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!!! Long Post ahead !!!

 

Though I enjoy PoE tremendously and believe it is a better game then BG it still falls short of being as good as BG2 for a variety of reasons.
This thread's purpose is to collect the communities gripes with the game's mechanics and design as it is atm and to collect our suggestions for changes in the upcoming expansions or sequel.
Ideally I'd want Obsidian to use the expansions as a chance to do a partial revamp of PoE and retroactively enhance the vanilla game, though of course I have no clue how much of this is doable.

 

Some rules first.
1.) I want this to be a help to Obsidian, so please don't derail the thread by bickering about someones opinion back and forth. And don't drag that limerick into this.
2.) Don't just bash the game and list what you hate. Give examples and say what you'd like to see improved. At least write out a sentence.
3.) No outlandish dreams or dramatic diversions from PoE core mechanics. For example, "Please make PoE2 full 3D", "TB combat!", "Full voice acting for everything!", etc...

Think of it more like improvements from BG1 ---> BG2.


My Points:

1.) Encounter Design
I'll echo here what others have criticized in their reviews. Most encounters in PoE are very same-y /messy. Usually you get rushed frontally in large numbers, except when you have to trigger a conversation first and have to stand in the middle of a bunch of enemies.
Where are the ambushes? No doors closing on you and stealthed rogues backstabbing you.
No archers shooting at you from balconies. No powerful wizard that you can't just bash down. What about poison immune monsters in a room full of poison gas?
Part of the reason leads right into...

 

2.) Hard counters
The aversion to use immunities or at least VERY high resistances to certain damage types or effects is hurting the encounters. Right now powerful casters without a wall of meatshields are impossible. There is no real need for me to change my weapon/spell loadout, ever. No trolls that have to be killed with fire or acid. No golems that are vulnerable to blunt damage only. And so on...
So give monsters special qualities that have to be countered and likewise give the player ways to counter certain things via potions or spells, as well.
Speaking of...

 

3.) Spells
This can easily be redeemed in the expansion I believe. Please add in more interesting spells that allow what I wrote in the last point. Short to medium time immunity from spells, immunity from physical attacks, elemental damage, whatever. And a spell to dispel these in turn. Yes I'd very much like some form of mage battles back. Sequencers too, as those would help enemy mages to be more of a threat as well. Oh, I'd also help if the mage could target buffs like Fireshield on allies.

 

4.) Enemy AI / Abilities
Something basic like enemies using potions, summoning figures or special ammunitions for their ranged weapons would improve things a lot.

 

5.) Stronghold
That was disappointing. Lots of options, none of them meaningful. Vendors sell just common stuff. Resting bonuses are laughably bad. No quests or special events. And by events I mean things that require my presence and are solved by dialogue or battle and earn a reward, not just some notification on a menu. The Stronghold as it is, is basically a fancy browsergame where you upgrade stuff and then farm your earnings at set intervals.

 

6.) Companions
Please add some more. And more importantly they need to be a.) more influential in conversations, b.) more talkative and c.)be less subdued.

To explain:
a.) Though they interject at points it never made a difference. It's just additional flavor text to read, but no one ever reacts to what they say. Unlike in Planescape where you really had to be careful what you said around Vhailor and where you took him.

b.) The partybanter is really lacking. Rare and then only a few lines of floats with spoken dialogue. It wouldn't hurt to ape BG2 here again with written dialogue popping up which you have to click through. Like that you can actually let them have a meaningful conversation.

c.) The root lies here I believe. Because there are so few companions OE couldn't afford to have any of them leave your party or be too overly good/crazy/silly so that someone couldn't stand to have them around.

So to prevent that none of them have any overbearing character traits, deep dislikes or attitudes. Some bicker/joke but all get along. That makes it pretty boring imo, since the party dynamics are at a continual standstill.

Nothing good happens and friendships form, nor is there hatred that ends in a battle. Again, this is why banter is often stale and meaningless. There can be no progression and no clash of personalities.
Also, it really wouldn't hurt to crank up the lightheartedness, the game could use ten times as many joke banters, i.e. when Eder is all mopey about his hand falling of after being bitten.
Finally, it doesn't help that the companion quests are likewise anti-climatic and uninvolved, as far as I can tell right now. They just stop after you visit mappoint a then b then c. No twists, no battles, no reward. And again BG2 and Planescape did it better.

