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EdwinP

Why not random wilderness area encounters?

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As another mentioned, wilderness areas are bland, devoid of content and yield no reason to explore them.

 

Why not make travel through wilderness areas more interesting?

 

Imagine, a base 20% of a randomly generated encounter when traveling through a wilderness area.

 

  1. Encountering a party of merchants or traveler(s) on their way. They could be a source of news, news that may have been affected by PC actions. Or you could demand money from them for safe passage ( this could trigger a future encounter with knights looking for bandits that match your description ).
  2. If your Survival skill is low, bandits appear out of nowhere to ambush your party - demanding cash for your safe passage. If your survival skill is high, your party may notice the absence of wilderness sounds and advise you to proceed with caution.(Survival Skill Check = "I don't hear any birds, we should proceed with caution)
  3. Encountering a patrol of knights looking for bandits, and if your reputation is low you may face a problem.
  4. Encountering a starving refugee, asking for help for their village, a village that is besieged and starving (this opens the path to a new encounter area with a new side quest). Do you offer the refugee food or not, and incur a reputation boost or penalty? Do you accept a quest to save the villagers?
  5. Encounter a young bear. Harm the young bear and his dire bear mother and father charge from the woods to attack. Ignore the young bear and the encounter with his parents is not triggered. (Survival Skill Check = "Its a young bear, his mother will be close by." )
  6. Encounter: Dragon - ( Survival Skill Check = "I see signs of a Dragon in the area, it might be best if we quickly and quietly left this area" ) . A very rare random encounter that most PC parties will want to avoid. Of course, it could be a dragon that you could talk. An encounter that player's will talk about - I encountered a huge dragon attacking a merchant caravan and sneaked away, or I encountered a huge dragon attacking a caravan and attacked, and died.

 

Survival Skill Enhancement: 10% per Skill Level - Textual (or audio) Alert when a potentially hostile random encounter is detected - "It's too quiet. We should proceed with caution." A suggestion for the party to turn back or enter stealth mode to see what lies ahead on the path.

Edited by EdwinP
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I still want resting restricted to rest-spots, and when in the wilderness, a chance of being attacked.

The only possible argument I can reasonably see against random wilderness area encounters is that PoE doesn't have that many wilderness areas, unfortunately. I was hoping that the expansion would be an opportunity to revise and go over existing content, and add a bunch of new wilderness areas to the game, but alas, it was not to be.

 

Personally, I'd love wilderness encounters, but there'd have to be some wilderness in order for it to feel right. PoE doesn't have much wilderness at all, just some roads on the way to somewhere more important.

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Heya,

 

Seems to me it would be a nice touch to add. A lot of previous games had this, to a degree. Fallout 1 & 2 really had this kind of encounter thing and it was splendid.

 

End game, you could do random encounters just for fun to build up exp and get that last level or something. I could see someone doing random encounters non-stop early game just to get to a higher level to tackle Act I without any stress, and thus the rest of the game being super easy at that point unless POTD, etc.

 

Right now, travel time only serves one purpose: speeding up stronghold upgrades. There's zero reason in the game to travel 12 hours from place to place, as nothing is time based at all in this game or time sensitive, other than stronghold upgrades and processes.

 

Things I too would want to see randomly:

 

1. Merchants that have "stolen" goods and "proper" goods at different prices, and you can take a rep hit for one, or get access to more interesting gear this way. Mostly scrolls, consumables. potions, a few minor items, camp supplies, etc. Maybe a special item (weapon, armor, trinket, jewelry) that is randomly generated.

 

2. Situations that involve a choice that effects reputation or alignment with NPC's involved. Bandits on a local people from a town, patrols of knights, etc.

 

3. Straight combat encounters, you walked up on a dire bear or stumble onto a nest of trolls out for a stroll at night.

 

4. Randomly generated maps with explorable content, random NPC's or beasts, etc. If nothing else a bunch of harvestable herbs and a random encounter chance.

 

5. Easter egg encounters. We all loved walking up on a downed flying saucer and finding a ray gun. ;)

 

Very best,

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The lack of random events is one of my disappointments in the game.  In Fallout 2 and Baldur's Gate 2, many events can happen at anyplace or anymore.  

 

It's more than just random battle.  Just some random meetings in the world that makes the world seem more alive.

