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Bazy

Gameplay Review (2.0886)

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I. GENERAL

 

Difficulty: 

I completed a play-through on normal, hard, and POTD. No Scaling options. Custom Party usually consisting of a Lifegiver and multi-classed melee. No desire to play casters apart from Druid. 

 

Overall the game was very easy, even through POTD. My party composition was able to essentially autoattack to victory, with help from the new AI scripts and healing from the druid. Only on POTD did I feel like I had to do some slight party management with consumables/tactics. 

 

AI Scripts:

Excellent. Looking forward to seeing where this goes. But makes the game much easier.

 

Watcher visions: 

Huge improvement being able to watch the visions instead of having to talk with some spirit for 5 minutes. 

 

Dialogue: 

Still suffers from too much descriptive text. Please don't tell me what I'm seeing and how I feel about it. It's usually too verbose, doesn't add any substance, and often reduces the RP. 

 

Classes: 

Multiclassing is good. However, I would like to see this go a step further and make this even more of a classless game. Give us all of the abilities and let us build our own class. Something closer to D:OS and the other POE. 

 
Combat Speed: 
Needs to be slowed down. Both in movement speed and damage to health. Most fights decided within seconds. 
 

II. BALANCE

 

Passive v Active abilities: 

The class resource system is really punishing compared to passives. Passives give powerful buffs during all moments. Most active abilities can only be used 2-4 times per fight, and compete with each other for class resources. Very rare for me to select an active ability over a passive. 

 

At the very least, I would recommend more way to replenish class resources during fights (such as sworn rival). 

 

Melee v Ranged: 

Melee are much stronger than casters. By the time many spells are cast, the fight has essentially been decided by the melee. The cast/recovery/class resource costs for spells are absurd compared to melee classes which rely much more on passive abilities and autoattacking. 

 

Dual-Weilding: 

As other have pointed out. Way too strong compared to 1-H/2-H.

 

Not enough competing talent options:

You end up picking the same abilities/passives for each class. No real variation. 

 

Spells generally: 

Such a hodgepodge. With the ability to choose this is not such a big deal, but spells really range widely in duration, cast time, power, etc. Most of which are meh, will never be used and make the game feel bloated and unpolished.

 

Armor/Penetration: 

Way too important. Stack Armor and stack Penetration on every character. Downsides to heavy armor nothing compared to the damage reduction it brings and are offset easily by other abilities/potions. 

 

Weapon Modals/Proficiency: 

Rarely worth using, 100% recovery is way too penalizing. Makes proficiency system immersion breaking as I would never want to use these modals.

 

Also, we are given way too many options for proficiency. I shouldn't be able to be proficient in four weapons just because. At the very least, don't force me to choose more proficiency. My Roleplay of a toon that only likes one weapon shouldn't be forced into being good at others. Most characters only seem use one type of weapon the whole playthrough anyway... let alone four. 

 

Injury/Health/Healing System:

The injury system is good. But...

 

The removal of the POE1 Health system has made healing rather absurd. Either I'm regenerating enough that I never drop below 90% or the mobs spike me so hard that I have to spam heals. This reminds be of TBC era Wow healing where raid bosses had to do absurd amounts of damage because that was the only way to counter the heavy healing. 

 

Further, thematically many abilities no longer make sense: Second wind now instantly heals wounds? Standing around after combat for ten seconds heals wounds? It made much more sense when it was to renew stamina. 

 

Also, why potions STILL have instant heals is mind-boggling. Josh made a mod for FO:NV to remove the absurd pause and insta heal with potions and food that is prevalent in Fallout and Skyrim. Healing potions should always be over time, never instant. I absolutely loath that I can pause the game, and instantly heal for 75% of my health with one click. 

 

Potions: 

Potions in general are far too strong, as they were in POEI. Potion of Deftness gives 6 accuracy and 25% action speed. That is a talent point and over 8 dexterity in value. Way too much. As with health potions, the effects are practically instant (1.3 seconds). This makes using potions much more important that almost any other consideration. Potions should be heavily nerfed and have much longer durations

 

Drugs: 

As with potions they are far too strong. Mouth Char gives +1 armor and a whopping 20% damage to weapons.  Durations are much better than with potions, but for all the hoopla over pre-buffing before POEI, I'm surprised these made it into the game. Should be heavily nerfed.

 

On the flip side, the drug crashes are good, but probably shouldn't be so punishing. 

 

Food: 

Perfect. This is exactly how the system should be implemented. Long duration, low value, only one at a time. Excellent.  

 

Rest buffs: 

Good overall implementation. Thematically rest is important and having a resting buff should be almost mandatory. Like consumables, rest should give long term, low value buffs, which it does. Further, resting outside of inns is generally substandard which helps with rest spamming issues. 

 

My only complaint is that the different resting bonuses from each inn option are a bit silly in the variety, and some of the effects are far too strong. I would like an option to have negative penalties for lack of rest. 

