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Adam Brennecke

Backer Beta First Impressions

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MY IMPRESSIONS AFTER +30h playing the beta.

 

Summer is coming.

 

Pro

 

++System of Rest + endurance without Health. (No change)

WHY ? I stay on this idea ! I did not like buy campfire 2 by 2. Use Food is an excellente idea. Food becomes a gameplay element with its bonuses.

 

+Fast/Better loading (No change, Subject to view the full game at the *end* of the game. POE1 had longer loading in this situation. Here it is a new save and a beta...)

WHY ? Always so Obvious : p

 

++ Concept of Multiclass (No change)

WHY ? I like build. More possibilities is always nice.

 

+Stealth system+Pause when stealth (No change)

WHY ? The system is globally better in all points.

 

+Design/Style/Approach of dialog system (No change)

WHY ? Work for me. Great job !

 

+ Retarget fonction. (No change)

WHY ? Simple and excellent idea.

 

Empower (WAS Intermediate)

WHY ? I hesitated. I Always think empower must be 2 per encounter, and 3 per rest at level 6 (Look at my previous post) BUT... finally It is a big pro. I like the concept, I think it is a great idea globally. But the player will only appreciate if he can do it at least twice per fight. (More recursive function) And then if we refill : Nothing is left to empower at least one spell/abilitie after that...

 

+ Subclasses (WAS Intermediate)

WHY ? I always think there is variations between subclasses (Big bonus and small penalty and the opposite here and here). But globally there is a lot of choice. And a lot needs to think around (Berserker = intellect inspiration etc). My judgement changed EVEN if, there is specific case which I would name apart in this list... (look at cons...)

 

--------------------------------------

 

Intermediate :

 

++/- Inspirations / Affliction / Resistance (NEW !)

WHY ? I tell it : It is almost a Pro. One thing bothers me. Priest level 1 and level 3. What is... the interrest... to take the same spells if there is a full upgrade (Dire blessing) ? If not stack AND if there is only single choice each level (and not the full package like before), nobody will take blessing level 1 (Insightfull + Aware = Useless) . So if you set this problem, it is a great con for me.

 

+/- Exploration on map (No change)

WHY ? The -feeling- of exploration is better. It is a fact. Move yourself is a good thing. but... I'm afraid that phase of gameplay become... Boring ? You know : move a thumbail on a map. Yes you take several ressources, but BE CAREFUL... This could be... Boring eventually. Things must happen to brighten up the gameplay.

 

+/- Modals of weapons (WAS Pro)

WHY ? Yes, I changed my mind here. Because modal are not all equivalent, and are ultra situational. I think we can improve them. (And more, I think they can be play a function for accuracy bonus for exemple) There is more potential for this modals.

 

+/- System a injury (Was Con)

WHY ? I hesitated now. I do not know what to think about it. I play better so I fall less, so no matter the system ... But I can not comment on this item. 25 % for each injury will force me very quickly to rest so .... Perhaps not good for beginner ?

 

+/- "Miss" (Was con)

WHY ? I understand now where devs want to go. If problems of accuracy of casters is set, characters will less miss and it will feel less. So... Wait and see. The concept of "no graze" is interresting now for me. (wasn't)

 

+/- Grimoire (NEW !)

WHY ? It is complicated. So pay attention. With THIS system (shared ressource active+passive, one by level for casters), I think there is a potential for grimoires. Unic spells in it or/and a greater fonction for wizard.  after I can not say if it's better than the old system. (Pleasure to complete grimoire etc). Here, the utility, function, is increased, (to the detriment of the priest, who has no grimoire to compensate for his small number of spells). It will also be necessary to make sure that changing grimoire is more intuitive than POE1.

 

---------------------------------------

 

Con:

 

- Bad subclasses BLACK  JACKET + BEGUILER + CORPSE EATER + NALPACZA (NEW !)

WHY ? After few tests, these subclasses are the weakest. It is a real problem because concepts of these classes are great but too restrictive (Bad bonus and/or big penalty...).

