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Giving this another try - some questions

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I played this when it first came out and thought it was ok but generally mediocre and lost interest about halfway through second Act. I have some time now and am interested in picking it back up; although I know all the patches and expansion will not have fixed some of the design choices I disliked, I enjoyed the original product well enough that I think with all the subsequent work done I may enjoy the current game enough to finish (and I don't have time to wait for White March Pt. 2). I am planning on playing through with a half custom, half NPC party (Pallegina, Eder, and Hiravias, as those were the only NPCs I liked - possibly Sagani if I feel like it). 

 

All that being said, I have a few questions:

 

Difficulty: I played through on Hard the first time. I found the difficulty to be ok for the first half of the game, and enjoyed, as an example, the following fights: final fight in Raedric's Hold, Ogre level in Endless Paths (for whatever reason), first dungeon (the one with the shades and the ratpeople and whatnot), random encounter brawl with that death godlike robber guy, fight with that banshee lady in the sealed section of the city and the sealed section of the city in general. However, as the game went on there were few fights that felt enjoyable or tactical and too many trash mobs that had to be hacked through (for no real XP or loot, either), such as all the wilderness fights, or the fights in the docks section (particularly thinking of that reassemble the scepter quest), etc. 

 

Experience: The last game seemed to suffer from severe XP bloat. I'm the kind of person who tries to do every quest, and by the midgame I felt severely over-leveled (I also did not feel the game scaled well). 

 

So, my question is, what difficulty/XP level should I play the game at (assuming IE Mod is still a viable option to decrease XP gain)? Have they scaled the content better, and if so is the higher level content enjoyable? PotD regular XP gain? Or Hard regular XP gain? Or Hard 1/2 XP gain or something? I like to try to roleplay somewhat in my combat, so I don't necessarily optimize my party, and I don't abuse the resting system - try to complete at least one level of Endless paths at a time, only rest if it makes story sense to, etc.

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It sounds like your looking for a challenge. In my opinion PotD only becomes quite easy with a fully optimized party around the half way point. Once you start getting to a certain level and finding very good gear a lot of fights will become easier but on PotD I feel that if you slack off for a fight it can suddenly sneak up on you and really take a toll. There are also going to be some high level boss encounters that are extremely difficult. With the increased level cap they provide options to scale up the difficulty for certain areas to keep the end game content challenging.

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It sounds like your looking for a challenge. In my opinion PotD only becomes quite easy with a fully optimized party around the half way point. Once you start getting to a certain level and finding very good gear a lot of fights will become easier but on PotD I feel that if you slack off for a fight it can suddenly sneak up on you and really take a toll. There are also going to be some high level boss encounters that are extremely difficult. With the increased level cap they provide options to scale up the difficulty for certain areas to keep the end game content challenging.

Spot on.  About the Half way point PotD starts to become easier BUT there are certain bosses that no matter what are extremely difficult and if you make a mistake it will punish you mercilessly.  You can recover but if you a few of those mistakes in the same fight you are done.  I only play PotD/ ToI.  I find its more exciting.

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Have gun will travel.

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Been pretty fun so far, except for the Temple of Eothas...****ing Shadows. Man I hate those things. It's not even that they teleport (which is cheesy but you can manage) it's that they're just damn hard to hit and you don't have many options this early in the game (as opposed to say, when you fight a lighthouse full of them later). At least my main wizard has eldritch aim, but my low-resting mantra pretty much has to go out the window for this dungeon.

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play as dead is dead style, or there is only one save.

 

gaining exp through the game feels fairly balanced.  being overpower in the middle of the game, does somewhat take the fun and challenge of it.

 

I'm glad I'm not - I've died like 10 times in the Temple of Eothas alone lol! But I would never play ironman on PotD anyway.

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The spectres are some of the more challenging enemies you will face. Try debuffing them. Curse of Blackened Sight works particularly good at this point of the game.

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Yeah the original posts basically covered it, as far as IE mod goes though, I wouldn't count on it.  It isn't really getting updated anymore and if it ever gets made 3.0 compatible I imagine it will be a month or probably more after 3.0's release before it happens.  That said there is plenty of tough content in game in the expansion areas, especially on POTD and if you choose to level up the expansion area for "extra challenge".

