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My Ultra-Conservative/Reactionary Wishlist for the Expansion

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#1
Gairnulf

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I accepted a lot of IE features being omitted from PoE with the argument that they were not very enjoyable. I reconciled with other features being omitted with the explanation that development time/resources were not enough. When it comes to the expansion though, I will raise my expectations. Taking into account the fact that the team has experience with the engine tools and has a solid base to build upon. The features I was sort of disappointed to see gone from PoE and want back in the expansion are these, off the top of my head:

1. Arrows, bullets and bolts for projectile weapons.
2. Weight carry capacity on per-party member basis
3. Map notes
4. The damn volume sliders from IE games.
5. The damn interface feedback sliders from IE games.
6. Splitting the party between non-party-required areas, which in combination with
7. Stealth on party member level will allow for the party's prowler ro scout ahead in buildings effectively.
8. Separated stealth and trap-detecting stance - it just looks silly to have your party go semi-transparent and in stealth when you really want to look for traps, Immersion-breaking too.
9. Pickpocket as an ability - I think there is a no small segment of players who find it fun to pickpocket every npc just to see what they'll find. I know I've done it throughout Baldur's Gate and Athkathla :) It's similar to that silly mmo game where you just open chests. The surprise of what you'll find drives you on. Not to mention that a pickpocket mechanic can be used in quests.

I'll limit this wishlist to features I want back from IE games, without writing about new features which I think would add to the gameplay such as a more complex search for containers mechanic for example.

What do you think about this little list. Anything here that you also consider important?
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#2
Lephys

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With ammo, I'd even be fine with you buying "Frost Arrows," and equipping them as "an item," and just being restricted to so many per-encounter or something, and having infinite basic arrows, etc. But, I'm not really against the "buy 10 arrows, then fire 10 arrows, then be out of arrows" system.

Regarding #2, I think it would've been cool if Might (or maybe even Athletics or something) affected your carry weight (even if the weights of all the things weren't perfectly measured, it could be something as simple as "You can only stack 3 potions in a single quick-slot by default, but because of your ability, you can stack 5") AND the effects of armor on recovery time. Something that affected that would be nice. I know Might would probably be a bit OP right now if you just tacked that effect on, but, in principle, "Oh, you have 18 Might? Then that armor increases your recovery time by 20% instead of 50%" would be pretty great.

And lastly, with Pickpocket... I just really kind of hate how it becomes a "free random stuff" button in games. I think it needs to be limited in some way, or it's just a little silly. Even in a PnP session, if you just went around pickpocketing everyone, the DM would see your character dead before very long. I don't think it should only be limited to situations in which pickpocketing something will be the "I win" button or anything. But, I'm not at all against it at least being limited to significant situations. OR, at the very least, there needs to be some kind of "find out what people even have" system or something. That's really the only thing that encourages rampant pickpocketing; the fact that you have no idea what you might miss out on if you don't pickpocket everyone. If most people didn't have crap on them, or would catch you pretty easily, and you had to actually set up situations in which people were distracted, and/or you had to find worthwhile marks in the first place, it could definitely be very interesting.

Also, I think going with an ability like "Sleight of Hand" is better, since you can use it of for a lot more than JUST stealing from people's pockets. You could use that in dialogues and interactions, to make people think you had given them something you actually palmed, or to entertain/distract people in a tavern, or to make some brutish troll in the woods believe you're actually a mighty wizard, etc.

Pickpocketing needs to not be a "Probably get stuff for free" mechanic. That's too simple of a mechanic.
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#3
Diogenes

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Pickpocketing never works in videogames because it always either something you can savescum or read a list on the Internet to learn who has the worthwhile loot and what skill level you need to get it. Yes maybe some of you don't do that well done but 99% of people aren't going to keep playing after they try to pickpocket someone, fail and turn the whole town hostile.


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#4
Lephys

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Maybe you could tie pickpocketing failures to the reputation system?

