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Finite Eternity? Or: do pre-limited content bother you?


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If I remember things correctly, PoE is not going to have any kind of infinite content. Everything is limited in a pre-determined way. I am talking about things such as stronghold events (I think it was stated that getting taxes was limited, for example, and negative events as well?), no random encounters (which, by the way, comes with IE-feels!), and no re-spawning enemies (am I correct on this one, or did I miss something?).

 

Am I the only one bothered by this? As a compulsive powergamer (or perhaps it is some form of Freudian death anxiety) i find finite content a bit disturbing because it hard caps resources. I can imagine myself frustrated by finding out that a quest could have been solved in a way that would have given me 100gp more, or hoarding potions for the entire game to save them for the perfect moment that never arrives (this is also IE-feels!). This could of course apply to exp as well, but we are not having that discussion again.

 

Note that this is an entirely psychological thing. I am by no means advocating a steady stream of significant amounts of gold from the stronghold, or enabling any kind of meaningful farming behavior, just the comfort of knowing that I could remedy small mistakes though hard work etc.

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If you want infinite content, go and play an MMO, or Diablo 3, or Skyrim.

 

Hand crafted, unique content > infinite, procedural content for me (and most others on these boards), and as this game is in the style of the finite Infinity Engine games of old, then I'm glad there isn't boring procedural boring so we can grind loot or experience or to use up our potions on.

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I get where you're coming from, but my experience with these games leads me to think that I'll wind up with silly amounts of gold spilling out of my pockets, and an overcrowded stash. I don't foresee getting a feeling of scarcity like the one in Resident Evil games.

 

There's probably more than enough gold, xp and other manure to go around in the game, unless maybe if you rush the game. Take it the other way around: There's no way they can expect you to run around grinding enemies to beat some boss or complete some other objective. Having that sort of safety valve can feel comforting, but ultimately it often winds up being annoying. Some area of the game you cleared out long ago repopulates with either annoying low-level pests or confusingly high-level enemies, and you know in your heart you can't let the copulaters live …

 

Somewhat unrelated, I do like that some games with respawning enemies let you just run straight through them if the level gap is high enough: Earthbound, Paper Mario, probably others.

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Am I the only one bothered by this? 

 

I would be extremely bothered by the opposite.

When it comes to RPGs I like carefully crafted experiences: cleverly designed dungeons, finely tuned and hand-placed loot, well written narrative.

NOT generic/randomized/procedurally generated content. 

 

The argument is typically "But that would make every game different!". Well, I beg to differ: more often than not that would make any moment of the game feel equally generic.

 

Now, just to be clear: I'm very fond of procedurally generated stuff from a technological stand point and I definitely think there's a place in gaming for it. I just don't think RPGs are that place.

It suits better other genres, like... dunno, immersive sims? Roguelikes? Management/building games?

Edited by Tuco Benedicto
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Dont get me wrong now, I am all for hand crafted content all the way! But the occasional respawn in the wilderness or random travel encounters would hardly make PoE an MMO, if anything it may be more like some IE games (You have been waylaid by enemies and must defend yourself!) and create rather than break RPG immersion. Again, the point is not that this should be something people spend any time on.

 

But I do believe that h3st has a point in that the game will likely have old school powergamers swimming in gold soon enough anyway.

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I, too, am a compulsive powergamer, but this doesn't bother me. Part of the fun of powergaming (for me) is figuring out how to do so given limited resources, be that gold, items, skill points, etc. So this isn't a big deal to me, at least. Infinite resources kind of makes it a borefest after a while (kind of like MMOs, I'd guess).

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Am I the only one bothered by this?

 

Nah.  I prefer games that are limited in their experience and do the experience very well.  Not every game has to be Skyrim.  I do not dislike Skyrim but I would rather not every game be like that.

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Am I the only one bothered by this?

 

Nah.  I prefer games that are limited in their experience and do the experience very well.  Not every game has to be Skyrim.  I do not dislike Skyrim but I would rather not every game be like that.

 

i did not like skyrim! the only other TES i played was morrowind, that was WAY better from an rpg perspective and that was already lacking. the main problem with games that have too much content is that there is no time to make most of it "quality content". if you have 1000 quests in your game, on how many of them can you actually work to make them relevant? 50, 60, 100? and that if you have a very large and experienced team with a lot of time on their hands. the rest will just be pointless filler and overall the game lacks reactivity. you simply cant make the world react to the player's actions over the course of 1000 quests, and what you can do for the few relevant is limited since you waste your time to design 1000

so instead of having 900 pointless quests and 100 decent, i prefer it if they spend their time to make just 100 quests but make them right

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Luckily, the game is too far along to change this.  I'm definitely with the crowd who does *not* want procedural content.  The point of these games is the microbrew feel.  I want to know they thought about everything in the game and tailored it specifically to the story.  I would be extremely unhappy if they changed to a bunch of random events and took the lazy route of having tons of respawns all the time.  Now, some respawning in a sensible way, such as a different group of critters moving into a cleared den after a certain amount of time, doesn't sound all that bad, but having an entire area suddenly respawn all the monsters isn't just wrong for this game, it's just wrong for most games.  You expect it with WoW, and it's perfectly fine, but it usually just smacks of lazy design work and grinding.

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In a perfect game, one might get not only a tight story and carefully crafted content but also infinite side content just in case. I probably wouldn't use that side content, or not very much of it, even if it were there. As it is, one usually has to choose between the two, and I far prefer the first. There's nothing quite like a nice, hand-crafted dungeon; volume does not make up for lack of quality. In short, I am happy with the way it is.

