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A closer analysis on class balance and the 2.03 patch


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I'd actually agree Knockdown was pretty bad. Not that prone is a bad status or anything, but there is just tons of crap in every fight on PotD past Act 2. Two single target knock downs a fights barely registered value on any fight, so I wouldn't even notice if was gone. Knockdown's main benefit was it's competitor is also pretty underwhelming.

 

Not that Fighter's didn't take a bit of a hit, and not even that's its for a different reason than prone immunity. Fighters, like really any class, could toss around nice prone on crit with weapons, but that plans taken a bit of hit against a decent number of mobs. It was another reason knockdown was a bit underwhelming, actually; knockdown would often be doing something my weapon was doing on it's own, anyways.

 

The stun on crit still seems fine enough, I've only noticed Spores and Lurkers immune to stun.

Well here is why:

https://forums.obsidian.net/topic/82950-starting-new-game-after-patch-whats-your-favorite-group-of-companions/?p=1746632

 

You play with a full NPC party. There's nothing wrong with that, but when you hire Merc's to do powerbuilds, being able to take advantage of a Knockdown becomes an entirely different story. So Knockdown wasn't "bad" ... you just couldn't take full advantage of it.

 

A lot of threads on this forum have a similar theme. When you read enough of what certain people say across multiple forums, you start to realize that their Gameplay choices are the cause of their likes/dislikes, as opposed to the game mechanics.

 

For the sake of Analogy:

Imagine a post describing how Debuffing an enemies "Slash Reduction" is completely useless, as dictated by their entire Party of Mace wielders

 

:biggrin:

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i've taken to using aloth's teleportation spell with another party member that stuns any mob in the line-of-sight between the two. i'd never bothered with it before, but i freaking love it now. not only is it a fun mechanic but it's incredibly effective. haven't checked but it probably has a big ACC bonus, and/or targets one of the weaker defenses in common encounters. it has really good range too, about arquebus shot range.

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I'd actually agree Knockdown was pretty bad. Not that prone is a bad status or anything, but there is just tons of crap in every fight on PotD past Act 2. Two single target knock downs a fights barely registered value on any fight, so I wouldn't even notice if was gone. Knockdown's main benefit was it's competitor is also pretty underwhelming.

 

Not that Fighter's didn't take a bit of a hit, and not even that's its for a different reason than prone immunity. Fighters, like really any class, could toss around nice prone on crit with weapons, but that plans taken a bit of hit against a decent number of mobs. It was another reason knockdown was a bit underwhelming, actually; knockdown would often be doing something my weapon was doing on it's own, anyways.

 

The stun on crit still seems fine enough, I've only noticed Spores and Lurkers immune to stun.

Well here is why:

https://forums.obsidian.net/topic/82950-starting-new-game-after-patch-whats-your-favorite-group-of-companions/?p=1746632

 

You play with a full NPC party. There's nothing wrong with that, but when you hire Merc's to do powerbuilds, being able to take advantage of a Knockdown becomes an entirely different story. So Knockdown wasn't "bad" ... you just couldn't take full advantage of it.

 

A lot of threads on this forum have a similar theme. When you read enough of what certain people say across multiple forums, you start to realize that their Gameplay choices are the cause of their likes/dislikes, as opposed to the game mechanics.

 

For the sake of Analogy:

Imagine a post describing how Debuffing an enemies "Slash Reduction" is completely useless, as dictated by their entire Party of Mace wielders

 

:biggrin:

 

 

 

I'm not sure I follow; knockdown is good because...you can have 6 fighters or something? I..uh..that doesn't really make it better. Or are we talking about it killing a 'play style'? If so, I guess yes, the introduction of prone immunity would damage the...fighter knock down team.

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You're also able to poke the aforementioned 30 feet tall dragon to death with daggers. Also, you're somehow avoiding being flattened by his claws, which are likely heavier than your tank is. In addition, you also seem to be able to survive after he breathes fire directly on your face. 

