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Are per encounter spells needed? And are they balanced?


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With the current state of the game, are per encounter spells needed?

 

With the new level cap you get level one, two and three as per encounter. The next expansion will get you level four.

 

Before it was determined that Ciphers were unbalanced because they started with enough focus to blast out two of their more powerful attacks at the start of every encounter. Now their focus is knocked back such that they can do one cast of their biggest power and then need to regain focus through attacks. Ciphers seem well balanced now and more of a hybrid caster/weapon user.

 

With a Wizard with level three you get the alacrity of motion spell for a +50% boost to speed and you get it per encounter. With that and then the endurance booster and one of the deflection boosters you quickly have faster speed then anyone, endurance comparable to a melee class and deflection that is as good or better then a defensive class.

 

With that basic set up, which takes about as long as firing off one ranged attack. you can then spam out the rest of your low level spells which are still quite effective, along with your Arcane Assault. Just this is enough to clear most encounters and you still have all of your high level spells available. With level four available in the next expansion you can cast Confusion four times every fight or any of the other powerful level four spells.

 

Prior to getting per encounter spells Wizards were still very effective with just their per encounter Arcane Assault and their amped up implement attacks. They always had their spells in reserve and could choose to abuse the rest mechanics to make their spells all per encounter. Now they don't even need to bother to rest.

 

Increase their casts per day at higher levels if needed, but casters would still be more powerful than anything else without the per encounter mechanic.

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I do think they're a generally good idea, if only because they allow casters to cast more spells more often as they level. There are two practical issues, however.

 

First: spells in general scale really well. If 1st level spells were trivial by 9th level, that'd be one thing - granting greater access to a resource of declining usefulness seems reasonable, especially as the usefulness of plinking away with implements rapidly declines. But most spells stay good from start to finish. I like that, actually, but it brings us to the second issue.

 

Non-casters do not scale very well to high levels. They've got the numbers, but they simply lose out on options, falling ever farther behind casters in terms of resources with each level. Per-encounter spells seem excessive above all because they aggravate the already existing divide in option availability. It's a pretty classic issue, but there it is.

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I completely agree with you, it was bad enough with just the first two levels, and is getting really bad with 3. With 4, it's going to be crazy, especialy with that OP Shadow ball spell wizards got that somehow slept through. This game's not even like the old IE games, where without spells, Wizards were completely useless, they really don't need to be able spam spells like this every fight.

 

I actually think they went a bit too far on Ciphers, but you're right, it plays more like a Mini Ranged Rogue right now, who can fire off a few spells in between. Ciphers had both their OP powers nerfed hard, and their starting focus had a bat taken too it, as well as everythign using the same resource means new spells is very meh for them. Back to the balance board, I'd say, with the upcomming expack.

 

Edit: read the above post, and that's a great reason on why per encounter is so good, as those level 1 spells are still very awesome, even on level 14. Compared to say, BG, where by end game, level one spells were mostly novelties. Combined with the fact they can still fight somewhat in this game, by IE standards, the per counter stuff is pretty egregious.

Edited by Teioh_White
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With the current state of the game, are per encounter spells needed?

They have never been needed, but they remain a smart design decision.

 

They don't make the priests, druids, or wizards any more powerful in battle; Regardless of whether spells are per rest or per encounter, the player will always have the maximum number of spells available in all encounters that are important to the player due to resting.

 

What they do is to cut down on the time spent on backtracking for camping supplies while fighting trivial encounters, by letting players go further without rests so long as they are facing encounters that are so much easier than what the party is capable of fighting, that the casters don't need to use many of their higher level spells, while still having the camping supply limit act as a spur to not resting overmuch to be in perfect shape for every encounter.

 

Something that doesn't make a difference in difficult encounters but smoothes out game logistics without reducing the difficulty when fighting trivial challenges? Sounds like a winning design to me.

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I guess that is one way of looking at it; folks will just cheese the game with resting to refesh slots, so give them just enough re-usable spells and just enough resistence to frequent resting, and hope it sorts itself out.

 

It's really more of how a loose resting system makes it hard to have tuned gameplay. Which isn't really a bad thing! Most people probably don't get their knickers in a bunch due to somewhat loose gameplay, so long as it gives them some freedom how they want to go about it.

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It was a really lazy design decision by Obsidian. 

 

The problem with making Spell Levels per encounter at a certain point is that; a) they make per encounter abilities rather pointless which is counter to original design goals, and b) it ruins strategic gameplay by making  managing resources far less significant as low level spells in POE are still very effective at higher levels.

 

This was something Obsidian mentioned from the early days of class development, I always assumed that the idea of spells becoming per encounter would work more like this;

 

At level 9, Wizards, priests and Druids can each choose 1 spell to make per encounter, they would then get this spell listed in their per encounter abilities (at 2 or 3 per encounter?).  Wizards would have that particular spell removed from their grimoires and be allowed to replace the open slot with another spell. 

 

At level 10, these classes would get another 1st level spell use in the same manner.  At level 11, we start the same with 2nd level spells.  At 13, 3rd level, and so on.

 

That seems a much more rational then what Obsidian has done thus far.

 

Quite honestly,  I am spending all of my time in battles having my casters spam spells and it leaves little time for tactics with other classes without constant pausing.  This is much worse than the IE problems, because in those games, the martial classes had almost no micro.

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^  Not a bad idea, but hard to depict graphically in the UI

 

Doesn't seem like an insurmountable problem. You could add an additional symbol to the spell icon, like maybe a little letter "E" signifying that the spell is available for one-time per-encounter use. After you cast it, the symbol disappears.