 

III. AI 

 

Pathing: 

Mobs still run around like morons taking disengagement attacks all over the place. 

 

Consumables/Buffs/Empower: 

My biggest gripe is that the AI never seems to use consumables. If we can use them, the AI should too. D:OS pulled this off. Why is my party the ones ones with the capability of drinking a potion mid fight, or having rest buff. This is an immersion killing and removes much of the tactical challenge of fights. 

 

Also, why do we get empower and not the AI?

 

Offscreen Aggro: 

Mobs need to have bigger aggro chains. Too many mobs being singled out because they were too far away from my party when I pulled. 

 

Also... some mobs should not just blindly chase. Make us go to them sometimes without requiring an ambush scenario.

 

AI Interruptions: 

I do like how the AI appears to wait until I'm casting something to counter with an interrupt. But, this is another reason why casters are inferior to melee. 

 

IV. IMMERSION/ROLEPLAY
 

Character Creation and Skill Points: 

Backround, Class, Culture should not affect skill points. STOP THAT. Let me choose how to build my character. My devoted fighter should not have a point in explosives. My nature druid should not have two points in explosives. My timid orlan should not have more intimidation than my aumaua just because she is a kind-wayfarer. My laborer should probably have points in Mechanics, not Athletics. 

 

Why are you forcing these absurd RP choices on us in a CRPG?

 

Spell selection on level up:

I love how classes (Druids in particular) are able to choose spells on level up instead of having a bunch of junk automatically thrown at them. This allows me to role-play the character I want and allows more interesting choices/tradeoffs on level up. I am sad that they decided to give priests automatic spells on level up, I would have just given an extra spell selection point instead of forcing a particular set of spells. More options is (usually) better than having them selected for you in an RPG. 

 

Overland Map:

It's a bit jarring to go from the beautiful maps to the meh overland map. The point and click movement feels so dated, and like a crappy mini-game. I would prefer going back to the POE1 system. I prefer to imagine how the travel went over this wacky ship movement. It also has these terribly obvious corridors that you are forced to travel through which ruins any feeling that you are in a world to explore. 

 

At the very least, slow the ship down. I'm constantly clicking because the ship moves so fast and I can't give movement commands into the fog of war. 

 

Further, I loath at the omniscient ability to see herbs and equipment caches from so far away. This is terribly immersion breaking. Why does my party know about some magical boots on the other half of the island??? Similarly, why are you telling me that this zone is too high level for me? STOP THAT. At least make it optional. Don't magically tell me things about the world my character should not know. Where did this hand-holding come from? We didn't get a warning pop up for the Temple of Eothas and the game was much better for it. 

 

Combat only abilities/Pre-buffing: 

Still immersion breaking to only be able to use some abilities out of combat. I can attack the enemy, but not buff myself... wonderful immersion. 

 

The whole purpose was to avoid pre-buffing... but then they made ridiculously overpowered drugs, potions and other buffs. This is contradictory design. 

 

Storage: 

I was never a fan of the magical bottomless stash. It has reached new levels of absurdity when I'm collecting huge loads of cannon shot and ship repair supplies. Another immersion killer. 

 

V. MISC

 

Modding: 
Please make modding relatively easy as has been suggested it will be. We were promised robust modding in POEI and that didn't happen.
 
 
Allowing the community to tinker solves so many issues and increases the replayabilty. 

 

Starting Zone:

Please allow us to break free to explore immediately or shortly after game start. I loath tutorial zones. Having to go through the camp, the talking, and the ambush, and the talking, and the berry hunt, and the talking, and the storm, and the talking, and the tutorial dungeon, then the 2nd storm, and the RP, and the talking, and the talking, and then through Valewood... every... single time... ugh. Drop me into the game and let me go explore as soon as possible. 

 

Don't make me repeat the same start every play-through. 

 

Empower:  Nothing  particularly wrong with it. Just doesn't really make sense Lore wise that I'm aware of and seems kind of arcadey. Also rarely used with little impact in the grand scheme of things. Seems like a lot of development work to force in this remnant of the vancian spell-casting system. 

 
Firebrand: 
Actually looks like a fire sword now. \o/ (But a 6 second cast is laughable. It should be instant and last for the entirely of combat.)
Edited by Bazy
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Agree with many points, disagree with a few of the more general points. I really like the way this was broken down and itemized so I put my 2 cents in bold and italics beneath each point that I felt informed enough to respond to.

 

 

I. GENERAL

 

Difficulty: 

I completed a play-through on normal, hard, and POTD. No Scaling options. Custom Party usually consisting of a Lifegiver and multi-classed melee. No desire to play casters apart from Druid. 

 

Overall the game was very easy, even through POTD. My party composition was able to essentially autoattack to victory, with help from the new AI scripts and healing from the druid. Only on POTD did I feel like I had to do some slight party management with consumables/tactics.

