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What is one to make of this? Could it be that what people say on the forums is at odds with their actual purchasing decisions and playtime?

 

I will venture a hypothesis:

 

No matter what people say on the forums, however much they moan about restrictive casting and resting etc, in, for example, PoE1, what people actually want and expect from a game like this is a number of serious, deep, lengthy and especially dangerous dungeons to explore (dungeon in it's widest sense, levels can be above ground or whatever, but at least some proper classic dungeon delving of substance). Especially dangerous dungeons, The sort that engenders feelings  of palpable dread as to what might lurk around the next corner or behind that door. That a key element of creating this sense of danger is that the dungeon (or level) is sufficiently long that once you get far enough in you get to genuinely feel like you actually might not make it out in one piece.

 

That if they don't get that sense of danger then they are not happy, even if they don't exactly know why (i.e. that the removal of casting/resting restrictions etc is what done it), and as a result will complain even more bitterly than they did about the restrictions in PoE1.

 

 

Very well said. I think some folks may enjoy Deadfire on their first playthrough or for its first dozen hours, but the game, as constituted, lacks the depth of the original in its combat/dungeon crawling experience. There is a lot to like about Deadfire outside of the combat, don't get me wrong. But, so much of the game and the character building revolves around how you perform in combat and dungeon crawls. And, that stuff just doesn't exist at the level of previous classics of the genre.

 

I think as players attempt second playthroughs and witness how the game plays after the DLC's and likely increased levels, more and more folks will come around to seeing that the combat and the dungeons are just a shallow experience in Deadfire. I really hope Obsidian learns from this in a possible PoE3 (or, my ideal, a separate Eora set RPG).

What's to say that the DLC's won't address the lack of dungeoneering rather than provide more of the same? Josh Sawyer is on record saying that he wished they had gotten more deep dungeons in the OC before release and the DLCs seem to point to single-location adventures. The first one takes the party into The Beyond, which doesn't sound like a whole lot of skipping around the Deadfire completing short quests.

 

Given that DLCs are usually designed to provide players with experiences not offered by the base game, I would be extremely surprised if they didn't introduce one or more multi-level dungeons. I just hope they learned from endless paths that 15 levels are only impressive if there's something actually in them.

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Given that DLCs are usually designed to provide players with experiences not offered by the base game, I would be extremely surprised if they didn't introduce one or more multi-level dungeons. I just hope they learned from endless paths that 15 levels are only impressive if there's something actually in them.

 

Yes, exactly.

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On paper, I agree entirely with the OP. In practice, I'm still only a few hours into the game, so I am waiting to see how it pans out. But it does seem to get rid of a lot of challenge, a sense of actually being on a dangerous adventure, a feeling that your decisions in combat actually matter.

 

Food is really funny - Pillars wanted to get rid of laborious pre-buffing, but food in POE1 was already extremely powerful if you bothered to spend time eating up for every fight. Now you have so much food you could make a cooking minigame out of the assets!

 

 

 

I prefer the new combat a lot. I see were you coming from and was worried too when they announced the removal of health/endurance mechanic, but playing it I prefer this so much. It was a chore for me before to make every encounter as efficient as possible. Sure many might have fun with this, but I prefer fewer but more difficult encounters that challenge me, instead of having a challenge because I don't want to rest or backtrack.

 

I think the gap between players here is so big it's difficult to bridge. A lot of players, as you say, find it a 'chore' to prepare for combat, use their resources efficiently, and fight a big challenge every single fight. I don't say this as an insult - it's not my business to judge how you play. But as someone who gets incredibly bored and frustrated when I realise I could just win these fights not using half the available resources or spamming left click, I feel like my style of play has not been served well by these changes. To me, "making every encounter efficient" is the fun, and without it, I feel like I'm playing chess against a 3 year old and wondering why I'm bothering. Again, that describes a certain group of players, who are no more or less legitimate than others.

 

I do wish they made the game easier to mod on this front, i.e. easy to edit variables for things like enemy HP, empowers / power sources per level, things like that.

 

I agree that this gap, this divide, between players is indeed a very serious and problematic issue.

 

Everything the OP said is pretty much true for me. There are a few hard fights (if you happen to take them on at the right time) on PotD but only a few of them. Otherwise you are just going through the motions to easily dispatch whatyever is in front of you. One well placed empowered delayed fireball or a an empowered returning storm is pretty much sufficient to settle any encounter in the game. And you can just roll on and do it again. If necessary. And it usually isn'ty necessary.

 

I think there is a view that people who harp back to limited camping supplies, vancian casting systems and endurance/health splits are a small vocal minority of old timer IE fans that are overwhelmingly under-representative of the wider player community is something that needs carefull examination becasue I am not sure it fits the facts.

 

* People railed over the system in PoE1 saying how tedious and restrictive and annoying it was

* PoE1 is considereed a classic and sold 1m+

 

* Tyranny went for a cooldown/no friendly fire system presumably addressing this

* Tyranny is not considered a classic and did not do that well

 

* Deadfire has gone for something inbetween being seither the one nor the other

* Deadfire is not (so far) being recieved as a classic and is not doing well

 

What is one to make of this? Could it be that what people say on the forums is at odds with their actual purchasing decisions and playtime?

