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The party supplies mechanic is inherently flawed. It doesn't present any kind of challenge or decisionmaking, it just occasionally forces you to take a break from playing the game in order to return to wherever you buy supplies. There's no element of difficulty in this. It's simple tedium. Once your health is in the grey, you simply must leave the area and get more supplies. You can't continue, you can't attempt to brave the dungeon anyway. And with an allowance of just two rests per "adventure," this severely limits how long you can be anywhere without returning, and probably limited content design as well.

 

My favourite part of BG2 was when you were thrown into the Underdark to fend for yourself, not knowing when you might get to return to civilization. You more or less had to make do with whatever you had on you at the time. That was really immersive and interesting, and PoE could never do something like that because of this mechanic. Having to return to town every 30 minutes feels like some kind of MMORPG feature. Playing PoE often feels like doing dungeons in WoW: bite-sized and regularly interrupted by the necessity of returning to town purely because the game says so.

 

What's the point? With this health mechanic and such a limited amount of rests, nothing is accomplished besides meaningless return trips that you only need to do because of an arbitrary limitation on party supplies. It isn't even realistic -- your party of six can only carry enough supplies to rest twice (or like four or whatever on easy)? Why? I'm pretty sure that I, right now, could carry enough supplies to rest six or eight times, and I'm neither a barbarian nor a wizard. You'd think they could take better care of themselves.

 

Suggested alternatives:

- When out of supplies, you can still rest to recover health but no longer regain per-rest abilities and spells

- Party supply pool increased to at least 6 (1 per party member)

- You can rest for free outdoors, and the survival skill lets you gather supplies in any wilderness area where it makes sense

- I don't know... lembas bread?

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Hey Armegar,

 

Each difficulty has a different allotted amount of camping supplies to it. Also there is a fair amount of camping supplies scattered throughout the world. If you know of any specific areas that are lacking in camping supplies we'd want to correct that. Some of your suggestions are interesting and we are always looking for 'better' ways of implementing any features in our games.

 

Story Time - ∞

Easy - 6

Normal - 4

Hard - 2

Path of the Damned - 2

 

I got your back

-Sking

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The party supplies mechanic is inherently flawed. It doesn't present any kind of challenge or decisionmaking, it just occasionally forces you to take a break from playing the game in order to return to wherever you buy supplies.

 

I disagree. It offers an incentive to conserve your resources, precisely because you don't want to backtrack just to get new supplies.

 

If you find yourself going back to town just to get more camping supplies, you're doing it wrong. Most wilderness areas or dungeon levels have at least one camping supply that you can find as loot, and if that is not enough then that's a sign that the area is currently too difficult for you, and that you might be better off exploring another part of the game world first and come back later, or play at a lower difficulty level.

Edited by Ineth
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"Some ideas are so stupid that only an intellectual could believe them." -- attributed to George Orwell

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I'm with Ineth. It's not that I'd be angry if they removed resting supplies, but they do encourage the player to plan better. Anyhow, various games have tried to address these issues in different ways. I remember iron rations from Wye of the Beholder. Then iron rations were included in... IWD 2 as a joke since the IE didn't use rations. Good times. Might not work for everyone, but what does?

bother?

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" You more or less had to make do with whatever you had on you at the time. "

 

This is exactly what the supplies are supposed to do. I agree with you that, especially for certain playing styles, it doesn't really accomplish this goal. On one hand, IE games arguably made what you describe (let's just call it attrition for now) a non-factor for many people, because you could rest 9000 times like this was some hotel. Pillars fixes this problem, but in some cases players apparently end up taking boring treks back to town all the time, which isn't much better. 

 

I'll say this - a player who really commits to saying, I'll clear this dungeon with my camping supplies without silly trips back to town, will get a really good attrition effect. You learn to prioritise and make tactical choices not only to conserve per-rest abilities but to conserve your health. It's also possible to keep fighting with low health; it's not impossible like you say. I've had some of the most fun when I had to have a couple of party members hang back due to low health, and try to make it through the next battle. Similarly, you get some great attrition when you don't abuse the rest system in IE to fight every single battle with max HP and spells. 

 

In other words, both systems rely on the player a lot (too much, probably), and a better solution I hope is found in POE2. Increasing the number of rests won't really help - even on Hard/POTD's 2 limit, nearly every dungeon worth the name contains 1 or more camping supplies to be found. e.g. Temple of Eothas thus allows 3 rests on POTD, and there are 11 fights total if you kill everything; on Easy, you can already rest after almost every single fight. If we're going to gift players even more supplies, we might as well just get rid of it and go back to IE, less fuss that way.

