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@danielkx The metagame aspect is IMO true to a significant extent for BG2, and even there it's not so much the battles but which quests to take in which order, and where the really good lewt is found. We've been discussing this a quite a lot in the "Let's play BG2" threads, and I get the impression that metagame knowledge -- learning to play BG 2 by playing it again and again -- is kind of the whole point for many of its most hardcore fans. And no, it's not exactly my thing; I also find my enjoyment level crashing whenever I make a decision based on metagame knowledge, whether it's about quests to do or combat preparations to make..

 

It is however not true with IWD, for the most part. I did not feel like it was suckerpunching me. I talked to various NPC's and paid attention to what they said, and they did tell you quite enough for you to figure out what to anticipate.

 

What you do have to know though is something about the DnD bestiary. If you have no idea what an umber hulk is, hearing that a mad mage is building an army of them won't help.

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Based on my own personal experiences playing BG2 I think I a lot of you guys are over-exaggerating. I played the game 5-6 years ago for the first time with pretty much no experience with any D&D system, and was able to complete the game with not much ULTRA METAGAMING EXPERIENCE like you guys go off on. Sure I struggled in some places, but I pretty much bumbled through most of the quests without being punished the game that much. Leveling and decking your characters out is pretty straight-forward so all that is left is gathering the right tools for the job. Even that doesn't vary so much other than equipping spells for certain enemies that scream  "HEY THESE DUDES ARE EVIL, THIS WILL PROTECT YA!" and "HEY THAT CC SUCKS, USE THIS BUFF AND ITS OKAY". Vanilla AI Mage scripting is kinda weak, so even lacking the spells to deal with their protections you can even wait out them in a lot of cases.

 

I guess I come from a different generation where reading manuals/dying and reloading to win wasn't considered bad design. I loved playing action games like Ninja Gaiden/Devil May Cry where bosses would punish you terribly until you learned their move-sets. Its often why the "meta-game" knowledge complaint ends up ringing hollow to me. Its natural extension of just learning the game and its systems. Try too hard to mute specific threats and you run the risk of everything being solved by bland and brute force strategies.

 

I'm replaying the game right now for the 2nd time with the SCS mod installed(improved AI all around), and its only reinforcing my opinion. Its easy to struggle right away because you lack the equips and spells to deal with some threats, but once you start rolling you can end with most things handily. My assassin can chunk most mages in one shot, and I rarely need to change up my mages spell selections besides some cleric spells depending on what we're facing. With haste its easy to pop some emergency buffs on before you get slammed.

 

Even after successfully completing BG2 and its expansion the first time, its amazing to come back to the game and still have such depth to delve into. With the SCS mod I feel like I'm playing the game again for the first time and loving it. Most RPGs these days its way too easy to completely master the system many hours before completion(JRPGs are especially guilty of this), so it becomes a slog. Games like Dragon Age Inquisition are such an abomination that you can literally brute-force the game with simple strategies through the entire game on the hardest difficulty.

 

That isn't to say IE games are perfect, and a lot of the save or die and cheese spells needed their edge removed but modern RPGs are so muted that its simply boring. This might come down to encounter design, but the fact most fights can be solved by such similar strategies is lackluster.

Edited by Condiments
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I have essentially never made use of kiting in any Infinity Engine game (I say essentially never, because I can recall no instances of doing it, but it's possible that I have in one or two fights long ago and forgot about it), and I have played through all of them many times specifically ignoring my metagame knowledge as much as is possible -- including and, indeed, especially BG and BG II -- which is fairly completely, since I'm generally good at ignoring player knowledge. It's entirely possible to play all of the games that way, and indeed, entirely possible to win them all even with doing a limited reload quest at the same time (no reload is dicey that way, but still possible).

 

I've actually found myself having to rely on kiting only in modern games with more action influences. I suppose I can't rule out that I'm simply worse at those games, having put less hours into them, but I honestly think that they often end up with worse game mechanics and encounter design.

 

As far as these things go...

 

 

 

trapfinding, pathfinding, not being able to hold a line or intercept a moving enemy using mechanics rather than AI abuse (which I still can't manage either, sorry Sensuki), win-or-lose spells (Rigid Thinking on Lizard King, Hold Person or Cloudkill on party by enemies), permadeath, the weapon proficiency system.

