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My late review of PoE

review gameplay story

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#1
LuccA

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I was one of the folks who waited until patch 3.05 to start playing this game. That being said, I would like to share my thoughts about it now that I finished my first complete playthrough (I skipped White March... will save that for another time).

 

NARRATIVE DESIGN - VERY POSITIVE:

 

      I loved the variety of it.

Spoiler
There was a wide range of themes (some of them rarely addressed in cRPG's), people with different points of view about the same issues and A LOT of roleplaying options. This variety is very important to keep the player interested, mainly in the second half. Can you imagine if Twin Elms was another urban-type city or village? I would definetly get bored.

      The developers talked about how they aimed for a "realistic fantasy" style (kinda like Game of Thrones) and for me they simply nailed it. Every quest, even the smaller ones, felt somehow morally ambiguous.

     

      ISSUES: Maybe the cities could have felt more organic and alive, with NPC schedules (that's planned for PoE2 already). Also, after reaching Twin Elms,

Spoiler
 

      Actually, I felt there was lost potential regarding the impact of background, skill, reputation and disposition on reactivity overall. It was competently done in some places, like

Spoiler
I understand why there is less impactful reactivity in the main questline, as branching stories are costly, but regarding sidequests and small tasks I think the developers should go completely nuts with reactivity! Make more class-exclusive tasks, disposition-exclusive quests, background-exclusive rewards, maybe just for some class or disposition the sidequest could give a hint for the main story line, go nuts!... By the end of the game, where the player is usually less patient for solving mere tasks, this is also where he has most dispositions and reputations, so making the quests more reactive to those would be perfect! Again, they did a decent job at this, but for me, they should just go crazy in tasks and small quests' reactivity design...

 

ART AND GAMEPLAY (NON-COMBAT) - VERY POSITIVE:

 

      I won't repeat what has being praised to death since the game's launch: how it improved upon the IE style in almost every aspect. I remember being blown away in the first hours of gameplay about how near perfect it was, from the environment and UI art to the freedom I had while building my characters.

      The one thing though, that I would like to highlight as a big positive for me is the policy of avoiding classic IE games exploits on gameplay, mainly supported by Josh Sawyer. Some of this implementations were very criticized here, but I got nothing but love for them since the beggining. The disencouragement of dumping stats, rest-spam and grinding exp. by killing monster mobs, the lack of an overpowered-weapon-to-rule-them-all... this all favors immersion and roleplaying instead of powergaming, which should be left for hack-'n'-slash and MMO's realm.

 

      ISSUES: Definetly leveling up. Again this has been addressed to death, and high-level content scalling seem to have fixed some of it. But all of Act 3 was frustratingly easy for me, playing on hard (and I didn't do any of White March). I think high level content scalling is not the right solution for this, but maybe changing the way leveling up works.

      The main reason for the game becoming too easy in high levels is the rising of defenses and accuracy, some high level abilities, and the lack of challenging encounter design (addressed in the next session). To solve this, I would propose a non-linear rise of defenses and accuracy (maybe a rising curve with a plateau). This makes more sense realistically, as experience in countless combats won't make you stronger and stronger until you reach god-like levels of killing a xaurip with a single punch. Maybe leveling up could be represented more by the widening of the abilitiy options available. Another obvious solution is simply limit the exp. rewards and slowing down the leveling up (I might think more about this for a new topic).

 

COMBAT - DECENT/MILDLY POSITIVE:

 

      Again, I didn't disapprove of Josh's policy against IE's gameplay exploits and his implementation of the engagement system. I think it was a cool addition, and it actually presented a new challenge, as you had to find a way to break engagement if trying to get away from a fight. Also, the amount of abilities available is huge! This made every combat at least entertaining for the beggining of the game. There were some hard counters here-and-there, immunities and monster abilities that I had to think how to avoid and some challenging fights that felt somewhat rewarding when I was able to beat them, however...

 

      ISSUES: I feel like the implementation of a combat mode limited the options for encounter design a lot. With this current system, we are not able to do stuff like scout a group of enemies while invisible, throw a potion or explosive at a clueless mob of monsters, charm an enemy and send him in the front line of an encounter etc. Overall, the whole encounter design for PoE1 was very lackluster, and I don't understand why the developers allowed this, since Sawyer worked on IwD2 which has great encounter design. Using the different abilities available was cool at the beggining, some of them were a little different, like swapping the mage with another character, the fire wall and rolling flame, but man, I would love to see encounters where the party started with a disadvantage, with variations on terrain, boulders, obstacles, exploding kegs (or shooting at some oil kegs so they would cast slicken nearby), maybe some interactable objects (hell, why not even scripted interactions mid-combat, the possibilities would be numerous!).

 

This went longer than I expected. Any thoughts on the issues/positives I mentioned are welcomed! 


Edited by LuccA, 21 May 2017 - 09:36 AM.

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#2
Mikey_205

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This is rambling waffle not a review

#3
Boeroer

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I'd rather say this is necromancy...



#4
firkraag888

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People on this forum need to stop attacking other people just for writing posts.

Unbelievable how this keeps going on and on.

#5
draego

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nice review. 



#6
Haiseki

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This is rambling waffle not a review

Aren't most reviews like that?


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#7
Phenomenum

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Some people discovered this game recently, and if they want to share their thoughts with allaround, i appreciate this. It's not necessary to judge them and talkin' about "necromancy" - remember yourself 3 years ago.



#8
firkraag888

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Yep. Anyone with an opinion on these forums gets cut down. It's the way it works here.

#9
Phenomenum

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Yep. Anyone with an opinion on these forums gets cut down. It's the way it works here.

No. Comparing to russian forums, where everyone wants to offend you, in an effort to defend his own opinions & ambitions, this is the place for adequate peoples.


Edited by Phenomenum, 08 October 2017 - 02:29 PM.


#10
Boeroer

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Yep. Anyone with an opinion on these forums gets cut down. It's the way it works here.

This is just false.
People who stomp in rambling, provocating or trolling will eventually get a slight, gentle slap on the forehead, that's it most of the time.
I don't know a lot of other places where you can discuss things in a more civil manner than here.
Just because one likes to provocate (or just can't explain themselves in a decent manner) and thus constantly suffer from a reddish forehead doesn't mean that anyone with an opinion gets cut down.

Some people discovered this game recently, and if they want to share their thoughts with allaround, i appreciate this. It's not necessary to judge them and talkin' about "necromancy" - remember yourself 3 years ago.

Maybe you should look again and then rethink:
The original post (review) was from may this year and for whatever reason nobody answered to it.
It was buried in the forum basement months ago.

I think it was a reasonable text and I didn't criticize it nor the author.

My post about necromancy was aimed at Mikey_205 who "resurrected" this dead thread only to post an unfriendly answer to a sensible albeit dead text.
Resurrecting old threads just for the sake of adding something unimportant is called "Necromancy" in forums, hence I used the term. Not to attack LuccA or his review of an older game (hey, I review PoE all the time) but to gently slap Mikey_205 on the forehead. I guess that wasn't so bad.

Edited by Boeroer, 09 October 2017 - 09:29 AM.

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#11
Phenomenum

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Ok, sorry, i understand. I thought this was a recent review. :grin:


Edited by Phenomenum, 09 October 2017 - 04:12 AM.

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