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Should Deadfire be more intuitive?


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I had a ton of fun with BG2 without ever learning its deeper system. I had a much harder time with PoE although I played it 14 years later with much more experience and learning on the way. It's just my personal experience I share with you, you don't have to agree with me, naturally.

 

Okay question: exactly what about PoE's system got in the way of playing and enjoying the game?

 

I ask because to my mind I can't really see the difference. You can play BG2 purely by intuition, without having any real understanding of the mechanics, but I don't really see why that wouldn't be the case for PoE as well. 

 

By the way, I apologise if I sound combative in my replies to you in this (and other) threads. I tend to sound that way when I disagree with people but it's not the intention.

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Strong no to streamlining the systems. Pillars systems aresomewhat complex (by modern standards), but the complexity is there for a reason. Learning to make use of them is a huge part of the fun, and central to the experience.

I agree but the issue (for me at least and maybe to some degree for the OP as well) is that PoE does not really cater to people who don't think that learning all the deep bits about the complex systems is part of the fun - while the old games actually did.

 

Like Ininitron correctly stated, the old games hid the complex systems pretty well for everybody who just didn't really care about them. You could easily play BG2 without knowing much about AD&D and the way it worked at the core. So I'm not for streamlining the mechanics of PoE in any way, it's good that they're complex at the core. But nevertheless PoE lacks the broad appeal the old IE games imo offered, including people who didn't primarily played the games for their combat mechanics.

 

You might don't give a **** about that but for somebody like me that's an actual issue. ;)

 

Okay question: exactly what about PoE's system got in the way of playing and enjoying the game?

 

I ask because to my mind I can't really see the difference. You can play BG2 purely by intuition, without having any real understanding of the mechanics, but I don't really see why that wouldn't be the case for PoE as well.

It's a good question but actually a pretty hard one, primarily because it's more about how it "felt". Like I said, intuition isn't a part of rational thinking, it's about understanding something without rationally thinking about it. So telling you that system X was better explained in game A than system y in game B would totally miss the point. The only guess I have at the topic is the dice thing. When I think about dice rolls I don't think about calculations and math, I have an actual dice in my mind, seeing its result in a picture. When I compare two dice rolls I see a picture of two such dices in my mind. That's totally different to rational mathematical calculation or a simple comparison of two abstract numbers for me. It seems that my mind can grasp the concept of dice throws without the need to activate the rational mind - and therefore it's much more comfortable and less "enery-consuming" (if you read "Thinking fast and slow" you probably know that activating the rational mind is way more exhausting than just following your intuitive mind). And of course Pillars is a tactical game that is all about making rational decisions, nothing wrong with that. But there is a difference between making active rational decisions that you want to make (because they're fun) and rational decision you have to make (in order to understand and go along with the sytem without being overly confused).

 

The weird thing about intuition is though that it can mean different things to different people. A math genius doesn't have to activate his rational mind to perform simple equations. He will simply "see" or "feel" them based on his intuition. And you don't even have to be a genius for that, many people can intuively think in numbers, at least in a limited range. But many people can't. For them every calculation is a rational act. And that's probably the reason why people of the former group can never fully understand how the latter group experiences such a game and vice versa. For two different people the same game could be very intuitive for one and very obtuse for the other.

 

By the way, I apologise if I sound combative in my replies to you in this (and other) threads. I tend to sound that way when I disagree with people but it's not the intention.

No apologies needed, mate, but thanks anyway. And I know what you mean, I'm (too) often guilty of the exact same behaviour. ;) Edited by LordCrash
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I did lower Firkraag's saving throws low enough that I could one shot him with Finger of Death.

 

I used (Greater) Malison + some debilitating spell (Feeblemind, Confusion, Rigid Thinking, Hold Person etc.) as a fairly standard one-two punch to take enemy casters out of the fight. Not just boss fights.

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I agree but the issue (for me at least and maybe to some degree for the OP as well) is that PoE does not really cater to people who don't think that learning all the deep bits about the complex systems is part of the fun - while the old games actually did.

 

But it does! At Normal difficulty or below you don't need to understand the systems beyond the level of "debuffs make the enemies weaker," "buffs make you stronger," and "the immunity against Fear spell protects against dragon fear."

