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White March Part 2 officially announced, coming January

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I think we should stop talking about how difficult the game "objectively" is. It is annoying and might sound insulting to some.

Each person has their own way of playing games. Just because you felt it was easy it doesen't mean it was. It was easy just to you. Others might find it difficult. I, myself, found it just about fine on normal. Thats why there are options and difficulty levels. More options is always good for any game.

If the majority of the playerbase finds the 'normal' difficulty of normal difficulty, and 'easy' difficulty to be easy, then those modes are, not objectively in the scientific sense, but as objectively as you can get (I would say, objectively for humanity studies standards) normal and easy.

 

Thus, saying the game on easy difficulty mode is 'easy' would for the majority of people be a factually true statement. And for me, that makes it very unreasonable when certain people who still find the game difficult to be insulted when other people claim that the game is objectively easy. In this case, wouldn't anyone with a small bit of self reflexivity be able to realise that the problems they face with the game on issue mode do not arise by the game being too hard, but are also caused by the fact that they have a lower than average skill with playing games?

 

The point I'm trying to make is that in your line of reasoning, you can never make objective statements about a game's difficulty. And if you extend that line of thinking, that statement could go for anything in the field of human culture, because none of our norms and standards are based on anything but systems of human thoughts and are not grounded in nature. But I also think it's a very nihilist way of reasoning. We don't need to feel apologetic for upholding certain standards that are the norm in a given culture. Otherwise, you would in principle not be able to pass judgment on anyone for any behavior anymore whatsoever, because anyone can feel offended about anything going against his or her own personal standards.

 

Apart from that, I suppose people are just worried that this story mode will have cost the devs much time and resources and might have detracted from the content of the game and expansion pack. But like you said, if this makes the game more accessible to more people, without it arguably detracting from the quality for other players (at least by leaving the other options intact), that's also nice.

 

Then how would a game have to be for you to consider it to be difficult to you? Bearing in mind this is a RTwP crpg.

Edited by mosspit

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Story Time is sort of the flip side of Path of the Damned.  Combat populations are what they are on Normal, but we modify the stats of critters as well as incoming/outgoing damage to heavily favor the player.  Some players find even Easy difficulty to be too hard.  The modifications are purely procedural and do not require designers to modify existing encounters.  It did not take much time to implement.

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I ask for having a more difficult endgame, nothing else. They just need to tune the act 3-4 difficulty so that the game will be hard even with high lvl characters

 

We are going to be re-tuning the late game difficulty to both reduce mobs and make the remaining combats more challenging for higher level characters.

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Good to hear Story Time was a simple affair, and that it is joined by better late-game challenge. 

 

 

So, where is it that you complain about the option of making heads of all characters into huge balloons?

 

Touche.  :biggrin:

 

 

Not everything and anything they'd do would be fine - forcing features which hugely change the game on players owning Steam version of the game would naturally not be fine. That's not what they do tho (well it sort of is at times, see immunities, I don't really care tho since I have the original installer and patches backed up from GOG), and what they did manage to do is to create an optional game mode. There's nothing they can do right now to take the game I enjoy away from me, and that's all I want.


If they screw up the second game, it can be due to many factors, possibly including them reacting to influence they should not react to. But do you honestly believe that inviting more players to play their game is the difference between them screwing up the sequel or not? That this influence would not exist if they didn't include an easy mode?

 

You're saying a lot of stuff that I didn't even mention or think about, but I think you're responding in good faith and not just going 'lol everyone knows i am right you are just making stuff up'. So I'm pretty sure it's my fault for writing in a hurry and making a mess of my own points.

 

Obviously adding Story Time - especially in a simple "tune X Y Z for all opponents" way Josh describes - isn't a huge strain, and of course it's not going to be the downfall of POE2. It's really a minor thing in the context of POE itself. What I don't like is what things like Story Time share with many other decisions of this kind in the history of RPGs: (1) features which water down the design and strip down the game experience, (2) the mistaken idea that "more options are always better". 

