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Criticism regarding skills and late game

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Hello,

 

I love the game, combat, characters, etc. The one problem I have is how the game doesn't seem to communicate, at the early parts of the game, what the late game demands on skills will be.

 

Example, I've started to encounter traps and locked doors that require Mechanics 11. Since players only receive 6 skill points per level it's a significant investment to raise Mechanics to reach the level where those doors can be picked & traps disabled. Without forewarning from the game that I should expect Mechanic challenges from such I high level players may put skill points into other skills then find themselves unable to deal with these high skill challenges.

 

That's a Mechanics example but the same applies to Lore. In the early game there doesn't seem to be communication to the player about what the Lore requirement for the highest level scrolls will be. Same problem as Mechanics in that raising skills to high levels (in the area of 10) is such an investment players may put points into other skills then be unable to use those higher level scrolls.

 

This isn't a criticism that the game has high level scrolls/traps & locked doors or amount of skill points per level, just the expectations that players may going into the game. I wish that going forward with the franchise there would be communication from the game that "You can expect very high level [insert skill] you might want to have a character dedicated to that skill for the whole game". I don't necessarily want it in those blunt terms, but whatever form it takes I'd appreciate knowing how high I should be raising my skills to overcome the challenges the game puts forth.

 

Thank you for your time

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Can't you augment your Mechanics with Lockpicks?  So a 6 Mechanics + 5 Lockpicks should be enough for an 11 skill check?

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It should be no surprise that you need a high skill level in the late game, really. So you should have a character with at least 8 or 9 Mechanics. Then use lockpicks to be able to pop the higher level locks. As for traps, I believe you can get some items that enhance your Mechanics skill (may be random drops though).

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I think lockpicks can only bump your skill up one point (and the required amount is level+1). You can get another +1 from resting in certain places, and there's a +3 (i think) scroll locked in the Vaillian embassy, but that's obviously a one-timer (perhaps there are more though)

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It should be no surprise that you need a high skill level in the late game, really. So you should have a character with at least 8 or 9 Mechanics. Then use lockpicks to be able to pop the higher level locks. As for traps, I believe you can get some items that enhance your Mechanics skill (may be random drops though).

actually, the skills curve were a surprise even to many beta folks. is no way to know, before playing poe, that you do not have enough skill points to effective max more than one skill per character. why would it be unreasonable to think that you could be endgame effective with 2 skills?  sure, after playing the beta we learned very quick that the game were skewed towards encouraging us to max at least a few o' the skills (+11) on different characters, but with absolute no knowledge o' the system or the game, that isn't a logical assumption to be making.

 

regarding skills, am glad we played the beta.

 

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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It should be no surprise that you need a high skill level in the late game, really. So you should have a character with at least 8 or 9 Mechanics. Then use lockpicks to be able to pop the higher level locks. As for traps, I believe you can get some items that enhance your Mechanics skill (may be random drops though).

actually, the skills curve were a surprise even to many beta folks. is no way to know, before playing poe, that you do not have enough skill points to effective max more than one skill per character. why would it be unreasonable to think that you could be endgame effective with 2 skills?  sure, after playing the beta we learned very quick that the game were skewed towards encouraging us to max at least a few o' the skills (+11) on different characters, but with absolute no knowledge o' the system or the game, that isn't a logical assumption to be making.

 

regarding skills, am glad we played the beta.

 

HA! Good Fun! 

 

 

But from the early game, you start to encounter a steadily increasing scale of locks and traps, which teaches you that you should increase mechanics at least every two levels for your mechanics character, right? Otherwise you wouldn't be keeping up anyway. And if you did keep up, you'd end up at 8 or 9 at least. I actually don't remember many 11 mechanics locks, except the ones you can open with a key. Maybe there's more that I didn't find in my first playthrough?

 

I mean, sure, you only need so high for Lore and Mechanics, but that's because the other skills are poorly utilised.

