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Path of the Damned is too easy


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Jokes. :)

 

Seriously though, the difficulty seems to fall off abit too quickly. Early on in the game it is indeed quite difficult, but once you get a few things that allows you to control the battle(charm spells and Summoning Figurines) it becomes kinda cheesy. 

 

I couldn't believe I could keep such formidable foes as the Dragon from Searing Falls and the Drake from Od Nua lvl 5 more or less perma-cced with simple lvl 2 spells like Paralyze and Bewildering Spectacle.

 

Any battle where you could block a narrow pathway with a tank was trivial.

 

Battles out in the open where you're out-numbered were easily manageable if you used the summoning figurines (the placement of which seriously needs work. You get the BEST one - the obsidian lamp- very early on for no effort.)

 

There were only a few legitimately difficult battles like the one in the Lighthouse where you're taken by surprise and the bounty battles against the Spreading Plague-using Fugly-Dryads.

 

My party is Lvl 9 now and I've just cleared Dyrford and it's kinda of a joke now that I realised your lvl 1 spells become per encounter. I hope that there are more epic encounters ahead that justify using ALL of the toys I've got to play with, rather than each encounter being "Oh ok, how can I win this without using any lvl 2 or above spells so I can go longer without resting?"

 

 

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There isn't really much to discuss, but yeah, you're right on most of those points. Difficulty sharply drops off past the Prologue and Act 1/Caed Nua, and most battles can be trivialized with tanking, especially - as you've noticed - with narrow pathways, due to various systemic issues and a general lack of reactivity.

I'm not sure what summoning figurine you're talking about, though, and I'm not going to ask, because the forum is spoiler-free.

But I assume you're talking about the Wood Beetle one that is lying out in the open in the middle of the first area in Defiance Bay.



Experience is doled out liberally and you easily overlevel for the content you're generally going to be facing, if you are (like I suspect most are) doing most quests you run into, and explore areas as you find them. If you are level 9 by the time you finish Dyrford, you can expect to be level 12 well before you finish the game, but your mileage may vary, it depends on how thorough you are.

And the fact that all spellcasters get entire levels turning into Per-Encounter at level 9 is a well-known balance issue. I've seen very few people even defending that idea, it's completely broken, and I think most have realized that. No non-spellcaster class even has anything resembling that, and it's an unprecedented step up in power, even for spellcasters, who also continue to gain new spells and spell ranks at the same rate as before.

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Although some of the content can be trivialised even in POTD, i found the difficulty to vary a lot depending on the encounter.

 

I think the problem with the current state of the game is that game balance changes completely based on wether or not you use some of the OP / broken mechanics available to you (a few spells from the cipher's list come to mind).

 

That being said, i've found some of the content in POTD to be EXTREMELY challenging regardless of what tactics i was using.

For instance, it took me 20 minutes to finish off the Adra dragon using the most BS technique i could think of, but that fight really needs rebalancing atm.

Another example is the ogre mage bounty you get late game, thank god for cipher's OP domination spell on that one.

 

Speaking of the lighthouse, and strong spectres & co encounters in general. I've seen a lot of people complaining about the difficulty of these compared to most of the other encounters, but if you are prepared correctly they become a faceroll (ie. cold & light DR chant and wearing the right kind of armors changes a lot).

 

I completely agree about the summoning figurines, they can be extremly effective in some encounters. And it's true that the per encounter casts could be re-though for druids and priests, although i think there are other balancing issues far worse than that :)

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Y'know, if I find certain tactics to be trivializing games, I don't run to the message boards complaining about them.  I don't use them. 

 

The problem with PoTD is that it's slower because I have to cast more spells and rest more; I enjoy it otherwise.  I really hope that they don't change it into a slog.  (And, again, I think that higher difficulty battles should be balanced around really tough boss encounters, not turned into dreary slogs where you have to plow through thousands of overpowered goblins to get from A to B.)

Edited by Ohioastro
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Known problem: accuracy values of later enemies in the game don't keep up with the ridicolous deflection stacking possibilities the game offers.

 

A nerf to tank builds and talents is probably required.

 

The question is how you solve a systemic issue like that. If you just increase the Accuracy of the enemies, you are only really putting even more emphasis on +Deflection as the go-to way to tank, and the game already suffers from overspecialization in that regard. You either stack Deflection or you go home. Increasing enemy Accuracy would just mean that the importance of Deflection is even higher.

 

I think this might actually be quite hard to solve, at the end of the day, due to the underlying simplicity of the system. Accuracy is a scale that affects everything from Miss to Crit, and the only thing that affects it is Deflection, working in the opposite direction.

 

I don't have a solution, and I'm not criticizing you or anything, I'm just musing on the challenges.

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Y'know, if I find certain tactics to be trivializing games, I don't run to the message boards complaining about them.  I don't use them. 

 

The problem with PoTD is that it's slower because I have to cast more spells and rest more; I enjoy it otherwise.  I really hope that they don't change it into a slog.  (And, again, I think that higher difficulty battles should be balanced around really tough boss encounters, not turned into dreary slogs where you have to plow through thousands of overpowered goblins to get from A to B.)