 

I think this issue is so tough to resolve because it's clear that players have wildly different ways of approaching resting, and wildly different thresholds for what they imagine is 'bad outcome'. There are people who clearly enjoy resting after every battle or whenever they lack their most powerful spells and lose a bit of HP, and find the inability to get back to 100% a stupid frustration, and on the other extreme there are also many people who like restrictions that force low-resources fights and strategic planning. How do you satisfy everyone? Probably impossible, but in that case how do you at least design for a decent range of people?

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I also don't see anything wrong with the camping supplies mechanic.  If you're constantly going back to town to rest, you sound like the kind of player who would rest after nearly every battle just so that you can recharge all of your per-rest abilities. 

 

I see the effect of camping supplies as creating an incentive, even if a bit artificial, to conserve resources (such as per-rest abilities, spells, or camping supplies) so that you can cover as much ground as possible between rests.  Honestly, I enjoy trying to go as long as possible and reasonable between rests.

 

 

About the only way I could see to deal with this larger issue of preventing players from overuse of resting, would be to put time limits on some of the quests, etc.  But I don't foresee that this would be a popular thing to most players. 

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I agree with the other posters above me that limited supplies offers an incentive to conserve resources, which leads to far more interesting gameplay.  It also adds a way for level designers to put in situationally valuable loot (camping supplies) that are not monetarily valuable.  I would add something else, since it disincentivizes rest spam and sends players back to inns, it incentivizes buying a nice room at a inns.  One's the carrot for less rest spam, the other's the stick and they work nicely in tandem.

 

The more I play the game, the more I'm impressed with the way small mechanics changes synergize to further design goals.  Vancian spells, limited rests, and health push you to really drive into dungeons at the limited of your endurance.  But knock-out injuries, permanent death, and TPKs exist to punish you as you push beyond your means.  It really gives a great dungeon crawl feel.

 

And underdark was a cool atmosphere, but rest anywhere with relatively easy random encounters meant that being far from civilization didn't affect gameplay much.  And Baldur's Gate would just inconsistently shut off resting in some places without a warning to the player.  That's not great system design.

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As someone who is playing on PotD and Expert, the only time I needed to return to town for more supplies was during Raedric's Keep at the very of the game. Not only is this my first time playing (I put in 10 hours when first released), but I've also completed a vast majority of the game so far (around 90 hours) with no meta knowledge. So I have to disagree - you do find supplies while out of town, but it forces you to continue even with low health and injuries. Nothing beats having almost the entire party with red health, one camping supply left, but still another group before (what's likely) the boss and using every dirty trick to take down that group to be fresh for the boss. Personally, I hope they keep the mechanic since it definitely increases the strategy needed.

Edited by mychal26
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You're right OP, the supply mechanic is fundamentally flawed.  What it mainly makes me do in Patch 3.00 is just avoid bringing the Vancian casters(Priest, WIzard, Druid), but that's another thread entirely. Chanter/Cipher domination!

 

Unfortunately the fix isn't simple.  Most of the game has been designed around that rest mechanic, and Obsidian is kind of stuck with it, at least for this first Pillars game. 

 

I'd say get the IEMod if you want to play the game more your way, but unfortunately the IEMod developers seem to have quit.  Oh well, the limited rest mechanic is only an issue the first time you play, after that you will understand the meta-game enough to basically ignore it.

 

I agree with you though, it adds tedium, in my opinion. Once a player grasps tactics enough, and has played or scouted enough to see/know enemy locations and strength, the limit is meaningless, as there are convenient stacks of logs all over the place anyway.   This should be the first indication that the mechanic is broken or at least sub-optimal, level designers being forced to add rest 'tokens' to dungeons. 

 

Don't get me wrong, I love the majority of Pillars of Eternity, but the rest mechanic and the recent change to Vancian casters both seem like the could be vastly improved.

 

I'd prefer if they went back to a version of the fatigue system, where your characters got a debuff after a certain amount of adventuring/traveling, maybe increased dramatically after a lot of fighting or something, but simultaneously allow unlimited resting in any 'defensible' spot, ie Lockable rooms in dungeons, pacified wilderness, or something.  That may be a more dramatic change than Obsidian is willing to do, but it'd be a fun mod to try to implement.   As it is, if you rest enough, you lose your Inn Bonus, which ends up being quite strong with some of the later Inns.

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The party supplies mechanic is inherently flawed. It doesn't present any kind of challenge or decisionmaking, it just occasionally forces you to take a break from playing the game in order to return to wherever you buy supplies.

 

I disagree. It offers an incentive to conserve your resources, precisely because you don't want to backtrack just to get new supplies.

