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Gairnulf

Developers, will there ever be a relevant Strategy Guide?

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With the game nearing stable status, I thought I'd raise that question.

 

I don't care much about the novella, but the lack of a good strategy guide is a disappointment for me, and was so from the start.

 

Prima's strategy guide for PoE is the single worst, least helpful guide I've read by Prima, containing copy-pasted text from the game descriptions, lacking any strategies and advice for specific encounters, consisting of mostly dumped weapon and talent stats.

 

The majority of its contents is out of date, or was never correct in the first place. There are quest walkthroughs referring to things which don't happen in the game, and what parts of the data are correct for the current version of the game, and what are not, nobody can really say.

 

Basic concepts such as recovery/attack speeds are not explained or only vaguely explained, with copy/pasted text from the ingame descriptions. Well, thanks, Prima Games!

 

In effect, we might as well never have had a Strategy Guide.

 

So, since the novella is coming eventually, and that's a question that has been settled, I want to ask this - is a Strategy Guide also coming eventually?

 

To add insult to injury, Prima have an eGuide for PoE which I guess is up to date, but it's inaccessible for PoE backers or for people who have bought the Strategy guide as part of their respective PoE "edition" - Hero, Champion, etc. Is it possible for Obsidian to negotiate with Prima Games, so that the eGuide is available for those PoE players who have the outdated pdf guide?

Edited by Gairnulf
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I'd put the chances of that happening at somewhere around the snowballs-in-hell ballpark, but then I'm pretty sure you know that and just wanted to vent. Which is okay, that's what forums are for.

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Any strategy guide concerning builds and strategy would be pointless considering major changes made to game mechanics in the past dont you think?

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Well that guide is 100% legit and nailed it.... until the first balance patch anyway, and WM P1...

 

WM P2 is already being worked on. And balance patches don't affect quest resolutions anyway, only bugs.

Edited by TrueMenace

Calibrating...

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I know of this of course. The guide itself lacks depth, although it's good for the quest walkthroughs.

 

Anyway, it has nothing to do with my original question.


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The idea of a printed strategy guide has been pointless for at least ten years. Not just the patching, but 'official' guides are generally made by people just doing a half-arse job for a buck and producing little more than glorified manuals. Obsessive players who play the game extensively will always be the better way.

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That's not necessarily true for all games. For example I've read a very useful guide for the Witcher 3, by Prima.


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Prima guides were always pretty useless once you became experienced at a game, but in the modern era of gaming where they can patch stuff all the time.....don't even bother.

 

I still have a collection of all my old guides. If you reread them after you've completed a few playthroughs on a game you'll realize something.....the writes are NOOBS. Ya I said it.....

 

I still remember the guide for BG2 I bought, and the writters couldn't figure out how to beat Kangaxx.........it read something like "If you figure out how to beat this guy, let us know"

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Aside from maybe some character build tips I'm not sure why you would even need a strategy guide for this game. None of the quest seemed all that hard to figure out. There aren't really any puzzles to speak of. And if a particular fight is too difficult, come back to it when you level up once or twice.

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So the consensus seems to be "Since the guide for PoE was a failure, all guides suck"? Obviously that's not true. This argument, if that's what anyone is implying, is absurd.

 

I find guides useful as an encyclopedia on the game. At some point I'll be curious to know what taking a given path in a game leads to, but I can't be bothered to start a whole new playthrough, or load a savegame from way back in the game just in order to test something. That's when I usually resort to guides. The other case is when I'm going for completing every quest, checking out every side area and character. So, no, guides have their use if they are made well.


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So the consensus seems to be "Since the guide for PoE was a failure, all guides suck"? Obviously that's not true. This argument, if that's what anyone is implying, is absurd.

 

I find guides useful as an encyclopedia on the game. At some point I'll be curious to know what taking a given path in a game leads to, but I can't be bothered to start a whole new playthrough, or load a savegame from way back in the game just in order to test something. That's when I usually resort to guides. The other case is when I'm going for completing every quest, checking out every side area and character. So, no, guides have their use if they are made well.

No, the argument is "games are patched/rebalanced too often and writers are not knowledgable enough about the games to make printed guides useful." Probably not profitable either, when they directly compete with free(!) online resources. A wiki is more than sufficient for everything you just mentioned you want from a guide.

 

Don't get me wrong, I like physical books too. But the fact remains that day 1 guides are worthless if you care about accurate information and a printed complete guide for PoE isn't even possible yet because the game is still being rebalanced.

Edited by Rosveen

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I think it's you who got me wrong, I'm not talking about a physical strategy guide at all. I don't really want a physical guide. Just a one-stop source of information on rules.

