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My main problem with five party members is that if this is anything like POE1, I'm going to want to have a fighter and a priest in the party at all times. Since none of my Watchers are fighters and only one is a priest, that doesn't leave much room for companions of other classes.

 

I've played this with several successful parties that have no fighter, no priest, or neither. Fighter in particular is easy to replace -- a monk, rogue, paladin, or barbarian will play that role just fine. A priest can be effectively replaced by two paladins, a paladin + druid, or items, especially scrolls. In fact I prefer to play without a priest, since that lets me pump up offense a notch which makes fights go faster.

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5 member party is a disaster for this genre. I just hope Obsidian leaves it moddable so future IE mod 2.0 can fix it. 

 

Actually i have a very genuine concern about the UI. Maybe this time around, due to the UI design, it's more fittingly with 5 characters instead? (i really hope not). Please leave room at least for adding in one more companions. I actually like the UI for first PoE.. there's quite some spaces in between the UI below. It can even fit 2 extra characters if not mistaken. I hope there's not much changes to the UI as i really love the UI in PoE alot.

Edited by Archaven
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My main problem with five party members is that if this is anything like POE1, I'm going to want to have a fighter and a priest in the party at all times. Since none of my Watchers are fighters and only one is a priest, that doesn't leave much room for companions of other classes.

 

I've played this with several successful parties that have no fighter, no priest, or neither. Fighter in particular is easy to replace -- a monk, rogue, paladin, or barbarian will play that role just fine. A priest can be effectively replaced by two paladins, a paladin + druid, or items, especially scrolls. In fact I prefer to play without a priest, since that lets me pump up offense a notch which makes fights go faster.

 

 

I know other people have made lots of different party combinations work, but I've tried various suggested builds and combos and I just don't like playing without those two classes on hand. I've never managed to get any of the other companions to tank for me as well as Edér does.

 

Maybe things will be different in POE2, though!

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Sad this is by far the most talked about issue but it gets ignored in the FAQ and an explanation is nowhere to be seen on the campaign page.

Not a single word on this core feature of the genre that got cut out.

It's pretty clear they did this purely to save time but it's too awkward to admit that so they are just hoping people won't notice this massive flaw before backing the game. Thankfully I didn't fall for it because paypal backing isn't supported.

Edited by Monara
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Or ...

 

There is one or many  "Shandra" character. (Nwn 2)

 

= A character imposed for the STORY...? (Sixth character overall)

 

So 1 main + 4 characters (can be custom) + 1 slot for scenario character ?

 

It is interresting for mastering the scenario and create surprises.

NoooooooOOoo!  Having enforced party members was the worst thing about NWN2.  In PoE(1) development we were assured that we wouldn't have to take anyone (outside the initial starting area) and could make our parties as we wished.  I really hope this stays true in PoE2

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*Casts Nature's Terror* :aiee: , *Casts Firebug* :fdevil: , *Casts Rot-Skulls* :skull: , *Casts Garden of Life* :luck: *Spirit-shifts to cat form* :cat:

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Or ...

 

There is one or many  "Shandra" character. (Nwn 2)

 

= A character imposed for the STORY...? (Sixth character overall)

 

So 1 main + 4 characters (can be custom) + 1 slot for scenario character ?

 

It is interresting for mastering the scenario and create surprises.

NoooooooOOoo!  Having enforced party members was the worst thing about NWN2.  In PoE(1) development we were assured that we wouldn't have to take anyone (outside the initial starting area) and could make our parties as we wished.  I really hope this stays true in PoE2

 

 

Don't think that's the case. They already said they'll stick with 5 characters and it's final. They refuse to elaborate more and avoiding the topic like a ninja. This could possibly because of new UI changes that could only best fit for 5 characters. They may be making the game to work on controllers and playable on "big TV" and plays well. Basically the lesser would be better. Most party based RPG that playable on controllers and big TV are mostly 4 characters. They simply have to reduce 1 seeing that the jump from 6 -> 4 will certainly offend even more fans.

Edited by Archaven
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Or ...

 

There is one or many  "Shandra" character. (Nwn 2)

 

= A character imposed for the STORY...? (Sixth character overall)

 

So 1 main + 4 characters (can be custom) + 1 slot for scenario character ?

