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Hidden/Unclear Mechanics - My Least Favorite Thing About PoE


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First, some disclaimers:

 

One, I like this game a lot. (even if I just lost 5 or 6 hours of gameplay because of a Sanitarium bug)

 

Two, I don't find it especially hard while playing on Normal.

 

Three, I've played a lot of pen and paper RPGs, some of them requiring considerable system mastery.

 

Four, I haven't been active on these boards, so perhaps this is incredibly redundant and has been said many times before...

 

 

But Christ, are the mechanics of this game - especially combat mechanics - unnecessarily opaque.

 

I'm about 25 hours into the game, and I still have no real idea how the interrupt system works, or how significant the impact of various stats is on being able to interrupt / avoiding interruption. I see the numbers, but I have no idea - explicit or intuitive - what they actually mean.

 

I'm only marginally less clueless as to how much damage my characters are doing - I know what my dual-wielding Barbarian's damage per weapon is, but short of sitting there with a stopwatch, I will never know how fast my actual attacks are, how long the recovery time is, or how much more damage I get as a result of the +20% bonus from Two Weapon Style, for example.

 

I have no clue what Perception does, aside from occasionally coming up in conversation. I gave a Perception boosting item to one of my ranged character because it seems thematically right, even though I'm pretty sure it's actually mechanically wrong or meaningless.

 

This lack of clarity isn't helped by the fact that in most combats, things end up such a close-packed mess that I have a harder time telling characters apart then I did with the sprites of the IE games, back in the day. So half the time I not only don't know how and why my characters are doing something, but it's also unclear who they're doing it to.

 

Fortunately, this doesn't seem to matter the vast majority of the time, so I'm enjoying playing with my incredibly sub-optimal Barbarian and a full party of companions without using any custom-made NPCs. But if it did, the lack of clarity would be absolutely maddening... and it still irritates the part of me that literally spent days working on an optimal Shadowrun 3E character back in the day to no end. 

Edited by Mk1
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