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Josh on Something Awful:

 

 

 

The 2.03 patch just went into beta (like, just now), but there's more stuff coming for the 3.0 patch that will drop concurrently with The White March Pt. II.

* New stronghold content - Stronghold adventures now actually have their proper names and mini-story premise/resolution and unique items. Visitor dilemmas that you can lord over from your throne. A small series of stronghold-specific quests and associated storyline.

* Athletics and Survival are being revised. Athletics can provide a personal heal (like 4E's Second Wind) and Survival allows individual party members to select from various bonuses when you rest in the wilderness. We just started using and tuning these, so we'll see where they wind up. However, one nice side effect will be that the Fatigue mechanic is being revised and it won't have anything to do with Athletics.

* An option for Knockout Injuries (off by default). If you want being KOd to be a bigger deal, you'll get an Injury that lasts until you rest. These include most of the Injuries from the base game that you normally get from scripted interactions (e.g. Twisted Ankle, Bruised Ribs) but also include some new damage-specific ones like Severe Burn, System Shock, and Frostbite.

* Tuning up the late game (Elmshore+) content to not only be a little harder overall, but also trigger a high-level scaling switch for people that are really amped up from The White March.

And some more stuff. Nothing that turns the world upside down, but hopefully things that people find useful. BTW the change to the traditional "Vancian" casters (wizards, priests, druids) should be in Patch 2.03. They all pick individual spells for mastery and those spells have a single bonus Per Encounter use, even if (in the case of wizards) it isn't in the currently equipped grimoire.

 

 

New Stronghold content seems interesting. It's not going to make the Stronghold BGII-grade, but it looks like they'll add some much-needed flavor.

 

I'm not big on the change to Survival as I like my potions of Deleterious Alacrity of Motion to last as long as possible :(

 

Option for Knockout injuries is potentially interesting to add some challenge, though I'm not sure I'll be using the option; personally, I'm much more interesting in the fine-tuning and up-scaling of Act III and IV content.

 

The change to per-encounter spells isn't mentioned in the 2.03 patch noes, which is interesting considering how big of a change it is. Either it didn't make it in, or it was forgotten but that seems odd.

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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

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These all seem like potentially great changes to me. The Knockout thing sounds fantastic to me, I always thought an injury system would fit in very well with the game.

 

Revising Athletics and Survival could be interesting, we'll see.


Listen to my home-made recordings (some original songs, some not): http://www.youtube.c...low=grid&view=0

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The athletics and survival thing seems very interesting.

Those 4 skills are fairly useless as time goes on and I am glad they are going to be integrated in the game other than scripted interactions.

 

Vanican change has been talked about an enormous amount in general.  Different folks on either side of the fence for removing per encounters or changing them.

I like the additional spell though even if its not in grimoire.

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They introduced an opacity slider for when characters are occluded by the environment. I love the change and wonder why it wasn't mentioned in the changelog.

 

Really? That's nice. Been one of my pet peeves since the Beta.

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The change to per-encounter spells isn't mentioned in the 2.03 patch noes, which is interesting considering how big of a change it is. Either it didn't make it in, or it was forgotten but that seems odd. 

 

 

 Updated to 2.03 on the beta branch, but i'm not seeing any changes to wizard per encounters on my lvl 9 wizard.

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This patch 3.0 sounds very interesting. Together with immunities patch my faith in Obsidian is slowly returning. I just might buy both White March expansion when they arrive now that the game is turning into an excellent game (from a good game).

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Lord over from our thrones?  Finally!  :dancing:  The power that I deserve!  It had best show our characters actually seated upon the throne, with those that resist my rule dragged before me on their knees, whereupon they beg for my forgiveness and mercy.  :bow:  And for those that deserve it I shall grant mercy: a quick death as opposed to the suffering I would have otherwise inflicted!  My forces shall move out from my stronghold to claim the lands around, lands that rightfully belong to me, and the kith shall learn what it is to have true power as I begin a reign that shall be remembered for all time.  To the victor goes the spoils, at last Eora shall be mine!  :fdevil:

 

Ahem, I mean , um, puppies and unicorns?  :cat:

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"That rabbit's dynamite!" - King Arthur, Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail

"Space is big, really big." - Douglas Adams

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New Stronghold content seems interesting. It's not going to make the Stronghold BGII-grade, but it looks like they'll add some much-needed flavor.

