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Adam Brennecke

Backer Beta First Impressions

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Also, Xaurip Champion using Flame of Devotion and Lay On Hand...that's kinda cool and weird, lol.

 

They did that in PoE too.

 

I don't remember seeing them doing any of that and I killed two Xaurip Champions this afternoon in POE1.


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


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I don't remember seeing them doing any of that and I killed two Xaurip Champions this afternoon in POE1.

 

I am almost certain they did both, but I'd have to check to be sure.

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You struck gold with the POE combat mechanic. I mean it really shined. I cannot state this enough. I don't think you all at the Obsidian team understand just how great of a job you did in the creation of that game. It obviously had flaws, but as a whole, it shone so brightly as to blind the player to them.

 

I think we all, as die-hard POE fans, expected you to just smoothe out a few of those flaws

 

You leave a raw, uncut diamond that was the old system collecting dust in a corner somewhere.

 

The game is great. I would rush to buy a game of this quality regardless, but it feels like I am beta testing Tyranny 2, not POE 2.

 

 

Not all of us feel the same way. I already feel PoE2 is superior to the first one.

 

Did you actually play Tyranny? PoE2 is not similar to it at all. 

 

The combat system is once again its own thing, just as POE1 was. I am not referring to the combat system being like Tyranny. I am referring to the rest of the game. Particularly travel, the layout and how encounters are made/found. Flags on the map representing encounters/areas of exploration with a picture of your flag/face moving about are EXACTLY like Tyranny and NOTHING like POE1. 

There is nothing wrong with this. But it is like Tyranny. I happened to prefer POE. IMO they did not need to change this as POE was A-OK.

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You struck gold with the POE combat mechanic. I mean it really shined. I cannot state this enough. I don't think you all at the Obsidian team understand just how great of a job you did in the creation of that game. It obviously had flaws, but as a whole, it shone so brightly as to blind the player to them.

 

I think we all, as die-hard POE fans, expected you to just smoothe out a few of those flaws

 

You leave a raw, uncut diamond that was the old system collecting dust in a corner somewhere.

 

The game is great. I would rush to buy a game of this quality regardless, but it feels like I am beta testing Tyranny 2, not POE 2.

 

 

Not all of us feel the same way. I already feel PoE2 is superior to the first one.

 

Did you actually play Tyranny? PoE2 is not similar to it at all. 

 

The combat system is once again its own thing, just as POE1 was. I am not referring to the combat system being like Tyranny. I am referring to the rest of the game. Particularly travel, the layout and how encounters are made/found. Flags on the map representing encounters/areas of exploration with a picture of your flag/face moving about are EXACTLY like Tyranny and NOTHING like POE1. 

There is nothing wrong with this. But it is like Tyranny. I happened to prefer POE. IMO they did not need to change this as POE was A-OK.

 

I don't now if you're aware of this, but Tyranny has random unflagged encounters that just *occur* on the map.

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The combat system is once again its own thing, just as POE1 was. I am not referring to the combat system being like Tyranny. I am referring to the rest of the game. Particularly travel, the layout and how encounters are made/found. Flags on the map representing encounters/areas of exploration with a picture of your flag/face moving about are EXACTLY like Tyranny and NOTHING like POE1. 

 

There is nothing wrong with this. But it is like Tyranny. I happened to prefer POE. IMO they did not need to change this as POE was A-OK.

 

 

 

Ah, I see. Well, the new system seems little like either Tyranny or PoE1. It seems like Fallout 1&2, and I've been missing that excellent gameplay for almost two decades.

Edited by cheesevillain

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My impressions, currently I have more things listed that I dislike but that's because I think that's more important feedback, and it's easier for me to list than it is for me to list everything I like (because I like the majority of it so far!).

