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General thoughts about PoE that could be improved for PoE2


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First of all I loved the game. Nothing scratched my infinity engine itch for nearly 15 years so this game was like a vacation with an old friend. I loved the story, the world, the classes, the look, even gathering my party before venturing forth. It came so close to hitting the highs of Planescape: Torment with its world-building and the epic feel of BG2. I think a few things could be improved upon for PoE2 that would really cement this franchise as one of the all time greats, if it weren't so already.

 

1) itemization - itemization feels strangely unsatisfying; many unique items are very similar, enchanting options don't allow to add some of the more unique effects, and in the late game all but a few items are highly fungible. In the early game this isn't so much an issue given the loot progression. Even the soul bound weapons don't quite scratch the itch; the process to level these weapons off sometimes requires the player to break immersion to act in ways he otherwise wouldn't (be revived in combat, etc...) and the class restrictions sometimes force weapons into the hands of less ideal characters. I think itemization needs an overhaul so that those few epic items really feel special, and soul bound items can be more useful to other classes. Perhaps in White March 2?

 

2) party member quests - party member quests often felt like they were missing key chunks. Without spoilers, all but a handful have a satisfying conclusion. While one or two cliff hangers or mysteries would have a great effect, most characters feel like they are left hanging. This is felt even more in the expansion where one of the new characters has a detailed opening exposition that jumps straight into the conclusion. I would love for more involved party quests. Sagani, for example, may have my favorite side quest in the game. It feels epic and that she's a part of it for most of the game.

 

Those are my main suggestions for improvement but I had a blast with my 100+ hours in Eora

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am not too far into the game (just exploring Gilded vale) , i'd also like to throw in a suggestion here for PoE2:

(somewhat related to the discussion in another thread)

 

make spells per-rest only and prolong your adventuring day in BG2 with the following ideas from BG2:

wondrous recall (6th lvl spell), cast it and get back two previously cast spells from 5th-level or lower, just as an idea for Obs.. (next to the BG2 sorcerer idea, i hope you did play a sorc in BG2, if not please do)

ideas against casters being weak at the beginning of a game:

- let the game start you at a later level, where the caster is already potent

- give him *protection* spell ala stoneskin

- at the start let him gain xp not from combat but through easier quests involving riddles and make early level-up faster

- but do not let him start at lvl1 then let him jump right into combat and counter it by giving him a rod with unlimited ammo and per-encounter things - > Dragon age here we come

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1. I actually want spell casters to do less damage, less CC. They are just so dang strong and vital to a good party and when used properly trivialize every fight in the game. IE wizards and druids weren't topping damage. 

2. I want to see ranged bow/gun users doing more reliable/faster paced damage. 

3. I want to see Chanters actually doing something. 

4. Melee is far too punishing with risk/reward. Tanky characters do far too little too slowly, damage dealers are almost forced into nakedness / reach weapons or risk tons of micro.  The two roles of melee damage and tankiness need to be brought closer together. Monks need an increase to damage output.

5. Armor Recovery penalties are WAY too punishing. IE had armor restrictions for a reason. See above

6. Pathfinding needs improved.  Sometimes the enemy gets "confused' and all swarm to a single side of my front line, even if clear paths are open

7. Combat needs slowed down past level 4.  The pace seems the same as IE with improved Haste on all my characters. If i can't get through a fight in about 10 seconds I start getting annoyed.

8. Why? BECAUSE THERE IS SO MUCH COMBAT.  Good god every square inch of some places in the game is enemies.  Take a step to the right...pack of wolves, to the left is a swarm of beetles, in front of you is a bandit army. Some levels of Endless would look hilarious if you could see everything. Solid mass of monsters surprised the floor doesn't collapse.

Edited by Benedictous
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you is a bandit army. Some levels of Endless would look hilarious if you could see everything. Solid mass of monsters surprised the floor doesn't collapse.

Haha just replayed the Skaeon temple and was thinking the same thing. How the hell does an organization that prides itself on secrecy amass literally hundreds of followers jam-packed into a tiny dungeon?

