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Adam Brennecke

Backer Beta First Impressions

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I think the long casts times are great, because if gives the enemy A.I. time to counter you.  For example, the giant Fish men (I will butcher the name), would hit my casters with a ranged paralyze and it made the fight all the more exciting on PotD.  The drawback was that when I did land a non-heal spell, the impact was small relative to my rogue or warrior landing a critical hit.  

 

Right now, the magic system does not seem like a trade off, but rather a straight up nerf to magic.  What makes it more painful is that the general feats are gone, and so a single class caster has less ways to branch out of pure casting.  For example, Priests have an ability to summon a melee weapon, but lack feats that would better allow them to better survive in melee.  The old +5 deflection feats may have been small, but it was something.

Edited by Nixl

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I mean yeah, it could be bad. But look how much else has changed, who's to say that high level abilities aren't being tuned higher as well? We'll just have to wait and see.

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Ease of use suggestions:

 

* On the overworld map, make the party/boat controllable with WASD. Clicking to move does not work well (center on player is deactivated for no reason, holding down click doesn't work, etc.)

 

* Sort save games by time played instead of by Autosave time played and then Quicksave time played.

 

* Please bring back PoE 1 style inventory. Having your stash always open is useless, and having to click on a character portrait to switch to their inventory is a chore, especially as you sometimes have no idea who picked up what. The PoE 1 style inventory presented relevant information better and more quickly.

 

* Also, please remove the boat bell sound. Holy **** was that annoying, especially since it seemed to trigger with every click, and clicking being the only way to move. 

 

Pros: 

 

* The scripted interactions on possibly entering combat on the overworld map are great

 

* Fast time during combat is a welcome addition (though settings to set your preferred combat speed would also be welcome)

 

* Wizards with per encounter spells from the start is a great improvement. 

 

Cons:

 

* The new penetration system is opaque and unintuitive

 

* The icons instead of text in dialogue and scripted interactions are unclear and non-obvious, Mousing over them every time they show up is a chore.

 

* Party limit of 5 is too low. 6 would be better.

 

* Maybe this is because I played with only one tank, but engagement seems to have changed. It's become much harder to control who attacks what than it was in PoE 1. This makes most battles a cluster**** free-for-all. 


"Of all the kids in The Breakfast Club, Ally Sheedy would be the first one to sense Cthulhu's coming." -Patton Oswalt 

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Non-beta-player here, but I felt like weighing in anyway.

 

All this talk of single classes feeling narrowed down, made me think of something:

Wouldn't it be preferrable if subclasses, rather than being mutual-exclusive choices at character creation, were implemented as ability trees? Think of Tyranny: picking an ability in one tree did not exclude the abilities in other trees, but true specialization was only possible for one tree.

 

I've never been a huge fan of BG2's kits and therefore wasn't very wild about the subclass announcement during the Fig campaign. The general consensus amongst beta-players in this topic only seems to confirm my feelings. When it comes to classes (or character building in general) I much prefer to have my versatility along the way rather than only at the start, and therefore really liked Tyranny's take on this.

 

Of course this wouldn't be possible for all classes. I'm mainly thinking of mutually exclusive subclasses such as priests and paladins in particular, but I'm sure versatility could be introduced for these classes in some way.

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1. If you're going to pick weapon proficiencies at character creation, I think you also need to display weapon stats at character creation. Asking players if they want to focus on using a mace or a warhammer or a flail doesn't really mean much if they don't know the difference between them besides their modals.

 

2. I don't like how the dialogue window is "locked" unless you hit the little button at the top of it. I'd like to be able to more easily use the scroll wheel to look back at what was just said.

 

3. I like the new penetration system in theory. The values set in the backer beta and the weapons the starting characters have to deal with them, maybe not quite right. But it's a better concept than armour in PoE 1.

 

4. Classes still give skills, right? I didn't see any of them displayed during class selection, but you start with skills that weren't part of your background choice, so...

 

5. Speaking of backgrounds, I'd love to see different starting gear - or at least armour - based on your culture. That was a really neat touch in the first game.

 

6. My God, so many words popping up over everyone's heads all the time. Especially if you have the misfortune to use a blunderbuss and see an explosion of "no penetration".

 

7. Going from the island map into town just to walk to my boat feels a little not great. It's not as bad as crossing through... what was it, three loading screens? to use the inn at Caed Nua in PoE 1, but I think it could be a Nice Touch to give people the option to go straight to their boat if they try to enter a town in which they're moored.

 

8. It would be extremely cool if Fury druids could choose a different element at character creation, but I get that that's probably not in the cards.

 

9. Female nature godlike's face feels like it's missing texture.

 

10. The character creation menus really need to be easier to navigate. Specifically, I shouldn't have to hit "back" a dozen times from the customization menu if I decide I want to change an earlier detail like race or gender.

