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I believe I searched the forums for quite a while but couldn't find a current thread about this. If one exists, please re-direct me, thank you!

 

What exactly is / was the reasoning behind the decision to disable all buffing spells out of combat (while keeping healing spells available, which makes even less sense)?

 

Common situation: I see the enemy, or I know they're close. I would like to start with buffing and *then* enter combat, not the other way around, which every sane person would like to do. Why is this not possible? It makes no sense to enter combat and only then start applying shields, blessings and the like. No Infinity Engine game ever had this kind of restriction, so why now?

 

If buffs stack too high in the mind of the devs, well make their durations shorter or their effects weaker. I would much prefer this solution over simply disabling them, which is a huge immersion breaker for me ("yo, normally you could totally cast this, but for difficulty balancing now you can't until you let the enemy roll all over you, seeya!" ...ugh!)

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The main issue is because a lot of people think it's bad for game balance.

 

In short: if you allow prebuffing, then you either A) balance everything with that in mind, punishing all those who don't want to go trought the tedious (and rather brainless) routine of prebuffing before every fight, or B) balance everything as if it didn't exist, which would make fights trivially easy when you do prebuff.

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Indeed, it makes zero difference in the end for balance, but makes the game more fun. If you were able to prebuff, then the devs would HAVE TO balance with that in mind, which would mean the enemies are tougher, and so the challenge would ultimately remain the same. By eliminating prebuffing, you simply eliminate the tedious routine of casting the same damn spells before every damn fight. It's a win/win, and one of the best improvements they made over IE games.

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The main issue is because a lot of people think it's bad for game balance.

 

In short: if you allow prebuffing, then you either A) balance everything with that in mind, punishing all those who don't want to go trought the tedious (and rather brainless) routine of prebuffing before every fight, or B) balance everything as if it didn't exist, which would make fights trivially easy when you do prebuff.

 

The buffs that really matter (not counting chants here) have limited uses per rest (and once the lower-level buffs become per-encounter, they are not as strong anymore). Therefore, clearly not "every fight" would need to be designed to depend on buffing. But larger encounters ('boss fights') definitely *should* give the player the opportunity to prepare everything they have at their disposal. It just doesn't *feel* right from a player / storytelling perspective otherwise, no matter how balanced it might seem.

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Indeed, it makes zero difference in the end for balance, but makes the game more fun. [...] It's a win/win, and one of the best improvements they made over IE games.

 

Not to me it isn't. It breaks immersion, leaves fewer tactical options, and for the rest see the other reply I wrote to Caerdon.

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The game is so much better without it. I love this new change since you have to do your buffing during combat, not stand 20 feet away, prebuff while your enemies stares at you and then go in which IMO is more illogical than not allowing prebuffing.

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The main issue is because a lot of people think it's bad for game balance.

 

In short: if you allow prebuffing, then you either A) balance everything with that in mind, punishing all those who don't want to go trought the tedious (and rather brainless) routine of prebuffing before every fight, or B) balance everything as if it didn't exist, which would make fights trivially easy when you do prebuff.

 

The buffs that really matter (not counting chants here) have limited uses per rest (and once the lower-level buffs become per-encounter, they are not as strong anymore). Therefore, clearly not "every fight" would need to be designed to depend on buffing. But larger encounters ('boss fights') definitely *should* give the player the opportunity to prepare everything they have at their disposal. It just doesn't *feel* right from a player / storytelling perspective otherwise, no matter how balanced it might seem.

 

There are still many ways to prepare for a particular tough battle: resting bonuses, scrolls, consumables, equipment selection, traps...

 

Eliminating prebuffing altogether is not a pretty solution, but honestly, I think it's good for the gameplay.

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Indeed, it makes zero difference in the end for balance, but makes the game more fun. [...] It's a win/win, and one of the best improvements they made over IE games.

 

Not to me it isn't. It breaks immersion, leaves fewer tactical options, and for the rest see the other reply I wrote to Caerdon.

 

 

If you think it "breaks immersion" then ok, whatever, seems like mushy nonsense you made up to defend your position against all sense, but sure, buddy.

 

As for tactical options, no, having prebuffing means you MUST use prebuffing which means fewer tactical options. This is so because the ability to cast spells which affect the fight before the fight actually starts is the equivalent of getting free actions in the start of the fight. Is it a valid tactical option to choose to not utilize such an advantage? No, you either use it, or you did something wrong. This is quite obvious to anyone with any experience with D&D CRPGs, so please don't insult our intelligence and your own intellectual integrity by suggesting otherwise.