 

AI Scripts:

Excellent. Looking forward to seeing where this goes. But makes the game much easier.

 

Watcher visions: 

Huge improvement being able to watch the visions instead of having to talk with some spirit for 5 minutes.  

 

Dialogue: 

Still suffers from too much descriptive text. Please don't tell me what I'm seeing and how I feel about it. It's usually too verbose, doesn't add any substance, and often reduces the RP. 

 

Classes: 

Multiclassing is good. However, I would like to see this go a step further and make this even more of a classless game. Give us all of the abilities and let us build our own class. Something closer to D:OS and the other POE.

  •  Don't really agree with going classless, that is a step too far from the core concept of POE1 and the Infinity Engine games that spawned it. Plus this would make balancing abilities much, much more difficult.
 
Combat Speed: 
Needs to be slowed down. Both in movement speed and damage to health. Most fights decided within seconds. 
 

II. BALANCE

 

Passive v Active abilities: 

The class resource system is really punishing compared to passives. Passives give powerful buffs during all moments. Most active abilities can only be used 2-4 times per fight, and compete with each other for class resources. Very rare for me to select an active ability over a passive. 

 

At the very least, I would recommend more way to replenish class resources during fights (such as sworn rival). 

 

Melee v Ranged: 

Melee are much stronger than casters. By the time many spells are cast, the fight has essentially been decided by the melee. The cast/recovery/class resource costs for spells are absurd compared to melee classes which rely much more on passive abilities and autoattacking. 

  • Agree, the spells take way, way too long to cast and many damage spells are easily shrugged off by the enemies. I just don't get why the cast time is so long -- against trash mobs this makes casters too late to the party and against difficult mobs by the time a spell is being cast often the situation has changed and I need to switch to a different spell. Casters just have so little impact compared to high damage melee chars.

 

Dual-Weilding: 

As other have pointed out. Way too strong compared to 1-H/2-H.

 

Not enough competing talent options:

You end up picking the same abilities/passives for each class. No real variation. 

 

Spells generally: 

Such a hodgepodge. With the ability to choose this is not such a big deal, but spells really range widely in duration, cast time, power, etc. Most of which are meh, will never be used and make the game feel bloated and unpolished.

 

  •  Agree though this is still the beta, so we can expect more polish and less bloat. It is a little concerning how weak casters are, I would have expected a much tighter balance given the experience the team has to draw on from POE1.

 

Armor/Penetration: 

Way too important. Stack Armor and stack Penetration on every character. Downsides to heavy armor nothing compared to the damage reduction it brings and are offset easily by other abilities/potions. 

 

Weapon Modals/Proficiency: 

Rarely worth using, 100% recovery is way too penalizing. Makes proficiency system immersion breaking as I would never want to use these modals.

 

Also, we are given way too many options for proficiency. I shouldn't be able to be proficient in four weapons just because. At the very least, don't force me to choose more proficiency. My Roleplay of a toon that only likes one weapon shouldn't be forced into being good at others. Most characters only seem use one type of weapon the whole playthrough anyway... let alone four. 

 

  •  Strongly agree, it makes proficiency seem really like an afterthought. Proficiency should be more powerful and require more commitment so the choices are harder and more meaningful. 
 

Injury/Health/Healing System:

The injury system is good. But...

 

The removal of the POE1 Health system has made healing rather absurd. Either I'm regenerating enough that I never drop below 90% or the mobs spike me so hard that I have to spam heals. This reminds be of TBC era Wow healing where raid bosses had to do absurd amounts of damage because that was the only way to counter the heavy healing. 

 

Further, thematically many abilities no longer make sense: Second wind now instantly heals wounds? Standing around after combat for ten seconds heals wounds? It made much more sense when it was to renew stamina. 

 

Also, why potions STILL have instant heals is mind-boggling. Josh made a mod for FO:NV to remove the absurd pause and insta heal with potions and food that is prevalent in Fallout and Skyrim. Healing potions should always be over time, never instant. I absolutely loath that I can pause the game, and instantly heal for 75% of my health with one click. 

 

  • Agree... I actually thought this was either a bug or an oversight it seems so obvious an issue. 

 

Potions: 

Potions in general are far too strong, as they were in POEI. Potion of Deftness gives 6 accuracy and 25% action speed. That is a talent point and over 8 dexterity in value. Way too much. As with health potions, the effects are practically instant (1.3 seconds). This makes using potions much more important that almost any other consideration. Potions should be heavily nerfed and have much longer durations

 

  • Agree although this is somewhat understandable as POE1 is presumably the balancing baseline. Potions shouldn't be nearly as decisive as they are, instead well-built characters and gear (which feel more important and rewarding from a gameplay and lore standpoint) should be the biggest variables in addition to actual tactics.

