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Yes I do. Pick up some foam swords, try a 2 v 1 fight, you ll see how quickly you die. One free attack is nothing compared to a realistic fight. Also, the engagement system forces you to approach fights with a plan in mind, not blindly rush in and then fix your own mistakes, which means more strategy. And the engagement system also works both ways, to hinder enemies as well.

Games are not realistic, they're meant to have good mechanics. Engagement does force you to engage using a positional strategy but it also provides less tactical gameplay than the Infinity Engine games where it was just as good to use pre encounter positioning as well as dynamic positioning/reshuffling.

 

The engagement system also promotes doing the same thing every time, which wasn't the case in the Infinity Engine games.

 

You may not care about that, but I do - it contributes to rote, boring repetitive combat.

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I find the lack of attacks of opportunity to be poor for game balance and my enjoyment.  I don't want to have encounters designed around click-a-thons to move characters around, which is the practical consequence of no engagement.  Basically, it's just replacing the PoE status quo with a more kinetic, butin my mind far more gamey, alternative.  It's also certainly true that D&D has gone back and forth on this - none in 2nd and 3rd ed, but it's definitely in 3.5.  Don't know about 4.0 and 5.0.

 

Others feel differently, of course, and I don't think that there is a right and a wrong here (ditto for, say, turn based vs. real time with pause.)  But if you remove penalties for running away out of melee range, you are designing your game around the idea that people will spend a lot of time leading the AI on chases.

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I find the lack of attacks of opportunity to be poor for game balance and my enjoyment.  I don't want to have encounters designed around click-a-thons to move characters around, which is the practical consequence of no engagement.  Basically, it's just replacing the PoE status quo with a more kinetic, butin my mind far more gamey, alternative.  It's also certainly true that D&D has gone back and forth on this - none in 2nd and 3rd ed, but it's definitely in 3.5.  Don't know about 4.0 and 5.0.

 

Others feel differently, of course, and I don't think that there is a right and a wrong here (ditto for, say, turn based vs. real time with pause.)  But if you remove penalties for running away out of melee range, you are designing your game around the idea that people will spend a lot of time leading the AI on chases.

 

Attack of Opportunity is in 5e, but you have room to move without triggering it (within 5 feet of the attacker iirc). I'm hoping the current issue where moving a pixel triggers disengagement attacks is a bug, though. Also, aren't interrupts supposed to break engagement?

Edited by View619

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Yeah someone on Something Awful told me that terms like tank etc have been around since MUDs.

Yeah I remember them from MUD's as well. Usually the fighter had some kind of guard feature where he could take the hit instead of your mage.

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Good mechanics? The AD&D rules had good mechanics? Right.

 

Umberhulks? Have Jaheira summon a fire elemental and send that in. Maybe give it a mindward spell first. Sit back and wait, the umberhulks cannot harm a fire elemental.

 

If silly stuff like that is why you people are crying over PoE, all the IE games had enough silly stuff, that you could write books about it. Doh!

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You may not care about that, but I do - it contributes to rote, boring repetitive combat.

 

Unfortunately, I find I'm agreeing with this. I've turned the difficulty setting down on my game (to normal) so I can resolve the battles quicker just due to the tedium. It's rather disappointing, as this is what I think of when Dragon Age 2 is mentioned, where I did the same thing just so I could finish the game quicker and see the story. The combat is, very unfortunately, not even close to a high point in this game, as far as I'm concerned.

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I find the lack of attacks of opportunity to be poor for game balance and my enjoyment.  I don't want to have encounters designed around click-a-thons to move characters around, which is the practical consequence of no engagement.  Basically, it's just replacing the PoE status quo with a more kinetic, butin my mind far more gamey, alternative.  It's also certainly true that D&D has gone back and forth on this - none in 2nd and 3rd ed, but it's definitely in 3.5.  Don't know about 4.0 and 5.0.

 

Others feel differently, of course, and I don't think that there is a right and a wrong here (ditto for, say, turn based vs. real time with pause.)  But if you remove penalties for running away out of melee range, you are designing your game around the idea that people will spend a lot of time leading the AI on chases.

