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White March Part 2 officially announced, coming January


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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.

The beauty of it is with regards to the desire for challenge, there is also a personal component that is independent of your peers. If games cater too much to the lowest denominator, the market for neglected gamers who want more challenge will grow and form another opportunity for developers to satisfy them. That's how games like Souls and XCOM capitalize on the situation and cater for the more hardcore gamers. In some ways, it is self-regulating.

Edited by mosspit
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The beauty of it is with regards to the desire for challenge, there is also a personal component that is independent of your peers. If games cater too much to the lowest denominator, the market for neglected gamers who want more challenge will grow and form another opportunity for developers to satisfy them. That's how games like Souls and XCOM capitalize on the situation and cater for the more hardcore gamers. In some ways, it is self-regulating.

 

Then how come there was, like, 10 years in which hard, serious cRPG's effectively disappeared from the mainstream? And are only coming back now, in a small, limited way, in fits and starts?

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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Then how come there was, like, 10 years in which hard, serious cRPG's effectively disappeared from the mainstream? And are only coming back now, in a small, limited way, in fits and starts?

The market segregated. I am not suggesting to fight the paradigm shift towards casual gaming, and I am not saying that hardcore games aren't niche. Just that there is a self-regulating aspect. The "coming back now, in a small, limited way, in fits and starts" can be treated as the effect of this self-regulating aspect and is attributed to the particular gamer group hitting critical mass, and also because of introduction of crowd-funding.

Edited by mosspit
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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.

 

For me this aspect is one thing I look for in a game, but the story is at least as important, if not more so. I dare say the combat system could have been improved if less time was spent on the story, and perhaps some players would have preferred that, but I'm sure glad they didn't.

 

Similarly whilst I almost certainly won't play story mode I don't begrudge Obsidian spending time on it for those players who will. 

 

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.

 

I am exactly the same. I always enjoyed pause heavy play in the original IE games and much prefer microing my characters every move but I understand some people don't.

 

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.

 

If the argument is that Obsidian will make PoE2 easy by default then I understand your concern, though I don't share it.

 

If on the other hand your concern is that having a story mode option available will result in more players choosing that option then I've got some bad news for you: a lot of people are going to disappoint you. Not everyone attaches the same importance to any given struggle that you do and as long as we live in a free world they simply won't bother with it.

 

My guess is the main difference that having a story mode will make will be to open up PoE to people who otherwise simply wouldn't have played it at all rather than converting vast swathes of the current player base to the easier mode. This in turn means more profit for Obsidian, which means more money available for the development of PoE2, which hopefully means we get a better sequel.

 

EDIT: I also doubt that a lot of the current "casual" players of games like Dragon Age: Inquisition would be tempted over to PoE even with a story mode. It's not just the difficulty that puts them off, I am sure they're put off by the graphical style. Thus unless Obsidian are going to make the full jump to AAA fully 3D RPGs and try to compete directly the majority of their market will remain the nostalgia crowd and the new converts to their style of game (a combination of people keen on the challenge and people keen for a deeper narrative). As such I can't see Obsidian changing things too much.

Edited by JerekKruger
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Then how come there was, like, 10 years in which hard, serious cRPG's effectively disappeared from the mainstream? And are only coming back now, in a small, limited way, in fits and starts?

Are you suggesting that these RPGs are the mainstream now?

 

Pillars, D:OS, and SRR qualify as mainstream IMO, yes, "in a small, limited way." They also qualify as hard, serious RPG's IMO, also "in a small, limited way."

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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The market segregated. I am not suggesting to fight the paradigm shift towards casual gaming, and I am not saying that hardcore games aren't niche. Just that there is a self-regulating aspect. The "coming back now, in a small, limited way, in fits and starts" can be treated as the effect of this self-regulating aspect and is attributed to the particular gamer group hitting critical mass, and also because of introduction of crowd-funding.

 

Yeah, and the market self-regulated so that serious RPG's were only done by lone developers laboring away in their basements, like Spiderweb.

 

The limited cRPG renaissance we're seeing now owes more to happenstance than any self-regulating properties the computer game market may have, and if inXile, Obsidian, HBS, and Larian go under, decide to do something else, get bought out, or go after the mass market, I don't see any guarantee that we won't have to wait another ten years – or more – to see anyone take their place.

Edited by PrimeJunta
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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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Well, ****'s getting Codexian in here now.

 

 

The market segregated. I am not suggesting to fight the paradigm shift towards casual gaming, and I am not saying that hardcore games aren't niche. Just that there is a self-regulating aspect. The "coming back now, in a small, limited way, in fits and starts" can be treated as the effect of this self-regulating aspect and is attributed to the particular gamer group hitting critical mass, and also because of introduction of crowd-funding.