 

And finally, the most important thing...

 

11. A lot of races, especially for the women, have locked-in eyebrow colours. This is, to me, violence.

Edited by Tamerlane
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8. It would be extremely cool if Fury druids could choose a different element at character creation, but I get that that's probably not in the cards.

 

Same with animal companions but ye i doubt this

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I think having SOME long cast powers is a good idea but they should be the higher level / more powerful effects and have correspondingly longer durations. Whisper of Treason is six seconds of cast time for ten seconds of charm, who thinks that's a good trade?

I certainly don't. :)

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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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I think it's pretty clear that there will be a number of balance passes on spells and Cipher powers. Like if you look at the spells that seem to have more attention paid to them already they are quite powerful - like healing. It casts almost instantly and restores a good amount of health but has a pretty long recovery. That seems like a spell that's more properly balanced.

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7. Going from the island map into town just to walk to my boat feels a little not great. It's not as bad as crossing through... what was it, three loading screens? to use the inn at Caed Nua in PoE 1, but I think it could be a Nice Touch to give people the option to go straight to their boat if they try to enter a town in which they're moored.

 

 

I love this suggestion!

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

 

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Hadn't had much chance to play much of it until today but I've played a few hours now. 

 

Pros

 

1: Doesn't take ages to load. 

 

2: Everything looks great for the most part, I really like the title screen art and the art style of the menus it all just looks really nice, I thought the village could do with a little more polish in places but for the most part it looks really good and the rest of the areas I've seen look even better. It's great to see so many portraits for npcs. Character models are for the most part fantastic including enemy npcs. I assume there will be more heads in the CC at launch similar to the last game at least but what we have now is great, lots of hair options that mostly look great and the colours look a lot better than the last game too. Animations are great, spells look a lot better, shadows, weather ect all great.  Basically everything looks better than POE1.

 

3: Scripted encounters seem more immersive with a lot more factors going into how they play out it's more like they were in the white march expansion and I'm glad that is the case. 

 

4: Gone is the terrible pathing AI and enemy AI is better too enemies feel smarter and more challenging and that's just on classic difficulty. 

 

5: Not done many quests yet but the characters I have met seem interesting and the quests I have done I enjoyed. 

 

6: Sailing and island exploration is very bare bones at the moment but so far I like the system. 

 

Things I am mixed on. 

 

1: I like the introduction of sub classes and multi classing, I like that the classes feel more distinct but I do have some issues with this system. Only getting one or two spells/abilities per lever seems a bit restrictive when some classes like wizards, druids and priests would have so many to choose from before. Casters are already more restricted with casting times and they can only cast so many spells per encounter anyway. The level up menu is also a little bit confusing and there doesn't seem to be very many spells available like I would expect to see more there.  

 

2: The dialogue box is small and see-through, it doesn't look great with all that text crammed in. 

 

The Bad

 

1: Caster classes seem massively nerfed. So as I said I am mixed on the restrictions of how many spells you can use but what makes it even worse is that for the most part they seem useless without empower. You spend ages casting a spell and then it misses or does barely anything. I've tried a few classes but I am mainly playing as a druid shifter. The shapeshifting abilities work fine but spells just seem so weak and they take so long to cast anyway it hardly seems worth it other than maybe using an empowered spell as a sneak attack to start an encounter. 

 

2: Injuries are a bit brutal idk if I just don't understand the system yet but so far I have had to backtrack about three times before going back to an area to continue what I was doing. (edit: there was a bug in my game causing food to not heal injuries)

 

3: lots of the menus are lacking info that should be there and are a hassle to navigate at times. I assume this will be improved though. 

Edited by Mikeymoonshine

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Non-beta-player here, but I felt like weighing in anyway.

 

All this talk of single classes feeling narrowed down, made me think of something:

Wouldn't it be preferrable if subclasses, rather than being mutual-exclusive choices at character creation, were implemented as ability trees? Think of Tyranny: picking an ability in one tree did not exclude the abilities in other trees, but true specialization was only possible for one tree.

 

I've never been a huge fan of BG2's kits and therefore wasn't very wild about the subclass announcement during the Fig campaign. The general consensus amongst beta-players in this topic only seems to confirm my feelings. When it comes to classes (or character building in general) I much prefer to have my versatility along the way rather than only at the start, and therefore really liked Tyranny's take on this.

 

Of course this wouldn't be possible for all classes. I'm mainly thinking of mutually exclusive subclasses such as priests and paladins in particular, but I'm sure versatility could be introduced for these classes in some way.

I don't think it would work as some of the subclasses change in big way how said class works. Even with spellcaster, suddenly loosing access to spells which you might have picked would be odd. 