4e, you can use your move action to move normally and just eat the opportunity attack if you start out next to an enemy/move past them during the movement, or you can use your entire move action to shift one square away without provoking an OA (in most cases).

Edited by sparklecat

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I don't think we can all agree on the first or last one there, actually.

 

I mean, playing on Hard, I've got a tank (Eder) and two "off-tanks" (2h Pallegina and sword/board main character Chanter), and y'know what? Neither of them "die almost instantly" - at one point I ran from an encounter, accidentally left the Chanter, and he tanked literally six enemies for an astoundingly long time. He has precisely 1 defensive talent (weapon and shield), and far from maxed-out armour/shield.

 

WIth the first, I've seen Eder get the snot kicked out of him a fair bit too - just only by mobs with slow, high-damage attacks - he's barely better than the off-tanks on those.

 

The solutions I've seen proposed to these "problems" also tend to be awful, because they all seem focused entirely party-side, and usually would just move the problem so everyone gets one-shot all the time and magic CC becomes the new way "only way to tank" instead of a tank.

 

If they are problems, the only way to fix them is going to be a mix of party and monster side, or by doing stuff that applies universally - having more minimum damage per attack penetrate DR might well help, as would enemies having more abilities which convert misses or grazes to hits.

 

However I do agree 100% re: CON and decreasing Armour Recovery Penalty is a great solution, because currently Armour Recovery Penalty makes Armour choices verrrrrry dull (i.e. go big or go small, ignore medium).

 

EDIT - The real "balance fix" Pillars needs is something to stop all enemies always charging face-first into chokepoint ambushes, but that's going to involve a bit of AI scripting.

 

 

The problem is that the game is very limited in class choice for possible offtanks. If you take Pallegina, basicly, you take a full-fledged tank class. In the IE games, anyone with a plate armor would be a viable offtank. You weren't restricted to class choices here. This is what I'm talking about and why I feel the current system requires a change: due to the talents being totally overpowered and the default deflection scores of certain classes, it is next to impossible to make for example a priest that is able to do some significant offtanking without gimping it entirely.

 

Changing the AI won't really help. It doesn't take long to find new ways to exploit the AI even if it doesn't hard-target the first in sight. It just changes the ruleset. The easiest way to fix the tank & spank battles is simply to make the strategy less viable by making the tank more vulnerable (and making the party members that aren't tanks more durable so it's okay for them to offtank).

 

Again, imho the best solution would be to change deflection and DR to equipment-based stats (with deflection being accessable by talents aswell, but at a smaller degrees to make the gap between real tanks and offtanks less rigid). An inverse stat spread of deflection and DR could serve wonders for the game balance, especially as it makes "light armored evasion tanks" viable.

 

 

Only three classes in AD&D 2E could wear plate... not seeing that as a huge difference from only three classes being effective off-tanks here. Can you explain?

 

 

Let's see:

Fighter

Ranger

Paladin

Cleric

Barbarian (is limited to mail armor, but the increased HP makes up for that)

Monk (can not wear plate, but is hands down the most tanky class in the book due to the armor-per-level mechanic)

 

That is 6 basic character classes out of 10 available (leaving only thief, bard, druid and mage/sorcerer).

 

Not to mention all the popular class combinations that unlock plate armor, like Fighter/Thief [for those who rather chuck potions of invisibility] and warrior/druid.

 

Note that all of those choices have absolutely no penalty to tanking at all. They can all equip the same gear (except for the barbarian who can't wear plate, but gets the HP bonus to make up for it) and reach the same armor class scores. In case of a Fighter/Druid, the class combination of Druid isn't even penalized in spell casting capability when equipping plate.

 

 

 

Inverse spread of DR and Deflection is a bad idea because then you just find the mathematical optimum for survivability and put everyone in that. Since Deflection lowers your chances of getting crit and hit, it may actually be straight-up better than DR at a certain point. 16 DR means nothing if you're constantly getting crit by everything.