 

For reference, my favorite classes are usually rogues, specifically from the combat side, and so my first playthrough of PoE was as a dual-wielding rogue, and my playstyle was basically "set up the rogue" where the entire party's job was to CC, tank, and empower my rogue main character (with buffs and enemy debuffs). That will likely be my first playthrough of PoE2 as well.

 

Things I (particularly) like:

  • The graphics are great, I really like all the improvements, especially the weather effects.
  • Retargeting spells is something I've always wanted in games with non-instant cast times, so that's fantastic.
  • The sheer variety possible with multi-classing looks awesome.
  • I like how abilities now upgrade to one of 2 or more versions, that's really cool, although it's one of the only things that distinguishes single-class characters (see my dislikes for what I mean).
  • Writing seems good, I really like the new additions to the dialog interface, like the breakdown of why an option is available ("It's due to this skill and hold shift to see how you got this value"). Love that. Also the Tyranny-style inline glossary is wonderful.
  • The way encounter abilities work now is great, really like the system of getting power points as you level up and using them per encounter to be able to choose from more abilities each fight. Really nice change. Less sold on it for casters, but mostly because of other limitations (more on that below).
  • The health system seems okay, not sure I like it more than the previous Endurance split but I don't like it less so far, although the -25% health per wound feels really harsh.
  • The weapon proficiency modals are a cool idea.
  • The overworld map is great, I wasn't sure it'd be a meaningful change vs. just a throwback to Fallout, but I really like it so far. Especially how the world map now has lots of illustrated encounters, this was a great idea, a great way to add more of these super-cool encounters to the game in a way that makes total sense..
  • The ship, the island and pirate setting, all of it, awesome.
  • The skill system is awesome, much better than the first, I love the split between active and passive skills and how you get 1 point for each. I've always liked this kind of split.
  • I like that there are subclasses (but not what they do, see below).

Things I don't like:

  • A lot of annoying bugs, I know that's a given for beta but the flickering UI in particular is driving me crazy. Another one is that racial bonuses are not listed in character creation (like the Hearth Orlan feature), even though they still seem to exist.
  • No slow-mo mode. I posted about this in the bug thread where you revealed it's a "feature." This one makes me actively angry that you would remove it, it was one of my favorite things about PoE (and Tyranny). I know you said you tried to tone down the base speed but, you failed, I'm sorry. I hate this, especially since it's just an option, one that lets me play the game the way I most enjoy, gone for no real reason.
  • Overall I like the character trees but the lack of generic talents seems like it could be an issue. Right now it seems like single-class characters are going to be much more boring and tactically uninteresting compared to multi-class ones and I don't like that. In PoE I could specialize my rogue into dual-wielding, grab various generic talents to make myself great at breaking through DR, or mobility, or various other cool things and feel different than a rogue that specialized in ranged weapons or 2 handers or whatever. I feel like right now all single-class rogues in PoE2 will feel identical, except for some skill branching. Single-class feels half-baked now.
  • No grazes by default also annoys me. It's okay for auto-attacks, although even there having 60% of my attacks against an even opponent do nothing feel bad, but for abilities it just completely sucks. Investing talent points and power points to do a cool class ability and then having it do literally nothing except waste my time is garbage, it feels terrible. Even D&D has mostly added partial damage/effect on failure to spells and abilities in 4E and 5E.
  • Single-class spellcasters in general feel underwhelming. They only get to choose spells each level, no passives, this is related to the point above about not having generic talents. It feels pretty boring honestly. The spells don't feel very powerful, and they often miss doing literally nothing after casting for 3 seconds. Feels terrible. I know they need to be weaker since they are per-encounter, but then give us some kind of miss protection at least.
  • Not loving penetration right now. I might change my mind but it feels much less intuitive than (damage - DR = final damage) and I don't really see any benefit to it other than some crazy edge cases. Also as a dual-wielder I can only see one comparison on mouse-over, which means I now have to memorize the penetration value of both my weapons, which sucks. It also feels too punishing right now since being off by 1 point of pen makes such a huge difference, (lots of 0-1 damage hits on top of lots of misses = no fun) but I know balance is still very rough and my characters are not optimized.
  • I like that there are subclasses but none of the ones I looked at seemed worth taking, mostly because their downsides were too steep to make the upside seem interesting. For instance, I can't see myself taking any of the 3 rogue subclasses ever, they all have really punishing downsides for pretty meh benefits. The one exception might be assassin if I wanted a very invisibility-heavy build (but I generally don't).
  • The UI feels like a step back in some ways:
  • The Inventory UI looks nicer with the big character model but it's much more annoying to move items between characters, and having the stash always there doesn't feel necessary to me at all, it worked fine as a pop-over window. Honestly this feels like a concession towards a console/controller UI and I'm not on board with it.
  • Is there any way to bring up the skill tree except when leveling up? There should be, it's annoying that there doesn't seem to be any way.
  • When editing AI, you have to click Save after changing each character, then reopen to edit the next character. This seems like a bug though (I hope), cause right now clicking the character portraits makes you lose all the changes you made to the last one.
  • The dialog UI looks great, but again feels like a concession towards consoles. I have a 27" 1440p monitor, why does the section that shows previous dialog close between conversations? I hate this, I have to click it open every single conversation because I like the extra context. Why is the area where you make your dialog choices so small? If you have more than 4-5 choices you have to scroll and can't see more at the same time, that super sucks for a game with such rich dialog gameplay.
  • Edit: Another I forgot to mention, no way to show all the characters' health and action bars permanently in combat? If so, I hate this, now I have to hold tab all the time too? Ugh, I hope it's a bug or option I missed.