 

They are all things that I either like or am, at worst, neutral about. Well, except for pathfinding. I think we can all agree that the pathfinding often sucks in IE games (often sucks in more recent games, too, but that doesn't mean that it was good in the IE games). Not being able to intercept a moving enemy is also clearly a flaw.

 

Trapfinding I sometimes really enjoy, and sometimes am not particularly fond of. I like it in dungeons like Durlag's Tower and Watcher's Keep; I'm not so fond of it when it's random traps in the middle of the woods. I'm not entirely certain why that is, but there it is.

 

I don't mind save-or-die spells or so-called win-or-lose spells (both in face to face games and in computer games, I've found that the efficacy of these are often exaggerated). That said, I'm also not particularly fond of them. I can take them or leave them. I'd rather have a variety of spells available, but if that can be achieved without the presence of either of those types, I'm just as happy.

 

I actively enjoy permadeath. It's something that I really miss in games that don't have it. Granted, part of this is, I am sure, due to the way in which I am most fond of playing -- with an entire party of my own characters, ignoring resurrection, and creating new characters whenever I lose one -- and that's probably not something everyone does. I also find that it lends more weight to difficult encounters by raising the stakes. If your only options are "win" or "reload", well, that's mostly just some annoyance and lost time if you lose -- but if you have "win", "reload", and "lose one or more party members", that gives some extra incentive to strategise better. I do, however, concede that this is probably best as an optional thing for harder difficulty modes, because I know that some people get annoyed by losing characters (especially NPC party members, I guess).

 

The weapon proficiency system has flaws, but I like it better than some other proficiency systems out there. I suppose all in all I'm pretty neutral on it. It's not very close to my ideal sort of system, and I've never been fond of the somewhat arbitrary weapon restrictions in AD&D.

 

I haven't got any time in the P:E beta yet, since I've been too busy to devote sufficient time to really offer in-depth feedback on it, but it sounds as though most if not all of the things that I do like most about the IE games will be either always present or available (I'm surely not going to be playing on any difficulty setting without permadeath, will definitely be making extensive use of the Adventurer's Hall).

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I guess I come from a different generation where reading manuals/dying and reloading to win wasn't considered bad design.

Not this again.

 

I'm 43 for crying out loud. I've done my share of dying and reloading. We're not all konsole kids here.

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I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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I guess I come from a different generation where reading manuals/dying and reloading to win wasn't considered bad design.

Not this again.

 

I'm 43 for crying out loud. I've done my share of dying and reloading. We're not all konsole kids here.

 

 

That's a bit disingenuous, PJ. You're finnish. You're all born 43 and stay 24 for life. This is a well-known and established fact.

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I guess I come from a different generation where reading manuals/dying and reloading to win wasn't considered bad design.

Not this again.

 

I'm 43 for crying out loud. I've done my share of dying and reloading. We're not all konsole kids here.

 

 

Nice job cherry-picking that out of my entire post to react to. I guess with that sentence out of context it sounds like I'm poking directly at you which was unnecessary, though boxing me in as some elitist stereotype looking down on "console kids" is pushing it. Especially considering in the following sentence I mention two highly praised console games as examples of good design and are among my favorite games of all time. Stereo-typing all around I guess.

 

I think the faltering of the "Reload to win" design has to do with a lot more factors than simply age, moreso an the industry shift to bigger budgeted experiences. I think its telling how the venerated Dark Souls becomes an industry legend for essentially being built around a seamless "try then die and reload" scheme. Its meant to be an experience about skill, but the aforementioned meta-knowledge forms basis of the gameplay and progress. You KNOW the trap is there because you died there last time, and that baddie is ready to jump out with a dagger to mince you once you're weakened from it. The roll or die variant seems cheaper, but it adds more spice to the experience IMO. Otherwise every encounter can easily become "do A then B followed by C then win", rather than "okay, do A then B--OH KNOW MY MONK GOT CHARMED!" You have to change tactics to adjust to the situation.

 

Also its a matter of expectation. If I play a game like DMC/Ninja Gaiden, one-shotting a boss or easily slicing through new enemy variants is pretty disappointing. The joy of the system is learning to overcome its foibles. Playing a game like Planescape, the combat was an active nuisance. 

