How do attrition mechanics make The Endless Paths less pointless?
Here's what happens when I run out of Health or critical Priest spells in Endless Paths.
- Walk to exit
- Click 'travel to surface'
- Click rest button
- Click Endless Paths entrance
- Click 'travel to level x'
- Walk to where I'd gotten to
How would you describe this process, if not pointless?
Well, I think you would have to agree it is more of a deterrent than it is now. But I believe I also qualified it by saying that poe1 didn't have a perfect rest mechanic either. Hence also why I mentioned more rogue-like elements.
--Harder to rest
--Health doesn't regenerate after combat without abilities/food.
--Easier perma-death of characters, etc.
--Dialog options and other choice-based elements have deeper consequences
The first two points will only add tedium, because unless you have "the dungeon doors slams behind you, locking you in" every time (making the endless paths game-ending fatal if you went in before you could clear it all), NO MATTER how hard you make it to rest - if you only make it possible to rest at inns etc - players WILL backtrack, rest and trudge right back to where they left off. (Same as in tabletop.) Making the process more ardious is NOT a deterrant, people are going to do it regardless, they'll just be wasting more time and being more annoyed about it.
You simply cannot make people NOT rest when they want to, except by the sort of railroading mechanics that would cause tabletop players to leave the table in the real world.
(Timers are also not something to try and abuse to force the issue, as for a lot of players, the fastest way for them to say "I'm not going to play that game" is to put tight time pressure on. I never finished Mask of the Betrayer for that exact reason.)
That is the fundemental issue with a mechanic wherein the resource refreshement is based on player choice. To force resource management like that, you have to take that choice away from the players, or else they will chose when to refresh and whatever frequency they fancy. (Making it an item and then giving precious few (I mean, like, WAY less than PoE did) is also basically forcing the issue, you're just trying to pretend your not).
PoE1 was about the best you could get - because as soon as you started to get bonuses from inns/stronghold that were better than resting by the campfire, you were more inclined to press on (even with injuries) and hold the bonuses. But it was only an encouraging nudge. PoE 2... I've played, like, fourteen (slow, steady, much FAQ reading) hours and I've rested maybe twice? Because there's little need.
Easier permadeath will just encourage a large chunk - possibly even the majority - of players to reload more often, same as it did in BG1 onwards. Sure, you'll get a few more people who will take it as it goes (and make ironman harder), but for a lot of us character death equals "reload, do again." KotR's biggest contribution to the late Pre-EA Bloware/OBS RPGs was knocking out characters instead of killing them so they stood up after combat, sidestepping the issue. (And greatly simplifying the job for the game script-writers. Now, PoE having custom companions meant that you;d have parties with no companions in anyway as a possibility, so you might as well have character death, but even so.)
Now, the last one is not unreasonable, but not really anything to do the the previous items.
(Though not without issues - Witcher 3 did the last point; problem I personally found was, give a decision that I cannot work out an explore the consequences to (and given that I am only going to play 215 hours ONCE, or once every twenty years or something), and I'm just likely to alt-tab out and look for a FAQ.)