Trying to snatch that lady's purse? Well, you "fail," and now everyone just thinks you're a pervert. :)

But, yeah, that's kind of the whole point. That no one's going to keep playing with such a dire consequence as "everyone hates you now." But, that's really what would happen. Especially in most of the settings of medieval fantasy games. People didn't screw around. At the very least, you'd be locked up, and not conveniently let out again after paying some silly fine. But, shy of a game built completely around pickpocketing, there's no reason for you to even be able to just run around pickpocketing everyone in sight. Like I said, at the very least, you should have to find people on their own, or create diversions to give you opportunities to actually pickpocket without being noticed. Ultimately, however you do it, it's going to limit the number of instances in which you can pickpocket, from "is there a person? PICKPOCKET" down to only sometimes being able to pickpocket.

Anywho, we probably shouldn't get too in-depth specifically with pickpocketing, because there's a thread for that. But, long-story-short, it needs to be somewhat emergent (i.e. not just "there's a thing you really need but can't get. Would you like to Pickpocket, in this one instance, if your skill happens to be high enough?"), but doesn't need to be a candy dispenser. You should no more be able to run amok pickpocketing everyone than you should be able to run amok killing people and taking their stuff. Or... simply robbing people by force. That's probably a more apt comparison. It's just not feasible. Sure, when you come upon a lonely group of travelers on a road somewhere, you could easily get away with robbing them at sword-point. Maybe they'll tell someone, but maybe people won't believe them. But, in town, I don't care how skilled you are. You can't just take all the things. And you certainly can't peruse people's pockets without even knowing what they have before even risking getting caught.
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#5
Valsuelm

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Pickpocketing never works in videogames because it always either something you can savescum or read a list on the Internet to learn who has the worthwhile loot and what skill level you need to get it. Yes maybe some of you don't do that well done but 99% of people aren't going to keep playing after they try to pickpocket someone, fail and turn the whole town hostile.

 

It works fine.

 

Trying to circumvent save scumming into game design is fail. Worrying about what players are going to look up on the internet is fail.

 

Some players are going to do that, some are not.


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#6
KaineParker

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How about Glorious Revolutionary wishlist comrade?

1. Hyper reactive world with loads of choice and consequence
2. An evil path that isn't completely idiotic or a good path that doesn't shoe in being an antihero
3. A magic system that isn't crap or completely outpaces non-magic users after level 12
4. Trap detection that isn't complete ****
5. Codpiece mounted revolver
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#7
Diogenes

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Might I sugest agin, a skul-gun for my head. Yesterday in Battery Park, some scum we all know pushes smack for NSF gets jumpy and draws. I take 2 .22's, 1 in flesh, 1 in augs, befor I can get out that dam asalt gun.

If I could kil just by thought, it would be beter. Is it my job to be a human target-practis backstop?


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#8
Silent Winter

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But, I'm not at all against it at least being limited to significant situations. OR, at the very least, there needs to be some kind of "find out what people even have" system or something. That's really the only thing that encourages rampant pickpocketing; the fact that you have no idea what you might miss out on if you don't pickpocket everyone. If most people didn't have crap on them, or would catch you pretty easily, and you had to actually set up situations in which people were distracted, and/or you had to find worthwhile marks in the first place, it could definitely be very interesting.

Also, I think going with an ability like "Sleight of Hand" is better, since you can use it of for a lot more than JUST stealing from people's pockets. You could use that in dialogues and interactions, to make people think you had given them something you actually palmed, or to entertain/distract people in a tavern, or to make some brutish troll in the woods believe you're actually a mighty wizard, etc.

Pickpocketing needs to not be a "Probably get stuff for free" mechanic. That's too simple of a mechanic.

^Agree with this - as for needing to pickpocket everyone to make sure you don't miss out - there could simply be a logic to it: peasants have nothing but a dirty handkerchief or something, rich-looking merchants might have a few gold (but wouldn't carry enough on themselves to be economy breaking - they'd have hired guards for that - nor be really worth it - just for the role-play fun of a thief character), a wizard might have a scroll but also a magical detection against theft.  You'd be able to pick up rumours that suggest Old Farty McDrubbins carries a lucky rabbit's foot or anything that might be 'worth' stealing.

I agree that 'sleight of hand' would be a better skill since it'd have more uses.

Also, pickpocketing a full-plate armour would be right out - it should be limited to small-ish items - anything else requires a heist / mugging.


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#9
huang

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Maybe you could tie pickpocketing failures to the reputation system?

 

Reading this I'm really surprised it wasn't always handled like this anyway.