 

Drugs: 

As with potions they are far too strong. Mouth Char gives +1 armor and a whopping 20% damage to weapons.  Durations are much better than with potions, but for all the hoopla over pre-buffing before POEI, I'm surprised these made it into the game. Should be heavily nerfed.

 

On the flip side, the drug crashes are good, but probably shouldn't be so punishing. 

 

Food: 

Perfect. This is exactly how the system should be implemented. Long duration, low value, only one at a time. Excellent.  

 

Rest buffs: 

Good overall implementation. Thematically rest is important and having a resting buff should be almost mandatory. My only complaint is that the different resting bonuses from each inn option are a bit silly in the variety, and some of the effects are far too strong. Like consumables, rest should give long term, low value buffs. I would like an option to have negative penalties for lack of rest.

 

III. AI 

 

Pathing: 

Mobs still run around like morons taking disengagement attacks all over the place. 

 

Consumables/Buffs/Empower: 

My biggest gripe is that the AI never seems to use consumables. If we can use them, the AI should too. D:OS pulled this off. Why is my party the ones ones with the capability of drinking a potion mid fight, or having rest buff. This is an immersion killing and removes much of the tactical challenge of fights. 

 

Also, why do we get empower and not the AI?

 

Offscreen Aggro: 

Mobs need to have bigger aggro chains. Too many mobs being singled out because they were too far away from my party when I pulled. 

 

Also... some mobs should not just blindly chase. Make us go to them sometimes without requiring an ambush scenario.

 

AI Interruptions: 

I do like how the AI appears to wait until I'm casting something to counter with an interrupt. But, this is another reason why casters are inferior to melee. 

 

  • Agree with all of these arguments though I assume Obsidian is working diligently on them already.
IV. IMMERSION/ROLEPLAY
 

Character Creation and Skill Points: 

Backround, Class, Culture should not affect skill points. STOP THAT. Let me choose how to build my character. My devoted fighter should not have a point in explosives. My nature druid should not have two points in explosives. My timid orlan should not have more intimidation than my aumaua just because she is a kind-wayfarer. My laborer should probably have points in Mechanics, not Athletics. 

 

Why are you forcing these absurd RP choices on us in a CRPG?

 

  • While I do not feel as passionately, I do agree with the argument.

Spell selection on level up:

I love how classes (Druids in particular) are able to choose spells on level up instead of having a bunch of junk automatically thrown at them. This allows me to role-play the character I want and allows more interesting choices/tradeoffs on level up. I am sad that they decided to give priests automatic spells on level up, I would have just given an extra spell selection point instead of forcing a particular set of spells. More options is (usually) better than having them selected for you in an RPG. 

 

Overland Map:

It's a bit jarring to go from the beautiful maps to the meh overland map. The point and click movement feels so dated, and like a crappy mini-game. At the very least, slow the ship down.

 

Further, I loath at the omniscient ability to see herbs and equipment caches from so far away. This is terribly immersion breaking. Why does my party know about some magical boots on the other half of the island??? Similarly, why are you telling me that this zone is too high level for me? STOP THAT. At least make it optional. Don't magically tell me things about the world my character should not know. Where did this hand-holding come from? We didn't get a warning pop up for the Temple of Eothas and the game was much better for it. 

 

Combat only abilities/Pre-buffing: 

Still immersion breaking to only be able to use some abilities out of combat. The whole purpose was to avoid pre-buffing... but then they made ridiculously overpowered drugs and potions. This is contradictory design. 

 

  • I just don't get why we have this Overland Map. It is worse than jarring, it really does feel like a cheap mini-game. This is probably because it was sort of baked into the backer stretch goal. We can only hope this aspect gets better. Manual movement on the map is annoying, especially on the ship where it was not clear that you have to find the Dock Icons to actually disembark, that was so confusing the first time. What was wrong with POE1's old-school maps and simple travel?? If the magic ability to see caches and encounters is going to stay the way it is (i.e. you see them instantly from any distance), I really hope this "mode" gets better UI, better feel (like slow the ship down). This game is not like Heroes of Might and Magic or that genre of games where the Overland Map travel is actually designed to be a key part of the game experience. It feels cheap and tacked on.
  • This is actually the element of the beta I found the most jarring and annoying.

 

Storage: 

I was never a fan of the magical bottomless stash. It has reached new levels of absurdity when I'm collecting huge loads of cannon shot and ship repair supplies. Another immersion killer. 

 

  • Agreed, although perhaps in the full game the whole Ship aspect gets a big content boost. Even so it makes sense to limit the stash so you are forced to make tactical management decisions. This affects gameplay and not merely immersion. 

 

V. MISC

 

Modding: 
Please make modding relatively easy as has been suggested it will be. We were promised robust modding in POEI and that didn't happen.
 
 
Allowing the community to tinker solves so many issues and increases the replayabilty. 