 

That's fair, but what I would really like to see addressed is general tuning to keep things interesting all the way towards the end. I wouldn't want them to make it a "slog", but winning a hard battle with all the tools at your disposal is a lot of fun, and I had the most of that during the beginning of my PoTD run.

 

There's always some balance work they can fit in, IMO. It's not like they can throw the balance out of whack when that's already the case in some respects.

 

I'd like to see some simple tweaks, like putting the summoning figurines on a timer, or summoning less guys. Have more battles with a few tough guys than lots of "trash" that you can easily cc, etc etc.

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Known problem: accuracy values of later enemies in the game don't keep up with the ridicolous deflection stacking possibilities the game offers.

 

A nerf to tank builds and talents is probably required.

 

The question is how you solve a systemic issue like that. If you just increase the Accuracy of the enemies, you are only really putting even more emphasis on +Deflection as the go-to way to tank, and the game already suffers from overspecialization in that regard. You either stack Deflection or you go home. Increasing enemy Accuracy would just mean that the importance of Deflection is even higher.

 

I think this might actually be quite hard to solve, at the end of the day, due to the underlying simplicity of the system. Accuracy is a scale that affects everything from Miss to Crit, and the only thing that affects it is Deflection, working in the opposite direction.

 

I don't have a solution, and I'm not criticizing you or anything, I'm just musing on the challenges.

 

 

I think that instead of tuning tank themselves there should be more ways presented for enemies to threaten your back line. More ranged attackers, ways to knock-back etc.

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or suffers from inverted difficulty curve ( like xcom EU/EW) .. Hardest at start, gets boringly steamrolling towards the end ..

 

There are surprisingly few CRPGs where this isn't the case. I mean, name a major CRPG, pretty much definitely this is the case. People, the very same people who complain about it, just complain about how they don't feel like they're actually gaining power, how the game is "unrewarding", if it's not the case.

 

 

And the fact that all spellcasters get entire levels turning into Per-Encounter at level 9 is a well-known balance issue. I've seen very few people even defending that idea, it's completely broken, and I think most have realized that. No non-spellcaster class even has anything resembling that, and it's an unprecedented step up in power, even for spellcasters, who also continue to gain new spells and spell ranks at the same rate as before.

 

I thought this would be a big issue, but I'm actually finding it's much less of a balance issue than you're implying. It's one of those "looks bad on paper" things, but in practice, the way you have to cast spells in harder encounters, compared to the amount of opportunity to rest means that you don't really gain that much from it.

Druids, in particular, would actually be distinctly underpowered without it, I'd suggest.

 

You also state that no other class has such a steep gain in power - well, you're overestimating how steep the gain is (low-level spells aren't as good as you seem to think they are, when they take time to cast - time that you could be casting higher-level spells) - but also, even if you believe that, Chanter Rank 3 chants are absolutely at least as much of a power-gain.

 

(And slightly beside the point, but the power gain is still far, far less than the power-gain of getting L5+ spells in AD&D 2E - even the jump from L1-2 spells to L3 was at least as big of gain).

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I'd go closer to the route of boosting spell resistances on bosses.  I'm in Act I on PoTD and having a lot of fun.  The summoning figures, etc. are completely optional - I think that solo players rely on them heavily, so I'd be wary of crimping them.  The usual problem that I have with games in hard difficulty settings is that they take forever - I know that I can always beat that pack of goblins, but I need hours of my time to walk across a room.  Much better to just have to think in normal encounters and have a fun puzzle to crack for the bosses.

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Known problem: accuracy values of later enemies in the game don't keep up with the ridicolous deflection stacking possibilities the game offers.

 

A nerf to tank builds and talents is probably required.

 

The question is how you solve a systemic issue like that. If you just increase the Accuracy of the enemies, you are only really putting even more emphasis on +Deflection as the go-to way to tank, and the game already suffers from overspecialization in that regard. You either stack Deflection or you go home. Increasing enemy Accuracy would just mean that the importance of Deflection is even higher.

 

I think this might actually be quite hard to solve, at the end of the day, due to the underlying simplicity of the system. Accuracy is a scale that affects everything from Miss to Crit, and the only thing that affects it is Deflection, working in the opposite direction.

 

I don't have a solution, and I'm not criticizing you or anything, I'm just musing on the challenges.

 

 

A possible solution might be to add "Converts XX% Grazes to Hits" (or even Misses or something), where XX% was a large enough percentage (20? 40? 60? More?) that it meant that all that stacking Deflection did against some monsters was ensure that you didn't get Crit, not that you didn't get Hit.

 

That's using mechanics in the game already, too, so wouldn't be that hard to implement.

 

I think it's a decent solution because it means that Deflection doesn't get any more valuable without making it totally worthless, or making characters with low-mid Deflection into absolute death-magnets.

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I don't have a solution, and I'm not criticizing you or anything, I'm just musing on the challenges.