 

It wouldn't change how restricted single class characters feel as it would add around 3-5 mutually exclusive perks per tree.

 

To me the game does feel very BG2 style, and I probably wouldn't mind it at all if it was my first dive into PoE. I did find flexibility of PoE1 quite interesting though.


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re: spells, I think they need to do a comprehensive pass on casting times, effects, and durations.

 

The low level powers need to cast faster especially. Minor Missiles and Whisper of Treason and other basic bread and butter effects need to be things you can get off the ground quickly, otherwise casters are twiddling their thumbs while everyone else fights.

 

I think having SOME long cast powers is a good idea but they should be the higher level / more powerful effects and have correspondingly longer durations. Whisper of Treason is six seconds of cast time for ten seconds of charm, who thinks that's a good trade?

 

Agreed. The whole point of low level spells are that they're quick to cast but have limited damage/effects. Not sure why it takes so long to cast lvl 1 spells.

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Btw, can non-beta backers post their feedback here as well?

Personally I would like to hear your input in particular. You're seemingly one of the most knowledgeable people in terms of game mechanics for the first game.

 

 

I agree with most of the posts here. Josh said that the most valuable feedback is regarding multiclassing balancing which leads me to believe they are very aware of many of the superficial issues with the game. And why wouldn't they be?

 

I'm hoping there will be more options for customization (non class restricted abilities), that was one of my favorite things about the first game even though I realize that could make it much harder to balance.

Edited by WOLFGEIST
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I'll add one more issue I noticed last night.

 

I don't understand why anyone playing a chanter would ever pick extra phrases on level up. Almost all of them are minimally and situationally useful at best, and with only one power per level, you're giving up a major opportunity cost to pick something much cooler, especially if multiclassing.

 

What I would suggest is having each phrase grant a positive buff condition ("strong","concentration" etc) for the duration of the phrase.

 

It's be a major increase in power for the class but not out of line, and would let chanters fill in a role as party buffers and debuff-removers if they specialized in phrases rather than invocations.

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I'll add one more issue I noticed last night.

 

I don't understand why anyone playing a chanter would ever pick extra phrases on level up. Almost all of them are minimally and situationally useful at best, and with only one power per level, you're giving up a major opportunity cost to pick something much cooler, especially if multiclassing.

 

What I would suggest is having each phrase grant a positive buff condition ("strong","concentration" etc) for the duration of the phrase.

 

It's be a major increase in power for the class but not out of line, and would let chanters fill in a role as party buffers and debuff-removers if they specialized in phrases rather than invocations.

 

I agree to an extent.  Although, you might make a Paladin/Chanter that uses Phrases and Auras as a frontline buff/debuff focus point.  Alternating between different phrases depending on whether you need party buffs or the enemy needs debuffs.  Most of your actives would come from your other class.  Also, with them being situational you could fill out some gaps.  This is an incentive in and of itself.

 

With the minimal level gains in the beta... it is hard to see how they scale or if they scale.  I would assume some do and some don't.   A Bleakwalker/Chanter would probably want Come soft winds of death or another debuff, but a Ranger/chanter would want Ila for ranged recovery increase.  A Fire Godlike Barbarian/Skald might want Dragons Thrashed to add more AoE to his kit than just carnage. 

 

Either way, I think the freedom means players can just grab the ones they want and focus the rest on Invocations, OR there second class.  I don't see this, necessarily, as a bad thing. 

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Yeah there are a couple of semi worthwhile phrases like Soft Winds or Ila's that might be useful for specific builds, but most of them are like "remove Concentration from enemies" and how often are you running into enemies with Concentration and does removing a single buff in those rare instances matter that much that it's worth a whole power slot? There are single powers in other classes that remove all buffs or remove all debuffs.

 

Most of the phrases are too situational; they need to be generally useful.

Edited by Dr. Hieronymous Alloy

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I don't understand why anyone playing a chanter would ever pick extra phrases on level up.

People who wants low maintenance Chanter and some buff versatility to deal with situations.

 

Sure some phrases are situational, but it's not like you are limited to make a single Chant nor that you can't switch what you are singing in combat.


Azarhal, Chanter and Keeper of Truth of the Obsidian Order of Eternity.


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Yeah there are a couple of semi worthwhile phrases like Soft Winds or Ila's that might be useful for specific builds, but most of them are like "remove Concentration from enemies" and how often are you running into enemies with Concentration and does removing a single buff in those rare instances matter that much that it's worth a whole power slot? There are single powers in other classes that remove all buffs or remove all debuffs.

 

Most of the phrases are too situational; they need to be generally useful.