 

And yes, I know that Deflection only helps against some attacks whereas DR helps against all. I still don't think trading DR for Deflection is a good idea. You're trading survivability for survivability, which is silly. The current system of trading survivability for combat speed is interesting because there's actually a choice there. The speed penalties just need to be tweaked a bit, maybe to encourage less all-or-nothing armor tactics by making the armors on the edges (as in, clothes and plate) offer worse tradeoffs.

 

You'd do this by making the speed penalties very low at first, so you don't have to pay much to get a little DR, but then having them ramp up higher as armor gets heavier. This was suggested (not by me) in another thread a few days ago, though I can't for the life of me remember where. In any case, I think that's a much better solution than trying to make all armor give similar amounts of survivability, just in different ways. That turns it into a numbers game. And as much as I love numbers, forcing your players to be math whizzes to play your game is bad game design. Tradeoffs should be intuitive and easy to make decisions on with decent heuristics. Let spreadsheets remain the realm of the math geeks and minmaxers. Don't make everyone use them. ;P

 

There was more to my suggestion than just the inverse deflection vs DR spread ... it was more about equalizing tanking potential across the classes and making tanking more dependant on gear so that the gap between tanks and non-tanks gets smaller.

 

Obviously, the DR and deflection scores can be tweaked, this was just a rough estimate what could get us in the ballpark. Trading DR for deflection imho makes a lot of sense. I'd rather stack more DR than deflection on a character as it's way more reliable and also affects spells.

The problem is: the game doesn't let me. Having both DR and high deflection also makes zero sense from a logical point of view, as deflection is basicly an evasion-type stat (reducing the chance for enemies to hit) ... which obviously should be increased with lower armor, not decreased.

 

Currently, there is no way I can build a cunning, evasion based tank with agile armor choice. This is just plain bad design, no matter how you take it, especially with a monk class in the game.

 

 

 

About the engagement debate:

I think engagement is an overall good mechanic. If the game would play with it more. Engagement is only fun if both sides make use of it. Currently, it's extremely one-sided: your guys will get disengagement attacks whenever you want to tactically withdraw a character or whenever the bad pathfinding makes your character spazz one pixel just to hit an enemy that can clearly hit you(?), whereas enemies will almost never disengage and sometimes even won't get hit by disengagement attacks even when they move.

The disengagement attacks are a buggy mess and we all agree on that I think. What we don't all agree on imho, is that engagement has to go in general. I think it's a good mechanic, it just needs some tweaking and a helluva lot of bugfixing. Allow us to walk freely within the attacking range of a creature when engaged! Disengagement should only trigger when you actually move away from the enemy...

Edited by Zwiebelchen
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@Zwie, I think we have a difference of opinion - which is fine. I personally don't want tanking potential to be equalized across the classes. It's not that I hate the idea, I just see absolutely no reason for it.

 

I'd agree with you somewhat if I saw Deflection as being an "evasion-type stat". But I don't... it's clearly implemented in such a way as to represent a hybrid of evasiveness and, well... ability to deflect. Case in point: shields. Shields don't help you dodge anything in real life. The very idea is absurd. Instead, they help you turn mortal blows into wounding ones, wounding blows into glancing ones, and glancing ones into blows that do no damage at all. The fact that the primary stat of shields in PoE is Deflection (as opposed to DR), then, leads me to believe that Deflection does not simply represent being "dodgy", but a combination of being "dodgy" and "deflect-y".

 

I suppose I could still see the sense in heavy armor imposing some sort of Deflection penalty (which is basically equivalent to your suggestion of giving light armor a Deflection bonus)... but I'd personally rather that Deflection be derived primarily from stats and talents, not gear (other than shields). A small penalty to Deflection for the heavier armors (maybe -4 for medium and -8 for heavy, or something like that) would be fine though. What should not happen is that this penalty to Deflection attempt to be "equivalent" to the DR difference. As I said, I don't want it to just be a numbers game as to which armor has the optimal survivability. If you're going to build in trade-offs, make the trade-offs between distinct things like speed and survivability.

