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Pillars of balancing


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I think the obsidian team are damaging the potential of this game by balancing it so much. Instead of nerfing the crap out of classes I think they should make the encounters more difficult by buffing the monsters/ bad guys ect. When players have lots of exiting abilities and powers to choose from to beat the bad guys it makes the game sooooooo much more fun. For some bizarre reason obsidian are nerfing these powers or are simply creating talents to choose from that are to insignificant or balanced to be of any real use. Solution to this is like I said buff the bad guys and give the players the exiting powers!

 

95% of the magic items you get in this game are useless redundant cantrip poppers. Magic items in games like this are supposed to be a prize for hard worked adventuring, there is no feeling of reward or gain in pillars from obtaining magic items at the end of quests. When I came across magic item merchants in the game I simply scrolled right through there inventories and hardly ever purchased anything because the items would hardly make any difference to my players. Bring on the bg2 artefacts like the vorpal sword or carsomyr so we can get that feeling of fufillment. I feel like a lost man with a pointless existence running around the pillars world collecting garbage. The soulbound weapons are actually weaker then the high dps wepons that you can enchant.... I mean seriously wtf?..........stop balancing stuff so much please!

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Did we really need to open this thread for the third time, though?

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"Time is not your enemy. Forever is."

— Fall-From-Grace, Planescape: Torment

"It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question, and he'll look for his own answers."

— Kvothe, The Wise Man's Fears

My Deadfire mods: Brilliant Mod | Faster Deadfire | Deadfire Unnerfed | Helwalker Rekke | Permanent Per-Rest Bonuses | PoE Items for Deadfire | No Recyled Icons | Soul Charged Nautilus

 

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When it comes to item balance, one of the things I really like about Pillars of Eternity is that it threw a lot of RPG logic that has always bugged me about this gnre out of the window. One of these things that I really came to appreciate while playing Witcher 3 was itemization. I hated how in Witcher 3 you could encounter a club which, upon hitting your head, would just tickle like a summer breeze - but behind the next corner was exactly the same club which would cause your head to implode after a gentle nudge. In Pillars, however... Let me put it this way: If I recall correctly, sword with the most powerful base stats is about 50% stronger than the one with least powerful ones, which sort of makes sense - it's sharper, more balanced etc. The end result is that master swordsman with old and rusty blade will regardless defeat a novice who wields the most expensive weapon out there. So, at the end of the day, success of using a weapon lies in the hands of the weilder, and while more powerful weapon will give you an edge, it won't save you from incompetence. At the end of the day, I'm not playing story-based RPGs for phat loot - if that's what you are after, you can still buy Diablo. I play these games for immersion, and details like these help immensely.

 

That's not to say itemization in PoE is perfect - some more interesting effects would not go amiss, and I for one would welcome uniques to be a lot rarer than they are. But I'm so happy there are no +5 swords of justice which for some reason stab 1000x harder than any other sword, and if I see a single arbitrary "But you need to be level 100 to use this item!" I will go strangle somebody.

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Did we really need to open this thread for the third time, though?

I am going to have to go with no on this one.

 

For OP I will be a nice guy though and throw something out there.  Obsidian has in the past publicly stated how they like to do balancing.  Basically they like to overtune things so they are intentionally too strong, then bring them down from there.  Why?  Because they find for them it just works better this way and leads to a more consistent result.  This is why you don't see abilities getting buffed too often because everything started a little stronger than they originally intended to begin with.  Also just from my personal experience in "**** loads of games and mmo's tm all rights reserved" buffing is a helluva lot harder to do right than nerfing, and this is why most people do it that way.

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Did we really need to open this thread for the third time, though?

 

I am going to have to go with no on this one.

 

For OP I will be a nice guy though and throw something out there.  Obsidian has in the past publicly stated how they like to do balancing.  Basically they like to overtune things so they are intentionally too strong, then bring them down from there.  Why?  Because they find for them it just works better this way and leads to a more consistent result.  This is why you don't see abilities getting buffed too often because everything started a little stronger than they originally intended to begin with.  Also just from my personal experience in "**** loads of games and mmo's tm all rights reserved" buffing is a helluva lot harder to do right than nerfing, and this is why most people do it that way.

