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Remove Restrictions and let this game breath


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#21
Sedrefilos

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My favorite is Infinity Engine games

Oooh... you're from that group of people. I see... a bit late to the party :p

In all seriousness now, I used to like pre-buffing and I remeber specifically enjoyed it in NWN2, mostly because I liked the visual effects of the shield spells hehe. But it got tiresome after a while just as did the resting, even in NWN2 were it lasted literally 5 seconds.

I think there's a reason that every game moved away from pre-buffing and that is the repetitive nature of the mechanic. That's why resting is off from most games as are trash encounters, grinding, etc.

And, tbh, I appreciate the freedom gives in character builds and gameplay more than not letting you pre-buffing or casting outside fo combat etc. The former matters more than the latter.


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#22
Goddard

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I played NWN2 and didn't like it nearly as much as Infinity Engine games.

 

NWN2 had a much better story then NWN, but NWN had many more great D&D aspects that made it something you could play for ages and yet NWN still had the problem that the graphics were horrible and I think it is just the nature of isometric games.  I won't mention more about how badly NWN2 was hurt with its mod size restrictions at the start.  Isometric games are beautiful and leave a lot to the imagination.  At the time they forced the game creators to be imaginative instead of adding a bunch of graphical pieces.  Like in PoE I think the times you have to jump, or fly through a tunnel is awesome.  That is an improvement.  When you click on a trap it sends the best man for the job.  That is awesome.  Things like that make sense to me.  I could list off a ton of things I like about PoE so again this is just constructive criticism. 

 

I also really loved the graphics and buffing had a direct impact on your stats sheet you could visualize.  D&D games in my experience are all about the character, party, and story.  Also if you were really into BG the whole entire "tiresome"ness bit you speak about could of easily been put into a macro like in NWN also you would only ever have to go all out in the most difficult of battles.  I can understand how it would be easier for game developers to control things, but that is why I am saying.  Less restriction and more intelligence is more fun.

 

I for one don't want to do things just because the industry is doing them.  That makes a game exactly like ever other game.  Why is that fun?  I got this game because I like Infinity Engine games and not NWN2 or the Witcher or whatever.

 

Why is it people still play a 20 year old game today?  Because it is awesome and it has aged extremely well.  Now that we have the enhanced edition it works on everything.

 

In most RPGs the whole entire premise of this fantasy land is usually built around you being a hero.  Being hero and being powerful, smart, strong, or cunning all mean you empower the player. 

 

The idea of the fantasy land is you are in the land and you control your character and the party and you can do whatever you want in this land.  Not being able to cast your own spells in this land is a strange restriction to make along with the other things I mentioned previously.

 

In most games especially single player games it is extremely easy to cheat.  You can use a cheat console, write your own scripts, open a hex editor, alter packages, change library files, alter the binary itself.  It makes no sense to limit a single player game in my opinion.

 

The cool thing about the Sword Coast is the fact it is high magic.  High powers which means more fun to explore and play with the game.


Edited by Goddard, 16 October 2017 - 01:24 PM.


#23
Sedrefilos

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Why is it people still play a 20 year old game today?  Because it is awesome.

 

And because it is 20 years old. The others are not that old yet :p

Anyway, Pillars is not an IE game, even though it takes inspiration from them. It's a different thing and it's trying modern things, things that are working better than those in 20 year old games. If you can't like change then I guess you'll have to stick to those 20 year old games, that gonna be 30 year old games and so on. They were good for the time, they might be fun to play now if you can cope with their chores, but there are reasons developers dropped many of their mechanics.


Edited by Sedrefilos, 16 October 2017 - 01:24 PM.

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#24
Goddard

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You want to talk about a chore.  How about enchanting items.  How about having to sell 500 shields, swords, and other crap items.  The idea that this was done because you wanted to avoid a "chore" seems out of place considering more chores that were introduced.

 

Here enchant this item, you have 5 things to pick from and an arbitrary limitation that isn't based on the skill of the player or anything.  

 

How about killing a dragon and getting a very vanilla two handed sword you could of found at a merchant and enchanted yourself.


Edited by Goddard, 16 October 2017 - 01:32 PM.