 

If you find yourself going back to town just to get more camping supplies, you're doing it wrong. Most wilderness areas or dungeon levels have at least one camping supply that you can find as loot, and if that is not enough then that's a sign that the area is currently too difficult for you, and that you might be better off exploring another part of the game world first and come back later, or play at a lower difficulty level.

 

 

No, it doesn't. You can't conserve your health resource. You can't heal health. Once you take health damage, the one and only way to restore it is by resting.

 

It's kind of silly and ridiculous that everyone's just assuming that I'm some newbie who needs to get good. I play on PotD. I beat the game just fine. I'm not struggling with the game's difficulty. The supply mechanic has nothing to do with difficulty whatsoever. Unless you're trying to tell me that you don't take damage when you play, and that everyone should be held to that standard, then you have no point. You, and all but one other poster, seem to have intentionally misinterpreted my point in order to essentially tell me I'm bad.

 

The supply mechanic means every bit of the content has to be designed in accordance with it. You can't have a dungeon that traps you, because then your game is over the moment you run out of health and supplies -- which, with a mere two rests (you have to go all the way down to 'normal' to get more than two, so please don't tell me that's the solution), would be inevitable in content of any real length.

 

There's no element of difficulty in this mechanic. You lose health from combat, by design -- in fact, this game is rather brutal in this regard, with a lot of enemies and abilities that will deal so much damage that rest is an absolute necessity after a certain amount of time. Nobody overcomes this "challenge" to such a degree that they no longer need to rest. You just don't seem to mind that you have to periodically go and buy supplies.

 

What's actually gained by this? The game is entirely beatable, so it's not some kind of difficulty check. If and when you run out of supplies, you have to simply backtrack and get more. Enemies don't respawn, dungeons don't trap you, you're never actually prevented from doing it. The challenge is expressly absent because this mechanic necessitates that you must always be able to do that. If anything, this mechanic removes difficulty and challenge by merit of its very existence.

 

It's pointless tedium. It's a meaningless thing to keep track of, a nuisance that serves no purpose and isn't even realistic.

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I don't feel there's even a problem, and don't want them messing with it for PoE2 and breaking things trying to fix something that isn't broken.

 

The current mechanic gives a bit of incentive to conserve resources since going back to town to get supplies takes time, but doesn't actually ever stop you from resting which I think is fine, an actual hard limit on resting could only result in frustration and possibly having to go back and reload hours old saves to redo areas with less resting.

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Story Time - ∞

Easy - 6

Normal - 4

Hard - 2

Path of the Damned - 2

 

And I thought that the limit in Story Time is 99. Which brings me to this question: what will happen if I have the max quantity of camping supplies and then change my difficulty level to higher? Surplus simply vanishes?

 

;)

It would be of small avail to talk of magic in the air...

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I'm not a fan of the mechanic myself.

 

Then again, I never felt the need to have a designer tell me whether or not I should be rest-spamming. I like to believe I'm fully capable of deciding if I want to "exploit" the rest system or not. In that same way, I enjoy the ability to quick load and quick save. I don't enjoy games that enforce check point saving or constant caution even through trivial/trash encounters.

 

That said, if the combat AI and pathfinding weren't both quite atrocious - and the UI/sound feedback was a lot better, then it wouldn't be as big of an annoyance.

 

But since you're usually in need of supplies because the game is working against you, rather than because you've wasted them by bad decision-making - the issue of this designers-as-your-parents mechanic is worsened.

 

I wouldn't mind being punished for making bad decisions - but being punished because my characters run back and forth instead of acting due to absurdly rigid engagement rules and invisible blockers - or because my vulnerable characters decided it was time to break a very clear formation to walk 5 feet and suddenly engage enemies as frontline fighters, it gets frustrating to run back and restock.

 

Maybe that's just me, however.

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I don't think that there is a real problem concerning camping supplies. I pay path of the damned and I am not very good at it. But I seldom run out of supplies and if I do, I always know where to find them. But I agree that it is kind of unneccessary, as I can always return to a place where I will find supply. A better way to manage that kind of thing (but I have to admit, that it would be very difficult for the player) would be to not limit the amount of supplies you can take with you, but the amount of supplies available in the game.

 

I like your suggestions, they sound fun. You could rest anytime you needed, but would still feel the need to manage your supplies. Combined with a limited total amount, I would like each of them very much.

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We're all doomed

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A better way to manage that kind of thing (but I have to admit, that it would be very difficult for the player) would be to not limit the amount of supplies you can take with you, but the amount of supplies available in the game.

