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I would like to being by saying "Wow! I love this game! I cannot say how great the experience has been ... not since the Baldur's Gate Series have I enjoyed a game of this style (i.e., AD&D-like Party Play Game). At this point, I am mid-way through Act II and I look forward to much, much, much more enjoyment.  With that said, I have a few thoughts to offer - two minor and one major.

 

I hope the post is spoiler free enough... please feel free to relocate it to appropriate area of forum if it needs be.

 

MINOR CONCERN/FEEDBACK:

 

PETS (Really About RPG Fluff):

 

I am not a massive fan of pets in games as I tend to be more of realist... they would never survive life of the road with spells especially with surprise attack area of effect spells - toast.  Although I have the little white dragon and maybe he can fly away or some such, but whatever.  With that said, I end up collecting at ton of them... and, as a benevolent, rational, and passionate character I am, I would rescue them and let them live in my keep.  Since you spent a lot of time on creating these little critters, I would love to have a chest or bin (maybe at Wardens) that you could put them into and they would populate some part of the keep - each to it's own little space appropriate to the pet.  In that way the pets would have their own little homes in my keep.

 

PRE-COMBAT PREP (Game Play Related):

 

In Classic RPG (whether table-top or computer-based), I have found one of the most important elements of combat strategy is casting the right prep-spells. I know beverages and food can be consumed prior to battle (in hall outside major battle); however, I find it an interesting choice not to have the characters prep for the battle with various projections prior to actual engagement. In real world combat and a good number of games of this ilk, I believe half-the-battle in fought prior to engagement with proper prep. I tend to play mages (or other spell casters)... so how is it an intellect mage would not drop - mirror image and elemental protection and shield on themselves pre-battle (lol)?  Oh well, I guess, as much as I would like more prepping ability - it is a minor issue.

 

MAJOR FRUSTRATION:

 

As a Wizard (Spell-Caster), I am one of the weakest direct-combat fighters and I arrange my party in a fashion that provides some buffer zones between myself and the enemy with stronger fighters in front - especially in a major battle with a boss or mass of enemies. In general play, I work pretty hard to customize my party arrangement.  It is a nice element of customization and allows for strategy and realism. Often, I will customize to (I hope this layout holds to post inverted V with my character in crux of V):

 

       Fi

  Pr Me Dr

  Ci       Wz 

 

I know that in pre-built in cut-scene animation the party tend to be put into default column position, marches into the room (kinda dumb but... eh, it is part of how game goes), and walks-up to boss and starts a conversation with a boss - okay, I accept this much as part of the whole hero-plot building thing... but what I really found to be a critical frustrating factor is - in Dyrford Crossing - when fighting the boss - regardless of how I position my character in the two-column ranking for general march - aka prior to entering the room - I might be1st Row Right, 2nd Row R or L, or 3rd Row R or L - I ALWAYS end-up 1st Row Left (trapped next to column in the front row of the battle).  It made this battle a rather unpleasant experience as it is devastating for a Wizard Character to be in-front of main line fighters.  It is one thing when you do not set-up your marching order correctly to suffer the consequences, but for them game to artificially force you into such a foolish place.

 

Okay, so given the gaming logistics - animated cut-scene might require forcing column arrangement and even making the main character a front-line person - because you have to animate their walking into the scene - however, in the best possible world - make a few animations that might play depending on column arrangement prior to entering the room OR, if that is too much to do logistically from a programming stand point, AT LEAST, have the PC in a position that allows mage to move outta the front line - aka not trapped by NPC on right and behind and column to the left.  It makes the fight less enjoyable when intelligent play on my part with party arrangement is undone and PC is unnecessarily screwed just because they are not a fighting class (as other more front-line classes would not be bothered - especially when this a programming issue not a REALLY HARD challenge intended and faced by all PCs).  In any case, I thought I would share - whether you can patch fix this in major (honor all column arrangements) or in a minor (PC is forced to front right - escape and movement is possible) or you just think about 'what if PC is a wizard' when forced the the front-line by cut-scene animated walk-ins.  I know this battle should be very hard and I am happy for a great in-game challenge, but not one that my planning should prevent or is class-specific due to animated cut-scene and programming logistics.

 

--------------------

 

With all that said, I love the game and there is sooooo much good.  It is just after several runs at this battle and observing my plans and party arrangement forced into the 'stupid wizard position' I had to write a note as it is a little more than frustrating... just a thought.

 

`Tyger~

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Starting combat out of an in-game cutscene is always a major annoyance. Thankfully, Pillars of Eternity does not have that many moments of that sort, but those which are there are that much more noticeable - to be fair at that point I don't even care about immersion or whatever, if you can't assure that my party arrangement will protect me, just don't ever take control from me. If you absolutely have to take control from me, feel free to warp my characters around to be in the default formation. Just... Whatever, but not this.

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Ditto for the cutscene combat. 

 

For one thing, it pulls the rug out from under stealth. If you want to melee backstab, you need to invest a quite a bit in it, and it's really frustrating when your beloved trump card is yanked away from you with no good reason. Moreover, I really can't see how those setpieces would've been worse if they had been handled through normal conversation. Some of them are (Raedric f ex) and they work perfectly well.

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thinking back to BG, prep combat is very important, especially when the enemies can cast nuisance spells.  being able to use blessing, for example, to get bonuses before going into combat would give the advantage.  however, it is fair as the devs. may have wanted to balance the game as enemies are not able to do prep combat either.

Gaming is meant to be fun.

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I don't think it's about balance as much as it is about eliminating repetitive gameplay. There's nothing actually fun about prebuffing - you just sort of stand there, staring at your party as they cast spells. It's a fairly mindless activity, especially when you do it after reloading. And so PoE eliminated both prebuffing and any need for it.

Edited by Fenixp
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