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The suggestion is pretty straightforward.  In a level based game, the player has to be provided level information on the adversaries he faces.

 

First, levels are a total abstraction.  There is simply no real world skill that links to what Obsidian's designers decide a mob's strength to be.  Sure, I can sorta guess a bear is going to wtfpwn my newbie self, but how soon can I come back?  And what exactly is the difficulty level of a shadow which has no real world counterpart at all?  And what about humans?  How am I supposed to know how strong that sellsword is compared to my sellsword self?

 

Now you can argue it adds difficulty and rewards learning and experimentation.  And I'll counter that all it adds is save-reload when you guess wrong.  And worse, it is a guess.  I like being strategic in my fights and decisions.  I hate save-reload.  And yet, here I am, playing massive amounts of save-reload because I took on 3 high priests that could heal each other faster than the 6 members of my party could bring them down or because I took on what I thought was a group of ordinary bandits who turned out to be anything but.  And don't even think about trying to guess when you can do your bounties.  Just go straight to the web to get their levels.

 

I also have this crazy dream where I'll finish this game on Path of the Damned.  Except that changes all the levels and makes save reload impossible.  So how exactly, short of constantly alt-tabbing to guides, am I supposed to know what I can and cannot fight at my current level?

 

(as a side note, I like the game.  This isn't bitching.  This is wanting the game to be better.)

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The suggestion is pretty straightforward.  In a level based game, the player has to be provided level information on the adversaries he faces.

 

First, levels are a total abstraction.  There is simply no real world skill that links to what Obsidian's designers decide a mob's strength to be.  Sure, I can sorta guess a bear is going to wtfpwn my newbie self, but how soon can I come back?  And what exactly is the difficulty level of a shadow which has no real world counterpart at all?  And what about humans?  How am I supposed to know how strong that sellsword is compared to my sellsword self?

 

Now you can argue it adds difficulty and rewards learning and experimentation.  And I'll counter that all it adds is save-reload when you guess wrong.  And worse, it is a guess.  I like being strategic in my fights and decisions.  I hate save-reload.  And yet, here I am, playing massive amounts of save-reload because I took on 3 high priests that could heal each other faster than the 6 members of my party could bring them down or because I took on what I thought was a group of ordinary bandits who turned out to be anything but.  And don't even think about trying to guess when you can do your bounties.  Just go straight to the web to get their levels.

 

I also have this crazy dream where I'll finish this game on Path of the Damned.  Except that changes all the levels and makes save reload impossible.  So how exactly, short of constantly alt-tabbing to guides, am I supposed to know what I can and cannot fight at my current level?

 

(as a side note, I like the game.  This isn't bitching.  This is wanting the game to be better.)

 

PLEASE O PLEASE DO NOT ADD THIS.

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This is one thing I can really agree with. There are 2 things that make PotD not a viable play option for a first-time playthrough. One is that once combat begins, there is no escape. If you aggro the wrong thing, your game is over. The other is that there is no way to determine which red circle is capable of one-shotting you.

 

I am absolutely loving this game, but I do wish there was a con system. Without it, you probably shouldn't try PotD until you after you are thoroughly familiar with the game.

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 If you aggro the wrong thing, your game is over. 

Actually it is possible to run away from an engagement. You just have to be fast enough and not get knocked down. So in most cases you are right, but not in all cases.


The Adventures of Abattoir, my Pillars of Eternity Let's Play! Following Abattoir, an Aumaua-sized Death Godlike Cipher who wishes to prove to the world that Death Godlikes can be trustworthy and helpful, while getting caught in some terrible circumstances.

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This was one of the main problems that some people on these forums complained about with BG1. In particular the basilisks always got brought up. And these people wanted hints like tracking in the game to tell them what you need for basilisks before you take them on and to avoid the tpk save/reload problem.

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This was one of the main problems that some people on these forums complained about with BG1. In particular the basilisks always got brought up. And these people wanted hints like tracking in the game to tell them what you need for basilisks before you take them on and to avoid the tpk save/reload problem.

