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Noin

Different encounter design to reduce Tank and Spank

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In the current stand, most enemies are easily controlled by your tanks. It reduces the game to Tank and Spank in 90% of the time, the reactivity is low. These are the arguments chanted by a lot of people who are unhappy with PoE fights and battle dynamics.

However, instead of criticizing with no propositions, let's rather brainstorm instead: what needs to be changed?

I've seen some good proposals already, for example -

 

* There needs to be more immunities to make enemies more diverse (for example, undead to be immune to Dominate, Oozes to be immune to prone etc.) That would require a different approach more often. Now, even Fire Blights can be killed by fire which makes no sense to me.

 

* More enemies should ignore engagement and target for the squishies

 

* Enemies should use more AoE attacks

 

* In certain fights, there should be reinforcements or enemies appearing from an unexpected angle. Like spiders climbing down the walls, undead burrowing out at the back of the party etc.

 

* More movement or position control abilities, like abilities to push away or jump from enemies, maybe an ability for low-level mages to teleport short-distances etc. LESS long control abilities like Stun or Knock Down. Everything to make fights less static. (also, the enemies should obviously be taught to use these tricks)

 

What does the community think?

Edited by Noin
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I personally think more enemy variety in the combat situations will go a long way. Right now it feel like most of the time you are fighting the very same type of enemy, just multiple of them.

 

In comparison, tougher battles in BGII always had you fighting agains a party of a tank, a DPS character, a cleric, a mage, a ranged marksman, etc. These situations seem much, much rarer in PoE and combat is often boring.

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Humans can be killed by punches, but punches are made of flesh. Snakes can kill each other with their venom. Wizards can kill each other with spells. Lions can bite each other to death.

 

Speaking of encounters, I would like to see:

* encounters where new enemies show up every 10 seconds or so, reinforcements etc. Currently area spells are too effective because in all cases enemies will cluster at your line holders.

* encounters where tough but quite harmless monsters are blocking a choke point, and there are many ranged baddies behind

* encounters where dangerous ranged enemies keep coming from multiple directions, like kobolds and kobold commandos in Nashkel mines. The game sorely lacks strong ranged enemies. Oozes and slimes technically count as ranged, and they're pathetic.

* more encounters where you are fighting a small number of Strong enemies, that take a while to take down. 3-5.

* encounters where most of enemies are weak, but there are two much stronger ones in the mix.

* encounters where having Stealth allows you to position multiple party members in an advantageous position. For example the fight is in the open, but there is a choke point past them. If you can sneak there, it will be easier.

* encounters where enemies are coming from 2 directions

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Humans can be killed by punches, but punches are made of flesh. Snakes can kill each other with their venom. Wizards can kill each other with spells. Lions can bite each other to death.

 

Speaking of encounters, I would like to see:

* encounters where new enemies show up every 10 seconds or so, reinforcements etc. Currently area spells are too effective because in all cases enemies will cluster at your line holders.

* encounters where tough but quite harmless monsters are blocking a choke point, and there are many ranged baddies behind

* encounters where dangerous ranged enemies keep coming from multiple directions, like kobolds and kobold commandos in Nashkel mines. The game sorely lacks strong ranged enemies. Oozes and slimes technically count as ranged, and they're pathetic.

* more encounters where you are fighting a small number of Strong enemies, that take a while to take down. 3-5.

* encounters where most of enemies are weak, but there are two much stronger ones in the mix.

* encounters where having Stealth allows you to position multiple party members in an advantageous position. For example the fight is in the open, but there is a choke point past them. If you can sneak there, it will be easier.

* encounters where enemies are coming from 2 directions

Yeah, but killing a fire elemental with fire? Knocking down OOZE? Blinding spirits? In my opinion, these things make no sense whatsoever.

 

Ah, and it would be nice if enemies used scrolls and drank potions. 

Edited by Noin
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In PotD I think the encounter variety is generally OK as long as you hit it at a level where it's still interesting, though I'd certainly like to see more miniboss type enemies (e.g. Cliaban Rilag lacks a 'boss' encounter, with the first level's Corrupted Druids and Swamp Spores with traps being rather harder than the second level's Animats) and no obvious final loot.

