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Remove Restrictions and let this game breath


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And that is a good thing.

For all its historical merit, D&D (esp. its older incarnations) isn't all there is to roleplaying games. Videogames should move on at some point - or rather, catch up, as tabletop gaming has been moving on for quite a while now.

Or even better, video games should go their own way. Tabletop rules are as much bound by their medium (actual dice, humans doing the calculations, human levels of changing things on the fly) as video games are. PoE trying to take that difference into account should be pushed further.

Edited by Varana
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Therefore I have sailed the seas and come

To the holy city of Byzantium. -W.B. Yeats

 

Χριστός ἀνέστη!

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some enemy mages in BG2 have spells stored in their sequencers i don‘t remember i can even get or if at all then at high levels. They cast them instantly, i consider that as good as prebuffing.

That was BG2's answer to the problem that the player regularly enters a fight pre-buffed while the NPCs can't, as they only activate their AI routine upon sight (or more precisely, when being in range, leading to exploits like activating them stealthed and letting their buffs run out).

For technical reasons, it was difficult to have actual pre-buffing (and still is, seeing how video game AI still works on enemy aggro ranges) so they tried to emulate it to level the playing field and make the encounter more believable: On activation, the enemy mages applied their buffs through scripted insta-cast (even when they accompanied it with a "sequencer" message, that was usually just window-dressing).

 

 

What you are talking about is bad encounter design.  So instead of developers trying to make things more dynamic and fluid they were limiting encounters to a very specific linear fighting style.

 

A possible counter argument would be rather to have it so enemies have more intelligence.

 

For example, spells have pretty visuals and do damage to an area if it is within the AoE, but rarely if ever do those spells reverberate at a distance further then the spell effect.  Having a spell with a 20 meter range, but the sound of the effect is maybe 100 and it triggers an internal alarm, or a literal in game alarm such as a bell would be a simple solution.

 

This would increase the importance of characters such as Rouges, Rangers, and Assassin types.  Now another annoyance is the idea that a fully plated fighter can go stealth, or some how a mage can perform complex hand motions with armor on.  For one the plate armor is very loud.  It is unrealistic to the n-th degree to believe a normal metal armored character could also be stealthed.

 

Rather then these games getting more realistic and more dynamic they are getting more limited to systems that are easily controlled by developers.  

 

Other options as opposed to getting rid of pre-buffs because currently the only argument that I can't debate is "I don't like clicking a lot before and after combat", which fine.  I am not arguing that point.  I am saying pre-buffing removes power from mages and generally makes all other characters such more alike.

 

1. Give hostiles that ability to sound alarms, have spells reverberate. 

2. Trigger some hostiles to pre-buff or even to leave the current area and seek out the sound.

3. Have hostiles not be complete idiots and if they get damaged and see no character then to seek them out with some kind of path finding script.

4. Have encounters where hostiles are smart enough to realize they are being choked off based on intelligence or something by doors and narrow passages.

 

These are all things that makes a game more dynamic and interesting and would even fit better into story plot.

 

One of the funniest things in IE games was when you either killed everyone in an area and then the boss fight acted like you were still cool with them.

 

That is what I expected to see in newer games honestly.  I expected things to be better integrated into the world story.  See how tangled you can weave the world.

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i‘d like to suggest in addition to tie insta-cast to empower. So next to what it currently is planned in deadfire for empower (adding amount of abilities and improving the effect of an ability) the player when choosing empower chooses 1/2/3 (depending on level) abilities to instantly be available/in effect (similar to sequencer in BG2). I‘m hoping there will be invisibility spells and more protection/immunity spells and subsequently counterspells for casters in deadfire.

 

edit:

also, invisibility should enable my caster to safely disengage :)

Edited by 4ward
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@Goddard...

 

You have good points, truly. However, you're making good arguments for preparation, not pre-buffing specifically. I don't think you understand this to be the case.

