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It's true that the deth metal knights are a major difficulty spike, but when you *fight* them it's a matter of having tanks and magic at hand to crowd control them. And assuming you already breezed through the game before them, you can handle them just fine. Though they are challenging they are not difficult. Dispel immunity = kill.

The entire game combat is basically a "first strike - crowd control - tank - second strike" sequence.

First strike because apart from VERY few situations, PLAYERS initiate the when and how of combat.
Crowd control because after that, your only goal is to survive until you can cast again.
Tank because if crowd control fails, your mages die with 2 hits in the early game
Second strike to mop-up whatever survived tanking phase

This is how AP/INITIATIVE combat systems always turn out. And why I hate them with a passion ;P AP alone "round" vs "round", but not Initiative based.... ;/

the AI is not really the problem. The AI CAN NOT counter a first-strike that happens "out" of combat. This imbalances the *entire* end-game where most fights are over before the combat round even *starts* especially when you have 2 meteors and 2 ice hails. The dependency on special attacks is indeed an AI problem but really, the player does the same. Tell me who starts their first round *without* a massive spell attack? In DnD You'd never waste a fireball or magic missile on goblins. Because they were preciously limited and you only had a few casts of them before you had to rest.

But with infinite mana + cooldowns, there is no reason to hold back. You should ALWAYS cast your biggest spells first, because the cool-down starts earlier, and you can cast it sooner again. Which is why the combat system is so easy and broken in a way. It's not the AI's fault. wink The AI has to work with the same limitations, and so using special abilities early is the correct answer. Cooldown starts earlier, allowing you to use them potentially again earlier than the enemy (especially when you have Initiative advantage)

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Some self buffs are just to weak in general, wildfire for example costs nearly as much AP as you gain from using it. They either don't last long enough, use to much AP, or have to little effect. Some aren't to bad situationally though, like putting oath of desecration on a toy bomb and then teleporting it into a group of enemies, lmao.

Some skills shouldn't be able to be used before combat starts, that would help a bit with the large advantage players gain over the AI at the start.


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Originally Posted by Thorsten
Originally Posted by EinTroll

I don't pretend to actually be in the know about AI programing, but I know enough to say that what's being used today forces a choice between reasonable waiting times and good AI.


Given all possible combinations (spells, movement, melee or arrows multiplied by number of characters) we are talking of what? 1,000 easy calculations (most values stored in game engine or/and temporary arrays anyway) per turn for the AI? A few seconds at worst, not more. Yes, I am willing to wait a few seconds for a sound battle AI.

And working with e.g. my house rule (disable before anything else) even less.

Regards,
Thorsten


Iterating over all possible combinations for a single unit's turn can be done by any computer in milliseconds. There is lots of room to grab low hanging fruit here, like having the AI check resistances, best tile to lay an AOE, etc.

The problem for designing a good AI is predicting the future. You never see simulation based AI in crpg's because the problem quickly branches into nearly endless possibilities. It wasn't until recently that simulation (nash equillibrium) bots became robust enough to challenge decent poker players. And there's a lot more variables/branching here than in poker.

Which is why it's likely almost every game in this genre will make up for the lack of intelligence of its AI, by giving enemies considerably more power, greater numbers, etc. It's no excuse though, there's lots of room to improve the AI in this game, and I don't rule out a very good programmer making intelligent rules of abstraction for getting the branching problem under control, to quickly run simulations. But I don't think it's ever been done yet (for crpgs).

Last edited by blinkicide; 14/10/14 11:20 PM.
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Originally Posted by eRe4s3r
Crowd control because after that, your only goal is to survive until you can cast again.

Tank because if crowd control fails, your mages die with 2 hits in the early game

The AI CAN NOT counter a first-strike that happens "out" of combat.

But with infinite mana + cooldowns, there is no reason to hold back. You should ALWAYS cast your biggest spells first, because the cool-down starts earlier


Good stuff...

Crowd Control/Tanking. In general in this game you try to crowd control above all else, once you have that you have the win. Tanking isn't even needed, only needed if you can't get control, which can be rare as you mention.

The part of First Strike Out of Combat, really that is a player exploiting (beyond scoundrels). Being single player no big, but if anyone knocks combat because of taking advantage of this, they control that and can look in the mirror. Perhaps Larian should look at something to stop that from happening.