 

I will venture a hypothesis:

 

No matter what people say on the forums, however much they moan about restrictive casting and resting etc, in, for example, PoE1, what people actually want and expect from a game like this is a number of serious, deep, lengthy and especially dangerous dungeons to explore (dungeon in it's widest sense, levels can be above ground or whatever, but at least some proper classic dungeon delving of substance). Especially dangerous dungeons, The sort that engenders feelings  of palpable dread as to what might lurk around the next corner or behind that door. That a key element of creating this sense of danger is that the dungeon (or level) is sufficiently long that once you get far enough in you get to genuinely feel like you actually might not make it out in one piece.

 

That if they don't get that sense of danger then they are not happy, even if they don't exactly know why (i.e. that the removal of casting/resting restrictions etc is what done it), and as a result will complain even more bitterly than they did about the restrictions in PoE1.

 

 

I advocate Path of the Damned being an entirely separate mode.  Not a difficulty setting, but a completely different game mode.  Maybe that's where they're looking to go with those Magran's challenges things, though, since they explicitly said that they'll twist game rules around.

 

I don't think it's possible to make a single game, a single mode (with or without difficulty variables) that will please the "per-encounter prize fight" players AND the "per-rest attrition death" players.  Too many rules, too many mechanics, are wholly reliant on one or the other and Deadfire, right now, sure seems like what you get when you try to please both crowds at once.  Hence, I'd like to see PotD be a discrete mode explicitly targeted at pleasing the "death by attrition" kind of players.  The sorts of changes I'd make would be too numerous to list in a little post and may end up being redundant with the Magran's challenge things, anyway.

 

The problem is that stuff like ancient ruins filled with inexplicably functional and deadly traps, slogging through encounters that are only moderately challenging, etc... that's ALL attrition-based gameplay stuff.  That group of orcs isn't dangerous by itself, it's dangerous because your Wizard had to burn a spell slot to disable some of them and it costs your Cleric spell slots to patch up the Fighter and Paladin (or they have to drink potions, use Lay on Hands, whatever) after the battle.  I think that Pillars' Endurance/Health system and limited resting capacity was the right idea, although it needed more work (since it often felt like the player had no meaningful way of avoiding damage short of spamming super OP AOE disables or exploiting the AI's willingness to be funneled into killzones.)  For a non-attrition based game...  you don't want "trash" packs, you don't want pointless traps that do nothing but waste your time - you want just a chain of boss fight after boss fight after boss fight because if the encounter doesn't result in a TPK, it effectively cost you nothing.  A game built for this kind of system wouldn't even HAVE resting, persistent injuries, etc.  It might not even have consumables, because the entire point of it is that you have X resources to use in an encounter and it's explicitly designing every encounter with the idea that you will need to use all X resources to prevail - because those resources renew themselves at the end of the fight!

 

I'd even revamp the crafting system to suit - dramatically increase crafting materials costs, but you get an infinite number of those items... but each quick slot may only have 1 item, which is automatically renewed at the end of combat.  So you can craft a Major Healing Potion and then anyone you want may dedicate a slot to that Major Healing Potion, and they will always have 1 Major Healing Potion to consume in combat.  If you put another one into a quick slot, they get two.  And so on.  Maybe you could offer options that cost EVEN MORE resources but now your Major Healing Potion II can now be used twice per quick slot, per encounter!

 

You see where I'm going with this?  Deadfire suffers systemic problems because Obsidian were not willing enough to dispense with d20 cliches and stand-bys... even though d20 is an attrition-based system while their homebrew stuff is very obviously not.

 

So I think having discrete modes is the easiest solution.  Have PotD cater to the attrition-based gamer, while regular is designed for the encounter-based gamer.  PotD is not a difficulty setting - it would still use Story, Easy, Normal, Hard, Very Hard, etc as scaling - but a separate gameplay mode.

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My problem to per encounter is this. If I would compare BG/POE1 system to an analogy, it would be to a war. There are small consecutive battles, they vary in difficulty, but are all focused to one final battle, and you have to manage you resources to win the war, AKA the dungeon.

 

My problem with the POE2 system is now they have the consecutive battles, but now there is no underlying war. In my humble opinion, that's where the feeling of adventure, the feeling of progression, comes from. That is the simplest way I can put it.

 

How do your level 9 spells have any impact when you can cast them every fight? Either they are completely broken every time, or underpowered every time. I can see there being any middle-ground because there is no scarcity in a system like this. Scarcity creates value in real life and in game.

 

To the guy talking about making every encounter like a "puzzle to solve". What you don't realize is the entire dungeon was my puzzle to solve before. Now it's trivialized it to a single fight.

 

To those complaining about running back to town to get more camping supplies, to those wanting to blast their best abilities every fight, I think there is a different genre of game for you that is more action orientated.

If you had to run back to get supplies all the time I agree with some of the other posters, that's on you. If you take the time to actually learn the game systems there should be no reason you should have to use that many rests. If you were, I would suggest lowering the difficulty. If you are trying to role play a character, again I feel a lower difficulty is appropriate, especially for sub-optimal builds. Should the game really cater to you, if you don't even have the basic understanding of the system? I don't think so, Assuredly not on higher difficulties.