 

You'd think by now every developer of every RPG would understand the need for giving players some kind of indicator of mob difficulty since there is simply no way to expect players to make rational decisions without that information.  This is not a new problem.  It is, however, a significant one when ignored.  I don't want a game experience based on luck and guessing.  So I have to have some way to get information about the challenges I face.

 

In a level based game, that means conning mob levels.  Yes, it's somewhat "unrealistic", but so is the whole concept behind levels.  And it's not like it's even a difficult thing to add. Just color code names to show mob difficult vs player level or explicitly give the mobs level when your right click it

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There are 2 things that make PotD not a viable play option for a first-time playthrough.

 

That's fine by me. I really don't think PotD is intended for a first-time playthrough, even for seasoned Infinity Engine fans.

 

That said, I think having some sort of rough combat approximation is good. A MMO like system, perhaps, where enemies are rated "Trash", "Easy", "Challenging", or "Impossible" could work. Just a quick sizing-up of your foes.

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There are 2 things that make PotD not a viable play option for a first-time playthrough.

 

That's fine by me. I really don't think PotD is intended for a first-time playthrough, even for seasoned Infinity Engine fans.

 

That said, I think having some sort of rough combat approximation is good. A MMO like system, perhaps, where enemies are rated "Trash", "Easy", "Challenging", or "Impossible" could work. Just a quick sizing-up of your foes.

 

 

And see, I don't think PoE has the kind of content that makes it worth multiple playthroughs.  So the game needs to get things right with players from the start.  I also don't think that multiple-playthrough is a good excuse not to give players the information they need to make good strategic decisions.

 

Oh, and when I say not worth multiple playthroughs, I'm not saying the game is bad.  I'm just saying that the world doesn't really lend itself to multiple ways past obstacles the way, say, Deus Ex: Human Revolution did.  In that game, you can smash through, stealth, hacking, pacifist, sometimes diplo, etc.  PoE's maps aren't designed with multiple routes in mind.  Eventually, you're going to have to kill someone.

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This is one thing I can really agree with. There are 2 things that make PotD not a viable play option for a first-time playthrough. One is that once combat begins, there is no escape. If you aggro the wrong thing, your game is over. The other is that there is no way to determine which red circle is capable of one-shotting you.

 

I am absolutely loving this game, but I do wish there was a con system. Without it, you probably shouldn't try PotD until you after you are thoroughly familiar with the game.

IMO it's hilarious to even consider choosing PotD for the 1st playthrough. PotD should be for people who WRITE the guides, not for those who need or read them.

 

Myself, I'm a BG/IWD veteran, and I chose expert/normal diff. on my 1st playthrough. And I seriously regret picking expert/normal instead of non-expert/hard.

 

About the level info, etc. I LOVE the feeling of not knowing whether I am too powerful or too weak (cause in non-scaling RPGs you will always be either of those). On some maps I was too powerful and too weak on the same map! That's great. Creates some suspense.

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The get the impression that you're all talking about Trial of Iron, not Path of the Damned.

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This is one thing I can really agree with. There are 2 things that make PotD not a viable play option for a first-time playthrough. One is that once combat begins, there is no escape. If you aggro the wrong thing, your game is over. The other is that there is no way to determine which red circle is capable of one-shotting you.

 

I am absolutely loving this game, but I do wish there was a con system. Without it, you probably shouldn't try PotD until you after you are thoroughly familiar with the game.

IMO it's hilarious to even consider choosing PotD for the 1st playthrough. PotD should be for people who WRITE the guides, not for those who need or read them.

 

Myself, I'm a BG/IWD veteran, and I chose expert/normal diff. on my 1st playthrough. And I seriously regret picking expert/normal instead of non-expert/hard.

 

About the level info, etc. I LOVE the feeling of not knowing whether I am too powerful or too weak (cause in non-scaling RPGs you will always be either of those). On some maps I was too powerful and too weak on the same map! That's great. Creates some suspense.

