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Terrific worldbuilding, love the lore, love the feel, love the story. But damn click three paces - fight. Click three paces cool thing to look at - fight. Investigate neat thing on wall - fight. Just too damn much for no reason. One of the reasons I think from time to time that PoE exceeds the BG series is that not every damn thing devolves into combat. I never understood why people lauded the BG series (and yeah I am old enough to have played them when they came out and yes I love them) as a roleplaying experience. No matter who you are or what you do, the resolution iin BV is combat. PoE has shown glimmers and glimpses that there are other ways (a particular enocounter in a tavern with a foe I was able to use rep and wit to avoid). and then I get to the WM. It's frankly exahusting when I just want more than a minute to enjoy the world and oh look a crazed Ondrite Paladin. Yah. And it will yeild neither any loot worth a damn nor any experience points. Well gosh that is just about the ****tiest DM'ing ever.

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Don't get me wrong I like the combat in PoE, a lot. Way more interesting than the orginal IE games, but geez. Also like the diminshing returns on XP for fights but that is only fruitful when (a) they can be avoided or (b) you can get something for them if they are inevitable.

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This isn't really accurate. Along the main quest you can sneak through the ogre caves and the Iron Flail fort, and bluff your way through the Abbey(you can't get out of fighting the end boss but the way you do the quest changes the context) and of course finding someone in Stalwart with an old soul doesn't involve combat at all. Plenty of other quests either have non-combat resolutions or aren't about combat at all, though they may require you to go to places that have enemies in.

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Love the Icewind Dale games played them both more than once. What makes them less of a grind that altho they are combat heavy (to put it mildly) they are still fruitful in that you will still get either XP or some decent loot. By the time I got to WM money was no object so even expensive (but common, i.e non unique magical) loot drops were worthless to me and I was getting no XP. Other games have managed to be both combat heavy and still fruitful (Jagged Alliance 2, Wizardry 8, etc..). And yeah there are some quests you can solve w/o combat and I appreciated the hell out of them. It is just that there is nevertheless a preponderance of fights that are of no real point and largely if not entirely unavoidable. Still really like WM for the story and lore tho.

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Pillars is just a combat heavy game.  The dungeons in White March provided more atmosphere, better told lore, one of the few low-combat dungeons in the game, and had a neat plot.  They also did a much better job setting up unique fights and monsters than the base game: kobold ambush, vithrack thrall rush, random ice vampires, geiger hammermen.  If you reach it for the middle of the game you also notice that the loot is generally more interesting and has more easily understood power than the base game; stormcaller in particular makes a heck of an impression.

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One of the strong points of this game is the combat. I actually choose the violent option (combat) almost always. It's a mix of being bloodthirsty and also wanting a challenge. Clearing out the Ondrites was quite the run. If I want to really roleplay, there are other games for that that do it much better imo.

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I don't mind that it is combat oriented, the IE games were even more so; nor am I looking for a Tides of Numenera level avoid all combat. It is just a bit unrelenting at times for just zero payoff (base loot, no experience, not unique (another mob of x) and hardly advancing of the story). I have to admit I'd been playing Pillars exclusively for quite a while, took a break and I am finding it less burdensome. Still think it poor design tho as there are just too mnay walk three clicks-fight-walk three clicks-fight sections.

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I don't mind that it is combat oriented, the IE games were even more so; nor am I looking for a Tides of Numenera level avoid all combat. It is just a bit unrelenting at times for just zero payoff (base loot, no experience, not unique (another mob of x) and hardly advancing of the story). I have to admit I'd been playing Pillars exclusively for quite a while, took a break and I am finding it less burdensome. Still think it poor design tho as there are just too mnay walk three clicks-fight-walk three clicks-fight sections.

 

Right, the problem isn't that the combat in Pillars is bad: when it's hard boss-fight kinda stuff, it's really cool, with chokepoints and lures and timing and a whole bunch of things to pay attention to. But because the combat is intricate and TTRPG-esque, it's a really bad system for fighting trash mobs, because you have to pay way too much attention to fights that are entirely trivial and accomplish nothing. At least in BG and IWD when the combat was easy you could basically just click the things and watch them explode and get a little something for your trouble and then get back to the interesting things you were doing. In PoE that's just systematically not the case, and the answer here is and should always have been not having trash mobs.

 

But then I've been saying this since the Backer Beta.

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If I'm typing in red, it means I'm being sarcastic. But not this time.

Dark green, on the other hand, is for jokes and irony in general.

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Challenging trash mobs are fun imo but those small groups of ice beetles etc. you come across are kind of pointless. I guess the trash mobs help to flesh out zones and make them seem more 'wild' with random encounters. 

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I don't mind that it is combat oriented, the IE games were even more so; nor am I looking for a Tides of Numenera level avoid all combat. It is just a bit unrelenting at times for just zero payoff (base loot, no experience, not unique (another mob of x) and hardly advancing of the story). I have to admit I'd been playing Pillars exclusively for quite a while, took a break and I am finding it less burdensome. Still think it poor design tho as there are just too mnay walk three clicks-fight-walk three clicks-fight sections.

 

Right, the problem isn't that the combat in Pillars is bad: when it's hard boss-fight kinda stuff, it's really cool, with chokepoints and lures and timing and a whole bunch of things to pay attention to. But because the combat is intricate and TTRPG-esque, it's a really bad system for fighting trash mobs, because you have to pay way too much attention to fights that are entirely trivial and accomplish nothing. At least in BG and IWD when the combat was easy you could basically just click the things and watch them explode and get a little something for your trouble and then get back to the interesting things you were doing. In PoE that's just systematically not the case, and the answer here is and should always have been not having trash mobs.

 

But then I've been saying this since the Backer Beta.

 

Yes! This exactly. Wow I've been trying to say this for five posts and you nailed it. Thank you.

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