Challenge on PotD, and especially for Tank and Spank parties will come from a slightly deeper AI. It doesn't need to be Deep Thought or anything.

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What the game really needs is just slightly more clever and evil AI, plus more diverse creatures, it does not need to be completely-hard immunities, just almost-complete.

 

Tanks should be able to hold the number of creatures they can engage. The rest should skirt by to attack squishies, if they can see any.

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"Well, overkill is my middle name. And my last name. And all of my other names as well!"

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Humans can be killed by punches, but punches are made of flesh. Snakes can kill each other with their venom. Wizards can kill each other with spells. Lions can bite each other to death.

 

Speaking of encounters, I would like to see:

* encounters where new enemies show up every 10 seconds or so, reinforcements etc. Currently area spells are too effective because in all cases enemies will cluster at your line holders.

* encounters where tough but quite harmless monsters are blocking a choke point, and there are many ranged baddies behind

* encounters where dangerous ranged enemies keep coming from multiple directions, like kobolds and kobold commandos in Nashkel mines. The game sorely lacks strong ranged enemies. Oozes and slimes technically count as ranged, and they're pathetic.

* more encounters where you are fighting a small number of Strong enemies, that take a while to take down. 3-5.

* encounters where most of enemies are weak, but there are two much stronger ones in the mix.

* encounters where having Stealth allows you to position multiple party members in an advantageous position. For example the fight is in the open, but there is a choke point past them. If you can sneak there, it will be easier.

* encounters where enemies are coming from 2 directions

In other words, you want the combat from Dragon Age 2 in PoE? That's... that's just... Nope, I don't have the words.

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Humans can be killed by punches, but punches are made of flesh. Snakes can kill each other with their venom. Wizards can kill each other with spells. Lions can bite each other to death.

 

Speaking of encounters, I would like to see:

* encounters where new enemies show up every 10 seconds or so, reinforcements etc. Currently area spells are too effective because in all cases enemies will cluster at your line holders.

* encounters where tough but quite harmless monsters are blocking a choke point, and there are many ranged baddies behind

* encounters where dangerous ranged enemies keep coming from multiple directions, like kobolds and kobold commandos in Nashkel mines. The game sorely lacks strong ranged enemies. Oozes and slimes technically count as ranged, and they're pathetic.

* more encounters where you are fighting a small number of Strong enemies, that take a while to take down. 3-5.

* encounters where most of enemies are weak, but there are two much stronger ones in the mix.

* encounters where having Stealth allows you to position multiple party members in an advantageous position. For example the fight is in the open, but there is a choke point past them. If you can sneak there, it will be easier.

* encounters where enemies are coming from 2 directions

In other words, you want the combat from Dragon Age 2 in PoE? That's... that's just... Nope, I don't have the words.

 

I never played any DA after the first.. And i don't see anything wrong with the suggestions.

 

Also, I'd like to see more enemies using stealth or invisibility... For example a group of Leaden Key assassins which are all rogues and use Shadowing Beyond repeatedly.

Or groups of casters. 

 

 

 

* more encounters where you are fighting a small number of Strong enemies, that take a while to take down. 3-5.

 

 

There is already something similar with Trolls. However, they are super easy in my opinion. They are so slow you can easily kite them. Maybe they need a stronger or AoE melee attack?

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Tanks should be able to hold the number of creatures they can engage. The rest should skirt by to attack squishies, if they can see any.

 

You mean... exactly like it is now? Do you even PotD, bro?

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This is a good topic.

 

-More enemy variety always helps, just on a basic level. The more variety, the more fun combat will be, just from lack of visual repetition if nothing else. But also introducing enemies with unique abilities such as the teleporting shadows or whatever.

-Better, more reactive AI. Creating some form if super AI isn't the point but at the moment, it feels a bit "tame". Have them make use of items and be intelligent about buffing themselves. Also, pathfinding is really problematic at times where you get enemies stuck behind each other when they shouldn't.