 

You think obsidian like to overtune things and bring them down from there?

 

That's is complete nonsense, I cannot imagine why they would have such an idea. To suggest a studio would release a game like this as " overturned " on purpose and the "fix it" is complete nonsense.

 

The point of my post was to address the issues I stated in the OP, eg worthless magic items, a lot of severely under powered talents sections upon level up, very weak player classes has severely impacted the fun and wow factor of this game.

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This is an interesting topic.

Basically, I miss the BG2 legendary items and how some builds were a bit OP.

 

I appreciate also the more modern approach of balance in PoE where all class are more or less equal.

 

I do miss multiclass powergaming builds.

 

I like having a lot of choices for party composition without feeling gimped by subpar options.

 

Finally, I'm running in parallel BG2 and PoE runs so I can get enough balance and imba stuff at the same time.

Edited by Elric Galad
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This is an interesting topic.

Basically, I miss the BG2 legendary items and how some builds were a bit OP.

I appreciate also the more modern approach of balance in PoE where all class are more or less equal.

I do miss multiclass powergaming builds.

I like having a lot of choices for party composition without feeling gimped by subpar options.

Finally, I'm running in parallel BG2 and PoE runs so I can get enough balance and imba stuff at the same time.

 

No joke there would be less then 10 magic items (probably more like 6-7) in PoE that are even worth going out of your way for. The vast majority of the items have bizarre/ pointless underpowered powers like: + 2 atheletics, + 1 engaged, + 1 resolve or a weapon " may" stun if your lucky on a critical hit for 3 seconds .

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What exactly are you looking for with regards to good weapons?

 

You can get 3 Sky Dragon eyes with which you can upgrade to Superb three one-handed or one two-handed weapons.

 

You get like ten Durgan steel enough for several weapon and armor sets which add good bonuses.

 

Best of all the above upgrades are chosen by YOU not the devs. You can make your Hold-Wall Arbalest the best ever seen or make a super Gaun's flail or whatever.

 

Any weapon with a prone or stun on crit, increased attack speed, DR penetration, endurance drain or starting with Superb is going to make for a great item, having two of those enchants makes for "find someone to use this" type weapon.

 

You are greatly undervaluing those stun or prone on crit weapons. Take a Rogue with high perception, reckless assault, weapon focus, the two hit>crit abilitiy/talent, and some Durgan steel and you get a weapon that has like a 35% hit>crit conversion where you can just about perma lockdown anyone while hitting every attack for sneak and maybe deathblows.

 

BG2 locked you into certain weapon choices. Roll a Paladin and you'd better specialize in Great Swords for Carsemyr, too bad if you wanted to go sword and board. Hope you like flails and I really hope you like dual wielding as anything else does a lot less damage.

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What exactly are you looking for with regards to good weapons?

 

You can get 3 Sky Dragon eyes with which you can upgrade to Superb three one-handed or one two-handed weapons.

 

You get like ten Durgan steel enough for several weapon and armor sets which add good bonuses.

 

Best of all the above upgrades are chosen by YOU not the devs. You can make your Hold-Wall Arbalest the best ever seen or make a super Gaun's flail or whatever.

 

Any weapon with a prone or stun on crit, increased attack speed, DR penetration, endurance drain or starting with Superb is going to make for a great item, having two of those enchants makes for "find someone to use this" type weapon.

 

You are greatly undervaluing those stun or prone on crit weapons. Take a Rogue with high perception, reckless assault, weapon focus, the two hit>crit abilitiy/talent, and some Durgan steel and you get a weapon that has like a 35% hit>crit conversion where you can just about perma lockdown anyone while hitting every attack for sneak and maybe deathblows.

 

BG2 locked you into certain weapon choices. Roll a Paladin and you'd better specialize in Great Swords for Carsemyr, too bad if you wanted to go sword and board. Hope you like flails and I really hope you like dual wielding as anything else does a lot less damage.

 

EXACTLY my point. Enchanting items should be removed. It takes the fun out of finding "rare" and " unique " items.

 

Think about it, would you rather go around collecting herbs and eyeballs or would you rather have that feeling of fulfillment and accomplishment by finding an awesome item after completing a quest. Enchanting takes the fun out off the reward process and the enchantments mainly just add more more damage per second.