Those changes feel very much BGII-grade to me. It's not yet NWN2-grade though.

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New Stronghold content seems interesting. It's not going to make the Stronghold BGII-grade, but it looks like they'll add some much-needed flavor.

Those changes feel very much BGII-grade to me. It's not yet NWN2-grade though.

 

*Puts on sensible hat for a moment*

Agreed, the strongholds in BG2 were pretty much a questline consisting of a series of scripted events.  The D'Arnise Fighter stronghold (closest to this) consisted of being called back to deal with specific events such as what to do with a couple of merchants etc, while the Wizard Stronghold consisted of about three choices in which you chose what you wanted the three apprentices to make and that was about it.  They gave the illusion that you were running a stronghold rather well but the actual mechanics of it was pretty simplistic.  These changes will add those types of scripted events in the hopes of giving a stronger impression of running a stronghold for the player if the visitor dilemma choices are what I think they are.

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"That rabbit's dynamite!" - King Arthur, Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail

"Space is big, really big." - Douglas Adams

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I hope stronghold enhancements also include some changes to main story where in Defiance Bay they actually recognize you as owner of land. And a Castle on that land :D

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Posting this here as I don't know where else to post it and I think it's too little to warrant its own thread.

 

New spell from TWM pt. II teased by Josh on instagram: link

 

"Wall of Many Colors"

 

I can only imagine how spectacular it must look :)

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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

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I'll admit the stronghold content is the one that really tickles my fancy. 

 

More roleplaying, more content, and more options would do much to improve POE in my eyes. 

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Magran's fire casts light in Dark Places...

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I'll admit the stronghold content is the one that really tickles my fancy. 

 

More roleplaying, more content, and more options would do much to improve POE in my eyes. 

 

Agreed. For me, stronghold (housing) implementations in an RPG give a depth of immersion that is quite spectacular. I like the SIM aspect to it, and of course the RPG elements (eg, impacting the world around you).

 

I would like to see more work done in regards to:

 

1) Strong consequences for leaving a Stronghold unbuilt and unguarded (Heroes of MM comes to mind)

2) Grand rewards for flourishing strongholds (eg, increased safety in the surrounding regions, more taxes, more armor/weapon smiths giving greater gear)

3) More storylines to having a fully populated Dungeon/Prison (eg, prisoners trying to break out; people trying to rescue prisoners)

 

Probably one of the coolest things I could imagine in this context, is having it to where the "strongest" NPS-created weapons/armor can only be achieved by a fully upgraded and flourishing stronghold. In this sense, you attract craftmanship that is not available any other way.

 

Stuff like that :yes:

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Probably one of the coolest things I could imagine in this context, is having it to where the "strongest" NPS-created weapons/armor can only be achieved by a fully upgraded and flourishing stronghold. In this sense, you attract craftmanship that is not available any other way.

 

Stuff like that :yes:

 

 

To extent on this idea while it is probably (definitely?) too late to implement it in POE, something Obsidian should difinitely explore in the future is having said NPCs and upgrades populating the stronghold be obtained through various means/reward structures rather than something that just shows up at a click of a button by spending currency. One thing games like Neverwinter Nights 2 and Dragon Age Inquisition nailed is how they made the respective strongholds in those games feel like they absolutely "belonged" to the player by including a strong illusion of choice (via mutually exclusive upgrade paths) and world interaction and consequence (via events, NPCs and doodads that were triggered by events external to the stronghold space).

 

We can nitpick at the actual level of depth, significance, or gameplay these things added but one what's indisputable is the sense of ownership, agency and continuity these little details provided these game spaces: "hey neat it's that duder I saved from this one quest manning my new smithy" vs "oh I got unnamed scroll seller X manning the church."

 

I'm hopeful the new additions will a ways towards spicing up the stronghold, but there's definitely still room for the system to further be improvbed on in future releases. It's kind of sad to think about just how bear bones it was at launch, but real pleasing to see that it's getting some attention. Definitely added incentive to do a future playthrough.

