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White March Part 2 officially announced, coming January


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To make the ROI that Obsidian needs on the sequel, they will need a wider audience and to get that audience they will most likely need to make the game more accessible, easier and aim a bit more for the lowest common denominator - at least that is the 'safest' way of getting such an audience. The Story Time mode is one example of this, this is a mode that will allow people who are very, very bad at RTWP combat to get through the game without getting so frustrated that they might return the game on Steam. A slower combat speed is also another thing that will make the combat more manageable for such people. Game journalists will be laughing as they demolish everything in their path when playing for review, if the default settings are Story Time and the default combat speed is slow. "9.5/10 great gaem, finished it in three days and now I've got two days off!!".

 

As long as the game isn't designed around story mode as the default then I don't really see the problem. Moreover I really don't see why it would be based around story mode. Story mode seems to be about making combat very easy (perhaps even trivial) in order to allow a player who either doesn't enjoy the combat or finds it too difficult to experience the story. As such story mode doesn't need to be particularly well balanced for play: if in doubt err on the side of easier and you're good. It makes a lot more sense to balance the game around normal and/or hard mode then scale from there. Add to that the fact that PoE is supposed to be a spiritual successor of the IE games and you've got a substantial portion PoE2's existing potential market being fans who want a game that isn't too easy. Unless Obsidian are incredibly confident they can gain enough new customers to at least offset any loss of existing customers they'd be foolish to make the change you suggest.

 

But perhaps I am the wrong person to be talking to this about because I really enjoy PoE. Is it perfect? Definitely not. But to my mind it really is a worthy spiritual successor to the IE games. The environments are beautiful, if somewhat generically temperate fantasy at times; the story is solid (I really like it but I acknowledge some of the criticism of it, and let's not put SoA's story on too high a pedestal); perhaps most surprisingly, I really like the combat, and think it is better than that of the old IE games, though to be fair it has been a little over two years since I last played one. 

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A small group of players who unless they are willing to pay a substantial amount of money each, will not keep a gaming developer afloat - and won't get to play many games....

 

 

Exactly. Unless you are a billionaire who could literally afford to finance Obsidian alone without any need to turn a profit then you're always going to have to accept compromise.

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To make the ROI that Obsidian needs on the sequel, they will need a wider audience and to get that audience they will most likely need to make the game more accessible, easier and aim a bit more for the lowest common denominator - at least that is the 'safest' way of getting such an audience. The Story Time mode is one example of this, this is a mode that will allow people who are very, very bad at RTWP combat to get through the game without getting so frustrated that they might return the game on Steam. A slower combat speed is also another thing that will make the combat more manageable for such people. Game journalists will be laughing as they demolish everything in their path when playing for review, if the default settings are Story Time and the default combat speed is slow. "9.5/10 great gaem, finished it in three days and now I've got two days off!!".

 

As long as the game isn't designed around story mode as the default then I don't really see the problem. Moreover I really don't see why it would be based around story mode. Story mode seems to be about making combat very easy (perhaps even trivial) in order to allow a player who either doesn't enjoy the combat or finds it too difficult to experience the story. As such story mode doesn't need to be particularly well balanced for play: if in doubt err on the side of easier and you're good. It makes a lot more sense to balance the game around normal and/or hard mode then scale from there. Add to that the fact that PoE is supposed to be a spiritual successor of the IE games and you've got a substantial portion PoE2's existing potential market being fans who want a game that isn't too easy. Unless Obsidian are incredibly confident they can gain enough new customers to at least offset any loss of existing customers they'd be foolish to make the change you suggest.

 

As previously stated the inclusion of Story Mode does not bother me.

 

One of the reasons I'm skeptical about difficulty is apparently Obsidian don't have too many people on the staff that can play the game on Hard or PotD. Originally the game was going to actually be balanced for Hard, but they ended up changing that to Normal instead (unfortunately IMO) - which I suppose makes sense because if you don't have many people that can beat encounters on Hard then well you have a small testing pool.

 

I'm more concerned about whether combat is fun to play, rather than whether it is difficult.

 

(I really like it but I acknowledge some of the criticism of it, and let's not put SoA's story on too high a pedestal)

BG2 gives the player less choice in how they proceed through the story and it might not be very original or very complex, but the story, plot and player motivation are all pretty darn tight. I think the chapter interludes [where you witness an event that your characters are not privvy to] make a BIG difference there, and also the dream sequences. There is constant reinforcement as to why you are following the story.