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It should be no surprise that you need a high skill level in the late game, really. So you should have a character with at least 8 or 9 Mechanics. Then use lockpicks to be able to pop the higher level locks. As for traps, I believe you can get some items that enhance your Mechanics skill (may be random drops though).

actually, the skills curve were a surprise even to many beta folks. is no way to know, before playing poe, that you do not have enough skill points to effective max more than one skill per character. why would it be unreasonable to think that you could be endgame effective with 2 skills?  sure, after playing the beta we learned very quick that the game were skewed towards encouraging us to max at least a few o' the skills (+11) on different characters, but with absolute no knowledge o' the system or the game, that isn't a logical assumption to be making.

 

regarding skills, am glad we played the beta.

 

HA! Good Fun! 

 

 

But from the early game, you start to encounter a steadily increasing scale of locks and traps, which teaches you that you should increase mechanics at least every two levels for your mechanics character, right? 

 

yeah, so by level 4 or 5 you should realize that you need ~max skills.  great.  unfortunately, you may already have borked yourself outta that being a possibility...level 4 or 5 is too late to reach that realization.  is one o' the reasons why it makes sense to make a pc with mechanics, 'cause even at level 3, the starting companions ain't ideal mechanics monkeys.

 

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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It should be no surprise that you need a high skill level in the late game, really. So you should have a character with at least 8 or 9 Mechanics. Then use lockpicks to be able to pop the higher level locks. As for traps, I believe you can get some items that enhance your Mechanics skill (may be random drops though).

actually, the skills curve were a surprise even to many beta folks. is no way to know, before playing poe, that you do not have enough skill points to effective max more than one skill per character. why would it be unreasonable to think that you could be endgame effective with 2 skills?  sure, after playing the beta we learned very quick that the game were skewed towards encouraging us to max at least a few o' the skills (+11) on different characters, but with absolute no knowledge o' the system or the game, that isn't a logical assumption to be making.

 

regarding skills, am glad we played the beta.

 

HA! Good Fun! 

 

This is a good point, and likely I was biased by having played the beta.

 

Having said that though, it's pretty standard to have to pump a skill sky-high in most RPGs to be able to cope with any high level/end game situations that require that skill. And these locks/traps that require 11 mechanics: are they game-stoppers if you don't have your skill that high or is there another way around them? If the former, then that's pretty bad game design. If the latter, then I don't think it's a huge issue.

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yeah, so by level 4 or 5 you should realize that you need ~max skills.  great.  unfortunately, you may already have borked yourself outta that being a possibility...level 4 or 5 is too late to reach that realization.  is one o' the reasons why it makes sense to make a pc with mechanics, 'cause even at level 3, the starting companions ain't ideal mechanics monkeys.

 

 

HA! Good Fun!

 

 

Hmm. First time round nobody bothered with mechanics, then I just pumped Durance once I got him because I realised what was up. He ended at 8 or 9 and I rarely had problems. But I can't say for sure without actually doing the numbers. 

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It should be no surprise that you need a high skill level in the late game, really. So you should have a character with at least 8 or 9 Mechanics. Then use lockpicks to be able to pop the higher level locks. As for traps, I believe you can get some items that enhance your Mechanics skill (may be random drops though).

actually, the skills curve were a surprise even to many beta folks. is no way to know, before playing poe, that you do not have enough skill points to effective max more than one skill per character. why would it be unreasonable to think that you could be endgame effective with 2 skills?  sure, after playing the beta we learned very quick that the game were skewed towards encouraging us to max at least a few o' the skills (+11) on different characters, but with absolute no knowledge o' the system or the game, that isn't a logical assumption to be making.

 

regarding skills, am glad we played the beta.

 

HA! Good Fun! 

 

This is a good point, and likely I was biased by having played the beta.

 

Having said that though, it's pretty standard to have to pump a skill sky-high in most RPGs to be able to cope with any high level/end game situations that require that skill. And these locks/traps that require 11 mechanics: are they game-stoppers if you don't have your skill that high or is there another way around them? If the former, then that's pretty bad game design. If the latter, then I don't think it's a huge issue.