 

We need more UNIQUE and VARIED and EXCITING magic items in this game. It would add a wow factor and make the game so much more enjoyable.

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Many of the best enchantments in the game cannot be bestowed by the player. Enchanting is there to ensure that you can make an item viable throughout the whole game if you are particularly fond of it. The best weapons are still those you find adventuring (e.g. Tidefall, Blade of the Endless Paths, Stormcaller, Sabre Marie, etc.)

"Time is not your enemy. Forever is."

— Fall-From-Grace, Planescape: Torment

"It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question, and he'll look for his own answers."

— Kvothe, The Wise Man's Fears

My Deadfire mods: Brilliant Mod | Faster Deadfire | Deadfire Unnerfed | Helwalker Rekke | Permanent Per-Rest Bonuses | PoE Items for Deadfire | No Recyled Icons | Soul Charged Nautilus

 

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Many of the best enchantments in the game cannot be bestowed by the player. Enchanting is there to ensure that you can make an item viable throughout the whole game if you are particularly fond of it. The best weapons are still those you find adventuring (e.g. Tidefall, Blade of the Endless Paths, Stormcaller, Sabre Marie, etc.)

 

Look at what you get for killing the sky dragon. A warhammer that adds +1 might and it "may" stun on a crit. this warhammer is POE's answer to Baldurs gate hammer of thunder bolts. Have you even played Baldurs gate?? The Hammer of thunder bolts make the pillars weapon look like a can opener.

 

So this is my reward for knocking off one off if the most powerful bosses in the game............................MEH

 

Oh and I forgot to mention just to get to the sky dragon I had to hack my way through hordes of bad guys and I was fortunate enough to be able to pick up there useless armour so I could sell it so that I would have money to buy magic items that I don't need because they are to underpowered and will not make hardly any difference to my players.

 

This scenario is replicated time after time after time in this game.

 

Look at the endless paths, if you clear up to level 12 you get 2 yes that right 2 usefull magic items, that sabre on level 5 and that green set of armour!!!!!!!!

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It seem that you just don't know how to utilize items and enchanting system in the game. Finding the loot and enchanting are meant to work together, giving players ability to characters they want without game punishing them not to do certain builds.

 

Sadly (IMO) Obsidians decision (they made them as weapon of choice for those who don't like to use enchanting system) with soul bound weapons fight against this principal, but luckily they aren't too powerful to whack item balance so of that you need build characters around them. 

 

Mechanically (meaning when you look weapons effects in from game mechanics perspective)  Pillars of Eternity has more powerful magic items than Baldur's Gate, Baldur's Gate 2 has more powerful items than PoE, but it is also much higher level campaign.

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totally back you on this one brindle88. PoE itemization is quite bad but obsidian has a problem with itemization in general (look at KOTOR 2, itemization was awfull too, IWD series itemization was ok at best). i will never forget finding carsomyr, black razor, celestial fury, crom faeyr etc... and the only weapons i found impressive in PoE are the sword of st rumbalt and tall grass and their acquisition is not epic at all... yet it's still better than the witcher 3 itemization system which really sucks big time.

 

BG II had the best items in all RPG i played, seconded by morrowind, finding them was really fun and exiting. basic crafting on unique items like ToB expansion was simple and worked really well. picking every flowers/shrooms in a game is not what i call a fun mecanic.

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totally back you on this one brindle88. PoE itemization is quite bad but obsidian has a problem with itemization in general (look at KOTOR 2, itemization was awfull too, IWD series itemization was ok at best). i will never forget finding carsomyr, black razor, celestial fury, crom faeyr etc... and the only weapons i found impressive in PoE are the sword of st rumbalt and tall grass and their acquisition is not epic at all... yet it's still better than the witcher 3 itemization system which really sucks big time.

 

BG II had the best items in all RPG i played, seconded by morrowind, finding them was really fun and exiting. basic crafting on unique items like ToB expansion was simple and worked really well. picking every flowers/shrooms in a game is not what i call a fun mecanic.