Okay, that's what I've got for now, back to playing!

Edited by Answermancer

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  • I like that there are subclasses but none of the ones I looked at seemed worth taking, mostly because their downsides were too steep to make the upside seem interesting. For instance, I can't see myself taking any of the 3 rogue subclasses ever, they all have really punishing downsides for pretty meh benefits. The one exception might be assassin if I wanted a very invisibility-heavy build (but I generally don't).

 

 

Almost all of the subclasses that I've actually tried (excluding a few wizard subs, & priest of Skaen) have proven to be a lot of fun to play.

 

Assassin is brutal, especially matched with Devoted or Sharpshooter.

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  • The Inventory UI looks nicer with the big character model but it's much more annoying to move items between characters, and having the stash always there doesn't feel necessary to me at all, it worked fine as a pop-over window. Honestly this feels like a concession towards a console/controller UI and I'm not on board with it.

Agree 100%. I spend more time transfering items between party members and checking what I have equipped than I do in my stash; I only really go into my stash to sell stuff or every once in a while to check for potions and scrolls that I automatically put in there on accident. Consequently I want the UI to make it easier to use my personal inventory, and to care less about the stash.

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  • I like that there are subclasses but none of the ones I looked at seemed worth taking, mostly because their downsides were too steep to make the upside seem interesting. For instance, I can't see myself taking any of the 3 rogue subclasses ever, they all have really punishing downsides for pretty meh benefits. The one exception might be assassin if I wanted a very invisibility-heavy build (but I generally don't).

 

 

Almost all of the subclasses that I've actually tried (excluding a few wizard subs, & priest of Skaen) have proven to be a lot of fun to play.

 

Assassin is brutal, especially matched with Devoted or Sharpshooter.

 

 

That's good to hear, I guess mostly they don't "sound" worth taking based on the description of the penalty, but if I'm wrong then that's great. I'll play around with a few as I go along I'm sure.

 

And yeah, Assassin sounded good, but didn't really feel my preferred rogue playstyle which is basically swashbuckling with sneak attacks (flank, hobble, etc., do crazy damage). I'm not really into the "go invisible" playstyle, but I can totally see the appeal and it did sound good, but the other two just sounded like I wouldn't enjoy them at all. One of them nerfs Sneak Attack in half! That's crazy! Why would I ever do that, that's the rogue "thing".