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If I was designing random encounters I would aim for about 36+ random encounters with six parameters influencing the chance for each one to occur.

 

1. Repeatable or not - i.e. are these repeatable encounters or not?

2. Interval - i.e. if repeatable, this encounter cannot occur again for x days

 

3. Prerequisite Encounter or event flag - this encounter can't occur until event X is flagged

 

Example: Knights searching for bandits do not appear until after PC has met bandits (in a prior random encounter)

Example: Bounty hunters do not appear until PCs have stolen Item X from Defiance

 

4. Prerequisite 2: This encounter can't occur if event X is flagged

 

Example: If PCs caught the thieves, these thieves can't be encountered again.

 

5. Level Requirement - i.e. this encounter can't occur until the party has reached level x

 

Example: Refugee seeking help for her hamlet does cannot appear until PCs have reached level 5 (as this unlocks a quest)

 

6. Party Reputation

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As another mentioned, wilderness areas are bland, devoid of content and yield no reason to explore them.

 

Why not make travel through wilderness areas more interesting?

 

Imagine, a base 20% of a randomly generated encounter when traveling through a wilderness area.

 

  1. Encountering a party of merchants or traveler(s) on their way. They could be a source of news, news that may have been affected by PC actions.
  2. If your Survival skill is low, bandits appear out of nowhere to ambush your party - demanding cash for your safe passage. If your survival skill is high, your party may notice the absence of wilderness sounds and advise you to proceed with caution.
  3. Encountering a patrol of knights looking for bandits, and if your reputation is low you may face a problem.
  4. Encountering a refugee, asking for help for their village, a village that is besieged and starving (this opens the path to a new encounter area with a new side quest).

 

A fan of Darklands are we??? :biggrin:  I'd agree as well especially for already explored maps as well as a possibility of a random encounter when camping. To add this, you'd need to rebalance the xp rewards already in the game though or allow higher levels

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Those mentioning XP for random encounters might be forgetting the limited combat xp - bestiary xp isn't gained after a certain point.  (and no xp for human/orlan/etc adversaries)

Random encounters might help fill the bestiary faster, but wouldn't affect the xp-balance overall.

 

I wouldn't mind having some random encounters when travelling between areas (a la BG and fallout) - if it's not just battles but also other encounters as mentioned above.


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I think they are missing as protection against maimed characters.

 

Same as lack of random encounters on rest.

 

Think about it:

1) No campfires remaining

2) One or more maimed characters

 

They would be pretty much dead if any kind random fight factor is added, with no ability to safely backtrack to resting point.

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Spell Fixes compilation for Neverwinter Nights 2, as well as my other submissions for this great game.

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I'm all for this, especially if tied to Survival and/or Stealth skills.

Edited by Fardragon
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Everyone knows Science Fiction is really cool. You know what PoE really needs? Spaceships! There isn't any game that wouldn't be improved by a space combat minigame. Adding one to PoE would send sales skyrocketing, and ensure the game was remembered for all time!!!!!

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A lot of support for this suggestion. I can't say I'm a fan, personally.

 

I enjoy the relaxing feeling of having cleared a zone of trivial annoyances. Then again, I wouldn't have a reason to go to that zone again. But, then again, again, I wouldn't want to visit a wilderness zone just for the 'privilege' of being hounded by needy peasants.

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I'm all for this, especially if tied to Survival and/or Stealth skills.

I was going to come in here and post that this doesn't sound like something I would enjoy, but then I saw this post and thought, "hey, that could work". Each random encounter could have a Stealth/Survival value attached to it, and if you met or exceeded that value you would have the option to either avoid the encounter and continue, or maybe stage your own ambush (beginning with your party in stealth mode just outside visual range of the ambushers).

 

But a straight-up random encounter function isn't something I'd vote in favour for.

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The way I would do it is this: each random encounter would start with the Fighting Fantasy gamebook interface.

 

 

You sense something up ahead. Do you want to:

 

1. Try and determine what it is [lore/survival]

 

2. Try to find an alternative route [survival]  (uses best in team)

 

3. Try to sneak past [stealth] (checks for each team member, make sure Eder doesn't step on a twig)

 

4. Approach cautiously

 

5. Charge!!

Edited by Fardragon
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Everyone knows Science Fiction is really cool. You know what PoE really needs? Spaceships! There isn't any game that wouldn't be improved by a space combat minigame. Adding one to PoE would send sales skyrocketing, and ensure the game was remembered for all time!!!!!