-Make sure that the areas are designed for encounters and vice versa. Right now, there are quite a number of encounters where the numerous enemies just get stuck behind each other because the areas are too tight or whatever (and this is not necessarily due to pulling enemies to chokepoints).

-I think some immunities can be great. There does not need to be an overreliance on them but if inserted here and there with care, it can serve to make the player shake up how he plays.

-More surprises in the basic design. Traps that the player *can* walk into (but ideally doesn't have to if you're careful) and be attacked from both sides for example. More moments when the game wants to screw you a bit basically. More encounters that feel a bit like puzzles.

Edited by Starwars
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I think an easy fix to the doorway abuse could be to give enemies a ranged weapon to swap to if they can't reach their target within x seconds.

 

People will definitely overthink their doorway-cheesy routines if enemies suddenly start to nail their squishies with arrows.

Edited by Zwiebelchen
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This is a good topic.

What is surprising is that most people on this forum appear to be more interested in holywars and whataboutism and being butthurt than in participating in argumented discussions. That's my conclusion from what topics are popular and what receive next to no attention.

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Humans can be killed by punches, but punches are made of flesh. Snakes can kill each other with their venom. Wizards can kill each other with spells. Lions can bite each other to death.

 

Speaking of encounters, I would like to see:

* encounters where new enemies show up every 10 seconds or so, reinforcements etc. Currently area spells are too effective because in all cases enemies will cluster at your line holders.

* encounters where tough but quite harmless monsters are blocking a choke point, and there are many ranged baddies behind

* encounters where dangerous ranged enemies keep coming from multiple directions, like kobolds and kobold commandos in Nashkel mines. The game sorely lacks strong ranged enemies. Oozes and slimes technically count as ranged, and they're pathetic.

* more encounters where you are fighting a small number of Strong enemies, that take a while to take down. 3-5.

* encounters where most of enemies are weak, but there are two much stronger ones in the mix.

* encounters where having Stealth allows you to position multiple party members in an advantageous position. For example the fight is in the open, but there is a choke point past them. If you can sneak there, it will be easier.

* encounters where enemies are coming from 2 directions

In other words, you want the combat from Dragon Age 2 in PoE? That's... that's just... Nope, I don't have the words.

 

I never played any DA after the first.. And i don't see anything wrong with the suggestions.

 

Also, I'd like to see more enemies using stealth or invisibility... For example a group of Leaden Key assassins which are all rogues and use Shadowing Beyond repeatedly.

Or groups of casters.

 

I'd strongly recommend picking up DA2 and playing it -- as the previous poster pointed out, DA2 implemented many of your suggestions, most particularly enemies that spam abilities (especially invisibility and / or teleport), enemies who attack in waves, and enemies which spawn to the party rear.

 

For me personally, the introduction of these mechanics in DA2 represents at least 50% of the reason that I don't own DA3.

 

In my book, the only problems with the encounters in PoE is terrible foe AI and engagement.  I don't have any hope that engagement is going to change at this point, but it at least possible that the foe AI might be improved in the expansion / PoE 2.

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Humans can be killed by punches, but punches are made of flesh. Snakes can kill each other with their venom. Wizards can kill each other with spells. Lions can bite each other to death.

 

Speaking of encounters, I would like to see:

* encounters where new enemies show up every 10 seconds or so, reinforcements etc. Currently area spells are too effective because in all cases enemies will cluster at your line holders.

* encounters where tough but quite harmless monsters are blocking a choke point, and there are many ranged baddies behind

* encounters where dangerous ranged enemies keep coming from multiple directions, like kobolds and kobold commandos in Nashkel mines. The game sorely lacks strong ranged enemies. Oozes and slimes technically count as ranged, and they're pathetic.

* more encounters where you are fighting a small number of Strong enemies, that take a while to take down. 3-5.

* encounters where most of enemies are weak, but there are two much stronger ones in the mix.

* encounters where having Stealth allows you to position multiple party members in an advantageous position. For example the fight is in the open, but there is a choke point past them. If you can sneak there, it will be easier.