 

And yeah, Devoted has certainly seemed powerful and popular from the description and threads I've been reading. I'm mostly concerned that each class will only have maybe 1 subclass that doesn't sound suboptimal.

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One of them nerfs Sneak Attack in half! That's crazy! Why would I ever do that, that's the rogue "thing".

 

I'm actually playing that right now, though admittedly not as a straight class--playing a Trickster/Beguiler, and I gotta say it's actually a lot of fun. Yeah my sneak attack is nerfed, but that's made up for by the sheer number of afflictions and thus sneak attacks+the Soul Whip.

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  • I like that there are subclasses but none of the ones I looked at seemed worth taking, mostly because their downsides were too steep to make the upside seem interesting. For instance, I can't see myself taking any of the 3 rogue subclasses ever, they all have really punishing downsides for pretty meh benefits. The one exception might be assassin if I wanted a very invisibility-heavy build (but I generally don't).

 

 

Almost all of the subclasses that I've actually tried (excluding a few wizard subs, & priest of Skaen) have proven to be a lot of fun to play.

 

Assassin is brutal, especially matched with Devoted or Sharpshooter.

 

 

 

Right now at least, it feels like most of the subclasses are great options with various multiclass combinations, but not so good solo. It kinda depends and some we might not be getting a good picture of yet due to the constrained nature of the beta. 

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I'm actually playing that right now, though admittedly not as a straight class--playing a Trickster/Beguiler, and I gotta say it's actually a lot of fun. Yeah my sneak attack is nerfed, but that's made up for by the sheer number of afflictions and thus sneak attacks+the Soul Whip.

Yeah so I looked at it again and I think the first time I looked at it I was so outraged by the sneak attack nerf that I didn't fully read the benefit and thought it only gave one spell rather than a bunch. That sounds a lot more reasonable and I could see it being fun.

 

That said I probably still wouldn't want to give up half my sneak attack on a single-class character unless I was really into the Trickster concept. It's probably my pro-Sneak-Attack bias but I just think that losing so much power to my favorite rogue feature wouldn't be worth it, although almost any other sort of penalty would probably work for me and I'd be happy with the subclass then.

 

It's possible that Dr. Hieronymous is right and subclasses feel a lot more worthwhile in a multi-class situation when you already have a bunch of cool features to combine, so even a penalty to something as crucial as sneak attack isn't that big a deal because you've got other equally cool stuff coming from the other class.

 

I think single-class characters need a lot of work either way, so hopefully they come up with some way to make them more interesting and then he subclasses will feel better as well.

 

One idea I had was that even single-class character could have some extremely basic cross-class ability access. Say you could choose to pick 1-2 first or second tier passives from another class even as a "single-class" character. Right now that would probably be nightmare to balance but I think you could make something like that work. For instance, this way single-class characters would be able to get a combat style out of the Fighter passive tree.

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That's good to hear, I guess mostly they don't "sound" worth taking based on the description of the penalty, but if I'm wrong then that's great. I'll play around with a few as I go along I'm sure.

 

And yeah, Assassin sounded good, but didn't really feel my preferred rogue playstyle which is basically swashbuckling with sneak attacks (flank, hobble, etc., do crazy damage). I'm not really into the "go invisible" playstyle, but I can totally see the appeal and it did sound good, but the other two just sounded like I wouldn't enjoy them at all. One of them nerfs Sneak Attack in half! That's crazy! Why would I ever do that, that's the rogue "thing".

 

And yeah, Devoted has certainly seemed powerful and popular from the description and threads I've been reading. I'm mostly concerned that each class will only have maybe 1 subclass that doesn't sound suboptimal.

 

 

 

Well, one of the important things about the subclasses and multi-classes is that they should feel unique and cool without making the base class feel irrelevant. You sound like a person who likes the basic rogue class, and the base rogue class is still excellent in a way that no other build can quite replicate. That's a good thing.