#25
Wormerine

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And because it is 20 years old. The others are not that old yet :p

 

 

Anyway, Pillars is not an IE game, even though it takes inspiration from them. It's a different thing and it's trying modern things, things that are working better than those in 20 year old games. If you can't like change then I guess you'll have to stick to those 20 year old games, that gonna be 30 year old games and so on. They were good for the time, they might be fun to play now if you can cope with their chores, but there are reasons developers dropped many of their mechanics.

Well, IE games are still fantastic. That said changes introduced by Obsidian I see and fixes to issue Baldur's Gate and Co. had. Unlimited resting was one of them, bad spell balance (including prebuffing) was another. It seems Deadfire aims to be a sequel and improvement over PoE rather than recapturing nostalgia which hopefully will result in a better computer RPG all together. Time will tell. I would certainy like to see an interesting way of using character abilities and spells outside combat, but prebuffing isn't one of them. I think Divinity did a good job thanks to its turn based systems. Spells would decay very quickly in real time so you could cast a spell before initiating combat but it wasn't as crazy as IE. 


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#26
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You want to talk about a chore.  How about enchanting items.  How about having to sell 500 shields, swords, and other crap items.  The idea that this was done because you wanted to avoid a "chore" seems out of place considering more chores that were introduced.

Not at all. Both decisions (limitless storage & prebuffing, as well as a more flexible access to spells) was made to avoid chore. Choosing what you carry around you for each dungeon run is very interesting (see Darkest Dungeon.) In IE games there was nothing stopping you from looting everything. If you needed something you left in your base or needed to buy something there was nothing stopping you from going back and grabbing it/buying it. IE didnt force you to think about what you take or need. It just took more time to access things you needed/wanted once you figure out you need them. PoE accelerates this process.

Limiting prebuffing on the other hand does make things more interesting. Instead of casting all the spells you want you have to plan ahead and decide what is more helpful to you at any given time. 

 

Crafting was poorly done. Felt like fulfillement of Kickstarter promise without much meat behind it. 


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#27
Valci

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Pre-buffing makes for a much more boring gameplay experience for me in the rinse and repeat sort of way... Not to mention certain encounters are more or less unwinnable unless you prebuff and have meta knowledge. For instance, I'm currently replaying BG:EE 1 and 2 and I know that every time I'm about to face a dragon (and really, a lot of encounters with magic uses too or basilisks etc) I pre cast resist fear (or prot from petrification or similar) which by itself makes said a world of difference... In some cases literally turning a borderline unwinnable scenario into a cakewalk... But for me it's also bad design. I shouldn't be required to have previous knowledge of the game to beat it. The game should give me the chance to adapt on the fly etc. Just my 2 cents ofc...
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#28
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Pre-buffing makes for a much more boring gameplay experience for me in the rinse and repeat sort of way... Not to mention certain encounters are more or less unwinnable unless you prebuff and have meta knowledge. For instance, I'm currently replaying BG:EE 1 and 2 and I know that every time I'm about to face a dragon (and really, a lot of encounters with magic uses too or basilisks etc) I pre cast resist fear (or prot from petrification or similar) which by itself makes said a world of difference... In some cases literally turning a borderline unwinnable scenario into a cakewalk... But for me it's also bad design. I shouldn't be required to have previous knowledge of the game to beat it. The game should give me the chance to adapt on the fly etc. Just my 2 cents ofc...

 

Tell me this,  intelligently does this mean to you we should remove the ability to cast anything before hand.  We should make ALL creatures weaker and only cast things that you can recover from? 

 

OR

 

 

1.  This isn't Meta information.  It is knowledge about the world you "live in".  Games now assume you know nothing of the world and they are all created for the lowest common denominator.  So how can this be incorporated into a game and not also leave out the people that know nothing about D&D or world lore?  For me when I started playing BG I knew nothing about D&D and I was a child.  I learned about D&D, forgotten realms, the sword coast, the monsters, and Elminster and Drittz etc..etc..

2.  Since we already have things like perception and intelligence and game clues and stories why not make it so the player can pre-buff AND also get clues as to what you might be facing.  This adds more variety.  This also matches closer to a real encounter.  If all you want to do is run from one encounter to the next you are basically playing Diablo.  You click the number 1 or 2 button.  This has its place and can be fun, but this is not what I consider learning about the world and it doesn't make you much care about the monster you face.  You don't need to learn the lore or care about the type of enemy you have.  You know that the game developers have already watered down everything to make it so you can overcome the situation as long as you fit within the level requirements.  Usually this is limited by some gate keeper that stops your progression.

