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Why is this game so hard?


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So I have been playing on medium because I used to play the old isometric RPGs (Baldur's Gate I & II, Icewind Dale II, Fallout I & II, NWN I & II), and I'm blown away at how hard some of the fights are. I'm currently doing the Bronze Beneath the Lake quest, and all of the fights that I have with Shadows are difficult if not impossible. The fights take ages but despite casting every buff and direct damage spell that I have available, the Shadows simply tank it all and kill all my party. 

 

Struggling to see where I'm going wrong, my party consists of the PC (a mage), the mage NPC, the priest NPC, the warrier NPC, the bard NPC and a custom created warrior NPC. I have decent equipment on everybody and I frequently pause the game to issue commands, but it still seems like all of combat is a terribly complicated and unexplained mess (there doesn't seem to be a way of seeing the to-hit rolls?). The buffs that I have available to me don't see to be very effective either, in fact most of the priest's spells seem pretty pointless, as does the bard. But every single spell and effect seems to be unique so it's not like the buffs in old IE games where you'd know that a spell would buff say strength (and therefore to-hit rolls and damage done) for a decent amount of time.

 

Does it get any easier or am I doing something wrong? I'm honestly thinking of bailing on it because the combat system seems way more hardcore than I'm used to.

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You can see attack rolls by hovering your mouse over the corresponding text in the combat log. For AoE spells, which simply say "6 targets hit" you can get a detailed breakdown of who was hit for how much damage etc by clicking on the spell.

 

Wizards are more effective as a debuffer than a good old fireball tosser. There are great CC spells at low levels already, like Chill Fog. Basically just try out all the spells that do something other/more than damage and you'll find plenty of good stuff. Another important part of combat that isn't immediately obvious is debuffing enemy defenses. For example, blinding an enemy reduces both deflection and reflex, which makes them take a lot more weapon damage, and makes them more vulnerable to those fireballs etc. Also, unlike D&D, EVERYTHING uses an attack roll so buffing your accuracy is extremely helpful even on the casters.

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So I have been playing on medium because I used to play the old isometric RPGs (Baldur's Gate I & II, Icewind Dale II, Fallout I & II, NWN I & II), and I'm blown away at how hard some of the fights are. I'm currently doing the Bronze Beneath the Lake quest, and all of the fights that I have with Shadows are difficult if not impossible. The fights take ages but despite casting every buff and direct damage spell that I have available, the Shadows simply tank it all and kill all my party. 

 

Struggling to see where I'm going wrong, my party consists of the PC (a mage), the mage NPC, the priest NPC, the warrier NPC, the bard NPC and a custom created warrior NPC. I have decent equipment on everybody and I frequently pause the game to issue commands, but it still seems like all of combat is a terribly complicated and unexplained mess (there doesn't seem to be a way of seeing the to-hit rolls?). The buffs that I have available to me don't see to be very effective either, in fact most of the priest's spells seem pretty pointless, as does the bard. But every single spell and effect seems to be unique so it's not like the buffs in old IE games where you'd know that a spell would buff say strength (and therefore to-hit rolls and damage done) for a decent amount of time.

 

Does it get any easier or am I doing something wrong? I'm honestly thinking of bailing on it because the combat system seems way more hardcore than I'm used to.

 

Heya,

 

First time I've seen someone say the game is hard. Most slightly experienced gamers in these types of games seem to find it only normal on Hard mode at best. But nevermind that.

 

So a lot of it is going to come down to tactics and what level you are. I assume you're at least level 5~6 or so based on where you are.

 

1. Change your formation. You need your tanks forward and your non-tanks in the rear. This helps control who gets seen first and who gets near the enemy first, which is your tank, to force engagement.

 

2. Scout as you proceed in dungeons. Not only good for traps, but also alerts you to enemies before they see you so that you can best manage your party's location and formation. You want your tank(s) forward, and your non-tanks hugging away from the fight to avoid engagement. Once your tanks go forward and engage, that's when you can bring your non-tanks out to drop damage.