* encounters where enemies are coming from 2 directions

In other words, you want the combat from Dragon Age 2 in PoE? That's... that's just... Nope, I don't have the words.

 

I never played any DA after the first.. And i don't see anything wrong with the suggestions.

 

Also, I'd like to see more enemies using stealth or invisibility... For example a group of Leaden Key assassins which are all rogues and use Shadowing Beyond repeatedly.

Or groups of casters.

 

I'd strongly recommend picking up DA2 and playing it -- as the previous poster pointed out, DA2 implemented many of your suggestions, most particularly enemies that spam abilities (especially invisibility and / or teleport), enemies who attack in waves, and enemies which spawn to the party rear.

 

For me personally, the introduction of these mechanics in DA2 represents at least 50% of the reason that I don't own DA3.

 

In my book, the only problems with the encounters in PoE is terrible foe AI and engagement.  I don't have any hope that engagement is going to change at this point, but it at least possible that the foe AI might be improved in the expansion / PoE 2.

 

You can't even play as a dwarf in this game.

I will definitely not give my hard-earned money for this.

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Yeah, but killing a fire elemental with fire? Knocking down OOZE? Blinding spirits? In my opinion, these things make no sense whatsoever.

 

Ah, and it would be nice if enemies used scrolls and drank potions. 

 

 

Have you heard the saying "Fight fire with fire" ? Maybe if you hit fire elementals with fire, it depletes all oxygen around them and they can't burn anymore ?

I agree about oozes. It makes sense, they have no up and down. But spirits - how do you know how something as insubstantial as spirit "works" ? Besides, shadows in PoE are described as attracting matter to them as they grow stronger. They are partially substantial.

 

I don't know about scrolls and potions, but they could make more use of their abilities. Currently enemies only have endurance, and outright die when you bring them down (I think). What if enemy paladins could use Reviving Exhortation on fallen allies ? What if they could use Deprive the Unworthy to cancel your buffs ? Players LOVE buffs.

 

 

There is already something similar with Trolls. However, they are super easy in my opinion. They are so slow you can easily kite them. Maybe they need a stronger or AoE melee attack?

 

Trolls would technically count as stronger enemies, except they have pathetic Accuracy. Something like 35 on Normal/Hard for Forest variety I believe ? Also, they are not that tough next to the pwgra they hang around with. Those dudes have 15 DR on Normal/Hard ?

 

Many interesting abilities already exist in the game, like disease and poison. The problem is they have too small effect on players. As a consequence, Neutralize Poison spell is next to useless. Mountain Dwarf special is next to useless. When I saw Disease Pudding, and earlier Swamp Slime, my first reaction was: "Uh oh! This is going to be nasty!". Not at all.

Also, of all spiders in the game I think only Widowmakers have venom ? And it's not very dangerous.

 

 

 

Noin, on 04 May 2015 - 5:52 PM, said:

        Starwars, on 04 May 2015 - 10:40 AM, said:

        This is a good topic.

    What is surprising is that most people on this forum appear to be more interested in holywars and whataboutism and being butthurt than in participating in argumented discussions. That's my conclusion from what topics are popular and what receive next to no attention.

 

 

 

This is because making good arguments is often hard and takes effort.

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Yeah, but killing a fire elemental with fire? Knocking down OOZE? Blinding spirits? In my opinion, these things make no sense whatsoever.

 

Ah, and it would be nice if enemies used scrolls and drank potions. 

 

 

Have you heard the saying "Fight fire with fire" ? Maybe if you hit fire elementals with fire, it depletes all oxygen around them and they can't burn anymore ?

I agree about oozes. It makes sense, they have no up and down. But spirits - how do you know how something as insubstantial as spirit "works" ? Besides, shadows in PoE are described as attracting matter to them as they grow stronger. They are partially substantial.

 

I don't know about scrolls and potions, but they could make more use of their abilities. Currently enemies only have endurance, and outright die when you bring them down (I think). What if enemy paladins could use Reviving Exhortation on fallen allies ? What if they could use Deprive the Unworthy to cancel your buffs ? Players LOVE buffs.