 

- New penetration mechanic (No change for me atm, but with hope after Josh tweet !!^^)

WHY ? I dislike the concept of "All or nothing" of this choice. I prefer the system of POE1 (gradual + Simply Subtractive)

 

- No Slow mode (No change)

WHY ? I don't find the slow mode. If it is a choice, I dislike. In this kind of game, the player must can understand slowy. A move... but slow move. (not pause, it is different).

 

- No new primary class concept (NEW !)

WHY ? It's something we do not think about often enough. There is no new class !  so I hope for an extension for example. But it is an argument against the game. Not a disaster if the subclasses are well done but it should be noted.

 

- New approach of Priest (NEW !)

WHY ? Now, priest cannot take all spells of his line (so no general list like before). There is already less choice. Subclasses imposed one category and excludes anothers. But let's admit that. The impression that there is less spells than in the 1 (Where is the special upgrade +10 accuracy ?, where are the 10 spells at L1 ? 6 now ! WTF ?), and that in addition, it is necessary to choose only one. No... I can't allow this madness: p

 

- - Absolute nerf of casters + Lack of accuracy (More con)

WHY ? Casting time IS trully too long. I mean... When you do a simple buff = 6 seconds ! If again it was powerful, but here I feel there is a logical inadequacy. There is a problem with casters compared to others classes.

 

- - Single class (More con)

WHY ? It is terrible, truly. Actually there is not interrest to take single class. 5 points of rage against 4 in multiclass, with more variety of passive and active abilities. A kid of 5 years old would see that there is a problem... BOOST : better Empower ! Boost Power source ! Boost : Specific start with unic abilitie for them. There is tone of ideas to make them stand out !^^

 

- - Locked Talents (El famoso ex-General pool...) + Lack of talents (More con)

WHY ? Case of Priest, Case of all classes for lack of choice. Previously you have full line + One talent on two levels. Now a forced school + ONE passive OR active abilitie. The biggest problem actually. For druid : 3 passive (ex-talents), against 20+ in POE1. Laughable. Yes there is multiclass, but even in multiclass there is less choice for passive abilities. (compared to before) we will not even talk to single class... 

Edited by theBalthazar
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Game is in some areas a big stepup from the first one.

I like the new setting, character animations, dual-classing and a lot of dialog checks.

They seem amazing so far.

 

Big con is combat. I find it's chaotic and way too fast. Combat in Pillars 1 was better managable in my opinion.

This needs some serious work.

Combat wasn't great in the first game. Even in slow everyone ran about like headless chickens.


nowt

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Priest level 1 and level 3. What is... the interrest... to take the same spells if there is a full upgrade (Dire blessing) ? If not stack AND if there is only single choice each level (and not the full package like before), nobody will take blessing level 1 (Insightfull + Aware = Useless) .

 

I mentioned this previously but Blessing has a massive AoE, and Dire Blessing a tiny one. They also don't last that long.

 

I took both in my first Beta playthrough and didn't regret it, I opened with Blessing on my entire party as they ran in (massive AoE, easy to hit everyone), then once everyone had settled I would use Dire Blessing (if the fight was long enough, ideally if Blessing was running low, etc.).

 

Plus if you are using Dire Blessing every fight you are missing out on other spells of that level, what if Blessing would be "good enough" for a fight and you'd rather cast other higher level spells?

 

Anyway, I think this part works okay, but I do agree it could be better.

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Yes, we can see that like that but :

 

Now there is a new... "economy". Each invested point is very important.

 

If blessing and dire blessing was in previous system : no problem, its perfectly ok for me.

 

But here, there is the  concept of choice... And... dire blessing is widely better.

 

The only interresting case is retention for level 3 (like you have explain). But with new system per encounter, this is limited.

 

For encourage people to take the two :

 

(inspired by the first game)

 

Blessing : Inspiration insightful + 10 % of damage.

 

Dire Blessing : Inspiration Aware + 20 % of hits converts to crit.

 

Each spell gain a specificity. In this situation I take easily the two spells.

Edited by theBalthazar

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For encourage people to take the two :

 

(inspired by the first game)

 

Blessing : Inspiration insightful + 10 % of damage.

 

Dire Blessing : Inspiration Aware + 20 % of hits converts to crit.

 

Each spell gain a specificity. In this situation I take easily the two spells.

 

I still think you're also underestimating the difference the big AoE gap makes, but overall I'm with you.

