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At first I was a pretty staunch defender of this game and it's changes to the IE style, but the closer I get to the end, the harder it becomes for me to even want to boot this game up and complete it.

 

There have been many people suggesting that the combat quickly becomes formulaic and follows a flowchart of - Sneak -> Position -> Tank and Spank and win

 

This is pretty much the case. Once you get a full party and get into the mid game, this is what every combat encounter becomes. Sensuki said it best in another topic that there is no dynamic shift or any strategy involved, it's just a set of motions that you go through almost every fight, you don't have to adapt to combat at all, because once your Tank is engaged with the mob of dumb enemies up front, you simply lay down all the AoE CC you have and you move onto the next exact same group battle. It's the same thing, over and over again.

 

I started to get a little concerned with this combat system in Act 2, and I never ran into a situation where combat became different or engaging. You level up and get new spells and abilities but early game spells remain really good for most of the game, and there are a lot of priest, Wizard and Druid spells that are never really worth casting in battle. The fact that you can't pre-buff in this game also reduces strategy and combat dynamic IMO.

 

So I keep trucking along because of the story, but even that is nowhere near the level I was expecting to get when I pre-ordered the game. I have a couple well written characters and fairly simple fantasy story going, with a pretty boring Antagonist. It just doesn't grab me and keep me moving like Baldurs Gate or BG2 did, and it's nowhere near as impressive as Planescape: Torment.

 

I don't expect PoE to be at the same level of those games but it just doesn't seem like they put enough heart into the story. I don't know how else to describe it. 

 

I like certain things about this game, I really do, but when I tally up all the things I dislike, such as the combat, the attribute system and some parts of the story, overall I just find myself struggling to finish and I don't think this will be a game I start up again after completing it like I did with Baldurs Gate 2, and Planescape.

 

Bring on the flames!

 

My personal gripe is not that combat is "bad" per se (well, it surely ain't great, in all fairness), but that there is so much of it. Moreover, combat never really got around to being fun, to me, and just feels like a necessary chore that I have to endure in order to progress with the story.

 

Sure, this is quite common an approach, especially in RPGs, but the combat needs, has to, be fun, or challenging, or at least be enjoyable, in order for the chemistry to work out. Combat in PoE just feels dull to me, and the fact that it's around every corner doesn't really help the cause.

 

Indeed, things get worse once gets a full party and a few levels in: tanks up front, and then it's pretty much sit&wait. For most encounters (on Normal), I rarely have to do anything at all, which is a bit sad. PoE would totally shift from "Good" to "Excellent" in my book, if combat was both "balanced up" and its occurrences were better "planned" (less combat, more challenging).

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I’m selling these fine leather jackets.

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I still don't see whats the problem with keeping the engagement, but adding a random combat behavior script roll. Too time consuming to code?

Because breaking engagement equals death.

 

 

That is not true, or at least a big exaggeration.

 

Most of the time the fighter classes can easily suffer disengagement attacks without problems. Even if the attack hits, their endurance and health is large enough.

In case of the more fragile classes, a disengagement attack is a serious thread indeed, but can be countered with the right tactics in many cases. See my post on the last page for some possibilities. That's my experience on Hard, anyway.

Best way to deal with it for them is, of course, to avoid getting engaged in the first place, but if it can't be avoided there are several ways to deal with it.

 

The engagement system in its current implementation is not perfect, though.

Some of the abilities offered to deal with it could use some adjustments - e.g. I found the rogue's escape talent to be rather wonky. It's too slow to activate, has low range and sometimes doesn't seem to work at all. Definitely something the devs should look at. Also there are talents that offer increased defence against disengagement. Considering that those are relatively rare I would increase their effectiveness, too.

Finally, some people have reported that disengagement attacks triggered too easily - I think the engaged char should have some "wiggle room", e.g. by making the attack trigger only when he moves outside of a certain, sensible radius around the attacker.

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I'm playing on hard but I feel like putting it down to easy so I can get through the game quicker. Playing on hard doesn't make it more challenging, just tedious. I was hoping the story would make up for the combat but I'm not feeling the story either. My companions have turned into robots and haven't said anything for the last few days. I wonder if I have to finish Act 2 to get my companions to talk again, because time going by in Act 2 with doing quests and Od Nua haven't made them more talkative, it's done the opposite.