 

I really like the combat, and think it is better than that of the old IE games, though to be fair it has been a little over two years since I last played one.

One thing I think makes a difference is the widespread availability of combat videos for Pillars of Eternity. A lot of people played the IE games in an age where information was not so widespread and simple things like how to control enemy AI targeting and whatnot are skills that the majority of players probably don't have. I would be interested in knowing what you didn't like about the IE combat or why you think Pillars combat is better.

Edited by Sensuki
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Sensuki don't you think that Poe 2 could be a lot better considering PoE 1 as a test and without the issues this one had? (Unity low knowledge, junior programmers, limited budget, kickstarter goals pressure, etc. )

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As previously stated the inclusion of Story Mode does not bother me.

One of the reasons I'm skeptical about difficulty is apparently Obsidian don't have too many people on the staff that can play the game on Hard or PotD. Originally the game was going to actually be balanced for Hard, but they ended up changing that to Normal instead (unfortunately IMO) - which I suppose makes sense because if you don't have many people that can beat encounters on Hard then well you have a small testing pool.

 

I'm more concerned about whether combat is fun to play, rather than whether it is difficult.

 

Ah sorry my bad. I must have conflated your views with another poster who viewed story mode as a problem in itself.

 

It seems strange that Obsidian wouldn't get the community involved in testing combat difficulty. If they took encounters out of the game and put them in, say, a completely empty grassy field, then let players create custom parties before fighting the encounters, I think that would give them a fairly good base line from which to balance difficulty and would overcome their problem of having relatively few staffers who can beat hard.

 

It's not perfect obviously, because in the game itself you don't arrive at each new encounter with a perfectly rested party, and it doesn't give a good idea of how a party of standard non-optimised companions would handle the encounter, but it seems a decent compromise to avoid spoiling story, environments and NPC companions ahead of time.

 

I tend to agree though that combat being enjoyable is preferable to combat being hard, though I also acknowledge for some people hard = enjoyable.

 

BG2 gives the player less choice in how they proceed through the story and it might not be very original or very complex, but the story, plot and player motivation are all pretty darn tight. I think the chapter interludes [where you witness an event that your characters are not privvy to] make a BIG difference there, and also the dream sequences. There is constant reinforcement as to why you are following the story.

 

 

That's interesting, I actually think parts of SoA are motivated less well than PoE. The first part of the game involves trying to rescue Imoen which makes the assumption that the player actually cares about Imoen. In PoE the player is suddenly struck by a strange affliction which, for all they know, might be terminal, and I think the desire to learn more about this is harder motivation to deny than SoA. That said I've never had a problem with the motivation aspect as I'm happy to suspend my criticism a little and go with the flow. I'm willing to admit that probably makes me a worse critic.

 

I agree that the interludes were an excellent feature and I'd love to see them return in PoE2. Another thing I felt SoA did a better job of was fleshing out the villain. The start of the game did a great job of painting a picture of Irenicus as this evil dispassionate person who was also clearly incredibly powerful (his excellent voice acting helped a lot, I can still quote the entirety of his opening dialogue verbatim). I think Thaos was intended to have a similar presence but he didn't quite hit the mark as well, though he got close at times. I think Thaos also suffers from the less personal nature of his opposition to the player: Thaos only fights the player because the player deliberately opposes him whereas Irenicus fights the player because he literally wants the players soul.

 

One thing I think makes a difference is the widespread availability of combat videos for Pillars of Eternity. A lot of people played the IE games in an age where information was not so widespread and simple things like how to control enemy AI targeting and whatnot are skills that the majority of players probably don't have. I would be interested in knowing what you didn't like about the IE combat or why you think Pillars combat is better.

 

 
I'll have to give this question a bit of thought, as at the moment it's merely my gut feeling. I might also have to reinstall an IE game to get a fresher comparison.
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Well, Irenicus wanted something that you happened to have. It could have been anyone else, but it happened to be you. He gets it from you and has no intention or desire to meet you, challenge you, or fight you in any way beyond that. He got what he wanted and you're just another nobody on the far end of his radar.

 

That's something SoA did exceedingly well. It was personal for you, but not for your antagonist.

 

PoE does something similar, but doesn't come off quite as powerful.

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"Time is not your enemy. Forever is."

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It seems strange that Obsidian wouldn't get the community involved in testing combat difficulty.

Oh we did help test combat difficulty but it was only relevant to the encounters in the beta. Some encounters were modified based on feedback, and creatures in the beta were tuned due to feedback but it was only relevant to creatures that appeared in the beta (which was not many).