In my re-balancing what I ended up doing was up cooldown turns on damage skills for the magic lines. Lower AP cost on many buff/debuffs, because as you mention the tendency was too strong to go with damage almost always, damage with CC even more so. Now when I have 3 AP left over I have some buff/debuffs to consider.

Other things, lowered CC hold rounds, pretty much took off one full turn on every hold in game, both sides. Lower the chance to land a CC status affect, another thing that was too strong. Adding points to INT nicely adds to a higher chance to land CC's, but the general starting point imo was way too high.

I'm not a fan of Int being tied to cooldown, when you concentrate heavy on Int for a Mage you can easily go over 20 points and way too many magic skills can then be used turn after turn. You can't do this with Warrior/Ranger/Rouge skills they are always static in cooldown. But having mage skills always available each turn is a pretty bad thing for strategy. I'd unlink cooldown to INT and make it so all cooldowns are static, the damage boost and % to land CC increase is well enough bonus to make INT worthwhile.

Rebalancing in those manners makes you use other non-damage skills more often and to me makes it a better game.

I also knocked 5 points of Initiative right off the bat, the game is much more interesting when your team doesn't go first all the time.

As you mention with infinite refreshing skills (which I like), this is powerful and makes your guys very very resilient in nearly any battle. Having the enemies have a chance at going first or mixing both sides through the chain, can make some fights starting your side out in a good hole, but a hole you can climb out of due to the system. These scenarios have made the best moments in the game for me.

Another thing I've been tossing around is limiting how many skills schools you can build up. Every skill you should be able to put 1 point into it, but have only 3 skills in which you take higher than 1. What I've noticed is casters for example you can have nearly everything and every caster has the same skills. (Pretty much any group in which you have the same class of character within it) It would probably be better strategy if casters were more specialized in only a couple/few schools vs them all. I think there is something there to improve on, maybe a future game using same engine.

Last edited by Horrorscope; 14/10/14 11:30 PM.
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I know I am tldr'ing your post a bit, but if I could add what I think the main issue is, it's not the balance but the fact that Initiative is not a *roll* but a *stat*. Whenever you make Initiative a stat, and not a seeded pre-combat roll you end up having a lopsided combat system. Either pro enemy, or pro player (or really, pro whoever starts combat first).

For example, first striking out of combat could NULLIFY initiative, meaning after that you basically skip a turn. This would fix issue 1 (first striking). But as long as Initiative is not a roll in combat in general, all combat would be either us moving first or the enemy moving first if we first strike... that's not fun either. (And since we would have to apply it to the enemy, an enemy who attacks us FIRST would have to skip the next turn, especially with the lethality of the spells in D:OS wink

For me to make D:OS have a decent combat we'd have to restrict how real-time works to begin with... casting spells out of combat at enemies is a major issue. And nothing we cab do will ever fix it.

Last edited by eRe4s3r; 15/10/14 01:56 AM.
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Originally Posted by blinkicide
I don't rule out a very good programmer making intelligent rules of abstraction for getting the branching problem under control, to quickly run simulations. But I don't think it's ever been done yet (for crpgs).


Not necessary. eRe4s3r and me (and others) have independent from each other already identified some of the glaring combat imbalances to begin with.

And even branching out on future combat is not that difficult if you limit choices. By observation of how your average Joe proceeds you can most likely find some patterns. Unusual clever people will still beat the game, because to beat or circumvene given processes is their real game, but you could end up with a fairly challenging combat system for the upper 20% of the gamers.

Regards,
Thorsten

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I also want to clarify a tiny bit, when I say Initiative should be a roll.. I mean a random (dice) roll each round. Sure sounds like a clusterhug at first, but you can ALREADY put your dudes at the back end of the round (another huge advantage Larian gives players that imo is *absurdly* powerful especially in a magic slingfest) by the way, most AP based games do not allow you to preserve all your AP until the end of the round. In fact nearly all of them lock your AP when you "skip" aka "Guard" and then give you a % value of AP on top as reward for being so brave (debatable whether that is balanced in itself, but it's acceptable imo) what's not acceptable is games that let you just "wait" until the end of the turn and then after everyone moved already decide what to do. That is no longer turn based, that's just the illusion of turn based wink

Either way, it would make combat more entertaining, because a group of the same 5 enemies won't all just move all after each other every single time, and thus set themselves up for pwnage at the back-end of a round, when movement is done, and when you can stack damage DOT effects on them over 2 rounds for (essentially) free. And seeded roll because the initiative has to be random for each playthrough, but fixed for THAT playthrough when player reloads. So that even a "bad roll" can still be solved through raw tactics.