 

huge issue?  perhaps not.  however, the genesis poster is nevertheless correct that the game does a poor job o' communicating many aspects o' rules mechanics-- skills is one such example.  is now considerable time post release and we still can't tell you how, or if, interrupting blows talent does anything.

 

and tig's anecdotal experience is no more relevant than is that o' the genesis poster. 

 

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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Exactly. I can't say without actually doing the numbers - which is what I just told you. 

 

I'd say it's an equally unsubstantiated claim, though, when you say that many players do not expect they need to specialise their skills. You get five skills. You get six characters. In any well designed RPG you know not to have everyone be a jack of all trades. This becomes especially true when you can see from skill description how scrolls require higher Lore up to 10, and after a few areas of the game where you encounter increasing mechanics difficulty. 

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Is there a cap on skill benefits, i.e. if I have 10 Stealth on a character naturally and give them +2 Stealth boots will they get the benefits of 12 Stealth?

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Realising that specialisation is good in a party game shouldn't be a huge shock.

 

If I had a complaint, it'd be that the starting skills offer too much of an advantage because they don't count for scaling costs.  It's annoying if you want to do something a little less typical to background/class.

Edited by Wulfram

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It was not obvious to me that, when leveling up, unspent skill points would be saved for the next level. I figured it out only when I realized that you always got 6 skill points/level but at some point another level in a skill cost more than 6 skill points... which I think I realized at character level 4 or 5.

 

I've probably already screwed up any chance at getting one of the in-game NPCs or my PC up to top level in any skill, but I suppose I can create adventurers specifically to go pick the locks on leftover doors in late-game areas. :(

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Traps can be avoided or 'disarmed' by triggering though. And I hope there are no plot-critical high-level locks. I actually find the other skills more disappointing. Stealth is borderline useless above .. 3 points maybe? So is athletics, but unlike stealth, having those 3 points is almost a must, since otherwise characters start to drop tired after only a couple of battles. Which is a problem with many pre-made NPCs with 0 starting athletics, especially if you get them when they are far from the next level-up. Outside conversations, lore is only useful if you want to spam scrolls, which hardly anyone would (too laborious). Survival is the same for potions, but since it's not preventing their usage (only buffs), and I don't even recall it being useful in any conversation, it probably gets the prize for the most worthless skill dump.

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Exactly. I can't say without actually doing the numbers - which is what I just told you. 

 

I'd say it's an equally unsubstantiated claim, though, when you say that many players do not expect they need to specialise their skills. You get five skills. You get six characters. In any well designed RPG you know not to have everyone be a jack of all trades. This becomes especially true when you can see from skill description how scrolls require higher Lore up to 10, and after a few areas of the game where you encounter increasing mechanics difficulty. 

again, this is bad logic.  use other games or meta knowledge is bad logic.  and no, not every game effective forces you to max skills to be effective, so it is arguable not nearly as reasonable as you suggest.  we could indulge in similar hyperbole and state that every crpg also allows us to build a stealthy character that can effectively disarm traps as well.  a character that is either good at stealth or locks is aberrational in our experience.  poe is different.  hell.  we got at least 2 athletics on all characters.  other folks says they need a few points in stealth for all.  does other crpgs also let us know that seal spells for priests count as traps in poe, so all priests who plan o' being offensive effective should boost mechanics?  clear as day.

 

and yes, pointing out that your anecdotal experience were less helpful than you seemed to believe were  necessary.  "I can't say without actually doing the numbers."  HA!  says the guy who tells how it is done in any crpg?  indulge in hypocrisy much?  is particular funny 'cause you admit that your anecdotal is nothing but anecdotal and then suggest that other pov ain't reasonable based on other crpg experience. ridiculous.

 

the genesis poster were confused by the skills curve.  tell us you think he were unreasonable?  well, thanks.