 

You already have swappable equipment with various resistances to things. You have spells and abilities that can be cast the second combat begins, and wiill basically be active before others can cast spells on you, etc. I don't know what else pre-buffing would add to this equation that the game/world needs. You could give everyone the ability to teleport everywhere, and your party would just be smart and use that to avoid all the dangers of pathways, but then if the world was intelligently designed, you'd have people intercepting/distrupting people's teleports, etc. So then you'd have to have a counter for that. Then a counter for that. Etc.

 

As I have said before, because the intent of "only in-combat" casting is really just to have that level playing field and eliminate the trouble caused by dozens of spells being stacked onto people before combat, I wouldn't be against a system in which each character could have one "prepared" spell/ability at a time, so that they could always instant-cast one thing. That way, you're prepared for combat, with the thing that you would do when you start combat anyway. "AMBUSH! Casting a Divine Shield!". Boom. There you go. Now you're ready to react to something, but you're not just jogging around immune to everything.

 

Also as I have said before, I find the idea of "I have created this dome, into which fire cannot penetrate" to be much more interesting in the context of PoE's combat than "I have made your body immune to fire. Now fire just doesn't damage you whilst you jog all over the place. Also it lasts a while, so any time we suspect fire is going to be a thing to look out for, I'll just cast this on everyone, because if I don't we'll all die to fire, but if I do, we're all just back at square one, as if the traps/damage sources just weren't even there, unless an enemy dispels it, in which case we just wasted each other's time and are now back to square one again."

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Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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I don't always post in forum topics, but when I do, the threads are already 11 pages long...
 
From my point of view, everyone is this thread seems to be making good, valid arguments about the pros and cons of various mechanics* from BG2 that are now, sadly or thankfully, missing from PoE. I think a lot of it seems to simply come down to personal preference. Which is unfortunate since Obsidian is only capable of making one IE successor at a time.
 
* Mostly pre-buffing. But, as people have already mentioned, removing pre-buffing has a knock-on impact on many other aspects of PoE's gameplay.
 
I want to throw in some random points:
  1. Firstly, I like this discussion; it's an interesting read even if nothing comes from it. Please keep arguing!
  2. Secondly, it's clear to me that, given the significant number of people who abhor it, Obsidian should probably not bring back IE style pre-buffing. Fortunately (for those people), that clearly isn't going to happen.
  3. Thirdly, I don't think there's anything wrong with talking about "out-of-date" D&D or CRPG mechanics. If you think something was poorely executed in the past, does that mean that it is worthless and added nothing at all to the game or system? For example, the D&D alignment system is clearly not a 1:1 representation of real-world morality. It's an abstraction. And, if nothing else, it is intuitive and easy to follow.
  4. Fourthly, I'm quoting Wormerine and daven's posts again because they pretty perfectly sum up my feeling on the topic:

 

I don't agree it requires any strategy or whatever to carry some antidotes, but I do think something has kind of been lost getting rid of these kind of things, Level drain, poison persisting after battle etc. It just makes the world feel a bit more dangerous, if you don't have the potion or a heal spell. (Is it heal? can't remember).

 

 

 

 

 

So... not sure overall. Yeah it's cut out some hassle but there is something lost.

 

That is true there was something about those mechanics even though I wouldn't classify them as "good" or "engaging".

 

I think that while mechanicly they weren't very good, they added to a fantasy of adventuring. I did like that vampires would suck out your "lvls" and the rest mechanic, even though technically pointless, did reinforce the theme of adventuring and danger. I would categorize them in the same shelf and the need of buying and manufacturing ammo in original XCOM. It wasn't an engaging part of the game. Ammo was cheap and easy to buy/manufacture, you just had to do it. While it was a chore gameplay wise, and didn't add any strategic/economic depth it did play into a fantasy of running a military organization. You had make sure those were available or soldiers would be deployed with empty magazines. All of the moders remakes (Firaxis, Xenonauts) streamlined this element, and I while I believe they did the right thing, there is a part of the "simulation" that is missing.

