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A very nice game but a combat system from hell...


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I am a huge fan of the BG trilogy, Planescape and Arcanum and I really appreciate all the efforts of Obsidian to give these old game qualities a new start. That's why I was a backer on Kickstarter.

So far so well, but I am so agitated by this combat system from hell...

I play the easy mode because I like the easy way and prefer to be concentrated on the storyline and the characters more than on the combat.
 

But even in the easy mode my party dies very often and not because of the gear or the bad player behind the keyboard, no. The characters stuck very often or stop fighting in the middle of a combat. Sometimes they start fighting against each others instead of fighting the opponent.

As far as I remember the combat system of the old IE games was so much easier to handle and not so bugged.

I really do not see if the combat system is such bugged or if these all are features...

 

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I am a huge fan of the BG trilogy, Planescape and Arcanum and I really appreciate all the efforts of Obsidian to give these old game qualities a new start. That's why I was a backer on Kickstarter.

So far so well, but I am so agitated by this combat system from hell...

I play the easy mode because I like the easy way and prefer to be concentrated on the storyline and the characters more than on the combat.

 

But even in the easy mode my party dies very often and not because of the gear or the bad player behind the keyboard, no. The characters stuck very often or stop fighting in the middle of a combat. Sometimes they start fighting against each others instead of fighting the opponent.

As far as I remember the combat system of the old IE games was so much easier to handle and not so bugged.

I really do not see if the combat system is such bugged or if these all are features...

 

Sounds to me like you're either:

 

A) Targeting your own people

B) Your party members are getting charmed and thus, attacking their own

C) They killed someone and didn't autotarget a new enemy

D) Any combination of the above.

 

Man, I've been playing on hard, and while I get my ass kicked if I forget to use any semblance of strategy at all, I've been having some fairly smooth sailing, with only one single optional fight just crushing me 5+ times... though I just beat that a couple hours ago.

 

This combat system plays, to me, exactly like BG series, because I took the AI off all the time.

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There is an annoying tendency for characters to have to be directed towards new enemies all the time, otherwise they just stand there while their friends get murdered horribly.

 

It's a shame there are not more AI settings to make them automatically search out new targets and use abilities if they are not directed otherwise... well, as for using abilities, I suspect an AI wizard would be more of a liability than anything with the friendly fire and casting time. Just AI settings for autotargeting new enemies would be a huge boon + maybe sustained abilities.

Edited by Yenkaz
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The AI does select a new target if the previous one dies while they were attacking it, but they do not select a new target if the enemy dies while a character is trying to cast a targeted spell or ability on the target.

 

Also, the combat system is fine. Even on hard, you get by well enough even with a roleplay build. Only thing that changes is the amount of resting needed, since minmax builds kill things faster and therefore accumulate less health damage for the party.

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The game is pretty up-front about the fact that you'll be spending a lot of time on each and every encounter, micromanaging your little minions and pausing every half-second, and Easy difficulty doesn't actually change that in the slightest. You might as well play on Hard because there's more enemies and that means more xp and loot, and once you get the hang of the combat system numbers don't matter anyway.

 

If you don't enjoy the combat system, I suggest you just cheat. Or maybe wait for more balance patches, though I doubt they'll do anything to provide the kind of minimal combat mode you seem to be saying you'd prefer.

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It is worth investing time in understanding how a new system works. There are threads on useful advice for beginners. Poe differs from other games in important ways; spend a bit of time practicing and you will do fine.

 

It worked for me. I recommand this guy's beginner's guide. It's a couple hours if you don't skip any of it but it does a good job of laying out what things you need to be thinking about and focusing on.

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I am a huge fan of the BG trilogy, Planescape and Arcanum and I really appreciate all the efforts of Obsidian to give these old game qualities a new start. That's why I was a backer on Kickstarter.

So far so well, but I am so agitated by this combat system from hell...

I play the easy mode because I like the easy way and prefer to be concentrated on the storyline and the characters more than on the combat.

