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Casting outside of combat  

148 members have voted

  1. 1. Should casting outside of combat be allowed?

    • Yes, bring back the glory days!
      59
    • No, 'tis a silly thing
      42
    • No opinion on this matter
      9
    • Only allow utility spells outside combat
      38


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There is also the issue that if you allow the PCs to buff, you should be allowing the monsters to buff too. (Not always, not all the time, but they should be in some circumstances - e.g. especially and obviously scripted-start battles.)

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I think its because once the battle starts there is a trade-off with other spells. If you force buffs to be fight only you then have to choose whether you will throw out a damage spells first or buff first or another cc spell since some cc spells are pre battle. I like that buffs are part of the opportunity cost calculation. To me it feels more tactical to do it that way. I'm am not saying its perfect but i enjoyed it.

I get the "opportunity cost" line of thinking. But if almost every fight is "post-buffed" anyway then its not really a cost is it?

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  • A. Without it, players would cast hundreds of buffs before combat
  • B. This is presumably a waste of time, and makes things hard to balance, because if you balance for a normal party, super-buffed parties have it easy, if you balance for a super-buffed party, normal characters will suffer.
I would argue that:
  • 1. If you take the time to do all that buffing, you deserve to have an easier time of it.
  • 2. This rule means that all spells = combat spells. There is nothing utility because you can’t cast outside of combat.
  • 3. In particular, this has led to a lame summoning system. Summons are best used to draw enemy attention/fire, but this is very difficult when the main summoner can only call a few skeletons about 5 minutes into combat.
  • 4. Isn’t munching 30 plates of dragon meat pie or sleeping in a special place before combat just as ridiculous as casting buffs before combat?

     

What do you guys think?

 

The first thoughts that come to mind:

- 1. I don't quite see how 1 is countering B.

- 3. Summoning can be also improved via extra talents. Like "chanter starts an encounter with 2 counters" or "chanter starts an encounter with 4 summoning counters".

- 4. The difference is, that number of boss fights is quite smaller than number of medium + hard encounters.

 

I would probably still vote for first option. But after reminding my Tyranny experience (cast buff1, cast buff2, cast buff3, cast buff4, cast buff5, engage, kill; repeat), I'll better keep my vote)

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I think its because once the battle starts there is a trade-off with other spells. If you force buffs to be fight only you then have to choose whether you will throw out a damage spells first or buff first or another cc spell since some cc spells are pre battle. I like that buffs are part of the opportunity cost calculation. To me it feels more tactical to do it that way. I'm am not saying its perfect but i enjoyed it.

I get the "opportunity cost" line of thinking. But if almost every fight is "post-buffed" anyway then its not really a cost is it?

 

 

Except there'd be the chance to interrupt or disrupt the casting in combat that couldn't happen out of combat to make the cost a more strategic choice.  Outside of combat you're always going to be guaranteed success, so there's no real choice there if you're goal is to maximize efficacy.

 

Ie if I cast "SuperBuffo" before combat the only thing that could prevent me casting it is me deciding to cancel it somehow.  So I always get the effect of "SuperBuffo" and can then on my initial actions look to non-buff oriented actions  But if I can't cast "SuperBuffo" until combat starts, I now have to weigh how long it takes to cast SuperBuffo vs my other action options and so the choice becomes - in theory - more strategic.

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It's difficult to know what the gameplay experience of pre-combat spells is going to be without knowing about how this "empower" system of theirs is going to work. Some of the reasons pre-buffing got tedious in Tyranny is that 1. everyone could cast spells if they had sufficient lore and 2. spells were cooldown-based. If spells in PoE2 are going to all work on a per-encounter basis that could mean that pre-buffing could get tedious, as there's no downside to doing it (whereas in PoE1 it would use up one of a limited number of spell casts).

 

It's one of the reasons I'm kind of apprehensive about this whole "empower" thing, to be honest...

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I think its because once the battle starts there is a trade-off with other spells. If you force buffs to be fight only you then have to choose whether you will throw out a damage spells first or buff first or another cc spell since some cc spells are pre battle. I like that buffs are part of the opportunity cost calculation. To me it feels more tactical to do it that way. I'm am not saying its perfect but i enjoyed it.

I get the "opportunity cost" line of thinking. But if almost every fight is "post-buffed" anyway then its not really a cost is it?

