just looked at it to see what have been the important changes implemented. I really don't want to think this is because they don't keep a changelog outside of their version control system's log of commits. original.gif

Edited by Gairnulf

A Custom Editor for Deadfire's Data:
eFoHp9V.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When Obsidian announced that Pillars of Eternity would be delayed into 2015, I thought it was good news: the initial November/December 2014 release window seemed perilously soon for a game that, as evidenced by the first few builds of the backer beta back in August and September demonstrated, still needed a bit of work.

 

Well, now that we're at (or beyond) that initial release window, I thought it would be a good opportunity to dive back into the latest build of the beta and see what's changed--or what hasn't.

 

And, sadly, it seems to me that very little has changed. In fact, the only difference that was immediately discernible to me was the addition of the FFXII-style attack "strings." To be fair, there was a lot to love in the initial build of PoE--and those fantastic elements are just as good now as they were then. But there were also several aspects of the game that needed to be improved, and I can't see that Obsidian has made any real effort to fix things.

 

Combat speed is still too rushed for a game that is trying to emulate the more tactical aspects of an old Infinity Engine dice-emulator. Terrain layer transparency still has a nasty tendency to make people look like floating torso while standing in tall grass. But most troubling of all: the experience system is unchanged. It is still the counter-intuitive mess today it was back when everyone was raising so much fuss about it months ago.

 

These forums have been home to a TON of feedback from fans, and as far as I can tell Obsidian has listened to very little of it. The beta now seems systemically identical to the original beta, and that... is not really a good thing in my estimation.

 

I'm curious, for those of you who have been dipping your toes into the Beta (so to speak) from the beginning: what do you think of the progress Obsidian has made with the Beta since then?

I think Obsidian has made great strides in terms of changes in the beta. There are a lot of changes that are not so visible on glance-over, but things are starting to settle out.

 

I think some of the suggestions that people have and expect are a little late for where the game is at currently. Combat mechanics, for example, is just something that will play how it's going to play for this first game. The combat has actually been slowed down a little, and the game is fairly playable.

 

Things aren't perfect but it's getting there. The question is just a matter of how much time do they have to perfect the game.


My blog is where I'm keeping a record of all of my suggestions and bug mentions.

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/  UPDATED 9/26/2014

My DXdiag:

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/2014/08/beta-begins-v257.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I actually like the "Profiency" or "Talent" screen in the character creation/level up. But...

 

... it is nothing, not even close, to this:

 

 

This was what I hoped for when I suggested a "Scroll-Down" List for Skills. Points, leveling up individual talents, weapon proficiencies and so on.

 

There's also 10 on-screen "Skills" in this list. In Pillars of Eternity there's 8 on-screen "Skills". Compare (Steam Screenshot, Open in tab, Skill window Pillars of Eternity).

 

I can't quite put my finger on it, but I feel something is missing from the Pillars of Eternity version. Maybe because it's too much empty space, or no level ups on the skills/feats, or the UI doesn't fit like puzzle pieces (like the IWD example above). Regardless, they are dropping it and returning to what they intended at first (If I haven't misinterpreted it), which is only good because obviously the Skills window in PoE would require more attention than what Obsidian has to spare.

 

Other than that, I feel the Beta has progressed far in terms of functionality and playability. I too feel combat is a bit rushed, and would like to see a general/global slow down, perhaps 10%-20% slower, I'd also like to see walking instead of running when out of combat. I also think combat is fun and tactical (Try playing on Path of the Damned if you want a challenge).

 

For the Engagement Mechanic, I want to suggest Obsidian to take a gander at Blood Bowl: Chaos Edition and try the Real-time mode. It becomes a Real-time with pause mode, and it is reminiscent of the IE games in some ways. The point or potential inspiration I want to make is a bit difficult to do in words, but it has a great AoO mechanic and great feel to it as well. It is tactical and strategical, and quite fun too. I think it could give some insights after just 1-2 hours of free time/homework play (not work hours please).

 

You know what the problem is with PoE character creation screen, the skills are on one edge of the screen while the explanation is on the other far edge. It is just tiring and not comfortable for the eyes to click a skill on the left and then move your eyes far across to the right side to read what the hell it does.

 

That may be the reason of that unexplainable uncomfortableness you are talking about :)

Edited by crackwise
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×
×
  • Create New...