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The blandness of this RPG system

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I've noticed there was something I disliked straight away, seeing as I had no reason at all to change any of my starting equipment even after 5 hours of playing, seeing as there simply wasn't anything better, but only "different", but after playing more, and reading this:

 

http://kotaku.com/how-to-balance-an-rpg-1625516832 (which is very nicely written by the way and very astute),

 

I'm pretty sure I had it right.

 

 

Such efforts have gone into making everything "work out", making everything "viable", that the game is incredibly bland for an RPG. If you had considered human psychology instead of math charts, you would have not designed it this way.

 

 

Such efforts have gone into allowing players to "maintain their clothing style in the game" that everything is mechanically bland and samey, because of the missguided effort to keep it all mechanically viable as well.

 

The whole fun of an RPG is those supposed 'game changers' that you find. That special stuff that far outclasses what you have and which is so significant that it changes the way you approach combat from the moment you find it onwards (for example, having had a fighter with a greatsword, and suddenly finding a longsword that is so good that you switch to using sword and shield, changing the way you play. these things are the stuff of great RPG mechanics), or the knowledge that there's something which outclasses your current equipment and which you just cannot afford yet.

 

 

The way this game is set up, and correct me if I'm wrong, as I admit I haven't played it completely through, this doesn't really happen. It's seems to be all blandy bland same, but scaling ever upwards to become the same bland but with bigger numbers VS bigger number enemies.

 

 

Really, who told you I WANT padded armor to remain a "viable option" later into the game? Why is this more fun or interesting AT ALL? Most RPGs took the much more fun way, which is NOT TO MAKE EVERYTHING VIABLE, but rather have you progress and change instead of keep the same crap you like aesthetically forever and just upgrade it with +1, +2, +3 and so on.

Not that it's relevant so much, but in reality, as in those RPGs, the choice of crappy padded armor was in almost all cases BECAUSE YOU WERE VERY POOR or unimportant enough that nobody cares about equipping you well.

And of course you would have much preferred to get that more pricey leather armor, or chainmail if you could. AND THIS IS WHAT MAKES RPGS FUN TOO. The anticipation for improvement. Knowing there's something much better to get, and saving up for when you can finally get it.

Finding stuff which is SO MUCH BETTER than what you have.

It's basic really.

 

 

Even the numbers game doesn't really make any difference.

Great, so I have spear which is slightly more accurate and mace which defeats some damage reduction. End result? pretty much the same. Either I hit slightly more for slightly less damage or hit slightly less for slightly more damage. In either case it's not really enough for me to exchange weapons even if it puts me at 0.1% of disadvantage, because that's pretty much how it's set up, in order to not "interrupt the player's choice of stylized outfitting".

 

 

So far, I find this to be poorly considered :)

 

 

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I sure hope my archer can get low penalty armor that has higher DR than normal. Would be a shame if that didn't exist. But I gotta think it has to. They wouldn't make this type of game and not include the same type of gear as BG2 and IWD, right? I am not far into the game though, so I have no idea.

Edited by katie

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I'd suggest you play more, listen to reviewers less. 

 

Spear and mace are very different. They do different damage types which can be significant depending on enemies' damage reduction types. Spear has reach and can attack from behind another character for example which can be pretty useful. Bonus accuracy and DR bypass are very different too, accuracy means little vs. an opponent with high DR while the spear would be better vs. an opponent with lower DR but higher deflection. 

 

As for loot, equipment has enchantments similar to DnD. So for example you had your generic +1/2/3 bonuses or life drain or + 1d6 of a certain type of damage or some kind of spell effect on strike, etc. PoE has pretty much all that stuff. For example, instead of +X enchantments it has weapon quality which increases accuracy and damage. You can also enchant stuff and make your own magic weapons/armor as well as just find or buy them.  

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So I'll address the armor situation. 

 

In previous installments of this type, such as BG or IWD - the armor *was* the same - because you would ultimately just wear the heaviest possible armor at all times so long as the character had the strength to wear it (Viconia!!!).  This resulted in a system where you literally had everybody wearing the same thing - there was no reason to even wear any of the other kinds of armor besides fancier armors being too expensive.   The goal of this game's system is to get you to pick on a trade-off (do you want more protection - or to act faster in combat).   As the game progresses you'll find plenty of unique armors that will have you pondering the relative merits of each set as well lol.   Adding crafting on top of that and you've got plenty of variation. 

