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It seems to me, when you step back and view the big picture, that all the complaints about Pillars of Eternity basically boil down to, "It's not Baldur's Gate."  No, it's not, and it was never going to be.  Given that D&D is just a grab bag of incoherent fantasy tropes lumped together under a truly clumsy and nonsensical ruleset, this is to my mind a very good thing.  Pillars of Eternity is its own game with its own systems.  It's time to adapt and move on.

In other words, we go from "It's not Baldurs Gate, therefore it sucks" to.... "It's not D&D, therefore it's awesome."

 

Ok, is there supposed to be some sort of profound difference between your stance and that of the "complainers"? Because I don't see any. Both positions are equally shallow and they're both tainted by the exact same type of worthless, meaningless bias that leads nowhere in a debate.

 

On the other hand, some of the criticism I'm seeing does not actually fall into either stance. For example, complaints about the Engagement mechanic. I can describe the ways it goes against the spirit of true tactical combat.... can't you?

Edited by Stun
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No, my stance is not "It's not D&D, therefore it's awesome", that's just an advantage to having an original IP.  If PoE were a D&D game, I'm sure I'd enjoy it, since I enjoyed Planescape:Torment so much it's still my favorite computer game ever made.  My point was that not being tied to an existing (and fairly kludgy) RPG system is an advantage, because it allows Obsidian to come up with something new and original.  That people can't seem to separate themselves from the old games that PoE pays homage to but is not based on is not Obsidian's fault.  I accept the game for what it is... a brand new IP with a brand new ruleset that I'm going to have to learn and adapt to in order to succeed.  I have no problem with that; apparently, other people do, incredible as that seems.

 

The Engagement argument absolutely falls into this stance.  The Engagement mechanic doesn't go against tactical combat.  It's just going against a particular type of tactical combat that you desire.  Michel de Certeau differentiated strategy from tactics by stating that strategy occurs in its own created environment, while tactics occurs as a response to the requirements of an existing environment.  Tactics are absolutely possible in the environment of PoE (that is, the maps and rules set up in the game), they're just not the tactics you would like see.  You can either accept the tactical environment presented by PoE, and enjoy the game, or you can constantly be thinking about how a different tactical environment would operate (which is, as far as I can tell, Baldur's Gate for most people in this thread), which obviously will make the game less enjoyable.  I've done the former; I can't imagine why anyone would choose the latter.

Edited by Sable Phoenix
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It seems to me, when you step back and view the big picture, that all the complaints about Pillars of Eternity basically boil down to, "It's not Baldur's Gate."  No, it's not, and it was never going to be.  Given that D&D is just a grab bag of incoherent fantasy tropes lumped together under a truly clumsy and nonsensical ruleset, this is to my mind a very good thing.  Pillars of Eternity is its own game with its own systems.  It's time to adapt and move on.

In other words, we go from "It's not Baldurs Gate, therefore it sucks" to.... "It's not D&D, therefore it's awesome."

 

Ok, is there supposed to be some sort of profound difference between your stance and that of the "complainers"? Because I don't see any. Both positions are equally shallow and they're both tainted by the exact same type of worthless, meaningless bias that leads nowhere in a debate.

 

On the other hand, some of the criticism I'm seeing does not actually fall into either stance. For example, complaints about the Engagement mechanic. I can describe the ways it goes against the spirit of true tactical combat.... can't you?

 

 

Coming from someone who likes the engagement system... the problem that people seem to have is that it leads to static fights, because once everyone is engaged, it becomes impossible to move.  There are a wide variety of methods to break engagement, but people tend not to use them because they a) waste abilities, and b) usually aren't necessary c) the fight is usually over by the time they could come into play.  Since the whole point of having an isometric perspective with RTwP combat (as opposed to for instance menu based combat) is that it allows for movement, this seems a weird design.

 

Is that the complaint?

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I like most aspects of the game. It really does feel to me like "wow, someone is once again making actual RPGs" (instead of faux-action-RPG imitations). 