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What I would like to see in the next PoE is the following:

 

-I think engagement should be something only a few melee focused characters should be able to use.

-Hard counters should be in, items that makes you immune to stuff.

-I wasn't very fond of the story. It unravels too late.

-There isn't much reactivity to the game and the factions. This was maybe my biggest disappointment.

-Some maps look great and others less so. More consistency in the quality of graphics.

-More "unique" unique items. I don't want unique items that I can somehow craft on my own. I want to go "Oh crap!" when I find stuff.

-The stronghold was very weak. The game might as well not have had it.

 

There's probably more, but these are some of my top priorities.

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There are a lot of changes I would really appreciate in a sequel.

 

-NPC companions should have more of a backbone. If I slaughter a group of innocent people, characters like Pallegina should leave the party in disgust.

-If there's going to be another stronghold, there should be at least 1 town where the people owe you fealty or something. I keep getting taxes but I have no idea where they're even coming from. No one seems to care that I'm the lord of a keep (and apparently surround towns?)

-An expanded crafting system would be awesome. I thought it was cool how doing the Late for Dinner task got you the Savory Pie recipe, but nothing like this was ever added again. Maybe some quests let us add unique enchantments to our arms and armor.

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1. Items - This has got to be one of the biggest issues. Good and unique items were one of the big reasons old school RPGs worked. Finding a completely unique and badass weapon gives identity to characters, can create new build opportunities, and lets min-maxers do their thing. The only weapon I can even remember from Pillars was The Disappointer, because it was pretty funny in flavor and in my attempts to make it viable. Nothing much stands out. 

 

2. Encounter Design - There are just too many trash mobs. The game takes a nose dive in the fun department after Raedric's Keep and then just keeps getting worse. In Baldur's Gate, there was a big shift toward more difficult party vs party combat after Nashkell. From the bounty hunter party when you leave the mines onward was brutal and memorable. A game like this should really push you until you understand the mechanics. I felt like I was getting crushed and needed to learn everything fast after Raedric, but from then on I rarely felt like encounters forced me to really explore the mechanics deeply. Even on normal difficulty the game should feel dynamic.

 

3. Side/Main Quest Links - I liked the side questing in Pillars, but it feels too separate from the plot. I mean the second act works quite well if you ignore the stronghold and mostly stay in Defiance Bay. The story and potential side quests are pretty linked, with a lot of information about the world being given out while you're also unraveling the mystery behind the Leaden Key. After the second act though... it just doesn't gel anymore. Everything feels separate and spread too thin. It's all kind of off the rails until you initiate the endgame.

Edited by Wolfenbarg
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My only feedback would be ....

 

1: More companions and more variety in companions.  I haven't seen all there is to see in White March yet but we still have one class with no companion (barbarian) and all the characters seem like okay/nice people when it really comes down to it other than Durance (who in all honesty is just a loudmouth jerk) and Devil.

 

2: They need way better justification for going along with you and doing what they are doing.  Their plots also all need to be bigger and tie into the main plot/overall world story.  Everyones story should have been like Eder, Aloth and Durance whose mini plots could both tie into the bigger picture.

 

3: The plot needs to be exponentionally longer and take up much more of the game, too much of the games content is side quests with very little meat on the bone.  You could level this complaint at IE games too.

 

4: Make the stronghold a much bigger deal and way less hands off or just scrap it all together for the sequel.

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I love the game for the most part. Here is a list of things I would like to see changed/added/fixed.

 

1. Stacking of same items in shops. It is quite annoying to go through pages of the same item. 

 

2. Ability to set traps a bit differently. Think not only circle but rectangle, line, etc. 

 

3. A vendor who sells the magic items in the game, not the uniques but all the stuff that is normally random. I hate searching all over God's creation for the Gloves of Manipulation or waiting for the "right day" to open a chest. Most magic items are pretty weak so I really don't see this as game breaking. 