 

7.) Reactivity

Great, the game tracks if I'm honest, clever, rational and so on.

But once again it rarely matters. If I meet the dying monk he says he'll trust me with the scroll because I'm honest (Honest 2) but if I'm not he gives it to me anyway.

Same happens with race, my Death Godlike never ran into anyone refusing to deal with him because of his horrible looks.


So, I guess locking someone out of content for the character he plays is something undesirable for the Devs but my wish would be that in those cases to get what I want there should be another skill check or two. Threaten or bribe a racist, use some mind control as a cipher or somesuch.


That's all of the top of my head and respect to you if you actually read all that.
Now post your own!

Edited by TrueNeutral
Put minor story spoilers in a spoiler tag.
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I agree that enemy mages need more defensive measures, however I do not want the two dozen "protection from X" spells from BG2 where the end-game mages had every single one stacked and you needed to read a freakin' textbook to know how to peel each one away. It was just tedium.

 

I'm also 100% in agreement on the companions. After a few sets of dialogue from each one I realized how apathetic they are about everything else but the PC and themselves (so they don't have much to add elsewhere). They're just so damn amicable. None of what they contribute means much.

I was shocked when Viconia just up and left me in a fury in the middle of a dungeon. It filled me with horror to have to finish without my cleric, but it was quite the unique experience that left an impression, exactly what we should be having.

 

I, too, found it odd when no one ever said much about my Godlike-status. The description during character creation said people all over dislike them in general (it's one thing that the different races/nations agree on), but aside from an extra line from one or two  people that don't affect the outcome of the overall conversation, there wasn't anything to it.

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I completely agree with OP's comment on Encounter Design, Stronghold and Reactivity.

1.) Overall Athmosphere
For me this includes a multitude of aspects, because it is creates the much needed immersion that is most important in an rpg. While I understand that implementing a day/night cicle that affects npcs location etc. might be to late to ask for, I believe it should be possible to do the following things to make the world come alive even more.

1.a.) add sitting or laying people. I encountered only 3 or 4 people sitting (on a throne no less) and a handful of poor addicts and mental patients on the floor. This definetly goes into the right direction, but as of now they stand out too much. Taverns, streets, your stronghold, the theatre they all need them, because in 90% of the time people just stand there with their spread leg looking akward. Apparently in this world nobody ever even heard of sitting around a campfire.

1.b.) add a variety of vendors to a supposedly large city like Defiance Bay, because it seems largely empty to be honest (First Fieres anyone?). BG2 had a skulpture, tanner and gambling for example. At least the last one could be implemnted as well. And how about a tailor that offers you fancy outfits and hats that you dont get from a smith? Perhaps an animal shelter that offers you pets, but more importantly also takes care of your pets, because seriously: I have 2 cats, 2 pigs, 2 dogs, a wyrm and that mini animat in my backpack. Does the record keeper offer any books for sale or is he looking for any books? What about a band, concert, streets artists, fortune tellers, street food? The list is endless. Also, I havent seen any customers except for the Twin Elms Market (besides me).

1.c.) open up some of the houses that have doors, but cannot be entered, for example. for some of those new stores.

1.d.) show some of the impact the rebellion had in Defiance Bay. Almost nobody seems to have noticed it when you return in Act III. What happened to the refugees for example? And why are the nights still patroling the street even though the Dozens are ruling now? Which brings me to my next point.

2.) Factions
So far choosing a faction barely has any impact on the game. Granted in the final slideshow it will be mentioned but while you are playing almost nothing happens. At least a few more quests per faction would have been nice. At the moment it is really difficult to feel like you belong to one of them, because you only spent a few minutes in their headquarters.


3.) XP / Level Scaling
First I like to say, that I really love the Quest-XP only mechanism, yet I can be tweaked. For example, when I arrived in Dyrford Village I was already level 10 - close to hitting 11, and I hadn't even done any bounties. Once I did I spent hours of walking around with maximum Level - slightly bored. Please lower the quest XP or raise the needed amount to advance to level-up.