 

Still sounds like nonsense? The longer version:

 

A video game, just like a movie, a book, a song or even a restaurant menu, is not just a single thing existing in a vacuum, and no, people are not rational beings that know exactly what they want and just make choices. All such things train us how to enjoy them. When we were pushed to listen to entire albums because it was a big hassle to fast forward on a cassette tape, or pushed to concentrate on the music because the lack of portable music players meant music wasn't as often a multi-tasking activity, these limitations also had the effect of training people to appreciate music in a certain way. When music is more often heard as background sound effects and it becomes as easy as possible to skip, you can still say, "hey, people aren't forced to use those functions, everyone can just choose", and you're right in the short term. But over time, this kind of stuff trains people to value music differently, and you may well find that the kind of music, and the kind of listening, that you appreciate, becomes not just niche, but no longer commercially viable. All this is textbook 101 in the history of any kind of commercialised cultural activity. 

 

The thing is, this stuff isn't just super-general stuff far away from the world of RPGs. This is precisely what has happened to RPGs in a lot of cases. "Nobody forces you to listen to voice acting, you can read text all you like" - but games started training people to focus and eventually obsess about voice acting, and this resulted in RPGs literally having word quotas so that they could afford full VA, and writers' ability to edit and improve the writing was severely constrained because of VA schedules. Friendly fire and permadeath became a thing for higher difficulties, or even banished entirely from some games; after a while, people were so used to this kind of "blasty blast never-lose" gameplay that they started complaining at games that refused to cater. And so on. 

 

And you know, Pillars of Eternity, along with other KS games, were made precisely because some of us RPG lovers realised that the "choice" other gamers made - for easier, casual, consequence-less, simple games - had actually taken away our choice in what we wanted to play. Now, let me pre-empt the knee-jerk exaggerations: it would be stupid to say "OMG POE has story time its no longer old school omg refund my money plz". (Story Time is less offensive than many other possibilities, simply because it's coming in a very late patch & the game already has Paths of the Damned.) I'm saying, stuff like story time isn't my cup of tea because such things don't just "harm nobody", and I like to see games, artists, musicians, etc. stick to their own creative vision and say "this is our thing that we put our heart into, this is how we'd like you to enjoy it". It'd be silly to raise pitchforks about it. 

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The ship has already sunk IMO. They may as well just pander to their new audience, it would probably end up making a better game for the sequel (although not necessarily one I would want to play).

Edited by Sensuki

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Tigranes thinks the same as I do but has a much better ability to express it.

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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."

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I don't know. People who want to ease the combat just for the sake of enjoying more story should stick to another genre, in my opinion. I know it sounds harsh, but tough combat was always a huge part of IE-like games and to take that away... sounds very wrong.

 

They're not taking it away though, they're giving the option to take it away but it's still very much there for those who don't enable the option. I really don't understand why adding in an option bothers people so much.

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I ask for having a more difficult endgame, nothing else. They just need to tune the act 3-4 difficulty so that the game will be hard even with high lvl characters

 

 

We are going to be re-tuning the late game difficulty to both reduce mobs and make the remaining combats more challenging for higher level characters.

I wish the contents in the late game could be remade too,not only the difficulty.The quests in the late game were too weak,too few.
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Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, She got the Mercedes Benz

She's got a lot of pretty, pretty boys, that she calls friends

How they dance in the courtyard, sweet summer sweat.

Some dance to remember, some dance to forget

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You're saying a lot of stuff that I didn't even mention or think about, but I think you're responding in good faith and not just going 'lol everyone knows i am right you are just making stuff up'. So I'm pretty sure it's my fault for writing in a hurry and making a mess of my own points.

I was trying to make an argument here while also carrying a conversation with my wife about Christmas presents for various family members I do not care about as to not get "Are you even listening to me?" It shows :-P

 

Anyway, I mostly just felt that you were taking a little piece of my argument and exaggerated it far too out of proportion, i. e. taking "Developers can be trusted to do what's best for their game" and turning it into "Developers can do whatever" (not saying I have voiced this argument in the best way possible.) Still, I do understand your argument and sort of realize where are you going with it. My argument is that you worry for no good reason.

 

Is there any precedent for Obsidian to make a dumbed-down game based on community feedback? All I can really see is them sticking their guns to mechanics which are not universally accepted such as engagement - they clearly have a vision for the game and try to stick to it, no matter what a big part of their community thinks about it. That's because Obsidian has been around for a very long time and know pretty damn well what they're doing, I for one would like to believe they are capable of identifying what still works with their original vision and deviates too far from it.