 

 

 

The weapons are along the same line - they tried to give each separate weapon type some sort of upside/downside trade off so that they didn't feel the same.   Because ultimately all that's different about weapons in standard D&D-type systems is their damage type and what sorts of dice you roll for a given weapon.   I'm at the point where I've found *tons* of much "better" weapons for my tank, but ultimately, the deflection bonus his fine hatchet gives him is something I really want - because it helps him reach god-tier deflection lol. 

Edited by Gallenger
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You can upgrade your favored items pretty much until the current campaign is at an end.

 

In some ways, that means everything is viable. In reality it means you have to make significant decisions about what you're going to invest in.

 

There are at least a half dozen "unique" weapons and armor that you can find that would be beyond expensive to duplicate in the crafting and enchanting engines.

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So I'll address the armor situation. 

 

In previous installments of this type, such as BG or IWD - the armor *was* the same - because you would ultimately just wear the heaviest possible armor at all times so long as the character had the strength to wear it (Viconia!!!).  This resulted in a system where you literally had everybody wearing the same thing - there was no reason to even wear any of the other kinds of armor besides fancier armors being too expensive.   The goal of this game's system is to get you to pick on a trade-off (do you want more protection - or to act faster in combat).  

 

 

 

The weapons are along the same line - they tried to give each separate weapon type some sort of upside/downside trade off so that they didn't feel the same.   Because ultimately all that's different about weapons in standard D&D-type systems is their damage type and what sorts of dice you roll for a given weapon. 

What?  Did you ever play BG or IWD?

You definitely don't just have everyone wear the same thing.  You can't.

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So I'll address the armor situation. 

 

In previous installments of this type, such as BG or IWD - the armor *was* the same - because you would ultimately just wear the heaviest possible armor at all times so long as the character had the strength to wear it (Viconia!!!).  This resulted in a system where you literally had everybody wearing the same thing - there was no reason to even wear any of the other kinds of armor besides fancier armors being too expensive.   The goal of this game's system is to get you to pick on a trade-off (do you want more protection - or to act faster in combat).   As the game progresses you'll find plenty of unique armors that will have you pondering the relative merits of each set as well lol.   Adding crafting on top of that and you've got plenty of variation. 

 

 

 

The weapons are along the same line - they tried to give each separate weapon type some sort of upside/downside trade off so that they didn't feel the same.   Because ultimately all that's different about weapons in standard D&D-type systems is their damage type and what sorts of dice you roll for a given weapon.   I'm at the point where I've found *tons* of much "better" weapons for my tank, but ultimately, the deflection bonus his fine hatchet gives him is something I really want - because it helps him reach god-tier deflection lol. 

 

I haven't finished the game yet, and I'm playing a rogue main, so keep that in mind with my response...

 

So far, contrary to Josh's goal, you want the heaviest armor possible in all cases.

 

I don't care if I could theoretically "do more stuff" with lighter armor.  When dead, I can "do no stuff" so what difference does it make?  And in a game with so many nuke spellcasters as enemies, dead is a pretty normal outcome of a guy in light armor trying to participate in a fight.  Sure I'll get a couple quick hits in, and then boom, dead.

 

I've even got draining stilettos which are fantastic at keeping me in a fight most of the time.  Lots of hits brings in lots of endurance, and life is good.  And then I run into a single big heavy attack that lands, and there I am, sprawled out on the floor hoping my two tank fighters can grind everything down.

 

So switch said rogue to plate.  Yes, big reduction in speed. But guess what happens when the big, slow hit comes in?  I live.  And then I get my endurance back via draining, and do so faster than the next big hit can come in.

 

I should prolly also mention I'm really, really good a breaking games.  I have no doubt by the time I finish I'll know exactly what's going on with enemy AI, what the min-max building tricks are, etc.  Pity writing strategy guides doesn't really pay that well anymore in a world full of free wikis :p

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Your premise is at odds with your content, and the link you posted undermines your own ideas--or I should say, alleviates them. Try playing more than a few hours, you are sure to find what you're not looking for.

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All Stop. On Screen.

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So I'll address the armor situation. 

 

In previous installments of this type, such as BG or IWD - the armor *was* the same - because you would ultimately just wear the heaviest possible armor at all times so long as the character had the strength to wear it (Viconia!!!).  This resulted in a system where you literally had everybody wearing the same thing - there was no reason to even wear any of the other kinds of armor besides fancier armors being too expensive.   The goal of this game's system is to get you to pick on a trade-off (do you want more protection - or to act faster in combat).   As the game progresses you'll find plenty of unique armors that will have you pondering the relative merits of each set as well lol.   Adding crafting on top of that and you've got plenty of variation. 