 

Modern cRPGs tend to flat those "not good" mechanics out. I felt PoE had a fine balance, while games like Dragon Age went a bit too far. It is all a matter of taste & preferance. While I would like to see those really unique and dangerous enemies to return, and inventory management and pre-combat preperation to return I think it is possible to do it better than IE games did.

 

Edited by Barleypaper
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^ I agree on that can't-put-my-finger-on-it aspect of some of those old mechanics. I think the biggest problem is that modern game developers tend to look at old stuff, and go full black-and-white on it. "Nope, this was bad, so let's make something that looks NOTHING like that!". Like... turn-based combat. That's seen by many to day to be too slow and clunky and outdated, and no one wants that anymore, etc. So what do they do? "Let's just dodge it. No turn-based combat. Only fast-paced action combat = good."

 

It's overly simplified. I think you could modernize turn-based combat. So, actually use it, but improve upon it. Simulation is in that boat. There's a lot of stuff like ammo-crafting, etc., that maybe at the time was just stuffed into the game for an added bit of simulation/immersion, but didn't do much other than that. However, it COULD, if used properly. Not necessarily everything, especially not in every game's design/context. But, it tends to get just put in just like it was, or nixed altogether. More developers should look at the value of these old mechanics, and make a 2.0 of them. Take the good, discard the bad. Puzzle out how to make them cooler today.

 

Anywho... definitely agree that discussing the merits of this older stuff is quite useful and productive, even if some people just don't want to hear about it anymore (threads are optional participation. You don't even have to read them if you don't want to,  :biggrin:)

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Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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Forcing player to buff constantly is kind of chore. It's one aspect of baldur's gates which I find a bit taxing. Sure it brings some strategy, but near TOB campaign, things went to the extreme. Or those dragon fights which were won by using perfect protections. :) Then again PoE went to the other extreme by allowing almost no pre-buffing at all which I found a bit artificial at times. I knew I was about to face bunch of enemies, but I could not cast protective spells before the fight.

 

I don't have a perfect solution, but one thing I'd do is limit the ammount of positive buffs / protections player can cast on each character...

 

Lets say that you can cast:

-only 1 elemental protection per character or 1 elemental damage buff,

-only 1 physical protection per character or 1 physical damage buff

-only 1 mental/magic protection per character or 1 mental/magic damage buff

 

So 3 protection/buff spells max per character. If you tried casting more, the spells would start cancelling eachother.

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As somebody who is a bit newer to CRPG's I found the lack of prebuffing a bit jarring personally.  To me it feels a bit like running into a fight without having put your armour on first, or not equipping a weapon.  It's fine to have no time to prebuff because you are ambushed, it's another to make the team feel artificailly stupid by having the intelligent wizard or wise priest having to panick cast buffing spells every time they go into a dangerous situation.  They should know they are heading into trouble and be able to plan accordingly.  That said I know it can get tedious.

 

 

In the vein of modernizing things a bit as Lephys suggested, I think that prebuffing could be made somewhat less of a chore by allowing us to keybind a small list of spells and have them cue up in the order we cast them when cast.  This not only would save time on having to sit there and individually cast every spell you want to use individually, but could be used to limit prebuffing if you only allowed one list of a few keybinded spells to be used either before combat, or if you are on a super hard difficulty per area.  That would keep things from getting to out of hand as Carados stated above, but still let you do something.   As for how to deal with AOE vs individual spells when you have a mix of them in a list have an AOE targeter come up if any AOE spells exist in the list, and if you want to target a specific party member with the single spells you just click on their profile or in world character. 

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whichever way you look at it imho it is only viable if the monsters start the fight buffed as well so that the playing field is even. Why would the game put you at a distinct advantage by design? Or are the monsters supposed to be stupid? what about the humanoid ones? ... see where im going with this? But then if you allow the monsters to start the fights buffed you make player buffing a requirement and also you end up in a situation where both sides are buffed and cancel each other out which is the same as if neither were buffed pre combat to begin with.