 

It is interresting for mastering the scenario and create surprises.

NoooooooOOoo!  Having enforced party members was the worst thing about NWN2.  In PoE(1) development we were assured that we wouldn't have to take anyone (outside the initial starting area) and could make our parties as we wished.  I really hope this stays true in PoE2

 

 

Don't think that's the case. They already said they'll stick with 5 characters and it's final. They refuse to elaborate more and avoiding the topic like a ninja. This could possibly because of new UI changes that could only best fit for 5 characters. They may be making the game to work on controllers and playable on "big TV" and plays well. Basically the lesser would be better. Most party based RPG that playable on controllers and big TV are mostly 4 characters. They simply have to reduce 1 seeing that the jump from 6 -> 4 will certainly offend even more fans.

 

But that has nothing to do with enforced characters in your  party (the topic of the posts you quoted).  My problem isn't with 5 characters (though I'd prefer 6) - I have a big problem with being forced to take 'character-X' along in my party.  Since that means I have to leave someone I want to take behind.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

*Casts Nature's Terror* :aiee: , *Casts Firebug* :fdevil: , *Casts Rot-Skulls* :skull: , *Casts Garden of Life* :luck: *Spirit-shifts to cat form* :cat:

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Or ...

 

There is one or many  "Shandra" character. (Nwn 2)

 

= A character imposed for the STORY...? (Sixth character overall)

 

So 1 main + 4 characters (can be custom) + 1 slot for scenario character ?

 

It is interresting for mastering the scenario and create surprises.

NoooooooOOoo!  Having enforced party members was the worst thing about NWN2.  In PoE(1) development we were assured that we wouldn't have to take anyone (outside the initial starting area) and could make our parties as we wished.  I really hope this stays true in PoE2

 

 

Don't think that's the case. They already said they'll stick with 5 characters and it's final. They refuse to elaborate more and avoiding the topic like a ninja. This could possibly because of new UI changes that could only best fit for 5 characters. They may be making the game to work on controllers and playable on "big TV" and plays well. Basically the lesser would be better. Most party based RPG that playable on controllers and big TV are mostly 4 characters. They simply have to reduce 1 seeing that the jump from 6 -> 4 will certainly offend even more fans.

 

But that has nothing to do with enforced characters in your  party (the topic of the posts you quoted).  My problem isn't with 5 characters (though I'd prefer 6) - I have a big problem with being forced to take 'character-X' along in my party.  Since that means I have to leave someone I want to take behind.

 

 

I'm with you. I don't like enforced characters too. Since we are already limited with 5 characters. Enforcing 1 mandatory character takes up 1 space. Which leave yourself + another 3. This limitation will even be worst. So hopefully not.

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They are not out to get you or ruin your fun. They're out to make a game that is popular and sells copies.

By, admittedly, making fundamental changes in the sequel to an already popular game that sold a lot of copies.

 

I "get" the conspiracy theories, even if I don't necessarily agree with them.

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Feargus' comments on the 5 member party from the Fig comments (courtesy of this Reddit post):

 

"This was a design decision though not a funding one. We really feel that reducing the party size by one lets us make the combat aspect of Pillars more enjoyable. With Pillars one we tried to stick as closely to the Infinitey Engine (BG, IWD) formula as possible, but we want to see (slowly) how we can evolve that formula into 2018 and beyond."

 

and

 

"Yes the party is going to be at five characters. We talked a lot about this, and felt it reduced some of the chaos a RTwP system can create with too many PCs and too many creatures - it helps combat readability quite a bit. Now the limit does not include summons and pets - they still push beyond the five limit."

 

Readability is all well and good; a calmer, less chaotic experience is one of the reasons I've recently come around on turn-based combat, but "evolving into 2018" rankles me a bit. Reminds me a little too much of BioWare marketing for DAII/Inquisition combat.

Edited by Lamppost in Winter
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From Josh in the backer email:

 

Greetings.  I wanted to write up a brief summary of what an increased level cap will do for Deadfire.  I also wanted to explain how companion classes work, especially with regard to multiclassing.