 

BG2 is epic level adventure with epic level items, where PoE is low to mid level adventure, with items that fit to such adventure. As such you should compare its items to Baldur's Gate and Tales of the Sword Coast. Meaning that I would say that you problem is not necessary PoE's itemization but that it isn't epic level adventure.

 

One thing that causes problems with PoE's itemization is amount of items that there are, because Obsidian wanted to give player freedom to build their characters as they want without hindering it with itemization that befits certain build over all the others (like for example BG2 does). And because of that decision PoE is so full of magic items that they start to feel non-magical (syndrome which Throne of Bhaal suffers too).

 

Of course if you don't like/use the enchanting mechanic that PoE has then PoE's itemization become much worse, because its mainly build with expectation that player will use enchantment system to better their equipment during the game. I would say that Obsidian tries to fix issue in White March, but it is more bandage than actual fix, as enchanting is so dominant part of the game. So I would not expect things to change much before PoE2 (what ever is their next game in the PoE's universe).

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totally back you on this one brindle88. PoE itemization is quite bad but obsidian has a problem with itemization in general (look at KOTOR 2, itemization was awfull too, IWD series itemization was ok at best). i will never forget finding carsomyr, black razor, celestial fury, crom faeyr etc... and the only weapons i found impressive in PoE are the sword of st rumbalt and tall grass and their acquisition is not epic at all... yet it's still better than the witcher 3 itemization system which really sucks big time.

 

BG II had the best items in all RPG i played, seconded by morrowind, finding them was really fun and exiting. basic crafting on unique items like ToB expansion was simple and worked really well. picking every flowers/shrooms in a game is not what i call a fun mecanic.

 

BG2 is epic level adventure with epic level items, where PoE is low to mid level adventure, with items that fit to such adventure. As such you should compare its items to Baldur's Gate and Tales of the Sword Coast. Meaning that I would say that you problem is not necessary PoE's itemization but that it isn't epic level adventure.

 

One thing that causes problems with PoE's itemization is amount of items that there are, because Obsidian wanted to give player freedom to build their characters as they want without hindering it with itemization that befits certain build over all the others (like for example BG2 does). And because of that decision PoE is so full of magic items that they start to feel non-magical (syndrome which Throne of Bhaal suffers too).

 

Of course if you don't like/use the enchanting mechanic that PoE has then PoE's itemization become much worse, because its mainly build with expectation that player will use enchantment system to better their equipment during the game. I would say that Obsidian tries to fix issue in White March, but it is more bandage than actual fix, as enchanting is so dominant part of the game. So I would not expect things to change much before PoE2 (what ever is their next game in the PoE's universe).

 

 i agree with the two last parts of your comment. balance + a lot of builts = too mutch magical objects. ToB suffered from this too, but some items were still really memorable (ravager, axe of unyielding etc...). there is still some good ideas, soulbound weapons were interesting, and global loot is not that bad, but it could have been really better.

 

i don't agree with the first part of your comment though, there is a high level of epicneess in this game, even if it's low to mid levels for characters. in the end, we fought "the right hand" of a god, 3 dragons including one feeding on adra for centuries and one of the most powerfull mage/lich living in this world. this level of epicness implie the same level of epicness lootwize. kill a dragon and get one eye and a fine hammer ? that's it ? i was really dispointed (even if the hammer turn to be really good when upgraded). it makes me think about PoE 2, what can we be afraid of after beating such powerfull ennemies ?

 

if think a lot of player only asked for a few "better than superb" items with a few uniques effects. that wasn't hard to do. for exemple, after defeating that adra dragon, we could have found an ancient sword stuck between two scales, the blade totally covered with adra after the wound healed, stats being : accuracy +14, damage x1.5 with chance to charm the opponent. that would not kill the game a leave a smile on every players after defeating the dragon, not that "whaaaaat ??? is that my prize ??? really ???" feeling

Edited by Gilker
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i don't agree with the first part of your comment though, there is a high level of epicneess in this game, even if it's low to mid levels for characters. in the end, we fought "the right hand" of a god, 3 dragons including one feeding on adra for centuries and one of the most powerfull mage/lich living in this world. this level of epicness implie the same level of epicness lootwize. kill a dragon and get one eye and a fine hammer ? that's it ? i was really dispointed (even if the hammer turn to be really good when upgraded). it makes me think about PoE 2, what can we be afraid of after beating such powerfull ennemies ?