 

But even in the easy mode my party dies very often and not because of the gear or the bad player behind the keyboard, no. The characters stuck very often or stop fighting in the middle of a combat. Sometimes they start fighting against each others instead of fighting the opponent.

As far as I remember the combat system of the old IE games was so much easier to handle and not so bugged.

I really do not see if the combat system is such bugged or if these all are features...

 

 

It takes a little while getting used to there are quite a few mechanics in play.

It took me around 5 hours to get the hang of it.

 

Basically pause and play or Bullet time [ Half Speed - though bullet time sounds so much nicer ] 

Gives you more control. Unless your guys are specifically ordered to attack they stand idle. Sometimes its to your benefit - as in he case when your own guys turn against you.

 

Don't blindly just charge and hope to do a rock paper scissors roll.  Use a scout to fully scout how big the enemy group is. If you attack 1 guy thinking he is alone, you may end up facing 6 instead which may end up raping your squad. Scouting helps a lot especially if some of those guys are on patrol and move a distance away  - reducing the group you have to fight.  Aggro them to a nice quiet location and spring the trap   What I personally like to do is use a rogue to aggro and keep my mage at front in the trap. So he can do an AoE spell on the incoming horde - after which I shoot him back to the lines.  After he fires off his AoE - I charge my tanks to the front which gives the time for the rogue and mage to get safely behind and fire away. 

 

Another good plan is to target the weak first and disable the strong to deal with in the end. Otherwise if you attack the strongest opponent first - the entire time your guys are being hit with the weaker ones until the strong one goes down. 

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My problem isn't that they don't autotarget, it's that if I select my party and click them all on 1 enemy, 75% of the time I get one party member attacking and the others standing around picking their noses, and this is in open areas, so it's not a space issue or anything. It's also annoying when I click my toon on one enemy and click a party member on a diifferent enemy, I attack mine and my party member, again, stands there watching pretty birdies or something.

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What are toons, is this WoW?

 

Anyway, I like the combat system as is.  If I wanted to mindlessly group select my party and zerg fight, I would play Starcraft.  The combat system to me is what sets this game apart, mindless combat with AI and auto targeting is boring as hell.

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I don't want brainless either, but when they ignore the commands you give entirely and just stand there, there's a major problem. I'd be thrilled to queue up actions and strategically position my guys... but they don't actually do anything you tell them to far too often.

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There at least needs to be an auto attack toggle for the basic weapon attack so that party members don't just keep on standing there. I used to use the standard attack AI profile in BG all the time.

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My problem isn't that they don't autotarget, it's that if I select my party and click them all on 1 enemy, 75% of the time I get one party member attacking and the others standing around picking their noses, and this is in open areas, so it's not a space issue or anything. It's also annoying when I click my toon on one enemy and click a party member on a diifferent enemy, I attack mine and my party member, again, stands there watching pretty birdies or something.

 

I don't get that at all. Occasionally I'll find someone goofing off but they attack pretty well.

 

Do you have a lot of melee in your party's composition?

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What are toons, is this WoW?

 

Anyway, I like the combat system as is.  If I wanted to mindlessly group select my party and zerg fight, I would play Starcraft.  The combat system to me is what sets this game apart, mindless combat with AI and auto targeting is boring as hell.

 

StubbinMyToe: I agree with you, to an extent, but c'mon, melee fighters should not drop everything and have to be told to attack someone else, if their targets catches an unfortunate case of early death. There's nothing odd about expecting them to pick the nearest targets to pummel unless told otherwise. In fact, the problem here is that they are supposed to do this if they kill the target themselves, but they are left confused if someone else kills their target, it seems.

 

You'll still be screwed if you don't manually order your priests to heal and bless and your wizard to unleash fire and disorientation upon those foolish enough to oppose you, and you'll be using your fighters in an suboptimal way if you don't use their abilities. It's just about having them at least use their autoattack since you may be focused on positioning your wizard to cast a cone spell and you'd appriciate it if your fighter kept hacking away at those nearby on autopilot, at least.

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What are toons, is this WoW?