 

So IMO, a small Deflection penalty on heavier armors would be fine. A Deflection penalty "equivalent" to (or even close to equivalent to) the DR difference between the heavier and lighter armors would be silliness though. Like it or not, "dodgy" tanks are simply not as tough as "tanky" tanks. I know dodgy tanks are a common RPG trope, but that doesn't mean they're necessarily realistic or need to be in every RPG. I have no problem whatsoever with the best tanks needing to wear armor. Tankiness is what armor is for. :p

Edited by Matt516
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I don't care if engagement is realistic or not, it's an awful mechanic that adds tedium rather than tactics.

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Good mechanics? The AD&D rules had good mechanics? Right.

 

Umberhulks? Have Jaheira summon a fire elemental and send that in. Maybe give it a mindward spell first. Sit back and wait, the umberhulks cannot harm a fire elemental.

 

If silly stuff like that is why you people are crying over PoE, all the IE games had enough silly stuff, that you could write books about it. Doh!

I never played with Jaheira (didn't like her), and dealt with Umber Hulks the old fashioned way with a katana to the gullet.

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Been engaged is OK but I thought breaking marriages is more punishing not engagements.

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I find the lack of attacks of opportunity to be poor for game balance and my enjoyment. I don't want to have encounters designed around click-a-thons to move characters around, which is the practical consequence of no engagement.

I highly doubt that, otherwise you'd find basically every real-time game a disappointment because the only real-time games that have these mechanics are NWN1, NWN2, Pillars of Eternity and Blood Bowl RTwP mode (and everyone plays that game in turn-based mode). Or is that the problem?

 

AoOs are a turn-based mechanic, they should stay in turn-based, as they are there for the purpose of allowing units to act when it's not their turn. In real-time games units act simultaneously, so this mechanic is neither required nor works properly.

 

The IE games were not a click-a-thon. You could play the BGs/IWDs EXACTLY the same as you play Pillars of Eternity if you wanted to. However you could also rely more on spontaneous tactics like I did which is a playstyle that is punished in Pillars of Eternity.

 

There are other 'zone of control' systems different to AoOs/disengagement that are actually designed for real-time that work a lot better. Personally I don't like any of them though and find that disables/cc and a good AI targeting system is enough.

Edited by Sensuki

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I never played with Jaheira (didn't like her), and dealt with Umber Hulks the old fashioned way with a katana to the gullet.

 

You've also mentioned you don't even bother to prebuff with Chaotic Commands since your toon is so hard it'll murder them by itself even when Confused.

 

In other words, you only fight them when you're overleveled and/or overgeared to the point that they can't hurt you anyway. 

Edited by PrimeJunta

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Good mechanics? The AD&D rules had good mechanics? Right.

 

Umberhulks? Have Jaheira summon a fire elemental and send that in. Maybe give it a mindward spell first. Sit back and wait, the umberhulks cannot harm a fire elemental.

 

If silly stuff like that is why you people are crying over PoE, all the IE games had enough silly stuff, that you could write books about it. Doh!

I don't see this as a bad example but as a good one. IE games let you do encounters in different ways and they were all viable while playing out very different. Where does PoE let you summon a powerful badass, buff him up a little and let him deal with some tough encounters?

If PoE had this, you could probably use this tactic to beat any encounter while in IE games this worked only vs those that didn't have magic weapons. Umber Hulks was one of the more rare examples of powerful creature that could not break through immunity vs normal weapons and it was up to the player to figure that out and when you did it felt good. (I for example used summons rarely except when I did a solo run with a werewolf druid).

In PoE you can Blindness ON EVERY.GOD.DAMN.ENEMY

Edited by archangel979
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^

I agree. Having scads of ways to deal with the challenges is the best part of BG2.

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Attack of Opportunity is in 5e, but you have room to move without triggering it (within 5 feet of the attacker iirc). I'm hoping the current issue where moving a pixel triggers disengagement attacks is a bug, though. Also, aren't interrupts supposed to break engagement?