 

3. Pre-buff. Consumables, eat them. Anything you can do before a fight, do it. All the pies and stuff in the game are great. Ale/Mead is your best friend for additional damage reduction. As soon as your tank engages the enemy you can start casting combat-only-buffs. Make scrolls, like Scroll of Defense (all party +20 defenses, this is awesome and cheap/easy to make, make tons of them).

 

4. Shades and all that are spirits. Anything you can use that hurts spirits more will help. They deal cold damage, so any damage reduction against cold will help. They are weak against fire, so using anything fire-related will help. Use fire spells. Use weapons with fire damage. Enchant can be your friend to help battle all the spirits in the game.

 

5. Use the game's AI and environment. Especially in that dungeon you're in, there's a door way to every fight. Leave your party behind the door. Enter the room in scout mode with your tank (pre-buffed). Let him engage and start the fight. As the shades/spectres/phantoms all get on the tank(s), that's when you come in with the rest of the party. Let them stay engaged on your tank. It's best to do this in door ways or obvious choke points so that they cannot move around much (shades can teleport though). Bring in the party, heal your tank, drop a buff, drop a debuff, and start hitting things with fire or additional damage to spirits weapons (or combine the two). Shades do not like fire. Fanning the flames is great. Pre-buff your tank's reflex and he can take it (dex).

 

By the way, I've completed the game a few times now, and I hate shades. So much so that my party always enchants all weapons with spirit slaying and extra accuracy and burning lash for fire damage. Made playing through all the shade fights through the game way, way easier.

 

Very best,

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Come back later - if you're doing the quest for the dozens, you can get there at a relatively early time - what level are your characters?

It's possible in PoE, as it was in BG, to find higher level encounters/quests than you're ready for - no shame in doing some other side-quests to level up first.

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I think this game is hard, because the BG games which were the inspiration, weren't easy either.

 

You could reduce your difficulty setting. The fights get definitely easier, once you figure out every enemies weaknesses. The bestiary can help here. I think there is just a lot to learn at first. There are so many spells for one and other than in DnD games, players aren't familiar with all the spells in this game right away.

 

I had problems at first too, but as time went by it got easier and easier. Don't give up! I play these games for story and characters mainly, so I don't need to win every battle in the highest difficulty setting or anything.

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 _ This game is " hard " because it's different than other cRPG like BG series, IWD, NWN, where you can buff up before battle and ahead have advantages over mobs. In PoE, you can only buff up from foods before encounters, that's still advantages, but not big, so you and mobs are pretty much equal in power.

 

 _ You can still have foods, and can scout mobs to get good position before fights, but some mobs, are powerful against some sides that you are building your char/team to aim to, and more than that, their CCs are pretty insane through, so if you got CCed 1st, you are in trouble.

 

 _ The keys of fighting in PoE, imho, are positioning, and CC / Anti-CC. As a solo player, the worst can happen to me, is my PC got CCed hardly, and doesn't  have a change to fight back ( vs Vithrack, Vithrack lord for bounty for example, or vs 4 Adragans at EP bottom level ) To be able to beat those enemies, i need some tactics, all based on positioning and CC / Anti-CC, for example vs super stun ability of Adragan, i have to use boots to saves from stun, gather good fort saves etc, Or vs Vithrack i need to split pull, and fight them many vs 1 ( my and my figurines vs one of them lol )

 

 _ For your shadows, spectres, Cean Gwlas, the key is fight at door ways, corner so only 1 or 2 of them engage at once, then use Ray of Fire, Fire wall, even Fan of Flames will hurt them much. If you have CCs, that's even better, CC them hardly, because CCs are the most powerful things in CRPG games. Never, ever try to auto atk or weapons atk them, because those damages are vs Defl save, which Spirits have very high, nearly 70-90+ at potd, each of them are very tanky lol.

 

 _ As i said above, this game is " hard " in 1st time, but easy if you know the tricks, ppl even solo the game as a ranger, a weakest class in game, no wonder all class can solo this game at potd too. Imho, after you know some stuffs in this game, play more than 2 ppl in potd is easy mode lol.