 

 

 

The weapons are along the same line - they tried to give each separate weapon type some sort of upside/downside trade off so that they didn't feel the same.   Because ultimately all that's different about weapons in standard D&D-type systems is their damage type and what sorts of dice you roll for a given weapon.   I'm at the point where I've found *tons* of much "better" weapons for my tank, but ultimately, the deflection bonus his fine hatchet gives him is something I really want - because it helps him reach god-tier deflection lol. 

 

I haven't finished the game yet, and I'm playing a rogue main, so keep that in mind with my response...

 

So far, contrary to Josh's goal, you want the heaviest armor possible in all cases.

No. No, you absolutely do not. I just switched half my parties armor out as an experiment, and trust me--my ranged Cipher and my priest are both *MUCH* more useful with a much higher action speed.

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So I'll address the armor situation. 

 

In previous installments of this type, such as BG or IWD - the armor *was* the same - because you would ultimately just wear the heaviest possible armor at all times so long as the character had the strength to wear it (Viconia!!!).  This resulted in a system where you literally had everybody wearing the same thing - there was no reason to even wear any of the other kinds of armor besides fancier armors being too expensive.   The goal of this game's system is to get you to pick on a trade-off (do you want more protection - or to act faster in combat).   As the game progresses you'll find plenty of unique armors that will have you pondering the relative merits of each set as well lol.   Adding crafting on top of that and you've got plenty of variation. 

 

 

 

The weapons are along the same line - they tried to give each separate weapon type some sort of upside/downside trade off so that they didn't feel the same.   Because ultimately all that's different about weapons in standard D&D-type systems is their damage type and what sorts of dice you roll for a given weapon.   I'm at the point where I've found *tons* of much "better" weapons for my tank, but ultimately, the deflection bonus his fine hatchet gives him is something I really want - because it helps him reach god-tier deflection lol. 

 

I haven't finished the game yet, and I'm playing a rogue main, so keep that in mind with my response...

 

So far, contrary to Josh's goal, you want the heaviest armor possible in all cases.

No. No, you absolutely do not. I just switched half my parties armor out as an experiment, and trust me--my ranged Cipher and my priest are both *MUCH* more useful with a much higher action speed.

 

Indeed!

Frontliners can wear the heavier garments, but it is wholly gimping if you pop heavy armour on anyone else. I'm only speaking from the perspective of "normal" difficulty, though!

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Heh.  So I've seen people saying you want heavy armour all the time, people saying you want no armour on everything but your tanks, and I've been playing happily with medium armours on at least half my party because I like a balance of survivability and speed.  Seems to me that the system is meeting its goal; letting people choose what fits their playstyle.

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If it's bland, it's because the most viable strategy is to position your party where your tanks are up front, drop all your encounter powers right off the bat to cripple the opposition, then mop them up with guns or damage spells. Rinse. Rest if you need it. Repeat. You never really have to deviate from that strategy. If you do you're usually punished for it, in my experience and according to what I've read. Maybe toss in a daily or two from the wizard (grease and burning hands) and priest (whatever, might as well toss out buffs sometimes but it's pretty inconsequential compared to the barrage of save-or-suck spells the other classes can drop), if the situation calls for it. My Cipher has used Mind Crush so often that I refuse to even type the actual name of the spell anymore.

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So I'll address the armor situation. 

 

In previous installments of this type, such as BG or IWD - the armor *was* the same - because you would ultimately just wear the heaviest possible armor at all times so long as the character had the strength to wear it (Viconia!!!).  This resulted in a system where you literally had everybody wearing the same thing - there was no reason to even wear any of the other kinds of armor besides fancier armors being too expensive.   The goal of this game's system is to get you to pick on a trade-off (do you want more protection - or to act faster in combat).   As the game progresses you'll find plenty of unique armors that will have you pondering the relative merits of each set as well lol.   Adding crafting on top of that and you've got plenty of variation. 

 

 

 

The weapons are along the same line - they tried to give each separate weapon type some sort of upside/downside trade off so that they didn't feel the same.   Because ultimately all that's different about weapons in standard D&D-type systems is their damage type and what sorts of dice you roll for a given weapon.   I'm at the point where I've found *tons* of much "better" weapons for my tank, but ultimately, the deflection bonus his fine hatchet gives him is something I really want - because it helps him reach god-tier deflection lol. 