 

That's interesting, I actually think parts of SoA are motivated less well than PoE. The first part of the game involves trying to rescue Imoen which makes the assumption that the player actually cares about Imoen.

Not really. The dialogue responses regarding this give you two options - you want to get Imoen back or you just want to find Irenicus. One of the chapter screens does explicitly mention finding Imoen though, but throughout dialogue you are pretty consistently (if not outright consistently) given the option to choose what your reason is out of those two.

 

In PoE the player is suddenly struck by a strange affliction which, for all they know, might be terminal, and I think the desire to learn more about this is harder motivation to deny than SoA

I didn't think so. A thing happens to you and you see ghost people on the first wilderness area, you have the same 'dream' play every time you rest and when you get fatigued the screen goes blurry. The apparent 'compulsion' to follow the story thread is a blatant rip off of the NWN2: MotB spirit eater mechanic (which is not surprising given Eric Fenstermaker, but a little disappointing) but with the gameplay affecting stuff removed. You have about zero reason to care about the antagonist for at least half of the game, and the gameplay only provides benefits for being the watcher/awakened combo - which is the exact opposite of what probably should happen.

 

The game tells you that you need to cure yourself but aside from the say-so of one Madman who you meet at the end of Chapter 1, there is little evidence AND it is not reinforced by the gameplay - particularly because the Soul detective stuff is super useful and fun.

Edited by Sensuki
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Not really. The dialogue responses regarding this give you two options - you want to get Imoen back or you just want to find Irenicus. One of the chapter screens does explicitly mention finding Imoen though, but throughout dialogue you are pretty consistently (if not outright consistently) given the option to choose what your reason is out of those two.

 

What about option three: fudge Imoen and fudge* Irenicus? For a lot of characters this would seem a reasonable response. The only reason the Bhaalspawn is supposed to care about Imoen is because of some rose tinted spectacles about her character in BG1, but I played BG1 and I know that she was a pain in the ass.

 

A good character might feel obliged to help her as the right thing to do, but a neutral or evil character shouldn't have any such compunction. One might argue that an evil character would want to find Irenicus either out of a desire for revenge or, as the game mentions, to learn more about their "potential", but I don't think this is certain. A perfectly reasonable evil character could conclude that they've had a lucky escape, Irenicus is too powerful to face again, and there are easier pickings out there.

 

 

I didn't think so. A thing happens to you and you see ghost people on the first wilderness area, you have the same 'dream' play every time you rest and when you get fatigued the screen goes blurry. The apparent 'compulsion' to follow the story thread is a blatant rip off of the NWN2: MotB spirit eater mechanic (which is not surprising given Eric Fenstermaker, but a little disappointing) but with the gameplay affecting stuff removed. You have about zero reason to care about the antagonist for at least half of the game, and the gameplay only provides benefits for being the watcher/awakened combo - which is the exact opposite of what probably should happen.

The game tells you that you need to cure yourself but aside from the say-so of one Madman who you meet at the end of Chapter 1, there is little evidence AND it is not reinforced by the gameplay - particularly because the Soul detective stuff is super useful and fun.

 

I can see that problem yeah. As you said, some dream sequences a la Baldur's Gate 2 would have done wonders for reinforcing this, and a negative mechanic associated with being the Watcher might have helped too. I think if there had been an obvious downside to being the Watcher then the reason for chasing Thaos would have been more compelling. That said I still enjoyed to story a lot, but I don't mind filling in/glossing over holes.

 

*I am not entirely certain what is allowable regarding language so I am erring on the side of caution here :)

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The game does imply that it takes years for Watchers to go crazy, and what you do spans a few months at best. Mechanics that hinder you for being a Watcher would have fallen under the "that escalated quickly" category.

"Time is not your enemy. Forever is."

— Fall-From-Grace, Planescape: Torment

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

— Kvothe, The Wise Man's Fears

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

 

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What about option three: fudge Imoen and fudge* Irenicus? For a lot of characters this would seem a reasonable response. The only reason the Bhaalspawn is supposed to care about Imoen is because of some rose tinted spectacles about her character in BG1, but I played BG1 and I know that she was a pain in the ass.

Imoen is the best Thief in BG1 though, she has the best stats :)

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What about option three: fudge Imoen and fudge* Irenicus? For a lot of characters this would seem a reasonable response. The only reason the Bhaalspawn is supposed to care about Imoen is because of some rose tinted spectacles about her character in BG1, but I played BG1 and I know that she was a pain in the ass.

