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Worst game balance ever


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..would you say that that is relevant to anyone who picked up the game with the intention to put perhaps.. a measly 100 hours into it?

 

I don't get it. Why do people still complain about difficulty one year and a thousand guides after release?

*cough* ...because if you try to play the game in a way that seems to make narrative sense, rather than exploiting the weaknesses of the system, you will play a very nasty war of attrition with ability-spamming endless waves of AI that you will eventually lose?

 

You know, just a suggestion.

Narrative sense? Like using premade story-NPC's rather than min-maxed adventurers? Yeah, that's not hard either, I'm facerolling potd with a wizard PC, Aloth, Eder, Sagani, Durance, and Kana.

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No, Nauz..hror. I mean that you read the description of an ability, like "Punch face!". And then you assume that this involves punching someone in the face. In PoE, it usually involves repeatedly placing your hand on someone's forehead and screaming "KAAAIIII!" really hard, several times, until the victim suddenly falls over once their HP reaches 0. So if you assumed on beforehand that it was just a normal punch, that speed, force and reach probably are factors in this - then you'd be completely wrong, and cripple your "Punch face!" ability if you specced towards what you assumed the "Punch face!" ability was. From, say, your imagination, or from Hollywood movies, or even experience. Since speed affects the number of "KAAAIAIIIIII!!" per second, force affects ear-bleeding speed, and reach is the radius of your bellowing. Which is obvious to exactly zero people.

 

I'm not saying it might not make isolated sense in some alternate rule-universe or other. Punches like that make sense in anime, for example. But it doesn't make narrative sense to anyone picking up the game, looking at the setting, or reading the lore.

 

And I'm bringing that up because the original proposal for ruleset Josh had actually did make narrative sense. But it was thrown out to address the balancing complaints that we allegedly would be getting in droves, once the game would release. As "people" weren't smart enough to understand such a complicated system that just assumed the player was marginally sane, and doesn't actually think in d&d ruleset conventions when they go to the convenience store to buy milk.

 

And yet, here we are, after release, and what do we get? People complain about the balance of the game, in spite of the game being balanced and streamlined down to where it's carefully structured to fit Obsidian's playthrough of the game from minute to minute. Because now you have a grinding, boring slugfest that has no flexibility and forces you to play the game to completion if you want to move on. It's boring, and you get punished with difficulty spikes if you try to skip through some xp-grinding by carelessly assuming that you can in fact move on to the next quest on your list, that was vaguely connected to the one you just completed. Rather than that you actually /have/ to go through the others if you don't want to face enemies twice your level. It's boring, or optionally, just unbalanced. And in any case, it's boring.

 

I told you so. So did others. And I'm sure Obsidian did what they thought was best in this case. When they postponed the release 6 months to give you this amazingly boring rework of the original and interesting proposal. But it reflects on Obsidian as a studio, and it tells me that Obsidian will never make a good game ever again. In spite of being amazingly capable of it.

 

How about some RESPECT when talking to a company that has made this game through hard work, passion and dedication? People are more than willing to discuss difficulty on these forums, but you are being a little turd about it. 

 

Leave Obsidian alone, you mean. If anything, Obsidian turned out to be dedicated to the insta-opinion of their focus groups, at the cost of their initial design (which was good, but they had no confidence in). That's not what I helped kickstart, and it's not what Obsidian promised in their kickstarter pitch for Pillars.

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It's a regular blow, seen through the game's system, basically :p And you're right, the active abilities in the game are very straight forward, and that's by intention.

 

Meanwhile, in the realm of dicerolls underneath that, the stats you can change as a player don't really affect the derived stats to a significant degree compared to what the class table does. So it doesn't really matter what you pick. After you level up a bit, and meticulously cross out all the fedex quests before moving on to your next job.

 

Basically, the stat-screen is just something for the players to fiddle around with, that looks familiar to players of the IE-games.

 

But the aspects of the stat-system underneath this (from glancing at the class tables) that governs parts of the active abilities would have been extremely problematic if the class-tables weren't set in stone like they are, and essentially disconnected from the player stats.

 

It's like the ones who set up the abilities and filled in the blanks didn't understand what the stats-system actually did, or the opportunities they had to make all of this very interesting. And then had to solve it by basically locking the characters down to the class-table before damage and so on would fit them. Making the game very linear and inflexible, to the point where you rely on system-trickery or grind to pass the difficulty spikes. That obviously are there, but can be managed, if you have enough dedication and time.