 

 

There is already something similar with Trolls. However, they are super easy in my opinion. They are so slow you can easily kite them. Maybe they need a stronger or AoE melee attack?

 

Trolls would technically count as stronger enemies, except they have pathetic Accuracy. Something like 35 on Normal/Hard for Forest variety I believe ? Also, they are not that tough next to the pwgra they hang around with. Those dudes have 15 DR on Normal/Hard ?

 

Many interesting abilities already exist in the game, like disease and poison. The problem is they have too small effect on players. As a consequence, Neutralize Poison spell is next to useless. Mountain Dwarf special is next to useless. When I saw Disease Pudding, and earlier Swamp Slime, my first reaction was: "Uh oh! This is going to be nasty!". Not at all.

Also, of all spiders in the game I think only Widowmakers have venom ? And it's not very dangerous.

 

 

 

Noin, on 04 May 2015 - 5:52 PM, said:

        Starwars, on 04 May 2015 - 10:40 AM, said:

        This is a good topic.

    What is surprising is that most people on this forum appear to be more interested in holywars and whataboutism and being butthurt than in participating in argumented discussions. That's my conclusion from what topics are popular and what receive next to no attention.

 

 

 

This is because making good arguments is often hard and takes effort.

 

The part about poison is right, it is not dangerous at all because it has pathetic duration and damage. I'd say they should do damage over a long period of time so the player will want to cure it even if the battle is already won. Example: Widowmakers deal 15 damage per attack, not scary. But their poison deal 100 damage over 2 minutes and is stackable. That means that a mage with 300 Health will get hit three times by a spider and fail a check every time - he dies two minutes after the fight. Some people might say - you are mad! We don't want our NPC to die, we have to reload afterwards! Well, mates, I want me RPG to be hardcore, if I make a mistake I have to pay for it, otherwise the game is too simple for me to be fun.

The same thing with deseases but they should be a graduate decrease of stats with rest being the only option to cure the effects and to restore the original stats.

Also, I believe that every time being downed should result in a trauma of some sort, with small random malus. Curable only by sleep in an inn.

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Keep in mind most classes don't have a way to deal with poison. That would probably require a new potion.

 

I've been thinking about making Stealth more useful, and it has a lot to do with encounter design. Smarter encounters that would promote stealth.

* maybe you could sneak past monsters and drop something heavy on their heads ? Or sneak past monsters and pull a lever to active traps ?

* behind the monsters there are items that would be very useful in that fight. For example 2-3 banshees and a scroll of Prayer Against Fear BEHIND them.

* some area or object that gives tactical advantage. For example a magic totem casts Consecrated Ground in combat, healing everyone nearby.

* if you sneak 2 heavy hitters past enemy melee, you can eliminate or knock down enemy mages that would be otherwise a lot of pain. With stealth, they would be possible to take down before the proper fight starts.

* you are in a tight corridor, there is a big room with an encounter in it. They have nasty area attacks. If you attack them head on, they will focus all area attacks on you and hit you all. But if you sneak at least some of your party into the room and initiate combat from several directions, it becomes quite a bit easier.

* enemies are resting with their weapons lying on the ground nearby. If you alarm them, they run to the weapons and attack you. Sneak a rogue to pick up a few weapons, then attack. You will fight some of them unarmed.

* as soon as the combat starts, enemies open a cage and unleash lions on you. If you can sneak a guy and block the passage to that cage, it won't be opened. Less enemies to fight at once. Another variant is wizards near a summoning circle, which contains a bound demon. If you sneak a guy and break the protective circle, the demon goes mad and attacks everyone instead of just you.

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Keep in mind most classes don't have a way to deal with poison. That would probably require a new potion.

 

I've been thinking about making Stealth more useful, and it has a lot to do with encounter design. Smarter encounters that would promote stealth.

[snip reasonable ideas].

 

Or, you could, you know....  Just not kill the monsters?  No combat XP, after all.  You'll miss out on some loot, obviously, but most monster's neither posses nor guard any significant loot (at least, loot that you can access without breaking stealth and starting combat).