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IE mod is available for current version, it's in beta but I've read is pretty stable.

 

I haven't played since the first week after I beat it, I'll be playing around a month after TWM 2 is released.

 

From my understanding playing with xp nerfed by 25% is a good way to go. You still hit the cap towards the end or so

Edited by danielkx
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IE mod is available for current version, it's in beta but I've read is pretty stable.

True, but you can't play White March part 2 without upgrading to 3.0 as White March P2 and 3.0 are literally the same patch.  Considering the amount of gameplay changing in 3.0 getting the IE mod running with it will take a lot of work.

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Been pretty fun so far, except for the Temple of Eothas...****ing Shadows. Man I hate those things. It's not even that they teleport (which is cheesy but you can manage) it's that they're just damn hard to hit and you don't have many options this early in the game (as opposed to say, when you fight a lighthouse full of them later). At least my main wizard has eldritch aim, but my low-resting mantra pretty much has to go out the window for this dungeon.

 

If you're dying constantly against them, you're doing something wrong. PotD will throw enemies like that at you a lot -- something that'll either hit so hard you die, or be so hard to hit they'll wear you down. You have to figure out how to neutralise their attacks and get past their defences. Once you do, they become pretty easy really.

 

So study them a bit and figure out the right tactics to beat them. You will need to be doing that a quite a bit in PotD.

 

(Or it could be you're just underleveled. Going there with just you, Edér, and Aloth at level 3 is not going to be easy whatever you do.)


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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IE mod is available for current version, it's in beta but I've read is pretty stable.

True, but you can't play White March part 2 without upgrading to 3.0 as White March P2 and 3.0 are literally the same patch.  Considering the amount of gameplay changing in 3.0 getting the IE mod running with it will take a lot of work.

 

No question IE mod will take quite a bit of time to get out and stable after 3.0 however I do not believe the OP was too concerned with this. Sounds like he wants to play today which would mean he would likely be finished long before 3.0 is released therefore the IE mod in it's current state would be more than acceptable for him.

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I also suspect that both IE Mod maintainers will want to play TWM pt. II when it comes out, so they'll likely be around to update the mod as well ;) The latest update is from what, last week? With a spiffy mod launcher to boot!


"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

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 However, as the game went on there were few fights that felt enjoyable or tactical and too many trash mobs that had to be hacked through (for no real XP or loot, either), such as all the wilderness fights, or the fights in the docks section (particularly thinking of that reassemble the scepter quest), etc. 

I feel this way as well.  Sometimes the extra enemies give loot, but the lack of any other benefit really steals a lot of the fun out the game, IMHO. Makes it feel exactly as you described: needless bloat.  I really wish games would get off the idea that the only way to make the game harder is to just turn up all the dials.  More HP spongy enemies! More damage from enemies! More ENEMIES! Wheeeee.......  no, not really.   :( 

 

It would be nice if they actually gave enemies on higher difficulties better AI.  I guess that would be kind of hard to program or something? I don't know, I'm not a dev.  

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It would be nice if they actually gave enemies on higher difficulties better AI.  I guess that would be kind of hard to program or something?

Not harder to program per se, it's just that when devs put a ton of development time into enemy AI, they want all of their players to experience it, not only those playing on higher difficulties. So increased HP pools/more enemies it is. Edited by Fenixp
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Pity, though. Better A.I. would help immensely make encounters more fun at higher levels.


"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

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I think the AI is pretty good already. They actively go after the squishiest and most dangerous characters in your party, and use their abilities actively and relatively intelligently. It's come a long 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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Been pretty fun so far, except for the Temple of Eothas...****ing Shadows. Man I hate those things. It's not even that they teleport (which is cheesy but you can manage) it's that they're just damn hard to hit and you don't have many options this early in the game (as opposed to say, when you fight a lighthouse full of them later). At least my main wizard has eldritch aim, but my low-resting mantra pretty much has to go out the window for this dungeon.