 

4. More bounty quests. My favorite things to do and IMHO some of the best fights in the game. 

 

5. I would like to see quests/bounties to unlock some of the Utility Talents or the ability to buy them. I don't find them particularly good to pick instead of one of the Class/Offensive/Defensive Talents but they look kinda fun to add to a character.

 

6. Add something to Easternwood, maybe some catacombs in the graveyard. Would also like to see more levels of catacombs in Copperlane. Ok I want to see lots more dungeon... Anywhere... Just need more dungeons..... A random dungeon say in the style of Diablo would add lots to the replayabilty of POE.

 

7. A vendor who keeps everything you sell him like a pawnshop. I had to sell lots of potions, scrolls, and components in order to buy the good shield the traveling salesman brings by as I was short of copper. Later on went back to purchase my stuff and it was all gone at least in the numbers that I had sold it in (i.e. sold 18 potions of Power, he only had 5 in stock). Same with the Stronghold components shop, all gone in the numbers that I had sold them in. Luckily I did not sell my brains!

 

8. MORE BRAINS!!! I spend lots of time midway thru the game traveling between Defiance Bay and the Stronghold just to get enough brains to enchant my gear... NEED  MORE BRAINS!!!!!

 

9. Auto looting of corpses or something. I hate having my stronghold attacked, watching them kill my hirelings and I get nadda in return. I want my loot!!

 

10. My last thing may not be even doable. I dislike the colors of some of the magic items, hate the look of some of the magic hats/helmets. How about a vendor/blacksmith who can change the style of a magic item say instead of a magic blue padded armor into a black padded or a Hat of Might that can be changed into a Helmet of Might. Love magic items, hate the way some of them look. The colored ones are especially annoying, having several sprites in blue armor gets confusing during a fight. I am not even sure if this is possible and it is only esthetics not gameplay but I think it would improve my experience. 

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Please, give implements a distinctive mechanical niche. I want my dual wands, Obsidian. I WANT THEM

 

 

 

you is a bandit army. Some levels of Endless would look hilarious if you could see everything. Solid mass of monsters surprised the floor doesn't collapse.

Haha just replayed the Skaeon temple and was thinking the same thing. How the hell does an organization that prides itself on secrecy amass literally hundreds of followers jam-packed into a tiny dungeon?

I'll third this as a major design issue. It's especially bad when you're in an otherwise atmospheric area, like Sun In Shadow, and you have to stop exploring to beat on some dudes every 30 seconds.

 

Fewer, longer, better fights, plz.

If I'm typing in red, it means I'm being sarcastic. But not this time.

Dark green, on the other hand, is for jokes and irony in general.

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"Fewer, longer, better fights, plz. "

 

Probably the single most thing that is realistic to achieve and is crucial for overall quality. Encounter design was poor in POE and better but still fundamentally mobby in WM. 

 

Otherwise, I'd look for exploring more interesting settings, and bringing back Obsidian's traditional forte - the ability to explore offbeat / derivative themes and poke holes in common themes and tropes. POE was a bit too straight and narrow in its writing. 

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"Fewer, longer, better fights, plz. "

 

Probably the single most thing that is realistic to achieve and is crucial for overall quality. Encounter design was poor in POE and better but still fundamentally mobby in WM. 

 

Otherwise, I'd look for exploring more interesting settings, and bringing back Obsidian's traditional forte - the ability to explore offbeat / derivative themes and poke holes in common themes and tropes. POE was a bit too straight and narrow in its writing. 

My main gripe is:

 

- Higher difficulty doesn't actually improve monster AIs, just adding more of them. You ended up with a situation if you play on hard or above where monster number is downright unrealistic to the locations (a good example would be the Skaeon hideout)..

 

- I can understand why they don't want to raise stats for monsters. Compared to games that actually get the difficulty ramp right e.g. XCOM, a pleasant challenge doesn't come from mobbing or godly stats, but AI employing advanced tactics. OBS really need to try and get this right. It's the *only* next-gen feature most of us are asking for from an oldschool game.