 

Also, don't you all think it's a little early to think about the _expansion_?!? I want to play and finish PoE first.



#10
Sedrefilos

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How can you/we say "I want this and that" before having even played the game? Maybe we won't miss those things while playing it. Maybe some are already in and we don;t know it. Maybe we'll see that this way is better.

 

Who knows?



#11
Luckmann

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How can you/we say "I want this and that" before having even played the game?
 
[...]

  • Beta.
  • Experience.

Many of Gairnulf's points would objectively improve the game, and isn't a matter of overall impression or the gestalt being of the game and it's connected mechanics. Some of the points are arguably subjective (per-character encumbrance, pickpocket) but most of them are clear improvements that not even the most myopic of sycophants could disagree with (ammunition, map notes, volume & interface feedback slider(s), splitting the party, un-neutered stealth, separate stealth & trap detection, etc).


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#12
Diogenes

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  • Beta.
  • Experience.

Many of Gairnulf's points would objectively improve the game, and isn't a matter of overall impression or the gestalt being of the game and it's connected mechanics. Some of the points are arguably subjective (per-character encumbrance, pickpocket) but most of them are clear improvements that not even the most myopic of sycophants could disagree with (ammunition, map notes, volume & interface feedback slider(s), splitting the party, un-neutered stealth, separate stealth & trap detection, etc).

 

 

Sorry they are all subjective.


Edited by Diogenes, 26 February 2015 - 01:31 AM.

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#13
Gairnulf

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How about Glorious Revolutionary wishlist comrade?
1. Hyper reactive world with loads of choice and consequence
2. An evil path that isn't completely idiotic or a good path that doesn't shoe in being an antihero
3. A magic system that isn't crap or completely outpaces non-magic users after level 12
4. Trap detection that isn't complete ****
5. Codpiece mounted revolver

Damn, Kaine, you just took most of the things I was going to post in another thread about a new features wishlist :lol: Especially the codpiece revolver!

How can you/we say "I want this and that" before having even played the game? Maybe we won't miss those things while playing it. Maybe some are already in and we don;t know it. Maybe we'll see that this way is better.

Who knows?

I had this list in my mind mostly as a list of things I had found to be missing in the Backer Beta and knew won't be making it into the game. I think there has already been a commitment expressed from Obsidian to add some of them with a patch (stealth on party member level and I think volume sliders) but I'm including them for completeness. I think the argument "you won't miss them anyway" can become a slippery slope towards "streamlining" in the bad sense - taking away freedom of action from the player by removing features which weren't required for gameplay reasons but were there just to accomodate for different play styles. (No projectiles is a typical example of this).



I agree with Lephys that rampant pickpocketing is pretty much power-gaming, but raising this as an argument against the mechanic of arbitrary pickpocketing is an example of "selective realism". Carrying 5 shields of varying size in your inventory isn't any more realistic than pickpocketing at will. Or than being able to hide in shadows in front of a closing enemy who hasn't seen you yet, etc. In the IE games the rewards from pickpocketing were mostly small and not worth the time, and the penalty for getting caught was the time lost in reloading (conveniently in that regard PoE seems to have rather long loading times ;) ). More than one fail at pickpocketing usually meant that I would skip that target. So I don't think it was unbalancing the gameplay, and most of the trinkets weren't worth much if they were even worth anything anyway, especially when I was bathing in money by the mid-game. Even for the power-gamer it's much more profitable to go clear a dungeon and haul loot from there than to spend the same amount of time pickpocketing random NPCs.

I'll leave the "conservative" part for a bit to make a suggestion - why not improve on the IE games' pickpocketing implementation and put in small quests or minor details about the world or characters that would only be discovered by pickpocketing NPCs? Because you don't need to only pickpocket valuables. For example while playing Thief, one of my favourite things was reading notes left by someone and learning more about the world from the context of the note.

Or what about turning pickpocketing into a little gambling game - if you fail at pickpocketing you lose a small percentage of your XP, like 0.30% of your current XP? :) That would probably make you consider before pickpocketing unless you have reasons to expect the target would be carrying something really valuable (of course save scumming is still an option but the time lost in loading stays as a penalty). And the conditions can be made further more complex - lose a bit larger percentage every subsequent time you fail a pickpocket check, etc.