Edited by Infinitron
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My opinion is that it was a good idea but it is currently scaling too fast.

 

Lvl 15, devotion of the faithfull, confusion and calling the world maw (the super slicken) will become per encounter.

 

I think 1 additional per encounter spell level every 4 levels instead of 2 would be ok.

 

Lvl 3 spells per encounter at lvl 17 seems powerful but not broken.

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Lvl 3 spells per encounter at lvl 17 seems powerful but not broken.

 

In that case, you won't get them until PoE2.

 

Speaking of which, I hope PoE2 starts you from level 8 or something, because starting from level 16 (or however high you'll be at the end of White March Part 2) seems way too high.

 

If you're playing the same character from the first game, handwave it by explaining that you've been soul-drained or something. (Just like Baldur's Gate 2 except with an actual in-game effect!)

Edited by Infinitron
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Lvl 3 spells per encounter at lvl 17 seems powerful but not broken.

 

In that case, you won't get them until PoE2.

 

Speaking of which, I hope PoE2 starts you from level 8 or something, because starting from level 16 (or however high you'll be at the end of White March Part 2) seems way too high.

 

If you're playing the same character from the first game, handwave it by explaining that you've been soul-drained or something. (Just like Baldur's Gate 2 except with an actual in-game effect!)

 

lv 3 per encounter are @ lvl 14. So already in the game.

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Lvl 3 spells per encounter at lvl 17 seems powerful but not broken.

 

In that case, you won't get them until PoE2.

 

Speaking of which, I hope PoE2 starts you from level 8 or something, because starting from level 16 (or however high you'll be at the end of White March Part 2) seems way too high.

 

If you're playing the same character from the first game, handwave it by explaining that you've been soul-drained or something. (Just like Baldur's Gate 2 except with an actual in-game effect!)

 

lv 3 per encounter are @ lvl 14. So already in the game.

 

 

Uh, look at the post I replied to.

Edited by Infinitron
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I finally got White March downloaded and continued my highest characters game. He had previously won the game but I went back to a much earlier save where he was still max level. I had skipped a lot of content at the end.

 

This is only on Hard, party is main Estoc Fighter, Eder Sabre & shield, Sagani war bow, Kana hammer & shield, Grieving Mother hunting bow/quarterstaff and Aloth. Only Aloth gets the per encounter spells.

 

Once I hit level 13 Aloth would start every fight with Alacrity for +50% speed, Displaced image for +25 deflection,  +20 reflex and 50% hit to graze for both, and the +50 endurance buff. This only takes a few seconds. Then I blast out a few Noxious Bursts and if there is anything still standing throw on a minor blights with all the trimmings and lay waste to everything. On the tougher bounties and Sky Dragon I had to use spells beyond level 3. Level seven spells are sweet, that orb is a great fire and forget and the phantom spell gets some useful spells as well.

 

I understand its fun and that people could just rest anyway, but it trivializes most encounters and makes every non caster look like a chump for not being a caster.

 

The cipher gets one shot, actually she has to attack first to get enough focus for the time parasite (which is pretty cool) and then has to attack enough times to get focus back. Still powerful but feels balanced.

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With the current state of the game, are per encounter spells needed?

 

With the new level cap you get level one, two and three as per encounter. The next expansion will get you level four.

 

Before it was determined that Ciphers were unbalanced because they started with enough focus to blast out two of their more powerful attacks at the start of every encounter. Now their focus is knocked back such that they can do one cast of their biggest power and then need to regain focus through attacks. Ciphers seem well balanced now and more of a hybrid caster/weapon user.

 

With a Wizard with level three you get the alacrity of motion spell for a +50% boost to speed and you get it per encounter. With that and then the endurance booster and one of the deflection boosters you quickly have faster speed then anyone, endurance comparable to a melee class and deflection that is as good or better then a defensive class.

 

With that basic set up, which takes about as long as firing off one ranged attack. you can then spam out the rest of your low level spells which are still quite effective, along with your Arcane Assault. Just this is enough to clear most encounters and you still have all of your high level spells available. With level four available in the next expansion you can cast Confusion four times every fight or any of the other powerful level four spells.

 

Prior to getting per encounter spells Wizards were still very effective with just their per encounter Arcane Assault and their amped up implement attacks. They always had their spells in reserve and could choose to abuse the rest mechanics to make their spells all per encounter. Now they don't even need to bother to rest.

 

Increase their casts per day at higher levels if needed, but casters would still be more powerful than anything else without the per encounter mechanic.

 

Deleted ~ Gorgon.

 

And just so you know im using the mod to get per encounter spells at levels 6 and 9, since what other people does or dosent do with their single player games affect you so much i hope this gives you a stroke out of rage.

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Even without the expansion, encounter spells were broken. I did all fights by spamming Cleric's ward spells. It worked in all fights. Barely ever needed to use lvl 3 or above spells. I felt bad for having access to them but never using them I started randomly using them here and there although they were not needed. This was on Hard difficulty.

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I think that, for PoE2, class design could be a bit more fundamentally changed.

 

Like: Wizards and Priests have their spells reduced to maximum of 4 per rest. Spell duration and strength are increased.

Every Grimoire in the game grants Wizards 1 or 2 predefined, unchangable per-encounter spells (depending on Grimoire level and the spells themselves).

Similarly, Priests might get a choice of per-encounter spells upon certain level-ups depending on their faith.

I do not have an idea for Druids. They could keep their system as is.

 

What I hope these changes will do, is that micromanagement will be reduced and the decisiveness of damage spells increased. Crowd control will not be buffed, still stay relevant but more comparable to other spells. Attributes will have more impact as well.

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