 

Alternatively, you're such a good fighter that you can dance between his legs so well that the dragon missteps and ends up out of balance ( which, as a level 12-14 fighter is entirely believable. You're probably one of the top fighters in the whole world ), your rogue is so good that he can find and exploit a gap between the dragon's scales and actually damage him, and when the dragon tries to hit you with his claws or tail, you dodge out of the way at the last second and survive. 

"Crap" is subjective. Just because you dislike something and can't be bothered to find a believable explanation, it doesn't mean it makes no sense. 

PoE is a fantasy rpg, half the stuff that happens in combat could be labeled as "crap", by your standards.

You do realize this isn't table top DnD right?  Sorry but when I click an ability called "knock down" and the dragon falls down after my fighter walks up and takes a single melee swing at them I can't somehow interpret that as some sort of three stooges running around antics where Moe accidentally gets knocked out by running into Curly and headbutting him.

 

Meanwhile what kind of dragon would be so stupid and incompetent he can't handle someone running between his legs?  You talk like dragons are autistic 3 year olds.  Also maybe I gear my guys different, but my fighter is wearing magically enchanted armor and shield and has all sorts of magical protection spells cast on him.  I tend to think those things are why he doesn't die instantly.

 

Lastly do some research.  This is in Obsidian's own words a low to mid level campaign.  So no, as a 12th level fighter you in fact are not one of the best fighters in the world.

Edited by Karkarov
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I like immunities, I think they bring a little variety to otherwise monotonous encounters, which most of the time are resolved in pretty much the same way. Even when people reload an encounter, it's usually to try out the same strategy and hope for better RNG results, not to try out a new strategy altogether. Either that, or shift some gear, use some potions and food.

 

So, I'm in favor of immunities. They don't "break" balance or combat. Those things were already broken at release.

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A Custom Editor for Deadfire's Data:
eFoHp9V.png

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I don't think that bringing immunities is very exiting thing to do, and I don't think that they are the answer that solves problem of monotone tactics, they may force some players to change tactics that they currently use to another, because if player is willing to use one monotone tactic they are willing to use another and it isn't like there is lack of choice when it comes to such tactics. 

 

I personally would had hoped to see more options in offered to characters so that players would be more inclined to test different tactics just because they can. But of course this route is much more cost-effective to take as it needs only additional flags and nothing else.

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I like immunities, I think they bring a little variety to otherwise monotonous encounters

Immunities, by their very definition, completely limit handling choices, which is the exact opposite of Variety. For example, if there are 5 different types of damage, but an enemy is immune to 4 of them... you only have 1 choice. Immunities guarantee an increase in monotony. Goodness, Gairnulf. You hop around far too many threads saying things that blatantly disregard math and science lol

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I like immunities, I think they bring a little variety to otherwise monotonous encounters

 

Immunities, by their very definition, completely limit handling choices, which is the exact opposite of Variety. For example, if there are 5 different types of damage, but an enemy is immune to 4 of them... you only have 1 choice. Immunities guarantee an increase in monotony. Goodness, Gairnulf. You hop around far too many threads saying things that blatantly disregard math and science lol

I don't understand your logic. Immunities provide variety between different encounters, that's the point. It's not about the amount of choices during one encounter, its about coming up with different tactics for various encounters, which should give them more unique feel.

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I like immunities, I think they bring a little variety to otherwise monotonous encounters

Immunities, by their very definition, completely limit handling choices, which is the exact opposite of Variety. For example, if there are 5 different types of damage, but an enemy is immune to 4 of them... you only have 1 choice. Immunities guarantee an increase in monotony. Goodness, Gairnulf. You hop around far too many threads saying things that blatantly disregard math and science lol

 

I agree. Whatever strategies or tactics that you will use to circumvent immunities in 2.03, they are available previously in 2.02 too. Difference is that there is more incentive to use the said strategies, that's it. Taking away options does not create variety.

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I agree. Whatever strategies or tactics that you will use to circumvent immunities in 2.03, they are available previously in 2.02 too. Difference is that there is more incentive to use the said strategies, that's it. Taking away options does not create variety.