 

The cool thing about BG was if you were tricky you could get into all sorts of interesting situations even though you were very low powered.  Again some people thing this is some how a fluke or a bug, but it is just a different way to play.  Some creatures having some weaknesses and having some things you can exploit can be fun.  I am not saying ALL exploits are good such as spamming a AoE effects to a dragon from a distance.  Obviously this is a matter of creature intelligence.



#29
Gliese581

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I hated prebuffing in Baldur's Gate and those games are some of my favourites of all time to this day, it's just bad game design to force that on a player. You can make encounters challenging and interesting without requiring the player to go through this tedium.


Edited by Gliese581, 16 October 2017 - 03:17 PM.

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#30
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They still have a form of pre-buff; now it's linked to camping. The developers could expand upon that and allow spell casters to automatically apply long duration magic buffs while they rest. For example, a Wizard could apply a resistance to charm, while a Priest could apply a disease resistance.


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#31
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There's also the boosts from resting at an Inn, but they aren't useful most of the time. The only times I ever used any sort of intentional pre-buffing outside of the camping (which isn't in PoE2 I don't think, unless maybe to heal wounds) were some cases where I wanted to make some particular attribute check for conversation or the Dyrford village inn for the +6 burn damage reduction (arguably about the only really useful Inn rest bonus) before fighting the stuff at the hot springs, the dragon there in particular. Though he's a pretty weak dragon compared to those you can meet later on in White March.

 

Honestly though, I'm not sure what they're doing with the camping function now that the per-rest (or Vancian casting, if you will) abilities are now per encounter. It's likely they'd keep it around to heal wounds.


Edited by smjjames, 16 October 2017 - 06:14 PM.


#32
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I'm using Fletcher's Rest as much as possible in my current POE run having recently arrived in Defiance Bay. 5% ranged aim is nothing to sneeze at with a party that can take good advantage of it.



#33
Valci

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Pre-buffing makes for a much more boring gameplay experience for me in the rinse and repeat sort of way... Not to mention certain encounters are more or less unwinnable unless you prebuff and have meta knowledge. For instance, I'm currently replaying BG:EE 1 and 2 and I know that every time I'm about to face a dragon (and really, a lot of encounters with magic uses too or basilisks etc) I pre cast resist fear (or prot from petrification or similar) which by itself makes said a world of difference... In some cases literally turning a borderline unwinnable scenario into a cakewalk... But for me it's also bad design. I shouldn't be required to have previous knowledge of the game to beat it. The game should give me the chance to adapt on the fly etc. Just my 2 cents ofc...

 

Tell me this,  intelligently does this mean to you we should remove the ability to cast anything before hand.  We should make ALL creatures weaker and only cast things that you can recover from? 

 

OR

 

 

1.  This isn't Meta information.  It is knowledge about the world you "live in".  Games now assume you know nothing of the world and they are all created for the lowest common denominator.  So how can this be incorporated into a game and not also leave out the people that know nothing about D&D or world lore?  For me when I started playing BG I knew nothing about D&D and I was a child.  I learned about D&D, forgotten realms, the sword coast, the monsters, and Elminster and Drittz etc..etc..

2.  Since we already have things like perception and intelligence and game clues and stories why not make it so the player can pre-buff AND also get clues as to what you might be facing.  This adds more variety.  This also matches closer to a real encounter.  If all you want to do is run from one encounter to the next you are basically playing Diablo.  You click the number 1 or 2 button.  This has its place and can be fun, but this is not what I consider learning about the world and it doesn't make you much care about the monster you face.  You don't need to learn the lore or care about the type of enemy you have.  You know that the game developers have already watered down everything to make it so you can overcome the situation as long as you fit within the level requirements.  Usually this is limited by some gate keeper that stops your progression.

 

The cool thing about BG was if you were tricky you could get into all sorts of interesting situations even though you were very low powered.  Again some people thing this is some how a fluke or a bug, but it is just a different way to play.  Some creatures having some weaknesses and having some things you can exploit can be fun.  I am not saying ALL exploits are good such as spamming a AoE effects to a dragon from a distance.  Obviously this is a matter of creature intelligence.