 

I haven't finished the game yet, and I'm playing a rogue main, so keep that in mind with my response...

 

So far, contrary to Josh's goal, you want the heaviest armor possible in all cases.

No. No, you absolutely do not. I just switched half my parties armor out as an experiment, and trust me--my ranged Cipher and my priest are both *MUCH* more useful with a much higher action speed.

 

 

Seems to me that you either want the heaviest or the lightest armour (i.e. none), depending on whether you are a tank or a DPS. There is pretty much no point in all the armours between clothing and plate (excpt right at the beginning). 

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Are stealth and perception affected by armour? That might be worth introducing, if not. But then - ARMOUR SWAPS.

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I'll be honest, the OP does bring up points I myself am concerned about, but given my experience with lower levels in IE games I expect a sense of blandness to begin with, and a higher degree of customization and control as you level. I can't speak from experience as I'm still early in the game but I think this game thematically operates on the same principle of a narrow road early on opening up to a much wider array of choices later much in the same way it gates content early to keep you on story beats but then opens up to really feel out the exploration.

 

More importantly, due to the support for modding efforts and it being Unity Engine I have a strong suspicion any mechanical issues that turn out to be bland, uninspired, or non-challenging will be fixed by modders. I would point to the many great rebalancing mods from the IE games like the SCS mod for Baldur's Gate series as examples of how the community completely rebalances a game and changes it. So I would rest easily my friend, for if there are considerable issues with this game from a mechanical standpoint, there will be a community effort to fix it.

Edited by aozgolo
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I wasn't a fan of "ultimate weapon" and "best weapon choice" that i had to google when I wanted to create my beserker/cleric on BG.

PoE made it easier by allowing you to build your character the way you want.

Heck, if I find a dagger that is better than my flail I might just as well use the dagger and enchant it further to see how it works!

You call it blant, I call it genious, thank you Obsidian!!


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"Kotaku"

 

Stopped reading right there - I don't care about that clickbait website or the opinions of their "hired bloggers" in the least.

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I think this game is amazing, BUT I must admit I do prefer the amazing combat from D:OS (loved the combat in that game, my favourite in any CRPG). Very tactical and had great environment interaction.

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Been having a blast for around 12 hours (on normal). I think I'm getting the hang of the combat. The basics at least :D

And I love the worldbuilding, characters and the plot looks alright till now. Makes me curious for more.

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My one real complaint thus far is that the items feel kinda bland to me, like there's no armour/weapons I couldn't get by enchanting instead.  But that's quite possibly something that will improve as I go along.

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I think this game is amazing, BUT I must admit I do prefer the amazing combat from D:OS (loved the combat in that game, my favourite in any CRPG). Very tactical and had great environment interaction.

 

Oooh, I just realized D:OS is Divinity: Original Sin. I hate that game. I don't truly hate many things, but every moment I wasted playing that game was one of the worst moments I've ever spent playing a video game.

 

Completely unintuitive garbage mechanics that have you spend most of your time mucking around with environmental hazards (DIVINITY: ORIGINAL SIN, Thinks Zapping Puddles in Bioshock Was a Solid Basis for the Entire Combat System of a Fantasy RPG), the bizarre character stats designed by aliens (DIVINITY: ORIGINAL SIN, Many Options, Few Correct Choices, Zero Logic), you're basically required to waste hours wandering around stealing everything in sight for cash (DIVINITY: ORIGINAL SIN, Medieval Petty Larceny Simulator) so you can buy your characters' skills (nothing makes me feel more special than knowing I am a hero who robbed an inn's cellar for the money to buy all my skills, because there is absolutely nothing special or unique about me as a hero and literally anyone could do my job as long as they can read), generic story, two character system was a waste of time... Man I couldn't stand anything about that game. And somehow I have the feeling that everything I hated about it is exactly what you love about it.

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I've actually seen a lot of items at this point that I can't make, and I find *THAT* annoying, Daggers with spells, shields with bash, etc.

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I've actually seen a lot of items at this point that I can't make, and I find *THAT* annoying, Daggers with spells, shields with bash, etc.

Oh, true, I do have one shield with a bashing attack.  It's nice!  You don't like unique items?

 

It would also be nice if there was some sort of system to transfer enchantments to similar items, but I suspect it'd be quite a lot of work to implement.

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