 

POE should have lots of encounters that can be bypassed this way -- but, due to either poor encounter designer or deliberate designer decisions, it is generally impossible to proceed in a dungeon without fighting most, if not all, of the monsters within the area.  The only ones you can bypass are the ones that aren't on a direct path from the entrance to the exit.  That's not to say you can't skip a lot (the vast majority of, actually) combat in this game, but the number of cases where you can bypass combat because of stealth is very low indeed.

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http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/68982-dear-obsidian-what-really-needs-to-be-fixed-is-not-xp/?do=findComment&comment=1523178

 

 

 

The real king in a single player game is content. And the content is NOT equivalent to packing dungeons with Giant beetles. Content is all about meaningful sidequests (read, not fedex) that interact with each other and create a story. Hopefully, a different aspect of the same story depending on how you do these quests. Alpha Protocol did it well  so I know you guys can do it! But the best example I know of this is Iron tower's upcoming game Age od Decadence. 

 

I will outline my biggest deal makers just for clarity:

 

1) Sensible encounter design

2) Acknowledgement

 

The first issue is about deciding what do we go to kill. Do I have to kill all the critters lying around? Is the world so infested with monsters that every step I take, I face a magical/dangerous creature?  I am assuming that this idea intrinsically is insensible and only adds frustration and tedium in the game. We only need to fight those things which are IMPORTANT to the plot. Don't get me wrong though. I do not mean that this should somehow bring down the combat to the level of the Torment 2. But if the beta is any measure (rather the only measure we have at the moment)  then the game seems like it is going to be a grind fest. Please avoid that!

 

That is the real problem: TOO MUCH COMBAT and that is a terrible design decision! That made IWDs a chore and NWN/NWN2 a disaster that most players can't replay it despite enjoying the story somewhat!  Learn from their mistakes!  Say no to  the trash mobs!

 

The second issue is acknowledgement. There is an acknowledgement is the game, I must admit. It is the XP given out for ridiculous things. If there was a worse, more insipid form of such a payback, I haven't seen it yet. XP is the lazy man's way of design. Killed some zombies? Here, take some numbers that help you in a totally unrelated way. Maybe you want to increase you skill: SInging with that? What??? Besides several the mechanics related issues that I will not note down here, this is a really bad way to implement a kickback. 

 

This HAS to change. Rather, killing everything should have consequences. There ALWAYS has to be a story! And a good story to boot. That is the real consequence in a game that calls itself an RPG. Personally I am a combat-type guy and I enjoy playing Bloodbowl to TOEE any day. But, if I want to play TOEE then it will most assuredly put me off if I have to kill 1 billion random encounter skeletons/giant battle toads without knowing what caused such an outburst from them and being able to take a quest to switch it off. So give us good reasons to kill things. Doing so for "bestiary" xp is just not good enough. A mass murderer needs to be treated as such, probably being set upon the local EPA/PETA people who are really out to get you. 

 

I think this really needs to be in the game. A PETA group that hunts you down for sport for killing beetles. yeah

 

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"The essence of balance is detachment. To embrace a cause, to grow fond or spiteful, is to lose one's balance, after which, no action can be trusted. Our burden is not for the dependent of spirit."

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http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/68982-dear-obsidian-what-really-needs-to-be-fixed-is-not-xp/?do=findComment&comment=1523178

 

 

 

The real king in a single player game is content. And the content is NOT equivalent to packing dungeons with Giant beetles. Content is all about meaningful sidequests (read, not fedex) that interact with each other and create a story. Hopefully, a different aspect of the same story depending on how you do these quests. Alpha Protocol did it well  so I know you guys can do it! But the best example I know of this is Iron tower's upcoming game Age od Decadence. 

 

I will outline my biggest deal makers just for clarity:

 

1) Sensible encounter design

2) Acknowledgement

 

The first issue is about deciding what do we go to kill. Do I have to kill all the critters lying around? Is the world so infested with monsters that every step I take, I face a magical/dangerous creature?  I am assuming that this idea intrinsically is insensible and only adds frustration and tedium in the game. We only need to fight those things which are IMPORTANT to the plot. Don't get me wrong though. I do not mean that this should somehow bring down the combat to the level of the Torment 2. But if the beta is any measure (rather the only measure we have at the moment)  then the game seems like it is going to be a grind fest. Please avoid that!