 

If you're dying constantly against them, you're doing something wrong. PotD will throw enemies like that at you a lot -- something that'll either hit so hard you die, or be so hard to hit they'll wear you down. You have to figure out how to neutralise their attacks and get past their defences. Once you do, they become pretty easy really.

 

So study them a bit and figure out the right tactics to beat them. You will need to be doing that a quite a bit in PotD.

 

(Or it could be you're just underleveled. Going there with just you, Edér, and Aloth at level 3 is not going to be easy whatever you do.)

 

 

Yeah I was just severely underleveled but I didn't want to come back to it. Was playing with two custom created characters as well but both level 2 and neither capable of really doing much. I beat them all eventually - the fights against everything else were challenging but doable, just the shadows/shades that are really tough at such a low level. Since then had zero problems clearing out two wilderness zones. About to try to do Maerwald (probably underleveled as well) because trying to open up the way to get to Pellagina and Hiravias ASAP.

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I think the AI is pretty good already. They actively go after the squishiest and most dangerous characters in your party, and use their abilities actively and relatively intelligently. It's come a long way.

 

It has indeed, but still enemies make no use of potions, scrolls, or items' spellbound abilities. They never try to suppress afflictions you cause them, or help each other out when in a group. Basically when you're fighting a mob, you're actually fighting a number of individual enemies that act as though the other weren't even there for the most part. Whatever you do, A.I. will never change what they are doing to react/adapt. After a while, it becomes really predictable and easy to best.


"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

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It would be nice if they actually gave enemies on higher difficulties better AI.  I guess that would be kind of hard to program or something?

Not harder to program per se, it's just that when devs put a ton of development time into enemy AI, they want all of their players to experience it, not only those playing on higher difficulties. So increased HP pools/more enemies it is.

 

Then they need to stop.  Devs need to realize that not every difficulty setting is for every person. Especially in a game like PoE which caters to a very specific style of gameplay due to backer requests.   Look a the Dark Souls games:  Punishingly difficult, and yet extremely popular.  DOTA2 is another good example. Their bots on higher difficulties actually employ different tactics and get better at the game(sadly they also employ certain minor buffs to their speed and such). 

 

A game doesn't necessarily need to be targeted at every single gamer out there. Gaming is huge and popular these days(thank god!), and if you make a good game it will be recognized. People will buy it and play it.  

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From my understanding AI is probably one of the hardest things to do and definitely one of the most time consuming. A game like Europa Universalis IV (which is more complex obviously) has been developing it's AI, in various components, for 10+ years. FWIW it will probably be much better in PoE 2 since most of the core systems, and thus AI, should be recyclable.

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Devs need to realize that not every difficulty setting is for every person.

They do realize that, which is why Obsidian put in the effort of changing enemy composition rather than just damage/HP buffs (even tho Path of the Damned is still a thing). One thing you need to realize, however, is that AI costs a lot of development time and most have a tendency of playing games on normal difficulty. Instead of coding AI that only minority of players would get to see, it's usually a better idea to not code that high tier AI at all and instead focus on things most players will get to experience. Similarly, when you have created a complex AI that's fun to play against, you don't want players going trough lower difficulties to not experience that fun - after all, your game will be judged by the opinion of majority.

 

As for games not having to target every single player out there... It's funny that you use Dark Souls as an example, which is a mainstream game, no matter how you look at it :-P At any rate, Pillars of Eternity is not necessarily built around difficulty, which is why difficulty options as presented are a fairly good idea.

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It has indeed, but still enemies make no use of potions, scrolls, or items' spellbound abilities. They never try to suppress afflictions you cause them, or help each other out when in a group. Basically when you're fighting a mob, you're actually fighting a number of individual enemies that act as though the other weren't even there for the most part. Whatever you do, A.I. will never change what they are doing to react/adapt. After a while, it becomes really predictable and easy to best.

 

I've seen enemy paladins use Liberating Exhortations on their friends when I've slapped status effects on them. Not sure if I've seen enemy priests use Suppress Affliction though. (OTOH I usually target them first so I don't know if they'd make it that far.)

 

I have seen spellbound abilities fire, but I think those have mostly been the auto-firing variety (e.g. Frenzy on Sanguine Plate). Gotta keep an eye out for that actually.


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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