 

When playing at Hard or PotD you do need to dig into them more, but if you're not keen to learn the systems, why would you play on Hard or PotD?

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You could easily play BG2 without knowing much about AD&D and the way it worked at the core. 

 

I'm still not at all convinced that the same isn't true of PoE.

 

But nevertheless PoE lacks the broad appeal the old IE games imo offered, including people who didn't primarily played the games for their combat mechanics.

 
Citation needed. PoE has sold around 900,000 copies on Steam, and who knows how many on GoG (I know it passed the one million mark quite a while ago). It has done so whilst existing alongside games like Dragon Age Inquisition and the Witcher 3 (whereas BG2 was the DAI of its era). I suspect it has pretty broad appeal. 
Edited by JerekKruger
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I agree but the issue (for me at least and maybe to some degree for the OP as well) is that PoE does not really cater to people who don't think that learning all the deep bits about the complex systems is part of the fun - while the old games actually did.

 

But it does! At Normal difficulty or below you don't need to understand the systems beyond the level of "debuffs make the enemies weaker," "buffs make you stronger," and "the immunity against Fear spell protects against dragon fear."

 

When playing at Hard or PotD you do need to dig into them more, but if you're not keen to learn the systems, why would you play on Hard or PotD?

 

 

On Normal you can even get to a point where the AI can practically play the game itself.

 

Anyways back on topic I'm assuming this is your first run of Pillars right? Aside from maybe some IE veterans very few people are going to know the system 100% on the first run. But after my second run I was comfortable to move on from Normal to Hard and eventually POTD. If a few mechanics still confuse you there are plenty of resources to watch and read to help with that too.

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Raise your hand if you ever used Malison to reduce an enemy's saving throws outside of maybe a high stakes boss battle.

 

/me raises hand

 

same.  used malison quite frequent, though we actual rare used priestly doom. 

 

the thing is, am thinking this is a vocabulary issue more than anything.  ad&d thac0 and saving throws and so many other d&d mechanics were extreme obtuse and unintuitive.  however, it were, ultimately, transparent.  in ad&d and the ie games, it were not hard to tell which weapon did most damage for your paladin with proficiencies in two-handed swords.  get an opportunity to add 1 point o' strength or 1 point o' wisdom were not a difficult choice for your druid.  as obtuse as were ad&d, it we transparent.  once a person understood the bass ackwards rules, it were easy to predict outcomes.

 

poe is obscure rather than obtuse.  

 

https://forums.obsidian.net/topic/90670-3045-please-please-fix-traps-have-been-getting-2x-their-penalties-for-god-knows-how-long/?p=1867622

 

for a long time we knew something were wrong with traps, but we couldn't figure out the exact problem.  needed somebody to do spreadsheet comparisons to figure out a problem which has been 'round since the initial trap nerf soon after release.

 

have your poe barbarian need decide if an additional point o' might or intelligence would be better.  is not easy.  which is gonna result in more dps.  is other benefits?  perhaps speed is more important? how much difference does speed make, and how much speed is needed to make the difference worthwhile and how much dexterity does it take to noticeable impact speed?  but heck, combat animations speed may actual screw up whatever analysis you used to calculate speed. dunno.  not without some serious digging and analysis can you decide where best to spend 1 point o' anything, and you might still be wrong. 

 

etc.

 

ad&d rules were nonsensical, unintuitive and obtuse.

 

poe is far more rational and internal coherent than were ad&d or even 3e-5e d&d.  however, poe is frequent obscure.  is obscure to point where we get a trap problem go undiagnosed for years.  

 

am not wanting poe to be more simple as we like the complexity.  even so, we would happily lose a measure o' poe obscurity.  

 

HA! Good Fun!

 

ps ad&d had transparency issues as well.  perhaps we understate.  apologies.

Edited by Gromnir
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You have to define what intuitive is in relation to this type of game, then setup goals of what needs to be achieved. In many ways there are things you simply have to learn in a traditional sense. Math might be intuitive, but the learning of it isn't always. I'd rather the game be intuitive once I've tackled the learning curve. That way things are smooth sailing, and I can indulge in the mechanics and lore. But as for the underlying stats and math? How would you make that intuitive? Show not and tell is a good step. But you can't just show with these games, you'll always have the tell. The tell is probably what people complain about being unintuitive, but the tell is partly what makes this game great. Show just reminds you you might have some "studying" to do.