If that is implemented, the "wait until end of round" has to be removed, obviously. Since that is cheating the combat system the same way as a out of combat first strike. The AI can't do that and thus the player shouldn't be allowed to either.

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Eraser, so you are always seeing all your guys in front first or in back last, but never good guys and enemies sprinkled throughout a round?

Always, either: (G=Good Guy, E=Enemy)
GGGGBBBB
BBBBGGGG

Never:
BGBGGBGB

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Originally Posted by Horrorscope
Eraser, so you are always seeing all your guys in front first or in back last, but never good guys and enemies sprinkled throughout a round?


Although I am not the addressee - not always and not all figures but almost all and almost all figures. Pretty normal for a decent player as initiative is a direct consequence of speed, perception and leadership. Thus only a very melee heavy party would be in danger to come second.

I had very few fights in all of my playthroughs where not at least 3 of 4 from my party fired first.

Regards,
Thorsten

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Originally Posted by Thorsten
Originally Posted by Horrorscope
Eraser, so you are always seeing all your guys in front first or in back last, but never good guys and enemies sprinkled throughout a round?


Although I am not the addressee - not always and not all figures but almost all and almost all figures. Pretty normal for a decent player as initiative is a direct consequence of speed, perception and leadership. Thus only a very melee heavy party would be in danger to come second.

I had very few fights in all of my playthroughs where not at least 3 of 4 from my party fired first.

Regards,
Thorsten


Yep, I saw that to and in characters.txt you can modify it, I believe I went -5 init across the board for our guys to mix it up. Perhaps more depending on what we concentrate on attibute wise, but doing that for me has made some fights in front, some fights at the end and some sprinkled, seemed pretty balanced. The one's where I'm at the end, probably the most memorable since you dig out of a hole.

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I still say most of these issues would be less concerning if encounter design were better and enemies having more (and a smart selection of) skills. (That being said, that doesn't stop me from charming half the enemies and let them duke them out amongst each other :p)

Or simply give enemies higher Initiative.

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Some aren't to bad situationally though, like putting oath of desecration on a toy bomb and then teleporting it into a group of enemies, lmao.

Why... I... Never... Thought... about... teleporting the toy bomb. ;_;

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But with infinite mana + cooldowns

You may complain about that, but beta players complained that they didn't like having a mana system. Thus a cooldown system was made to appease players.

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Some skills shouldn't be able to be used before combat starts, that would help a bit with the large advantage players gain over the AI at the start.

This is an excellent idea. Can even simply limit it to spells that can be cast out of range of combat initiation range.

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what's not acceptable is games that let you just "wait" until the end of the turn and then after everyone moved already decide what to do. That is no longer turn based, that's just the illusion of turn based wink

Uh, what. In D&D (PnP) you can delay your initiative to WHENEVER YOU WANT, not just to the end of the round.

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Originally Posted by Thorsten
Originally Posted by blinkicide
I don't rule out a very good programmer making intelligent rules of abstraction for getting the branching problem under control, to quickly run simulations. But I don't think it's ever been done yet (for crpgs).


Not necessary. eRe4s3r and me (and others) have independent from each other already identified some of the glaring combat imbalances to begin with.



I believe the first half my post was saying a lot more can be done for removing some obviously bad choices. But once you try analyzing future turns, it gets very hard computationally.

A game with a far smaller strategy space like limit-hold'em is still very difficult for computers to analyze, and challenge decent human players. It's been done though, it just took a very long time for computers / programmers to get there. It might be a little easier than I think, b/c unlike poker there aren't (or don't need to be) hidden state variables (cards face down). It's harder for the computer, for instance, when it may not know the player's resistances to certain damages until it attacks. This introduces more branching earlier.