 

 

Once upon a time, I did write strategy guides.  I'm also a very, very long time CRPG gamer (you named it, I've prolly played it...including text based games).

 

There is simply no good reason not to give players an indication of mob strength via an obvious mechanic.  As I've said previously, levels are a completely arbitrary contrivance designed to simply bookkeeping in character/mob growth.  Why is a bear level 5?  Because some dev said so.  That's it.  No other reason.

 

Well, you can't know that some dev assigned bear = level 5 which means you can't make a rational decision whether to fight it or not.  Unless....

 

You buy some strategy guide that has an actually useful bestiary that tells you the mob levels before you guess, or (and this is why strategy guide writer is a former occupation rather than current) you look it up on the net.  This adds nothing worthwhile to the gaming experience.  And when you get to mobs unique the PoE gameworld, you're truly just guess or looking up stuff external to the game.  There is nothing fun about randomly guessing whether a fight is winnable.

 

The way it is now:

I look at a wuzzatthing.  I decide to attack because it's standing right next to a chest, and therefore, you can't sneak past it.  First tho, I save the game.  It roflstomps my entire party.  I reload the game.  Where is the fun in that?

 

The way things should be:

I look at a wuzzatthing and see that it's five levels higher than me.  I make a tactical withdrawal and a note to come back when I've drank a lot more milk to grow big and strong with healthy muscles and bones.

 

Now, maybe if it'd been closer in level I might have tried it because I'd made a lot of extra cash and had some sweet gear and a well-built (ie. no official companions) party that worked like a well oiled machine.  But the important part is that I make a decision based on information I have rather than make a guess and use save-load to mitigate the potential loss from a bad guess.

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Once upon a time, I did write strategy guides.  I'm also a very, very long time CRPG gamer (you named it, I've prolly played it...including text based games).

 

There is simply no good reason not to give players an indication of mob strength via an obvious mechanic.  As I've said previously, levels are a completely arbitrary contrivance designed to simply bookkeeping in character/mob growth.  Why is a bear level 5?  Because some dev said so.  That's it.  No other reason.

 

Well, you can't know that some dev assigned bear = level 5 which means you can't make a rational decision whether to fight it or not.  Unless....

 

You buy some strategy guide that has an actually useful bestiary that tells you the mob levels before you guess, or (and this is why strategy guide writer is a former occupation rather than current) you look it up on the net.  This adds nothing worthwhile to the gaming experience.  And when you get to mobs unique the PoE gameworld, you're truly just guess or looking up stuff external to the game.  There is nothing fun about randomly guessing whether a fight is winnable.

 

The way it is now:

I look at a wuzzatthing.  I decide to attack because it's standing right next to a chest, and therefore, you can't sneak past it.  First tho, I save the game.  It roflstomps my entire party.  I reload the game.  Where is the fun in that?

 

The way things should be:

I look at a wuzzatthing and see that it's five levels higher than me.  I make a tactical withdrawal and a note to come back when I've drank a lot more milk to grow big and strong with healthy muscles and bones.

 

Now, maybe if it'd been closer in level I might have tried it because I'd made a lot of extra cash and had some sweet gear and a well-built (ie. no official companions) party that worked like a well oiled machine.  But the important part is that I make a decision based on information I have rather than make a guess and use save-load to mitigate the potential loss from a bad guess.

 

I get your point. Although in my opinion not having the level information does actually add something to my playing experience.

 

What does it add? It keeps me in the game world. When the game starts, I don't know anything about the land or its creatures. In the first couple of minutes I learn about spiders, then wolves. There's a bandit camp nearby. There's a bear cave. This first map exemplifies what I like about this game. Spiders can be beaten easily. Bandits are tricky. Bear is impossible at the start. All on the same map. Which is the only map that can be reached. When I died it wasn't because I was on the "wrong" map. It was because I was a level 1 adventurer who was stupid and a noob and didn't have a clue.

 

What did I learn from this map? I learned that the world is dangerous. I learned this by dying in-game, not by looking at a number. After the first map I did accept the possibility to encounter something that is actually stronger than my party. This created suspense.

