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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.

I'd like to point out that these are two very different statements. All change is not for the worse, and Obsidian looking for ways to evolve the formula is not a bad thing.

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With all these decisions to dumb down game play, i have to wonder who they think their core audience are.

Poe already had  simpler combat than the IE games in spite of being billed as a "spiritual successor" to Baldur's Gate, and even that was apparently too confusing for their intended audience. 

Poe managed to raise the kind of money it did precisely because no one was making deep complex rpgs anymore, so who exactly are asking for all this "streamlining"?

Edited by Vizera
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With all these decisions to dumb down game play, i have to wonder who they think their core audience are.

Poe already had  simpler combat than the IE games in spite of being billed as a "spiritual successor" to Baldur's Gate, and even that was apparently too confusing for their intended audience. 

Poe managed to raise the kind of money it did precisely because no one was making deep complex rpgs anymore, so who exactly are asking for all this "streamlining"?

 

"Simpler?"

 

It very definitely wasn't. AD&D (which all the IE except IWD2 used) had a system whereby the fighters did nothing except make auto-attacks, paladins and rangers and rogue had one or two abilities that were largely irrelevant fairly early on in the fight  - e.g. backstab - (if they existed at all) and the only characters with complex decisions to make were the primary spellcasters.

 

Whether or not the difficulty bar set for PoE was too high or too low is one thing, but overall the combat engine was very defiitely not "simpler."

 

As someone who was a huge fan of the IE games, but IN SPITE OF AD&D's game mechanics - their target market is apparently me. (As I felt I got EXACTLY the game I wanted with PoE IE style without the cludgy limitations.)

 

AD&D, as I've said before and I'll say again, to be brutally honest, was a mechanicaly crap system, full of arbitary restrictions (mercifully, the IE games ignored most of the worst offenders). Over the years, no two DMs I played it with ever played quite the same set of rules, becaue you more or less had to houserule it to make it work. (We haven't touched it since 3.0 came out.) That you can have fun games with it is nothng to do with anything, since you can have fun with any set of game mechanics, That does not mean that those games mechanics are not bad.

 

AD&D still carried many of the arbitary legacies of it coming from the "first." That is a historically valuable and important position. The theory of games design has improved since those early days - and a lot it is BECAUSE OF the missteps made by those early games (when they, coudn't, y'know, use modern game theory becuase it didn't exist yet). Sometimes you have to do somethng wrong to learn why it doesn't really work, and the debt that all moderns RPGs owe to the pioneers that the latter games could build on is important. But for all that, I still wouldn't want to drive a Benz Patent-Motorwagen for choice.

 

[Aside]AD&D Psionics, on the other hand, deserves nothign but ridicule (and which mercifully the IE games never attempted) and the prize for being the most arse-backwards, ridiculously contrived nonsensical game mechanicsI have ever encountered (with the possibly eception of FATAL, but i'm not sure one can really qualify that as a game). "Roll below you skill, but if you roll a 1 it's bad, a 20 is a random mishap and your critical success if you roll your exact number." I... just... WHY. The ONLY reason for that is to keep 1 from being bad, but it would ahve amd einfinitely ore sense to have said "roll below your skill, 20 is bad, 1 is a crit and a mishap happens if you roll your exact score" which makes far more sense than (roll low, but not too low, but you really want to roll whataver a specific number is." Nevermind the minefield of mental combat that 3.0 futililey attempted to carry on and 3.5 wisely obviated. *sigh*[/Aside]

 

(4E, on the other hand, went way too far the other direction. As a functioning mechanical system that does what it is intended to do, it does it very well. It's just that what it intends to do is a rather narrow field.) 3.x/PF is the best of the rest, but even they (which I would say are the best mechanical RPG engines), are not without considerable flaws. Vancian casting (true Vancian, as in memorising spells, not "per rest" abilities) is one of those; for my most-heavily modified campaign world, I tossed it out altogether, but its so ingrained into the system it's hard to do that unless you are the sort of person who will, of their own accord spend several tens of hours over the course of three weeks doing major rules overhauls and cateloguing and indexing thousands of spells... *twitch* *twitch*)

 

PoE, I think, trod a good middle-ground, comabt mechanics-wise. The sadly-will-be-missed health/endurance system made it so that "rest" was not always defined - because it ALWAYS is otherwise - by "the spellcasters are out of spells" but occasionaly by "the fighters are out of hit points," which I found actually made for a nice change of limitation.

 

While I certainly would prefer a six-party system, I can accept a five-party one, especially if the emphasis is being shifted (as in White March 2) away from there being many chaff encounters and more towards "everything is a boss fight;" because really, those are the only fights that ever mattered; outside maybe of a long string of chaff-fights back to back and that isn't usually interesting aside from the logistical angle (and rarely then).

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

 

 

 

There are only about 7 of the FFS... how much does it help, and after playing the game 2 or 3 times the pifully small number of NPCs means you roll your own anyway. They should make it 6, and if you want less take less.

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We only had eight companions the first time around and we will have eight again...probably.

 

Plus now we have sidekicks. And maybe we get more in any expansions.

 

So man I will stretched even more to try to get everybody involved.

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  • 9 months later...

Prefer 6 as well

 

IT'S A NECROMANCER!