 

I just want my proper dungeon diving stress back. The key thing from dungeons in BG1/2 and POE1 after patches was, you didn't know how hard each encounter was. This caused you to be constantly evaluating the fight, judging which spells to use depending on what was happening, all with the constant restriction of knowing you slowly run out of those spells. I feel they are changing it too much to appeal to action-oriented crowds. I mean I basically felt like I was playing Diablo 3 with my monk warping around slaughtering everything in POE2. That's not what I'm looking for in a game like this though.

 

Can they fix it ? I honestly don't think so, unless they overhaul the entire system. Even if they make every encounter hard like someone said, its still just a bunch of disconnected battles. There is no war, and in my opinion, no adventure.

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I think it's interesting how many people in this thread act say things like "one empowered fireball is all it takes to wipe out most encounters" and then go on to blame the per-encounter system and lack of rest attrition for this problem.

 

Isn't the real problem that Empower is too powerful?

 

 

The problem is not that an empowered fireball is too strong, the problem is you can use one over and over again with impunity in every encounter

 

 

 

But I think the evidence is in. Giving the players too few restraints has ended up creating an incredibly easy game.

 

Or the game is just not balanced at all on higher difficulties, and the mechanics are not the issue.

 

 

If I understand your point correctly it is a variant of the arguement that the difficulty problem in Deadfire is a simply a matter of balance and not with the fundamental game design (move from per-rest to per-encounter). I'll use a couple of examples to illustrate why I believe you are incorrect about this, why it isn't possible to balance your way out of this in a RTwP game (although you can in a pure TB game for reasons I'll comment on below) and why the resource limitationsd imposed by per-rest systems are an integral part of challenge and difficulty.

 

In Tyranny there is one battle that is way, way more difficult than any other in the game by a country mile: the one at the end of Act 1 against the water mage woman's mob (Elbe or something was it, can't recall exactly) in the first tower. Every subsequent encounter in the game was a cakewalk after that. This battle was so difficult that playing on PotD I could not beat her no matter what I tried at first. I was forced to replay Act 1 so as to correct some build choice mistakes I had made after which I actually beat her quite easily second time around.

 

The point is that with a few changes to build and loadout I turned an impossible fight into relatively a straightforward one. The lesson from this IMO is that in any situation in a RTwP game were your party can unload everytthing it's got in a single fight the overwhelming probability is that the fight will be either impossibly difficult or far too easy and that the goldilocks zone of "jusr right" is incredibly narrow and almost impossible to achieve due to build differnces, different party makeups and (in the case of Deadfire) uncertainty as to when the player will arrive at the encounter. This is not fixable by balancing.

 

In the last dungeon of NWN2, playing on max difficulty, you are unable to rest (technically you can try, but you will always be interrupted by an camp attack IIRC, goodness knows I tried to find somewhere I could get a rest). I didn't know this first time I played it, so when it came to the end level bosses I had insufficient resources left to defeat them whatever I tried (and I tried, I can assure you). So, perforce, I had to reload to dungeon start again, this time being much more parsimonious with my resources. The end bosses wher still tough but what really made it tough was dealing with all the other stuff on the way. What this did was make this final dungeon a truly epic and memorable experience, a real struggle, the kind of situation that makes playing games like this worthwhile.

 

As a gaming experience it was overwhelmingly more intense than the Elba battle in Tyranny, the latter being memorable only becasue a) I was (for shame) unable to beat it first time around and b) I had to replay the entire first act to beat it. Which is not the right kind of memorable IMO.

 

Now you may argue that DOS2 is extremely challenging on Tactician, especially in early Fort Joy, and that is absolutely true, so surely per-encounter/cooldown based spell/ability use works just fine? it's just a question of balance etc.

 

I would disagree. DOS2 is turn based and the consequences of a single mistake on one turn in DOS2 on Tactician can be devastating. This is accentuated to an excruciating degree by the fact that To Hit is almost always 95% - you rarely miss but neither does the enemy. The enemy Ai will ruthlessly exploit every mistake, it's likem chess. In a RTwP game like Pillars of Deadfire this is not true. Individual hits are far less likely to land and unlikely to be individually decisive if they do. So single decisions are far less relevant to the outcome of a battle, it is the summation of lots of small decisions statistically over time that counts most. Which means the penalty for making a single wrong call is too small to affect the outcome for a reasonably competent player taking on an encounter within reasonable level range of the opposition. If they can unload everything they've got the encounter almost by definition will become routine. 

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I think it's interesting how many people in this thread act say things like "one empowered fireball is all it takes to wipe out most encounters" and then go on to blame the per-encounter system and lack of rest attrition for this problem.

 

Isn't the real problem that Empower is too powerful?

 

 

The problem is not that an empowered fireball is too strong, the problem is you can use one over and over again with impunity in every encounter

 

Not if you didn't cut out and ignore the sentence directly after that one, where I said a potential solution is to remove Empower and resting entirely.

 

You can't use it with impunity in every encounter when it doesn't exist. :p

 

I really need to go to bed so I will respond to the rest of your post tomorrow, but I do appreciate the thoroughness of your response.

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Spells and abilities can be balanced such that their per encounter use is necessary to win regular encounters, or they could be balanced such that you can beat regular encounters with standard attacks, reserving spells and abilities for particularly challenging fights.

