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At this point I only got one important question...

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... an it's this one:

 

will the level cap in Deadfire be handled/balanced by the same incompetents that balanced the level cap in vanilla PoE?

 

Because I don't know what is worse now:

 

1. The fact that in vanilla Pillars of Eternity you reached level cap way earlier (about 2/3 of the game) making the game/progression feeling obsolete (because I must underline that this is a game and not an interactive novel by the way) and all this was possible in a game where XP income is FIXED and known by designers without the possibility of player XP income exploits,

 

OR

 

2. The fact that after all this time and numerous patches this is still not addressed! Because during of the Deadfire campaign I joyfully bought White March 1&2 expansions and after starting playing it, after reaching level 9 without even delving into the expansion content yet, it became clear to me that I will reach the level cap of 16 way before completing the game/expansion content.

 

I am playing on Path of the Damned difficulty.

Please tell me that at least on this difficulty setting they had the "audacity" to diminish XP rewards!

 

 


  After my realization that White March has the same XP reward problem, I don't even have the drive to launch game anymore because I hated so much reaching Twin Elms with a level cap in vanilla PoE that I don't wish to relive that experience.

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I know that you'll get less xp for side quests, I think your being a bit harsh though. Plenty of games have this issue, I assume the game was that way so that people who didn't complete all the side content were still high enough level to finish the game. Also you could up the difficulty of the WM expansion and the last part of the game when they added those extra levels. 

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I would think a game is balanced for a standard/ mid level difficulty setting. By the time your playing PotD you know the mechanics inside out. By then it is easy to min/max experience gain to be a overpowered character(s) at most points in the game. I would prefer added content to NOT be a side quest but a continuation so as not to fall into that OP party trap again when taking on the expansions.


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I prefer it this way, actually. The only way you win is by being better, not by overleveling by doing all the optional content.

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The sky had never seemed so sky, the world had never seemed so world.

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Personally, I also dislike that you reach max level long before the end of the game.

For me PoE became much more boring once you hit max level because doing things felt less rewarding.

This was also the case for fallout3, arcanum and maybe some other games where it is easy to hit max level.

 

There are some games with exp scaling, which means enemies do not change but when you have a low level you get many exp for fighting them and when you have a high level you get very little exp from them. This way most players have about the same level at a certain point of the game, but those who are obsessed with grinding and min maxing will get a few levels more. Good examples are Divine Divinity, Divinity2 and Legend of Heroes:Trails in the sky FC+SC. But I do not believe that this will happen in PoE2.

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If you hit max level at the end you cannot enjoy the benefits of being that max level and its new spells abilities or other perks.

 

That would be the equivalent of building a house and when its finished you die.

 

When its complete its to to sit back and enjoy your build. Or restat it and streamline it complete.

 

Leveling is nevessary in middle of the story. When its meat and fat story wise. Story Side and Task Quest... but once the narrative picks up and you start really chasing the bad guys its ok to reach max level... then its just the game that propels you. Thats your external motivation.

Edited by Leeuwenhart
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Sometimes make the level cap getting reached too later. IIRC, in the NWN2 OC, you often reached the cap, when you entered that last dungeon, which I felt was a bit too much in the other direction.


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A level 16 cap seems about right for PoE. On my current playthrough I've finished most of the content (including much of WM) and most of the characters are at level 14.


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There are some games with exp scaling, which means enemies do not change but when you have a low level you get many exp for fighting them and when you have a high level you get very little exp from them. This way most players have about the same level at a certain point of the game, but those who are obsessed with grinding and min maxing will get a few levels more. Good examples are Divine Divinity, Divinity2 and Legend of Heroes:Trails in the sky FC+SC. But I do not believe that this will happen in PoE2.

And it shouldn't. Scaling XP may sound good on paper but there's only one advantage to it and even that one advantage is questionable.

What i'm talking about is ability to quickly lvl up low level party members. Why is it questionable? Because it's a good candidate for money sink. You pay gold and get XP for your companions. It should be obvious that you can't buy more XP than your PC has but i'll say this just in case.

 

It's bad because smaller parties do not have lvl advantage over larger ones they should have. I made 4 man (woman, actually) party in IWD2 and their lvl was, like, 1 higher than lvls of full 6 person party. Not what i expected.

Another problem is that is controls your level way too much. From what i gathered players were finishing Divinity 2 at average level of 35. I've done all possible content, skipped fortifications (XP from them do not scale) until all enemies were dead and my level at the end of the game was 36. Sure, designers love such feature because it allows them extreme control over player but games are for players, first and foremost.

 

I'm not saying control over player level is a complete evil, some of it is fine but it can be achieved with just XP curve.