 

What does this lead to? In my case, I read the monster descriptions in the 'pedia. I also did not dare to engage some scary looking creature, because I was semi-sure I'd get my ass kicked. When I fought that creature later, it was laughably weak.

 

I also engaged a group of guys that I took for some generic, weak ass bandits. Turned out they were not and I burned through all my spells in one unexpected show of power.

 

Suprises, suspense, triumph and fear would not have been possible if there was a level number. I'd know beforehand whether or not I am supposed to win this fight. On my 2nd playthrough I will know that spiders are weak to crushing damage and fire. I'll know that this group is dangerous and that group is not. I can focus on efficiency as opposed to exploration.

 

To put it short: Having numbers takes away exploration and adventure. I like this on my first playthrough.

Edited by paz12
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Fortunately (imo anyway) as this request seems to run directly counter to the design decisions around the Bestiary it's hopefully pretty safe to say it will never happen.

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No, no, no.

 

Just no.

 

One of the glorious things about this game is that it can bitch slap you hard.

I hope you restart anytime you die and dont use save and load then otherwise you invalidate your claim.

 

Simple way to make everyone happy, make the con system toggleable. 

 

The bestiary is there to give stats on creatures and limit grinding for xp as you fight the mobs. 

A con system is so you know if you should attempt to attack a mob.

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I would like this, even if it has to be an option. Really, it doesn't matter that much, but all things being equal, it would be nice. There are a lot of mobs that look almost exactly the same but differ in levels by a significant amount.

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No, no, no.

 

Just no.

 

One of the glorious things about this game is that it can bitch slap you hard.

I hope you restart anytime you die and dont use save and load then otherwise you invalidate your claim.

 

Simple way to make everyone happy, make the con system toggleable. 

 

The bestiary is there to give stats on creatures and limit grinding for xp as you fight the mobs. 

A con system is so you know if you should attempt to attack a mob.

 

 

I should ... only play Ironman because I don't think con levels are a good idea, preferring surprise over knowing the level of every encounter in advance?

 

kpVlR8u.jpg

 

The bestiary gradually provides useful information about a creature ... such as its level.

Edited by Hogfather
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No, no, no.

 

Just no.

 

One of the glorious things about this game is that it can bitch slap you hard.

I hope you restart anytime you die and dont use save and load then otherwise you invalidate your claim.

 

Simple way to make everyone happy, make the con system toggleable. 

 

The bestiary is there to give stats on creatures and limit grinding for xp as you fight the mobs. 

A con system is so you know if you should attempt to attack a mob.

 

 

I should ... restart my whole game on a wipe because I don't think con levels are a good idea, preferring surprise over knowing the level of every encounter in advance?

 

kpVlR8u.jpg

 

The bestiary gradually provides useful information about a creature ... such as its level.

 

The point he's making is that you gain the same information by fighting and reloading as you would get just by a little more information on the popup. The first is far more inconvenient.

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A "con system"?

 

From the /con ("consider") command in EverQuest and maybe earlier (and/or subsequent) MMORPGs or MUDs, whereby you checked the relative level of a mob ("Mobile OBject" or NPC/monster) you had targeted.  EverQuest would respond with a color-coded message ranging from green for easy "you'd probably win this fight" to red for "what would you like your tombstone to say?"

 

Common sense should prevail in Pillars.  You never want to fight.  If you can avoid the fight, do so.  Consider that!  :)

 

That said, an option to present color-coded relative level tooltips (or just outright present the level number itself) would be useful.  Maybe tie it to the bestiary system so that it begins rather vague (perhaps even just red/purple to warn you away from truly dangerous beasties) and then refines the more you glean with experience.


--/\/

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The point he's making is that you gain the same information by fighting and reloading as you would get just by a little more information on the popup. The first is far more inconvenient.

 

No, you don't. All you know is that the encounter beat you, with a vague sense of how badly you got womped. You don't magically know the precise level of every creature in the game! A con system is just an absurd level of hand holding for a game that purports to be the true IE successor, which is by any reasonable definition an RPG with bite.