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Mmmmm it seems to be working but I agree, the biggest problem is that enemies don't disengage. Have them start disengaging and not stopping unless a direct hit goes off when said thing is moving to stop them, doesn't hit they don't stop then imho most complaints are fixed.

I do like the idea the poster said about will saves to which target. if target is surround and their isn't a good path to said target, if they are melee then they would swap out for range.

Right now disengagement can be easy to get around if u aren't boxed in, like insanely easy lol. Boxed in, yeah ur screwed lol.

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I still don't see whats the problem with keeping the engagement, but adding a random combat behavior script roll. Too time consuming to code?

Because breaking engagement equals death.

 

 

That is not true, or at least a big exaggeration.

 

Most of the time the fighter classes can easily suffer disengagement attacks without problems. Even if the attack hits, their endurance and health is large enough.

In case of the more fragile classes, a disengagement attack is a serious thread indeed, but can be countered with the right tactics in many cases. See my post on the last page for some possibilities. That's my experience on Hard, anyway.

Best way to deal with it for them is, of course, to avoid getting engaged in the first place, but if it can't be avoided there are several ways to deal with it.

 

The engagement system in its current implementation is not perfect, though.

Some of the abilities offered to deal with it could use some adjustments - e.g. I found the rogue's escape talent to be rather wonky. It's too slow to activate, has low range and sometimes doesn't seem to work at all. Definitely something the devs should look at. Also there are talents that offer increased defence against disengagement. Considering that those are relatively rare I would increase their effectiveness, too.

Finally, some people have reported that disengagement attacks triggered too easily - I think the engaged char should have some "wiggle room", e.g. by making the attack trigger only when he moves outside of a certain, sensible radius around the attacker.

 

For your fighter its an exaggeration. But for most enemies breaking engagement is really really bad. Maybe not instant death, but damn close, even on PotD.

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I hereby promote you to Expert Veteran.  Go ahead and set the game to Path of the Damned and turn on Trial of Iron, then report your progress here.

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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The exploration element is interesting, but where are the battles like the Drow bridge in IWD or the goblin siege from IWD2?

Or the Chess match battle from Durlag's tower. Or the Holy Avenger battle in Icewind Dale 2. Or the crazy group of Sarevok's acolytes on the 5th floor of the Iron Throne Building. Or the Aec'letec battle. Or the Drizzt fight. Or the fight with the group of mercenaries that guard the Cloakwood mines.

 

 

People are blaming the Engagement mechanic and the crap enemy AI. But really, that's just the tip of the iceberg. The problem is much more comprehensive and wide spread. There's no dispel magic in this game; The protection buffs are too weak. (and for that matter, enemy afflictions are so short and trivial that protection buffs aren't needed anyway); There's no real incentive to use the various potions in this game because their use is limited to in-combat only.

 

There's no real invisibility gameplay element in this game. There's no immunities or hard counters (for you or the enemy) in this game. Combat ends too quickly to really warrant any deep thinking or strategy. Everything is on a *quick* wavelength. It's like they deliberately designed this game for people with short attention spans.

 

 

I suppose we could put a positive spin on all this and just say: "well Ok, there's tremendous opportunities here for Obsidian to improve combat and related Gameplay." But those words ring hollow. The problems here are fundamental. They're the flawed core design and ruleset. Game patches won't be fixing stuff like that.

Edited by Stun
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I hereby promote you to Expert Veteran.  Go ahead and set the game to Path of the Damned and turn on Trial of Iron, then report your progress here.

I wish people would stop spouting this ridiculous straw man.

 

Game difficulty (or lack of it) Is. Not. The. Problem.

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Or the Chess match battle from Durlag's tower. Or the Holy Avenger battle in Icewind Dale 2. Or the crazy group of Sarevok's acolytes on the 5th floor of the Iron Throne Building. Or the Aec'letec battle. Or the Drizzt fight. Or the fight with the group of mercenaries that guard the Cloakwood mines.