 

I agree it would be really cool (and above all more interesting!) if they each got a little bonus on top that did something unique.

Edited by Answermancer

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I have not finished the beta yet, because over 90% of my playtime is bug reporting, but I want to give my feedback before the next patch comes out.

 

character creation:

I like the idea behind the new approach. Single class characters are quite straight forward and they will gain new power levels fast. With multiclassing you have tons of options and there very interesting synergies between the different classes (up to a point where some combinations are really OP, so a lot of things will change before release.)

However I must admit that I wish there was a little bit more choice for single class characters. Especially casters can only select one spell per level, which means they will have only 2 or 3 spells per power level. Wizards can compensate this a bit with grimoires, but priests are extremely limited in their choice since they already lose several spells because of the choice of god and then you can select only 2 spells out of 4 per power level. So casters could use some passive abilities that might even change their playstyle somehow (specialized wizards do this to some degree) or they might gain active abilities that are not a spell in the classical sense.

The spells you can learn are really strong however, at least if they hit. In fact some spells are so strong that its hardly a choice what spells to take.

I also dislike the extremely long casting times for many spells. In 6 seconds (+3 recovery) melee chars can attack often and enemies can destroy you when you are unlucky.

So unless you focus on self buffs (which have short casting time usually) your caster needs a tank to hide behind.

 

combat system:

I dislike the new penetration mechanic. Its all or nothing. One point in armor or penetration decides if you deal 30% or 100% damage. This means you must maximize penetration and armor while lowering these stats for the enemies. This means that some spells or talents are so powerful that you feel forced to use them. Before you find out those spells and abilities all fights are really hard and you deal hardly any damage. Once you find them out, most encounters become very easy. Do you really want that a single spell increases the damage for the entire party against all enemies by a factor of 3.333?

I would prefer a more linear approach.

 

I also dislike that grazes are gone for most chars. The presence of grazes increases the chance of effecting the enemy by 35%. Thats really a lot. The presence of permanent graze make fighters much more powerful than other martal classes. Spells that enable grazes are very powerful ( dire blessing ). The absence of grazes for spells means that spells will miss a lot. So you cast for 6 seconds ( which feels like an eternity) and then the effect is nothing. This depends entirely on random numbers. Unlike some physical talents, there are no magic talents that cause something like hit -> crit conversation or "weapon focus spell type X"

Once again, everything feels like its a random game of all or nothing.

 

others:

I like the game world in general. The first game could be almost depressing ( children without soul, the first town greets you with a tree of hanged people, dark sects plotting in the shadows, . . . ). While PoE2 still adresses serious topics, it is nice to see some brighter colors sometimes.

 

I like the scripted events more than in the first game.

You have many choices what to do and who does it. For example the chest in the broodmother mountains: you can select who does it, what does (s)he do and which spell or ability is used. There are lots of things that cannot be done with the normal engine, so doing it the way it is done is a good idea.

 

I think the existence of a world map where you can move on makes the game world feel more like a real place. You do not teleport from one map to the next that is 10 hours away, you can explore a large world that you can explore and find many (more or less) hidden things.

Edited by Madscientist
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​I noticed on the overworld map, some areas say, "Above your level and will be hard to complete at this time".

​I want to give a thumbs-up to this mechanic, and a small suggestion.  I like that it provides an open-world feel, and you have the freedom to explore... if you dare.

​My only suggestion would be to make the hints less 4th-wall-breaking.  Instead of flat out talking about character levels in a GUI pop-up, I'd prefer in-world hints.  Maybe you meet someone in the gateway town, or along the road, who looks you over and recommends via appropriate dialog that he thinks you'll meet your doom there ("The last group who went in there was equipped better than you lot appear to be, and they never came back out..."), or that you'll be in for a rough time but you might survive.  Perhaps some hints could be environmental, rather than explicit, for variety.

​The core idea is a good one, so kudos on that.

Edited by demeisen
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The penetration mechanic needs a really detailed explaination so no one can miss the point. I built the character using the old philosophy on POTD and I found myself poking the enemies with this fanatic build that I made using a Mage slayer/Eothasian Paladin using a stock. I will keep tinkering with class combos and mechanics but sadly first experiment was a failure hahaha

 

Decided to do a Frenzied Berserker/Bleak Walker Paladin.