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I think random encounters could be a great addition and I also think resting in the wilderness or other "unsafe" areas should come with the chance of a random attack possibly tied to stealth/survival for an opportunity to "discover" the encounter early and have the option of staying or sneaking away - perhaps also tied to providing specific camp areas where the random attack s would be avoided altogether.

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Nomadic Wayfarer of the Obsidian Order


 

Not all those that wander are lost...

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Yep, Wasteland 2 also does this kind of thing. If you're proficient enough in the relevant skill, you're asked if you want the encounter to go ahead. The same as, I think, Outdoorsman was in the original two Fallouts, or maybe just the 2nd one. On top of that, other skills determined how good or bad the initial layout of battle was; if you were low in those skills, you'd probably be surrounded with low prospects of survival. On the other hand, if you were talented, you'd find the tables turned.

 

It would certainly give a very specific and characterful feel to playing with a group of rangers/druids/rogues and always choosing your battles, always being in control in the wild. Perhaps certain spells could have additional functions that would aid magic-users in this way, a kind of awareness boost or cloaking function for map movement.

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Wilderness areas aren't bland or devoid of any content. Every now and again you run into something interesting, like a bear cave where a murdered spirit dwells, a bandit camp where the bandits hold a prisoner, a xaurip camp, a nest of dragons, an ogre cave, a body with a letter on it that triggers a side quest, or what have you. You also occasionally stumble upon interesting creatures like forest trolls, dragon skeletons, etc.

 

I enjoy exploring the wilderness because I look forward to seeing what I'll find, not because I anticipate some monster jumping literally out of nowhere once every five steps, but because I enjoy not being molested until I find something of note. (I always thought that concept was iffy too. Have you ever hiked in forests or wilderness settings? Hostile creatures don't literally jump out of nowhere at you every few steps, so why is that okay for a game?) 

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"Not I, though. Not I," said the hanging dwarf.

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Not all wilderness area encounters need be hostile. Encounter a merchant or travelers on the path and walk by them without stopping to talk. If you stop to talk you may learn about the latest news in Defiance or the Gilded Vale. A merchant; or a thief, many have something to sell. A patrol of knights may tell you of a bounty on a craven thief. You may learn information that will add a new quest to your journal.

 

I think a good wilderness encounter system should have a wide variety of encounters, terrains (forest, bridge, swamp, ravines and cliffs) and options, for the skilled adventurer, to avoid or approach them on their own terms. Survival skill will alert you that you are approaching an encounter. Constitution may help you win a drinking contest, and athletics would be of use in a wrestling contest. Resolve may help you stare down a gang of toll collectors (bandits).

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Wilderness areas aren't bland or devoid of any content. Every now and again you run into something interesting, like a bear cave where a murdered spirit dwells, a bandit camp where the bandits hold a prisoner, a xaurip camp, a nest of dragons, an ogre cave, a body with a letter on it that triggers a side quest, or what have you. You also occasionally stumble upon interesting creatures like forest trolls, dragon skeletons, etc.

 

I enjoy exploring the wilderness because I look forward to seeing what I'll find, not because I anticipate some monster jumping literally out of nowhere once every five steps, but because I enjoy not being molested until I find something of note. (I always thought that concept was iffy too. Have you ever hiked in forests or wilderness settings? Hostile creatures don't literally jump out of nowhere at you every few steps, so why is that okay for a game?) 

 

Well people are talking about random encounters during the parts where you're travelling on the map rather than in a specific area. I just left one area to another adjacent one and it said it would take 16 hours. To be completely unmolested by anything at all, and not to meet another person of any note in all that time, is quite strange. I guess the flipside of that is denser encounters on the field view rather than the world map view (although that causes its own contradiction since you meet about 20 enemies in a small glade over about 10 minutes and then nothing at all over almost a whole day). Also, maybe if our local parks and forests were inhabited by trolls, ogres, undead and giant spiders, we'd encounter the local "wildlife" a lot more often, just like these unfortunate RPG adventureres.