It's not a bug. It's been like that since forever and the issue has been mentioned countless times.


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Interrupts don't break engagement, they just, well, interrupt whatever action gets interrupted.


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@Zwie, I think we have a difference of opinion - which is fine. I personally don't want tanking potential to be equalized across the classes. It's not that I hate the idea, I just see absolutely no reason for it.

 

I'd agree with you somewhat if I saw Deflection as being an "evasion-type stat". But I don't... it's clearly implemented in such a way as to represent a hybrid of evasiveness and, well... ability to deflect. Case in point: shields. Shields don't help you dodge anything in real life. The very idea is absurd. Instead, they help you turn mortal blows into wounding ones, wounding blows into glancing ones, and glancing ones into blows that do no damage at all. The fact that the primary stat of shields in PoE is Deflection (as opposed to DR), then, leads me to believe that Deflection does not simply represent being "dodgy", but a combination of being "dodgy" and "deflect-y".

 

I suppose I could still see the sense in heavy armor imposing some sort of Deflection penalty (which is basically equivalent to your suggestion of giving light armor a Deflection bonus)... but I'd personally rather that Deflection be derived primarily from stats and talents, not gear (other than shields). A small penalty to Deflection for the heavier armors (maybe -4 for medium and -8 for heavy, or something like that) would be fine though. What should not happen is that this penalty to Deflection attempt to be "equivalent" to the DR difference. As I said, I don't want it to just be a numbers game as to which armor has the optimal survivability. If you're going to build in trade-offs, make the trade-offs between distinct things like speed and survivability.

 

So IMO, a small Deflection penalty on heavier armors would be fine. A Deflection penalty "equivalent" to (or even close to equivalent to) the DR difference between the heavier and lighter armors would be silliness though. Like it or not, "dodgy" tanks are simply not as tough as "tanky" tanks. I know dodgy tanks are a common RPG trope, but that doesn't mean they're necessarily realistic or need to be in every RPG. I have no problem whatsoever with the best tanks needing to wear armor. Tankiness is what armor is for. :p

 

I'm perfectly okay with just a slight deflection penalty on heavy armors. I think we can all agree that it would make a lot of sense...

I'm also fine with deflection on shields... after all, I usually regard shield blocking as basicly the same mechanic as evading an attack.

 

As you already mentioned: my suggestion pretty much works the same as if heavy armors would just give a deflection penalty. In fact, now that I think about it, I like the idea of a deflection penalty more than a deflection "reward" on lighter armors because it's more intuitive and the effect would be the same.

 

So yeah, deflection penalty on heavy armor would be fine (if combined with constitution reducing recovery penalty, so that heavy armors are worth wearing).

 

 

Even with my suggestions for a flat base deflection score for all classes the individual deflection scores between tanks and non-tanks would still be different due to talents and abilities alone (defense posture, etc.). The point I'm trying to make here is: there is literally no reason why classes should have different base deflection scores if the class abilities alone already provide a significant difference in deflection scores. Why pigeonhole classes into the tanking role and DPS role and the opposite? This is MMO-thinking. Why not allow me to create some unusual hybrids due to my talent and armor choices?

I'd love to build a tanky wizard that uses defensive spells only. But I am already severely punished in base deflection just for selecting the wizard class alone. On top of that, I even get punished on top of that for wearing a shield and armor with no way to counter it. Not even talking about the low endurance and health. This is just bad design. If a wizard could reach the same deflection scores as a fighter given the right equipment, then at least it could be a viable consideration.

 

On a side note: the complete lack of talents that allow unconventional tank builds is disturbing. Why is there no talent that improves my deflection score if I only use a 1H-weapon without a shield? This is basic cRPG 101! Even D&D had such talents! Why is there no selectable talent that improves deflection when wearing light armor? I'm already punished hard for not having armor DR, why add even more punishment? Not even talking about the obvious lack of monk cloth-armor tankiness.