 

After hearing so many people say having a voiced protagonist is so vital, I found I didn't miss that aspect *at all*. But boy was it really nice to read rich descriptive text, and have meaningful dialogue menus again. 

 

If I had any quibbles, it would be... 

 

The other 5 party members should have some limited AI. It really bothers me that they won't even defend themselves if attacked. I also found it quite odd that the ranger's companion pet and summons don't even really do anything on their own most of the time until ordered to attack. The ranger pet usually engaged whatever Sagani was firing at ... but with some inconsistency. You should, at a minimum, have an "aggressive/defensive" AI setting (aggressive = seek out and attack enemies, defensive = only defend when attacked). 

 

I wish the chanter had some quicker way to start using invocations than wait for the 3 chant phrases to finish. I wish there was some other limiting mechanism for the invocations. 

 

There seems to be a strange paucity of items that are not weapons or chest armor. Never found many rings, gloves, helms, belts, unique or otherwise ... oh and why would necklaces and cloaks use the same slot? Doesn't make sense. Enchanting system was interesting, but why no enchanting of anything besides weapons, chest armor, shields? 

 

There could have been a little bit more PC-to-companion interaction. (No, not romance. But more meaningful interaction.)

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No, my stance is not "It's not D&D, therefore it's awesome"

What a coincidence. The people you've categorized and lumped together as "the complainers".... yeah, their stance ALSO isn't "It's not BG, therefore it sucks" either. So perhaps instead of just waving everyone's arguments away with overly simplistic labels we can, instead, address the various specific gripes that people are voicing about the game.

 

Just a suggestion.

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Coming from someone who likes the engagement system... the problem that people seem to have is that it leads to static fights, because once everyone is engaged, it becomes impossible to move.  There are a wide variety of methods to break engagement, but people tend not to use them because they a) waste abilities, and b) usually aren't necessary c) the fight is usually over by the time they could come into play.  Since the whole point of having an isometric perspective with RTwP combat (as opposed to for instance menu based combat) is that it allows for movement, this seems a weird design.

 

Is that the complaint?

Yes. That's one of the main ones.

 

Another gripe is that it's simply implemented wrong. During the kickstarter, when the devs first described the engagement mechanic, they made it sound really cool. The example they gave was that of a FIGHTER being able to stabilize/control the front line so that no one can get past him and make a b-line through the ranks to get to your party's squishies. Had they just left it at that, engagement would have been an excellent mechanic (who wouldn't want their fighter to have such meaningful front line power?).

 

But no. Instead, they decided to give every class and every enemy in the game the engagement power, thus bringing the fighter class right back down to what it was before (Generic), AND THEN they put creatures in the game that can teleport, thus rendering the mechanic tactically useless, AND THEN, they didn't bother giving enemies proper AI, thus nullifying the purpose of Engagement in the first place.

 

It's just a garbage system overall, the way it's been implemented. And when given a choice between a badly implemented engagement mechanic and no engagement mechanic at all, I'll take the latter.

Edited by Stun
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No, my stance is not "It's not D&D, therefore it's awesome", that's just an advantage to having an original IP.  If PoE were a D&D game, I'm sure I'd enjoy it, since I enjoyed Planescape:Torment so much it's still my favorite computer game ever made.  My point was that not being tied to an existing (and fairly kludgy) RPG system is an advantage, because it allows Obsidian to come up with something new and original.  That people can't seem to separate themselves from the old games that PoE pays homage to but is not based on is not Obsidian's fault.  I accept the game for what it is... a brand new IP with a brand new ruleset that I'm going to have to learn and adapt to in order to succeed.  I have no problem with that; apparently, other people do, incredible as that seems.