 

Anyway, I like the combat system as is.  If I wanted to mindlessly group select my party and zerg fight, I would play Starcraft.  The combat system to me is what sets this game apart, mindless combat with AI and auto targeting is boring as hell.

 

Hey! Don't dis Starcraft! That game takes skill and strategy... much like PoE! 

 

Sorry it's not working for you OP. You really have to hold the your characters' hands...

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Uh.  My party members are switching to a new target when theirs dies just fine?  Someone firing off a spell needs to be told to start auto-attacking after, and if the melee combatants can't see anyone to go after, they won't, but other than that I haven't had any trouble beyond some occasional pathing stuff.

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Combat is fairly simply. Just have your front liner(s) stand in first and wait until they occupy enemies. Use "+ X enemies engaged" stuff so they can attract more opponents at the same time and then engage with the rest of the party - don't rush in, just wait until enemy reaches your front liners.

 

Also I suggest turning on "auto slow mode in combat" and auto pause ever 3-5 seconds until you get a hang on positioning, target focus and spell usage. Crowd control and debuff spells seem to be the most powerful ones.

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While I agree there are some kinks in this system, I personally love it. I love making use of flanking attacks and what not. Spell casting can be a bitch for sure, but when you position correctly and things go off without a hitch its just so satisfying because it's not just drag n drop.

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While I agree there are some kinks in this system, I personally love it. I love making use of flanking attacks and what not. Spell casting can be a bitch for sure, but when you position correctly and things go off without a hitch its just so satisfying because it's not just drag n drop.

If you love this... err.. let's say not-so-well-done combat system, you should try RPGs with proper tactical battle systems like ToEE, IWD2/BG2 etc. and then you will understand why are people complaining. But anyway, if you like battles in PoE, good for you :)

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Sorry OP, but it is the bad player behind the keyboard. I and many others are playing on Hard and not finding it unreasonably difficult at all.

 

The system does have its faults, but if you're dying a lot on easy, you are doing something wrong.

 

Hint: select all and auto-attack will get you killed fast. It worked in BG and to a lesser extent and the easier fights in BG2, but it doesn't work here.

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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It's a brilliant combat system, the per-encounter abilities are super fun--but they won't activate themselves, which is the point. 

 

From IGN:

 

All that focus on tough choices might lead you to wonder if Pillars is all talk, but in fact, it's intensely difficult and tactical. Combat, which draws heavily from the Baldur’s Gate tradition, is the same kind of pausable real-time squad battle that BioWare made famous, but don't expect a Dragon Age-type experience where you can get away with effectively ignoring tactics. Neglect the pause button here, even for seconds, and you die - even on easy difficulty. I once let my party of six adventurers auto-attack (and there is that feature, at least) a group of ghouls in the woods on the easiest mode, and all except the tank died in the 10 seconds it took to glance at new emails on my phone.

All Stop. On Screen.

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Sorry OP, but it is the bad player behind the keyboard. I and many others are playing on Hard and not finding it unreasonably difficult at all.

 

The system does have its faults, but if you're dying a lot on easy, you are doing something wrong.

 

Hint: select all and auto-attack will get you killed fast. It worked in BG and to a lesser extent and the easier fights in BG2, but it doesn't work here.

 

I wouldn't really call someone bad for expecting this game to have the combat of IE games... (especially considering the games look)

 

He just has to adjust and realize it's not really like those games. There is no real companion AI/Scripts and you have to power build a bit more, and have tanks/heals.

Edited by Dongom
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Right now I'm doing a PotD with ironman and expert mode run. I've been playing like for a day, and it's pretty doable, way more than I expected, but also I don't consider it  that fun :-/

 

Now hard mode it's way easier and fun. 

 

Maybe I knew way too much about the game before it came out, idk.

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@Dongon My main character is clearly sub-optimal (I've picked one, possibly two talents that have turned out mostly useless), and I'm currently playing without a healer. I'm playing on Hard, and I'm doing fine. And I'm a rank amateur compared to some of the people here as I play the IE games on Normal.

 

Yes it is different from the IE games, and yes you do need to do some work to figure out how the mechanics work and use them to your advantage. That's kind of the point.

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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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