 

Not all wilderness area encounters need be hostile. Encounter a merchant or travelers on the path and walk by them without stopping to talk. If you stop to talk you may learn about the latest news in Defiance or the Gilded Vale. A merchant; or a thief, many have something to sell. A patrol of knights may tell you of a bounty on a craven thief. You may learn information that will add a new quest to your journal.

 

I think a good wilderness encounter system should have a wide variety of encounters, terrains (forest, bridge, swamp, ravines and cliffs) and options, for the skilled adventurer, to avoid or approach them on their own terms. Survival skill will alert you that you are approaching an encounter. Constitution may help you win a drinking contest, and athletics would be of use in a wrestling contest. Resolve may help you stare down a gang of toll collectors (bandits).

 

Yeah, I like that idea. It would also give a lot more use to the skills and abilities in a non-combat role. One of the things I was quite wary of when creating my character was how often would, say, Intellect be useful outside of combat, and thus worth taking just for fun, as you may have done in Fallout 1 and 2. Would I frequently benefit from having the Athleticism to clamber up cliffsides and leap over rivers and such? My experience with RPGs tells me that that kind of specific, set-piece event is quite rare throughout a playthrough, so these random encounters that make use of them and give the player rewards (either material or just bits of lore and stuff) from investing in them would be very welcome.

Edited by Matroska

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Yeah, I like that idea. It would also give a lot more use to the skills and abilities in a non-combat role. One of the things I was quite wary of when creating my character was how often would, say, Intellect be useful outside of combat, and thus worth taking just for fun, as you may have done in Fallout 1 and 2. Would I frequently benefit from having the Athleticism to clamber up cliffsides and leap over rivers and such? My experience with RPGs tells me that that kind of specific, set-piece event is quite rare throughout a playthrough, so these random encounters that make use of them and give the player rewards (either material or just bits of lore and stuff) from investing in them would be very welcome.

 

 

I agree. Scripted encounters that make use of skills would make your choice in this area much more impactful.

 

-- A traveler asks for help in reading a scroll left by his departed farther (Lore skill)

-- A traveler was robbed and asks the PCs to retrieve his saddle bag for them (a PC can use Stealth to approach the bandit camp and take the saddle bag unseen, or risk battle with a band of hardened bandits and their leader).

-- There are two paths - one path involves swimming a river (Athletics Skill Check) to tie a rope to a tree so that his compatriots can use it to cross the obstacle, to avoid the large band of trolls (or bandits) at the bridge. 

 

Example:

 

At the river's edge: Does your party:

 

1. Attempt to swim the raging river (Athletics Check)

----------- Athletics Check ( Fail = Fatigue Penalty and Loss of PCs unequipped inventory if major or critical fatigue. All common inventory is also lost)

                            "Elder safely swims across the river" (and suffers no fatigue)

                            "Durance loses his inventory while swimming across the river" (and suffers critical Fatigue)

                           "Aloth safely swims across the river (and suffers Minor fatigue)

                            "All inventory is lost"

 

2. String a guide rope across the river (Athletics Check, requires grappling hook and rope)

----------- Athletics Check for the First one across (Fail = 40 points Penalty and loss of unequipped inventory)

----------- Following PCs suffer 20 points fatigue, no loss of inventory

 

3. Build a rope bridge (Athletics and Mechanical skill Check, requires grappling hook and rope)

----------- Athletics Check for the First one across (Fail = Fatigue Penalty and loss of unequipped inventory)

---------- Mechanical Check Fails then rope bridge breaks and all common inventory is lost when PCs fall into the river rapids

                              "The rope bridge breaks while you are crossing the raging river. All inventory is lost!"

---------- Mechanical Check success = no fatigue penalty nor inventory loss when crossing raging river

                              "The rope bridge allows you to safely cross the raging river below"

 

4. Build a raft to cross the river (Mechanical skill check. Requires axe, grappling hook and rope in inventory)

---------- Mechanical skill check fail = No penalty to cross the river

                           "The raft carries you safely to the far riverbank"

-----------Mechanical Skill check fail = Fatigue penalty, all common inventory is lost, PCs with major or greater fatigue (after fatigue penalty is applied) lose all unequipped inventory.

                             "The raft breaks apart while you are crossing the river. All inventory is lost!"

 

5. Decide not to cross

 

Another advantage of random wilderness encounters is that the developers can easily add new ones with each update.