Other things I am looking forward to, that are likely to happen in the expansions anyhow, so I won't go into detail are more of that lovely music, new portraits, (hopefully large) areas and more riddles.

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I agree that enemy mages need more defensive measures, however I do not want the two dozen "protection from X" spells from BG2 where the end-game mages had every single one stacked and you needed to read a freakin' textbook to know how to peel each one away. It was just tedium.

 

2 Spells would be all that is needed for now, a "Breach" like spell that removes spell protection and a "dispel" like spell that removes other immunities.

At later spell levels (above 6) another layer could be added. For now all that is needed is that NPC mages can start combat protected and you then have to choose if you want to use up time to cast counterspells or help your party.

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Hotkey for weapon switching! ... Unless I'm missing it.

 

Agree with the need for more diverse encounter types. You guys made the basis for a SICK strategic game here, and it tends to devolve into a messy melee pretty quickly. Not actually a problem on its own, but very noticeable if compared with, say, Divinity: OS, or the less "well come on it's the best ever at that" Wasteland 2.

 

More games like this, please, oh my god more games like this. I feel like a dang kid again playing this. Seriously amazing work, guys, and congrats on the WELL deserved success!

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3.) XP / Level Scaling

First I like to say, that I really love the Quest-XP only mechanism, yet I can be tweaked. For example, when I arrived in Dyrford Village I was already level 10 - close to hitting 11, and I hadn't even done any bounties. Once I did I spent hours of walking around with maximum Level - slightly bored. Please lower the quest XP or raise the needed amount to advance to level-up.

 

i would rather have more levels :D but then im a munckin/minmaxer and so on, but in a game with a limited and calculable amount of xp i dont see na need for a xp cap

 

(yea its easier that way to control starting level for expansions /seequels than calculating all posible xp and level it vould gain you, and for balancing the endgame difificulty but that aproach would be more satisfying to completitionist)


PIllars of eternty (Hard) 1st playtrough: 155h, 38 m (main Ranger with bear(bow), Eder, Durance(off tank), Hirvais(off tank), Kana(ranged), Aloth/GM)
PIllars of eternty (PtoD) 2nd playtrough: 88h 30 m (main Bleak Walker Paladin, Eder, Barbarian, Monk, Rogue (ranged) Cypher(wand)
(not counting reloads and experimenting)
status i love the game, hate the bugs, and wish for better AI and Pathfinding

http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/78749-needed-qualyty-of-life-improvements-information-and-transparency/

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@Khalid the bear: I might should have added that I am against having more levels in the current scenario, because the monsters except for the adra dragon are so easy to beat as is. My first PoE game was on hard and by the time I left for Dyrford I just cut through them like a knife through cake lol

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@Khalid the bear: I might should have added that I am against having more levels in the current scenario, because the monsters except for the adra dragon are so easy to beat as is. My first PoE game was on hard and by the time I left for Dyrford I just cut through them like a knife through cake lol

i agree, but i believe(havent tried myself) that isnt the case with PotD

and some other suggestions in this thread would make encounters hard enough

 

also level/xp cap works against those that want to solo. yes they gain xp faster, but that means only that they reach xp cap earlier and lose that advantage


PIllars of eternty (Hard) 1st playtrough: 155h, 38 m (main Ranger with bear(bow), Eder, Durance(off tank), Hirvais(off tank), Kana(ranged), Aloth/GM)
PIllars of eternty (PtoD) 2nd playtrough: 88h 30 m (main Bleak Walker Paladin, Eder, Barbarian, Monk, Rogue (ranged) Cypher(wand)
(not counting reloads and experimenting)
status i love the game, hate the bugs, and wish for better AI and Pathfinding

http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/78749-needed-qualyty-of-life-improvements-information-and-transparency/

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1) Stop the party AI from a) Killing my charmed/confused/dominated party members, and b) not killing charmed/confused/dominated enemies

2) Stack all items at vendors to avoid needlessly long scrolling lists

3) Please allow me to remove enchants that I've put on weapons and armor.