 

Yeah, and the market self-regulated so that serious RPG's were only done by lone developers laboring away in their basements, like Spiderweb.

 

The limited cRPG renaissance we're seeing now owes more to happenstance than any self-regulating properties the computer game market may have, and if Obsidian, HBS, and Larian go under, decide to do something else, get bought out, or go after the mass market, I don't see any guarantee that we won't have to wait another ten years – or more – to see anyone take their place.

 

 

An argument can be made that the main reason for progressive dumbing down of RPGs in the past was that audiences for gaming were getting larger and larger, and developers felt that they had to catch up to that. That continual growth, a kind of Moore's Law of videogame popularity, was what disrupted the "self-regulating aspect" described by mosspit.

 

But what if that growth has now halted? What if there's not ever going to be a game that sells one hundred million copies, outside of the mobile phone fad of the month? What if Call of Duty, GTA and Skyrim sales are as good as it gets? That means the rules have now changed, and what happened to RPGs in the 2000s might not repeat itself.

 

Inb4 Francis Fukuyama

Edited by Infinitron
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The market segregated. I am not suggesting to fight the paradigm shift towards casual gaming, and I am not saying that hardcore games aren't niche. Just that there is a self-regulating aspect. The "coming back now, in a small, limited way, in fits and starts" can be treated as the effect of this self-regulating aspect and is attributed to the particular gamer group hitting critical mass, and also because of introduction of crowd-funding.

 

Yeah, and the market self-regulated so that serious RPG's were only done by lone developers laboring away in their basements, like Spiderweb.

 

The limited cRPG renaissance we're seeing now owes more to happenstance than any self-regulating properties the computer game market may have, and if inXile, Obsidian, HBS, and Larian go under, decide to do something else, get bought out, or go after the mass market, I don't see any guarantee that we won't have to wait another ten years – or more – to see anyone take their place.

 

So happenstance. The answer to your own question "Then how come there was, like, 10 years in which hard, serious cRPG's effectively disappeared from the mainstream? And are only coming back now, in a small, limited way, in fits and starts?" is because of coincidence. Sorry but I think that is my cue to give the good ol' saying of let's agree to disagree.

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So happenstance. The answer to your own question "Then how come there was, like, 10 years in which hard, serious cRPG's effectively disappeared from the mainstream? And are only coming back now, in a small, limited way, in fits and starts?" is because of coincidence. Sorry but I think that is my cue to give the good ol' saying of let's agree to disagree.

 

Nah, actually, I think the 10 year dry spell was market forces at work.

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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An argument can be made that the main reason for progressive dumbing down of RPGs in the past was that audiences for gaming were getting larger and larger, and developers felt that they had to catch up to that. That continual growth, a kind of Moore's Law of videogame popularity, was what disrupted the "self-regulating aspect" described by mosspit.

 

But what if that growth has now halted? What if there's not ever going to be a game that sells one hundred million copies, outside of the mobile phone fad of the month? What if Call of Duty, GTA and Skyrim/Fallout 4 sales are as good as it gets? That means the rules have now changed, and what happened to RPGs in the 2000s might not repeat itself.

 

Inb4 Francis Fukuyama

 

Lots of arguments can be made.

 

From where I'm at, you can make a case for structural forces at work -- market forces, for example -- if there's a broad, deep, and sustained trend in some direction. It's never perfectly clearcut, of course -- there will always be exceptions, backwashes, and eddies in the stream. While I hope you're right and we are seeing a lasting change, for the time being inXile, Pillars, Larian etc still look more like exceptions than a significant and lasting counter-trend; the movement is too small IMO to argue that any structural changes are at play here. Time will tell.

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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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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.

I'm really happy with the options PoE provides as it is actually. I considered my first playthrough on 'hard mode' before 2.0 to be normal for me, offering a small challenge and providing for a very fluent playthrough. On that difficulty, I didn't have to think much about combat encounters and neither did I have to reload. PotD on 2.0 with trial of iron enabled is more to my personal taste, as I enjoy a (very) difficult game with a high chance of dying and with having to replay certain pieces. As it forces me to think about how to approach certain encounters, I derive more pleasure from progressing in the game and eventually finishing it.

 

I'm not sure if that answers your question. But if it doesn't, feel free to ask for a better explanation :).

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Aaaaarrgh! End of Jan is so far away. I'm desperate to start another playthrough. Oh well, I'll try and finish DAI or OS EE in the meantime.

"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.”

 

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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.