 

Now that prebuffing is not an option, it's ACTUALLY a tactical choise whether you choose to start the fight by having the priest cast a buff, or whether you'd perhaps like him to cast something offensive instead. This ACTUAL added tactical depth stretches even further into character build considerations, as you can, for example, choose to keep your priest's strength low if you want him to only play a buffer role, and vice versa.

 

Good job on this issue, Obsidian.

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"There are still many ways to prepare for a particular tough battle: resting bonuses, scrolls, consumables, equipment selection, traps..."

 

I find managing food, potions, scrolls and the like actually way more tedious than just casting a buff, thank you. Not a big fan of consumables in general precisely because of the logistics.

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@manageri:

 

"If you think it "breaks immersion" then ok, whatever, seems like mushy nonsense you made up to defend your position against all sense, but sure, buddy."

-- If 'all sense' in a game for you is to be derived from pure gameplay mechanics only, then yes, I'm at a loss on how to explain this to you. But I happen to have Pen&Paper-RP experience as well, and never have I heard a DM say 'sorry, you can't cast this outside of combat'. Because rules like those do not exist in any ruleset I know.

 

"As for tactical options, no, having prebuffing means you MUST use prebuffing which means fewer tactical options."

-- No. And I wrote above why not.

 

"This is so because the ability to cast spells which affect the fight before the fight actually starts is the equivalent of getting free actions in the start of the fight."

Yes. As is has been in every single tabletop and C-RPG I can remember, and for good reason.


"Is it a valid tactical option to choose to not utilize such an advantage?"

-- Yes, when the amount of times you can use this advantage is *limited* and the choice when to use it should be left to the player.

 

"This is quite obvious to anyone with any experience with D&D CRPGs, so please don't insult our intelligence and your own intellectual integrity by suggesting otherwise."

-- I don't recall having insulted anyone, but right now you seem to on the agressive side of things.

 

"Now that prebuffing is not an option, it's ACTUALLY a tactical choise whether you choose to start the fight by having the priest cast a buff, or whether you'd perhaps like him to cast something offensive instead. This ACTUAL added tactical depth stretches even further into character build considerations, as you can, for example, choose to keep your priest's strength low if you want him to only play a buffer role, and vice versa."

-- This makes no sense, because you can make precisely the same decision with pre-combat buffing enabled. In an encounter where blasting the enemy head-on ends a fight much faster than buffing your party, you will want the agressive option. You could also always choose not to take a priest with you at all and rely on fast damage output and little in the way of support.

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So... you're just lazy to use consumables? Okay....

 

I use them when I happen to have them, but putting effort into organizing them, buying, selling, stacking, distributing - do you really believe this is preferable to simple pre-combat buffing when needed? Maybe to hardcore players, but this 'logistical' aspect of C-RPGS has never interested me much.

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The main issue is because a lot of people think it's bad for game balance.

 

In short: if you allow prebuffing, then you either A) balance everything with that in mind, punishing all those who don't want to go trought the tedious (and rather brainless) routine of prebuffing before every fight, or B) balance everything as if it didn't exist, which would make fights trivially easy when you do prebuff.

That's just your assumption unless you can source it to a developer saying so.

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A Custom Editor for Deadfire's Data:
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"There are still many ways to prepare for a particular tough battle: resting bonuses, scrolls, consumables, equipment selection, traps..."

 

I find managing food, potions, scrolls and the like actually way more tedious than just casting a buff, thank you. Not a big fan of consumables in general precisely because of the logistics.

 

Precisely the reason why Obsidian didn't take those forms of prebuffing away as well. But even if they're too tedious to use often, don't forget that you still have them as an option if you're having difficulties with a particularly tough battle.

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The short answer to this is "Sawyer". The long answer is slightly more complicated but ends up as a largely indefensible position. The shorter answer is really the easiest and most correct one. Sawyer did not like pre-buffing in the IE games, and therefore there is no pre-buffing whatsoever in PoE.

 

No. Mainly because of technical issues with Unity's "saving of the game state".

Which I have yet to see any truth in at all. Why would there be problems with one set of buffs, but not other sets of buffs? Food, Rest and Aura buffs persists through saves just fine, but another kind of buff would not? Oh please.