 

Story themes may have epicness (but it is about same level epicness that BG1 has,

where we fight against child of god destined to be new god, now we just fight against man who is possessed by soul of person who was one of the people who created soul bending machines that are called gods in PoE's universe, who don't actually posses any superpowers except several millenniums worth of knowledge and advance technology that others don't know how to use 

) and you may also claim that enemies like dragons should be more epic, but mechanically and design wise PoE's campaign is low to mid level (and that is what Obsidian aimed for with the game)

 

When you kill Sky Dragon you get ability to make one or two superb weapons (as you get two sky dragon eyes or at least you should get two), in other words you can make one or two near epic level weapons. Where we come to Obsidian's design decision to make enchanting as very important part of itemization, which cases that when you look items that you find you should not look what level they are (normal, fine, exceptional, and in some degree superb), but what other enchantments they have. Like for example Godansthunyr (War hammer that you find from the Sky Dragon) has Stunning enchantment which can be quite powerful in hands of rightly build character. It is not nearly best weapon that you can find, but also Sky Dragon is only level 10 monster and far from most challenging encounters (meaning that it isn't really epic level encounter).

 

I would say that in my opinion some of the PoE's enemies are such that they should be more epic than they are, because I am not sure what enemies Obsidian could bring in to actual Epic adventure, when for example their dragons are established to be something that high mid level parties can kill. But maybe they follow route that D&D has took where most of the dragons are designed to be mid to high level monsters and only couple that are actually meant to for epic level adventures without DM tweaking them.

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In typical game lore across a variety of games that I've seen (that follows a more all-things-must-end mindset), very very seldom would it make sense for somebody to be vanquished when all of their gear is in pristine condition (if indeed they have the means to even achieve said items).  In real-life, weapons and armor are damaged, worn, or weathered during times of both use and inactivity.  In most fantasy worlds, enchantments eventually get less powerful or wear off.  How many epic storylines come from the entire notion of "Restoring an ancient artifact" or "repairing a sacred blade" or some other type of story trope?  Realistically, if an item was truely so beyond-compare, how could the owner of that item be felled without destroying, damaging, or draining the item in the process?

 

You mention feelings of fulfillment, but that's subjective.  As an example, I find more fulfillment in taking a weapon that once belonged to a great nemesis and, through hard work and resourcefulness, making it even BETTER than it once was.  From a balance standpoint, the route that would make the most sense to accomodate this playstyle would be to make the weapons slightly less impactful at start so they then have room to be upgraded to be above-par later.  It all comes down to how you want to feel rewarded; ultimately, it's subjective.

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What's the point of making the enemies harder when you have super items which kill them all the time?

 

Is that like a way to pat oneself on the back because it makes it appear one has better tactics or strategies?

 

"a weapon " may" stun if your lucky on a critical hit for 3 seconds"

 

See, this is what happens when a person thinks they've played a game long enough to be good enough to criticize it. Except they don't even know one of the more "critical" builds out there.

 

This is pretty entry level stuff here.

Edited by Ymarsakar
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i don't agree with the first part of your comment though, there is a high level of epicneess in this game, even if it's low to mid levels for characters. in the end, we fought "the right hand" of a god, 3 dragons including one feeding on adra for centuries and one of the most powerfull mage/lich living in this world. this level of epicness implie the same level of epicness lootwize. kill a dragon and get one eye and a fine hammer ? that's it ? i was really dispointed (even if the hammer turn to be really good when upgraded). it makes me think about PoE 2, what can we be afraid of after beating such powerfull ennemies ?