 

The protection buffs are too weak. (and for that matter, enemy afflictions are so short and trivial that protection buffs aren't needed anyway); There's no real incentive to use the various potions in this game because the game forces you to decide whether to attack the enemy that's on top of you, or risk getting nailed (and interrupted) in order to use a potion that really isn't that powerful the begin with.

 

Combat ends too quickly to really warrant any deep thinking or strategy. Everything is on a *short* wavelength. 

 

Encounter design has much to be said about.

 

But you highlight two good points here. Enemy afflictions are short and combat ends quickly to the point it trivialises enemy afflictions and your own spells/potions. Why would I waste time using a spell or potion when I can focus fire and end the combat quickly and immediately end any afflictions on my party? I feel encouraged to end combat quickly as possible and to end any afflictions than to prolong the combat by wasting time on my own party.

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^And....I didn't want to bring this up because for some inexplicable reason, people here seem to love the endurance/health mechanic, but.... the system in place actually PUNISHES you for staying alive. Healing spells heal just your endurance. This means that assigning your priest to the role constantly healing everyone during a fight typically results in everyone's endurance staying close to 100%, while their health bar goes red..

 

Rule of thumb: when letting your party members get Ko'ed as quickly as possible becomes the Ideal thing to do to keep yourself from having to rest after every other fight, then it's time to go back to the drawing board. Because your system sucks monkey balls.

Edited by Stun
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if you pass by any hostile critter then you're suddenly stuck in an engagement web and stop moving completely, is annoying as hell.

 

 

That can be disabled in the game options... the stopping part.  You'll still be the target of free attack from disengagement.

 

The default is to stop your character because you'd be subject to a free attack for disengaging if you continued moving on course.

Edited by Daemonjax
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^And....I didn't want to bring this up because for some inexplicable reason, people here seem to love the endurance/health mechanic, but.... the system in place actually PUNISHES you for staying alive. Healing spells heal just your endurance. This means that assigning your priest to the role constantly healing everyone during a fight typically results in everyone's endurance staying close to 100%, while their health bar goes red..

 

Rule of thumb: when letting your party members get Ko'ed as quickly as possible becomes the Ideal thing to do to keep yourself from having to rest after every other fight, then it's time to go back to the drawing board. Because your system sucks monkey balls.

 

A.  That's ridiculous.  You can't complain about the game being tank and spank and then say that you should let your tank die as quickly as possible.  So, the ideal strategy is to have a tank, kill him as quickly as possible and then win?

 

B.  The system punishes you for taking damage, like it should.  Yes, tank & spank with heals can be an effective strategy, but it's not terribly efficient.  Crowd control is better.

 

C.  The knock out itself drops health pretty substantially.

 

D.  The total health damage to the party can be significantly greater if the wrong people get knocked out.

 

E.  You're comparing two suboptimal modes of play, and saying the game is broken because it encourages neither, but it temporarily numerically disencourages one less than the other.

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I hereby promote you to Expert Veteran.  Go ahead and set the game to Path of the Damned and turn on Trial of Iron, then report your progress here.

 

Yeah, I dont think you understand why people complain that the game is too easy...

 

And once again, Trial of Iron does not matter if you can trivialize encounters to the point where you never fear a party wipe. It does not increase the difficulty if you already know how to approach encounters in the most effective manner.

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I just found out that if you venture too far into the mega dungeon without going back to the main quest, you can be trapped in the dungeon and can't get out. LOL.

 

Getting to the end of level 11 could trap you in the dungeon if you're under-levelled. I was just about to start level 13 when I realised I couldn't go back. :verymad:

 

 

 

You can't get back over the vines that I originally climbed over. WTF? Or if you haven't maxed out mechanics which I haven't, you can't disarm the traps the other way to the exit.

 

Also, need to go to the Temple of Woedica in Defiance Bay and the tower in Heritage Hill before getting to level 12/13. I haven't done this yet and put off the main quest quite a long time ago. And really need to up your mechanics skill by this stage of the dungeon.