 

Therefore the observation that Obsidian as a company developing new crpgs is not very promising, in spite of individual people in the company clearly having extremely good ideas. I mean, what Josh put up here was impressive. I'm not easily impressed, but what he came up with here was brilliant. If there was any justice in this world, that system would make it into a rulebook, and be promoted properly to gamemasters. Have done a few test-runs on it, and it does suit a computer-game more than pnp in the way it was done. But even before making some simplifications, it's.. so good. It deserves better than to be exclusively used by four nerds in Norway.

 

I mean, it breaks my heart. It really does.

 

 

Wow.  Nipsen ranting incoherently about a stat system he doesn't understand.  What is this, 2014?  

Oh, hoho. :D Still more entertaining to read that than playing the game.

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Meanwhile, in the realm of dicerolls underneath that, the stats you can change as a player don't really affect the derived stats to a significant degree compared to what the class table does. So it doesn't really matter what you pick. After you level up a bit, and meticulously cross out all the fedex quests before moving on to your next job.

Oh hi. We got you into PoE arguing mood over at GOG, didn't we? :-P

 

Anyway,

18 might = +24% to all damage and healing.

18 constitution = +40% endurance/health

18 dexterity = +24% to action speed

18 perception = +24 interrupt / +8 accuracy

18 intellect = +48% AoE / +40% duration

18 resolve = +24 concentration / +8 deflection

 

All of those things are pretty significant, perhaps save for the accuracy bonus which becomes slightly less so on higher levels (altho every point counts in some encounters...) Just because the game can be finished with any stat distribution doesn't make the stats insignificant - it just makes them all equally important and if you play the game in a way which your stats don't support, you will be punished even on lower difficulties (mage with low might and high intellect using damaging spells is not actually going to do much, but he'll be a king of debuffing.) All these values are going to be adjusted further by items, I think it's max. +4 to each from items and then some from buffs? And then something for race? Do I recall that correctly? That would make it possible for a specialized build to reach, say, 25 intellect (+90% AoE / +75% duration!? Okay, that is getting ridiculous) and that's before buffing such character with spells. It's one of those things I love about PoE, actually: Each stat has a strictly defined role.

 

I'm purposefully not mentioning resistance increases since they get pooled between two attributes, but from what I understood from Sawyer's GDC presentation, that's there moreso to make the 'min' bit of min/maxing more risky.

Edited by Fenixp
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Let's face it hard isn't hard. The developer's should know by now. I want high level scaling right from the start.

 

So it was too easy, or too hard? 

 

i just got to the sky dragon this afternoon. (lv 11) Up until that it was too easy. Probably burial isle is a boring cake walk again.

 

burial isle, last area before endgame = use hotkey for full party attack on single enemy, repeat until everyone is dead. Its like pacman

Edited by mc_kracken
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I'm purposefully not mentioning resistance increases since they get pooled between two attributes, but from what I understood from Sawyer's GDC presentation, that's there moreso to make the 'min' bit of min/maxing more risky.

 

Hi :) I guess the GDC talk had something to do with it too.

 

But yeah, the reported stats seem significant on the stat-sheet. But the derived stats (that govern the rolls) are affected by the class table growth much more than by the attributes. It of course also affects the saving throws the enemies need to beat, etc. And that's why you run into these difficulty spikes that you can't get past. You level a bit. And then you go back and just waltz through it like it's nothing.

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It's really silly how you tuned the difficulty of this game, I'm just destroying everything at normal (so I'm tempted to say I should raise difficulty level) but still some encounters are silly difficult (Alpine Dragon).

I cannot beat him at easy at lvl 15 because the fight is tuned very badly.

I backed this game but I'm not going to do it for next game because of this.

bad bad bad tuning destroys fun.

 

Anyway I just destroyed him at the lowest difficulty level.

 

The problem is not with the game, it's with you. I beat the Alpine Dragon on PotD difficulty. It's totally doable, assuming your party is level 15-16 and has end-game gear equipped. Just because you're having trouble doesn't mean the developers have failed you. Learn to play.

Edited by Hebruixe
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It's really silly how you tuned the difficulty of this game, I'm just destroying everything at normal (so I'm tempted to say I should raise difficulty level) but still some encounters are silly difficult (Alpine Dragon).

I cannot beat him at easy at lvl 15 because the fight is tuned very badly.

I backed this game but I'm not going to do it for next game because of this.

bad bad bad tuning destroys fun.

 

Anyway I just destroyed him at the lowest difficulty level.

 

I won´t go on the 5 pages but know this, the Alpine Dragon is if not the most difficult one of the top notch ones and purposedly with greater difficulty.