 

Yeah, I hope that they'll just come out and say "after some careful consideration, we came to the conclusion that dropping the party limit to 5 members was a horrible, horrible brain fart, and decided to raise the number of party members back to 6" at some point. If I was religious, I would be praying for it every night.

The most important step you take in your life is the next one.

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It rises!!!  It always comes back to life like romance threads (which is where they got the name for necromancy from, true story).

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"That rabbit's dynamite!" - King Arthur, Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail

"Space is big, really big." - Douglas Adams

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And people say romance is dead! Romance will never die, not if necromancy has anything to say about it ;)

 

Having just finished PoE properly for the first time today after restarting so many times, I will say that I'm gonna miss being down one companion but I do trust in Obsidian to at least still give us a great experience with who we take with us.

 

Either way... Eder and Aloth are never leaving my side <3

Edited by Naesaki
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Seems better tbh. I always found 5 to be the sweet spot in party rpg's.

 

Probably did this to make things more controlled and focused.

 

Did yoi play Tyranny? How did you feel about the 4-member party?

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Just what do you think you're doing?! You dare to come between me and my prey? Is it a habit of yours to scurry about, getting in the way and causing bother?

 

What are you still bothering me for? I'm a Knight. I'm not interested in your childish games. I need my rest.

 

Begone! Lest I draw my nail...

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Seems better tbh. I always found 5 to be the sweet spot in party rpg's.

Probably did this to make things more controlled and focused.

Did yoi play Tyranny? How did you feel about the 4-member party?

I didn’t enjoy Tyranny combat but it wasn’t purely tied to the limit of 4 characters. More because of it being a decision devoided spammfest.

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I also enjoyed it but I would have wanted to have a more challenging game overall. I don't think the game ever pushed the player to be more tactical either and that was one of the primary issues.

To me it doesn't have much to do with complexity or difficulty but with engagement. If there isn't much decision making in combat and little variety in enemies than encounters start blending with each other. In tyranny you have limited amount of skills, which are on cooldowns. Even if your attacks target undesirable defences, there is no reason not to sit on them, so you cast all the skills, all the time on all enemies. It is more of a clicker than a tactical game. And so combat becomes boring, and everytime encounter stats you just click until its over. 

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My main problem with party size in Pillars 1 was that some companions you pretty much have to drag with you EVERYWHERE if you want to get their companion quests to trigger (Durance and Grieving Mother)  From a gameplay standpoint, I don't really have a party size preference, 5 is fine with me.  But I REALLY want to be able to do people's companion quests without having what ended up being my TWO LEAST FAVORITE NPC's LOCKED IN THE PARTY WHILE YOU WAIT FOR THEM TO GET AROUND TO CHATTING WITH YOU.  As a result of that in the first game, I got to spend almost no time running with and enjoying companions I greatly preferred.

 

So, my suggestion would be more along the lines of "please make the companion quests consistently self-contained". By all means, give all the companions COMMENTARY on lots of stuff you can do--this adds replay value, for sure!  But don't have companions with conditions like "must be in party for X amount of adventuring time" or however those two worked.

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Grand Rhetorist of the Obsidian Order

If you appeal to "realism" about a video game feature, you are wrong. Go back and try again.

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I don't mind the change so much.

Having one less companion during encounters is a welcome thought in some regards, as I can't count how many times I've gotten frustrated because I have been attacked in a corridor and everyone is stuck behind one or two of my companions and the AoE's start going off. So that will probably alleviate some of my problems.

I will however miss the extra companion, as I enjoy trying as many of them out as possible on my adventures throughout Eora. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm with a lot of others in here. I'm used to and generally prefer the six party member size group. I've never found it cumbersome or difficult to use and it can allow a lot of fun with mixing up party combinations in odd ways. It also allows for a decent amount of banter and interaction as well. 

 

Five is playing a little. . . odd for me. I dunno how to describe it but it just doesn't 'feel' as good or as natural or comfortable as six does. 

 

Just my two cents. 

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I'm all for decreasing the number of companions and improving the existing ones instead. This especially makes sense in a game like Pillars, which allows players to create their own characters and use those instead, in case they don't like pre-made characters. It must be all the more soul-crushing for devs, if they have created 20+ companions.

 

Even back in Baldur's Gate I always thought they created too many of them. To this day I never had most of them in my party, although I played it like 3 times. I always use the usual suspects.

 

Having 5 instead 6 characters in the group is a nice reflection of that.

Edited by huang
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  • 4 months later...

What I would really majorly enjoy is if they made a game like Baldur's Gate where you had the option of choosing between 23 different companions! Like seriously! Come on guys get more creative for Pete's sakes! There never has been another game like Baldur's Gate when it comes to companion choices and it really bugs my backside! As much as I don't like them now Dragon Age almost. With the good idea but then again you could only have 4 companions. Srry didn't notice your post but MHO no BGv never had to many.

Edited by quadphonics
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  • 3 months later...

 

I have to say I was quite confused why only 5 companions and I totally hate the changes to Wizards it makes getting spell books pointless and  unexciting. However on the flip side I absolutely love the ship mechanics that they came up with!  I would love to see many more types of ship too though and am Excited to see what else they can do with it. ((Just wish they would not have ruined caster classes for me))

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