Imoen is the best Thief in BG1 though, she has the best stats :)
Stats don't make characters likeable. And I played a thief, so I didn't need her. I dual classed her to a mage quite early.

 

I did care about her, though. Finding my little sister was a good enough motivation for me in BG2. I was more annoyed about being joined by Minsc, whom I had never recruited in BG1, and Khalid, who died months earlier. Oh well.

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I dunno, I think efficacy does play a part in whether a character is likable or not, but it's a different likable to "I like this character's personality" and it's more "I use this person in my party because they're useful".

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Imoen is the best Thief in BG1 though, she has the best stats :)

 

I think Alora was, technically, a better thief in terms of pure thieving skills, but yeah Imoen had some of the highest stats in the game. The way she is developed at the start of SoA is actually a really good way to develop her in BG1 too, which is nice for continuity.

 

I dunno, I think efficacy does play a part in whether a character is likable or not, but it's a different likable to "I like this character's personality" and it's more "I use this person in my party because they're useful".

 

Yeah, as much as I'd like to pretend otherwise this is true. It's hard to pass up the mechanically superior but less interesting NPC for the interesting but awfully built NPC. In an ideal world it's not an either or of course.

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Can you Baldurs Gate fans move your endearing conversation to an appropriate Off Topic thread? Thanks in advance lol

 

For anyone wishing to look away from that train wreck of a convo...

 

I'm curious about thoughts on Story Mode allowing players to quickly test out new character builds. Both individual builds and group combo's. I assume that the AI would need to really get a decent enough boost in order to allow unique builds to play out properly via Story Mode; or at the very least, OBS can provide a full AI reference that players can use to easily make this happen ourselves. Is there an AI Mod to PoE that I missed somewhere?

Edited by Zenbane
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In PoE the player is suddenly struck by a strange affliction which, for all they know, might be terminal, and I think the desire to learn more about this is harder motivation to deny than SoA

I didn't think so. A thing happens to you and you see ghost people on the first wilderness area, you have the same 'dream' play every time you rest and when you get fatigued the screen goes blurry. The apparent 'compulsion' to follow the story thread is a blatant rip off of the NWN2: MotB spirit eater mechanic (which is not surprising given Eric Fenstermaker, but a little disappointing) but with the gameplay affecting stuff removed. You have about zero reason to care about the antagonist for at least half of the game, and the gameplay only provides benefits for being the watcher/awakened combo - which is the exact opposite of what probably should happen.

 

The game tells you that you need to cure yourself but aside from the say-so of one Madman who you meet at the end of Chapter 1, there is little evidence AND it is not reinforced by the gameplay - particularly because the Soul detective stuff is super useful and fun.

Speaking of this, Josh just touched on this in an interview.

 

http://www.ragequit.gr/specials/item/josh-sawyer-obsidian-interview-ragequit

 

In the early game, it was very difficult to communicate all of the ideas that form the hook for your character's motivation. I think trying to communicate more cleanly or focusing more on the difficult concepts (in particular, the negative aspects of being a Watcher) would have drawn people in more easily.

Edited by Sensuki
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I haven't participated in the thread because I don't want to appear to take sides in all the troll accusations flying around, but the one thing that strikes me as being unreasonable is for folks to lump all of the IE together for comparisons. Now, I don't want to cite anyone by name, but I have to point out that there have been folks on both sides who've taken bites out of the same apple in this regard. For my part, I just can't see making Pillars of Eternity measure up (or down) in every way to every IE title. I also think that it's probably not unreasonable to compare PoE to the IE games generally, but the primary comparison should be to BG1. This is the first title and some things will be ironed out in subsequent releases. Some of those things ironed out will probably royally piss off folks who actually liked things the way they are. That's already happened. I, for example, don't like the idea of immunities. On the other hand, I just started a new run with the goal of working through White March, so I haven't faced immunities as of yet. I just try to play the game with as fresh a mind as possible without prejudging the way something will work without at least playing.

 

I will say this, there are members (and that's plural on purpose) who really dug in and suggested a lot of things for the game. I respect all of these members, some of whom succeeded in their advocacy and some who didn't. However, I'm pretty happy with the things Obsidz decided to do. In a lot of cases, I think the things some folks suggested that didn't make it into the game would not have made the game substantially better during actual gameplay (as opposed to theory) but would have made the game substantially different.