 

Aside from that, you are offering a comparison to cassette player, which I believe is by a large part comparing something that can't really be compared. The big difference between videogame like Pillars and playing music is that your cassette player will never say "All right, stop. Now you need to resolve this issue in order for me to allow you to listen to the rest of these songs." Traditional media will never gate content from you behind skill checks, all you really need to do is to suffer trough things you dislike (and perhaps even get a taste for them.) What happens here isn't that combat would be entirely skippable - on the contrary, you still have to get trough it and perhaps acquire taste for it. However, even for players who aren't too capable at real time with pause combat, content they have paid for is not gated behind challenges they might not be able to get past.

 

Anyway, you're wrong, I'm right, lol.

 

Edit: Since we're not in a cultural vacuum, I'd also like to point out that it's kind of funny we're talking about not wanting a game which is supposed to be a spiritual successor of Infinity Games to be streamlined. Remember Infinity Engine games and other RPGs which existed before Baldur's Gate came out? Infinity Engine was a very successful attempt to streamline a genre which was, to that point, extremely niché (not that it wasn't after it, but Baldur's Gate was an attempt to bring this particular genre to larger audience.) Just thought that's kind of funny.

 

I know it sounds harsh, but tough combat was always a huge part of IE-like games and to take that away... sounds very wrong.

Planescape Torment? I'm sorry, combat in that game sucked and was only present for the sake of being there. Edited by Fenixp

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Tigranes could make a good argument linking video games to real life violence; you know, slippery slope obsession at its finest lol

 

In other news, anyone notice how quickly Sensuki dropped the troll bait? PoE hit over 600,000 sales and counting... the only thing sinking is Sensuki's effectiveness.

 

 

 

I don't know. People who want to ease the combat just for the sake of enjoying more story should stick to another genre, in my opinion. I know it sounds harsh, but tough combat was always a huge part of IE-like games and to take that away... sounds very wrong.

 

They're not taking it away though, they're giving the option to take it away but it's still very much there for those who don't enable the option. I really don't understand why adding in an option bothers people so much.

 

 

People need a way to express themselves, forums are great for that. Especially gaming forums. And especially if your voice can't be heard elsewhere, na' mean?
 

I look forward to Story Mode, and I bet it ends up in a highly watched "Lets Play" :w00t:

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Is there any precedent for Obsidian to make a dumbed-down game based on community feedback?

For the sequel? Absolutely. Just check the Something Awful and badgame forums.

Edited by Sensuki

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Gee, you guys really want to argue about this, huh?

 

Well, consider the possibility that the new damage and affliction immunities may have made the regular Easy mode no longer as easy as originally intended.

 

Wait, wait, wait, what happened to no hard counters in PoE? I thought immunities were degenerative gameplay, that only grognards like.

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I don't know. People who want to ease the combat just for the sake of enjoying more story should stick to another genre, in my opinion. I know it sounds harsh, but tough combat was always a huge part of IE-like games and to take that away... sounds very wrong.

They're not taking it away though, they're giving the option to take it away but it's still very much there for those who don't enable the option. I really don't understand why adding in an option bothers people so much.

Videogames are all about facing obstacles and overcome them. When I first played PoE I sucked very hard, but I played further, studied the mechanics, got better and now I consider myself quite a decent player, going for PotD at the moment. Not only my characters got better, me as a player also got better and it left me with a good feeling. Taking that away takes away what I consider a very important aspect of gaming itself. But of course I can't and won't speak for everyone.

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Live and let live I say. If it gets you off playing POTD thinking you are the god of gamers that's fine, if it does good things for you playing on easy and steamrolliing the game, that's frigging awesome! People like different experiences, what makes sense for one makes no sense for another. Guys would do well to stop telling other people how or why they should play games.

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"Those who look upon gods then say, without even knowing their names, 'He is Fire. She is Dance. He is Destruction. She is Love.' So, to reply to your statement, they do not call themselves gods. Everyone else does, though, everyone who beholds them."
"So they play that on their fascist banjos, eh?"
"You choose the wrong adjective."
"You've already used up all the others.”

 

Lord of Light

 

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I don't know. People who want to ease the combat just for the sake of enjoying more story should stick to another genre, in my opinion. I know it sounds harsh, but tough combat was always a huge part of IE-like games and to take that away... sounds very wrong.

They're not taking it away though, they're giving the option to take it away but it's still very much there for those who don't enable the option. I really don't understand why adding in an option bothers people so much.