That's the thing... yes... it does.  As the game exists prior to 2.03 you can simply find one strat that works for you and apply that strat to every single encounter in the game and it will be valid.  When nothing is restricted there is no incentive to ever change your approach to an encounter.  There is a fine line you have to walk though because you can get too limited.

 

Obsidian is not making a game where there are 5 types of damage and an enemy is immune to all but one.  Enemies that make logical sense having an immunity, like the fire elemental versus fire damage I mention earlier, or a dragon being immune to knock down, get those things.  That said that's it, they aren't immune to every other type of damage or every status affliction.  Just the ones that make sense.

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there is one secret tactic not many ppl know about i read it on ancient writing

spam amplified wave as fast as possible do this many times increase finger click strength eventuall you master all can spam forever

ancient legends tell of this secret technique can kill a man in his sleep they say

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I agree. Whatever strategies or tactics that you will use to circumvent immunities in 2.03, they are available previously in 2.02 too. Difference is that there is more incentive to use the said strategies, that's it. Taking away options does not create variety.

That's the thing... yes... it does.  As the game exists prior to 2.03 you can simply find one strat that works for you and apply that strat to every single encounter in the game and it will be valid.  When nothing is restricted there is no incentive to ever change your approach to an encounter.  There is a fine line you have to walk though because you can get too limited.

 

Obsidian is not making a game where there are 5 types of damage and an enemy is immune to all but one.  Enemies that make logical sense having an immunity, like the fire elemental versus fire damage I mention earlier, or a dragon being immune to knock down, get those things.  That said that's it, they aren't immune to every other type of damage or every status affliction.  Just the ones that make sense.

 

Following the path of least resistance doesn't mean the other options don't exist. I already mentioned about the incentive part. There is an illusion of variety because you are taking approaches that aren't beneficial before, as there were more optimal approaches previously. It doesn't mean those approaches did not exist in the first place. Personally, I have done playthroughs where I did not have to depend on cc way before immunities came into the picture. Meaning to say I took the less optimal approach. And I did not have to depend on the game to impose restrictions to allow for those low cc dependency approaches.

 

Bottomline is still the same - taking away options does not create variety. Options and variety are not mutually exclusive.

Edited by mosspit
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I agree. Whatever strategies or tactics that you will use to circumvent immunities in 2.03, they are available previously in 2.02 too. Difference is that there is more incentive to use the said strategies, that's it. Taking away options does not create variety.

That's the thing... yes... it does.  As the game exists prior to 2.03 you can simply find one strat that works for you and apply that strat to every single encounter in the game and it will be valid.  When nothing is restricted there is no incentive to ever change your approach to an encounter.  There is a fine line you have to walk though because you can get too limited.

 

Obsidian is not making a game where there are 5 types of damage and an enemy is immune to all but one.  Enemies that make logical sense having an immunity, like the fire elemental versus fire damage I mention earlier, or a dragon being immune to knock down, get those things.  That said that's it, they aren't immune to every other type of damage or every status affliction.  Just the ones that make sense.

 

I see what you mean. I just don't think that this added true variety. It just (seems) to force people to resort to a monotony of a different type. Example: you can't Knockdown every enemy so just abuse doorway/corner battles more often, and spam a different CC based on immunity results.

 

Besides, the game inherently provided variety through the various character class builds. Now with the added immunities, the game has removed variety by forcing players to include specific abilities for every single playthrough.

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What are these "different tactics" you speak of? You mean like, standing on the left side vs standing on the right? lol

Well yes, if all I needed to do to win before was standing on the left side. You have said it yourself in reply to Karkarov's post: "and spam a different CC based on immunity results" - at least you need to do something differently and that's the variety I am speaking about. 

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What are these "different tactics" you speak of? You mean like, standing on the left side vs standing on the right? lol

Well yes, if all I needed to do to win before was standing on the left side. You have said it yourself in reply to Karkarov's post: "and spam a different CC based on immunity results" - at least you need to do something differently and that's the variety I am speaking about. 