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Ok, I'm replaying Icewind Dale 2 now and I have no idea of how to control combat.

I try to advance with my tank (deep gnome fighter, superb AC but hitpoints of a butterfly),

if the enemy spots and attacks him like I want I'm all cool.

 

But every now and then some orc decides to rather charge my spellcaster and then we go like in a Benny Hill show.

Caster rapidly zigzagging trying to get away, couple of orcs behind her, my gnome trying to catch the orcs but failing.

Just add Yakety Sax and it's all there.

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Color Spray, Shield, Charm Person, Mage Armor, Sleep, Mirror Image, Horror, Power Word Sleep, Ghoul Touch, Invisibility

 

All good ways for a mage to deal with a stray melee enemy.

So is holding a sword out at neck height as they neglectfully run into it. Or shoulder-checking them. It's a tad more efficient, too. 8)

 

It's a little silly, to be honest, for a game to say "Oh no! A guy's trying to charge your Mage! All hope is lost! Wait! Unless you can utilize the forces of the arcane to somehow conjure up some horrific status ailment upon that person!"

 

Now, if he slices your Fighter's Achilles tendon, then charges your Mage... then yeah, it's up to you, Mage. But, there should be plenty of easier ways to stop someone who hasn't deliberately disabled some of your other party members in some fashion. A capable swordsman shouldn't have to resort to a foot chase just because someone doesn't want to stop and fight him.

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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My sorceress did have sleep, but didn't want to cast it when it could take out half the party with the orc.

Charm could have worked, but first it was a goblin and a wolf, later 2 orcs.

 

With about 5 hit points and a nightgown for armor,

she didn't feel brave enough to stand and see if she gets the spell in and if it sticks before meeting mr. battleaxe.

 

I am getting a bit better at it though. Trying to attract attention with a summon or the fighter.

Wacky races still happen more than I'd like.

 

Temple of Elemental Evil was pretty good at this,

a goblin trying to rush past my fighters would get an attack of opportunity halberd to the neck!

 

I should find the time to try PoE beta, from what I've heard, I'll probably like the more static combat.

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Grah. Didn't remember IWD2 had so much of this enemy reinforcements teleport right next to your casters.

Goblin fortress, there's these drums they use to call reinforcements, but really, teleporting on my butt.

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Grah. Didn't remember IWD2 had so much of this enemy reinforcements teleport right next to your casters.

Goblin fortress, there's these drums they use to call reinforcements, but really, teleporting on my butt.

 

Navigating Athkatla at night in Baldur's Gate 2.

 

OH LOOK A GROUP OF THUGS TELEPORTED ALL AROUND YOUR LEAD CHARACTER YOU'RE GETTING MUGGED OH LAWD.

 

x100.

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A bit further ahead now. Chapter 2 about done.

 

I'm definitely finding combat much easier now, but maybe not so much because I'm better at it, I just have more skills and magic at my disposal.

Mages can whip up mirror image and then invisibility if they're attacked.

 

Stuff I like that won't be in PoE.

Long time buffs. Ogre power that lasts all day, stoneskin that lasts couple of hours.

Long time summons. There's good ones and bad ones, but when I can open fights by sending in a bunch of undead... makes me all warm inside.

 

What I don't like.

Weapon specializations that don't work.

I have two weapon fighting on my main tank, with axe specialization.

So I need a main hand axe, have a bunch of those already.

Then a hand axe for offhand. Haven't see a single magical one, don't know if there's one in the whole game.

I have about seven hundred other +1 weapons, but not that.

 

I'd have been much better off not picking 2 weapon fighting, in this game it seems to be a trap choice.

I'll probably ignore the lost feats and go on with an axe and a shield.

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Ok. Not combat, but navigating in Fell Woods is from the pits of hell.

The same map bits used over and over and over and over again with no clue what leads to where.

Resorting to game banshee. Same with ice temple "puzzles". Not enjoying them one bit.

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you do realize that identical seeming fellwood maps is intended to be a puzzle, yes?  ain't never heard of the hansel & gretel we s'pose as you can use same trick they did.

 

http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/grimm015.html

 

also, use of wilderness lore skill will get you through fellwood without any frustration.

 

is not a particular complex puzzle.

 

HA! Good Fun!

