Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire


#101

If they tell me where named NPCs are at any given point, it’ll be cool. If not, the extra running around looking for them vastly outweighs any benefits it might have, to me.


#102

Someone needs to step in and get the designers away from the white board.

Ye gods. I’ve played some pretty stupid pen and paper systems in my time, and this multiclass system is up there with the most over-designed nonsense I’ve ever seen.

Phantom points? Power levels? Good grief.


#103

This kind of BS is why I stopped messing with multiclassing in any RPG.


#104

Multi-classing is a clusteruck; it always has been. They shouldn’t even go down that road. Sub-classing should be as diverse as it gets, because it keeps the player in the framework of the class. When multi-classing is introduced, why even bother with classes? Just have a pool of skills.


#105

I’d rather they streamlined the mechanics at the expense of “balance” myself. I did find the video really interesting, though. I imagine between this video and release things will change a bit anyway, greater minds than mine are at work on the concept, so I’ll leave it to them to figure it out. I don’t like giving up the power of a single class for the flexibility of a multi-class, so I was really never going to take much advantage of it - but making a Rogue/Mage is kind of appealing, and a few other combos would have been pretty fun.


#106

Well they’ve already explicitly stated they’re considering two different systems, that one of them for multiclassing and soliciting feedback so saying things will change is a safe bet I imagine.

My guess is they go with AD&D multiclassing. I have no problem with the mechanics for the more complex system but wouldn’t chose that if it was up to me (but it’s not). I was kind of surprised they weren’t going to limit it to subclass myself. Gotta get those Kensai-Wizards in there somewhere I suppose?


#107

From JSawyer’s posts on somethingawful (compiled here) they’re getting rid of per rest abilities, which is great. I’m always miserly with my per rest resources until I realize that all my characters are concussed and missing limbs, and Aloth still hasn’t cast a single spell. Then I go and waste them all on the next xaurip I see before resting.


#108

Cool! I cheated in PoE1 to get unlimited rest simply because I didn’t enjoy the mechanic.


#109

Apparently now there are per-rest “enhancements” that you can apply to abilities to make them more ability-er. More damage, more projectiles, etc. That sounds like an ok mechanic, I don’t mind it in per-rest form.


#110

That addresses part of the problem; that you never get to see the flashy abilities because they’re restricted and like BFG ammo you never spend it. So now you get to see those abilities, but not the enhanced versions. So-- better, but not great.

I like per-encounter abilities. Unload everything you’ve got, every fight. Attrition should be through damage taken, not ability use.


#111

For me, PoE’s problem on the per-encounter front is that most of them aren’t powerful enough relative to their respective levels/enemy defenses.

Assuming a reasonably competent player, there’s a reason a D&D magic user (0-2e anyway) only gets to cast a couple of spells. Sleep wins an encounter immediately 99% of the time. Now I’m very mucfh for giving that more mage something else to do besides throw darts as a general rule but at least this is spectacular. “fuck we got ambushed by 9 orcs” “Mage: got it”. Nothing in PoE is anywhere near that powerful.

It’s partly due the crazy (bad, IMO) stat system where your abilities are fed by like 3 difference stats at least, if not more. So you usually wind up not getting the major impact on some front (whether it’s damage, less duration, aoe). But part of it is that a level 1 character in PoE is pretty freaking stout and combat works in such a way that even say 12 seconds of knocking someone down (and I don’t think you ever get anything nearly that dramatic; most of the longer debuffs are lower duration), it takes that long for the party to work through the other one or two other bags of hitpoints next to him, oh and there’s two shooty bags of hit points behind those guys. More likely your AoE knockdown gets you like 6-9 seconds of respite, which is nice but not exactly “mage just saved our asses”. And the damage on a lot of stuff. . I m ean it’s just low relative to how many defenses you need to penetrate. It makes for a somewhat stately real time combat which is better than e.g. Ultima VII’s. But in PoE 1 it meant that the addtional balance layer of Per Rest was really pretty unsatisfying.

Some abilities work based on accumulated resource (Discipline, Arcane, etc just like the Cipher), so it will be interesting to see if they do anything interesting on the resource generation front. I assume other powers will just be straight up per encounter/modal/passive/etc. Should be a much better system (although I do wish they would junk the current stat system and start over).


#112

Disclaimer: They may have eventually fixed some of these balance issues as i haven’t recently played the game.

This, so this.

The problem wasn’t that magic was limited, the problem was that it wasn’t; ANYWHERE near powerful enough to be use limited. Magic that is very powerful but limited in use can be fun, but this is not it. Magic damage in pillars was basically zero. You used magic almost entirely for disabling and support of your party.

I did not feel druids or wizards were powerful enough to use in pillars personally playing on path of the damned. Not even close. I did use my cleric though as the abilities were, in my opinion, powerful enough to justify the limited uses. Beyond that i just used casters with unlimited cast and then just used them for status effected and summons mostly.


#113

I like abilities that only get used in some combats and not others both because it can be a fun decision how much you want to put on the line in a combat, but more importantly for me because it adds more dynamism to fights. It’s fun to sometimes feel over-powered of your own volition (and not just based on encounter design).