 

 

Let's take a fight with the fampyr for example. Do you begin with a CC or a buff? if you begin with the buff, you give the fampyr enough time to charm one of your party members; that's a pretty big opportunity cost right there. Starting the fight with buffs is definitely not the 'standard' in every situation. I don't like not being able to buff before the battle that much, but I can't deny that it provides for a more tactically challenging experience.

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It's one of the reasons I'm kind of apprehensive about this whole "empower" thing, to be honest...

 

It would be nice to see it in action instead of just reading how it's supposed to work. It might help in understanding the system and alleviating the worries about it.

 

However, I doubt it'll go anywhere. Besides moving actions over to per-encounter system that can then be empowered, the system seems to be a crucial part of multi-classing balance.

Edited by Hertzila
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I honestly hate having to manage buffs in RPGs, making buffs only last a short time just angers me. 2 minutes, 5 minutes, please no.

 

I think the best idea for buffs would be have a certain number of spell slots per level a wizard can use just like in DnD, but when you memorize a buff spell, it is just always on. That way you don't have to remember to cast it before or at the beginning of combat and can instead focus on combat. Obviously this would require balancing the buffs so them always being on once memorized isn't overpowered or underpowered. Make the player think "Should I put haste in that spell slot or perhaps a 2nd Meteor spell?" Make each spell slot actually have weight and meaning.

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^the modal buffs in DA:O were pretty dank but that wpuld be tough to implement with certain strong PoE buffs

 

Also, not sure if this is common knowledge but you can shift-queue all of your buffs and an attack command.

Edited by George_Truman
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There are buffs in PoE which are being upkept all the time - auras and phrases. You pay in abilities. Personally, I like the variance between strong, short-timed buffs cast in combat out of per-rest resources and the low-maintance paladin/chanter bonuses.

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For a specific non-combat spell, how would you implement the invisibility spell? I don't see a way to have it not work better than a maxed out Stealth skill. Hence, it would be unbalancing unless it had some type of handicap. Maybe a 'Disoriented' Status Effect once it ends?

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For a specific non-combat spell, how would you implement the invisibility spell?

 

1. Invisibility spells could have an edge in regards to visual detection but provide no advantage in avoiding detection by sound, since Pillars 2 will base detection on both sight and hearing. For monsters, like skuldr, that track by hearing or other non-visual senses, this could be a major shortcoming for invisibility magic. (edit: whereas a stealth skill could also logically encompass a knowledge and mastery of techniques to fool such senses)

2. There could be areas that are harder or easier to be stealthy in, with ranks in the skill mitigating environmental penalties while invisibility wouldn't.

3. Invisibility spells have the inherent limitation of a set duration and could also require more intense concentration than other spells as the caster actively works to suppress visual cues from their movement. As a result, the caster may have to move more slowly and carefully than someone using stealth.

4. Spells, items, and senses that allow for the detection of magic could make invisibility useless in situations where stealth would still be viable.

5. Rather than invisibility per se, the norm for such spells might be more along the lines of ambient enchantment effects making it more difficult to notice the spellcaster, but otherwise requiring many of the conventions of stealth to function (e.g., avoiding line of sight, keeping a low profile, etc.) Proper invisibility might be rather powerful/high-level magic with other tradeoffs like requiring the use of Empowerment, having a short duration, etc.

Edited by blotter
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No prebuffing!

 

Battles were already balanced completely different in PoE depending on whether you had Vancian casters and how much you were a narcoleptic. Adding in the ability to tediously buff yourself into godmode Gandolph is not needed or wanted.

 

If we can pre-buff, can a Cipher attack the team's Monk to generate both wounds and focus to be able to start combat with the highest tier Cipher Powers? Every fight could then be initiated with defensive mind web or reaping blades cast on the Barbarian using carnage. This would trivialize any sort of fight, currently you had to spend some time to pull off the big power.

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Battles were already balanced completely different in PoE depending on whether you had Vancian casters and how much you were a narcoleptic.

 

I don't think you actually meant narcoleptic here, maybe OCD?

 

If we can pre-buff, can a Cipher attack the team's Monk to generate both wounds and focus to be able to start combat with the highest tier Cipher Powers?

 

Actually, you can generate wounds outside of combat in Pillars 1 already by having a companion slap your monk around a bit. The problem with that is that they disappear so quickly that you probably wouldn't be able to get more than one or two (edit: actually, I just tried it with a greatsword wielding barbarian and Zahua with Transcendent Suffering 4 and they were able to bring the wound gauge up to seven in the time that's available, but they're also getting damaged by Rooting Pain at that range) for an upcoming battle for they reset back to 0. It might have something to do with the rapid regeneration of Endurance out of combat.