:banana:Fighter build to solo PotD and Endless Path :banana:

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Well from one newer player to another, I'm playing on Hard and I went into the ruins under Gilded Vale with just my elven rogue character, Aloth and Edér all at level 3. Some of the fights against Shades went okay, others went downhill fast. Sometimes Aloth would cast the fan of flames spell and miss every Shade, sometimes he'd just glance them and do 3 or 4 damage. Blinding them worked better as it makes them easier to hit, but I could then only kill one or two of them before the status effect wore off. It also meant I had to rest very often. I managed to complete the quest there and clear out most of the enemies although that one room with a bunch of Skaldrs including two Kings was seemingly impossible. I could kill the normal Skaldrs but not the Kings. I felt quite confused by this sharp difficulty spike as well.

 

In my experience so far it's a lot more based around buffs and debuffs than the IE games. I'm not saying they were devoid of them, but it felt more like it simply gave you an edge whereas in PoE they're necessary a lot of the time. This ties into the way that Obsidian have made a lot of skills and spells work on a per combat basis rather than a per day basis, the latter being the case in the IE games. For most of BG1, mages felt really weak and useless. Sure you could shoot off a couple of Magic Missiles but once that was done you were left with a feeble old man throwing darts at the ground around your enemy's feet. It was balanced for that, though, whereas PoE is balanced for you to frequently use knockdowns, blindness attacks and other buffs or debuffs. When you do encounter enemies in PoE that aren't as built on that idea as the Shades, it's actually pretty easy. I went through the area to the east of Gilded Vale and most of the enemies there just died in a few hits, posing no threat.

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@Matroska : Temple of Eothas isn't a area of level low than 5, even you can access to, at level 2-3. Back when you are level 5, or even 6, things will be much easier. There are many areas like that in PoE, where you can't beat when you are there 1st time, but you surely can come back later. Level up is the best method to power up your char, even 1 level is a huge difference.

:banana:Fighter build to solo PotD and Endless Path :banana:

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I don't think the game is so much hard as oddly laid out, in that the quests that are available to you earliest and nearest aren't necessarily the easiest.  My usual approach to most RPGs is to try and complete all the quests in a particular region before moving on to other regions, and the game can seem quite hard if you try to operate that way.  It seems that they want to encourage you to move through the main plot line relatively quickly and go back to other areas.

 

That said, I did manage to complete the quest in the Temple of Eothas at level 2-3, though I left one room (with five shades) untouched, and I had to go back to the tavern for the free rest a couple times.  I actually did most of the first level with my level 2 cipher PC and Aloth, because I didn't realize I could rest for free, and so I wasn't able to recruit Eder.  After the first level I went back up rested and hired an NPC cleric as well as Eder and that helped a bit, but it was still pretty challenging.  

 

 

It might be worth heading east and picking up Durance at Magran's fork.  You might find his staff helpful against shadows.

 

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Pretty sure the concept of making places that would kick your patootie if you went in too early available anyway was a conscious design decision. The only fights that scale with level are those related to the main questline - it's been said that 2/3 of the combat content is not in that category.

 

If you go in expecting that and are willing to back off and return later if/when they are too tough it works fine (IMO).

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The game is hard for you, because some genius balanced the game for the kind of audience that sounds like this: "What, NO! I'm not a completionist, I've only played 300 hours into the game so far, and I'm at least halfway - and I even didn't sell those endlessly respawning dragon droppings for 3 copper a piece to boost the credits for more than a couple of hours! I'm not a completionist, what a laughable idea!".

 

I.e., if you don't rake the entire map for mobs, chests, and locked doors - there will come a time, a terrible time, when you simply are not on a high enough level to go beyond where you were previously.

 

Some people around here might make fun of you for saying that crap like this makes you play another game. But the thought of having to either go back and game the system, or else pointlessly grind for many extra hours - just to be able to see the next dialogue screen or increasingly brief piece of story-telling, before it's broken off by an elaborate coin-flipping session again -- just doesn't appeal to me, at least.