And holy **** that's a heavy hitter.

 

Hitting the monsters around 80-95 on the first encounter with the stock greatsword

 

Status used: (Credits to Boeroer and his Barbarian build in POE)

 

Might: 17

Con: 10

Dex: 16

Perception: 15

Int: 16

Resolve: 4

 

https://imgur.com/a/KczuL

 

Talents and combat log with the big meaty frenzy crit

Edited by takamorisan

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​My only suggestion would be to make the hints less 4th-wall-breaking.  Instead of flat out talking about character levels in a GUI pop-up, I'd prefer in-world hints.  Maybe you meet someone in the gateway town, or along the road, who looks you over and recommends via appropriate dialog that he thinks you'll meet your doom there ("The last group who went in there was equipped better than you lot appear to be, and they never came back out..."), or that you'll be in for a rough time but you might survive.  Perhaps some hints could be environmental, rather than explicit, for variety.

 

Personally I disagree with this because I think it's frustrating when a game obfuscates stuff like this. I'm big on as much clarity as possible and don't really agree that having stuff in the UI is 4th wall breaking. It would be 4th wall breaking if characters said it to you, but UI? I disagree, otherwise it's 4th-wall breaking that my spell tooltips say they do 20-40 damage, or whatever.

 

​I think in this particular case it's also kind of risky if you don't want to confuse and annoy new players.

 

I'm thinking of The White March and the number of threads by people saying "I went to Cragsholdt and got destroyed, wtf game is broken.", because it's not at all obvious that you're meant to be Level 14 (higher than the max level in the vanilla game) before you go there.

 

Yeah there's a "non-4th-wall breaking" warning from the Steward that Concelhaut is way hard but a.) it doesn't necessarily imply that the mercs outside will be (and boy are they) and b.) that's not helpful if you're level 12 and think you should be able to handle something way hard (I mean, you've killed all sorts of dragons, potentially).

Edited by Answermancer
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Please: I'd like simple and clear information about how every ability (basically all mechanics) work. Best if there are one or two examples how it works as well (examples help you understand). It doesn't have to be in the game itself, but then please include a digital handbook or set up a proper wiki (not that unfinished and unmaintained stuff we had in PoE).

But even in the game it's sooo annoying to read something like "Bestowes a continous healing effect on all allies in range"... Yeah nice, but what are the numbers? Healing done per tick, range in meters, duration? Come ON! It's all in the game. It's not too hard to write it down. Now I have to level a character and see how that suff works in combat in order to know what it really does - then I have to write that down so I don't forget. MEEEHHH!!

Sure, sure: I know this is the beta and so it would be twice the work to write this down and later change it. So I totally understand that the beta doesn't have explicit descriptions sometimes because everything might change a bit and nobody wants to do the same work twice.

 

But...  I fear that we are left with the same obscure and sometimes wrong description of abilites/items/mechanics as in PoE. It took us years to figure out how some stuff works. It's also very hard to track down bugs or understand unexpected behavior if you have no idea what's going on "under the hood".

 

As much as I love PoE that's the biggest complaint I always had: the generally bad, really bad descriptions and how poorly the fairly complex mechanics were explained.

Edited by Boeroer
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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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Sure, sure: I know this is the beta and so it would be twice the work to write this down and later change it. So I totally understand that the beta doesn't have explicit descriptions sometimes because everything might change a bit and nobody wants to do the same work twice.

 

As long as it is auto-generated from data it shouldn’t be twice the work for the most part, I think.


Pillars of Bugothas

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Agreed. I mentioned this to QA as well in the bugs subforum: stuff needs detailed descriptions with hard numbers in this game.

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"Time is not your enemy. Forever is."

— Fall-From-Grace, Planescape: Torment

"It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question, and he'll look for his own answers."

— Kvothe, The Wise Man's Fears

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

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Agreed on the topic of detailed and accurate descriptions. When I first read the various racial bonuses I didn't know what half of them really did, and I made the wrong assumption about the bonuses of Coastal Aumaua, Mountain Dwarfs and Wood Elves (assuming they simply got a +20 Defence against those Afflications). This made me view those three races' racial bonuses are fairly poor until I later learnt what they actually did and just how powerful they are (Wood Elves are immune to Paralysis and Coastal Aumaua are immune to Stun!).