 

Actually, I built a Troubadour/Evoker.  High Intellect and Perception.  Positioned mid-field using the concentration removing phrase (Thick Grew their tongues) so that it effected as many enemies as I could safely, and when those backline enemies started casting I hit them with Thrust of Tattered Veils and nearly consistently interrupted them.  It worked well enough, and a Chanter/Monk or Chanter/Fighter could do much the same without the hairy positioning and general squishiness.  It wasn't the best build I have made in the beta, but it worked. 

 

I do get what your saying, and I do think most builds will only pick up one or 2 phrases, but you can build the other way around and be pretty efficient.  You would have a situational debuff/buff for every situation and you can adjust as needed.  Plus it isn't like there are a slew of Invocations to select.  Although, I like being able to upgrade the Invocations down at higher levels.  An upgraded Hel-Hyraf is bananas.  I am about to build a Skald/Barb to see how that upgrade works with Carnage.   It will probably be silly. 

 

I do hope the Phrases actually get more potent at higher levels.  I just don't think making them too much more potent by adding effects to what is there when they are always available (requiring no resources to use) is wise. 

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Actually, I built a Troubadour/Evoker. High Intellect and Perception. Positioned mid-field using the concentration removing phrase (Thick Grew their tongues) so that it effected as many enemies as I could safely, and when those backline enemies started casting I hit them with Thrust of Tattered Veils and nearly consistently interrupted them. It worked well enough, and a Chanter/Monk or Chanter/Fighter could do much the same without the hairy positioning and general squishiness. It wasn't the best build I have made in the beta, but it worked.

 

I do get what your saying, and I do think most builds will only pick up one or 2 phrases, but you can build the other way around and be pretty efficient. You would have a situational debuff/buff for every situation and you can adjust as needed. Plus it isn't like there are a slew of Invocations to select. Although, I like being able to upgrade the Invocations down at higher levels. An upgraded Hel-Hyraf is bananas. I am about to build a Skald/Barb to see how that upgrade works with Carnage. It will probably be silly.

 

I do hope the Phrases actually get more potent at higher levels. I just don't think making them too much more potent by adding effects to what is there when they are always available (requiring no resources to use) is wise.

 

Yeah,but unless your opponents actually had the "concentration" buff going and active, as I understand it, your song wasn't really doing anything. If your song had actually been giving the "distracted" debuff, it'd have been a lot more effective. Which frankly it should be because that's a good idea for a build.

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Well after playing it for about 8h, I can say I don’t like the rest system at all. POE1s resting system was great but here It feels like I can rest spam all the time. And the injury system I didn’t like either.


A lot of other things feels great. But I like to point out:


+ The loading time


+ the graphics

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I forgot to mention that I really liked the water colour portraits. During the kickstarter, I was sceptical, but playing now, I see that they are beautiful and they do blend in with the rest of the game nicely. 

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

 

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Hmm , this may come out leftfield, but I'm not sure this beta is very optimal for beta testing.

 

The PoE1 beta was the vertical slice, and it was very easy to have that inn as a base in Dyrford, and you just ran out of the map or into a certain house, or aggrevated a certain gang, and you could test combat and dialogue over and over. And you quickly had resources at your disposal. 

 

In this beta, the hopping between the starting village (with few items and starting cash that doesn't help), your ship, island exploration, and the rather distant "dungeons", makes our test runs very slow at the start, and also hard to get the steam up after that.


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

 

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Hmm , this may come out leftfield, but I'm not sure this beta is very optimal for beta testing.

 

The PoE1 beta was the vertical slice, and it was very easy to have that inn as a base in Dyrford, and you just ran out of the map or into a certain house, or aggrevated a certain gang, and you could test combat and dialogue over and over. And you quickly had resources at your disposal. 

 

In this beta, the hopping between the starting village (with few items and starting cash that doesn't help), your ship, island exploration, and the rather distant "dungeons", makes our test runs very slow at the start, and also hard to get the steam up after that.

 

Well, I suppose a vertical slice in PoE2 would include all of those mechanics. Might not be ideal in terms of playing but it exposes us to each individual mechanic for the most part.

 

Although this is called a "beta" Josh has stated that it is an alpha build which is good to hear, it feels very rough. I'm surprised the game is launching so soon (relatively) but i suppose they have a very clear idea in regards to their production pipeline and it's just a matter of grinding it out. Most of the feedback they want is in relation to ways that the game might be "broken" through powerful multiclassing combos AFAIK. Although it seems even with multiclassing we're quite limited in what we can do with every ability per class pulling from it's own pool. With a ranger, for instance, you're only going to be able to use 2-3 abilities per encounter, that doesn't leave much room to "break the game" so to speak, even combined with other classes. That's my limited experience though, we should never underestimate people's ability to break games :)

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