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I agree but the issue (for me at least and maybe to some degree for the OP as well) is that PoE does not really cater to people who don't think that learning all the deep bits about the complex systems is part of the fun - while the old games actually did.

 

But it does! At Normal difficulty or below you don't need to understand the systems beyond the level of "debuffs make the enemies weaker," "buffs make you stronger," and "the immunity against Fear spell protects against dragon fear."

 

When playing at Hard or PotD you do need to dig into them more, but if you're not keen to learn the systems, why would you play on Hard or PotD?

 

I never played PoE on hard or PotD but on normal. And I know that I don't have to understand every system to its core in order to survive on normal but still PoE felt not very intuitive to me. For a possible (simple) reason you could read my post above if you like.

 

Citation needed. PoE has sold around 900,000 copies on Steam, and who knows how many on GoG (I know it passed the one million mark quite a while ago). It has done so whilst existing alongside games like Dragon Age Inquisition and the Witcher 3 (whereas BG2 was the DAI of its era). I suspect it has pretty broad appeal.

Oh, I guess you misread my post here (or I didn't make it clear enough). I didn't speak about sales here at all. Edited by LordCrash
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The game has 4 different types of defenses, several different types of attacks, plus different effects that can be added to those attacks. You generally Play six different classes at the same time, each of one has abilites, talents, Spells, skills that need to a be adressed each time you level up. Many of which are modified by attributes, Armor, Weapons, Buffs and debuff spells, potions, food, resting bonuses . some of which are time related, some of which stack, some of which dont.

 

Weapons themselves, are separated according not only to type of damage, but also to speed, capacity to interrupt, range, added habilites and effects. Some of them even add spells. Every time I am thinking of changing weapons I have to take a calculator, and even then I dont know if I missed something and if I perhaps should simply have enchanted my previous weapon.

This,

Plus deep attribute system, were you reiterate and shift your view on the relative value of stats (minimum two times)

Plus weapons working best with different spreads, depending on their enchants,

Plus complicated stacking,

Plus complex attack speed system,

Plus different efficiency scaling for different spells,

Plus lots of crowd-control means,

Plus lots of anti crowd-control means,

Plus immunities and enemies with heavily varied defenses...

Is why we like it.

 

 

P.S. PoE doesn't have to be simpler, easier or include weapon 'ratings' for fast (read: lazy) decision making.

It just has to communicate it's mechanics better.

Edited by MaxQuest
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Raise your hand if you ever used Malison to reduce an enemy's saving throws outside of maybe a high stakes boss battle.

Greater Malison followed by Emotion in a spell sequencer was a favorite combo, used it a lot. Basically a I win button against anything except the undead ond golems.

Edited by mumbogumshoe
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... but turns out that due to the way it affects criticals, perception quickly becomes the most important stat in the game for any hostile action.

 

Not when you realise that the bonus damage from crits is additive with other damage bonuses (including the damage bonus from things like "exceptional" weapons), not multiplicative. By the late game, when you're wielding superb weapons and have various talents and abilities that add percentage damage crits become much less important.

 

 

NOW you're telling me! xD

 

But this is kinda exactly my point, the game really isn't very clear on these mechanics.

 

EDIT:all in all, Intuitive means that things work like you'd expect them to work intuitively. This is why PoE made a major mistake with their whole stat system of everything affecting everything. I can't say how much I hate the stat system in PoE, how much I hate that Spell damage is determined by Might, how much I hate that every single stat is a pure combat stat. In 3rd edition D&D the Ability scores clearly measured intuitive aspects of the character and they worked the way one might expect them to work. For example, Intelligence granting skill points, vs Intelligence increasing durations and AoE. I mean seriously? What the hell does intelligence have to do with those things? This has reduced the Attributes of PoE into meaningless words; when you gain intelligence you don't think that your character is now smarter, you think increased duration and AoE. PoE attributes are so divorced from reality that it makes the whole system uniquely unintuitive.

Edited by Ninjamestari

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But this is kinda exactly my point, the game really isn't very clear on these mechanics.