Edited by EdwinP

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Wilderness areas aren't bland or devoid of any content. Every now and again you run into something interesting, like a bear cave where a murdered spirit dwells, a bandit camp where the bandits hold a prisoner, a xaurip camp, a nest of dragons, an ogre cave, a body with a letter on it that triggers a side quest, or what have you. You also occasionally stumble upon interesting creatures like forest trolls, dragon skeletons, etc.

 

I enjoy exploring the wilderness because I look forward to seeing what I'll find, not because I anticipate some monster jumping literally out of nowhere once every five steps, but because I enjoy not being molested until I find something of note. (I always thought that concept was iffy too. Have you ever hiked in forests or wilderness settings? Hostile creatures don't literally jump out of nowhere at you every few steps, so why is that okay for a game?) 

 

There is even more: if you come back to areas you explored previously, there will be new content (which really surprised me). Some is related to bounties, some is not. For example, you can find a person whom you freed from Raedric's dungeon.

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Wilderness areas aren't bland or devoid of any content. Every now and again you run into something interesting, like a bear cave where a murdered spirit dwells, a bandit camp where the bandits hold a prisoner, a xaurip camp, a nest of dragons, an ogre cave, a body with a letter on it that triggers a side quest, or what have you. You also occasionally stumble upon interesting creatures like forest trolls, dragon skeletons, etc.

 

I enjoy exploring the wilderness because I look forward to seeing what I'll find, not because I anticipate some monster jumping literally out of nowhere once every five steps, but because I enjoy not being molested until I find something of note. (I always thought that concept was iffy too. Have you ever hiked in forests or wilderness settings? Hostile creatures don't literally jump out of nowhere at you every few steps, so why is that okay for a game?) 

 

There is even more: if you come back to areas you explored previously, there will be new content (which really surprised me). Some is related to bounties, some is not. For example, you can find a person whom you freed from Raedric's dungeon.

 

 

Also, depending on how you dealt with the Temple of Eothas, you can meet the guy from there again at Magran's fork, in Act 2, I think.


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Well people are talking about random encounters during the parts where you're travelling on the map rather than in a specific area. I just left one area to another adjacent one and it said it would take 16 hours. To be completely unmolested by anything at all, and not to meet another person of any note in all that time, is quite strange. I guess the flipside of that is denser encounters on the field view rather than the world map view (although that causes its own contradiction since you meet about 20 enemies in a small glade over about 10 minutes and then nothing at all over almost a whole day). Also, maybe if our local parks and forests were inhabited by trolls, ogres, undead and giant spiders, we'd encounter the local "wildlife" a lot more often, just like these unfortunate RPG adventureres.

 

But aren't random, hostile encounters minimum to non-existent if you stay on the road? If memory serves, exploring the wilderness yields some interesting fights and encounters (trolls, ogres, undead, giant spiders, etc) only if you leave the path. (Whenever I don't feel like or my characters don't have the energy to fight, I just stick to the road to get to the next town so I don't have to fight anything.) Whenever the characters leave one map to another (with the narrative saying it'll take 4, 8, 16 hours), I just assume they stayed on the path and that's why they weren't molested on the way.

 

 

There is even more: if you come back to areas you explored previously, there will be new content (which really surprised me). Some is related to bounties, some is not. For example, you can find a person whom you freed from Raedric's dungeon.

 

Also, depending on how you dealt with the Temple of Eothas, you can meet the guy from there again at Magran's fork, in Act 2, I think.

 

Oh, hey! There you go!

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"Not I, though. Not I," said the hanging dwarf.

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As another mentioned, wilderness areas are bland, devoid of content and yield no reason to explore them.

 

I agree with this, mostly because:

 

 

Wilderness areas south of Defiance Bay are filled with drakes and xaurips. Every nook and cranny is simply swarming with them. Shouldn't such creatures be more reclusive, or at least not so thoroughly packed?

 

 

And, I also like OP's ideas, hear hear.

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It would be of small avail to talk of magic in the air...

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Random encounters wouldn't fix wilderness areas being bland. Everytime I got a random encounter in IWD/BG I'd just ****ing quickload and rest again. I ****ing hate random encounters, they're annoying as ****.

 

Merchants/somewhat randomly generated events would be cool though.

Edited by mindswayer

I hate Unity.

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