 

I think this might actually be quite hard to solve, at the end of the day, due to the underlying simplicity of the system. Accuracy is a scale that affects everything from Miss to Crit, and the only thing that affects it is Deflection, working in the opposite direction.

 

you have to build up all defences on your tank, because although mele/ranged Kith and 'natural attacks' from monsters target deflection, wizards/druids/cyphers and a lot of monsters target other defences.

 

one of the worst things that can happen to the tank/spank tactic is a tank with low will geting charmed dominated, and not only attacking you, he also loses the agro from enemies which then move on to your squishies

 

(second worst, or maybe even worse thing is getting your dps char dominated and decimating your party, and although 'low level' enemies that charm/confuse attack the frontline guys, more poverful enemies will often charm your archer and then engage your tank in mele)

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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Known problem: accuracy values of later enemies in the game don't keep up with the ridicolous deflection stacking possibilities the game offers.

 

A nerf to tank builds and talents is probably required.

 

The question is how you solve a systemic issue like that. If you just increase the Accuracy of the enemies, you are only really putting even more emphasis on +Deflection as the go-to way to tank, and the game already suffers from overspecialization in that regard. You either stack Deflection or you go home. Increasing enemy Accuracy would just mean that the importance of Deflection is even higher.

 

I think this might actually be quite hard to solve, at the end of the day, due to the underlying simplicity of the system. Accuracy is a scale that affects everything from Miss to Crit, and the only thing that affects it is Deflection, working in the opposite direction.

 

I don't have a solution, and I'm not criticizing you or anything, I'm just musing on the challenges.

 

 

Actually, to fix this I would apply a rebalancing on all fronts:

 

- Nerf constant recovery of fighters (or just remove it... it just creates in imbalance between melee classes that is hard to fix)

- Increase endurance and health values of DPS classes

- Reduce deflection scores on tanking talents by 20-30%

- Nerf shields

- Reduce deflection and DR scores on enchants at least by 30%

- Add a reduction to armor recovery penalty to the constitution stat to allow viable offtank builds for non-tank classes

- Add diminishing returns to attributes at character creation

- Make the flanking bonus stack

- Reduce the overall damage of encounters to balance out the lower overall deflection scores of tanks

- Remove the gap in base deflection of tanks and non-tanks ... the gap created from itemization and skills is already enough

 

... so with all these changes; what will happen?

1) Tanks are a lot easier to hit, but will also deal more damage now (diminishing returns on attributes encourages a better stat spread)

2) The gap between tanks and non-tanks deflection-wise is smaller

3) Constitution now serves as a suitable stat for "offtanks" like clerics in mail armor

4) it is now viable to offtank with other characters, especially due to the changed flanking bonus and lower overall defenses of tanks making it impossible to tank a large group of enemies with just one character.

Edited by Zwiebelchen
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or suffers from inverted difficulty curve ( like xcom EU/EW) .. Hardest at start, gets boringly steamrolling towards the end ..

 

There are surprisingly few CRPGs where this isn't the case. I mean, name a major CRPG, pretty much definitely this is the case. People, the very same people who complain about it, just complain about how they don't feel like they're actually gaining power, how the game is "unrewarding", if it's not the case.

 

Absolutely.  I found the BG2 expansion - the one with the crazy high level spells - to be the easiest, by a wide margin, of the entire series.  You just had such crazy tools available.  There is a recent example of exactly what you're talking about:  the Elder Scrolls Online.  They had three factions and you leveled 1-50 in one of them.  They then had "veteran levels", designed to be more challenging, where you'd go through the other two factions with drastically boosted opponents (think HoF mode in Icewind Dale.)  My God, but people hated that.  They complained endlessly about how their heroes were so weak.  (It's especially funny there, since in a MMO you could always do things with, you know, other players, and it wasn't that hard even if you had two people working together.  But modern MMOs are really single player games with other people there for background chatter.)

 

It's now been completely nerfed, so that Veteran mode is pretty much the same as the 1-50 experience.

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I think that instead of tuning tank themselves there should be more ways presented for enemies to threaten your back line. More ranged attackers, ways to knock-back etc.

 

The problem is that ranged attackers can dealt with by being at an angle to the doorway your tanks are fighting in.

 

I don't think this is a much worse problem than any other isometric CRPG, note, but this is 2015, not 1999, so people are a lot more sensitive to this kind of thing, and frankly, more of us are more experienced and tactically cunning.

 

Early on in Pillars on Hard, I found archers etc. to be a huge menace, because even though I was fighting in doorways and other choke points, my casters were directly behind my melee and were easy to target for enemy archers etc. - as soon as I realized I could just put them at a 45 or more degree angle to the choke-point (pulling the enemy to the choke point if necessary), they became way less of a problem, because they had to either shoot the hard targets, or run right up into the "kill zone" outside the choke point to shoot my casters etc.

 

I don't see any easy solution to this, apart from perhaps better AI, enemies who won't be pulled in, possibly more enemies who summon stuff, teleport stuff in, and so on. Chain-lightning-type stuff might work too.

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