So, pickpocketing adds a lot of possibilities imo, it's up to the designer to make use of them. It's similar to having a variety of arrows/projectiles for weapons - it doesn't kill the game if it's out, but can make it better if it's in.

Sorry they are all subjective.

Not all the points are subjective, I think. For example the adding of interface features, is that subjective too? I think these are improvements whatever someone's opinion is of the playable part of the game, because they are just tools that go with that part. The opposite view - the game doesn't need anything, isn't an expression of support for the game or developers, criticism is support, because it helps them improve.

And as for the subjective points in my wishlist - I don't claim to represent everyone's desires, hence it's called "My ... wishlist".

P.S.
Before the timer for editing my post has ran out, let me add something I forgot last night:
10. At least let us experiment with either a key for walk/run toggle, or with having characters use run animation only when in combat. I just want to try out the game with characters that walk. I only need to see it for a few minutes to check if this wouldn't suddenly make it feel a lot more like an IE game. This request has usually been countered with "this would make them move too slow, would be boring to the player" but isn't that what the "double speed" option is for?

Edited by Gairnulf, 26 February 2015 - 02:29 AM.


#14
Luckmann

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  • Beta.
  • Experience.

Many of Gairnulf's points would objectively improve the game, and isn't a matter of overall impression or the gestalt being of the game and it's connected mechanics. Some of the points are arguably subjective (per-character encumbrance, pickpocket) but most of them are clear improvements that not even the most myopic of sycophants could disagree with (ammunition, map notes, volume & interface feedback slider(s), splitting the party, un-neutered stealth, separate stealth & trap detection, etc).

 

 

Sorry they are all subjective.

 

 

Only if you're a contrarian on purpose. Most of them are objective improvements, and unless you have a better argument than "nu-uh", I think most people that aren't functionally disabled can see that.



#15
TrueNeutral

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What mechanics are good Subjective vs Objective is an interesting topic but lets keep the focus on that topic in regards to what features could improve PoE in a franchise rather than discussing who is more or less intelligent? Thanks.


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#16
KaineParker

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I think it's clear that a codpiece revolver is an objective improvement to anything.

From Dusk Till Dawn is objectively improved by Sex Machine and his codpiece revolver.
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#17
Sedrefilos

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Some people just can't get over, even now, that this is not IWD with better graphics... what can one say?

 

And yes, all of the OP's points are subjective. That's why one should play the entire game from start to finish and then see if there is anything amiss. For example, I don't care about ammunition. Maybe some limited ammunition types on top of the infinite generic ammunition? Don't know. Maybe it won't matter after all. Maybe it won't add anything special to the overall experience.

 

Again, who knows yet?



#18
rjshae

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For simplicity, #1 could be managed by ammo charges that are recovered per rest, with the #charges dependent on the character stats. Otherwise it's just a tedious bookkeeping exercise.

 

#2 seems like another tedious bookkeeping requirement.

 

For #3, I guess you mean annotations?

 

Per #9, why can't they add themed sub-skill bonuses as talents? For example, the Nimble Fingers feat in D&D gives you a +2 bonus to open locks and disable traps.


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#19
dorkboy

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With regards to ammo management maybe normal arrows (bolts, bullets, whathaveyou) could be per encounter and specialty ones could be per rest?

Haven't played the beta so I've got no idea if that would actually work with the current gameplay, though.


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#20
h3st

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Ammo is pretty meh for my part, unless it's to open for special ammo. Even then you could get some rare special ammo and otherwise fall back to regular ammo.

Restricting ammo works in games like Resident Evil, where it's hard to come by and you have to ration it. In games like Baldur's Gate, I've never ran out of plain ammo. Buy a little from the shops, loot enemy archers, and having enough ammo just becomes some humdrum book-keeping task. Getting infinite ammo containers in those games is sweet because it frees up inventory slots you can use for something that has a better gold / weight ratio. Since we don't have inventory restrictions here, it doesn't make sense to have us click a couple of buttons to buy \infty-ish ammo for half a copper.

Selecting the proper ammo for the right enemy though, or conserving special ammo, that's interesting.


Per-character encumbrance and that whole balancing act is sooooo tedious. Just pretend you went back and forth between the dungeon five times if it's that important to you. Or imagine there's encumbrance, and have your characters march back and forth five times for no reason.
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