 

That is the real problem: TOO MUCH COMBAT and that is a terrible design decision! That made IWDs a chore and NWN/NWN2 a disaster that most players can't replay it despite enjoying the story somewhat!  Learn from their mistakes!  Say no to  the trash mobs!

 

The second issue is acknowledgement. There is an acknowledgement is the game, I must admit. It is the XP given out for ridiculous things. If there was a worse, more insipid form of such a payback, I haven't seen it yet. XP is the lazy man's way of design. Killed some zombies? Here, take some numbers that help you in a totally unrelated way. Maybe you want to increase you skill: SInging with that? What??? Besides several the mechanics related issues that I will not note down here, this is a really bad way to implement a kickback. 

 

This HAS to change. Rather, killing everything should have consequences. There ALWAYS has to be a story! And a good story to boot. That is the real consequence in a game that calls itself an RPG. Personally I am a combat-type guy and I enjoy playing Bloodbowl to TOEE any day. But, if I want to play TOEE then it will most assuredly put me off if I have to kill 1 billion random encounter skeletons/giant battle toads without knowing what caused such an outburst from them and being able to take a quest to switch it off. So give us good reasons to kill things. Doing so for "bestiary" xp is just not good enough. A mass murderer needs to be treated as such, probably being set upon the local EPA/PETA people who are really out to get you. 

 

I think this really needs to be in the game. A PETA group that hunts you down for sport for killing beetles. yeah

 

 

Actually, I have to agree with you or whomever the quote belongs: there is too much combat which feels like "filler". You can mostly feel that in Wilderness areas: there are enemies every five meters. I mean yes, the wilderness should be dangerous. But not filled up to the top with creatures which attack you on sight. BG and BG2 felt much more organic in this.

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Actually, I have to agree with you or whomever the quote belongs: there is too much combat which feels like "filler". You can mostly feel that in Wilderness areas: there are enemies every five meters. I mean yes, the wilderness should be dangerous. But not filled up to the top with creatures which attack you on sight. BG and BG2 felt much more organic in this.

 

 

BG2 didn't really have a wilderness -- and if you want to, you can go straight to Raedric's Hold or even Caed Nua after getting out of the starting temple without engaging in combat at all by just staying on the paths through the wilderness rather than deviating from it. I saw the comparison to IWD before, but in the case of most wilderness areas that's not the case. IWD is/was on purpose designed in a way that you couldn't get from point A to B or traverse an area without encountering baddies, and it didn't matter if you were in an actual dungeon area or else. This is not the case for most of the wilderness in PoE, though the game doesn't specifically rub it on your nose that all you have to do is stay on the paths. I think in BG1 it is similar if you keep on the road that leads from Candlekeep to the Friendly Arm, but I think there isn't any other area where this is the case. However, as PoE has much fewer areas of wilderness to wander, and some of them are quite compact and small, that impression may be skewed somewhat (I agree that you can wander around in BG for much longer periods of time without being attacked though, and the few wilderness maps PoE has are comparably packed with encounters overall; guess they wanted to squeeze the most of "content" out of the assets they were able to produce on their budget). But still, you can walk straight up to Caed Nua being level 1/2 alone - and be ripped to shreds probably in the courtyard. The one troll you will encounter in the marches by keeping on the road is easily avoided due to trolls being slow. Most of the roads are safe, that includes the one from Caed Nua to Defiance Bay later too -- and though getting from there to Twin Elms isn't as simple as just staying on the paths leading there, it is easily doable do without actually fighting.