 

There is no inherent reason why spells and abilities have to be very powerful, and thus why their use needs to be restricted to prevent them from trivialising combat 

 

The downside of this is that abilities cannot be awesomely powerful any more and that you can treat each combat encounter as a self contained puzzle without having to worry about what else there is in that dungeon. 

 

The downside of powerful but restricted abilities is that you give players less to do in regular encounters.

 

 

For what it's worth, I thought spell mastery in POE1 introduced a great compromise between the two. 

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I just want my proper dungeon diving stress back. The key thing from dungeons in BG1/2 and POE1 after patches was, you didn't know how hard each encounter was. This caused you to be constantly evaluating the fight, judging which spells to use depending on what was happening, all with the constant restriction of knowing you slowly run out of those spells. 

 

I agree, though I don't really mind the per encounter set up. The combat in general is better designed in POE2, but it almost completely jettisoned the unique pseudo-D&D feel that managing resources across encounters evokes. And it's a shame too because no other games really do that anymore, and because that was one of elements of the old IE games that made them feel like IE games. I thought, for the most part, that the first Pillars was moving towards the best possible outcome of implementing that while also toning down the shortcomings of the D&D style system. With POE2 they seem to have just given up on moving forward with that. 

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One thing that seems like missed opportunity for abilities are keywords. They should have more of them.

 

Like Ranger's Binding Roots: Conjuration, Plant

 

More syngeries for classes and items.

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And I don't think a difficulty spike is going to address this.

 

I think the decision to move spells and abilities to be entirely per encounter has doomed this aspect of the game. Added to this is the removal of long-term health, the focus purely on wounds and removal of limited camping supplies.

 

These changes together have led to two big problems.

 

The first is that bite-sized encounters no longer matter. They are just wasting the player's time. Any fight that does not threaten to knock one of my characters out is meaningless. Because these fights no longer drain meaningful resources from the player, they no longer have any long term effect. And for players who take any effort to study the game's systems, the overwhelming majority of encounters in the game are going to fall into this category.

 

Think back to PoE1 with the temple below the first village, Gilded Vale. It was one of the first difficult areas many players would encounter, and yet no single fight in that temple is a maximum effort "boss fight". This kind of dungeon crawl cannot exist in Deadfire.

 

Upping the difficulty isn't going to change this, it's actually only going to make even more of a chore. All it means is that I go from using almost none of my abilities in these kinds of fights to having to use more and more of them. So long as my characters aren't getting knocked out, I don't have to worry about optimizing my performance in the majority of fights.

 

The second problem is that, even when the game throws a tough fight at you, requiring you to burn per rest items, empowers and suffer wounds, the cost of resting afterwards is so minimal that it's a no-brainer. Food is cheap. Camping is unlimited and risk free. The only kind of "agony" a player might feel in whether to rest or not rest is perhaps if they will burn nice inn bonuses or previous food bonuses.

 

It's a shame because I greatly appreciate the other aspects of the game such as expanded factions, better companion interaction, better thieving options and on and on. But combat, which is a core focus of the game, feels like a repetitive grind for all but the absolutely hardest of fights.

I think the Temple of Eothas had one specifically quite hard fight with multiple shades that you needed to approach correctly. I don't think the difficulty was generally that your per-rest resources would run out but that you had a small party and low accuracy against semi-mobile enemies with great deflection and reflex and weaknesses that weren't too easy to exploit. I think the areas where it had a impact was Od Nua levels when you were pushing it a bit. I don't think camping was very often something that I felt concerned about in the first game unless I was going for areas that I probably shouldn't have, though it was nice when it did happen.

 

While the difficulty and overall balance is clearly way off at the moment, I think the more varied nature of encounters should allow Deadfire to shine without per-rest resources being a major thing.

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My problem to per encounter is this. If I would compare BG/POE1 system to an analogy, it would be to a war. There are small consecutive battles, they vary in difficulty, but are all focused to one final battle, and you have to manage you resources to win the war, AKA the dungeon.

 

My problem with the POE2 system is now they have the consecutive battles, but now there is no underlying war. In my humble opinion, that's where the feeling of adventure, the feeling of progression, comes from. That is the simplest way I can put it.

 

How do your level 9 spells have any impact when you can cast them every fight? Either they are completely broken every time, or underpowered every time. I can see there being any middle-ground because there is no scarcity in a system like this. Scarcity creates value in real life and in game.

 

To the guy talking about making every encounter like a "puzzle to solve". What you don't realize is the entire dungeon was my puzzle to solve before. Now it's trivialized it to a single fight.

 

To those complaining about running back to town to get more camping supplies, to those wanting to blast their best abilities every fight, I think there is a different genre of game for you that is more action orientated.

If you had to run back to get supplies all the time I agree with some of the other posters, that's on you. If you take the time to actually learn the game systems there should be no reason you should have to use that many rests. If you were, I would suggest lowering the difficulty. If you are trying to role play a character, again I feel a lower difficulty is appropriate, especially for sub-optimal builds. Should the game really cater to you, if you don't even have the basic understanding of the system? I don't think so, Assuredly not on higher difficulties.