4) Also very much +1 to the OP's suggestion of Encounter Design and Hard Counters

 

 

Game is regardless 10/10 and best I've played in years :)

Edited by Slapstick87
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2.) Hard counters

The aversion to use immunities or at least VERY high resistances to certain damage types or effects is hurting the encounters. Right now powerful casters without a wall of meatshields are impossible. There is no real need for me to change my weapon/spell loadout, ever. No trolls that have to be killed with fire or acid. No golems that are vulnerable to blunt damage only. And so on...

So give monsters special qualities that have to be countered and likewise give the player ways to counter certain things via potions or spells, as well.

Speaking of...

 

3.) Spells

This can easily be redeemed in the expansion I believe. Please add in more interesting spells that allow what I wrote in the last point. Short to medium time immunity from spells, immunity from physical attacks, elemental damage, whatever. And a spell to dispel these in turn. Yes I'd very much like some form of mage battles back. Sequencers too, as those would help enemy mages to be more of a threat as well. Oh, I'd also help if the mage could target buffs like Fireshield on allies.

 

I think Obsidian went in the right direction here, and I think it's just nostalgia to look for a focus on damage types in rpg combat.

 

Damage types (fire for the ice creature, lightning for the water creature, etc) were a way to add false complexity to otherwise simplistic turn-based battle systems, where there were few truly meaningful choices to make in combat. I find them dull because there's only one right choice to make in any situation -- the fire spell and the lightning spell are usually identical except in which enemy they're intended to target.

 

In a more genuinely tactical system like this one, where positioning and battlefield management are where it's at, you have more reactive, flexible choices to make, choices where the "right" answer isn't obvious and can vary.

 

Of course, more variety is always great -- I'm not saying don't add more spells. But I don't want to see an old-fashioned rock-paper-scissors framework overlaid on a system that already has more interesting things going on.


DID YOU KNOW: *Missing String*

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Stronghold, Stronghold and STRONGHOLD.

The Stronghold in neverwinter nights 2 was my favourite version of this kind of thing ever.

 I sunk every cent i made in my adventures into making this stronghold better because it had missions and stories and effects on the game.

It was so cool, and it was done so long ago and i figured that an updated version of this would be awesome.

This stronghold was devastatingly useless and boring and bland.

Ive enjoyed everything else in the game so far, but the Stronghold makes me sad every time i think about it.

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I would really like the fights to have more counters and things. It seems like a lost opportunity, to allow wizards to switch out spell sets on a whim, and then have no real reason to. I don't necessarily want it to be as extreme as BG2 was, where you either dispelled them or they were invincible, but something to give me some more incentive to switch out grimoires once in a while would be nice. Seems like a waste to give Batman these utility belts

 

I am however, totally in support of things doing some damage no matter what, even if it doesn't make a ton of sense (like fire blights taking fire damage). Mostly because I remember building a shadowdancer in NWN SoU, all excited to be able to hop in and out of the shadows doing sneak attacks, only to find that everything was undead, and immune to sneak attacks, so it just ended up being incredibly disappointing (and annoying).

 

Only other thing I find genuinely disappointing is the lack of item crafting at all, after it was so good in NWN2, and the lack of enchantments. I'd be fine with unique items getting stronger, exclusive versions of enchantments (like Damaging 3, +3 attributes, etc), as a trade off for the ability to customize a weapon. But it would be nice to be able to craft items with a customized appearance, and some more enchantments to learn and things.

 

Otherwise the only complaints I have are pretty minor. No one sitting, some things that are randomly pixely and low res when everything else around them isn't, lack of a xaurip companion, that kind of stuff.

 

(p.s. make a xaurip companion)

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Stronghold needed to be like Suikoden. Currently, it's just a horrible thing represented by a list of upgrades.