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NWN in the end someone made a script so you could push a button and litterally dozens of buffs fired off so you didn't have to do them by hand. This like resting, it becomes a chore, it does become hard to balance. Hard enough with Pause based to begin with. I won't seak for anyone else, but I felt I became a slave to both of those mechanics, which I felt were cheesy. I'd almost like much better potions and only be able to have one up at a time, I think there are enough out there from reading and I am one, that just collect this stuff and hasn't used one yet. So make them much better, but only one at a time and for a good amount of time.

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The main issue is because a lot of people think it's bad for game balance.

 

In short: if you allow prebuffing, then you either A) balance everything with that in mind, punishing all those who don't want to go trought the tedious (and rather brainless) routine of prebuffing before every fight, or B) balance everything as if it didn't exist, which would make fights trivially easy when you do prebuff.

 How does this matter if they don't balance any of the fights and encounters ?

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The short answer to this is "Sawyer". The long answer is slightly more complicated but ends up as a largely indefensible position. The shorter answer is really the easiest and most correct one. Sawyer did not like pre-buffing in the IE games, and therefore there is no pre-buffing whatsoever in PoE.

 

 

And personally I agree with him, smart call.

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The short answer to this is "Sawyer". The long answer is slightly more complicated but ends up as a largely indefensible position. The shorter answer is really the easiest and most correct one. Sawyer did not like pre-buffing in the IE games, and therefore there is no pre-buffing whatsoever in PoE.

 

No. Mainly because of technical issues with Unity's "saving of the game state".

Which I have yet to see any truth in at all. Why would there be problems with one set of buffs, but not other sets of buffs? Food, Rest and Aura buffs persists through saves just fine, but another kind of buff would not? Oh please.

 

Well, some of them persist too much. That was the biggest bug fixed by the last patch. And it's still partially present.

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The short answer to this is "Sawyer". The long answer is slightly more complicated but ends up as a largely indefensible position. The shorter answer is really the easiest and most correct one. Sawyer did not like pre-buffing in the IE games, and therefore there is no pre-buffing whatsoever in PoE.

 

No. Mainly because of technical issues with Unity's "saving of the game state".

Which I have yet to see any truth in at all. Why would there be problems with one set of buffs, but not other sets of buffs? Food, Rest and Aura buffs persists through saves just fine, but another kind of buff would not? Oh please.

 

What's the long answer? Just to make sure you're not misrepresenting his view.

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The main issue is because a lot of people think it's bad for game balance.

 

In short: if you allow prebuffing, then you either A) balance everything with that in mind, punishing all those who don't want to go trought the tedious (and rather brainless) routine of prebuffing before every fight, or B) balance everything as if it didn't exist, which would make fights trivially easy when you do prebuff.

 

How does this matter if they don't balance any of the fights and encounters ?

 

No matter how much you think the encounters haven't been balanced, they could be balanced much, much worse.

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 There is only one answer to this question : No reason at all. The developers (people seem to think it was entirely J.E.S.) arbitrarily decided it would somehow unbalance the game. Since they went to no effort at all to balance the content this is meaningless. What is the point in stopping people from pre-buffing if the content of the game is all trivial ? How does it even matter. 

 The game is already too easy. Why are the forums clogged with people asking why it isn't even easier. I could understand if they specifically complained that easy was too hard. Maybe it is for some people I really do not know. 

 Your complaint that it doesnt "feel right' from a story perspective is as arbitrary and strange as the decision to leave out pre-buffing. Surely using spells which are a prelude to combat would make anyone around you who was inclined to fight you aware of your presence and have them rush on over ? Surely if they were inclined towards fighting you but waiting upon you starting to cast they would immediately take counter measures ? From a common sense standpoint pre-buffing doesnt make any sense.

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 There is only one answer to this question : No reason at all. The developers (people seem to think it was entirely J.E.S.) arbitrarily decided it would somehow unbalance the game. Since they went to no effort at all to balance the content this is meaningless. What is the point in stopping people from pre-buffing if the content of the game is all trivial ? How does it even matter. 

 The game is already too easy. Why are the forums clogged with people asking why it isn't even easier. I could understand if they specifically complained that easy was too hard. Maybe it is for some people I really do not know. 

 Your complaint that it doesnt "feel right' from a story perspective is as arbitrary and strange as the decision to leave out pre-buffing. Surely using spells which are a prelude to combat would make anyone around you who was inclined to fight you aware of your presence and have them rush on over ? Surely if they were inclined towards fighting you but waiting upon you starting to cast they would immediately take counter measures ? From a common sense standpoint pre-buffing doesnt make any sense.

It is not arbitrary if it is believed to unbalance the game. That's everything but arbitrary. Also, got a link?

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