Vancian =/= per rest.

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the level cap, and how easily it were reached, represents a curious problem.  we weren't surprised by a completionist reaching the level cap early, 'cause such were crpg normal.  so, why the surprise, eh?

 

if a game such as poe is balanced so a person playing the critical path is able to enjoy the game, then w/o scaling, we anticipate the completionist will reach a level cap early. needs to be enough xp for the critical path player to be level'd appropriate, no?  the thing is, in a game such as poe, a game offering considerable optional side-quest content, there is gonna be a gulf 'tween critical path xp totals and completionist xp totals.  obvious, no? is a basic problem.

 

kinda silly to actual think Adding the expansions woulda fixed a problem so inextricable linked to critical path v. optional content.  after all, the expansions were effective increasing the disparity 'tween crit path and completionist totals.  reasonable and rational expectations woulda been for the problem to increase rather than decrease, no? a couple patches did address a few o' the more busted xp quest grants.  the bounties were clear providing excessive xp and as such they were scaled back via patches.  nevertheless, the underlying and fundamental issue were not gonna be solved by adding considerable more optional content as were offered via the expansions.  

 

what were strange 'bout the level cap problem were not that a player could reach cap early in poe, 'cause such were the normal in most games.  yeah, the patches fixed worst xp quest offenders faced by players who finished poe soon after release, but even so, the problem were a fundamental one.  were also less than strange to observe how adding expansions made the xp gulf worse rather than better.  nope, what were strange 'bout the level cap were how certain the developers were concerning their understanding and control o' xp grants in poe.  when those largely token exploration and bestiary xp awards were added to the game, folks questioned how such would impact level disparity 'tween completionist and critical path players. the thing is, the developers were certain they had a handle on the issue.  josh described the process by which xp awards for an area were viewed and compared, and how easy it were to keep total xp awards balanced.  while the problem o' level caps being reached early by players in games with considerable optional side-quests were the norm (ask any completionist who played bg with totsc how early they reached the cap,) what were unique, in our experience, were the poe developer confidence.  given how the problem were largely a constant 'cross decades worth o' crpgs, the developer belief, developer certainty, were unique.  we were assured a poe completionist would only be hitting the cap near the end o' the game. 

 

so, am admitting curiosity regarding the poe2 cap.  am curious to discover what, if anything, has been learned by the developers regarding their clear misplaced confidence in the poe scheme to control xp awards. why were the developers so clear wrong 'bout where in the game a completionist would reach the cap?  what changes, if any, has been made to the inadequate xp control mechanisms utilized during the poe development? 

 

HA! Good Fun!

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I think the OP has a point (even though he's a bit rude about it). Last play through on PotD I hit the level cap shortly before WM2. I was already feeling too strong at that point for a while. I still had the 2nd part of the expansion, Crägholdt, a couple of side quest sand the Burial Isle to go. All of that felt way too easy even though I used the level scaling option where it was available. This is one of my biggest gripes about the game, I felt it was handled very poorly. It's fine if you hit the level cap a bit before the end but not hours before, with so much content still to go. 

Edited by mumbogumshoe
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There are some games with exp scaling, which means enemies do not change but when you have a low level you get many exp for fighting them and when you have a high level you get very little exp from them. This way most players have about the same level at a certain point of the game, but those who are obsessed with grinding and min maxing will get a few levels more. Good examples are Divine Divinity, Divinity2 and Legend of Heroes:Trails in the sky FC+SC. But I do not believe that this will happen in PoE2.

And it shouldn't. Scaling XP may sound good on paper but there's only one advantage to it and even that one advantage is questionable.

What i'm talking about is ability to quickly lvl up low level party members. Why is it questionable? Because it's a good candidate for money sink. You pay gold and get XP for your companions. It should be obvious that you can't buy more XP than your PC has but i'll say this just in case.

 

It's bad because smaller parties do not have lvl advantage over larger ones they should have. I made 4 man (woman, actually) party in IWD2 and their lvl was, like, 1 higher than lvls of full 6 person party. Not what i expected.

Another problem is that is controls your level way too much. From what i gathered players were finishing Divinity 2 at average level of 35. I've done all possible content, skipped fortifications (XP from them do not scale) until all enemies were dead and my level at the end of the game was 36. Sure, designers love such feature because it allows them extreme control over player but games are for players, first and foremost.

 

I'm not saying control over player level is a complete evil, some of it is fine but it can be achieved with just XP curve.

 

 

- I do understand that many people do not like exp scaling. Looks like I like it a bit more than others. I play Divinity2 at the moment.

 

- I think that NWN2 did it just right. You reached max level near the end of the game.