 

I just want my proper dungeon diving stress back. The key thing from dungeons in BG1/2 and POE1 after patches was, you didn't know how hard each encounter was. This caused you to be constantly evaluating the fight, judging which spells to use depending on what was happening, all with the constant restriction of knowing you slowly run out of those spells. I feel they are changing it too much to appeal to action-oriented crowds. I mean I basically felt like I was playing Diablo 3 with my monk warping around slaughtering everything in POE2. That's not what I'm looking for in a game like this though.

 

Can they fix it ? I honestly don't think so, unless they overhaul the entire system. Even if they make every encounter hard like someone said, its still just a bunch of disconnected battles. There is no war, and in my opinion, no adventure.

 

Oh boy, more "difficulty" wanking.  Protip: spamming Scroll of Paralysis is not difficult.  Running into a "lol you lose" gimmick, reloading and re-selecting spells and consumables so you can now go faceroll the gimmick is not difficult.  Gimmicks like that can be fun and force players to do something outside of their normal behavior, and so are ultimately a positive, but they can be over-used and they certainly aren't an example of "difficult."  So let's cut out the "lol you're just bad" comments, okay?

 

You've got some rose-tinted glasses going on here because the IE games were no ****ing different.  Oh, sure, you had a chance of a random encounter while resting... so you just quicksaved and then kept quickloading until you rested peacefully.  How is this any ****ing different from running back to the previous floor of a dungeon to go grab the camping supplies you weren't allowed to take with you, or going to the stairwell to take a nap in your nice fancy house topside before returning back to delving through the Endless Paths?  It's not, but you tell yourself it is.

 

There was no "dungeon diving stress" in the IE games.  That's pure ****ing rose-tinted glasses.  There cannot BE stress when there's no ****ing fail state.  You can't run out of time to stop the ritual and fail your quest.  The person you're going through the scary forest to retrieve a rare and sacred plant to make them a cure can't off and die on you because your party took too long getting there and back with the macguffin.  You have unlimited saves and loads, so it doesn't matter if you **** up - you just load from save and try, try again.  And, sure, you COULD do a self-imposed no-save challenge... but why, when the game is clearly built around "haha **** you" gimmicks that require specific answers?  You can brute force your way through these gimmicks on lower difficulty levels, but higher difficulty levels demand the correct responses because you're at too much of a statistical disadvantage to just brute force it.  Congratulations, you played 20 hours and now you're dead and have to start over because you didn't prepare "Immunity to This Encounter's Gimmick" spells before you entered the dungeon!  That's your idea of fun?  Permadeath/ironman games are a thing and it's a VERY valid way of getting that "dungeon diving stress" you erroneously claim is in the IE games, but the game has to be designed around that mechanic FROM THE START in order to be good, else you're just playing a self-imposed challenge mode that's apt to be frustrating more than engaging.

 

 

I'm so sick of seeing people beat themselves off to the idea that Deadfire has moved away from attrition-based gameplay because "it was too hard" for players.  Deadfire is the way it is because that's what Obsidian wanted to develop.  Not every system has to be a clone of ****ing d20.

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Oh boy, more "difficulty" wanking.  Protip: spamming Scroll of Paralysis is not difficult.  Running into a "lol you lose" gimmick, reloading and re-selecting spells and consumables so you can now go faceroll the gimmick is not difficult.  Gimmicks like that can be fun and force players to do something outside of their normal behavior, and so are ultimately a positive, but they can be over-used and they certainly aren't an example of "difficult."  So let's cut out the "lol you're just bad" comments, okay?

 

You've got some rose-tinted glasses going on here because the IE games were no ****ing different.  Oh, sure, you had a chance of a random encounter while resting... so you just quicksaved and then kept quickloading until you rested peacefully.  How is this any ****ing different from running back to the previous floor of a dungeon to go grab the camping supplies you weren't allowed to take with you, or going to the stairwell to take a nap in your nice fancy house topside before returning back to delving through the Endless Paths?  It's not, but you tell yourself it is.

 

There was no "dungeon diving stress" in the IE games.  That's pure ****ing rose-tinted glasses.  There cannot BE stress when there's no ****ing fail state.  You can't run out of time to stop the ritual and fail your quest.  The person you're going through the scary forest to retrieve a rare and sacred plant to make them a cure can't off and die on you because your party took too long getting there and back with the macguffin.  You have unlimited saves and loads, so it doesn't matter if you **** up - you just load from save and try, try again.  And, sure, you COULD do a self-imposed no-save challenge... but why, when the game is clearly built around "haha **** you" gimmicks that require specific answers?  You can brute force your way through these gimmicks on lower difficulty levels, but higher difficulty levels demand the correct responses because you're at too much of a statistical disadvantage to just brute force it.  Congratulations, you played 20 hours and now you're dead and have to start over because you didn't prepare "Immunity to This Encounter's Gimmick" spells before you entered the dungeon!  That's your idea of fun?  Permadeath/ironman games are a thing and it's a VERY valid way of getting that "dungeon diving stress" you erroneously claim is in the IE games, but the game has to be designed around that mechanic FROM THE START in order to be good, else you're just playing a self-imposed challenge mode that's apt to be frustrating more than engaging.

 

 

I'm so sick of seeing people beat themselves off to the idea that Deadfire has moved away from attrition-based gameplay because "it was too hard" for players.  Deadfire is the way it is because that's what Obsidian wanted to develop.  Not every system has to be a clone of ****ing d20.