 

Games are not patched/rebalanced all that often, provided they have been released in a mostly complete state. Adding new features post-release which the developers themselves commented that they wanted to have at release speaks enough. BTW, some inconsistencies between PoE's strategy guide and the game have never been patched and will never be patched. They are not due to the game diverging from the guide material because of patching, but because there were things left incomplete.

 

The unnamed "online sources", to which you refer, do not contain such a one-stop source of complete information on rules, mechanics and strategies. And that's understandable because when the game is changing underneath you, it's very difficult to write coherent advice on anything. This is why I'm asking this question now, as I explained in my first post.


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I'm not debating the usefulness of game guides. Their usefulness is beyond any doubt. What I am wondering, and asking, is if it would make sense, in light of the game reaching complete state, to give players access to an updated version of the Prima eGuide for PoE. I do not know if this eGuide itself is up to date, nor, in case it is not, wether it would be updated, how much would it cost to be updated, and if it's possible for Obsidian to strike a deal for owners of the original, out-of-date guide, to get access to the eGuide for free, or at a discount.

 

I think now is the time to ask this because first, the game is nearing complete state, or at least a state beyond which there will be no more patches, and second, because it's my opinion that from a client-vendor perspective, the original guide doesn't deliver at all. So I think it's an opportunity for something good to come out of something bad.

Edited by Gairnulf

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I don't care about getting a new guide, but I have to agree.  I've seen pics of the Prima guide and it looks like it sucks.  If I had it and needed to figure out where I went wrong on something, I think I'd just ignore it and do an interwebs search.  In fact, while I haven't used them for the fights (I find the people here are a pretty good resource for that) I have used the internet to figure out quests that tax my admittedly limited mental faculties.   I think the last guide I bought (well, not me, a friend but I boggarted it all the time) was for Might and Magic VI, Mandate of Heaven.  I lost that copy and purchased the GoG version and it turns out the 'net is actually still great for old games too and a lot easier to use in some cases.  Unless you like the presentation, the pics, the writing, or some other specific non-functional feature, game guides are probably a waste of money.  Not that I'm putting you down.  Whenever I have money, I waste it on all sorts of silly crap, which is why I never have any.


bother?

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There is no one on the web nowadays to make a guide like those Dan Simpson composed for the IE games. Quality information on PoE to the extent to which it exists on the Internet, is not systematized and is not guaranteed to be up to date, with the 10 or so patches since release. In-depth tactics advice and tips for specific encounters are nowhere to be found, except through digging through forums, and even then, you are reading advice which has been seen by a couple of hundred people at most, it hasn't been tested enough, hasn't been criticized enough, and has no chance to be improved. Yes, guides are needed.


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So the consensus seems to be "Since the guide for PoE was a failure, all guides suck"? Obviously that's not true. This argument, if that's what anyone is implying, is absurd.

 

I find guides useful as an encyclopedia on the game. At some point I'll be curious to know what taking a given path in a game leads to, but I can't be bothered to start a whole new playthrough, or load a savegame from way back in the game just in order to test something. That's when I usually resort to guides. The other case is when I'm going for completing every quest, checking out every side area and character. So, no, guides have their use if they are made well.

 

Nobody said that. If anything, the point is that guides have suffered from fundamental flaws for a long time, even if you thought they were gravy.

 

Guides are the way they are because of certain fundamental issues. Guides have to be printed, and that often means they have to be written before the game is gold - so even discounting later patching, the guides are often written quickly, by people who haven't even been able to play the release version (and often don't give a crap anyway). You've got a couple of people rushing through a pre-release version with little to no oversight from the developers and rushing to get it out - which is why so many guides are filled with errors, do not contain very in-depth analysis, and often amount to "hey guys I played this game once real quick but this is how I beat that boss". 

 

This also means printed guides are often less vetted than online, amateur ones. It is uncommon for the developers to have the time to go through and check the contents of the guides thoroughly, and for the aforementioned reasons, people writing the guides are in a much worse position than hardcore players who have time to continue playing, fiddling, updating, under the scrutiny of like-minded players. 

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Maybe im just not as curious as you, but ive always had my questions answered between google searches and the in game help section. If i want a different path spoiled( like whats inside Mordread's box) then i google it. I want to track down crafting ingredient locations I google. ranger hunting bows you get the idea.

 

I think this means we will never see the developers make a 100% accurate strategy guide with heart and soul poured in. The players already have a free, fast and reliable way to find all the info they need.

 

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That's not necessarily true for all games. For example I've read a very useful guide for the Witcher 3, by Prima.

 

yeah, but then you have to play a witcher game. :facepalm:

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