 

I know some folks have hit these topics already and I didn't quote them. That wasn't to deny them credit. Merely to avoid citing individuals in a highly charged thread.

 

Also, I don't think I can post without at least exhorting folks to respect one another. Be gentle. Attack arguments, not persons. Be charitable in assessing opposing statements. No one has reported anything from this thread, which is great. It does seem to be a little testy and far too personal at times, but folks still seem to be making arguments and addressing each other's points, even if they're addressing each other's personalities a little too much. Hopefully, when you guys attack one another, you do it with a grin and the other person reads it in the same way. Anyhow, that's the end of my typical Cant sermon about playing nice.

 

EDIT: what a difference one 'not' makes.

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I haven't participated in the thread because I don't want to appear to take sides in all the troll accusations flying around, but the one thing that strikes me as being unreasonable is for folks to lump all of the IE together for comparisons.

I think this honestly depends on what topic you are talking about. While you may not mention any names, I often lump the IE games together when discussing combat mechanics because the bread and butter of each BG and IWD game is the same (I disregard PS:T when talking about combat).

 

Baldur's Gate has the most primitive form of combat out of the four titles I talk about, large in part due to the fact that there are a lot of trash encounters in every map that require not much more than an auto-attack. Combat in Baldur's Gate does not require too much player input and most characters are fairly passive. The combat in BG is reactive though when you come up against things like Poison, Hold, Charm/Confusion, general damage, enemy spell casting, certain spell effects and things like that. You must remove poison. Being held is usually VERY bad and either requires a significant tactical reaction or a dispell. You must heal yourself in and out of combat. You can disrupt enemy spells if you attack them and deal damage, spells like Mirror Image require you to focus fire the caster to be able to hit them.

 

In contrast, you ignore the vast majority of afflictions in Pillars of Eternity because they are either not worth worrying about or despite being bad, you can't actually remove the effect. On PotD you have more inclination to deal with afflictions because you're facing enemies with 50% stat boosts but that is still poor design IMO. Rarely do you reactively heal in combat and you can't dispell anything. You can suspend the effects of spells, but at least on Hard difficulty or lower, the instances where this is necessary are very few. I find that the vast majority of enemy actions are inconsequential as long as you optimally use every per-encounter active ability at your disposal in encounters, don't suffer disengagement attacks and control enemy targeting.

 

Pillars combat is most similar to IWD2 in overall feel, large in part due to the encounter design in that game where you usually face larger numbers of mundane enemies the majority of the time, and at least in my experience, most 'boss battles' just required mostly straight damage. It still feels quite different because Pillars combat involves a lot of pre-encounter setup and then high amounts of player input performing active abilities. IWD2 doesn't require much if any pre-encounter setup, but it does require in combat management of positioning, movement and targeting like all the IE games do. The inability to really do this in Pillars completely changes the gameplay feel where instead of actively responding to enemy actions in combat you mostly just spam your active abilities inconsequentially, if anything it loosely reminds me of Dragon Age Origins despite the fact that the control scheme for both games is radically different.

 

I honestly don't think that Pillars of Eternity is very similar to Baldur's Gate 1. The structure of the way the player moves through the game reminds me more of the Icewind Dale games with a little bit more freedom. This is actually something I expected as Obsidian's games that I have played have all had fairly stringent progression through the game. Chapter 2 of the game felt a bit more like a smaller BG2 chapter 2 but less well executed/with less locations to visit. There really isn't much in the game that reminds me of BG1, it's more a mix of the IWD games, BG2 and NWN2 Obsidian.

 

The most BG1 the game gets is the area Magran's Fork.

Edited by Sensuki
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I say BG1 because it's the first in a long line of IE games. It broke the ground, which is how I see PoE. If the setting takes off, it can have a variety of takes on things such as sandbox, story-centered, more or less combat oriented, and exploring different regions.

 

However, I'll take your point and recognize your rationale.

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Pillars combat is most similar to ...

 

Hey now, this isn't a therapy session where a Doctor is requesting visual associations lol. You do rely on them because you quit PoE and no longer have a solidified point of reference.

 

In this thread you yourself pointed out that your concerns were dismissed because the developers felt your assertions were limited to the early levels.