 

 

Claiming that eliminating pre-combat buffs reduces the difficulty or indeed caters to the lowest common denominator is disingenuous to say the least. In actuality i feel that quite the opposite is true.  It doesnt mean that you make monsters weaker either... not having an instant (i win) ability doesnt inherently make monsters weaker. In fact i would argue that the opposite is true. In BG1&2 the most difficult encounters were just a matter of practice (not intelligence)... you did it enough times that you figured out that you need prot. from fear or prot. from petrification or spell x and y to remove the protection spells of a lich etc etc etc. Combat was not reactive at all. Which meant that if you beat an encounter once you then had 100% record against said encounter on every following playthrough... Pre-combat buffs compound the issue even further. The way pillars does it is for me far more interesting. Since you can only buff after combat starts there is a chance (for example) that your buffing character will get stunned and wont be able to get the spell(s) off which dramatically changes the encounter. I much prefer the unpredictability of it.

 

For the RP aspect i guess that is a matter of taste. The story in Pillars was well enough structured for me that for the big encounters you would learn enough about them ahead of time. You know theres a big bad (The Master) at the bottom of the endless paths and youre not even forced to fight him outright so you have enough time to prepare etc. So you are presented the lore/clues as you call them plenty... its your choice if you chose to rush through text/dialogue same as it was in BG. And no... i didnt "care" about every random mob in BG either... just the big ones. Additionally, when it comes to realism i feel the opposite (at least as far as dungeon crawling goes) ... you dont know what you will find when you enter a new room... is the big bad there or isnt he? Would make no sense to waste buffing spells if you dont know. So realistically youd buff after you perceive the threat. At least thats my view.

 

So all in all i think the Pillars system makes fights more difficult and dynamic (not easier) as well as being more realistic. Btw i have no problem with the idea of constructive criticism... in fact i generally encourage it... i just happen to not agree with the point you are making. As much as i love BG, i think the design in this aspect of the game lends itself to repetitiveness and detracts from replayability due to encounters only requiring previous knowledge to beat, not being dynamic etc.


Edited by Valci, 17 October 2017 - 12:02 AM.

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#34
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You are completely ignoring world lore.  D&D monsters have specific things you need to watch out for.  If you knew nothing of world lore before playing the game that is just how it goes, but that also doesn't mean the writers/game devs couldn't have included a way to better prepare you.  Often times I think they do.  Most local merchants or people you talk to on a side quest close by give you some important item that will help you survive the onslaught of what ever monstrous creature you face.

 

That is what I am saying.  This style of combat is Diablo style combat and makes world monster lore pretty pointless because you can be assured as long as you have a "balanced" party you have a way to defeat the creature.

 

Rather the alternative is, if you do not have protection from fear when facing a mind flyer, or a godly will save you are screwed.  Have fun being their pet.  Understanding the lore and abilities of the creatures is just as important as the story itself.

 

You can still be stunned in BG so I don't see the comparison.

 

Just to make your point clear, you believe reducing the number of actions makes combat more dynamic?

 

That is pretty counter intuitive.  Adding more options increases the dynamic.  This is obvious if you have children and prepare their lunches for school.  You gotta pre-buff those little rascles whereas if you send them off to collect that "wonderful" free lunch you like no pre-buffing.  :D



#35
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Again, Goddard, you're seeing a video game through the eyes of a tabletop game. Things you do in tabletop might not be as exciting to do in a video game; not for most people at least. And pre-buffing before each fight is one of these.

The lore is still there: by fighting monsters you know what their strengths and weaknesses are so you go prepared: you save the spells/potions you need to fight them. You just don't have to scout and prebuff all the time. Saves time, makes flow better.


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#36
Valci

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You are completely ignoring world lore.  D&D monsters have specific things you need to watch out for.  If you knew nothing of world lore before playing the game that is just how it goes, but that also doesn't mean the writers/game devs couldn't have included a way to better prepare you.  Often times I think they do.  Most local merchants or people you talk to on a side quest close by give you some important item that will help you survive the onslaught of what ever monstrous creature you face.