Videogames are all about facing obstacles and overcome them. When I first played PoE I sucked very hard, but I played further, studied the mechanics, got better and now I consider myself quite a decent player, going for PotD at the moment. Not only my characters got better, me as a player also got better and it left me with a good feeling. Taking that away takes away what I consider a very important aspect of gaming itself. But of course I can't and won't speak for everyone.

 

 

Not all video games serve the same purpose; nor does everyone maintain the exact same end-result for playing a video game. Also, you just quoted someone saying, "they're not taking it away though, they're giving the option," to which you then responded, "taking that away takes away what I consider a very important aspect."

 

So the question is... which part of "they're not taking it away though, they're giving the option," did you not understand? Unless you're suggesting that if someone uses that option on their own local installation of the game, you are somehow negatively impacted?

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I don't know. People who want to ease the combat just for the sake of enjoying more story should stick to another genre, in my opinion. I know it sounds harsh, but tough combat was always a huge part of IE-like games and to take that away... sounds very wrong.

They're not taking it away though, they're giving the option to take it away but it's still very much there for those who don't enable the option. I really don't understand why adding in an option bothers people so much.

Videogames are all about facing obstacles and overcome them. When I first played PoE I sucked very hard, but I played further, studied the mechanics, got better and now I consider myself quite a decent player, going for PotD at the moment. Not only my characters got better, me as a player also got better and it left me with a good feeling. Taking that away takes away what I consider a very important aspect of gaming itself. But of course I can't and won't speak for everyone.

 

 

Not all video games serve the same purpose; nor does everyone maintain the exact same end-result for playing a video game. Also, you just quoted someone saying, "they're not taking it away though, they're giving the option," to which you then responded, "taking that away takes away what I consider a very important aspect."

 

So the question is... which part of "they're not taking it away though, they're giving the option," did you not understand? Unless you're suggesting that if someone uses that option on their own local installation of the game, you are somehow negatively impacted?

 

 

I imagine they mean that the more time/energy developers spend developing things like story mode, the less time/energy they have for other parts of the experience. To a certain extent, I can appreciate this. For example, these days, lots of development time goes into multiplayer, so the single player experience sometimes suffers. 

 

But as Mr. Sawyer said, they just tweaked the stats of the monsters a little. It doesn't seem like a vast expenditure of time or resources. 

 

 

Edited by Heijoushin

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I seriously doubt the original poster was thinking in terms of conservation of development resources.

 

Options are always welcomed. I personally dislike and have never used party AI. It doesn't mean I do not welcome its addition, as long I have the choice of not using it.

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Gee, you guys really want to argue about this, huh?

 

Well, consider the possibility that the new damage and affliction immunities may have made the regular Easy mode no longer as easy as originally intended.

 

Wait, wait, wait, what happened to no hard counters in PoE? I thought immunities were degenerative gameplay, that only grognards like.

 

 

Not all immunities are hard counters. See my explanation here:

 

Since this seems to be a recurring error, here's a post explaining once and for all what is and isn't a hard counter:

 

1) A fire monster that's immune to fire - NOT a hard counter. In an RPG where you control six party members, you will have other damage types at your disposal.

 

2) A character that's immune to piercing damage (or some other physical damage type) - closer, but still NOT a hard counter. In an RPG where you control six party members, even if you don't have a single spellcaster in your party, you will probably have other physical damage types at your disposal. Additionally, PoE's group-based weapon proficiency system can ensure that you won't even have to lose your proficiency bonus if you switch to another weapon with a different damage type.

 

3) A character that makes himself immune to all damage at the cost of not being able to move or act (eg, the Withdraw spell) - obviously NOT a hard counter. He's immune to all damage but he can't hurt you.

 

4) A character that makes himself immune to all or most damage, and can still attack you at his leisure. Hard counter. Unless you come up with a specific counter-spell to dispel the immunity, you are toast. BG2's famous wizard duels fall under this category.

 

5) A character that has a powerful spell that can insta-kill or indefinitely immobilize your entire party, unless you're ready with a specific defense spell. This is also a hard counter. Hard counters aren't just about broad immunities.

 

Since I wrote that, the game has also added immunity to afflictions. Since those don't prevent you from inflicting damage, they're obviously not hard counters either.

Edited by Infinitron
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I don't know. People who want to ease the combat just for the sake of enjoying more story should stick to another genre, in my opinion. I know it sounds harsh, but tough combat was always a huge part of IE-like games and to take that away... sounds very wrong.