 

That would be a better way in the survival genre or in PoE as an optional toggle, but not by default. You can't risk a situation when the player runs out of available supplies and further progression is impossible.
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What's actually gained by this?

 

 

Go take a look at your typical Infinity Engine game Let's Play video for the answer to that.

 

I could take the criticisms of supplies-haters more seriously if they didn't insist on being willfully obtuse

Edited by Infinitron
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As someone who is playing on PotD and Expert, the only time I needed to return to town for more supplies was during Raedric's Keep at the very of the game. Not only is this my first time playing (I put in 10 hours when first released), but I've also completed a vast majority of the game so far (around 90 hours) with no meta knowledge. So I have to disagree - you do find supplies while out of town, but it forces you to continue even with low health and injuries. Nothing beats having almost the entire party with red health, one camping supply left, but still another group before (what's likely) the boss and using every dirty trick to take down that group to be fresh for the boss. Personally, I hope they keep the mechanic since it definitely increases the strategy needed.

I agree 100%. I've finished this game at the Path of the Damned and even done a Triple Crown Solo, and it definitely is an aspect of strategy to it. Even now, when I try the game at the Normal difficulty, with a party consisting of tavern hirelings, it presents me with exciting tactical stuff. This happened to me the other night: At a difficult fight (no resting was allowed on that map - another tactical thing btw), I had one character in my party at 1 in Health and Endurance, but she could heal and buff (a Priest), and our opponents were dealing toxic AoE to the party, so I had to micro-manage her, behind a wall and a bunk bed, while she was helping the party, since one whiff of those poisonous tendrils would mean the true end of her (as in stone-cold dead). I loved it. :)

Edited by IndiraLightfoot
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*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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If you don't like the mechanic that's fine - it doesn't mean that it's bad, it just means you don't like it. I don't like some things about the game, doesn't make them bad, just means I don't like them :getlost:

For the record I think the idea behind supplies is good. The old ie games made vancian casting completely pointless. The amount of resting I ended up doing to finish the game, I may as well have carried a bed. Pillars is great, I can try and finish an area with the supplies (normally it's not a problem) and only occasionally do I run into trouble and have to resupply. And as others have said, there are often supplies to be found on the maps.

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"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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The party supplies mechanic is inherently flawed. It doesn't present any kind of challenge or decisionmaking, it just occasionally forces you to take a break from playing the game in order to return to wherever you buy supplies.

 

I disagree. It offers an incentive to conserve your resources, precisely because you don't want to backtrack just to get new supplies.

 

If you find yourself going back to town just to get more camping supplies, you're doing it wrong. Most wilderness areas or dungeon levels have at least one camping supply that you can find as loot, and if that is not enough then that's a sign that the area is currently too difficult for you, and that you might be better off exploring another part of the game world first and come back later, or play at a lower difficulty level.

 

 

No, it doesn't. You can't conserve your health resource. You can't heal health. Once you take health damage, the one and only way to restore it is by resting.

 

It's kind of silly and ridiculous that everyone's just assuming that I'm some newbie who needs to get good. I play on PotD. I beat the game just fine. I'm not struggling with the game's difficulty. The supply mechanic has nothing to do with difficulty whatsoever. Unless you're trying to tell me that you don't take damage when you play, and that everyone should be held to that standard, then you have no point. You, and all but one other poster, seem to have intentionally misinterpreted my point in order to essentially tell me I'm bad.

 

The supply mechanic means every bit of the content has to be designed in accordance with it. You can't have a dungeon that traps you, because then your game is over the moment you run out of health and supplies -- which, with a mere two rests (you have to go all the way down to 'normal' to get more than two, so please don't tell me that's the solution), would be inevitable in content of any real length.

 

There's no element of difficulty in this mechanic. You lose health from combat, by design -- in fact, this game is rather brutal in this regard, with a lot of enemies and abilities that will deal so much damage that rest is an absolute necessity after a certain amount of time. Nobody overcomes this "challenge" to such a degree that they no longer need to rest. You just don't seem to mind that you have to periodically go and buy supplies.

 

What's actually gained by this? The game is entirely beatable, so it's not some kind of difficulty check. If and when you run out of supplies, you have to simply backtrack and get more. Enemies don't respawn, dungeons don't trap you, you're never actually prevented from doing it. The challenge is expressly absent because this mechanic necessitates that you must always be able to do that. If anything, this mechanic removes difficulty and challenge by merit of its very existence.

 

It's pointless tedium. It's a meaningless thing to keep track of, a nuisance that serves no purpose and isn't even realistic.