Edited by Gromnir

"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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you do realize that identical seeming fellwood maps is intended to be a puzzle, yes?  

ain't never heard of the hansel & gretel we s'pose as you can use same trick they did.

 

 

also, use of wilderness lore skill will get you through fellwood without any frustration.

is not a particular complex puzzle.

 

 

They don't just seem identical when the next map has the remains of the skeleton I killed in the previous one.

 

Didn't think of using wilderness lore though, even if I have it on one character. It's a skill I actually need to actively use?

Lol, I'd give it a go but already cheated my way through.

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you do realize that identical seeming fellwood maps is intended to be a puzzle, yes?  

ain't never heard of the hansel & gretel we s'pose as you can use same trick they did.

 

 

also, use of wilderness lore skill will get you through fellwood without any frustration.

is not a particular complex puzzle.

 

 

They don't just seem identical when the next map has the remains of the skeleton I killed in the previous one.

 

Didn't think of using wilderness lore though, even if I have it on one character. It's a skill I actually need to actively use?

Lol, I'd give it a go but already cheated my way through.

 

there is typical 3 paths leading out from most maps. some exits will send you backwards.  is simple breadcrumbs solution. use fallen skeletons garbage gear to mark which entrances/exists is dead ends and which is not, and have one other bit o' dropped gear to identify if you is on map 1-4 (or whatever) o' the identical seeming maps.  is plenty o' dead skeletons for just such a purpose. is annoying and a bit time consuming, but is not complex or difficult.  am suspecting folks get frustrated and quit before trying to figure out the puzzle. we weren't a huge fan o' fell wood 'cause it were too easy but it were time consuming... felt like an unnecessary time sink.

 

am suspecting the developers were caught off guard by how many folks hated fell wood, when there were ps:t fans telling how nifty the modron maze were.

 

HA! Good Fun! 

"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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The Modron Puzzle Cube was... ugh, god damn. Parodying bad dungeon crawls is dangerous ground, man. It turns out that knowing the puzzle cube is a bad dungeon crawl ironically doesn't make it much more fun in the end.

 

I guess Nordom is cool but does he really make up for it?

Edited by Tamerlane
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you do realize that identical seeming fellwood maps is intended to be a puzzle, yes?  

ain't never heard of the hansel & gretel we s'pose as you can use same trick they did.

 

 

also, use of wilderness lore skill will get you through fellwood without any frustration.

is not a particular complex puzzle.

 

 

They don't just seem identical when the next map has the remains of the skeleton I killed in the previous one.

 

Didn't think of using wilderness lore though, even if I have it on one character. It's a skill I actually need to actively use?

Lol, I'd give it a go but already cheated my way through.

 

there is typical 3 paths leading out from most maps. some exits will send you backwards.  is simple breadcrumbs solution. use fallen skeletons garbage gear to mark which entrances/exists is dead ends and which is not, and have one other bit o' dropped gear to identify if you is on map 1-4 (or whatever) o' the identical seeming maps.  is plenty o' dead skeletons for just such a purpose. is annoying and a bit time consuming, but is not complex or difficult.  am suspecting folks get frustrated and quit before trying to figure out the puzzle.

 

If I remember correctly, you can also use map notes (on the map screen) instead of dropping trash.

 

But yeah, it was a pretty annoying puzzle because it was so long and repetitive.

Edited by Ineth

"Some ideas are so stupid that only an intellectual could believe them." -- attributed to George Orwell

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The Talonite Priest fight is very easy if you cast Haste, completely ignore the trolls and kill the Talonites as fast as possible.

 

...Or cast Web at the tight entrance corridor, have someone with good saving throws (and the Ring of Free Action) run into the room to aggro all the trolls and priests and run back - and when they start piling up in the corridor, bombard them with all you've got:

 

GIk037D.png

 

I mean, why else would that corridor be there? :grin:

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"Some ideas are so stupid that only an intellectual could believe them." -- attributed to George Orwell

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Ok, I'm replaying Icewind Dale 2 now and I have no idea of how to control combat.

I try to advance with my tank (deep gnome fighter, superb AC but hitpoints of a butterfly),

if the enemy spots and attacks him like I want I'm all cool.

 

But every now and then some orc decides to rather charge my spellcaster and then we go like in a Benny Hill show.