 

And why should it? It makes sense that I don't find this appealing, because PoE is not made for people who role-play in role-playing games. But for people who obsess over numbers and dice-rolls. It's made for the guys who were so nerdy and far gone that they were thrown out of the rpg-club. The guys this game is made for have medals and diplomas on their walls that say things like: "That one GM in the entire world that will never be allowed to GM again. Rocks fall sucks, we get it". Or "Spent most time on any single wizard's turn in the entire tournament". Or "We wish to congratulate you on this stunning victory by successfully arguing the other team broke the rules in the 198th out of 90075 total turns. Well spotted, you ****!".

 

So go and rake the map some more. And then come back, and see if you don't think the game is too easy! Because of the linear level adjustment! Haha! Guess we know who is the silly complainer now, when we actually know the game is too EASY! 

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I also had a very rocky first run with PoE (using a Rogue protagonist in my case), especially where Shadows and Shades were concerned, so I can definitely empathize with that feeling of hopelessness when your party looks just fine but you still have a ton of close calls with ordinary mobs. I recently did a second run, bumping difficulty up to Hard and playing as a Monk, and while I still had some frustrating fights the whole thing felt far more under control and ran a lot smoother.

 

As for why it's hard, I'd say that depends a lot on what playstyle you followed with the IE games (how frequently you rested, what your approach was to exploring and clearing areas, how heavily you relied on consumables, stuff like that) since I imagine that'd have a big impact on what kind of gameplay habits you brought along with you, but to list what personally tripped me up and had to be learned for Poe:

 

*Don't be shy about using your consumables. I have a habit of hoarding potions, scrolls and other single-use bonus items, and while I usually get away with that in the old IE games (aside from chugging health potions and odd oil of speed/potion of heroism/potion of invisibility), that's a habit that can really bite you hard in PoE. Most buff potions and low-level scrolls are both plentiful and fairly cheap and they can make a world of difference for you against tougher fights. In the particular example with Shades you mentioned, for instance, some scrolls for Fan of Flames would work wonders. On that note, consider spreading the Lore skill around your party members, even the Fighters or other characters you normally wouldn't think of as casters. The difference that scrolls (especially higher level scrolls) can make for a fight really can't be overstated.

 

*The number of guys on both sides matters a lot more in PoE. No matter how weak an enemy is individually, they can still be a major threat to you simply by giving a flank to somebody who can hit you hard. As a result, the tide of battle can swing very quickly against a character if too many enemies gang up on them, even though their defenses look solid and they're well armored. To protect against this, focus on trying to hit enemies with controlling abilities, stuns, or status effects that harm their accuracy early on in the encounter so they don't get a chance to gang up on you. Spells like Chilling Fog, Curse of Blackened Sight, Fetid Caress, and Slicken are all good clutch defenses and available to wizards even at very low levels. Also, unlike their BG/IWD counterparts, these spells don't have a sharp dropoff in usefulness when you reach higher level enemies, so they'll serve you just as well against endgame fights as they do in early encounters. Learning to time and position them right will pay off in a big way.

 

*Tanking damage is a lot less viable in PoE than it is in the IE games. The Health/Stamina system effectively puts a hard cap on how much healing you can pile on a character to keep them standing, since there's all of two abilities that recover Health, both of which are underwhelming and no good in the thick of combat. As a result, your best defense is to make sure your characters get hit as little as possible by boosting up their defenses (Deflection in particular), piling on DR to minimize what damage you do take, and to try and make sure the damage gets spread out as evenly as possible between your party members. Hitting the health cap is another way in which enemies piling onto the same target can overwhelm party members fast and it can really catch you with your pants down if you aren't resting regularly. You've probably also noticed that drinking potions isn't the same instant fix as it is in Baldur's Gate/IWD and can be interrupted if your character is under a lot of fire, so there's also an increased importance on making sure your healer is backing up your frontline guys.

*Much like your consumables, your abilities are also meant to be used well and often. The temptation to conserve bigger spells and per-rest abilities for later was probably the biggest thing for me to shake, but when it comes to PoE, there are very few fights you'll want to resolve with just normal attacks. In particular, make the most out of your per-encounter abilities. On a similar note, don't be shy about experimenting with the spells you have available. You're right in that a lot of them are situational, but since casters other than Wizards effectively have a Sorcerer setup (being able to use all spells you know, without having to memorize a set) my experience has been that just about all of them have some use, and a core group of them are useful on a regular basis. For Priests, I'd definitely recommend making liberal use of Blessing, Armor of Faith, Withdraw, Consecrated Ground, Suppress Affliction, Divine Mark, and Iconic Projection to name a few.