 

Starting Zone:

Please allow us to break free to explore immediately or shortly after game start. I loath tutorial zones. Having to go through the camp, the talking, and the ambush, and the talking, and the berry hunt, and the talking, and the storm, and the talking, and the tutorial dungeon, then the 2nd storm, and the RP, and the talking, and the talking, and then through Valewood... every... single time... ugh. Drop me into the game and let me go explore as soon as possible. 

 

Don't make me repeat the same start every play-through. 

 

Spell selection: 

I love how classes (Druids in particular) are able to choose spells on level up instead of having a bunch of junk automatically thrown at them. This allows me to role-play the character I want and allows more interesting choices/tradeoffs on level up. I am sad that they decided to give priests automatic spells on level up, I would have just given an extra spell selection point instead of forcing a particular set of spells. 

 

Empower:  Nothing  particularly wrong with it. Just doesn't really make sense Lore wise that I'm aware of and seems kind of arcadey. Also rarely used with little impact in the grand scheme of things. Seems like a lot of development work to force in this remnant of the vancian spell-casting system. 

 

  • Feels very arcade-like since there are no abilities, skills, items, or any other mechanic that affects Empower. For example maybe Obsidian can allow casters to get more Empower than melee to balance out the fact that they suck right now. Maybe talents offer more Empower uses, or different effects based on the spell or ability being empowered. And of course enemies currently don't seem able to Empower though again this is only the beta.
 
Firebrand: 
Actually looks like a fire sword now. \o/ (But a 6 second cast is laughable. It should be instant and last for the entirely of combat.)

 

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I just don't get why we have this Overland Map. It is worse than jarring, it really does feel like a cheap mini-game. This is probably because it was sort of baked into the backer stretch goal. We can only hope this aspect gets better. Manual movement on the map is annoying, especially on the ship where it was not clear that you have to find the Dock Icons to actually disembark, that was so confusing the first time. What was wrong with POE1's old-school maps and simple travel?? If the magic ability to see caches and encounters is going to stay the way it is (i.e. you see them instantly from any distance), I really hope this "mode" gets better UI, better feel (like slow the ship down). This game is not like Heroes of Might and Magic or that genre of games where the Overland Map travel is actually designed to be a key part of the game experience. It feels cheap and tacked on.

 

How tastes vary. I find this to be one of the best additions to Deadfire, though right now my optimism is based more around what was promised rather than what is in.

 

The most clear advantage this kind of worldmap is the ability to explore and discover. While prerendered actual maps look better at this moment, they consume a lot of artists time, while not providing much in return. PoE and BG1 is filled with maps which are nothing more than empty fields filled with trash mob. It’s not great. Worldmap provides an exploration aspect of those maps (clearing up a map, meeting encounters, finding loot & unique encounters) at a much lower production cost, reserving time and money for actual areas to me rendered. Moreover, you can hide special encounters or areas which is always fun.

 

Right now overworld map is lacking most of its mechanics and is not finished graphically - no random encounters, no ship management, no ship to ship combat&boarding. Once it is in, hopefully it will feel like part of your journey rather than getting from Point A to B. Overworks maps worked great in cRPGs in a past (Fallouts, Arcanum, Storm of Zehir) it should be a fine addition here as well.

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I just don't get why we have this Overland Map. It is worse than jarring, it really does feel like a cheap mini-game. This is probably because it was sort of baked into the backer stretch goal. We can only hope this aspect gets better. Manual movement on the map is annoying, especially on the ship where it was not clear that you have to find the Dock Icons to actually disembark, that was so confusing the first time. What was wrong with POE1's old-school maps and simple travel?? If the magic ability to see caches and encounters is going to stay the way it is (i.e. you see them instantly from any distance), I really hope this "mode" gets better UI, better feel (like slow the ship down). This game is not like Heroes of Might and Magic or that genre of games where the Overland Map travel is actually designed to be a key part of the game experience. It feels cheap and tacked on.

 

How tastes vary. I find this to be one of the best additions to Deadfire, though right now my optimism is based more around what was promised rather than what is in.

 

The most clear advantage this kind of worldmap is the ability to explore and discover. While prerendered actual maps look better at this moment, they consume a lot of artists time, while not providing much in return. PoE and BG1 is filled with maps which are nothing more than empty fields filled with trash mob. It’s not great. Worldmap provides an exploration aspect of those maps (clearing up a map, meeting encounters, finding loot & unique encounters) at a much lower production cost, reserving time and money for actual areas to me rendered. Moreover, you can hide special encounters or areas which is always fun.

 

Right now overworld map is lacking most of its mechanics and is not finished graphically - no random encounters, no ship management, no ship to ship combat&boarding. Once it is in, hopefully it will feel like part of your journey rather than getting from Point A to B. Overworks maps worked great in cRPGs in a past (Fallouts, Arcanum, Storm of Zehir) it should be a fine addition here as well.

Came here to post much of the same. Tastes vary indeed! I LOVE the new painted map, and it’s even more fun in the ship. A tremendous addition to the game.