 

I agree. Having scads of ways to deal with the challenges is the best part of BG2.

 

It's a double edged sword, really. I liked the different ways of dealing with iron golems, for example (tanking with a stoneskin mage with immunity to poison/acid; reducing magic resistance, etc.), as golems remained a challenge no matter how you dealt with them. But some encounters simply became trivial when you found out the "right" tactic (mind flayer cheesing with chaotic commands).

Edited by Zwiebelchen
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In other words, you only fight them when you're overleveled and/or overgeared to the point that they can't hurt you anyway.

No they appear at several stages throughout the game and the most dangerous I've found is probably the De'Arnise Hold hidden area where Tor'Gal is. That can be a pain in the ass. Usually I just run in with my Kensai and close the door, he usually gets Confused but will still attack the Umber Hulks, then I come in a bit later with Minsc equipped with Lilarcor who I think is immune to Confusion because of Lilarcor (can't remember) and spank them.

 

One thing I should probably try is sending in Minsc first instead, but that tactic has worked for me since I started doing it.

 

Sometimes I think I used a Potion of Mind Focusing or something against the confusion, don't remember.

 

It can be problematic because once the Umber Hulks are dead, my Kensai will still be confused, so I'll have to lock him in the room until it wears off.

Edited by Sensuki

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In other words, you only fight them when you're overleveled and/or overgeared to the point that they can't hurt you anyway.

No they appear at several stages throughout the game and the most dangerous I've found is probably the De'Arnise Hold hidden area where Tor'Gal is. That can be a pain in the ass. Usually I just run in with my Kensai and close the door, he usually gets Confused but will still attack the Umber Hulks, then I come in a bit later with Minsc equipped with Lilarcor who I think is immune to Confusion because of Lilarcor (can't remember) and spank them.

 

One thing I should probably try is sending in Minsc first instead, but that tactic has worked for me since I started doing it.

 

Sometimes I think I used a Potion of Mind Focusing or something against the confusion, don't remember.

 

It can be problematic because once the Umber Hulks are dead, my Kensai will still be confused, so I'll have to lock him in the room until it wears off.

 

 

Then again you could also do it the way it was intended by using the dog meat to attract the umber hulks to the other room. ;)

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I agree. Having scads of ways to deal with the challenges is the best part of BG2.

 

It's a double edged sword, really. I liked the different ways of dealing with iron golems, for example (tanking with a stoneskin mage with immunity to poison/acid; reducing magic resistance, etc.), as golems remained a challenge no matter how you dealt with them. But some encounters simply became trivial when you found out the "right" tactic (mind flayer cheesing with chaotic commands).

 

I never did that. I would summon skeletons or mordekain sword, haste them and send them to fight Illithids and I bet there are more ways to do it. So, what were you saying about right way to play it?

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I agree. Having scads of ways to deal with the challenges is the best part of BG2.

 

It's a double edged sword, really. I liked the different ways of dealing with iron golems, for example (tanking with a stoneskin mage with immunity to poison/acid; reducing magic resistance, etc.), as golems remained a challenge no matter how you dealt with them. But some encounters simply became trivial when you found out the "right" tactic (mind flayer cheesing with chaotic commands).

 

I never did that. I would summon skeletons or mordekain sword, haste them and send them to fight Illithids and I bet there are more ways to do it. So, what were you saying about right way to play it?

 

 

So you basicly only replaced one cheesy tactic (chaotic commands making you immune against mind flayer spells) with another (mordenkain sword and skeletons being immune against mind flayer spells). I don't really see the difference here. It doesn't change the fact that it basicly removes all the challenge of fighting mindflayers. How does that make my point invalid?

 

See my Iron Golem example: it's exactly how hard-counter balancing should be done. Iron Golems are still a significant challenge even if you found a way to deal with the massive damage output or found a way to deal with their magic resistance. Stone skin won't last long against an iron golem and reduced magic resistance will only allow you to kill them somewhat faster. In addition, you have to deal with the slow effect from the clay golems aswell. It's awesome encounter design. You have basicly 3 problems to solve at the same time: a stacking slow effect making your armor and attack speed drop the longer it takes, high damage resistances and immunities making them harder to kill and a huge damage output and attack speed. It's not hard to find solutions to any of these problems in isolation, but making them work together and lasting long enough to kill the golems is an awesome experience.