 

*Class diversity helps a lot in PoE. While I wouldn't call it wrong or impossible to work with the setup you're using, I'd consider bringing in a wider range of classes rather than doubling up. Wizards in particular tend to get more valuable the higher the difficulty setting is, so having two of them in your party on normal difficulty might leave them feeling a bit underwhelming and lacking for useful things to do. Consider replacing Aloth with either a Druid or a Cipher (you can find a Druid NPC in Stonewall Gorge, and a Cipher NPC in Dyrford Village respectively) to give yourself a better range of spells to work with in a fight. Ciphers use a point pool to cast their spells, which they can refill by dealing damage with their normal attacks, so they'll give you a lot more quantity of casts in battle, and Druids are the dedicated area damage guys in PoE so that might feel more comfortable to work with if you like to use mob-nuking/damage-oriented mage setups. Similarly, while two fighters definitely makes for a solid front, having a defense-oriented paladin for a second frontline guy might be worth a shot for the passive Aura buff and access to quick party support abilities (Liberating Exhortation in particular). There's a soft auto-leveling feature for party NPCs to keep them all close to your main party in exp, so you can experiment with different party compositions as you go without worry of having anyone fall too far behind. If your party consistently fails to perform, I'd consider switching it up to see if a different combination works better for you.  

 

 

So yeah, those were the main points that helped me through. I know this might all look very daunting, especially when combined with what everyone else in the thread is already saying, but for what it's worth: yes, your reaction is perfectly normal, and yes, it should get easier with time. I'd say the main reason for difficulty in PoE is that there's a lot to process with battles and gear loadouts, the mechanics look familiar but play quite differently from the IE D&D games, non-caster party members have more options and therefore require more micro-management, and the UI can unfortunately be frustratingly vague and reluctant to let you know what you need to know at times. I'm not sure if/to what extent you're using them already, but for me setting up a set of automatic pause conditions and having the game speed shift to slower every time combat starts was a big help with getting a handle on everything that's going on and something I still make use of quite extensively. That's another thing that could be worth fiddling around with if you find yourself wondering what just happened a lot.

 

I will note though, Spirit mobs are no joke and can be some of the most frustrating enemies to fight unless you're exploiting their weaknesses. As others have noted, spamming fire is your best bet for doing damage, since they have monstrous base DR and quite formidable Deflection (as well as access to a blinding attack) that makes most other attacks do very little if anything at all. Damage-wise they're very vulnerable to fire, which makes Burning Lash enchantments for your weapons and basic fire spells like Fan of Flames very good bets against them. If memory serves they also have pretty puny Fortitude, which makes them easy to stun temporarily with Fetid Caress and the Fighter's Knock Down ability.

 

So yeah, hope the game opens up for you before it wears out its welcome. It's a lot of fun when you get a handle on it, but that can definitely take some time.

Edited by Aea
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is difficult for Gromnir to judge the difficulty o' the game.  we got many dozen o' hours invested in the beta and an embarrassing number o' hours in the release version.  yeah, we got more than a little experience with crpgs, but our hours o' poe gameplay has robbed us o' any right to make comments 'bout the difficulty o' the game.  we have played through the entire game multiple times, and we have purposeful replayed particular challenging battles over and over andoverandoverandoverandoverandoverandoverandoverandover.  

 

that being said, the beta folks, back in the summer o' 2014, were complaining almost en masse that poe combat were difficult and frenetic.  yeah, there were fine tuning done to make dot from spiders and beetles less lethal, but for the most part, the beta folks adjusted to the relative steepness o' the learning curve. poe had a steep learning curve.

 

that being said, we will observe that it becomes increasing easy to over-level in poe.  if you do all side-quest material, then the further you get into the game, the more likely you is gonna be more powerful than necessary to successfully overcome encounters.  as you get deeper into the game, not only will your experience make the game easier, but the over-generous xp rewards will result in you facing encounters seeming balanced for a party 2-3 levels lower than your current power. 