 

That is what I am saying.  This style of combat is Diablo style combat and makes world monster lore pretty pointless because you can be assured as long as you have a "balanced" party you have a way to defeat the creature.

 

Rather the alternative is, if you do not have protection from fear when facing a mind flyer, or a godly will save you are screwed.  Have fun being their pet.  Understanding the lore and abilities of the creatures is just as important as the story itself.

 

You can still be stunned in BG so I don't see the comparison.

 

Just to make your point clear, you believe reducing the number of actions makes combat more dynamic?

 

That is pretty counter intuitive.  Adding more options increases the dynamic.  This is obvious if you have children and prepare their lunches for school.  You gotta pre-buff those little rascles whereas if you send them off to collect that "wonderful" free lunch you like no pre-buffing.  :D

Requiring me to have previous knowledge of the "lore" of monsters either from the tabletop rulebook or from having played the game beforehand is BAD design in my opinion... Its as simple as that. Its bad design to "force me" to have a certain specific spell or class available to beat an encounter... So yes, a balanced party (coupled with good knowledge of game mechanics and good execution) should be able to beat any encounter. When i talk about world monster lore (for lack of a better term) i mean their story, their motivation etc etc. I like that part... which i get in PoE too... Them having specific mechanics that i need to know about in advance and that require me to (for example) change the composition of my party? No thanks.

 

In BG you CANNOT be stunned while attempting to buff because you do it PRE combat. Whereas in Pillars a well placed enemy stun disrupts you and you have to go through the fight WITHOUT that buff. It makes fights more dynamic. Also, you dont reduce the actions... its the same number of actions only condensed into a smaller time frame => more dynamic combat (again). In BG you can cast all your buffs pre combat and in combat you only need to worry about dealing damage (aside from a potion of health or such) ... In Pillars you have to get the buffs off during the fight which means the character casting them is not participating in combat with damage while hes doing it. You get the tactical choice of "is my priest better served casting a buff, a heal over time, a damage spell or hitting the enemy square on the head with his staff"? In addition to this the fact that engagement between you and the enemy is simultaneous it makes the fight more challenging (and more fair) in and of itself. 


Edited by Valci, 17 October 2017 - 05:09 AM.

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#37
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I never said that.  Please reread my post.



#38
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Again, Goddard, you're seeing a video game through the eyes of a tabletop game. Things you do in tabletop might not be as exciting to do in a video game; not for most people at least. And pre-buffing before each fight is one of these.

The lore is still there: by fighting monsters you know what their strengths and weaknesses are so you go prepared: you save the spells/potions you need to fight them. You just don't have to scout and prebuff all the time. Saves time, makes flow better.

 

I don't see it that way.  I see what you are saying, but here is what I think about that.

 

Yes, it does make it easier for developers and players.  That doesn't mean it makes it dynamic, that doesn't mean it adds lore requirements for the world, and it definitely doesn't make it more difficult.

 

You are walking through a cave, you see tracks, you hear heavy breathing off into the distance.  Farmer Joe warned you of a giant hairy monster that howls at the night.  You were at the local library where you went to learn more about the local problems.  You discovered myths of a werebeast and in those documents it says you must protect yourself from their scratches otherwise you could become one yourself.  It also states possible weaknesses.  You decide to be the hero and save this town from their fate that has existed for 1000s of years.  You gather your supplies and prepare for the battle ahead.  You descend into the cave.  You find out it is a old miners cave and the werebeast is 3 levels deep.  You come to find multiple different creatures living in the cave.  Once you get to the stairs to level 3 you start to see human remains, and bloody paw prints from what looks like a bipedal wolf.  You decide to prepare yourself vs the beast and you start down the path.  The werebeast is huge.  Its strikes knock you down, but you know you won't turn into a beast yourself because protected yourself.  You tell your companion with a gun that now is the time, the beast is weakended as the text suggested and now is the time to lay the killing blow.  He inserts a silver bullet into his gun.  Direct heat to the beasts heart.  The beast slowly falls to its knees, the hair around the beast is shedding and the beastly wolf features begin to transform into a woman.  She is beautiful and looks to be only 16 seasons.  She has a pleading, but happy look on her face.  She mouths what you believe to be words of thanks and her eyes go dim and her light is no more.  "Vroom woosh", "pink purple Pillars of Eternity special soul blur", you watch the soul pass from existence, but as it fades you notice a rift.  It looks as if you can travel into this rift if you so wish it.  You wonder if you can pass through the and still come back.  "Will you travel through the rift?" "yes" "no"

 

Just a small example.