 

- If we get the sequel on the exact same game engine but with improved AI, I would be happy. I can't stress how important this is. Pretty much every time my party gets wiped it wasn't because I played poorly or monsters actually bested me. It was because team AI doesn't do what they are told.

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I would like to see the weapon stats simplified a great deal ! 0.3% of this and 4.0 of that doesn't mean anything to me. either that or just remove it from the weapon description like this..

 

x weapon

DR

fine

attack faster

 

 

done!

 

Why would you want less information to be available to people? I get that it's not of direct utility to you, but it is to some folks, and it's not like all of what you're asking for isn't there already.

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If I'm typing in red, it means I'm being sarcastic. But not this time.

Dark green, on the other hand, is for jokes and irony in general.

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"Fewer, longer, better fights, plz. "

 

Probably the single most thing that is realistic to achieve and is crucial for overall quality. Encounter design was poor in POE and better but still fundamentally mobby in WM. 

 

Otherwise, I'd look for exploring more interesting settings, and bringing back Obsidian's traditional forte - the ability to explore offbeat / derivative themes and poke holes in common themes and tropes. POE was a bit too straight and narrow in its writing. 

fewer, doable, but am skeptical about longer and better with the PoE's systems applied.

 

They can change the amount of enemies and give you autoattack encounters that don't require using much of your resources so that you don't need to rest that often. On the other hand, with the systems in place in PoE they can't really give you prolonged battles ala BG2 IMO. Of course, can't really comment on that much since i stopped playing the game in Eothas temple lower level because the game then really started to become more and more unfun. I actually can't remeber a game where i had to reload that many times or rest that often as i did in eothas temple. Of course i guess i could have as well returned to gilded vale sold everything, hired 1-2 adventurers and the other wizard guy and simply stomped all over the place but that would have been the other side with the game being too easy. Or does this game also place as many enemies depending on your party size? Have not tested it, but then it gets, as you say, 'mobby'.

 

Prolonged battles as in BG2, need to have systems as in BG2 IMO. One thing is to have the filler autoattack combat and much rarer combat that requires thinking and using your resources. So, why did BG2 battles last longer in the first place? Was it that you could move around, even flee? Was it that status effects lasted longer and that when people got charmed they actually attacked the others (forcing you to move away or cast a counter)? Was it that if in BG i had 30hp i was able to survive while the hp in this game is gone much sooner as the creatures (who compose like 90% of the encounter design) all move faster and attack faster (i swear that while Eder drinks a potion, my wizard gets hit by a creature at least 2 times) and all of them have some kind of special effects to their hits?

 

In this game eder is surrounded by 2 skuldrs, targets one of them, then that Skuldr decides to move around the other skuldr, then eder follows him (i can't even react because it all happens fast), gets hit by disengagement attacks and dies. Next to combat, the extensive use of the magnifying glasses which could either give you interesting info or be completely useless and even the otherwise good idea of the scripted interactions all combined lead to breaking the pacing in the game. The overall depressing tone/atmosphere in the game doesn't help either. It may be unfun to you, but the encounters where you partly exploited enemy AI and things like watching chars bump into other things/chars was a hilariously fun thing to watch for me in the old games. This game takes itself too seriously. The artists have done a great job though, props for that, in the short time of puttiing it all together with the writing Obs has invested a lot of effort.

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This is probably an unpopular opinion, but I think making PoE's combat more like BG2 would be a huge step backward. I will agree that BG2 had much better pacing in terms of encounter design, but I always found the actual fights to be boring, with a number of strategies (almost entirely from wizards) able to trivialize most encounters. I did not enjoy having to cast 5 buff removal spells just so my melee characters could even pretend to function, and stuff like ridiculous number of summoned monsters and contingency shenanigans made encounters against mages more frustrating than anything else.

 

BG2 was a great game and a great experience, but I think the time of its combat system has passed. I much prefer the direction PoE is going, even if it could improve in terms of number of encounters and encounter design.