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​I think in this particular case it's also kind of risky if you don't want to confuse and annoy new players.

 

I'm thinking of The White March and the number of threads by people saying "I went to Cragsholdt and got destroyed, wtf game is broken.",

 

That is a valid criticism, no doubt.  I agree, that probably would happen, and people probably would complain.

 

That notwithstanding, it doesn't seem like an NPC encounter that triggers the first time you approach dungeon X telling you that a party meaner than yours was killed in dungeon X should be an insurmountable obfuscation.  It probably would be though: games have gotten to a point where players are no longer expected to observe the game world or consider in-world hints. Everything has to be spelled out.  It's kind of sad for those of us who grew up playing games that weren't so hand-holdy and designed to appease that "wtf game is broken!!!one!" crowd.

 

I'll just leave this here..

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That notwithstanding, it doesn't seem like an NPC encounter that triggers the first time you approach dungeon X telling you that a party meaner than yours was killed in dungeon X should be an insurmountable obfuscation.  It probably would be though: games have gotten to a point where players are no longer expected to observe the game world or consider in-world hints. Everything has to be spelled out.  It's kind of sad for those of us who grew up playing games that weren't so hand-holdy and designed to appease that "wtf game is broken!!!one!" crowd.

 

It’s not about hand-holding per se, I think. It’s just you, as a player, is expected to do things others cannot. Which means that “it’s dangerous here, they are all dead” might as well say “adventurers are welcomed, please come right this moment”.

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Pillars of Bugothas

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Please: I'd like simple and clear information about how every ability (basically all mechanics) work. Best if there are one or two examples how it works as well (examples help you understand). It doesn't have to be in the game itself, but then please include a digital handbook or set up a proper wiki (not that unfinished and unmaintained stuff we had in PoE).

 

But even in the game it's sooo annoying to read something like "Bestowes a continous healing effect on all allies in range"... Yeah nice, but what are the numbers? Healing done per tick, range in meters, duration? Come ON! It's all in the game. It's not too hard to write it down. Now I have to level a character and see how that suff works in combat in order to know what it really does - then I have to write that down so I don't forget. MEEEHHH!!

 

Sure, sure: I know this is the beta and so it would be twice the work to write this down and later change it. So I totally understand that the beta doesn't have explicit descriptions sometimes because everything might change a bit and nobody wants to do the same work twice.

 

But...  I fear that we are left with the same obscure and sometimes wrong description of abilites/items/mechanics as in PoE. It took us years to figure out how some stuff works. It's also very hard to track down bugs or understand unexpected behavior if you have no idea what's going on "under the hood".

 

As much as I love PoE that's the biggest complaint I always had: the generally bad, really bad descriptions and how poorly the fairly complex mechanics were explained.

Amen!

I've got this feeling that some of the lacking info during character creation (the attributes and their dumbed-down grading list) and in game as a whole is an attempt to make the game more noob-friendly. I can certainly see why. It's not that easy for anyone who's never played it before.

But, and this is a big but:

There should always be accurate detailed info for those interested. 

IIRC, in NWN1, you had this little down-pointing arrow and "more info" you could click, and then you got a run down of stuff.

I'd like to see that on everything that matters when you make a character, when you choose talents, proficiencies, skills, etc., and when you use spells, items, and stuff, central to the combat aspect of the game.

Edited by IndiraLightfoot
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*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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That notwithstanding, it doesn't seem like an NPC encounter that triggers the first time you approach dungeon X telling you that a party meaner than yours was killed in dungeon X should be an insurmountable obfuscation.  It probably would be though: games have gotten to a point where players are no longer expected to observe the game world or consider in-world hints. Everything has to be spelled out.  It's kind of sad for those of us who grew up playing games that weren't so hand-holdy and designed to appease that "wtf game is broken!!!one!" crowd.

 

It’s not about hand-holding per se, I think. It’s just you, as a player, is expected to do things others cannot. Which means that “it’s dangerous here, they are all dead” might as well say “adventurers are welcomed, please come right this moment”.