 

Knowing in advance the difficulty of an encounter dilutes the game's strategic difficulty dramatically.

 

For example, I went back to a certain castle a couple of times (had skipped a bit of start zone content) and was beaten back before finally winning. If I had known the exact level of the monsters then I would probably not even have engaged once at level 2-3. Same deal with the famous bear.

 

The surprise beatdowns my party took are part of the core experience. I'll remember them. Being able to know the difficulty of an encounter is in my opinion game breaking and should be a mod addition only, never part of the core supported gameplay.

Edited by Hogfather
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I am absolutely loving this game, but I do wish there was a con system. Without it, you probably shouldn't try PotD until you after you are thoroughly familiar with the game.

Which part of "Path of the Damned" do you fail to understand? :devil:

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When I said death before dishonour, I meant it alphabetically.

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http://www.giantbomb.com/conning/3015-4674/

 

For anyone like me who didn't know what that meant.

 

As for the suggestion, I go either way. On the one hand, you could argue that the player should be able to do this intuitively i.e. "I'm just a fledgling adventurer, maybe I shouldn't try to kill two bears." On the other hand, this IS a CRPG with levels and such, which are a somewhat artificial way of describing progress. I don't see any particular reason why there couldn't be some kind of rough estimate of enemy dangerousness that you get - perhaps based on the lore skill. Certainly not their exact levels, though. That's gamey as hell.

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conning were our new "word" for the day?  how sad.

 

for folks who wanted kill xp, we got the bestiary.  originally, lore influenced the speed with which your bestiary entries were completed, but in response to the kill xp folks, we got the bestiary xp.  incremental revealing o' critter strengths and weakness is s'posed a feature o' poe... which is also kinda sad.

 

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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A few replies to some of the points made:

 

Fledgling adventurer who knows nothing of the world:  No.  I'm not.  I should know quite a bit about the world I'm in.  I should be able to visit the libraries and read the descriptions of mobs from other adventurers.  I should be able to identify by looking at least some of the difficulties a particular mob would present.  However, in the first case the devs didn't bother, and in the second, that level of detail in the graphics/artwork would be seriously prohibitive without adding as much fun as spending that time adding more critters and story while short-cutting the need for such artwork just by changing the color of the critters name or by giving me level info I can get other places (ie. wiki's and guides)

 

 

 

The point he's making is that you gain the same information by fighting and reloading as you would get just by a little more information on the popup. The first is far more inconvenient.

 

No, you don't. All you know is that the encounter beat you, with a vague sense of how badly you got womped. You don't magically know the precise level of every creature in the game! A con system is just an absurd level of hand holding for a game that purports to be the true IE successor, which is by any reasonable definition an RPG with bite.

 

Knowing in advance the difficulty of an encounter dilutes the game's strategic difficulty dramatically.

 

For example, I went back to a certain castle a couple of times (had skipped a bit of start zone content) and was beaten back before finally winning. If I had known the exact level of the monsters then I would probably not even have engaged once at level 2-3. Same deal with the famous bear.

 

The surprise beatdowns my party took are part of the core experience. I'll remember them. Being able to know the difficulty of an encounter is in my opinion game breaking and should be a mod addition only, never part of the core supported gameplay.

 

 

Knowing in advance the difficulty is the ONLY WAY TO HAVE A STRATEGIC ENCOUNTER IN A CRPG.  Anything else is a guess, not strategy. 

 

Hiding that info in game doesn't make the game harder or give it more bite.  It makes it random.  It makes it annoying.  It makes an alt-tab-to-wiki fest and/or a save-reload fest.  Neither of those are "bite" or "harder".  They're just a PITA.

 

Now, I'm all for making it an option for those of you who've expressed the desire to save-reload or just guess randomly whether you're ready to take on the big flying lizard.  I'm all for lots of options in games period.  And since this is single player, your choices and my choices for options would have no effect whatsoever on each other.

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