 

Then I suppose my stance is that there is much more variety achieved from replaying the game using different group and character builds. People clearly enjoy that more than anything; just look at all the posts on this board alone regarding "starting over." People start over with different groups/builds for fun, and even moreso after a patch is released.

 

In this regard, I feel that an increase in immunities decreases the potential group/character build options, which actually limits the overall variety found in the game.

Edited by Zenbane
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I think immunities are a great addition to the game and should have been there from the beginning. If not only for the logical reasons, at least for the gameplay ones. The original game was too easy and repetitive even on its highest difficulty when I could utilize same copy-paste tactics in almost every battle over and over – and it got boring really fast. Immunities bring the much-needed variety to combat encounters and while not fixing their rather lackluster design completely, it definitely improves them.

 

This kind of thinking misses the point so much it's painful to read. It's not about "immunities" as a buzz word, but the actual effect of any status effects to the game. A Wizard or Rogue, for example, during an important enemy encounter will be focused on dps and is not effected in the least by the lazy implimentations of this latest patch. Also, the enemy immunities added to this latest patch are not new immunities to the game but are simply a wall blocking off certain attacks utilized by the weakest classes in the game already. I'm making an argument against the latest patches effects in regards to the usefulness of certain classes not overall difficulty.

 

Paladins are already decent tanks but offer lots of great spells to boot; also, Druids since they've gotten their extended animal form are decent short term tanks with a far superior dps than Fighters. (not even to mention their useful spells)

 

This enemy immunities in this latest patch actually provoke less variety. The Adra dragon fight has been reduced to a stun only strategy from the player for just one example. Also, Charm spells which were weak already have been reduced to complete crap.

Edited by Recklessly Impressionable
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You're also able to poke the aforementioned 30 feet tall dragon to death with daggers. Also, you're somehow avoiding being flattened by his claws, which are likely heavier than your tank is. In addition, you also seem to be able to survive after he breathes fire directly on your face. 

 

Alternatively, you're such a good fighter that you can dance between his legs so well that the dragon missteps and ends up out of balance ( which, as a level 12-14 fighter is entirely believable. You're probably one of the top fighters in the whole world ), your rogue is so good that he can find and exploit a gap between the dragon's scales and actually damage him, and when the dragon tries to hit you with his claws or tail, you dodge out of the way at the last second and survive. 

"Crap" is subjective. Just because you dislike something and can't be bothered to find a believable explanation, it doesn't mean it makes no sense. 

PoE is a fantasy rpg, half the stuff that happens in combat could be labeled as "crap", by your standards.

You do realize this isn't table top DnD right?  Sorry but when I click an ability called "knock down" and the dragon falls down after my fighter walks up and takes a single melee swing at them I can't somehow interpret that as some sort of three stooges running around antics where Moe accidentally gets knocked out by running into Curly and headbutting him.

 

Meanwhile what kind of dragon would be so stupid and incompetent he can't handle someone running between his legs?  You talk like dragons are autistic 3 year olds.  Also maybe I gear my guys different, but my fighter is wearing magically enchanted armor and shield and has all sorts of magical protection spells cast on him.  I tend to think those things are why he doesn't die instantly.

 

Lastly do some research.  This is in Obsidian's own words a low to mid level campaign.  So no, as a 12th level fighter you in fact are not one of the best fighters in the world.

 

What happens is that your trained high level fighter can still teach the dragon, who's not necessarily trained all of his life as a fighter, a thing or two.

 

Even if it's not D&D, it's still an rpg, and the way fighting is depicted in PoE should be seen as a rough approssimation of what your characters are actually doing, at best.

Or do you really believe your fighters just stand there and swing a sword every 3 seconds or so, while being pummeled on the face at regular intervals, without even trying to move around?That when you hit the "knockdown" button your next weapon swing will automagically knock something down despite carrying the exact same force as the previous one? And that after you've knocked an opponent down twice in a battle your fighter suddenly forgets how to knock people down until the next battle starts?