Caster rapidly zigzagging trying to get away, couple of orcs behind her, my gnome trying to catch the orcs but failing.

Just add Yakety Sax and it's all there.

 

I don't think the IE games really work well with the MMO-style 'tank, dps, controller, healer' approach. Aggro wasn't a hate meter that you have to keep maxed with aggro-gaining attacks, it was generally just some (potentially crappy) script. If you really want the only one person to be attacked (like with the Shield of Balduran and beholders) I generally only sent that character out into battle.

 

It's more like 'Dps, controller, healer', if anything. You want to start fights by disabling as many enemies as you can (usually with your wizard or priest). Fighters and Paladins aren't really tanks, they're beefy damage dealers. If monsters start peeling away from the main melee, you need to have some spells prepared to stun/hold/instantly kill them. Or summon some meat to slow them down a bit.

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 I don't think the IE games really work well with the MMO-style 'tank, dps, controller, healer' approach. Aggro wasn't a hate meter that you have to keep maxed with aggro-gaining attacks, it was generally just some (potentially crappy) script. If you really want the only one person to be attacked (like with the Shield of Balduran and beholders) I generally only sent that character out into battle.

 

It's more like 'Dps, controller, healer', if anything. You want to start fights by disabling as many enemies as you can (usually with your wizard or priest). Fighters and Paladins aren't really tanks, they're beefy damage dealers. If monsters start peeling away from the main melee, you need to have some spells prepared to stun/hold/instantly kill them. Or summon some meat to slow them down a bit.

 

 

I just use the term, I'm not actually very familiar with MMORPG mechanics.

Actually I'm appalled every time someone suggests it's a good design where a fighter isn't a superb damage dealer.

 

My deep gnome fighter is doing superb in his role, with natural +4 AC and dexterity through the roof,

almost 10pts higher AC than my cleric in full plate. Minmaxed little bastard.

 

Usually I scout ahead with a hidden character, then send in a couple of summons and the fighter.

 

It's the fights where enemy just pops up, or the fight suddenly begins after a conversation,

or where I just forget to scout and stumble on a fight, where I'm in trouble.

Been running from orcs, giants, golems, trolls, treats, an evil supercleric fighter and what not.

 

But yeah, I'm doing fine on that front now.

Everybody but the sorceress can stand a good bit of melee,

and she has mirror image and invisibility to get away with.

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you do realize that identical seeming fellwood maps is intended to be a puzzle, yes?  

ain't never heard of the hansel & gretel we s'pose as you can use same trick they did.

 

 

also, use of wilderness lore skill will get you through fellwood without any frustration.

is not a particular complex puzzle.

 

 

They don't just seem identical when the next map has the remains of the skeleton I killed in the previous one.

 

Didn't think of using wilderness lore though, even if I have it on one character. It's a skill I actually need to actively use?

Lol, I'd give it a go but already cheated my way through.

 

there is typical 3 paths leading out from most maps. some exits will send you backwards.  is simple breadcrumbs solution. use fallen skeletons garbage gear to mark which entrances/exists is dead ends and which is not, and have one other bit o' dropped gear to identify if you is on map 1-4 (or whatever) o' the identical seeming maps.  is plenty o' dead skeletons for just such a purpose. is annoying and a bit time consuming, but is not complex or difficult.  am suspecting folks get frustrated and quit before trying to figure out the puzzle.

 

If I remember correctly, you can also use map notes (on the map screen) instead of dropping trash.

 

But yeah, it was a pretty annoying puzzle because it was so long and repetitive.

 

 

I don't know why you all hate Fellwood, I loved it, in fact it's one of my most favourite memories from IWD2. And you didn't even need to have the wilderness skill, if you listened to the directions of one NPC before entering fellwood.

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The Modron Puzzle Cube was... ugh, god damn. Parodying bad dungeon crawls is dangerous ground, man. It turns out that knowing the puzzle cube is a bad dungeon crawl ironically doesn't make it much more fun in the end.

 

I guess Nordom is cool but does he really make up for it?

 

If you map the Cube it becomes infinitely easier, if I remember correctly the hard difficulty version in which you acquire Nordom and face the Wizard is set in an 8 by 8 cube. The loot and experience from clearing out these rooms is tremendous, and quite easily gained for a reasonably melee focused Nameless One.

Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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