Proceeding under assumptions of what an average Joe would do is how nearly all computer game "AIs" are programmed. I put AI in quotes, because its not an AI, just a human telling it what a computer should consider and how it should react, rather than the computer considering the costs / benefits itself.

Human-scripted AIs are really hit and miss, and often fairly predictable. For instance, you may tell the computer to take out the healer, and after a few fights the player realizes the AI is always going to go after a healer, so turns his healer into a tank, negating what the programmer thought would create challenge. The ability of a scripted-AI to adapt is limited by the script which is by necessity fairly basic, and it will generally play the same "hand" the same way, every time, making it predictable too.

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Originally Posted by Mangoose


Uh, what. In D&D (PnP) you can delay your initiative to WHENEVER YOU WANT, not just to the end of the round.


Last I checked we talked about a pc game wink DnD implementations (Infinity Engine) on PC never allowed you to manage your initiative within a sub round. Most of the big known DnD games where turn based with real-time on top. BG, IWD, NWN

Also the D&D i know in PnP does not allow you to delay your initiative, you roll a dice for your initiative roll when the enemy checks for initiative, enemy rolls theirs, whoever wins gets to go first in the round. You have absolutely NO CHOICE in that matter. Your initiative roll is fixed for the entire round. And to begin with you *have* to roll it when YOU initiate an action.

You can't just roll initiative to an action and then say "no thanks" once you roll, your action is committed and the order (for all other actions) fixed.

I think you played some very weird house rules ;p
Ps.: Or maybe I played a house rule that changed initiative

Originally Posted by Horrorscope
Eraser, so you are always seeing all your guys in front first or in back last, but never good guys and enemies sprinkled throughout a round?

Always, either: (G=Good Guy, E=Enemy)
GGGGBBBB
BBBBGGGG

Never:
BGBGGBGB


I always manage my Initiative and since it's a stat you can influence I never moved in mixed order. Either all LAST or ALL first.

Most of the time all first (ie, until hunters rest or what it was called). Because I realized way back in Beta that Initiative for mages is extremely important. When I can cast my big spells early in combat half the enemies would be dead, crowd controlled or in flames while half the battlefield is frozen before I even took damage, and when my warriors move first then what would I do with them at the start of combat? Have them walk in circles? ;P Only time that didn't happen was when the "game" cheated by teleporting enemies in or triggering combat from dialog (which for some reason never actually put it me as first to move, never in the entire game)

;P

Also when you get feather fall moving first is literally a game changing situation. I can TP my melee guy next to enemies with full AP AFTER my mages softened the field and rogue charmed things. This is actually nearly an exploit imo ;P

Ps.: In the end game I actually ended up moving last all the time, which was a bit harsh.. but I gave up getting initiative for moving first because some enemies used spells I had to dispel before the round ENDED or I'd have taken lots of damage wink And remember, first strike (even if it's just an ice-wall) always gave me the advantage for the first round anyway.

I actually only had a single fight in the entire game that gave me HUGE problems because of my intiative. That was in Lucella forest, the orc leader you can find to the right side of the map. When you don't first-strike, dialog initiates and VERY evil enemies spawn. And as I said, despite having high initiative in that segment I ended up skipping a turn. Not sure if that was intended or a bug, either way.. it was the only situation that really gave me problems. ^^

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Balancing turn-based combat really is insanely hard because there are so many factors to control for, including player builds and ability, promoting variety of combats, exploitative player behavior, etc. I do hope the hardcore mode (pretty much confirmed to be called this in the official "Creating Combat" document in the mod section of the forums) also includes certain AI improvements. I think people have laid out the problems pretty thoroughly, so I'll just compile what I think would be good solutions, some of which have already been mentioned here or elsewhere.

Nerf leadership bonus down to 3/6 or 2/4. Making iniative a roll instead of a check could be interesting as well, especially if it happened within rounds as well. So archer and rogue enemies would tend to move first within a round since they're high perception and speed generally, but a mage might go first when you least expect. In general randomness doesn't necessarily make games harder, and can be frustrating, but I think in this case it could work well, because you wouldn't be able to predict exactly how enemies will go in turns so easily then.