 

 

First of all, this is all subjective, so I don't understand why you are getting so defensive. Could it be people like different things?

 

Also, the fail-state of the IE games was having to re-load. It's the same fail state as Fire Emblem actually, sure if a character dies you can just keep going, but who actually does that?

As well, Is this any different in Deadfire? The difference is, with POE1 you could load yourself into a bad spot with not enough supplies if you weren't careful, either having to do the shameful run back to town, or load a previous save, which again is the same penalty, a time penalty. You wasted your time by being bad. Now it is a free load before every encounter.

 

To the dungeons that you are getting wrecked over and over again. That's when you have to make the strategic decision to rest and change your spells? I don't get your issue with that. Why would you keep reloading if resting is a game mechanic.

 

Honestly, I feel you are more into action games. I have been reading your comments and it seems to me you didn't like managing the middle layer of your spells. That is fine, but IE had it even if you choose to ignore it, some of my favorite parts of the game were areas you couldn't rest in (lemme guess you probably just ran back to areas you could and called the game easy). You want to remove an entire game mechanic.

 

Let me ask you this. You want every encounter to be difficult. That's your solution right? Well guess what, that means balancing for using symbol of Eothas every fight. That means you have to make every encounter difficult enough to force you to use that spell to be any  sort of challenge. Do you not see how this will cause every fight to feel monotonous? You will have your set route of optimal spells you use every time because they work the best. Guess what too? You have your conditional AI system so now you literally could make it so you have to do nothing. I'm sorry, but I really don't see any enjoyment in that.

 

As I said before if you want to blow your abilities without thinking there is another genre of game for you.

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As I said before if you want to blow your abilities without thinking there is another genre of game for you.

 

 

Well, even that's easier said than done. Even straigth shooter games have resource limitations to keep things lively - most notably ammunition.

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Oh boy, more "difficulty" wanking.  Protip: spamming Scroll of Paralysis is not difficult.  Running into a "lol you lose" gimmick, reloading and re-selecting spells and consumables so you can now go faceroll the gimmick is not difficult.  Gimmicks like that can be fun and force players to do something outside of their normal behavior, and so are ultimately a positive, but they can be over-used and they certainly aren't an example of "difficult."  So let's cut out the "lol you're just bad" comments, okay?

 

You've got some rose-tinted glasses going on here because the IE games were no ****ing different.  Oh, sure, you had a chance of a random encounter while resting... so you just quicksaved and then kept quickloading until you rested peacefully.  How is this any ****ing different from running back to the previous floor of a dungeon to go grab the camping supplies you weren't allowed to take with you, or going to the stairwell to take a nap in your nice fancy house topside before returning back to delving through the Endless Paths?  It's not, but you tell yourself it is.

 

There was no "dungeon diving stress" in the IE games.  That's pure ****ing rose-tinted glasses.  There cannot BE stress when there's no ****ing fail state.  You can't run out of time to stop the ritual and fail your quest.  The person you're going through the scary forest to retrieve a rare and sacred plant to make them a cure can't off and die on you because your party took too long getting there and back with the macguffin.  You have unlimited saves and loads, so it doesn't matter if you **** up - you just load from save and try, try again.  And, sure, you COULD do a self-imposed no-save challenge... but why, when the game is clearly built around "haha **** you" gimmicks that require specific answers?  You can brute force your way through these gimmicks on lower difficulty levels, but higher difficulty levels demand the correct responses because you're at too much of a statistical disadvantage to just brute force it.  Congratulations, you played 20 hours and now you're dead and have to start over because you didn't prepare "Immunity to This Encounter's Gimmick" spells before you entered the dungeon!  That's your idea of fun?  Permadeath/ironman games are a thing and it's a VERY valid way of getting that "dungeon diving stress" you erroneously claim is in the IE games, but the game has to be designed around that mechanic FROM THE START in order to be good, else you're just playing a self-imposed challenge mode that's apt to be frustrating more than engaging.

 

 

I'm so sick of seeing people beat themselves off to the idea that Deadfire has moved away from attrition-based gameplay because "it was too hard" for players.  Deadfire is the way it is because that's what Obsidian wanted to develop.  Not every system has to be a clone of ****ing d20.

 

 

First of all, this is all subjective, so I don't understand why you are getting so defensive. Could it be people like different things?

 

Also, the fail-state of the IE games was having to re-load. It's the same fail state as Fire Emblem actually, sure if a character dies you can just keep going, but who actually does that?

As well, Is this any different in Deadfire? The difference is, with POE1 you could load yourself into a bad spot with not enough supplies if you weren't careful, either having to do the shameful run back to town, or load a previous save, which again is the same penalty, a time penalty. You wasted your time by being bad. Now it is a free load before every encounter.

 

To the dungeons that you are getting wrecked over and over again. That's when you have to make the strategic decision to rest and change your spells? I don't get your issue with that. Why would you keep reloading if resting is a game mechanic.

 

Honestly, I feel you are more into action games. I have been reading your comments and it seems to me you didn't like managing the middle layer of your spells. That is fine, but IE had it even if you choose to ignore it, some of my favorite parts of the game were areas you couldn't rest in (lemme guess you probably just ran back to areas you could and called the game easy). You want to remove an entire game mechanic.