 

regardless, while we doubt it makes you feel better to hear this, the majority o' hard-core junkie role-play fanatics who were beta testers from day 1 were mewling like babies when they got their first taste o' poe combat.

 

HA! Good Fun!

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"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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I pretty much agree with  Gromnir about the Backer Beta.  Fighting beetles and spiders on normal was pure death for my party.  Even on easy I found them difficult.  So some re-balancing was done. Now the wilderness monsters and animals are a bit easier but when involved in a quest at least a fairly major quest the difficulty increases.  There is I think a steep learning curve for PoE and this may be difficult for experienced gamers to accept.  i.e. if you are a graduate of the TES games, Oblivion and Skyrim you will be in for quite a surprise.  PoE does not level enemies so you may meet a fairly easy one and the next combat may be more difficult.

 I have but one enemy: myself  - Drow saying


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Since I really never tire of doing this - what actually happened was that in the first public builds, a very low accuracy bonus (read: might-focused fighter) vs. a very high dodge/deflect (that's the super-beetles, the one or two high-level beetles in a group of five or six, etc) - that would combine into making all hits on the beetles turn to grazes. Which normally isn't a huge problem, since you would still cause some damage. But the beetles also had a solid damage resistance that was higher than what any of the starter weapons could cause. So if you didn't hit the beetles with crush damage, which they were weak against.. or fire, or anything magical, or, well, whatever you would have in the arsenal other than a plain steel sword. If you didn't do that, then you would never do enough damage to any of the targets, even the ones that were knocked down and weak against sneak attacks, etc.

 

The other problem was that the beetles could "teleport" via bury, to instantly kill the wizard or ranged character you started the attack with. This was an AI problem, and a problem with bury, in the sense that the instant teleport to the most optimal target was too strong, and too fast. It didn't provoke an attack of opportunity against the beetle, you couldn't target it, etc.

 

The third problem was the AI node updates that movement was mapped to. Instead of stopping the AI from moving through an obstructed path (say, five warriors in a group), the game would teleport the target past the group if they had been moving at the time the AI node pass was calculated. This was something that very obviously made the game extremely much more difficult against very quick enemies, such as -- you guessed it, the super-beetles.

 

The fourth problem was that interrupted powers didn't cause a prompt or any feedback. While disappearing/teleporting beetles would confuse the player "AI" when you already had casts or abilities charging.

 

Neither of these things were addressed, before a fair and glorious cacophony of mighty butthurt rose up and demanded that god should smite the beetles, and make farming equipment into blessed instruments of holy and endless crusade. And so on. Then what followed that was a complete rework of the accuracy mechanic, having a fixed accuracy stat following the class (to avoid people turning up with a full accuracy penalty for all characters, and essentially adding a very large amount of stat-points to all builds), removal of the damage resistance/weakness mechanic, lowering enemy stats, increasing the weapon base damage, etc.

 

And that was before looking at the pathfinding, targeting and AI issues.

 

So to sum up - a few technical problems made the encounters much, much more difficult than they were. And the game rules were reworked and hopelessly simplified - before those technical problems were taken care of.

 

The question is, as I asked at the time: would the system really have been all that complicated and difficult without those technical problems? Were any of these changes actually needed? And the answer to that is very likely no.

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One thing I rather like about the combat mechanics is that they don't allow the style of "tanking" that has become popular in so many other games where the tank magically attracts all the enemies and they just ignore the squishier party members.  In PoE, a melee fighter can engage a number of opponents aided by things like hold the line and extend some protection to nearby allies but you do have to position him carefully to make it work.  You can't just send one or two fighters into an open room against a dozen enemies and expect them to be able to protect all the range attackers and spellcasters.   I like that strategic positioning is an important part of combat (unlike say, Dragon Age: Inquisition), though I still struggle with mob control.

 

It always strikes me that the taunt/challenge mechanic used by tanks in most games essentially cripples the A.I.  As players, we always try to go after the glass cannons, so it makes sense that our enemies would do the same if they can.