 

https://forums.obsidian.net/topic/83171-white-march-part-2-officially-announced-coming-january/?p=1750387

"I had some concerns about the combat in the beta but I was basically told that my experience was based on a small level range against underwhelming combat encounters"

 

Although, your explanation changes in the same discussion:

https://forums.obsidian.net/topic/83171-white-march-part-2-officially-announced-coming-january/?p=1750506

"The response to my concerns about the system design was that it was too late to make changes"

 

So first you say your combat concerns were dismissed but then you try to make it seem like your combat concerns were considered but oh no it was too late to turn PoE in to SoE (Sensuki of Eternity). All you're doing is playing rock-paper-scissors with responses, and consistency is clearly optional.

 

The biggest point you seem to be able to make this past month is that, PoE should be more like Baldur's Gate. Hooray.

 

PoE should never have been a one-for-one clone of BG, and luckily the information we've seen about future PoE updates continue to take us down a unique and much appreciated path. For those of us who still enjoy playing the game.

 

 

It broke the ground, which is how I see PoE.

 

 

Damn right, captain patty cakes!

Edited by Zenbane
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The combat in BG is reactive though when you come up against things like Poison, Hold, Charm/Confusion, general damage,

Click appropriate button -> remove effect

 

enemy spell casting,

Click magic missiles and prioritize the mage. Of course, you prioritize the mage anyway, so that's actually all tactical decisionmaking there is to it (it's a bit more interesting when two mages are around, then you have to tell both your mages to use magic missiles.)

 

Being held is usually VERY bad and either requires a significant tactical reaction or a dispell.

If "by significant tactical reaction" you mean "kill the dudes before they kill your dude", then yes, it does :-P That's actually what you have to do in Pillars of Eternity tho, in BG you just click a button and make it go away.

 

spells like Mirror Image require you to focus fire the caster to be able to hit them.

Spells like Mirror Image require you to do what you would do anyway with a mage and cast magic missiles, because magic missiles are basically a dispell mage spell.

 

You're right that I was in a huge tactically challenging situation when all of my charm persons were gone and my cleric was the one charmed. I have then had to tactically run around in circles while Benny Hill music was playing and wait until the affliction went away. Of course if only engagement system was present, that would change the situation quite a bit as most people don't want to be stuck in melee with my cleric. Alas, it's not, so mindlessly running around works perfectly.

 

See, clicking a button is not a tactical decision as casting of spells removing afflictions usually takes very little time. Choosing the right spell to remove an affliction is not a tactical decision, it's just a matter of associating the right affliction with the right spell. Of course if you could not buff outside of combat, well that would add a whole bunch of tactical decisions as you'd have to commit to how do you wish to use your priest at any given point in time, but... You can. So you do that and then auto-attack. And occasionally click a button.

 

You really make it seem like one would spend hours in pause mode, thinking of his next move in Baldur's Gate, where in fact pretty much all problematic situations can be removed by clicking a button and then the combat goes back to auto attacking. Pillars of Eternity quite simply doesn't allow you to do that, so you need to play around afflictions of your characters as opposed to just removing them.

Edited by Fenixp
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I have then had to tactically run around in circles while Benny Hill music was playing and wait until the affliction went away.

 

 

LMAO! That was great, and I really did laugh beyond these pixels. I grew up with Benny Hill (which likely explains too much); well done.

 

I agree with your assessment on tactics. Personally, I've always enjoyed thinking of gaming "skill" as a whole, which does include Judgement Calls. Whether we're talking turn-based, real-time, or paused-combat... a judgement call must be made to achieve victory. Whether you are meta-gaming or bulldozing through enemies... the victory is most sweet when the reward is the result of a legitimate decision you, the player, made.

 

PoE is one of those games that truly does reward the player for making judgement calls.

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Pretty much, yes. Pillars of Eternity has a tendency of presenting you with various situations and telling you to deal with them - you can't just remove afflictions to do so, you need to play around them. You can remove engagement, but it requires time and effort.

 

When you decide to use a buff which protects you against an affliction, your priest gets occupied for a few precious seconds, and then you're put on a timer to kill creatures causing said afflictions because the priest buffs don't actually last all that long.

 

All spells have different utility at various parts of combat, from those which are the most efficient to use before combat even starts, trough spells which are powerful, but slow burning all the way to spells which afflict injured characters the most.

 

Pillars of Eternity forces you to react quite a bit - it's usually not just muscle memory of clicking a spell to counter this other spell and you need to even be aware of position of your opponents in relation to position of your characters as to prevent disengagement attacks from occuring, when the spellcaster is in front row engaged in combat, he can't just turn around and go cast whatever needs to be cast - first you need to free him of the engagement.

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