 

Story themes may have epicness (but it is about same level epicness that BG1 has,

where we fight against child of god destined to be new god, now we just fight against man who is possessed by soul of person who was one of the people who created soul bending machines that are called gods in PoE's universe, who don't actually posses any superpowers except several millenniums worth of knowledge and advance technology that others don't know how to use 

) and you may also claim that enemies like dragons should be more epic, but mechanically and design wise PoE's campaign is low to mid level (and that is what Obsidian aimed for with the game)

 

When you kill Sky Dragon you get ability to make one or two superb weapons (as you get two sky dragon eyes or at least you should get two), in other words you can make one or two near epic level weapons. Where we come to Obsidian's design decision to make enchanting as very important part of itemization, which cases that when you look items that you find you should not look what level they are (normal, fine, exceptional, and in some degree superb), but what other enchantments they have. Like for example Godansthunyr (War hammer that you find from the Sky Dragon) has Stunning enchantment which can be quite powerful in hands of rightly build character. It is not nearly best weapon that you can find, but also Sky Dragon is only level 10 monster and far from most challenging encounters (meaning that it isn't really epic level encounter).

 

I would say that in my opinion some of the PoE's enemies are such that they should be more epic than they are, because I am not sure what enemies Obsidian could bring in to actual Epic adventure, when for example their dragons are established to be something that high mid level parties can kill. But maybe they follow route that D&D has took where most of the dragons are designed to be mid to high level monsters and only couple that are actually meant to for epic level adventures without DM tweaking them.

Ok. Why don't we all talk about abilities then. I feel the same way about abilities. Obsidian have balanced/ needed most of the to the point of nearly complete uselessness. The rogue has some good talents, the paladin has some good talents but is incapable of doing damage, the fighter has maybe 2-3 good useful talents, and barbarians/ chanters/ rangers are absolute oxygen wasters...pointless stupid redundant classes that are no good at anything and the spell casters eg wizards/ priests/ Druids/ ciphers have oook spells. But let's be honest here each of the spell caster probably have about 6-7 spells that you would use on a constant basis, with the rest of them hardly ever getting used.

 

And anyone that thinks a ranger is any good is an absolute[LY LOVELY PERSON!!!] , they royaly suck and I mean really really really suck even after patch 2.00. Rangers need to be completely over hauled. Chanters and barbarians are not far off.

Edited by Tigranes
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You just don't know how to play if you don't think rangers are good. It's not like you were using arguments to prove your point.

 

Pet's damage is currently great, and their survivability is far enough if you can properly manage them or buff them.

 

The aggressiveness of your expression seems to indicate you're not exactly a rational person anyway. So I'm not going to bother arguing with you.

 

Your topic might not be stupid, by the way. But I sincerely doubt that debating with you could lead to any interesting exchange about balance.

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Ok. Why don't we all talk about abilities then. I feel the same way about abilities. Obsidian have balanced/ needed most of the to the point of nearly complete uselessness.

 

So you are saying that Obsidian has not balanced abilities, as you feel that most of them are completely useless?

Edited by Elerond
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I have to agree with the itemization issue.

I am at a point now with my 20th magic weapon that I dread seeing them.

Each time I stop and look at my weapons and calculate if they could be more useful or if my character wants to RP a change in her strategy or best weapon choice.

They drop so bloody often however I am stopping a lot to think about this stuff instead of just playing the game.

There is just too too too too much stuff in general in this game.

I only have 6 characters I can play at a time not an army.

Let me switch to playing all companions at once and perhaps this amount of weaponry makes sense.  Then of course the game would be ultra easy.

 

Then there is enchanting.  I have so many ingredients and gems and materials it is a daunting task just to think about what to enchant.

And since I cant overwrite certain enchants (especially attributes) I just do not bother because its again way too much time thinking and not enough time being immersed.

 

The amount of drops in this game feels like I am pressing a cheat button.

And they had to add radius looting to deal with the cumbersome aspect of even looting.

In addition I have a magick chest of holding that is pretty much carrying more stuff than any merchant in the entire world...

This aspect of the game is hands down the worst part of it for me because nothing feels rewarding when I get it.  I just feel like I am sitting under a candy dispenser that doesn't stop dropping candy.

 

Add in SoulBound weapons and whatever they are going to add to WM2 and it just really aggravating.  At least for me.

 

Perhaps in this age of gaming endless amounts of stuff being given to players is a standard but I spend an inordinate amount of time just dealing with organization and weapon swapping.

 

I totally appreciate the art of the objects and especially the Lore which is thankfully a redeeming quality since I can read a short story about the weapon.

I do not think we need so many though.  I think the old saying less is more was lost on this aspect of PoE.

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