 

Let me ask you this. You want every encounter to be difficult. That's your solution right? Well guess what, that means balancing for using symbol of Eothas every fight. That means you have to make every encounter difficult enough to force you to use that spell to be any  sort of challenge. Do you not see how this will cause every fight to feel monotonous? You will have your set route of optimal spells you use every time because they work the best. Guess what too? You have your conditional AI system so now you literally could make it so you have to do nothing. I'm sorry, but I really don't see any enjoyment in that.

 

As I said before if you want to blow your abilities without thinking there is another genre of game for you.

 

 

I can't take you seriously anymore.  You said you've been looking at my posts and yet you still think I dislike Vancian magic and attrition-based gameplay, or that I don't like "having to think," or I'm "more into action games"?

 

I'd recommend not trying to armchair psychoanalyze people in the future - it just makes you look silly and doesn't make your arguments stronger.  You said you've been digging through my posts?  Go read them.  I've already addressed everything you ask about and in probably more detail than it even needs.

Edited by PizzaSHARK
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and NOW you all wanna agree with me.

 

No, I don't

 

 

 

I tried to be constructive about 3 months ago

 

No, you weren't.

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---

We're all doomed

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I think the Temple of Eothas had one specifically quite hard fight with multiple shades that you needed to approach correctly. I don't think the difficulty was generally that your per-rest resources would run out but that you had a small party and low accuracy against semi-mobile enemies with great deflection and reflex and weaknesses that weren't too easy to exploit. I think the areas where it had a impact was Od Nua levels when you were pushing it a bit. I don't think camping was very often something that I felt concerned about in the first game unless I was going for areas that I probably shouldn't have, though it was nice when it did happen.

 

While the difficulty and overall balance is clearly way off at the moment, I think the more varied nature of encounters should allow Deadfire to shine without per-rest resources being a major thing.

 

Aye, and add to that the Temple of Eothas was in a frickin town, so resting up wasn't even a meaningful inconvenience. What made the shade area hard was not running out of resources, it was running out of Endurance when three shades simultaneously shot a bunch of giant icicles at you while a phantom kept your tank on permastun and a black ooze hurled giant balls of corrode damage from across the room. Those fights weren't hard because they drained your resources, they were hard because the enemies killed you, repeatedly, until you learned how to deal with them.

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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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I think the Temple of Eothas had one specifically quite hard fight with multiple shades that you needed to approach correctly. I don't think the difficulty was generally that your per-rest resources would run out but that you had a small party and low accuracy against semi-mobile enemies with great deflection and reflex and weaknesses that weren't too easy to exploit. I think the areas where it had a impact was Od Nua levels when you were pushing it a bit. I don't think camping was very often something that I felt concerned about in the first game unless I was going for areas that I probably shouldn't have, though it was nice when it did happen.

 

While the difficulty and overall balance is clearly way off at the moment, I think the more varied nature of encounters should allow Deadfire to shine without per-rest resources being a major thing.

 

Aye, and add to that the Temple of Eothas was in a frickin town, so resting up wasn't even a meaningful inconvenience. What made the shade area hard was not running out of resources, it was running out of Endurance when three shades simultaneously shot a bunch of giant icicles at you while a phantom kept your tank on permastun and a black ooze hurled giant balls of corrode damage from across the room. Those fights weren't hard because they drained your resources, they were hard because the enemies killed you, repeatedly, until you learned how to deal with them.

 

 

The Temple of Eothas was difficult only if you went there immediately.  I still don't understand the point of plonking a ~4th level dungeon in the middle of the first town when the player will have 2nd level characters and an incomplete party at most.  Shades were uncommon and Shadows didn't have the ice bolt ability.  You did need to either bunch your group together or keep your squishy characters far away, though.

 

To me, the first REAL challenging fights were the two treant things in the corner of Magran's Fork (high HP, absolutely absurd damage output, applies Stuck on hit, high DR against common damage types...) and the "throne room" battle in Caed Nua.  You had to manage not only Shadows, but also Phantoms - and Phantoms were very much OP on initial release (they received small nerfs in later patches.)  You really had to find a way to deal with the massive amount of ice damage they'd push out on whoever they were attacking, since they were basically guaranteed to stunlock whoever they were fixated on.

 

But see, that's the beauty of giving casters a full spellbook automatically - you could select the right tool for the job rather than having to hope you chose correctly when you leveled up 30 minutes ago.

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But see, that's the beauty of giving casters a full spellbook automatically - you could select the right tool for the job rather than having to hope you chose correctly when you leveled up 30 minutes ago.

 

I personally like how it's gone from, "priests have 2-4 spells/level worth using, and you'll have to experiment to learn what they are," to "priests have only 2-4 spells/level worth using, and you'd better guess right the first time!"

 

but hey at least Xoti starts with the best single-target attack in the game

Edited by gkathellar
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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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But see, that's the beauty of giving casters a full spellbook automatically - you could select the right tool for the job rather than having to hope you chose correctly when you leveled up 30 minutes ago.

 

I personally like how it's gone from, "priests have 2-4 spells/level worth using, and you'll have to experiment to learn what they are," to "priests have only 2-4 spells/level worth using, and you'd better guess right the first time!"

 

but hey at least Xoti starts with the single-target attack in the game

 

 

Man that signature is useful. Was going to call you out for being a monster and a sadist.