Increase sightlines of many enemies immensely so it wouldn't be so easy for a mage to stand at the edge of their vision and get an easy first strike. Another solution would be for a player who uses a spell to strike inattentive enemies to lose all of their initiative. I found it stupid when you used a spell and then combat starts, and you can cast another spell immediately after because you won the initiative check.

Nerf charm hard. Make it last 2 rounds, max, and make it so enemies do not target charmed enemies, and will in fact try to cc them if they can. In turn, you should be able to completely control a charmed enemy, so you don't feel jipped because they did something completely useless.

Nerf CC in general. Make it harder to apply CC and make them last shorter.

Reduce health of summons, increase speed, and give them stench. Basically, what the source difficulty mod did works really well (though not sure about giving them comeback kid like the mod). Summons should be flankers and opportunists, not tanks.

Massively reduce resists found on gear and capable with crafting.

Give enemies more spells and more if-then checks to help them determine when to use certain spells or abilities. So they should try to use ricochet only when there's at least three targets grouped together. I know this is quite complex, but I do think they could do a few things regarding AoE spells and avoiding healing your summons with the wrong spells and the like.

There's an interesting discussion here about whether enemies could take advantage of loremaster, if they should "learn" about player resists and immunities and the like, or if they could at least take advantage of "common sense" that fire elementals are healed by fire damage, for example. I think loremaster could be slightly reworked so that someone with 1 or 2 loremaster would be able to see the fire resist of a fire elemental, the water resist of an ice elemental, and obvious cases like that. But they wouldn't be able to know the player's resists unless they had higher loremaster or if they realized a spell did little damage to a player. Giving certain enemies high loremaster would be an interesting mechanic, though I kind of doubt Larian would go to the trouble to do this. A behind-the-scenes check for some or all enemies would probably be the easiest solution to eliminating stupid AI decisions.

Sneak should not go down to 1 AP. You should not be sneaking and attacking several times in a turn. Perhaps players should only be able to sneak once in a round? There is a complex balancing act to be had here, and I need to play a bit more rogue myself to really offer better suggestions, but from what I've seen and heard, rogues are kind of broken. They either die really fast or do absurd amounts of damage. I just feel like they don't have enough abilities. I think Larian should figure out ways to take advantage of pickpocket in combat, like if you could pickpocket a health potion and replace it with a poison potion, for example. Enemies would do perception or loremaster rolls or something to decide if they should drink the replaced potion or not. It would also be cool if rogues could collect traps with the lockpicking skill and place them later. Overall, I think rogues need to be fleshed out more and given more abilities.

Almost every single talent needs to be buffed or nerfed. Most are useless, and some are insane, and just a few are in the sweet spot. There's lots of room to make interesting talents that aren't over the top.

Most of these ideas are number tweaks, because as Blinkicide pointed out, making predictive AI that doesn't take a while to calculate is insanely hard. But let's start with the easy changes before we get into more theoretical programming. These changes together the game would be incredibly different and challenging. There's tons of things Larian could do rebalance the game, and I'm excited to see what they're going to do.

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See I don't agree with half of that. You're not increasing difficulty, you are hamstringing yourself and limiting game play options.

Not to mention increasing the way CC works affects both groups, both you and the enemies. So that to me is a non factor and honestly works more to weaken them than you.

Honestly its AI or bust..numbers are just numbers, if all you want is numbers then go download Rhidian's mod..higher heal cooldowns, -100 resistance to start game to all elements, all enemies have a boost to vitality, willpower and bodybuilding, summons are interesting because he added utility skills ot them to fit their element but with a super high cooldown.

I saw a couple people saying asking for AI is like asking for the moon, but let the modders get their hands on the nuts and bolts of the AI. Reconfigure it, BG2 was not NEARLY as punishing until people got their hands on it. Then all the sudden enemies started casting new spells, using their potions and wrecking you..

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Well at least you agree with half of it then :P I kid. Certainly much of it is controversial, but I have seen many people complaining about these issues, so I don't think I'm the only one suggesting that certain tactics should be less effective. I'm mostly targeting grossly effective tactics which themselves limit gameplay options because why wouldn't you choose the most effective tactics? Many people agree that resists, charm, summons, combat stealth, leadership, and cc are pretty ridiculous, so nerfing those would make other skills more appealing, the game more challenging, and actually increase options. Sure, you could make arbitrary rules to yourself to not use certain abilities or tactics, but then you're just limiting gameplay options once again. If all options are viable, than the game is more fun.