Because that's far more unrealistic than a dragon getting outmaneuvered by a smaller opponent, and that's definitely not how fighting looks like in real life.

 

It's not that the dragon is stupid or incompetent, it's that you're a freaking weapon master. You're so good that you can outmaneuver and unbalance a dragon. Especially a dragon who's framed, and statted, as an appropriate level challenge by the game's mechanics.

Since plenty of competent fighters around the world get knocked down by people that are simply better than them at fighting (or, really, by somewhat competent fighters who either catch them by surprise or land a lucky hit ), I don't see what the problem is in this case: since the dragon is an appropriate challenge for your level 12-14 hero despite being way bigger and way stronger, it follows that fighting experience, technique and equipment are likely compensating for your size and strength (which is exactly what your level bonus to accuracy and defenses represents), or you wouldn't stand on comparable grounds and the game wouldn't deem him an appropriate challenge in the first place.

Also, a mid-level fighter is still one of the best fighters in the whole world. He might not be the top dog or even one of the top 10, but he's still insanely good: he can handle bears, lions, ogres, and pretty much hordes of average joe's with just a pointy stick, he's not just a guy with a sword...

Edited by Njall
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Hello,

 

Since people talking about realism in this topic I would like to point out that complete realism in games is not always good for the game. This "realism" people seek of from games can be bent and shaped countless times and it still feel "realistic". For example a Human Skeleton is immune to Confused or Charmed. Sounds quite reasonable. Lets slap immunity to it. Realistic, isnt it? Let me give you another example;

 

"A Skeleton is an undead creature in Pillars of Eternity.A Skeleton is what remain once all the flesh has rotted away. Without the ability or desire to feed, they are largely murderous automatons acting on pure reflex. Given enough time, even the bones will be reduced to dust which the soul will still be bound to."

 

and then I ask you to read this;

 

"Ciphers have the unique ability to peer through the spiritual energy of the world to manipulate other souls."

 

So I would claim that in the name of so called realism, my soul manipulating Cipher should be able to Confuse and Charm the Human Skeleton. Reasonable, isnt it? Ok, lets remove immunity from it.

 

But wait. Maybe if Human Skeletons soul that is bound to these bones is quite unruly and act like 4-year-old that does not want to listen its parents and eat the veggies... or - "they are largely murderous automatons acting on pure reflex!".

 

Yet you can manipulate souls of murderous bears acting on pure reflex. (Damn bears... *shakes fist*)

 

... AND SO ON.

 

 

So my point is that in the name of this so called realism, do we really need to sacrifice gameplay. Gameplay that was good to begin with. I have not seen people requesting immunities for enemies on these forums. Just because they are immune in D&D does not mean PoE have to adapt it. Why not increase difficulty to control enemies via Saving Throws? Some enemies are harder to Knock Down, some harder to Mind Control, ect.

 

Cronan The Barbaric, level 99 Warrior who tries to Knock Down a drake with his shield would probably not be sucessful. Because drake is 10 times his size but Cronans friend is about to die, so he just YOLO rolls and critical success! Slamming his shield against drakes leg that had some old battle wound. Suddenly drake falls down and Cronans friend escapes.

 

vs.

 

Cronan The Barbaric, level 99 Warrior looks at his friend who is about to be killed by angry drake and says "Sorry Chuck, hes immune to my Knock Down.".

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The situation isn't that just because D&D had immunities doesn't mean PoE has to have them - the point is that there was nothing wrong with immunities in D&D and neither is there anything wrong having them in PoE (do we really have to trot out the spiritual successor horse?)

 

and yes the ridiculousness of knocking down a full scale dragon has something to do with that - I just do not get why there is so much whining about this change - change is good- this change is good - I fully support immunities in PoE (just in case anyone was in doubt about that)

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Nomadic Wayfarer of the Obsidian Order


 

Not all those that wander are lost...