 

Every game that I have ever played which has so-called infinite content (to me, it more often seems that the real content is actually even more finite than usual, as I'm not usually fond of the randomly generated stuff) has not compelled me to keep playing after the main storyline -- whatever that should happen to be for the character I'm playing -- is over. I'll pick such games up again in order to play expansions, if those look interesting, but that's the same for games that definitely end. I don't wander around in the world after the game is (to me) over. If I touch the procedural content at all, and whether or not I do depends on the character I'm playing, it'll be as side content during the game. I am all for sequels which let you import the character, especially when they let you keep the same level (it usually comes of very strangely if they don't) and expansions. I think you get more high-quality content that way than with a lot of largely random side content.

 

Some random encounters are fine. I liked the random waylayings of Baldur's Gate. I'm leery of respawning, though; it's too often done in a rather questionable way. Procedural quests are an intersting idea, but are not yet to the point where they seem like anything but random filler. I suppose if you're going to have lots of filler sidequests they're a good way to do it, but I'd rather have a single really cool and unique sidequest than fifty generic-feeling ones.

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Some random encounters are fine. I liked the random waylayings of Baldur's Gate. I'm leery of respawning, though; it's too often done in a rather questionable way. 

Hah, story time.  I was just poking about (again) with BG, and at the first area transition, I got a random encounter: 8 bandits in a semicircle.  Poor imoen died more or less instantly, and I booked it for the map edge.  Dumped her corpse from the party for a sense of realism, but I can see a lot of people tossing the keyboard in disgust if that sort of thing happened on their first playthrough.

 

Bad respawning: Dragon Age Inquisition was hellishly guilty of this.  Hinterlands, some idiots cabin, and outfront there are a bunch of demons.  Kill the, circle around the cabin for 30 seconds to check for more boxes in the epic saga of Box Rummager 2014.  Came back around the corner, and in the exact same spot, 4 more enemies, and a brand new wagon and camp site had suddenly materialized. In literally under 30 seconds.  

 

 

 

As to the original post... I'm afraid I don't get it.  The random encounters and rest-encounters didn't yield appreciable resources.  And least not compared to selling the boatloads of magic junk that simply accrue in the course of the adventure proper.  If anything they were a waste of spell slots, ammunition and potions.  (and time/effort).  If you're hurting for resources such that 100gp is going to make a difference, my reaction is you're doing something wrong.  Money tends to be tight in early game stages, adequate in the middle and a flood that often isn't even worth picking up towards the end. Given that this game is intentionally trying to recreate Ye Olde Skool, I'd expect much of the same thing, which makes it a non-issue.

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I am a big fan of procedural (infinite) content, but even I don't think this could work in a game like this.

 

Without full focus during the design phase on procedural generation infinite content is out of question. Pillars of Eternity, as is stands, is a game that will always be limited and pre-scripted. You could dynamize some aspects of the game to some extent, but this would require different approach and some tech that's pretty experimental at this point in time. I am talking about AI, internal logic and game's engine. All have to work together if a non-scripted RPG game is to be made.

 

There was the project to advance storymaking in an RPG genere, but sadly it got little attention and it's now on hold. So, for now, pre-scripted and finite content will have to suffice. I only hope game will have enough pre-scripted options to accomodate all players and will be different a couple of times I decide to do something different, not "say something different and you'll get the same outcome, because we are lazy" thing.

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With some games infinite replay with the same character is great/fine and even expected. Other games I don't feel it's appropriate at all. Games like PoE, BG, etc. are in the latter category. Choices and consequences should have at least a bit of meaning - not just the big plot/chr. consequences but whether you can afford a suddenly coveted item at the end or not.

 

If you don't sell items because you're always worried you may need them  "someday", that's a choice. If you use items instead of selling them, that's a choice. And so on. This type of game, I hope for a consequence for my actions, even if it's a small consequence. Is it irritating at times? Yup, can be. I still ideally want them there.

 

I'll make a guess that, just like in the older games, at some in PoE we'll all be feeling at least moderately flush with funds, so I kinda doubt it'll be a major issue for most anyway. And of course, one can always do it "perfectly" during a 2nd playthrough or something. I value re-playability more than "infinite play" with a single chr./save, I guess.

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I wouldn't worry much about finite resources. Usually in this kind of rpgs you only feel restricted by money for like half the game, before you start swimming in it. And comparing a legit and endless money run of bg1 I've found it's mostly different in the really early game when the basic gear matters, while later it just makes you upgrade more often in smaller amounts and by reaching baldur's gate it's the same thing.

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No, wait, you're still misunderstanding me, I'm not advocating anything remotely like skyrim. I'm talking about a re-spawning lion or two of several in the stormwall gorge, or a couple of bandits on the roads now and then, nothing that allows any re-playability or infinite resources in practice, I am only interested in the principle. I dislike a game world which feels like it is ending for every step you take, and I that it feels more alive if all lions are not extinct from your very first visit.

 

Oh well, people got to discuss open world vs hand-crafted games at least.

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What'd be nice is a finite amount of random encounters, each of them carefully and uniquely handcrafted. Just like Fallout 1. This added a little je ne sais quoi that definitely contributed to the game atmosphere.

Edited by Rumsteak
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What'd be nice is a finite amount of random encounters, each of them carefully and uniquely handcrafted. Just like Fallout 1. This added a little je ne sais quoi that definitely contributed to the game atmosphere.

 

Didnt fallout have both unique and random encounters? Like fallout 2? In any case, thats a good way of doing it, I hope no one compares fallout with MMO's simply because there are infinite elements in it.

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