 

In generally I agree that in an ideal world combat shouldn't be all filler. However whilst there are games that do it better than PoE no doubt, the history of computer and video game role playing games for me is to a degree one of stretching games by adding this combat. Even in the much cherished BG 2, whilst the encounter design overall may have been more varied, with over the top high level epicness such as fighting beholders, dragons and drows right in their own lair in hugely unlikely sequence, if it hadn't been for the totally random attacks whilst resting and stuff, I probably would have finished the game in half the time (exaggerating, naturally). And on consoles, the much cherished Final Fantasy games including the legendary entries number VI and VII; the only real special fights are the bosses, everything else is a grind; and as creatures attack you randomly, i.e. you can't even avoid them because you don't actually see them, that really gets on your nerves. There are exceptions, but yet filler combat is and has always been where some of the advertised 10000+ hours campaigns have come from; ditto recycled dungeons and assets, phoned in fetch quests, etc. That shouldn't keep anyone from pointing this out though and demanding better! :) History has also shown that people are still impressed by these numbers, though... But without the filler there wouldn't be the standout. Naturally if the unremarkable is all there is and it forms the backbone of a 90 hours routine slog, there's gonna be trouble afoot. In the same way, if everything's aiming to be special, naturally nothing will be. Naturally good combat mechanics belong to this, as they are the core of every fight no matter big or small, special or routine.

 

 

Btw. to the previous big post, IWD was great and offered pretty much what it delivered (it also had more varied dungeons and encounters which it fully concentrated on compared to Pillars); and NWN1's campaign didn't blow so much because of the combat (which it had much of), but because that it was all it had offered (and it was much simpler than in the IE games due to the henchmen system and you controlling but a single character rather than a party of up to six). Anyway the meat of the game was the tool set, and the original campaign and story phoned in at the last second before shipping the game. And IWD again, because that had some prolly good stuff in terms of combat (whilst it being the meat of the game): I think it was admitted by J. Sawyer that they weren't yet able to add the quite complex scripts to their core engine, like for example IWD's orcs using war drums to call for enforcement if you don't destroy them and similar. Hopefully they will be able to do so the next time around, though. That'd be a step to more complex and more varied combat in an on itself.

Edited by Sven_
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Rework stealth to be a single instead of party wide. Also don't let combat take everyone outta stealth, only when targets have attacked or been attacked.

Have casters use aoes when so many pcs, npcs, etc are within so many distance from each other. We see a clump of enemies coming for us, we aoe. The computer should do the same.

Should be some types of immunities, but not to go overboard. It should be a case by case, and not "almost everything" is immune to something or another.

Enemies and creatures should have a backup weapon set that makes sense. Funnel a group of lions in a doorway or tunnel? Check that's fine and a good way to do it. Replace lions with something humanoid? Not good, if they can't attack then they should go range then instead of running and humping the npc before them to melee.

Armor and weapons are fine atm, especially once ai get tweeked to not just focus on the tank, then range will need to consider weither they want better armor or no.

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Also some suggestions.

Oozes should have an attack to bypass some type of dr and also should be able to go thru the party and other npcs and still give damage if moving thru or being on top of, enemies and friendlies alike. Also make them mindless, basically go after first target or whoever damages it first.

All spiders should have a hobble or knotchdown attack. Make them smart to flee away from dangerous but prey on the weak.

Stelgaer should being hidden due to stealth (as in change the mechanic to not be party based but individual that didn't break stealth until they attack or are hit) or give them that rogue ability that they can use frequently and basically mob attack targets.

Beetles....eh keep them the way they are tbh. Got nothing for beetles.

Delemgan should actually be neutral to parties or even friendly if ranger or Druid in the party, unless we purposely attack them or injure any of their animals etc. be nice to have something still on maps after our bloodshed.

Pwgra should autofocus on Druids or rangers in the parties and change targets when they are being held back from their target after so much time. Beef up the amount of time they cast spells.

Spores......eh I'm drawing a blank on what to suggest. They can use improving but can't think of how really.

Lurkers. They are slow, they just need to hit harder. Have them move away from pcs that deal fire damage to it.

Ghosts. Teleport more, all of them. Stuns, daze, confuse (call it possession). Just make them chaotic by randomly picking targets and switching after so many attacks.

Xaurips. More traps being placed. More of them and have some stealthed. After taking down a few, have the rest run away and try to gather more xaurips. More ambushes, and more chances of ambushes.

 

Sigh, I'll give more later

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