 

The Engagement argument absolutely falls into this stance.  The Engagement mechanic doesn't go against tactical combat.  It's just going against a particular type of tactical combat that you desire.  Michel de Certeau differentiated strategy from tactics by stating that strategy occurs in its own created environment, while tactics occurs as a response to the requirements of an existing environment.  Tactics are absolutely possible in the environment of PoE (that is, the maps and rules set up in the game), they're just not the tactics you would like see.  You can either accept the tactical environment presented by PoE, and enjoy the game, or you can constantly be thinking about how a different tactical environment would operate (which is, as far as I can tell, Baldur's Gate for most people in this thread), which obviously will make the game less enjoyable.  I've done the former; I can't imagine why anyone would choose the latter.

Nonsense.  Engagement fails to be tactical because the game fails to be tactical, mostly because the AI is complete garbage and enemies lack meaningful abilities, both of which are absolute failures on the part of the programmers.

Almost every encounter is solved by

1) place nigh un-hittable character in choke point

2) 5 ranged characters systematically murder everything that piles up behind said character.

 

If the exception occurs (spirits), be ready to target fire with abilities.  But spamming paralyze abilities trivializes this too.

 

Learning and adapting to this took a couple hours. It was obvious to me from second hand beta reports what the flaws, problems and exploits in this system were, and a bit of experimentation bore all the complaints out.  Both the combat (and, sadly the story) are completely one dimensional and easy to just stomp all over without effort, because the game isn't capable of putting up anything resembling a tactical challenge.

Edited by Voss
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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.

 

 

So how did you do fights like the first level of the lighthouse in Ondra's Gift? Or any fight then?

 

How do you 'tank and spank' when enemies come at you from different directions and don't attack the 'tank'?

 

I'm really curious because I find quite a few fights challenging and satisfying when I eventually win. What are these people who complain the game is too easy etc doing differently, or just doing, that makes it so easy?

 

What am I not doing that I should be?

Edited by philby
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If it's so awful, why are you even playing it?  Just curious.

^Faulty English. Assumes present tense. And misses the point.

 

Edit: And ends with a lie (I seriously doubt you're curious, since your first post on this thread was a blanket dismissal of all the critics, and their viewpoints, and their experiences)

Edited by Stun
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After examining lots of encounters in the game thoroughly, I noticed it isn't really the AI that is the problem. AI in the IE games was equally stupid and nobody complained. The real offender is the repetitive and boring encounter design that starts with Act 2.

 

... which is almost astonishing when you think about it. I mean; Act 2 is mostly Defiance Bay. A friggin' city. You know what made BG2 so much fun? Fights against human parties. I have absolutely no idea how anyone at Obsidian could ever mess that up?

 

 

Now, at the end of Act 3, all I can say is: make encounters more unique. Why is there so much copy & paste? Why are there so few human party battles? Why are there so few mage and druid encounters? And why for ****s sake are the damn human parties so easy to kill??

 

 

It's not the AI, imho. It's all the encounter design. Add more mages and more CC spells to enemies and the game will be awesome. For creature battles, give them spells that will mess up tank & spank tactics... knockbacks, pushes, pulls... it's absolutely mind-boggling that all these mechanics are already in the game, but for some reason weren't ever used by enemies.

 

Nerf Fighters. Reduce the deflection gap between tanks and non-tanks and give enemies a wider spell choice. Done. Game interesting!

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Disclaimer right of the bat: I haven't played the finished game yet.

 

If only there were those of us talking about all these issues long before the game came out...some of us are ahead of the curve I guess.

 

Didn't matter then and it won't matter now. Enough people bought the game (I think) for them to continue the formula as is. Most people who like/dislike the game won't bother stating their opinion and will just buy or not buy the next game.

 

I'm sure that a few things will improve in the next one (better AI, higher level characters and items) but I really think that the fundamentals will stay the same. The real result of the game will show it self when the time comes to buy PoE2.

 

I guess the only hope for people who want a next Baldurs Gate game are the guys at Beam Dog and that is kind of sad. But hey, maybe they surprise us and make a good game...

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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.

 

 

So how did you do fights like the first level of the lighthouse in Ondra's Gift? Or any fight then?