 

Take less damage or keep your low health character in the back with a ranged weapon until you can rest. The supply mechanic makes it so you get a different experience because of these situations.
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It's kind of silly and ridiculous that everyone's just assuming that I'm some newbie who needs to get good. I play on PotD. I beat the game just fine. I'm not struggling with the game's difficulty. The supply mechanic has nothing to do with difficulty whatsoever. Unless you're trying to tell me that you don't take damage when you play, and that everyone should be held to that standard, then you have no point. You, and all but one other poster, seem to have intentionally misinterpreted my point in order to essentially tell me I'm bad.

 

The supply mechanic means every bit of the content has to be designed in accordance with it. You can't have a dungeon that traps you, because then your game is over the moment you run out of health and supplies -- which, with a mere two rests (you have to go all the way down to 'normal' to get more than two, so please don't tell me that's the solution), would be inevitable in content of any real length.

 

There's no element of difficulty in this mechanic. You lose health from combat, by design -- in fact, this game is rather brutal in this regard, with a lot of enemies and abilities that will deal so much damage that rest is an absolute necessity after a certain amount of time. Nobody overcomes this "challenge" to such a degree that they no longer need to rest. You just don't seem to mind that you have to periodically go and buy supplies.

 

What's actually gained by this? The game is entirely beatable, so it's not some kind of difficulty check. If and when you run out of supplies, you have to simply backtrack and get more. Enemies don't respawn, dungeons don't trap you, you're never actually prevented from doing it. The challenge is expressly absent because this mechanic necessitates that you must always be able to do that. If anything, this mechanic removes difficulty and challenge by merit of its very existence.

 

It's pointless tedium. It's a meaningless thing to keep track of, a nuisance that serves no purpose and isn't even realistic.

Difficulty and being good at the game is a matter of standards and resting surely has something to do with that. If your standard for being good is beating a certain difficulty somehow, sure, go ahead. But it's also reasonable of people here to expect you to play through a certain difficulty without having to constantly backtrack for supplies. First, that is perfectly doable if you know what you are doing and second, the game is designed that way.

 

If people can play through PotD without having to restock on supplies during dungeons while you need to, then it's only fair to assume you could do something better so the patronizing part is somehow justified.

 

I get the anger but it's just a different design paradigm than the one you would prefer and it surely won't change now at the end of this games life cycle, so sorry I guess.

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No, it doesn't. You can't conserve your health resource. You can't heal health.

 

I... don't think you know what "conserve" means.

 

You lose health from combat, by design [...]. Nobody overcomes this "challenge" to such a degree that they no longer need to rest.

 

No, just to the degree that the loss of health becomes slower than what can be restored using the camping supplies found along the way.

 

There's no element of difficulty in this mechanic. [...] The game is entirely beatable, so it's not some kind of difficulty check.

 

This is not some kind of puzzle where all that matters is "reaching the end" by any means necessary. If it were, then the optimal way to "play" would be to use cheat codes.

 

This is, instead, a single-player role-playing game. Both the fun and the difficulty of it, are tied to the process of progressing through the game.

 

Playing in such a way that you need to rest after every battle = comparatively easy.

 

Playing in such a way that you can go many battles before needing rest = more challenging, and more fun! Try it sometime.

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"Some ideas are so stupid that only an intellectual could believe them." -- attributed to George Orwell

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It's pointless tedium. It's a meaningless thing to keep track of, a nuisance that serves no purpose and isn't even realistic.

…and continually chugging potions that restore hit points and/or reconnect severed limbs is?

The health plus fatigue system is one of the more believable damage mechanisms I've encountered in RPGs yet it's still fun to play.

 

As of v3 the party no longer gets fatigued by travel so we can assume the *camping* supplies are actually the extraordinary stuff that allow rapid health recovery rather than basic food and fire making kit.

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It's pointless tedium. It's a meaningless thing to keep track of, a nuisance that serves no purpose and isn't even realistic.

…and continually chugging potions that restore hit points and/or reconnect severed limbs is?

The health plus fatigue system is one of the more believable damage mechanisms I've encountered in RPGs yet it's still fun to play.

 

As of v3 the party no longer gets fatigued by travel so we can assume the *camping* supplies are actually the extraordinary stuff that allow rapid health recovery rather than basic food and fire making kit.

 

 

I don't know about you, but I never felt drinking a health potion when needed was "tedium".

 

In any case, tedium means different things to different people. Personally, I find the camping supplies system tedious - and mostly because I'm forced into restocking due to a clunky combat system with bad AI and pathfinding.

 

That's the thing when you're expecting people to invest in the experience. First, you have to make that experience worthwhile.

 

Usually, people have fun investing when they feel they're rewarded for their efforts.

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