 

- Why do you think that smaller parties should have a much higher level? I have not played IWD2. In most IE games, the exp were divided between all chars, but there is no law that says every game must do this. In PoE a full party could reach max level long before the end of the game and solo players reached max level earlier.

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 I assume the game was that way so that people who didn't complete all the side content were still high enough level to finish the game

 

eutCZW3.png

 

So in a world where this many people actually bothered to finish the game like me for instance and bothered to experience all the game content (for which developers put passion and effort in ) just by exploring the locations in a non-autistic manner, my "reward" from the devs for me experiencing the game fully is hitting me with a hard level cap way too early where there is no sense of accomplishment anymore because any quest I complete drives my character progression nowhere.

 

Reaching that extra one or two or three levels more than the average player that does not even finishes the game should be a REWARD for the player for putting the effort (whatever the reason) and not a hindrance in the enjoyment for the game.

 

Reaching that extra level should be a bonus in making the game slightly easier on higher difficulty settings.

 

Why there must be a hard level cap and not a soft cap with diminishing XP returns where reaching higher and higher levels should be a feat of its own?

 

Why the XP rewards are not diminished on higher difficulty levels? If someone enjoys playing a third of the game at level cap, they can do it on normal difficulty?

 

After my realization that White March has the same problem, I don't even have the drive to launch game anymore because I hated so much reaching Twin Elms with a level cap in vanilla PoE that I don't wish to relive that experience.

 

Many people complained about this after a quick google search.

If Deadfire will have the same XP advancement design, I will be disappointed at the "Sensuki level" with this new game.


  After my realization that White March has the same XP reward problem, I don't even have the drive to launch game anymore because I hated so much reaching Twin Elms with a level cap in vanilla PoE that I don't wish to relive that experience.

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An elegant solution to this could be borrowed from IE mod in a form of drop-down menu regulating xp table.

 

Take a look! Link to screenshot

 

For those who don't want to look, it's exactly what it says on the tin:

default

25% increase xp needed to reach next level ( 1250, 3750 ...82500)

33% increase xp needed to reach next level ( 1330, 3990 ...87780)

50% increase xp needed to reach next level ( 1500, 4500 ...99000)

square progression ( 1000, 4000 ...121000)

 

Pretty intuitive, and options are always great to have! People who like to play a sizable portion of the game being max level can do so. People who like to reach the cap almost at the very end can do so too. There are even options for people who fall in-between those extremes.

 

(and it is just another reason to never play Pillars without IE mod! :w00t: )

Edited by oddrheia

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There will be changes to levelling and a lot more levels, as I said we know that side quests do not gove as much xp. There are various other changes they have talked about but I do not know if it will fix your specific problem. 

 

In crpg's I almost always hit the cap some time before the end of the game. So I didn't really see it as a big issue and the expansions helped a bit. I don't play on POTD tho I play on hard, usually. 

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If the problem is that it's possible to reach max level long before the end of the game then there's not much to be done in (unmodded) Pillars. If the problem is that the game becomes too easy then there's a simple solution which doesn't require any mods at all: don't click the level up button until the game starts to become hard. This has the same effect as spreading out levels, although obviously you'll have to exercise your own judgement as to when you think you should level up. Not a solution for everyone, but I like it.

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If you hit max level at the end you cannot enjoy the benefits of being that max level and its new spells abilities or other perks.

 

That would be the equivalent of building a house and when its finished you die.

 

When its complete its to to sit back and enjoy your build.

 

+1 million.

 

But if the cap is reached early, the rest of the game needs be balanced around that. No point in being kickass if you could easily beat your enemies while being mediocre.

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My Deadfire mods: Brilliant Mod | Faster Deadfire | Deadfire Unnerfed | Helwalker Rekke

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I think the OP has a point (even though he's a bit rude about it). Last play through on PotD I hit the level cap shortly before WM2. I was already feeling too strong at that point for a while. I still had the 2nd part of the expansion, Crägholdt, a couple of side quest sand the Burial Isle to go. All of that felt way too easy even though I used the level scaling option where it was available. This is one of my biggest gripes about the game, I felt it was handled very poorly. It's fine if you hit the level cap a bit before the end but not hours before, with so much content still to go.

The gripe you appear to have (the balance issue with hitting the level cap) can also be solved by an adjusted scaling system.

 

The problem with losing incentive is imo best fought, as someone already stated in the thread, by good endgame writing/quest design. I feel like that aspect was done well in PoE - by the endgame you were interacting with some pretty interesting people/beings.

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OP has a point, PoE's XP curve and level cap was not very good, I think I was at level 10 before the end of Act2 and hit the cap(12 at the time) when I reached the second city. So I just hired some adventurers because the companions had bad stats and ignored the side quests to power through and fight the final boss.