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I will take only that I want comment.

 

Dialogue: 

Still suffers from too much descriptive text. Please don't tell me what I'm seeing and how I feel about it. It's usually too verbose, doesn't add any substance, and often reduces the RP. 

 

 

True. Always the same idea : bring something crisp to the story: yes. If it's just text for the text (sometimes the case with Obsidian) = no.

 

 

Combat Speed: 

Needs to be slowed down. Both in movement speed and damage to health. Most fights decided within seconds. 

 

 
 
Obsidian want to accelerate to boost the fighting. At the same time, he also wants to make them more tactical (so the problem may be there, more than the combat speed) It is not really tactical. I love Fire Emblem, there is nothing of tactical in POE2 atm.
 

 

Passive v Active abilities: 

The class resource system is really punishing compared to passives. Passives give powerful buffs during all moments. Most active abilities can only be used 2-4 times per fight, and compete with each other for class resources. Very rare for me to select an active ability over a passive. 

 

At the very least, I would recommend more way to replenish class resources during fights (such as sworn rival). 

 

 

True, if there is refound, it is good effect. And there is the other possiblity. Normally,  You should must have a greater effect when there is no refound (definitive loss). Effect ? 4 burn damages all 3s. LEL. : p

At least it allows to choose quickly between two possiblities : p (Sworn rival !!)

 

Melee v Ranged: 

Melee are much stronger than casters. By the time many spells are cast, the fight has essentially been decided by the melee. The cast/recovery/class resource costs for spells are absurd compared to melee classes which rely much more on passive abilities and autoattacking. 

 

 

Indeed, casters are awful.

 

 

Dual-Weilding: 

As other have pointed out. Way too strong compared to 1-H/2-H.

 

 

Or 1H 2H are too weak. But globally I agree.

 

Not enough competing talent options:

You end up picking the same abilities/passives for each class. No real variation. 

 

 

True, passives of few classes are ludicrous. (Druid ? 5 passives. Wizard/priest ? 0 passives)

And globally often the right choices are visible, and there are NO few other good choices on the same level. So we always take the same thing, it's true. (Strangely worst than POE1. No doubt because of limited passives...)

 

Spells generally: 

Such a hodgepodge. With the ability to choose this is not such a big deal, but spells really range widely in duration, cast time, power, etc. Most of which are meh, will never be used and make the game feel bloated and unpolished.

 

 

Obsidian wants powerful and long spell. Problem : Obsidian took spells from POE1, applied a nerf, and increase the cast time+recovery. So the "powerful" side is visibly not obvious : p

 

Weapon Modals/Proficiency: 

Rarely worth using, 100% recovery is way too penalizing. Makes proficiency system immersion breaking as I would never want to use these modals.

 

Also, we are given way too many options for proficiency. I shouldn't be able to be proficient in four weapons just because. At the very least, don't force me to choose more proficiency. My Roleplay of a toon that only likes one weapon shouldn't be forced into being good at others. Most characters only seem use one type of weapon the whole playthrough anyway... let alone four. 

 

 
Agree. Modals are lunar. It is a 50-50 with crazy amount, all or nothing. Often not useful. A better approach would have been a 65 % positive effect / 35 % negative effect.
 
Or differents levels of modals during the game : (Rapier exemple)
 
Level 1 : 50-50 +100 % recovery / 20 accuracy
Level 5 : 55-45 +90 % recovery / 20 accuracy
Level 10 : 60-40 +80 % recovery / 20 accuracy
Level 15 : 65-35 +70 % recovery / 20 accuracy
Level 20 : 70-30 +50 % recovery / 20 accuracy
 
With a choice each time...
Edited by theBalthazar

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Good read!

 

I have to agree on the world map with the OP. When I go through It I always feel like I have to scroll through every island it to find all the junk and then move on to the 'real' part of the game.

I always loved when I had to go through every mapzone for real. I also loved that when a later quest linked back to the zone I already explored. Obviously the traveling/exploring system cannot be thrown out, but I would like much more if the points of interests would be actual zones where I can do stuff not just get a conversation box.

like the shrine place where I could rest on one of the main islands.

 

On the topic of passives I have to agree. Passives are so much better, but what really pains me to see is most of the passives were all access to all classes as talents. It is a bit funny to see that as a pure priest poe1 I was able to get weapon and shield style now I have to multiclass to get it. Class trees should be all about active abilites not passives. It wasn't a very good idea to remove the talent system in my opinion. I feel like sometimes we've taken a step back instead forward.

 

On the topic of active abilities and resources there are indeed very few, and are very restrictive to use them not mentioning that several abilites overlap each other and compete for the prime spot not supporting each other.

Rogue has 3 active abilities each doing similar effect but instead using all of them multiple times in encounters I have to decide which one will I use once or twice. I end up using hobbling strike because it is the cheapest and I can use it more per encounter. 