They're not taking it away though, they're giving the option to take it away but it's still very much there for those who don't enable the option. I really don't understand why adding in an option bothers people so much.
Videogames are all about facing obstacles and overcome them. When I first played PoE I sucked very hard, but I played further, studied the mechanics, got better and now I consider myself quite a decent player, going for PotD at the moment. Not only my characters got better, me as a player also got better and it left me with a good feeling. Taking that away takes away what I consider a very important aspect of gaming itself. But of course I can't and won't speak for everyone.

Not all video games serve the same purpose; nor does everyone maintain the exact same end-result for playing a video game. Also, you just quoted someone saying, "they're not taking it away though, they're giving the option," to which you then responded, "taking that away takes away what I consider a very important aspect."

 

So the question is... which part of "they're not taking it away though, they're giving the option," did you not understand? Unless you're suggesting that if someone uses that option on their own local installation of the game, you are somehow negatively impacted?

I know it's just an option and that I don't have to use it - I'm not stupid ;)

 

But the option itself is, in my opinion, problematic enough. Maybe not me or you or anyone else here on this forum, but many people will still be tempted to just switch to "easy mode" when they encounter difficult fights instead of learning from it and master the mechanics. And I'm not traumatized or something, I just think that way to many games tend to be easy as many developers consider hard games as risky business and that concerns me.

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Really? I know quite a lot people who played Mass Effect Story mode because they "didn't want to bother with the fighting system" as well as many players who say Dark Souls sucks because it's unfair to players whereas I can run half through the game naked.

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I don't think a story mode would detract from the game at all. It's dead easy to implement -- just nerf all enemy defenses, attacks, and damage by some percentage.

 

The hidden danger is that if it turns out that 80% of the players play in easy mode, they won't bother with a hard mode anymore, or they'll do hard mode by buffing all enemy defenses, attacks, and damge by some percentage. That's what happened to most mainstream games -- hard mode is just a grindy, tedious version of easy mode. So it's a real danger.

 

But, if they continue to design the game for hard mode and then produce a story mode by nerfing the numbers, that's perfectly fine.

 

I'd like a difficulty with PotD stats but Hard or even Normal enemies. In PotD as it is, too many of the fights are against too big mobs, which makes it all about crowd control, and gets tedious and repetitive. There should be mob fights, but not every fight should be one. The difficulty level OTOH feels about right.


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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"I know it's just an option and that I don't have to use it - I'm not stupid ;)

But the option itself is, in my opinion, problematic enough. Maybe not me or you or anyone else here on this forum, but many people will still be tempted to just switch to "easy mode" when they encounter difficult fights instead of learning from it and master the mechanics. And I'm not traumatized or something, I just think that way to many games tend to be easy as many developers consider hard games as risky business and that concerns me."

 

Mmm, see your point but I also think that the more difficulty options a dev offers the more likely the game is going to have a true range from really difficult to easy. Put another way, the fewer options the game has, the easier the game would be - it would have to cater for the masses. Dark Souls is different in that it caters purely for hard core gamers. But most companies would do the opposite - they would attempt to cater for as many people as possible, so one or two difficulty levels would invariably mean easy gameplay for everyone. Whereas having 4 options would give the devs much more freedom to run the gamut between easy and fiendishly difficult.

Edited by rheingold

"Those who look upon gods then say, without even knowing their names, 'He is Fire. She is Dance. He is Destruction. She is Love.' So, to reply to your statement, they do not call themselves gods. Everyone else does, though, everyone who beholds them."
"So they play that on their fascist banjos, eh?"
"You choose the wrong adjective."
"You've already used up all the others.”

 

Lord of Light

 

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Really? I know quite a lot people who played Mass Effect Story mode because they "didn't want to bother with the fighting system" as well as many players who say Dark Souls sucks because it's unfair to players whereas I can run half through the game naked.

Just browse through these forums and compare the complaints of "game too easy" vs "game too hard". Plenty of gamers want more difficulty either because they want to "look good" or genuinely desire the challenge.

Edited by mosspit

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The hidden danger is that if it turns out that 80% of the players play in easy mode, they won't bother with a hard mode anymore, or they'll do hard mode by buffing all enemy defenses, attacks, and damge by some percentage. That's what happened to most mainstream games -- hard mode is just a grindy, tedious version of easy mode. So it's a real danger.

Josh also stated that they'd like to make combat speed closer or slower than the current slow speed in Pillars of Eternity, just to add some salt to the wound there.

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