 

 

Arguably, if you ignore the in-game hints, you sort of deserve what you get.  Such warnings should be wordsmithed reasonably, of course.  I'm not overly keen on the "protect players from themselves" school of thought, although I realize it is the expectation now.

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Agreed on the topic of detailed and accurate descriptions. When I first read the various racial bonuses I didn't know what half of them really did, and I made the wrong assumption about the bonuses of Coastal Aumaua, Mountain Dwarfs and Wood Elves (assuming they simply got a +20 Defence against those Afflications). This made me view those three races' racial bonuses are fairly poor until I later learnt what they actually did and just how powerful they are (Wood Elves are immune to Paralysis and Coastal Aumaua are immune to Stun!).

Sorry, where can you read what those racial abilities really do?

Its not shown in character creation at all and the in game descriptions are not really helpful.

 

I found a thread with a list of racial abilities, but its just the in game description which does not help that much.

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Agreed on the topic of detailed and accurate descriptions. When I first read the various racial bonuses I didn't know what half of them really did, and I made the wrong assumption about the bonuses of Coastal Aumaua, Mountain Dwarfs and Wood Elves (assuming they simply got a +20 Defence against those Afflications). This made me view those three races' racial bonuses are fairly poor until I later learnt what they actually did and just how powerful they are (Wood Elves are immune to Paralysis and Coastal Aumaua are immune to Stun!).

Sorry, where can you read what those racial abilities really do?

Its not shown in character creation at all and the in game descriptions are not really helpful.

 

I found a thread with a list of racial abilities, but its just the in game description which does not help that much.

 

https://forums.obsidian.net/topic/94587-racial-traits/?do=findComment&comment=1953437

 

Basically, it down-shifts afflictions by one tier. So for a wood elf, paralyzed gets turned into immobilized, immobilized gets turned into hobbled, and hobbled does nothing.

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jcod0.png

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-More lore for subclasses, specially the ones that are important to define a character, like the philosophy for monks, priest, paladins, or the science of wizards and ciphers subclasses.

-Character creation menu: could you allow us to navigate and establish different aspect of the character in any order?

-No fist proficiency (just for the feeling, even if is bad)

-No no voice option, may sound silly, but i rp as myself and affects my immersion, no big deal, probably will be easily moddable

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​I think in this particular case it's also kind of risky if you don't want to confuse and annoy new players.

 

I'm thinking of The White March and the number of threads by people saying "I went to Cragsholdt and got destroyed, wtf game is broken.",

 

That is a valid criticism, no doubt.  I agree, that probably would happen, and people probably would complain.

 

That notwithstanding, it doesn't seem like an NPC encounter that triggers the first time you approach dungeon X telling you that a party meaner than yours was killed in dungeon X should be an insurmountable obfuscation.  It probably would be though: games have gotten to a point where players are no longer expected to observe the game world or consider in-world hints. Everything has to be spelled out.  It's kind of sad for those of us who grew up playing games that weren't so hand-holdy and designed to appease that "wtf game is broken!!!one!" crowd.

 

I'll just leave this here..

 

 

 

The problem with this is that in-character explanations seem to always be heard by players as meaningless fluff, whereas out of character explanations ("HIGH LEVEL AREA") break immersion. 

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Yeah, games generally have the problem of any sort of in-universe warning of danger being meaningless. Like, yeah, no **** that cave is super dangerous - that's why I, a player character, am going there in the first place!

 

Oh wait, you meant the kind of dangerous that's actually really dangerous to me, oh...

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jcod0.png

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The problem with this is that in-character explanations seem to always be heard by players as meaningless fluff, whereas out of character explanations ("HIGH LEVEL AREA") break immersion. 

 

Simple solution: have them be out of character explanations that are toggleable in the options and, of course, are removed if playing on Expert mode.

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The problem with this is that in-character explanations seem to always be heard by players as meaningless fluff, whereas out of character explanations ("HIGH LEVEL AREA") break immersion. 

 

Simple solution: have them be out of character explanations that are toggleable in the options and, of course, are removed if playing on Expert mode.

 

 

I would have no problem with the current log "skull rating" warning disappearing in Expert mode.

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