 

 

 

Glad I had some previous saves at the start of level 11 and now off to Defiance Bay. I've dropped Sagani and will pick up Pallegina before going back to the main quest..

 

The game is designed or assumes you've done certain quests when you get that far down. I recall the dev's saying the mega-dungeon will be too hard to do in one go and it will make you go back to the main quest. Now I know why. Even if I wanted to go back, I couldn't. 

 

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^And....I didn't want to bring this up because for some inexplicable reason, people here seem to love the endurance/health mechanic, but.... the system in place actually PUNISHES you for staying alive. Healing spells heal just your endurance. This means that assigning your priest to the role constantly healing everyone during a fight typically results in everyone's endurance staying close to 100%, while their health bar goes red..

 

Rule of thumb: when letting your party members get Ko'ed as quickly as possible becomes the Ideal thing to do to keep yourself from having to rest after every other fight, then it's time to go back to the drawing board. Because your system sucks monkey balls.

 

Superficially that's true. Keeping a character conscious through healing his endurance will accumulate health-loss, thus bringing him closer to death.

On the other hand losing the character for the remainder of an encounter, due to being knocked out, can mean losing the game if you can't win that encounter without him/her.

Overall low health is anyway seldom a real problem with the current health levels and difficulty. My main melee chars (currently Edèr and Hiravias plus Durance as backup) seldom reach red health (mostly Durance) and without any real penalties to it it doesn't matter that much as long as max endurance > max health.

 

I do think it would be interesting to get some penalty for reaching red health levels, at least on hard and up - but then it might also make sense to buff the health-healing abilities (field triage) a bit.

 

@Hiro:

You can always just trigger the traps, if disarming is not an option. Many chars should be able to soak it up, and there's a good chance the trap will miss.

I think the Vines are mostly a way to evade the big fight with the 'shrooms.

Edited by El Zoido
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[...]

 

You can always just trigger the traps, if disarming is not an option. [...]

 

And lose out on the experience? Don't be ridiculous.

 

Sure, considering one's OCD when it comes to accumulating all possible XP that solution might be obvious but highly unsatisfying.

Edited by El Zoido
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^And....I didn't want to bring this up because for some inexplicable reason, people here seem to love the endurance/health mechanic, but.... the system in place actually PUNISHES you for staying alive. Healing spells heal just your endurance. This means that assigning your priest to the role constantly healing everyone during a fight typically results in everyone's endurance staying close to 100%, while their health bar goes red..

 

Rule of thumb: when letting your party members get Ko'ed as quickly as possible becomes the Ideal thing to do to keep yourself from having to rest after every other fight, then it's time to go back to the drawing board. Because your system sucks monkey balls.

 

This.

 

Healing endurance should be allowable. Maybe expensive and / or difficult, but possible.

 

Like I say, they've thrown out the fun-baby with the degenerative game-play bathwater.

sonsofgygax.JPG

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A.  That's ridiculous.  You can't complain about the game being tank and spank and then say that you should let your tank die as quickly as possible.  So, the ideal strategy is to have a tank, kill him as quickly as possible and then win?

Never once have I complained about this game being tank and spank. In fact, I would never advocate building a tank in this game in the first place because tanking is completely suboptimal in PoE.

 

B.  The system punishes you for taking damage, like it should.

It punishes you for healing that damage too.

 

C.  The knock out itself drops health pretty substantially.

Not really, And I don't think you understand the system. You get knocked out when your endurance reaches Zero. The problem is that If your endurance never reaches zero, you never get knocked out. But since you take damage to both endurance and health at about a 4:1 Ratio (or 5:1, depending on your class) this results in massive health loss for those who artificially maintain their endurance pools during a fight.

 

In other words, Healing can kill you. What an absurd system.

 

D.  The total health damage to the party can be significantly greater if the wrong people get knocked out.

The...wrong people? Such as....

 

E.  You're comparing two suboptimal modes of play, and saying the game is broken because it encourages neither, but it temporarily numerically disencourages one less than the other.

Assigning a designated healer to heal people's wounds during battle is not supposed to be a suboptimal mode of play. The fact that it IS in this game is my point. Edited by Stun
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