 

It is like in FFVII the Arma weapon with 1million HP, is NOT balanced, is an intended badass

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I recently watched Josh's presentation about stats in d&d and PoE. You can watch it here: http://www.gdcvault.com/play/1023481/Gods-and-Dumps-Attribute-Tuning

 

It gives you a good insight to the current system and the process Obsdian went through developping it. Maybe much of this is already known to many here, but it is a neat summary which explains why we ended up with the current system. And it explains the problems Josh had with D&D stats.

 

I admire all the work he has put on designing this whole new system of rules. In my opinion making sure that every build is a viable one is certainly a noble goal, but maybe if it is taken to extreme, it can remove a bit of the excitement from the whole character building process.When I began playing rpgs back in the 90s, I certainly made some mistakes, but those mistakes actually helped me to understand the rules of game better. I did not mind doing some trial & error.  That being said Poe is a very rewarding game to play because you can create all kinds of cool character such as the intelligent fighter and be succesfull. :)

 

Now that i'm replaying the entire baldur's gate saga (with the new expansion), i'm kind of enjoying how important high stats are and how rewarding it felt to roll a 95 fighter-mage.  :devil:  Then again I instantly noticed how little certain stats effect on my game. Like wisdom has very little importance to mages (aside the wish spell). Charisma is kind of dump stat as well. Intelligence only effects on my ability to learn spells and so forth.

 

Ofcourse later d&d editions made things more balanced. NWN games are just so fun, because you can build all kinds of crazy character builds and really optimize them. The sp campaigns can be completed with less optimal builds ofcourse easily, but omg its fun how crazy powerfull certain builds can get!

 

At the end of day however I find myself nodding to much what Josh is saying in that video. After playing PoE, its kind of difficult to get back in d&d and accept the idea of a dump stat. :)

Edited by Carados
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  • 5 months later...

Or you just don't know how the mechanics work... yet. It's even possible (and not too hard) to kill all the dragons in this game while being solo on PoTD difficulty. Did it myself multiple times. It can be challenging, but it's not insanely difficult. You just have to know this game.

 

Killing Firkraag in BG II also was difficult. But once you knew the tricks it was kind of easy. For example: I always used the unkillable wizard's eye for distraction. There are similar things you can do in PoE. Using confusion scrolls for example... 

Edited by Boeroer

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Personally, I agree with the topic.  I find the dragon fights, especially the Alpine dragon, to be.... not at all fun to play.  It's not even in an epic setting for the difficulty.  It's in a crappy cave in the middle of nowhere.

 

Well, where would a Dragon be? In a castle? Or do you want a Dragon to be epic? Ok, let's making him an end boss. Oh wait, that narrative is stupid. How can you achieve Batman < - > Joker or Superman < - > Lex chemistry with a Dragon(practically an animal)?

 

Oh wait! Dragons already are epic(just not end all be all like Alduin). Do you want them to be less epic?

 

It just takes practice. While I agree that difficulty shouldn't come from nowhere, all of these fights have clear solutions. Difficult, but fair, right? Also, completely optional(the only really difficult and obligatory encounter in the game is PoE's ending fight...mostly because the antagonist is a dirty cheat-he has infinite spells).

Edited by hrwd
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Geee, thanks for the sarcasm.

 

The dragon character itself was fine.  Some dragons can be grumpy or nasty.  Like any sentient being.

 

And no, a Dragon doesn't have to be in a castle.  Though I don't mind if they are.  The cave I found the hardest fight in the game (for my party that is) is a dingy, *bleep*y, small cave that a peasant bandit would think twice about setting up in.

 

For me, after ten attempts, I have given up.  I am sure there are people on one of the hardcore modes who can do it one try.  I'm not one of them.  Since it's not effectively possible to flee I don't buy the "you can go away and come back" point.  Reloading multiple times to simulate "leaving" doesn't help immersion/RPing.....

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But who says that everybody has to win those fights? They are optional and some of the more difficult ones (albeit still easy enough if you know what to do). If the rest of the game is doable for you, why complain?

 

It's like complaining that sporty people can jump over the fence while you have to take the gate. It's not necessarily the fence's fault.

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Agreed with Boeroer, the game gives multiple ways to complete many of the areas of the game without conflict (even Llengrath) so I don't really get the issue. If you do want to kill the Dragon, there are plenty of ways and builds that will let you do it, even on solo. I killed the Alpine Dragon solo PotD in around 3 minutes no sweat, it really is just a matter of tactics and buffing. I would say Llengrath, on the other hand, is a pretty challenging fight with no easily exploitable weaknesses - but that still doesn't mean it's not doable.

 

I for one, really enjoyed all the main boss fights. They were a definite highlight of the game for me.

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