 

All three rogue subclasses are excellent at doing very specific things, and they're all great fun for people who want to focus on those specific things.

 

The Devoted subclass has been getting extra love because people (including me) have been finding the balance of the penetration system really hard to deal with. The Devoted has to give up weapon proficiencies, and that is a BIG DEAL, because those weapon proficiencies are really, really, really useful, especially for fighters. I think the black jacket, in contrast, is an undervalued class.

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much more annoying to move items between characters

 

 

+1

 

I like the stash always visible but we can't move items between two characters. Actually : Character 1 > Stash, Stash > Character 2

 

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

 

EDIT : My tests continue on the beta.

 

WIZARD GRIMOIRE OPINION :

 

I like this choice. Grimoire become a real element of gameplay. It is a good thing.

 

There is more potential for that. Like a quest mid-end game with possibility to place spells (we don't have) and we like in a special custom grimoire. Once written this would be definitive. Early game-mid game : grimoire Bought or obtained by ennemis. With the reduction of the number of spells, this mecanics work better now.

 

We can also hope more Grimoire like LLengrath Grimoire with unic spells. Hype guaranted for the players.

Edited by theBalthazar
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Positive:

1. Lighting. It's done really beautifully. I ran around with a torch just to see how it looks.

 

2. Spell effects. These are way better than in Pillars 1. Really well done in my opinion

 

3. Encounter desing. Really enjoying the encounter design so far. At least this dungeon isn't filled with endless "trash" mobs and the fights with the saints and the Xarokas (sp?) was well done.

 

4. Adventure screens. I enjoyed these in Pillars 1, glad to see they are back and there's probably even more of those than in Pillars 1.

 

5. Resting without camping supplies. I'm not grognard enough to cry after the camping supplies, I thought it was a chore to run back to town/nearest merchant everytime I ran out of camping supplies. While I understand some people might want that strategic aspect back, I couldn't care less. This makes my experience at least a bit more relaxed, instead of wasting time to run back and worth.

 

6. Loading times. You've finally cured the horrible loading times that made my hair turn grey (especially when you had to run back and worth).

 

 

Negative:

1. Mercenary Mage seemed a bit weak. Not sure if it is the spells he has or maybe the casting time is a bit too long. Either way, he seemed like a bad companion most of the time.

 

2. Combat felt really fast against Lagunafishmonsters. Otherwise I haven't had trouble with the pacing.


Hate the living, love the dead.

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1. Mercenary Mage seemed a bit weak. Not sure if it is the spells he has or maybe the casting time is a bit too long. Either way, he seemed like a bad companion most of the time.

 

 

Oh, you're not wrong. There's issues with wizards. The penetration & grazing issues hurt them harder than any other class.

Also, the Mercenary Wizard's spell choice, & Grimoire are not the best. Josh said that they'd add a few more Grimoires in a future update.

 

I can't help feeling that a lot (thought certainly not all) of the wizard complaints we've gotten so far are due to the particular wizard everyone's playing with.

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Also, the Mercenary Wizard's spell choice, & Grimoire are not the best.

 

 

You can start the character with no auto-level. It is REALLY better^^ (uncheck in the options)

 

Caster always have problems (long casting time for exemple) but with good spells, there is major difference.

 

Focus on : +Perception and debuff armor. = Other world with mage. EVEN IF... There is always many problems here and here indeed.

 

For the grimoire, I view It now like a complement beside invested spells. Only choice is missing for more possibilities. If not, there is side effect of : I take level up spells only regarding spells of too few grimoires.

 

There is also an possible problematic : How make switch of grimoires intuitive for all players. It is an important question.

Edited by theBalthazar

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Character models are absolutely wonderful. Is it a possibility that you could do what Divinity Original Sin 2 has done and base portraits on the actual character model? It's hard to find a portrait that matches what your character looks like.