 

All over the land there should be talented individuals, perhaps lost or disillusioned with the world around them, that can somehow be convinced to join your cause and reside at your stronghold. Convincing them may, in some cases, might be a conversation choice away but it should require thought and commitment to attain a certain number of characters.  Recruitment may be impossible in some cases based on moral standing. Anyway, these characters will provide their services while bringing life and character to your stronghold,  making it seem more like a developed community that you worked hard to achieve. Community members may provide rare item sales, unique crafting opportunities, attract certain crowds of people if they happed to be popular with a group, etc. You could even take it a step further and let the player assign titles to community members they have recruited and, based on their talents and personality traits, their performance will influence the progress/random events of your stronghold.

 

Also, reduce/eliminate all these damn loading screens.

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Stronghold needed to be like Suikoden. Currently, it's just a horrible thing represented by a list of upgrades.

 

All over the land there should be talented individuals, perhaps lost or disillusioned with the world around them, that can somehow be convinced to join your cause and reside at your stronghold. Convincing them may, in some cases, might be a conversation choice away but it should require thought and commitment to attain a certain number of characters.  Recruitment may be impossible in some cases based on moral standing. Anyway, these characters will provide their services while bringing life and character to your stronghold,  making it seem more like a developed community that you worked hard to achieve. Community members may provide rare item sales, unique crafting opportunities, attract certain crowds of people if they happed to be popular with a group, etc. You could even take it a step further and let the player assign titles to community members they have recruited and, based on their talents and personality traits, their performance will influence the progress/random events of your stronghold.

 

Also, reduce/eliminate all these damn loading screens.

combin that withnon active companionsbeing more active in stronghold


PIllars of eternty (Hard) 1st playtrough: 155h, 38 m (main Ranger with bear(bow), Eder, Durance(off tank), Hirvais(off tank), Kana(ranged), Aloth/GM)
PIllars of eternty (PtoD) 2nd playtrough: 88h 30 m (main Bleak Walker Paladin, Eder, Barbarian, Monk, Rogue (ranged) Cypher(wand)
(not counting reloads and experimenting)
status i love the game, hate the bugs, and wish for better AI and Pathfinding

http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/78749-needed-qualyty-of-life-improvements-information-and-transparency/

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The game's combat is great, but we just need more voice acting.


Having trouble with the games combat on POTD, Trial of Iron?

- Hurtin bomb droppin MONK - [MONK BUILD] - [CLICK HERE]

- Think Rangers suck? You're wrong - [RANGER BUILD] + Tactics/Strategies - [CLICK HERE]

- Fighter Heavy Tank - [FIGHTER BUILD] + Tactics/Strategies - [CLICK HERE]

Despite what I may post, I'm a huge fan of Pillars of Eternity, it's one of my favorite RPG's.

Anita Sarkeesian keeps Bioware's balls in a jar on her shelf.

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Voice acting by well known actors at that.


War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength

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TeamBG
Baldur's Gate modder/community leader
Baldur's Gate - Enhanced Edition beta tester
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Icewind Dale - Enhanced Edition beta tester

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Pillars of Eternity was a game that I have been looking up to, once I heard about its kickstarter campaign.

Funding being already over, I frequently watched your blog and I believed that the money you received was well and responsibly handled, so I preordered this game.

 

To sum up my impressions, it did a great job regarding its premise: IE game feel. I love the writing that includes lots of descriptions, whether it stands for itself or refers to the dialogue.

The characters are well designed and some moments are exceptionally vivid (Durance: "This is YOUR trial and not mine.").

The scripted interactions combined with their drawings is a huge improvement to these cheap and absurd looking "cinematics" that have been around for a while.

I never assumed I was a graphics whore but walking within those paintings for me is one of the best gaming experiences since a long long time ago.

 

At the same time that one of the selling points, little voice acting, did not live up to its expectations. Not that it would have hampered my immersion. It is that there is not as much more dialogue as I expected it to be. As others mentioned your race-class-heritage-profession does not invoke responses or different paths. at least for my bleach-elf-smuggler-monk-merchant-from-Archipel (which is a kinda ridiculous combo) who did not have a belief (paladin order/god) that would have gained him (enough) conversation options.