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I totally agree with:

 

1. Items - after expansion, it is now much better, but it can be even "more" better :)

 

2. More "boss" fights - something like bounties, but make some badass bosses with interesting abilities.

 

3. Fighting against wizards feels strange. In IE games, you had to breach their defense spells and then you killed them. In PoE, wizards just spamming AoE damage spells, they dont protect themselves a lot. In BG2, single high level wizard could destroy my party (with little luck). In PoE, no way. He would give me -10 deflection spell, maybe one fireball and then he is dead. So more wizard spell fights!

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I'd like at least some of the enemies act like human controlled characters, especially the bounties.

 

For example I'd like the enemy to all have ranged weapons on switch and start off with a full ranged volley and shoot anyone who looks to be a spell caster in robes. That's what we do, they should do the same.

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I would like to see the weapon stats simplified a great deal ! 0.3% of this and 4.0 of that doesn't mean anything to me. either that or just remove it from the weapon description like this..

Hehe, I didn't even know that +10 in PoE was equivalent to +2 in D&D until Infinitron mentioned it in another thread.

 

They should add Trap and Lockpick XP. *runs*

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They should add Trap and Lockpick XP. *runs*

Hehehe.

 

But seriously, they could stand to make non-quest and non-bestiary XP less totally pointless. 10-25 XP for exploration (and exploration being defined almost exclusively as "entering areas," to a lesser degree) and 5-60 XP for mechanics checks is almost insulting. "Sure, we'll give you guys what you want, just not in any meaningful way."

If I'm typing in red, it means I'm being sarcastic. But not this time.

Dark green, on the other hand, is for jokes and irony in general.

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This is probably an unpopular opinion, but I think making PoE's combat more like BG2 would be a huge step backward. I will agree that BG2 had much better pacing in terms of encounter design, but I always found the actual fights to be boring, with a number of strategies (almost entirely from wizards) able to trivialize most encounters. I did not enjoy having to cast 5 buff removal spells just so my melee characters could even pretend to function, and stuff like ridiculous number of summoned monsters and contingency shenanigans made encounters against mages more frustrating than anything else.

 

BG2 was a great game and a great experience, but I think the time of its combat system has passed. I much prefer the direction PoE is going, even if it could improve in terms of number of encounters and encounter design.

 

well, there were enough potions and gear for the chars in BG2, no need for using spells that much. I believe that the points you raise are points that do not go against the systems/mechnics that were applied in BG2 though. When someone says that you could triviliaze encounters in BG2 with summoning e.g., then the solution would be to simply shorten the length and number of summoned creatures even more than it was the case. Or when someone e.g. would say that project image which you get much later in BG2 was overpowered then the solution would be to simply not have that spell in BG2 at all. But IMO it's not that the system as such in BG2 failed. There sure would be ways to make pre-buffing, rest-spamming balance even better than it was in BG2, i guess, because the system as such allowed it. If the basics of the game don't allow it, like i believe is the case in PoE than you cannot much improve the game experience by balancing stuff IMO. If you guys say that what would be needed for PoE2 is to have longer, better encounters, then i'd honestly like to know how Obs would be about going to achieve that goal with the systems in place.

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There are a lot of changes I would really appreciate in a sequel.

 

-NPC companions should have more of a backbone. If I slaughter a group of innocent people, characters like Pallegina should leave the party in disgust.

-If there's going to be another stronghold, there should be at least 1 town where the people owe you fealty or something. I keep getting taxes but I have no idea where they're even coming from. No one seems to care that I'm the lord of a keep (and apparently surround towns?)

-An expanded crafting system would be awesome. I thought it was cool how doing the Late for Dinner task got you the Savory Pie recipe, but nothing like this was ever added again. Maybe some quests let us add unique enchantments to our arms and armor.

 

 

These a probably one of the better suggestions I've heard, especially the one about Strongholds -- although I understand the sequel is already planned to do this.  Crafting a big deal for me, too, since my main character preferred certain items that just weren't available in "unique" form and would have only been possible if he could make the items himself.

Edited by Alexander1
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