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The situation isn't that just because D&D had immunities doesn't mean PoE has to have them - the point is that there was nothing wrong with immunities in D&D and neither is there anything wrong having them in PoE (do we really have to trot out the spiritual successor horse?)

 

and yes the ridiculousness of knocking down a full scale dragon has something to do with that - I just do not get why there is so much whining about this change - change is good- this change is good - I fully support immunities in PoE (just in case anyone was in doubt about that)

 

I'm with you, Wanderon.  To me, it's always been completely silly that any character the size of any of the races in this game could knockdown something as massive as a dragon.  It's also been silly that fire could damage a fire elemental (or blight or whatever).  And so on.  Enough with this silliness that shouldn't pass any sane and logical person's laugh test. 

 

I don't think that immunities should seem random.  They should be logical.

 

Furthermore, any argument that claims that adding immunities reduces variety is silly. Yes, could you use any of the many tactical choices before these immunities existed?  Of course.  That's not the point.  The real point is that players usually wouldn't.  People get into set patterns.  They have their familiar tactics and will use them endlessly unless something line immunities forces them to re-open their tactical toolboxes and come up with some different. 

 

I mean, seriously... is it so damned difficult to open your minds and accept the challenge of coming up with new tactics to deal with monsters with an immunity?  Or does it all come down to this?

 

WAHHHHH!!!!!  I wanna keep using my wizzy's Fireball spell!!!  I don't care that Fire Blights are made of fire and are immune to fire damage!  WAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!

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The situation isn't that just because D&D had immunities doesn't mean PoE has to have them - the point is that there was nothing wrong with immunities in D&D and neither is there anything wrong having them in PoE (do we really have to trot out the spiritual successor horse?)

 

and yes the ridiculousness of knocking down a full scale dragon has something to do with that - I just do not get why there is so much whining about this change - change is good- this change is good - I fully support immunities in PoE (just in case anyone was in doubt about that)

Mainly because the game is supposed to be balanced ( and was supposed to be balanced from the get-go).

However, introducing immunities implies a huge shift in both balance and gameplay. I don't see immunities as bad when the game is designed around them; however, PoE was designed with different premises in mind, and immunities were just added in without further adjustments.

Thus, either the game wasn't really balanced without immunities, or it isn't balanced now. 

Aside from this, you don't understand why people who bought and played a game for months, and likely liked the way the game played, otherwise they'd likely have moved on to other games by now, might not appreciate a non-trivial shift in gameplay and design philosophy?

To you, the introduction of this kind of feature might improve the game, but, to people who bought the game on the premise that flat out immunities wouldn't be implemented due to a precise design choice, and who liked how the game turned out that way, this is not only an unnecessary change but also something that was forced on them and negatively affects their fun.

IMHO, this is the kind of change that should be optional, as it's clearly polarizing and, despite what you think, isn't universally considered an improvement. Implementing it as a toggleable option, a-la Trial of Iron, would have made everyone happy and solved the problem. 

Edited by Njall
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The situation isn't that just because D&D had immunities doesn't mean PoE has to have them - the point is that there was nothing wrong with immunities in D&D and neither is there anything wrong having them in PoE (do we really have to trot out the spiritual successor horse?)

 

and yes the ridiculousness of knocking down a full scale dragon has something to do with that - I just do not get why there is so much whining about this change - change is good- this change is good - I fully support immunities in PoE (just in case anyone was in doubt about that)

 

In my opinion this change is bad, as it don't make game better in any way. It don't make combat more interesting, it don't remove ridiculousness from the combat, it don't bring tactical or strategical challenges that are actually anyway meaningful. Immunities also lower amount of build and party variations that are viable.

 

But on other hand immunities are cheap way to add new challenges in gameplay as they at first may force player to find new way to deal certain enemy or they remove common/popular way to deal with them.

 

But I personally would prefer system to reward for roleplaying instead of trying to force players hand. And for me the worst thing in this latest change is that it makes me less keen to play PoE again.

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