 

Yes please, this is quite annoying. Apart from that I think the beta show great promise. I have a very hard time understanding what’s going on in combat but i’m confident it will be easier once they tweak it and iron out the bugs.

 

Another minor thing: in CC the descriptive text regarding stats don’t really match. For exempel, is 4-8 or 10 average? Flavor is important.

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I have notice a thing guys, tell me if I am wrong.

 

I have the feeling Empower work better on certain spells.

 

Like Minor missiles = huge difference.

 

Others spells = much less.

 

It may be just an illusion. (offensive spells have more numerical variables? Damage + Penetration + Number of missiles. All of this is buff against less variables for others spells ?)

 

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

 

EDIT :

 

PLAYER INTERRUPTIONS :

 

There is also a problem with the mage. When you start to cast the spell. Sometimes you must auto-interrupt for an another spells (healing for exemple). When it is recovery = no loss, perfect. But DURING the casting time = loss. So, perhaps don't lost the point at this time ? When it is an ennemy ok, but when it is the player decision, it is too punitive.

Edited by theBalthazar

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You can start the character with no auto-level. It is REALLY better^^ (uncheck in the options)

 

 

 

Wonder of wonders. Thanks for telling me.

Edited by cheesevillain
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much more annoying to move items between characters

 

 

+1

 

I like the stash always visible but we can't move items between two characters. Actually : Character 1 > Stash, Stash > Character 2

 

 

It's not quite this bad, I bet what you were doing (and what I was doing) was dragging items onto character portraits at the top right? Which doesn't work.

 

What DOES work is clicking the item once so that it sticks to your cursor (rather than just dragging it) and THEN clicking on the other character's portrait.

 

It works okay, but I am used to just dragging, not clicking to pick up, so it wasn't intuitive for me and I STILL think the old UI was better since I could much more quickly move items from character to character.

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That said I probably still wouldn't want to give up half my sneak attack on a single-class character unless I was really into the Trickster concept. It's probably my pro-Sneak-Attack bias but I just think that losing so much power to my favorite rogue feature wouldn't be worth it, although almost any other sort of penalty would probably work for me and I'd be happy with the subclass then.

 

This discussion made me try out a single-class Trickster build. I built him very resilient, using the Medium Shield modal in combination with Riposte and good Con/Res. It works out fairly well. He's more of a support character than your average Rogue, but he still does decent damage and the addition of Mirror Image makes him very durable. The Illusion spells using Guile rather than spell slots also means you can spam them a lot more freely in combat.

 

I do wish you got a bit more choice over which Illusion spells you could pick, since the current selection limits your tactics somewhat.

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much more annoying to move items between characters

 

 

+1

 

I like the stash always visible but we can't move items between two characters. Actually : Character 1 > Stash, Stash > Character 2

 

 

It's not quite this bad, I bet what you were doing (and what I was doing) was dragging items onto character portraits at the top right? Which doesn't work.

 

What DOES work is clicking the item once so that it sticks to your cursor (rather than just dragging it) and THEN clicking on the other character's portrait.

 

It works okay, but I am used to just dragging, not clicking to pick up, so it wasn't intuitive for me and I STILL think the old UI was better since I could much more quickly move items from character to character.

 

You can also select the item and then hit 1-5 to swap characters.

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There are many ways for sub-classes for devs :

 

1) Hyper specific subclass like now. A concept on legs. If you don't like the malus = end of the game. Will give 75 % of players stay with no subclasses. 25 % for VERY specific build.

 

2) Mouthwatering subclass, with less malus, more general concept. = because if it is too specific = will only serve a few people. Will give 25 % / 25 % / 25 % / 25 %.

 

Perhaps a third option, with a bit both, one exotic class, very specific and the others more convenient for a majority of players.

 

I add to that all classes are not hyper specific but a majority actually. So we are rather in case number 1, for now.

Edited by theBalthazar

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