 

This is definitely true. I'd love to see the mechanics explained somewhere in game in their full detail, probably somewhere in the encyclopedia.

 

That said, the general idea that "critting more often is good" still applies, and Perception is by no means a bad attribute (+50% base damage is still pretty good). What I like about PoE is there are multiple different "break even points". For example, a Wizard using Citzal's Martial Lance (which has very high base damage) will benefit a lot more from higher accuracy than a Rogue dual wielding Stilettos (low base damage and Rogues get tonnes of other +% damage modifiers). At the same time, getting more Perception is always going to be a good thing for any class (well, perhaps not so much for a Chanter tank) and its hard to accidentally make a bad decision in PoE.

 

EDIT: by the way, it wasn't all that long ago that I learnt that crits are additive rather than multiplicative.

Edited by JerekKruger
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EDIT: by the way, it wasn't all that long ago that I learnt that crits are additive rather than multiplicative.

Hah, judging by Josh' response you were not alone :)

 

Even variable itself is called CritDamageMult

Edited by MaxQuest
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Hah! That pretty much confirms to me that literally no one understands the mechanics of PoE in their entirety: players because they have to do experiments and decompile code to find them out, and developers because they forget.

 

By the way, in the recent Q&A stream Josh was asked if they were going to make Bash shields more appealing. He then went on to give an answer which made it clear that he didn't realise that (for auto attacks at least) bash shields actually reduce a character's damage output when compared to using a non-bash shield. He said something along the lines of "well obviously we don't want bash shields to be as good as dual wielding. Instead they add a small amount of damage output whilst still providing good protection".

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Oh, I guess you misread my post here (or I didn't make it clear enough). I didn't speak about sales here at all.

 

I know, but you talked about the old IE games having a broader appeal than PoE and when it comes to measuring broad appeal I think sales figures are actually pretty relevant.

 

Well, I don't think so, at least it's not that simple. And it's imo completely pointless to compare sales figures to those of a game that was released 16 years ago. Edited by LordCrash
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Well, I don't think so, at least it's not that simple. And it's imo completely pointless to compare sales figures to those of a game that was released 16 years ago.

 

How else do you measure broad appeal? I completely agree that sales figures are not a good measure of the quality of something, but when we're talking about the appeal of something (whether or not people want it) and describing it as broad (applying to lots of people) then sales figures seem like a pretty good metric.

 

By the way, BG2 is estimated to have sold around 2.5 million copies in its various forms over the years, so don't feel like my "PoE has sold to 1.x million" figure is a game winner. I would, of course, counter that as you say, there has been sixteen years between the two, that BG2 didn't have to compete with the likes of DAI (in fact it was the DAI of its time) and that the advent of digital distribution has reduced sales (okay this last one is a little tongue-in-cheek, but seriously I've bought BG2 four times due to lending copies and never seeing them again, or my first ever copy not reading anymore).

 

EDIT: I will say one thing about broad appeal, and that's that personal opinions are a terrible metric of it. If I say "I don't think BG2 had broad appeal" and I don't have some objective measure to back that up then it's meaningless since, you know, I am just one person. 

Edited by JerekKruger
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EDIT: by the way, it wasn't all that long ago that I learnt that crits are additive rather than multiplicative.

Hah, judging by Josh' response you were not alone :)

 

Even variable itself is called CritDamageMult

 

 

Which damage modifiers to make multiplicative and which to make additive was discussed pretty heavily during the backer beta. IIRC it changed multiple times, so I don't blame Josh for not remembering it.

 

Speaking of crit damage and the like, why not have the character sheet show damage ranges for crits and grazes as well?

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Should it be more "intutitive" in that it is much clearer it how the mechanics work?

 

Absolutely. I have NEVER understood why games designers don't tell you exactly how a system works from the get-go (Paradox Development Studioes are no better at this, and they have issues between whether percentages are addative or multiplacative and what not).

 

Should it be more "intutitive" in that it is any less complicated?

 

Absolutely not.

Edited by Aotrs Commander
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Speaking of crit damage and the like, why not have the character sheet show damage ranges for crits and grazes as well?

 

I don't know, that sounds awfully sensible. Next you'll be suggesting that, when I mouse over those damage rangers there should be a pop-up that tells us exactly how those numbers are derived!

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