 

I'm really happy with the options PoE provides as it is actually. I considered my first playthrough on 'hard mode' before 2.0 to be normal for me, offering a small challenge and providing for a very fluent playthrough. On that difficulty, I didn't have to think much about combat encounters and neither did I have to reload. PotD on 2.0 with trial of iron enabled is more to my personal taste, as I enjoy a (very) difficult game with a high chance of dying and with having to replay certain pieces. As it forces me to think about how to approach certain encounters, I derive more pleasure from progressing in the game and eventually finishing it.

 

I'm not sure if that answers your question. But if it doesn't, feel free to ask for a better explanation original.gif.

 

The reason I asked about your take on difficulty is because of the subjectivity vs objectivity question. I think there is a bit of both. Problem is I think it is difficult to point out the factors that make the game objectively difficult, and which everyone can agree on. The subjectivity part is also there as everyone has different skill(?) levels, I don't even know what being skilled in a RTwP game means original.gif

 

Anyways, difficulty is like what the previous poster said - it is a personal gauge. But I don't think it should be insulting to say one isn't good at the game. Personally, I am fine with admitting I'm not a good gamer. As long as I can be entertained by the challenge arising from all the game options available, kinda like what you said, I am satisfied. Because what matters is that I have fun, not because of the label that I am somehow "lesser".

 

I guess I should describe what difficulty means to me? Well I guess having to reload like more than 3 times for an encounter is difficult? Taking into account that over the past 6 playthroughs I gain more insights and it naturally means I have to adjust the settings to stay entertained. So much so my previous playthrough is a triple crown no-caster playthrough with 5 reloads and the current is a PotD ToI all-melee with 1 reload so far.

Edited by mosspit
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New mode, eh?

 

Including a 'no level scaling' option (unchecked) in the game menu would be a nice thing to do.

If the player leaves it unchecked, he would still get the pop up question and be able to choose between 'standard' and 'high level' for these areas.

If it's checked: no pop-ups would pop up while traveling and enemies would be kept 'standard'.

 

 

Also, while we're at modes, I'd enjoy a 'dire global recession' mode so much. Hopefully, the mode would prevent the PC from becoming the richest person who's ever lived on Eora in a couple of in-game months.

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I suggest a mode in which game world would react to how much money player has collected.

 

Of course, all blacksmiths would go bankrupt after PC has sold him 3.000 halberds he'll never manage to resell.

PC's pocket would become the basis of a country's economy as opposed to gold stockpile.

All mints would get closed. Banks would borrow money from PC. Debt do PC would constantly rise until all countries on Eora would be deep in debt. Economy would collapse. Money would no longer have any meaning.

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Just to confirm, I really have no problem with story mode. If it makes money for the developers - awesome, that'll mean POE2 :) I'm just interested in how they will do it. Regarding the game being easy as is... It actually isn't, believe it or not there is a fair learning curve especially if you haven't played the older games, and don't have a grounding in good old fashioned d&d or systems modeled on it.

You are not in the majority with that assessment. The people in Sensuki's corner, for example, complain that by simply abusing rest spam and finding a few basic combo's, combat in PoE is repetitive; essentially claiming that the path to victory is redundant and easy to execute but unfulfilling.

 

And then there's what you said...

What both of you say is not contradictory.

 

PoE is not so difficult, even in PotD.

 

But for a real beginner, it might be quite hard.

 

Even with my Old IE games knowledge, my first run in normal mode was probably as difficult as my first run in PotD. Learning curve, yeah...

 

This is especially critical because act I is probably the most difficult...

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^ I can agree with that :biggrin:

 

A key thing to remember is that this game (like all video games) must manage to appeal to every age group and culture. It would only harm the success of the game if the Developers focused on pleasing the small few who bother to write more posts on a forum. The forum community represents a small fraction of the overall player base; so while one person may proclaim that the game is doomed because it provides a new easy-mode option, other people will have more ways to enjoy something they already love.

 

Not to mention the potential to gain new sales by making the game easier for younger audiences. A 7 year old kid, for example, can probably beat the game in Story Mode vs trying to become a meta-gaming micro-management master

:blink:

Edited by Zenbane
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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.

 

 

 

Could be, but I don't remember Josh explaining it quite like that. Not that it matters, as long as they are going back to what was good.

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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.

 

 

 

Could be, but I don't remember Josh explaining it quite like that. Not that it matters, as long as they are going back to what was good.

 

but they aren't going back, which were kinda the point, yes?  while some has tried to characterize the changes as a return to d&d/ie game hard counters, poe ain't implementing such.  is not going back to what was... bad.

 

HA! Good Fun!

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Josh talked a lot about hard counters, but I don't recall him ever saying he was against all immunities. One reason for that is that during the game's development, everybody assumed they were the same thing, so they used the terms interchangeably when asking him about it.

 

Personally, I'm willing to believe that he didn't want immunities either, making this a flip-flop, but I don't have any proof.

Edited by Infinitron
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