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Yeah, Neverwinter 2 is fantastic in that regard. Like when you meet Edario at a lowly level 5, and learn he's floundering, selling this stuff in a small town.

It's not your problem, and you have other stuff to do, but it's there. 

The amount of time between information and reaction makes that world feel exceptionally alive.

But I'll take what I can get, and perhaps the update improves things.

Edited by Parasol_Syndicate

Magran's fire casts light in Dark Places...

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Josh on Something Awful:

 

The 2.03 patch just went into beta (like, just now), but there's more stuff coming for the 3.0 patch that will drop concurrently with The White March Pt. II.

So, The White March Pt. II and patch 2.03 will be up simultaneously ?

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The White March Pt. II and 3.00 will be up simultaneously, just like The White March Pt. I and 2.00 were up simultaneously.


"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

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This sounds very cool.

 

I just got back to P:E after the summer, and finished White March Pt 1. Overally I'm very happy about the direction the game is taking; the immunities in particular make a world of difference as they force you to switch tactics rather than just repeating a good-enough rote one. These new changes -- especially knockout injuries and the changes to Athletics and Survival -- sound like more steps in the right direction. If knockout injuries are done right, they might put the difficulty where it belongs. As it is, I'm finding Hard way too easy while PotD feels about right except that there are too many big mobs which makes the game all about crowd control which gets a little dull after a while. Hard + knockout injuries + a harder endgame sounds like good times.

 

And yay for a non-boring stronghold.

 

Overall, my impressions of the changes in WM1 and version 2:

  • Immunities: HUUUUGE yay. This change all alone makes combat feel more dynamic and varied than anything else so far. No more "spam Slicken to win, every time," you actually have to know what to use against which enemies (instead of the knowledge being an optional bonus, necessary only for the hardest fights on PotD). They really ought to have been in from the start.
  • Per-character stealth: big yay. Scouting finally feels like what it's supposed to be. I'm ambushing enemies like a boss, hiding a party, sending someone out to go "yoo-hoo!", running back to them, and coming out of stealth for great mayhem.
  • Party AI: yay. It's nice and subtle at least at the default setting. Takes some rote clicking out of the game without making the game play itself.
  • Enemy AI: yay. Yeah, they do use their abilities better now.
  • Attribute changes: mild yay. Yeah, there are less dump stats now, and they do make better intuitive sense. Maybe leave them alone now so updates don't screw up builds again, m'kay?
  • Soulbound weapons: mixed yay. Great idea: finally some genuinely memorable and unique weapons. Execution needs work: they're too easy to upgrade fully and too easy to get, which makes them freebies rather than rewards you have to work for. I'd also drop the "always works like you're trained for it" thing; the BG2 uniques are cool among other things because you have to build a character around them.
  • Lockpicking changes: meh. There are already ways to boost your Mechanics; reducing the lockpick cost so much diluted the skill a quite a lot. Maybe somewhere between version 1 and 2?
  • Overall balance: boo. The new levels + new items completely trivialize the late game (and it was pretty easy to begin with). And WM1 itself is quite easy overall, except for that one optional fight. 
  • Cross-class talents: boo. They just add noise to the level-ups and dilute the classes without really making interesting multiclass builds possible. This is like lockpicking XP -- transparently a sop thrown to the people clamoring for a particular feature, without really considering how it fits in the overall scheme of things. 
  • Respec: boo. Okay, maybe it's a personal eccentricity, but just knowing the option to respec is there detracts from my enjoyment, as it makes my character-building choices feel trivial. Would it be too much to ask to have a PotD-style (only on game start) switch for this?
  • Pathfinding: still boooooo! Come on guise, now hard can this be? I'm still having characters trip over each other's feet and run madly back and forth or in a completely boneheaded direction to get to their target. Combat pathfinding still feels worse than the IE games, which is not a very high bar to clear.
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I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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Yea I really hope pathfinding is improved. I cannot bring myself to replay the game until it is fixed. It made my first play a worse experience than it should have been and I cannot bring myself to return to that same experience.

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