The default level cap in Deadfire is 16, which is where Pillars of Eternity wound up after The White March was released. Raising the level cap to 18 will grant access to an entirely new level of abilities for all classes, from barbarian to wizard.

In our companion write-ups, you will see some characters described as class a/class b.  This does not mean that they are forced to be multiclassed, but that the character's 1st level must be from one of those classes.  For example, Edér's class is fighter/rogue.  From level 2 on, you may advance Edér as you see fit, but his first class must be either fighter or rogue.  This gives you the ability to customize your party companions while not fundamentally deviating heavily from their core character concept.  Note that some other characters, like Aloth, must always start from a single class because it is more central to their concept. You may multiclass Aloth as a wizard/fighter, a wizard/barbarian, or a wizard/cipher, but his first class will always be wizard.

 

That is huge. Most companions having a choice of two starter classes, and THEN being able to choose the Sub-class? That is a massive amount of build viability and party customisation. More than makes up for it imho.

You read my post.

 

You have been eaten by a grue.

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I like having six characters because it lets you have more variety in the party and option to bring useless character that is very well written and fun to have.By the way i think that too much balancing in such game is not a good thing.It is fun to have a few optional very hard fights that makes you go around and do a few quests before giving them a try.

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I'm not liking the 5-member party decision at all. Feargus pretty much laid out exactly why I don't like it, although he was trying to make it sound like it's a good thing:
 

 

Five enables for you to cover every major RPG role — tank, damage-dealer, ranged, magic, and healing — while still giving the player room to experiment with character builds

 

The whole reason why 6 is the ideal party size is because you have that EXTRA slot to fill in with a character/class that gives your party some redundancy (i.e. Druid to fill in for Cleric or Mage if either of them go down, or Monk to fill in for Fighter or Barbarian, or Ranger for Fighter or Rogue... you get the idea).

I also dislike how limiting the party size to 5 pretty much REQUIRES that, for difficult encounters, every party member has to remain on their feet for the duration of the encounter. With the limited party size, if the Cleric or Mage goes down, that's pretty much Game Over in the difficult encounters, whereas with the 6-member party there's more room for forgiveness, and ability to get your fallen characters back on their feet.

I really wish/hope that a groundswell of support for keeping the party size at 6 gets them to change their minds about this decision.

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Enforced party NPCs are unlikely. People hated Shandra in NWN2 OC because of how it screwed up party composition, and Obsidian devs said afterwards they understood why it was so frustrating and don't expect to do it again anytime soon (and they didn't, since then).

 

 

The whole reason why 6 is the ideal party size is because you have that EXTRA slot to fill in with a character/class that gives your party some redundancy (i.e. Druid to fill in for Cleric or Mage if either of them go down, or Monk to fill in for Fighter or Barbarian, or Ranger for Fighter or Rogue... you get the idea).

I also dislike how limiting the party size to 5 pretty much REQUIRES that, for difficult encounters, every party member has to remain on their feet for the duration of the encounter. With the limited party size, if the Cleric or Mage goes down, that's pretty much Game Over in the difficult encounters, whereas with the 6-member party there's more room for forgiveness, and ability to get your fallen characters back on their feet.

 

This is only true if the game system only allows typical older D&D roles, so that every party has to have a Fighter and a Wizard and all your characters are divided into 'glass cannon', 'tough frontliner', 'healer' archetypes. 

 

That is obviously not true even in POE1. You could just run with what is essentially the same party that you play in all the other games - "this guy is a tank, this guy is a cleric" - but that's your choice. It was easy to create 4, 5, 6 man parties in POE1 that were clearly viable and powerful, and even have redundancy, because you actually didn't need a typical "I'm healing!" cleric to make a balanced party, you didn't need to have a "I'm fireballing!" mage to make a balanced party. 

 

Everything you're describing only applies in a very specific scenario where the player insists on making their parties in a certain way. Now, that's not entirely unreasonable: "I like making X party and I have to have 6 members for it" is a valid complaint. But it's certainly different from "oh my god you're breaking the system and we won't be able to have balanced parties and the game will become much more punishing etc". It won't. 