 

Your argument got me curious about Focus, though, so I had Grieving Mother zap me with her wand a couple of times outside of combat and she didn't gain any Focus from it whatsoever. Even if they did change this in light of other pre-buffs becoming available, they could keep the window of opportunity to take advantage of the Wounds/Focus short enough to prevent you from breaking out your ultimate monk moves/cipher powers from the onset of combat. 

Edited by blotter
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Battles were already balanced completely different in PoE depending on whether you had Vancian casters and how much you were a narcoleptic.

 

I don't think you actually meant narcoleptic here, maybe OCD?

 

 

 

Narcolepsy with regards to sleeping frequently after every encounter so that all per rest spells were refreshed and ready to use again. Being able to pre-buff every battle would further encourage role playing a serial napper.

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Ah, my mistake. I see where you were going with it now (that you've explained it to me).

 

(Edit: but pre-buffing contributing further to this state of affairs only follows with per-rest spellcasting, which is currently off the table outside of the Empowerment mechanic since the current plan is to make spells per-encounter in Pillars 2.)

Edited by blotter
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Pre-buffing makes me think about the Ritualist idea I had... characters have to prepare spells ahead of time, use materials as a conduit, charge/infuse a rock with magic, draw leylines on the ground etc.

 

A Monk performing a dance or simply sitting down to meditate.

 

Would work really well with something like....

 

When you begin a "pre-buff" spell, it'd take some time for it to actually do anything. Even longer casting time than a regular spell. And it could also set off enemies on the level/area, to begin scouting/patrolling, changing their patterns.

 

That way, you could be in the middle of a pre-buff when a battle begins, and your other characters would defend the one preparing.

 

Just think that could be more interesting than:

1) Enter dungeon

2) Buff buff buff buff buff

3) Onwards!

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I prefer having encounters balanced by designers with the knowledge that I have not cast a bunch of buffs. The fewer unknowns they have to consider, the better they can do their jobs.

 

There should also be an opportunity cost with these spells.

 

"Do I cast a buff, debuff, damage spell? Think fast, here come the bad guys! Oooh, choices!"

 

That's more fun than spamming buffs before a fight. I remember doing it and then quick-saving in Baldur's Gate.

 

But if I want to open the fight with a fireball from just outside agro range, I feel like I should be able to. If you really think it's OP Obsidian, you could have a long casting time send out an agro pulse with a bit more range, representing them hearing the incantation after a second or two.

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Perhaps some of these desired spells can be turned into 'ritual' talents that can be cast outside of combat? Invisibility, Find Trap, and Knock, for example, could be per rest abilities. That would limit the potential abuses of co-opting skills with spells.

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Perhaps some of these desired spells can be turned into 'ritual' talents that can be cast outside of combat? Invisibility, Find Trap, and Knock, for example, could be per rest abilities. That would limit the potential abuses of co-opting skills with spells.

 I like it. Anything that gets me utility spells :)

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If you really think it's OP Obsidian, you could have a long casting time send out an agro pulse with a bit more range, representing them hearing the incantation after a second or two.

 

I want to see the enemy run into all directions, the momet they notice what's happening. That would be fun.

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As long as the encounters are balanced properly, I'm fine with not spending time casting buffs prior to combat. If you allow some players do it, then everybody ends up having to prep with buffs because the encounters will be increased in difficulty.

I hated my pre combat ritual in games that allow it. HATED. So monotonous. 

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I'll have to place myself in the no pre-buffing camp after all. I did feel the frustration from time to time, that I had to wait for the combat flag to pop up before casting certain spells. But rather that than this constant buffing ritual before every fight that happen for example in BG2. 

 

When it is an necessity to pre-buff before every major battle it remove both some fun and strategic elements from the fight, and if it isn't necessary then the spells are probably not worth their spell slots.

 

As other has mentioned, it is about choice and options. Do I waste some precious seconds in beginning of the battle to buff up my squad, summon monsters or do I go all out with the artillery?

When there is no consequence, as in pre-buffing, there is just the question of: Do I pre-buff and probably win the fight, or not pre-buff and probably lose it. Because if pre-buffs exists, the battles will be balanced for it as well.

 

Thou I would like to see the restrictions loosened a bit, out of my head I can think of shapeshift, cipher charm powers (?), some character centered spells and maybe summoned weapons.

 

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