 

Then I agree to the OP about combat and hard counters. With the current lack of hard mechanics, there is nothing you actually need. Contrary to the idea behind resting, there is no "correct" decision to be made. The only exceptions when you die or (additionally) you are confronted with too many enemies. Even then it is just that you avoid the wrong decision to do nothing. Instead you cc and make use of fireballs. Not one or two. It is necessary to throw in 3 to 5 until at least some foes are dead. Single target damage spells are useless. On the one handside they do not look like they do more damage in any way nor does the DR matter so much you cannot just add one more spell for the same effect. It does not warrant for the consideration 30 damage on one target or 20 on everyone? (my main monk needs to take damage so its even more of a nobrainer). On the other handside why would you even need single target damage? You need two or three characters to deal considerable damage (+flanking+direct/indirect buffs and the fact buffs are aoe) (did not try rogue yet). Is it then worth breaking engagement? (actually it should not be, because if that is necessary you made a mistake or the encounter is designed that way)

WIth the current encounter design often there is no important target. Yes druids/mages and maybe ciphers, once I found an arquebus hunter to deal more damage than everyone else, but that was neither easy to find out (I had to kill everyone exept for that hunter) nor is it a problem to do an encounter just by how enemies run into your sword. Although I am exaggerating at this point. It is annoying not to kill xaurip priests first. I always kill siummoners first. And my party is heavily overleveled. i just do not see any objective other than decimation, which might be my own fault.

 

Also: in combat I have no idea what is happening. People stand around and it is until I watch their status report I have no clue they are confused, shocked and petrified. Then I look up which spells my priests help prevent that. The small descriptions dont suffice, so rightclick. Then for a how-to-save-crosscheck I do not have a druid in my party.

 

Suggestions:

 

  • Give your story writers more freedom, both in creating content as well as criticising each other as to "both solutions resemble your own personality too much" or "we had design promises and your area/character lacks X/Y/Z"
  • Make content not every player is supposed to find: treasures, riddles, dialogue and whole quests; It is not inefficient game design (but not top priority either.)
  • Make combats more responsive: less waging one resource against the other, more correct and incorrect choices
  • Add a journal reference to spells your party members learned so you can actually look up the spell icons without that specific class in your party (which even then is tedious)
  • Design more spells in regards of rewards that exclude each other: One-at-a-time-single-target-prebuffs, AoE vs Single target; and the priests' withdraw is a great spell
  • Dehomogenize encounters: Combine more monster variations within single encounters, with greater differences in strengths and weaknesses as of now (despite classes)
  • For an owl like me: add a battle log category with fewer updates which pop up when you click (like. adragan cast thunderstorm -(click)-> thunderstorm dealt x damage---thunderstorm dealt....)
  • Add "overacting" for disables. knockdown can be recognized immediately, when shocked, characters might kneel down in agony and petrified units turn white entirely

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The points in the first post ,especially about the combat and spells should be first priority. Only after that they can look at cosmetic stuff like  characters walking/sitting...

 

As easy as it is to implement some of those ,they aren't as important as the game-play itself.

 

Usually the best games in any series does not include the first one because the devs listen to feedback and improve things during the series (unless it's dragon age in which EA influence the devs to change the game into a console port...)

Edited by barakav

troll.gifseatroll.gificetroll.giftroll.gif

An ex-biophysicist but currently Studying Schwarzschild singularities' black holes' Hawking radiation using LAZORS and hypersonic sound wave models.

 

My main objective is to use my results to take over the world!

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I am not at all a fan of hard counters; outright immunities are a terrible idea. Why? Overkill. Strong resistences (and weaknesses) are sufficient to punish using the same strategies over and over again, without being a full stop to, say, a party without a spellcaster.

 

That said, the game already does this surprisingly well.

For example, the Bear Cave early in the game. Seems really hard at low levels, right? Their weakness is their Will saves. You can solo it on PotD with a Whispers of Treason level 2 Cipher, although it's still very risky.

The only thing is that these weaknesses and strengths are usually best learned by savescumming orv repeat playthroughs, with the exception of kith (visually identifying armor worn and class goes a long way). So y suggestion there is to allow the Bestiary to be filled two different ways: the hard way by direct experimentation, as now, or by learning from NPCs or books. Although this would mean adding a bit more books/dialogue to the game, I feel just letting players know about strengths and weaknesses would go a long way towards satisfying players' need for strategic combat.