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Everything you're describing only applies in a very specific scenario where the player insists on making their parties in a certain way. Now, that's not entirely unreasonable: "I like making X party and I have to have 6 members for it" is a valid complaint. But it's certainly different from "oh my god you're breaking the system and we won't be able to have balanced parties and the game will become much more punishing etc". It won't. 

 

We're going to have to agree to disagree, but I somewhat understand where you're coming from. But even if I completely agreed with you, you've pretty much illustrated a gold-standard reason why things should be kept as they are:

 

 

 

It was easy to create 4, 5, 6 man parties in POE1 that were clearly viable and powerful, and even have redundancy, because you actually didn't need a typical "I'm healing!" cleric to make a balanced party, you didn't need to have a "I'm fireballing!" mage to make a balanced party.

 

If this is indeed the case, then why take away the 6-party option from those who prefer it? It's needlessly alienating at least this firm supporter of PoE. I haven't pledged yet because I'm waiting for a new credit card to arrive in the mail... otherwise I would've pledged as soon as the campaign started. This 5-member party business is seriously making me consider not pledging at all, and just waiting to get PoE II some time down the line when it goes on sale.

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Well the PoE is alive because it was a viewed as a reboot of the Baldur's gate games so it stands that the mechanics must be similar and that means that the optimal party should be 6.Tyranny have 4 player team and the game is terrible in my book, having only 4 people the strategic element was very limited most optimal builds ware the same more or less.I hope that PoE 2 is more class oriented than the first one.

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​​I doubt it matters, but here's another voice that strongly preferred 6 to 5.  I"ll still buy and play the game, and reserve final judgment until I see how it works out in reality, but I'm unhappy to hear of this choice.

​I have a lot of respect for Obsidian's RPG design chops and their deep talent pool: they're one of only a few studios trying to do full-on RPGs anymore.  However, I must respectfully disagree with Feargus when he says:

With Pillars one we tried to stick as closely to the Infinitey Engine (BG, IWD) formula as possible, but we want to see (slowly) how we can evolve that formula into 2018 and beyond.

 

​My problem with this is that the last 20 years of RPG development generally have not been for the better.  Emulating the average mid-2010's "RPG" (purposeful quotes) is not something to aspire to, it's something to avoid!  There has been an incessant and infuriating march towards excessive simplification and removal of complexity, difficulty, and choice, driven by the need to recoup extremely large development budgets, and to pander to the ADD "action" crowd.

​One of my main hopes for the POE series was to avoid the pitfall of going after the mass market.  Once you grow into the $100M budget category, you're forced into it, and I find those games universally dreadful.  But at the more modest several-million-dollar dev budget level, I hoped the core audience who doesn't want too much simplification would constitute a sufficient market to sustain ongoing sequels.

​Tyranny was a step in the wrong direction (removal of FF, smaller parties, ...), and I'll forgive it that because it's OK for different games to be different and go after different audiences.  But I really hope Obsidian will try to leave PoE as a series that tries to please the harder core side of the RPG crowd who craves ​lots of spell choices, larger parties, many tactical interactions between classes, and not wanting autopilot-play.

​Hopefully when we see it for real, 5 will not be too annoying in the end.  But ... for PoE3, please don't make us take up pitchforks :biggrin:.

Edited by demeisen
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  • 4 weeks later...

This bothers me more from a story/interaction point of view than anything. From a gameplay perspective, sure I can make do with 5 but I will miss the input and personality of that 6th companion. I backed the game but sincerely hope this changes; anything that diminishes player choice is bad in my opinion and this definitely limits it. If people want to play with 5 they can play with 5 but the option for 6 should be there for everybody else. Given that this is a single player experience it should give the player as much choice as possible to shape their experience in my humble opinion, never less.

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This bothers me more from a story/interaction point of view than anything. From a gameplay perspective, sure I can make do with 5 but I will miss the input and personality of that 6th companion. I backed the game but sincerely hope this changes; anything that diminishes player choice is bad in my opinion and this definitely limits it. If people want to play with 5 they can play with 5 but the option for 6 should be there for everybody else. Given that this is a single player experience it should give the player as much choice as possible to shape their experience in my humble opinion, never less.

 

 

Apparently the argument is that reducing the # of companions this way allows them to develop each companion in more depth.

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