 

oh, and is particular funny 'cause with early beta releases, we could be effective with balanced mechanics and... whatever.  in spite o' what any and all crpgs do, poe didn't.  we didn't need max mechanics in early beta.

 

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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I don't think it's bad practice to demand metaknowledge for some things. Take that to the extreme, and it's like saying WSAD should be taught explicitly in a mindnumbing tutorial because you shouldn't expect people to know that from the start. I mean, what would be a clear way to communicate this? Should the mechanics description say "beware, locks and traps in late game can go up to as high as 11 mechanics"? You might as well also write, "you will require very high deflection in late game."

 

On the other hand, there's a wider point that many aspects of skills aren't explained adequately in the game, e.g. that mechanics governs secrets not perception, or that athletics is often checked in text adventures, or what exactly increasing stealth does. 

 

You claimed that companions were inferior mechanics monkeys. I don't need to prove that wrong with statistics, in that case all I need to do is present a case which falsifies. Companions do just fine as mechanics monkeys, even if they don't start by putting all their points in it. There's enough leeway.

 

Early beta was a section of the mid-game, of course you didn't need max mechanics. How is that any more useful information than my silly anecdote?

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 "Take that to the extreme,"

 

did you learn nothing from our earlier hyperbole criticism?  you don't even try to make a point.

seems reasonable to us that demand meta knowledge is ok if you make such knowledge accessible and transparent.  the new player o' poe has no such means at his disposal.  Gromnir had many dozens o' hours in the beta and we were still disappointed at how stealth were implemented in the release. we knew how stealth were working pre-release, but given developer equivocation, we didn't genuine know how it would be implemented day 1.

 

"You claimed that companions were inferior mechanics monkeys. I don't need to prove that wrong with statistics, in that case all I need to do is present a case which falsifies. Companions do just fine as mechanics monkeys, even if they don't start by putting all their points in it. There's enough leeway."

 

fine.  you are wrong.  our experience says that the companions make poor skill monkeys.  they need put all available points into mechanics from the moment you acquire them and they is still gonna be initial behind the skill curve.  not only that, it potential hampers the ability to take small  quantities o' equal necessary skills such as the aforementioned athletics. so, has Gromnir proved you wrong by supplying our own anecdotal?  utter nonsense.  

 

...

 

you are so not getting the point about anecdotal.  point out that our early beta is also anecdotal should offer epiphany or realization at the very least.  nothing?  you can't keep having it both ways and look anything other than ridiculous.

 

HA! Good Fun!

 

edit: odd. our quote o' tig somehow had the quoted material embedded in the middle o' our reply text.  weird. sorta fixed.

Edited by Gromnir

"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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I really think Kana should have a slight edit to give him better mechanics. Chanters get a +1 to mechanics IIRC. A custom background edit for a +2 total would go a long way. He should still have a solid Lore skill to not mess with his character, but having him at 3 mechanics at level 3 with 1 point invested would be better than Durance. It would give you a companion more optimized for it.

 

Perhaps Obsidian wants something for players that do max the skill to have like a player with high lore gets with conversation options. I dont know.

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durance is an obvious joinable npc to try and max with mechanics, 'cause mechanics boosts his seal spell accuracy.  however, durance must need dumps almost all available points into mechanics to become effective (he actually is a bit behind the curve initially) and regardless, we shouldn't need feel compelled to have durance as our mechanic.   how many new players know o' the synergy 'tween seals and mechanics?  how many folks playing poe for the first time would expect that if they wanna make aloth even plausible effective as a mechanic, they should do so as soon as the first level-up opportunity.  ganrich notes that kana is already feeling a bit gimped as a mechanic in spite o' a class bonus.

 

*shrug*

 

the kinda meta-knowledge we would expect from players is not the kinda minutiae we is getting into with the joinable npcs and their potential to be a party mechanic.

 

as an aside, we will again note that the boosted seal accuracy and mechanics synergy should be made more clear in the skill description.  without beta experience, who would guess, eh?

 

HA! Good Fun!

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"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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