I realize that blanket changes to CC would affect players and enemies alike, but I found that I used CC far more often than enemies used CC on me, so general nerfs would overall have a net benefit to the enemy in my opinion.

I think I'm mostly offering mechanical changes, not simple number tweaks. A few number tweaks yes, but that's to be expected in a discussion of balance. Haven't tried it myself, but Rhidian's mod sounds like a good start to that, but not dealing with a lot of the problems I have in quite the way I'd like. Starting the game with -100 resist is an okay solution to resists, but I imagine that must make the first half of the game much harder, which is fairly well balanced as it is. I think making gear and rubies give less resist would be a better way to make late game harder but have less of an effect on the first half. Also I meant to add that they should make summons have more interesting spells, but forgot.

I agree that AI is the big problem, but numbers and mechanics need work too. I think there's two ideas of AI going on in this thread: predictive AI and responsive AI. An AI that predicts what the player could and likely would do, takes into account his or her actions and updates these predictions to make the best possible move certainly takes much more computing and coding power than an AI that has fairly standard behaviors but reacts to player actions in specific ways. An AI that always freezes a charmed ally is much easier to implement than an AI that decides if that ally should be frozen or if it would be better to just attack the player or do something else instead.

Finally, totally agree that Larian should make much more of the code available to modders. I'd try making some changes myself, but I'm waiting to see what Larian does before I dive in myself.

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With no way to interrupt spell casting I don't think I want enemies to cast the same spells the player can... because then the "win" button for the AI is teleporting your 2 main characters into lava. To quote Aliens "Game over man.. game over" wink

BG2 tactics was also not balanced because enemies had always max spells, but you only had that if you rested after each engagement.

Either way, better AI sure.. but the issues are the game systems, not so much balance or AI. The magic while nice to look at is not structured properly, there aren't counter-spells, spell mantles, spell triggers, higher summons, delayed action spells etc. And to boot there is no way to interrupt spell casting. Meaning that teleport spell for an enemy caster? Would always 100% be game-over.

Somewhere you have to draw a line in the sand with spells that the AI absolutely should not have. In tactics, I drew that line several times with summonings. While lore wise correct, higher undead or demonic summons can absolutely and fundamentally change the dynamic of a fight. And tactics is really not fun at all once you reach level 18+ and encounter enemies with lvl 8 or 9 spells..........

I think if anything, combat needs to be balanced not by numbers, but by options. The AI should have a counter to everything the player has, but the AI should not have things that do not have a counter (like teleport or feather fall)

Remember the end-goal is to make a fun game, not to make a game only 5 people will ever complete. (Which is definitely true for the bg2 tactics mod ,p , assuming you played on the highest game difficulty)

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I did play the bg tactics mod, if you wanted hard..that made it hard..the enemy would pummel you to pieces and no fight even a small one was a simple event.

Im with you on the options and I believe that comes from AI. The issue is you are trying to out think players but at the same time leave many different playstyles and that is honestly hard.

Yeah, BG2 was very difficult when the enemies started realizing what their ridiculously high level spells did.

I agree, their should be counters and the issue is honestly that every class does just about everything another class does just as well. Damage, buff, debuff..several ways to stun, charm, freeze, slow, weaken, curse etc and not to mention anyone can get a bow and use the spell arrows.

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But isn't that caused directly by the class less character system? With no fixed classes and class-skill-progression, you can not give characters limitations and with no limitations, you can not balance encounters and the difficulty progression along these limitations and the character growth. The enemies in this game are designed along class ideas that the player does not have to follow and indeed, the game balance falls entirely apart once players gain access to proper destruction and crowd control magic.