However, I think I prefer abilities that “charge” over multiple combats to per-rest abilities for achieving that goal. These are more common in JRPGs. I like them because they’re usually not tied to other systems like resting in an awkward way, and they encourage use because you can only gain “charge” when they’re not ready (so it can feel wasteful to just keep them charged all the time).

In any case, I think I’d rather have something per-rest to everything being per-encounter, so I appreciate the enhancement idea just to make combats a little more dynamic.


#114

They didn’t fix them. I mean, it’s arguable that it’s something that needs fixing, you know? 2.0 did change a lot of things I understand but I don’t know the extent and damage spells are still mostly garbage. And this is on normal. I’m playing through right now since I never finished it (I started a new playthrough; I sort of regret playing a mage but I really wanted to), so this is where my commentary is mostly coming from.

I think the real problem is the “Vancian” magic system in D&D was built into a game that wasn’t about slaughtering everything you come across. In early D&D most of your XP comes from treasure, if you’re playing the game as written. That meant that each combat wasn’t simply a tactical challenge to over come, but a strategic obstacle that one made a bypass/back off/fight/run decision on. Available resources was a huge factor in this decision but certainly not the only one. the Wizard saving us from an Orc ambush is all the more dramatic because it’s a fight that we’re forced into. If a party can sneak into the dungeon and secure treasure with minimal resources spent it’s a huge win. I desperately want to see a game try something like this but never mind (the Gold Box games didn’t really capture it that well).

Anyway, It’s sometimes frustrating in the game. I want to be able to explode things but rarely do I get to. I don’t like the game’s mechanics enough to try it on a harder difficulty myself (I wish I did), but I admire the people who played it on Pillars.


#115

That’s a great idea! I would prefer that too.


#116

I think another part is that when magic users deal good damage, some players feel that they don’t feel magical anymore, just a magical skin on the same gameplay of other classes. Arguably distinct status effects can make magic feel different in gameplay in a way that expresses the magic-ness of them. It’s harder to sell this difference when the systems are hard to understand and a nearby warrior is applying somewhat similar status effects with a specially named attack as well, though.

Your example above about the Sleep spell shows a great way to make caster effects feel really different than other similar effects. I think I’d rather the situation where they’re mostly sitting around and periodically casting crazy powerful / useful spells to the situation in PoE where I feel like the value of their spells is often really hard to understand unless you play the same encounter again without casting anything.


#117

I don’t feel that’s the case in the original D&D. Ther’s all sorts of tactical considerations that come with using what damage spell and when. they get more damage, on average, as a trade off for being unable to maintain it indefinitely (o/1e fighters were also proper tanks; legitimately difficult to hit and damage. SO if you could keep them on their feet and give them a magic weapon they can do a lot over the long haul, so it makes for an interesting tradeoff). Or because they trade out some of their versatility when they do damage (never mind CC; I’m talking about all the other non combat stuff. Which unfortunately is harder to represent adequately in digital RPGs).

The only digital games I can think of where your point seems to stand is early JRPGs, where Black Mage and his Fire 3 were just a way to duplicate what Fighter and his Excalibur were doing, ultimately (although the mage can do aoe sure). Even Wizardry knew how to make everybody shine at different times.

And there’s nothing more inconic in terms of feeling-magical than Fireball. The key in Pillars 2 is not in making Fireball actually useful again and a per-encounter power. It’s in making it a potentially costly Arcane pool power, but one where you’re considering tradeoffs with other powers in the pool based on the given situation.


#118

Good point. The arcane pool makes it different then a per-damage encounter. Also that fireballs tend to be AoE which is often a “magic” particular in many RPGs.


#119

How the pool is going to work is certainly going to be a big deal, too (devil’s always in the details). I think it’s bad if you need to enhance stuff to really make it worthwhile. They really ought to treat them as Pillar’s version of meta magic feats. Enhance fireball to remove the friendly fire + maybe make it bigger. Enhance magic missile to up the damage limit and make it bounding. That sort of thing. I’m sure it will be pretty cool as long as we’re not in a situation where we feel crippled without the enhances (otherwise, we’re right back to resting every 1-2 encounters).

Ther’s nothing wrong, certainly, with encouraging people to specialize in damage dealing or control (e.g.), but I think it’s ok to have one of the Wizard’s upshots is being somewhat versatile so you can at least be decent in the other thing you don’gt specialize in. The versatility is probably an underrated way to show off magic being magic, to be sure. I actually like how some of the scripted “navigate the outcome”/whatsit encounters can be impacted by what spells/powers you have available. That, for me, adds a lot to a classes’s abilities.


#120

You all crazy. POE may suffer from a fair amount of too-similar effects, but magic spells are freaking awesome, Druids included. Hell, Druid is either the best or second-best PC class in the game because they just blow everything the hell up. (Also shapeshifting is, like, laughably OP. But anyway.)

Crazy, the lot o’ ye.

Even though I bitch about the status spam in POE, because hell if I can bring myself to care about the difference between Dopey and Lazy and Grumpy and the rest of the seventeen dwarves, at least the devs made magic feel awesome without the plethora of “save or die” effects that plague D&D, particularly BG2-era AD&D.