 

 

On the topic of health system I wish the old back. I hated the old at first, but I ended up loving it. I don't know why but I did...maybe it was good design? :)

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Tutorial zones are the bane of my existence!

 

Demon's Soul did this brilliantly. It had a fairly short one and then you never have to replay it again after the first time if you choose not to.


nowt

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Tutorial zones are the bane of my existence!

 

Demon's Soul did this brilliantly. It had a fairly short one and then you never have to replay it again after the first time if you choose not to.

I thought PoE did well, with “tutorial” zone being a legit dungeon. Brief, to the point, fun to explore. If the game has actual tutorial “now we will teach you how to play the game” I much prefer if it’s seperate from main game, or completely skippable implimented in legit opening zone (Deus Ex mankind divided)

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Yeah, the NWN2 OC one was also skippable.


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

 

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Tutorial zones are the bane of my existence!

 

Demon's Soul did this brilliantly. It had a fairly short one and then you never have to replay it again after the first time if you choose not to.

I thought PoE did well, with “tutorial” zone being a legit dungeon. Brief, to the point, fun to explore. If the game has actual tutorial “now we will teach you how to play the game” I much prefer if it’s seperate from main game, or completely skippable implimented in legit opening zone (Deus Ex mankind divided)

 

I feel like the tutorial was all the way through to Gilded Vale, up through talking with Caldara and Eder. After that you could finally realistically start doing your own thing without contradicting the narrative. 

 

I actually liked the model from a game called Privateer (1993) where you could do anything from the start. The main quest line didn't start until you discovered and talked to a particular NPC at your leisure. 

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I will not repeat the biggest problems roaming the forums (casting time, single class, might change etc...)

Combat Speed: i need my slow mode back ;(
We have 5 characters and for each action we must ask : am i under affliction ? am i accurate ? am i under penetration ?

That's a lot of things to check. The last beta version is better but still i need the slow mode.

Character Creation and Skill Points: Background, Class, Culture should not affect skill points
Good point, i agree. This is a forced choice and it's generally bad in a RPG.

Spell selection on level up
I see two problems :
- it remove a lot of flexibility to the casters (ouch i need to reset my priest for the prayer i dot not take)
- a lot of spells will never be taken so what about replay-ability ?
    Did i take "Devotions for the Faithful" or "Barring Death's Door" ?
    Did i take "Relentless storm" or "Wall of Thorns" ?
    etc...
    A non-brainer choice is not a choice.
    Combined that with the lack of universal talents and the leveling is really depressing for some classes...

Spell books
Could be useful to give the possibility to manage the spells inside the books (switch them from one boo to another).
Actually it's not really convenient. You have to remember with books contains witch spells, there is duplicate etc...

Empower
Complicated enough to use and understand. Regarding this, i do not feel that all the abilities/skills are managed in the same way
We could perhaps simplify that by giving a boost to the character rather (ex : +5 to all attributes for the duration of the fight).

Weapon Modals/Proficiency
A vast majority of them are bad (giving a big bonus and a big malus is not a good deal)
But what is annoying me the most is that we are forced to choose them. I REALLY don't like it. Once again, a forced choice is not a choice.
Improve them and add them as abilities for each class.

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Yes please. Bring back slow mode.  People who don't want it don't need to use it. I don't know why an optional feature would need to be removed.

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Character Creation and Skill Points: 

Backround, Class, Culture should not affect skill points. STOP THAT. Let me choose how to build my character. My devoted fighter should not have a point in explosives. My nature druid should not have two points in explosives. My timid orlan should not have more intimidation than my aumaua just because she is a kind-wayfarer. My laborer should probably have points in Mechanics, not Athletics. 

 

Why are you forcing these absurd RP choices on us in a CRPG?

 

Yes!!!

Ok, I know, I get it, I have serious OCD but still!  :biggrin:

 

Mostly agree with everything otherwise, except the map.

Edited by Merany

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IV. IMMERSION/ROLEPLAY
 

Character Creation and Skill Points: 

Backround, Class, Culture should not affect skill points. STOP THAT. Let me choose how to build my character. My devoted fighter should not have a point in explosives. My nature druid should not have two points in explosives. My timid orlan should not have more intimidation than my aumaua just because she is a kind-wayfarer. My laborer should probably have points in Mechanics, not Athletics. 

 

Why are you forcing these absurd RP choices on us in a CRPG?

 

 

I'm with you on class, but background absolutely should give you skill points. What you did before you became an adventurer is the main determinant of what your starting skills would be.

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Haa, this all bums me out. Sounds like spellcasters that try to focus on the actual offensive spellcasting and debuffing are really slow and weak.

 

I really want to bring my pure wizard from POE, since I love slinging spell after spell, but if the end result is that the fighters do the same thing better with less effort, I sort of feel obliged to make a wizard/warrior hybrid like like everyone else.