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My problem to per encounter is this. If I would compare BG/POE1 system to an analogy, it would be to a war. There are small consecutive battles, they vary in difficulty, but are all focused to one final battle, and you have to manage you resources to win the war, AKA the dungeon.

 

My problem with the POE2 system is now they have the consecutive battles, but now there is no underlying war. In my humble opinion, that's where the feeling of adventure, the feeling of progression, comes from. That is the simplest way I can put it.

 

How do your level 9 spells have any impact when you can cast them every fight? Either they are completely broken every time, or underpowered every time. I can see there being any middle-ground because there is no scarcity in a system like this. Scarcity creates value in real life and in game.

 

To the guy talking about making every encounter like a "puzzle to solve". What you don't realize is the entire dungeon was my puzzle to solve before. Now it's trivialized it to a single fight.

 

To those complaining about running back to town to get more camping supplies, to those wanting to blast their best abilities every fight, I think there is a different genre of game for you that is more action orientated.

If you had to run back to get supplies all the time I agree with some of the other posters, that's on you. If you take the time to actually learn the game systems there should be no reason you should have to use that many rests. If you were, I would suggest lowering the difficulty. If you are trying to role play a character, again I feel a lower difficulty is appropriate, especially for sub-optimal builds. Should the game really cater to you, if you don't even have the basic understanding of the system? I don't think so, Assuredly not on higher difficulties.

 

I just want my proper dungeon diving stress back. The key thing from dungeons in BG1/2 and POE1 after patches was, you didn't know how hard each encounter was. This caused you to be constantly evaluating the fight, judging which spells to use depending on what was happening, all with the constant restriction of knowing you slowly run out of those spells. I feel they are changing it too much to appeal to action-oriented crowds. I mean I basically felt like I was playing Diablo 3 with my monk warping around slaughtering everything in POE2. That's not what I'm looking for in a game like this though.

 

Can they fix it ? I honestly don't think so, unless they overhaul the entire system. Even if they make every encounter hard like someone said, its still just a bunch of disconnected battles. There is no war, and in my opinion, no adventure.

 

This is all very well said, especially the scarcity point, a word I hadn't used but one that gets at what I was trying to say. The good thing about PoE1 is that it allowed the player to create their own scarcity during dungeon/wilderness crawls. Basically it gave every player the freedom to calibrate the game's difficulty -- at any given moment -- to whatever level they wanted. Players who pushed their parties to extreme lengths could make use of virtually every single tool the game had to offer -- charged items, scrolls, potions, carefully equipping and enchanting gear, smart tactics in *every* fight. And these players were rewarded by being able to burn through a section more quickly -- the same reward games have had pretty much since they left arcades.

 

War is also a well stated analogy. People talk about the old IE games as if they invented the wheel but they didn't. Even the pen and paper DnD lifted its combat system from strategy war games. Even the first DnD video games, such as Pool of Radiance, were built by strategy developers, who made a strategy-focused combat, that was the root idea in the BG games. Even PoE1's engagement system is a harken back to Pool of Radiance more than the IE games, which didn't have it. The combat for an RPG with relatively large parties and where positioning is important is more akin to CRPG war/strategy games and not just pen and paper RPG's. It's a shame that these roots have been extricated in Deadfire. And it goes a long way to explaining why the combat balancing seems so radically off on release. Because of the way the systems work, Obsidian has hit a very narrow target in order to make an individual combat interesting. And in an open-world game, that's impossible to calibrate.

 

Ironically, an open-world game would do much better focusing on the attrition systems of combat, as I've said previously. Because EVEN an over-leveled party can put themselves in a challenging circumstance given lengthy enough sections of dungeons or wilderness, as I stated above with the individual's ability to calibrate the difficulty in real time. I really hope the team considers this in any future party-based, strategic combat RPGs.

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I like the old system better.  Special abilities and spells felt special because they were limited.  if you were running back to the inn constantly its because you were not playing well and don't understand the system.  Everything is spam now with less sense of adventure and no wearing down of the watcher.

Edited by johnmr531
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I like the old system better.  Special abilities and spells felt special because they were limited.  if you were running back to the inn constantly its because you were not playing well and don't understand the system.  Everything is spam now with less sense of adventure and no wearing down of the watcher.

 

I don't think people understand just how stupid the rest system in Pillars was.  If you can exit the dungeon and go chill at an inn or restock at a vendor or whatever, then come back at your leisure and pick up where you left of - then there is no scarcity of resources.  You can commit to SELF-IMPOSED CHALLENGES to refuse to take advantage of that facet of gameplay - but at that point you're arguing your personal interpretation of how the game "should" be played, rather than how it's ACTUALLY played.

 

I think that's one thing Deadfire gets right, at least, although the addition of per-rest Empower mechanics and the continued existence of per-rest items and the existence of "per-rest" persistent injuries doesn't jive with the other gameplay elements.

 

I don't think it's really possible to have a rest system that's meaningful when the player can just revert to save as if nothing happened.  You can claim that Trial of Iron nixes that, but then we have to point out the MASSIVE number of problems a game like Deadfire has when you try to play it as a permadeath game.

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so we can't just improve the old system to make it dangerous to leave dungeons? So instead we do a 180 and chuck the old system away.

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