Edited by Goddard, 17 October 2017 - 05:28 AM.


#39
Lephys

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A compromise I could possibly see for pre-buffing would be the inclusion of "prepared" spells/abilities. Basically, you'd always be allowed one ability that would basically be an instant-cast within the first 5 seconds of combat (or maybe a different number of seconds. Or maybe just for the entirety of combat? But then you could kinda cheese it later on when you double-cast something).

 

This way, though, you couldn't go around beefing yourself up all day outside of combat, and you'd still have to decide WHOM to target with what abilities once combat starts, but there would still be a tiny extra element of strategic planning, and an opportunity to exercise preparedness at the start of combat.

 

That's about the extent of party preparedness I could understand, as "everyone be spellshielded and armor-boosted and fire-resistant and super accurate and flaming-weaponed!" is kind of ridiculous every time you're jogging about. And I'm sorry, but "Oh, that guy uses fire... WHICH PRE-BUFF DO I CAST HERE?! SUCH PUZZLE!" is not much "intelligence" and depth added to the game.

 

Yet again, we see the effects of the transition from tabletop to CRPG. In a tabletop game, you might enter a dungeon and cast some kind of flame shield. Then, you could do crazy awesome specific things and get out of super interesting scenarios using that. In CRPGs (so far), it basically just amounts to a combat buff. So, yes, in tabletop, it could be pretty interesting to see the ways in which you'd use buffs to get through places, and how it would affect lots and lots of stuff ("Oh, I can wade through this lava now, because I have a strong enough Flame Shield spell on me!"). But, when it just becomes shifts in combat numbers, no one really cares much anymore to play the Matching game with combat numbers. "Oh, you've increased your attack? I'll increase our armor (block-your-attack) numbers! Your attacks do poison damage? IMMUNITY TO POISON! Let's see how many things we can each negate on one another, to chore-ishly return us back to neutral! 8D!" Ugh...

 

Same thing with resting. Everyone's like "Blagh! Why is resting gone?! It's super important!" But it never is in a CRPG. It's just a thing that you do because you have to when you're low on resources, and the only "depth" to it is "you might cue a random combat 'ambush' encounter if you do it in a dangerous area." Imagine if 17 different things could happen whilst you were resting. Imagine if, in PoE, a number of scripted interactions could occur if you rested in different areas. So instead of this thing that you do PURELY to "get back to the game" with full health and mana, it could actually be a part of the gameplay.

 

So yeah... maybe one day we'll see CRPGs become advanced enough to allow players almost the same amount of interactivity as tabletop campaigns. That would be pretty amazing. I know it's not easy to do and requires a goodly bit of resources, so I understand kind of why we haven't seen it yet. Pillars is at least headed that way via scripted interactions, so that's cool. :)


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#40
Sedrefilos

Sedrefilos

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Just a small example.

 

A small example of a stroy you made in your head after an imaginary (or real) session you played that lasted for hours or maybe days (since the dungeon was 3 levels down) but it is only 1 hour tops in video game time. I don't see how all these descriptions add lore or excuse pre-buffing in Pillars really. You go to fight a werebeast, ok you have your spells you have your potions you have the food, you use them during combat and that's it. Why pre-buff. Again it deosen't add anything to the gameplay. Imo, you need a game focused mainly on monster hunting in order to excuse pre-buffing and even then, I'd rather it is a single-character 3rd or 1st person game so there's only you you need to pre-buff.

In any case, Pillars has maybe the less restrictions of any other IE-like game so I don't believe adding the freedom to bore yourself with repetitive pre-buffing is good. Scouting ahead and preparing your traps or your party positioning is enough imo.

The thing is, as I see it, you like to make stories of your own when playing the game and that's good fo course. I do sometimes pause and let the scenery and the encounter sink in and appriciate the moment but I don't jump out of the video game and land in a tabletop one while doing so. I know what I'm playing and why.


  • illathid and Gliese581 like this




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