 

That said it should be possible to hit the cap before the last boss/dungeon is initiated. Perhaps doing 85% of content should be enough to hit the level cap, maybe up XP rewards for the critical path if you need to level crit path players enough for the endgame content.

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An elegant solution to this could be borrowed from IE mod in a form of drop-down menu regulating xp table.

 

Take a look! Link to screenshot

 

For those who don't want to look, it's exactly what it says on the tin:

default

25% increase xp needed to reach next level ( 1250, 3750 ...82500)

33% increase xp needed to reach next level ( 1330, 3990 ...87780)

50% increase xp needed to reach next level ( 1500, 4500 ...99000)

square progression ( 1000, 4000 ...121000)

 

Pretty intuitive, and options are always great to have! People who like to play a sizable portion of the game being max level can do so. People who like to reach the cap almost at the very end can do so too. There are even options for people who fall in-between those extremes.

 

(and it is just another reason to never play Pillars without IE mod! :w00t: )

 

 

Installing this mod will disable or affect the Steam achievements?

(I am currently playing on PoTD level with expert mode)

 

 

 

Many people discuss and there is a lot of debate about what is an RPG.

One of the core values of an RPG that's found in  every definition is   character progression.

 

Once you lose that, you lose a good portion of what the game tries to achieve/to be.


  After my realization that White March has the same XP reward problem, I don't even have the drive to launch game anymore because I hated so much reaching Twin Elms with a level cap in vanilla PoE that I don't wish to relive that experience.

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I think the OP has a point (even though he's a bit rude about it). Last play through on PotD I hit the level cap shortly before WM2. I was already feeling too strong at that point for a while. I still had the 2nd part of the expansion, Crägholdt, a couple of side quest sand the Burial Isle to go. All of that felt way too easy even though I used the level scaling option where it was available. This is one of my biggest gripes about the game, I felt it was handled very poorly. It's fine if you hit the level cap a bit before the end but not hours before, with so much content still to go.

The gripe you appear to have (the balance issue with hitting the level cap) can also be solved by an adjusted scaling system.

 

The problem with losing incentive is imo best fought, as someone already stated in the thread, by good endgame writing/quest design. I feel like that aspect was done well in PoE - by the endgame you were interacting with some pretty interesting people/beings.

 

 

Yeah that's a big part of it and I know they're doing it, a more comprehensive level scaling system, I mean. It's gonna be optional because many people think that any kind of scaling is of the devil but that's fine, I trust them to do it well and I'm going to turn it on for sure.

 

The second point, that I've been hitting the level cap far too early, isn't going to be remedied by this, though. I understand that people enjoy playing with a fully realized build but I don't feel the appeal so much myself. Leveling up, getting stronger, is one of the core elements of RPGs and when it's not there anymore, I always lose interest a bit. A good story, interesting quests and encounters, challenging combat still make the game interesting, but an essential element is gone and it can't just be replaced. You can have a good story, interesting quests, challenging combat and leveling, after all. For me it would be perfect if you hit max level just before the last dungeon or quest or whatever in a game like this. Have that be a long one, with several hard combat encounters and a really tough end battle so I can still play my maxed out character a bit, but that's it. 

 

Anyway, I'm not too worried about PoE2. With 20 levels there's a good chance that it will take substantially longer to hit the cap.

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It doesn't disable achievements, at least if you use it for xp scale and some other cosmetic options.

 

I don't know if using cheat commands with it does. If it does, the older .dll version has a command to re-enable them. The most recent update removed the command because it was causing crashes, but you can still use the old .dll, use the command, save, exit, and reload using an up to date .dll,

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... .

 

will the level cap in Deadfire be handled/balanced by the same incompetents that balanced the level cap in vanilla PoE?

 

 

 That isn't a question. It's a rude comment directed at the developers.

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Anyway, I'm not too worried about PoE2. With 20 levels there's a good chance that it will take substantially longer to hit the cap.

 

20 or 30 levels won't make a difference. You can still reach level cap too early if the XP income is not tailored properly.

 

 

 

 

 That isn't a question. It's a rude comment directed at the developers.

 

 

I chose to see it as incompetence (which can be easily fixed) because if it was designed by choice to play 1/3 of the game at level cap and left there after all the patches, I should've probably spent the money pledged for Deadfire on something else.  But the fact that after all these patches this design choice is still in, then it signals that there's a great chance that this design philosophy would be ported for Deadfire as well.


  After my realization that White March has the same XP reward problem, I don't even have the drive to launch game anymore because I hated so much reaching Twin Elms with a level cap in vanilla PoE that I don't wish to relive that experience.

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