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I am not at all a fan of hard counters; outright immunities are a terrible idea. Why? Overkill. Strong resistences (and weaknesses) are sufficient to punish using the same strategies over and over again, without being a full stop to, say, a party without a spellcaster.

 

Well, i said in my initial post that resistances can work as well, but in my opinion those still should be very strong and severely punish you if you choose to ignore them. The point should be that using weapons that get around said resistance isn't just something that makes the fight (even) easier but has a big impact of the difficulty of the entire encounter. Possibly so much that it becomes necessary on the high difficulty settings. Otherwise what is the point if you can just ignore it and use your regular tactic to prevail?

 

That said I'm still in favor of full immunities. Having certain creatures be immune to some damage types is useful for encounter design and in the case of some even logical (Fireblight taking fire damage?). This opens up the possibility of environmental hazards, like the poison gas room I described or "flame mages" peppering the area with fireballs while the immune Fireblights tie you up. Certainly players can deal with a creature being immune to 1 or 2 damage types.

 

 

That said, the game already does this surprisingly well.

For example, the Bear Cave early in the game. Seems really hard at low levels, right? Their weakness is their Will saves. You can solo it on PotD with a Whispers of Treason level 2 Cipher, although it's still very risky.

The only thing is that these weaknesses and strengths are usually best learned by savescumming orv repeat playthroughs, with the exception of kith (visually identifying armor worn and class goes a long way).

 

Hmm, that only seems to be relevant on solo PotD. Everyone else just got Eder and Aloth, came back and clobbered him.

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@OP I agree with all your suggestions. 

 

There's only one thing missing in your list IMO :

 

BETTER ITEMS

 

The loot is mostly very disappointing, and the enchantment system negates whatever positive there is about itemisation in the game. 

 

1. You shouldn't be able to enchant unique weapons. 

2. Unique items should mostly be better than whatever you can enchant. Except maybe for very rare 'recipes', which would require very rare ingredients. 

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I haven't played very far into the game, so some of these suggestions may not be particularly valid.

 

1. Variation in encounter placement (not just number of enemies, etc.) between difficulty levels. Maybe this happens in PoTD, but between normal and hard, everything is always in the same place. Add some more encounters in different places as you go up in difficulty. This may go a long way to boost replayability. 

 

2. Stronghold. Make it have some real impact or just be done with it. The current half-assed implementation of a great concept is a disappointment. Some random ideas (possibly good and bad):

  • Associate your companions (relative to personality/experience) with various tasks/upkeep/rewards, e.g., Kana can research scrolls in library.
  • As stated above: involved events/interactions.

3. Weapon slot hotkey.  Just do it.  ;)

 

4. More active combat abilities. Not a lot, wouldn't want to saturate it, but a couple more options would be nice.

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Well, in terms of monster synergies, I see what you want to do, and would like to see the same, but I disagree with immunities as a method. For example, you could have level 8 Pale Elf Paladins with high Dexterity and Perception, with Talents in Scion of Flame, Snakes Reflexes, Shield Style, and Deep Faith, who wear Burn-proofed Plate and wield Burning Lash weapons and large shields, tanking for enemy Pale Elf Wizards, with Scion of Flame, Snakes Reflexes, and Burn-Proofed robes, who cast Fan of Flames, Ray of Fire, Fireball and Wall of Flame liberally. Since the Paladins would have 30 DR vs Burn and about 100 Reflex, they wouldn't be strictly immune... but let's just say I wouldn't worry about AI friendly fire too much. (The interesting part is of this fight would be that player non-Burn abilities which target Reflex would also be rather heavily countered.)

 

Now, could you still win that fight using Fire abilities? Um, maybe? But on PotD using a Fire spell against such enemies would almost definitely cost you the battle. Which is enough. Immunities, as I first said, are overkill, because they transform "really, truly difficult" into "impossible." The situation I presented is challenging enough to encourage tactical diversity without resorting to such extremes.

 

But monsters made of fire should have high Fire DR. Really, really, really high.

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