Edited by Valci
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I like the idea of having a combination of some proposed solutions:

  • Some classes can focus on Arcanum/DAO-style "modal" buffs that lower your max mana. These wouldn't be a chore to use and enemies can have these activated, too.
  • Give some classes more persistent ground AOE buffs, e.g. an un-moving prot. from fire shield (ala Lephys's suggestion). Where you cast these will depend on the layout of the battlefield; it should always be an interesting decision even if you end up casting them before combat.
  • Keep an occasional "exploitable" buff like Bless for variety (available only to a select few classes). Make them less tedious to use with keybinds, contingencies, whatever.

If you make buffs more varied and situational (without reducing their power) there should be no reason to artificially restrict their usage.

 

I realize this wouldn't address "the basilisk problem" but meta-game knowledge is always going to be a difficult factor. Integrating powerful monsters into quests might be the best solution. e.g. "To defeat the basilisks you must smear yourself in Xaurip feces." (Would also help bridge the gap that currently exists between combat and the-rest-of-the-game)

Edited by Barleypaper
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^ I agree on that can't-put-my-finger-on-it aspect of some of those old mechanics. I think the biggest problem is that modern game developers tend to look at old stuff, and go full black-and-white on it. "Nope, this was bad, so let's make something that looks NOTHING like that!". Like... turn-based combat. That's seen by many to day to be too slow and clunky and outdated, and no one wants that anymore, etc. So what do they do? "Let's just dodge it. No turn-based combat. Only fast-paced action combat = good."

 

It's overly simplified. I think you could modernize turn-based combat. So, actually use it, but improve upon it. Simulation is in that boat. There's a lot of stuff like ammo-crafting, etc., that maybe at the time was just stuffed into the game for an added bit of simulation/immersion, but didn't do much other than that. However, it COULD, if used properly. Not necessarily everything, especially not in every game's design/context. But, it tends to get just put in just like it was, or nixed altogether. More developers should look at the value of these old mechanics, and make a 2.0 of them. Take the good, discard the bad. Puzzle out how to make them cooler today.

 

Anywho... definitely agree that discussing the merits of this older stuff is quite useful and productive, even if some people just don't want to hear about it anymore (threads are optional participation. You don't even have to read them if you don't want to,  :biggrin:)

 

FFX combat is pretty decent, Square should have built on that for the subsequent Final Fantasy games but they decided to go with MMO style combat in 12/13... and whatever the hell is in 15.

 

Persona 5 has quite good turn based combat. It's not the most deep or whatever but it's enjoyable to play at least.

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nowt

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I like the idea of having a combination of some proposed solutions:

  • Some classes can focus on Arcanum/DAO-style "modal" buffs that lower your max mana. These wouldn't be a chore to use and enemies can have these activated, too.
  • Give some classes more persistent ground AOE buffs, e.g. an un-moving prot. from fire shield (ala Lephys's suggestion). Where you cast these will depend on the layout of the battlefield; it should always be an interesting decision even if you end up casting them before combat.
  • Keep an occasional "exploitable" buff like Bless for variety (available only to a select few classes). Make them less tedious to use with keybinds, contingencies, whatever.
If you make buffs more varied and situational (without reducing their power) there should be no reason to artificially restrict their usage.

 

I realize this wouldn't address "the basilisk problem" but meta-game knowledge is always going to be a difficult factor. Integrating powerful monsters into quests might be the best solution. e.g. "To defeat the basilisks you must smear yourself in Xaurip feces." (Would also help bridge the gap that currently exists between combat and the-rest-of-the-game)

Another way you could implement pre-buffing is taking a page from the witcher and have something akin to toxicity for using pre-buffs. Some negative condition that builds based on usage and makes your character(s) suffer negative effects, when not buffed, based on condition level. That way you potentially sacrifice something for entering a fight buffed and forces you finish combat before the buffs wear off or suffer the condition aquired from pre-buffing. This way enemies would not really have to be designed for pre-buffing. Just a thought, I dont really care for pre-buffing but this would make it an interesting choice imo. Edited by DigitalCrack
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Arent they are going to be doing that for resting? Might as well go full monty and do it on buffs. Ooooooh, and what about if you swing your sword too many times you will get a wicked charley horse in your arm!