 

How do you 'tank and spank' when enemies come at you from different directions and don't attack the 'tank'?

 

I'm really curious because I find quite a few fights challenging and satisfying when I eventually win. What are these people who complain the game is too easy etc doing differently, or just doing, that makes it so easy?

 

What am I not doing that I should be?

 

 

I'm with you, philby.  I find the game enjoyable, and fairly often challenging as well.  You and I must be playing it wrong.

Edited by Sable Phoenix
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If it's so awful, why are you even playing it?  Just curious.

^Faulty English. Assumes present tense. And misses the point.

 

Edit: And ends with a lie (I seriously doubt you're curious, since your first post on this thread was a blanket dismissal of all the critics, and their viewpoints, and their experiences)

 

 

Berath's balls, you are a pedant aren't you.

 

Also, you'll notice I never made any personal attacks in my posts, the way you just did.  Argumentum ad hominem is useful in one way, though; it publicly demonstrates whom to ignore in the future.

Edited by Sable Phoenix
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Indeed. In order to play PoE durably and reasonably safe in all situations, even sneaky run-off-at-first-sight-of-any-threat builds, especially at higher difficulties, the naked approach is very rarely a good idea

 

Completely disagree. I know how to get around enemies and even know how to do shades and shadows with naked ranged characters with tank and spank. I worked out how to do it during the lighthouse encounters and then did all the shade and shadow battles in Lle a Rhemen with tank and spank with ranged nude characters and not one shade or shadow went to my ranged characters.

 

I was also playing around with level 13 in Od Nua and came across this situation with the end boss. Pallegina has gone down, combat state is still on and the enemy went back to their starting location because they can't find the rest of my party. :lol:

 

 

 

2LDpGPa.jpg

 

 

 

The nude option is not only viable, but very effective in ending combat quicker due to no reduction in recovery time and ending any status effects once combat ends. Oh and because combat is still going, I can send summons in. All combat spells are still in effect. I can also pre-buff in a sense by hitting Eder with a whole heap of buffs and send him in to tank. He and Pallegina have the +3 Boots of speed so they move pretty fast to get to enemies.

Edited by Hiro Protagonist II
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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.

 

So how did you do fights like the first level of the lighthouse in Ondra's Gift? Or any fight then?

 

How do you 'tank and spank' when enemies come at you from different directions and don't attack the 'tank'?

 

I'm really curious because I find quite a few fights challenging and satisfying when I eventually win. What are these people who complain the game is too easy etc doing differently, or just doing, that makes it so easy?

 

What am I not doing that I should be?

I'm with you, philby. I find the game enjoyable, and fairly often challenging as well. You and I must be playing it wrong.

 

Me too guys ! Maybe some1 of the 'complainers' can help us carry out those strategies, teach us how to engage 6-8+ mobs with a tank, let alone to survive the beating on hard or higher difficulty.

 

The only predictable about PoE's combat is how much some of you resented it from the start and never gave it a chance.

 

It's NOT Baldur's Gate ! -which has mediocre combat btw- have you played it recently or is your opinion a result of how you remember struggling with BG's combat during your childhood ?

Matilda is a Natlan woman born and raised in Old Vailia. She managed to earn status as a mercenary for being a professional who gets the job done, more so when the job involves putting her excellent fighting abilities to good use.

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So how did you do fights like the first level of the lighthouse in Ondra's Gift? Or any fight then?

 

How do you 'tank and spank' when enemies come at you from different directions and don't attack the 'tank'?

 

I'm really curious because I find quite a few fights challenging and satisfying when I eventually win. What are these people who complain the game is too easy etc doing differently, or just doing, that makes it so easy?

 

What am I not doing that I should be?

 

That fight on the first level of the lighthouse is when I noticed some tanking and spanking going on with how I placed my party. I immediately stopped and reloaded and tested it again by placing my characters in a slightly different spot and worked out how to do it.

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