Also, I love how the map designers always build a chokepoint next to golem encounters to allow you to retreat safely if you messed things up. This basicly creates a dynamic in which players have the opportunity to try out different tactics without always having to reload if an attempt failed. It's engaging and fun.

The only downside was that golems weren't immune to missile weapons +4 or +5, allowing you to kill them from safe distance if you had access to such weapons... (but then again, if you really had such weapons, chances are you outleveled the encounter anyway).

Edited by Zwiebelchen
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It's a double edged sword, really. I liked the different ways of dealing with iron golems, for example (tanking with a stoneskin mage with immunity to poison/acid; reducing magic resistance, etc.), as golems remained a challenge no matter how you dealt with them. But some encounters simply became trivial when you found out the "right" tactic (mind flayer cheesing with chaotic commands).

 

True but there's sooooo much variety in the encounters that (1) it'll take you a very long time to learn the "solutions" to all of them, and that process is a lot of fun, and (2) the cheesy solutions will often require particular abilities or items which you may or may not have, which means that some of the cheesy tactics won't be available for you even if you know them. You can't berserker-rage Kangaxx to death if you're not a berserker or don't have Korgan in the party f.ex.

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It's a double edged sword, really. I liked the different ways of dealing with iron golems, for example (tanking with a stoneskin mage with immunity to poison/acid; reducing magic resistance, etc.), as golems remained a challenge no matter how you dealt with them. But some encounters simply became trivial when you found out the "right" tactic (mind flayer cheesing with chaotic commands).

 

True but there's sooooo much variety in the encounters that (1) it'll take you a very long time to learn the "solutions" to all of them, and that process is a lot of fun, and (2) the cheesy solutions will often require particular abilities or items which you may or may not have, which means that some of the cheesy tactics won't be available for you even if you know them. You can't berserker-rage Kangaxx to death if you're not a berserker or don't have Korgan in the party f.ex.

 

 

Kangaxx is kind of an exception and imho a bad example of good hard-counter design. Basicly, Kangaxx only consists of three problems to solve: imprison, weapon immunity and a death spell. He doesn't deal any damage.

 

One problem is solved easy here: wail of the banshee. Just pop immunity to death spells and you're fine. In fact, you don't even need that as you can simply outrange the spell once he casts it.

The second problem is imprison, which requires some meta-game knowledge to beat (as there is no other enemy in the game that uses this spell, there is no way to "learn" properly how to properly counter it without doing some research.). Berserker Rage is probably the go-to solution for most players, as it clearly states immunity vs imprison. However, there's also a less obvious solution, which is spell immunity: abjuration.

The third problem is the crux of this encounter: it requires +4 or +5 weapons. The idea behind this is pretty clear: the designers don't want Kangaxx to be killed by lowlevel parties. However, it's also the biggest problem of the encounter: there are some +4 and +5 weapons available early in the game (like the +4 staff or the vs. undead blade from the city gates ... summoned elementals also have +4 weapons and melfs magic meteor counts as a +4).

 

As Kangaxx deals absolutely no damage and thus is no threat once you "solved" all three problems, the encounter is virtually only about collecting enough +4 gear to kill him before your imprison immunity runs out. And with more than one spell immunity memorized, you literally have all the time in the world.

 

Bioware failed to give Kangaxx an additional "basic threat" by adding some sustainable weapon damage to him or giving him enough health regen to allow him to outlast a single character having a +4 weapon or the constant pokes with melfs meteor or biting arrows.

 

 

This creates the weird dynamic that you can kill Kangaxx way before the intended encounter level. And a dynamic that makes the pre-encounter against the Lich form of Kangaxx harder than the demilich form.

Edited by Zwiebelchen
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