Have not heard that resting wi work that way and was only proposing a negative condition specific to pre-buffs which would have to be setup as its own kind of "magic" seperate from in combat buffing. basically the pre-buffing magic would be stronger but at a cost while the in combat buffing, while less powerful, would not debuff you as a result of useage.

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FFX combat is pretty decent, Square should have built on that for the subsequent Final Fantasy games but they decided to go with MMO style combat in 12/13... and whatever the hell is in 15.

 

 

 

Persona 5 has quite good turn based combat. It's not the most deep or whatever but it's enjoyable to play at least.

 

 

12 was actually kind of cool, but it could've been better. 15 was also cool in its own way, if they had just reigned it in a bit more and had like... Crystal Chronicles-style spell-comboing to produce -aras and -agas. At first, with 15, I thought "What is going on?!", but then I realized the level of control I actually had over the auto-attacking, and the different maneuvers I could do. I'm all for that. That's actually a huge thing that I think pretty much any game with basic/auto attacks could do: make the auto-attacking actually flow. The super basic example here is, if you want someone to attack once per 3 seconds and deal ~10 damage, just make them attack like once every half-second (obviously this would depend on the weapons being used, etc.) for like 1.5 damage per hit. That's REALLY oversimplifying it, but the "let's all stand around and just have our one thwack per day be symbolic of the fact that we're engaged in epic combat" got old about a year after it first showed up in games. It works really well with a system like PoE that uses Engagement. You should be trading blows with each other, and dodging, etc. (when possible), in a "flowy" way (as if combat is actively going on). It doesn't have to be fully real-time with attacks as fast as they'd be made in real life. It can be a bit slower for easier reaction time from the player who's managing 5+ party members and several enemies on the screen at once. But, yeah...

 

That's one thing that 15's combat did pretty well. But all those ancient King's weapons were useless (the life drain was like 90 times higher than any damage output increase), and all the magic was turned into stupid grenades. Which, hey, cool for "spell" customization, but they're not spells anymore, for some reason.

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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Have not heard that resting wi work that way...

Click here.

Appreciate the link hadnt seen that one yet. Although its sounds more like the resting bonus starts to go away if you spam it not that you'll recieve negative modifiers after resting too much. Its somewhat vauge though and could be totally wrong on how I am reading it.

Edited by DigitalCrack
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^ It is worded strangely, but I'm almost certain that what it means is you'll eventually fight with, quite literally, bad bonuses, as opposed to good bonuses. In other words, if your food bonus can be from 1-10, and you use up all your 10 food, then you'll be to your 9 food, then 8 food, then 7 food, and so forth. Awesome-bonus food will be limited, therefore, the more often you rest, the more food you'll use up, and the closer you'll be to a bonus of 0.

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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^ It is worded strangely, but I'm almost certain that what it means is you'll eventually fight with, quite literally, bad bonuses, as opposed to good bonuses. In other words, if your food bonus can be from 1-10, and you use up all your 10 food, then you'll be to your 9 food, then 8 food, then 7 food, and so forth. Awesome-bonus food will be limited, therefore, the more often you rest, the more food you'll use up, and the closer you'll be to a bonus of 0.

Yeah but no bonus is different from it applying a negative modifier. no rest bonus is nuetral not negative. Plus thats a littke different then what I was proposing as a balance feature for a theoretical pre-buffing school of magic that actually stack negative modifiers the more you use it. So it would be a risk reward magic. If your confident you could win a battle before your pre-buff magic wore off then it may be worth it to you to invest in that play style otherwise you could go with tradiional in combat buffing magic that has no side effects but is less powerful also. Basically the idea is structure pre-buffing in a way that doesnt require encounter design to change too much to accomadate it as an option to the player and not a must have. Just throwing my thought on it out there, I'm sure there is oversight on my part with the idea too.