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The strategy I prefer to use when possible is deception which has been condemned by some players as somehow unethical or some such thing.  However the greatest general of all time Sun Tzu aggrees with me.  Quote: "All warfare is based on deception."  We use the term tank for our main melee fighters but in fact they are distractions for the enemy.  Give them the best and buff them then defeat the enemy with your mobile party members.

 

If you know an enemy to be stronger try to avoid them and return later when better prepared.  

 I have but one enemy: myself  - Drow saying


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PoE is a deep game based on a "complex" set of rules. If you wish to succeed you will become well aware of how these rules work and how to use them to your advantage. It takes time and patience to do this, but it is certainly worth and in a way makes the game that much more fun and enjoyable.

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PoE is a deep game based on a "complex" set of rules. If you wish to succeed you will become well aware of how these rules work and how to use them to your advantage. It takes time and patience to do this, but it is certainly worth and in a way makes the game that much more fun and enjoyable.

:D lol ...It's much less problematic than that. What you need to do is to pick a traditional adventuring crew with different classes, and play them with a typical set of weapons and armor. And then advance to the new areas only when you've more or less completed all the quests. If you do that, you won't run into any problems.

 

While if you relied on the actual descriptions for the stats, and reasoned your way into some idea or other... such as that a small sword can cut faster than a greatsword, which then means the short one will cause more critical hits, and therefore be more useful because you boosted the dexterity so high. Etc. Or if you imagine that a wizard with very high intelligence can somehow transcend the apparently bodily need in Eora for people to wear breastplates, by making use of his talent for magic. And so on. If you start thinking weird things like that, instead of going "CLIK DIE KLICK DIE ORC DIE" all day. Then you will very quickly run into all kinds of very harsh difficulty spikes.

 

Because the game is very deliberately balanced for a "default" party. In the sense that if you try to equip gear or use spells in a way that the default setup doesn't favor - then you're going to simply have disadvantages that the small changes in character stats you can do won't compensate for. And the game leads you on to believe those alternative solutions actually make sense as well, thanks to how things seem to hang together concept-wise (if not mechanically, which they of course did in the early versions, but not any more). 

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One thing I discovered early on is to not equip my spellcasters with staffs, or other items you would think would be related to magic but actually aren't.  If your spell casters are equipped with a staff they'll plunge headlong into the fighting--instead of hanging back and spell casting from a ranged position.  They're generally much more vulnerable physically, so it becomes much harder to prevail when they are getting torn to pieces in every encounter... ;)  Equip them with wands and they'll properly hang back and throw magic.  Learn to use the healing spells of your priest while fighting and while casting offensive spells with your other spell casters, letting your fighters take the melee end of things and keep the foe away from your spell casters--and you'll be amazed at how much easier the fighting gets.  I equip my chanter with a powerful bow so that he's ranged whether he's chanting or firing his bow.  My Druid sometimes throws spells, but just as often shapeshifts to maul the enemy in melee contact, depending on the nature of the foe.

 

The fighting and prevailing isn't hard at all once you learn the rules--like any other game ever made... ;)  Learn the rules of the games you play and you'll do fine--but trying to make a game conform to your idea of how it *should* play is good for little more than frustration. 

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It's very well known that I don't make mistakes, so if you should stumble across the odd error here and there in what I have written, you may immediately deduce--quite correctly--that I did not write it... :biggrin:

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It's not really hard. Just needs some getting used to mechanics and understanding them. I played a bit of POTD but it was more of a hassle and cheesing than actual fun gameplay for me so instead I started another hard (not so hard) and doing what I wanted to have fun with - melee/combat mage (which is actually helluva strong!!!)

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i honestly think the game is pretty easy compared to the older titles you listed. It still has an element randomness that can mess you up, but overall the higher HP-totals lead to more success (or failure!) based on your strategy instead of a random crit or saving throw at the start of a fight.

 

This makes patterns more recognizeable and, in consequence, the game easier and less frustrating when you buckle down and look at all the values and options the game shows you.

 

On the other hand, if you run into an encounter the same way repeatedly, your chance of randomly smashing the wall with your head is comparatively lower...

Edited by Boatmurder
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