Edited by Yenkaz
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IV. IMMERSION/ROLEPLAY
 

Character Creation and Skill Points: 

Backround, Class, Culture should not affect skill points. STOP THAT. Let me choose how to build my character. My devoted fighter should not have a point in explosives. My nature druid should not have two points in explosives. My timid orlan should not have more intimidation than my aumaua just because she is a kind-wayfarer. My laborer should probably have points in Mechanics, not Athletics. 

 

Why are you forcing these absurd RP choices on us in a CRPG?

 

 

I'm with you on class, but background absolutely should give you skill points. What you did before you became an adventurer is the main determinant of what your starting skills would be.

 

 

I might agree if the skill points that each background gave weren't wildly different from those in POE1. This is a direct squeal, but remaking my character is impossible. If they insist upon changing the skill points from backgrounds then they need an option to opt out and select your own if only for roleplaying purposes.

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Great write up and mostly I agree with your assessments.

 

A few areas I want to highlight and expand on though.

 

Overworld map is a mixed bag for me. I like the idea of it but I do not like the execution. Mostly in regards to the movement. I personally would have preferred something closer to what Tyranny did but more robust. The character icon and ship icons just look cheap and the way you control movement and how it looks feels bad. I know they're trying to recreate an actual table top feel with models, but it's just not there. Maybe try and make it a bit more like a pirate map version of Tyranny and Indiana Jones style more fixed movement.

 

I fully agree with the Character Creation and Skill points issue. Don't force me to have a bunch of useless skills that I don't want or need and possibly make me feel obligated to choose a certain background for my character else I will miss out on skills I do want and need. It just game-ifies something that doesn't and shouldn't need to be. Let me RP and choose my skills separately. The current setup didn't provide any actual interesting choices, but only best worst compromises.

 

As for weapon proficiencies and modals I think there should be levels to them rather than being a one and done selection. Maybe two or three ranks. Higher Ranks reward greater benefits and reduced negatives, but obviously limits how many weapons you can be proficient in, of which most people won't need more than two.

Edited by Enduin

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I am absolutely against the idea of taking a classless route.   

 

Classes are not only integral to the games that inspire PoE, and which motivated lots of backers to support the development, but are a powerful roleplaying tool in general. Class identity means a lot more than just a pool of abilities to choose from. A Priest of Eothas is a Priest of Eothas, not some guy to which I gave a morning star proficiency and some healing abilities. The Wizard, the Monk, the Druid, the Paladin of a certain order...  All this stuff is archetypical and makes the characters so much more interesting and iconic. Something that, in fact, despite all its merits, Divinity Original Sin clearly lacks.  Not to mention that, even in terms of game mechanics, building around classes allows to have more cohesive sets of abilities and specializations, specific resources and mechanics, etc.  

 

Pillars is one of the few series that still retains some sense of the fact that RPGs are not just about crunching stat numbers and telling a generic fantasy story. Keep it like that. 

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I would like to see a classless approach. You can still play a Priest of Eothas - but then it's more of a background thing (like "Clergy" or "Hunter" etc. at the moment).

 

You can also predefine some "professions" or archetypes as developer and put together fitting abilities that a Priests of Eothas usually has. New players can then use those archetypes and play them like they would have played a class, but more experienced players can tinker around with the stats/abilities of said archetypes or even build a completely free character based on their own ideas.

 

Classless doesn't mean that you can't play a certain "class" of character or in other words profession.

 

A downside of classless systems is that sometimes less restrictions tend to lead to less creativity how to bend/circumvent those restrictions - and it's hard to balance.

 

But when I look back on my history of Pen&Paper Role-playing then it were always the classless systems that were more fun (at least in terms of character development).

Edited by Boeroer
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You could still define your characters within the world - speaking of Divinity2 tag system was a neat idea - could be used to define ones religion or background etc. I do agree, this kind of role or identity does get lost quite often in classless RPGs or have classes anyway via use of talent trees (tyranny still feels kinda like a class system to me). It is not a must, but something to consider when designing more open system.

 

I would be all for isometric Pillars of Eternity “spinoffs” like Icewind Dale or Planescape for IE games. Those experimented more with structure and gameplayfocus rather than core system, but a “spinoff” classless RPG could be fun.

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That's one thing I definitely disagree with. I do not like classless systems much at all, at least when it comes to party based games. FO 1/2 I love, but elsewhere like DOS not so much.

 

You lose out on things when you go classes as everything has to work together. You're not going to get class types like Chanter or Cipher or Ranger and Druid and the like, at least not at all to the degree and depth you see here. 

 

Classless is a fundamentally different kind of system, to me it's like saying the game should be TB and not RTwP. If they want to explore that in a different game, sure that's fine, but for mainline PoE I like the class system and Multi-class provides me with all the freedom I need, and even that has proven to be difficult in balancing things out, keeping singe class characters interesting and not having outright broken combos.

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