 

Edit: One thing I just thought of is that I am running off the assumption that resting will have default positive affects (like healing injuries for example) that are not tied to using food.  So I am assuming that resting, by default/at minimum, will at least heal injuries.  Healing injuries is not a bonus imo its simply a permanent trait of resting regardless if food is used or not.  Now if resting will literally do nothing without some kind of food being used then what I said earlier changes a little.

Edited by DigitalCrack
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I understand. I was only attempting to clarify the confusion about the actual system as presented in Josh's tweet. I believe it to be a lack-of-bonuses situation, rather than an actual negative/malus thing like Gfted1 was worried about.

 

Only thing I'd say about the penalties for pre-buffing is that they should probably be outside the realm of buffs/debuffs. Otherwise, you're getting debuffs for using buffs, in which case it's a bit counter-productive. That's why most systems give you a resource penalty. Your mana pool isn't usually something that gets buffed or debuffed. It's a different factor in the system. So, the tradeoff becomes "I get cool buffs, but the more cool buffs I have on me, the less mana I have available with which to cast other spells and do other things in combat."

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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I understand. I was only attempting to clarify the confusion about the actual system as presented in Josh's tweet. I believe it to be a lack-of-bonuses situation, rather than an actual negative/malus thing like Gfted1 was worried about.

 

Only thing I'd say about the penalties for pre-buffing is that they should probably be outside the realm of buffs/debuffs. Otherwise, you're getting debuffs for using buffs, in which case it's a bit counter-productive. That's why most systems give you a resource penalty. Your mana pool isn't usually something that gets buffed or debuffed. It's a different factor in the system. So, the tradeoff becomes "I get cool buffs, but the more cool buffs I have on me, the less mana I have available with which to cast other spells and do other things in combat."

 

Would be a good way of doing it for sure.  Simple way of saying what I was thinking, take barbarian Frenzy extend its active time increase the bonus provided and then its negative effects when it wear's off in combat are persistent and increase the more encounters you use it.  So would be like an aura sitting dormant and auto activates on encounter but times out like frenzy does.  So the first 90 seconds of an encounter, for example, you would be super buffed but then would suffer from an ever increasing "soul sickness" (or whatever name you give it) until the encounter resolves.  but yeah your suggestion would be a simpler way of implementing a balanced pre-buff.

Edited by DigitalCrack
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"Our rest-mechanic uses food to cure injuries and to give bonuses (he is unsure if it is the right word for gaming). You can often rest, but the best food is expansive or rare. If you rest too often, sooner or later you will fight with bad bonuses."

 

Wasn't there a similar "gotcha" in MotB? "Spirit Eater" malus would grow and grow to the point where even the time that passed while trying to get somewhere to rest would kill you? Now PoEII offers: get in fight-->die--->get injured-->rest to become uninjured--->rested too many times now a malus--->profit? I know, I know, the answer is to die less. :p

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"Our rest-mechanic uses food to cure injuries and to give bonuses (he is unsure if it is the right word for gaming). You can often rest, but the best food is expansive or rare. If you rest too often, sooner or later you will fight with bad bonuses."

 

Wasn't there a similar "gotcha" in MotB? "Spirit Eater" malus would grow and grow to the point where even the time that passed while trying to get somewhere to rest would kill you? Now PoEII offers: get in fight-->die--->get injured-->rest to become uninjured--->rested too many times now a malus--->profit? I know, I know, the answer is to die less. :p

 

Still seems vauge as only the "best food is expensive or rare" meaning there could be common food that's plentiful that only heals injuries.  Or does only the rare foods heal injuries in which case whats the point of resting at that point if I have to spend thousands simply to get the basic benefit of what resting should do?  It doesn't elaborate on these questions..  I could care less about rest bonses being finite but curing injuries I highly doubt will be limited to such an extent.

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