Nothing we will ever do to D:OS will make it's combat better tuned and interlinking than any DnD adaption. Certainly not anything like BG2 or IWD, DnD has *various* completely mutual exclusive magical schools, which allowed some higher concepts (like "protection from" spells) and vocalized vs formed spells. Or clerical vs magical, turn/command undead, Good vs Evil, or really just life vs death magic.. or more general things like "Mind and Moral" or the druid line

All these things gave you and your enemy options but more importantly it gave the game designers options. They could design fights to have a certain thematic focus, and not be always the same. They could make magic fights absolutely INSANE requiring every trick you had, but allow you to rest afterwards and breeze through combat elsewhere. In this way BG2 was never truly HARD, but it was always fun and a challenge. And it was more importantly very diverse. Sure there were goblins to 1 shot and human bandits to smash. But for each of those, you had encounters that really required you to THINK about what you are facing right there.

I mean BG2 had some insane challenges if you weren't very careful, Kangaxx the demi-lich for example. When I first encountered him I basically was wiped out, later I came back prepared analyzing his spells, preparing for his counter spells, and I won. (funnily you could play through BG2 without EVER finding Kangaxx ,p) it was that kind of RPG. And I love them. That fight was 100% optional and it was a PAIN in the BEHIND to fight. (But it also was absolutely worth it.... Kangaxx is one of the very few enemies in BG2 that cast time-stop (And assorted spells.. he also has the spell finger of death, which is hilarious (and instant game-over) if he hits your main char with that during time-stop without you being immune to death spells)

I don't want BG2 cloned, I just want a game that gives me this experience in some way or another. The thrill of meeting an enemy that REALLY knew how to use the magic to it's absolute fullest. Where you notice as player, yes, the game designers and developers gave a damn and really put their minds and hearts together to craft this encounter.

There is exactly 1 enemy in D:OS that made me feel that way, it was the literally 3rd last enemy of the game. (The uber-death knight in front of the temple gate) whoever designed that fight (and the entire area around that specific fight), kudos to you, you evil EVIL mind you. Sorry for writing this much, but I am really missing these kind of experiences in D:OS..... only 1 of these encounters in an entire game is too few. And the rest of the fights were largely forgettable, maybe that Hunters rest fight.. that was cool, but it was not challenging....

Joined: Jan 2011
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Originally Posted by Bladenite78
See I don't agree with half of that. You're not increasing difficulty, you are hamstringing yourself and limiting game play options.

Not to mention increasing the way CC works affects both groups, both you and the enemies. So that to me is a non factor and honestly works more to weaken them than you.

Honestly its AI or bust..numbers are just numbers, if all you want is numbers then go download Rhidian's mod..higher heal cooldowns, -100 resistance to start game to all elements, all enemies have a boost to vitality, willpower and bodybuilding, summons are interesting because he added utility skills ot them to fit their element but with a super high cooldown.

I saw a couple people saying asking for AI is like asking for the moon, but let the modders get their hands on the nuts and bolts of the AI. Reconfigure it, BG2 was not NEARLY as punishing until people got their hands on it. Then all the sudden enemies started casting new spells, using their potions and wrecking you..


And I don't agree with this.

Numbers are just numbers? The whole game is numbers, difficulty easy are hard are predicated very much on the numbers. The numbers are key to balancing, you suggest they don't matter, which isn't the case. The examples you give do change strategies, higher cooldowns, yep. More damage per hit, yep. Those things can change everything. I look at balance two ways... I have a lot of options, but are they good options or do I have a few good one's and mostly bad one's? If I have that, I need to balance those between each other better. When done with a fight, was it a challenge? was there a legit chance to lose? I try to get both of those, the more viable options I have the better, the better the fight the more interesting it is.

That said, yes adding more skills or adjusting the AI on how they do things plays a factor to and not against that. Adding skills isn't hard to do on our end fwiw, but the time to test it all out... can be pretty daunting. If Larian does it right they have tools to bounce to any scenario at any point to test, we have to play it out along with the story... time.

I've found nerfing CC more a benefit to the enemies as they weren't smart enough to understand that A1 is Crowd Control, where we know how important it is. So the nerf hurts the player more because we would exploit that because of the advantages. And we can only take so much of enemies CC on us before players would get pissed off. CC is good in PvE when you are using it, it is hated in PvP because downtime sucks and blows. Many enemies have no CC abilities and if they do it, it isn't A1 to them all the time, they use it much more sparingly.

Last edited by Horrorscope; 16/10/14 03:09 PM.
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