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Joined: Jul 2014
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journeyman
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I normally don't bother posting any feedback or suggestions on gaming sites, as I pretty much expect it to either be ignored due to lack of commitment from the designers, or drowned in a sea of a large playerbase.

I am making an exception to Larian, because of their decision to make D:OS EE, even though they didn't have to. It might be a smart longterm strategic move, but that doesn't change the fact it sends a strong signal from a company that they care about more than just money.

But that's enough backscratching for now.

I wanted to make a more indept post centered around combat and leveling, after having completed two playthroughs both as a Red Prince, and as a custom Elf (fighter and knight respectively). The reason for that is that a strong combat and leveling system is, at least for someone like myself, the very backbone of replayability.

So let's skip right to the beginning.

Character creation:
Four races (species?) is obviously harder to balance than one, and the fifth race is still on the drawing board. In order to make each race unique and distinct from each other, each of them have an active racial skill and two racial passives.

The idea is really good, but the execution does need some tweaking. Since D:OS2 uses intelligence, dexterity and strength based weapons, having each class get a bonus to either actually restricts build options. It's not a huge deal, but as a min-maxer, having those +2 finesse on my warrior sticks out like a sore thumb. And how does +1 sneak help a dwarven mage on the battlefield?

Try not to pigeonhole the races into specific classes. Give them boni to attributes that are more universal, such as constitution and memory. That allows for more freedom with fewer drawbacks. Alternatively, add more value to said stats when using non-compatible weapons. Perhaps add weapons that scale 50/50 off two stats?

The active racial abilities are in general pretty nice, and makes each race unique. The problem at the moment, is balance.

Lizards racial ability is a breath of fire that scorces the ground. Sounds fun, but it has too low range to be useful on a mage, and does too little damage on a warrior. A battlemage with high pyromancy might get some uses out of it, though i doubt it. If the battlemage lizard fantasy is to be pushed though, then this ability could serve as an ability that shreds both armor and magic armor. Very few attacks does that, but plenty of attacks does fire dmg in an aoe.

The elven one is insane. More AP and damage per round at the cost of HP is every glass cannons dream. I really feel like much of it's power comes from the combination with the talents Warlord and the warfare skill Rage though.. (more on that later).

Human one is Encourage from D:OS1. It's very good but considering its range, application, cost and duration it is a 'fire and forget' spell that targets your entire team pretty much for the duration of the entire fight. It's just too convenient and universal. Very little strategy required. Heck, because of how stats and health work, activating it actually serves as an AOE heal. Consider making it singletarget. Perhaps give it a minor armor/magic armor regen effect, as those effects seem pretty scarse at the moment.

The dwarven one is the one I've tinkered around with the least (on 3rd playthrough atm to test it out some more) but it seems quite useful without being overpowered.


Attributes and requirements
At first I was very excited when i was in the character creation screen and saw that each point into strength for my knight added a solid 15% dmg to melee attack damage and associated skills. Once I realized that each level actually divided that bonus by the level number, my excitement quickly faded. At level 7, each point added a minuscule 2.5%. Too low for me to bother with, when each point into constitution seemed to scale much better (most levels would give a solid 7-10% hp per point), or memory allowing me to learn new abilities (Useful considering the cooldown of most abilities are 3 rounds or more).

On top of that, each level lowers your baseline damage, requiring more points invested into your mainstat just to 'sustain' your damage bonus. From a design perspective, I can see its merits. From a player perspective, this feels like regression instead of progression. My first character eventually gave up trying to keep up with the curve, since he needed more hp and skills. My second ignored mainstat completely, which was totally viable since items and skills have no requirement other than the initial point invested into the prerequisite skill tree. So my level 7 elf knight with 10 strength did -27% dmg with skills, but those 12 points of constitution almost doubled my HP even after using blood ritual (which negated the dmg penalty... see where I am going with this?)

This system is in dire need of change. Remove the character damage baseline regression. Make each point a flat % bonus per point. Just make them additive, so that each point spent is less effective than the precious one, without making the player feeling like they are taking 2 steps backwards.

Consider adding stat requirements into the game. The D1 system where higher level weapons that had not had their requirements met, could still be wielded with a penalty was an excellent one in my opinion.

Memory is an excellent addition to the game. Do you want to specialize, or be a jack of all trades? Picking memory over say, constitution is a viable choice here. Right now there are enough useful skills, and their cooldown is sufficiently long to make memory a worthy investment.

Finally, receiving 2 stat points per level feels a lot better than getting 1 every other level as we did in D:OS1.


Combat abilities and skills:
The combat abilities themselves are just extended passives, and more ways for you to customize your character. Every skill and spell requires you to invest a single point into the respective school in order to learn the skill, but other than that skills do not have requirements other than memory slots. Each point beyond the first then adds some minor bonus.

The great part of this system is that each point spent is quite unique. For example, hydrosophist increases the healing and magic armor restoration you do with your abilities, whereas necromancer heals you when you deal damage with either spells, skills or attack.

This allows you to really customize your character as you want.

The bad part is that each point is actually rather low impact. While I have no doubt that as we level further and start to stack points into a single tree, that those points can be felt, it just didn't feel very exciting to level them up. Especially the defensive ones like armor, magic armor and vitality. Yay, i just gained 1% hp.
I would see them doubled, with enemies scaling accordingly, of course.

On top of that, some are more useful than others, even for schools that are not usually associated with them. My Elf knight did so much damage that pumping necromancy to selfheal even though 90% of my playstyle evolved around Warfare, was actually better than putting points into Warfare itself. That could be justified on a hybrid, but on a pure knight that didn't use a single necromancy skill that felt a bit awkward from a design perspective.

And just to round this section off, even though this post is about combat in general, I must applaude you for the division between combat and civil abilities. I hope you keep them seperate.


Skills and spells:
All in all I am very happy about the available skills and spells in the EA. One of my biggest issues with D:OS1 was the lack of versatility and useful skills for rogues, hunters and warriors. Too much of their playstyle was about autoattacking. Even though that was partially addressed in the Enhanced Edition, D:OS2 has brought melee and bow classes up to par with mages.

First things first though: Memory slots. While most skills only require a single memory slot, some of the more powerful ones require 3. The only problem is that I have yet to find a single skill, even though I have tried most of them, where I could justify that hefty memory slot cost. On top of that, most of them require source (scarse) AND more AP to cast!

With a memory slot cost of 2, I could see myself using some of them. Right now though, they feel a bit too restrictive for my taste...

The overall balancing of the skills and spells is decent. Necromancy spells feel the weakest, but hydro, aero and pyro are all good in their own right. However...

..Hailstrike(hydro) is pretty bonkers though, doing far too much damage and cc in too big an aoe for too little AP. It's also bugged, it causes damage and cc quite a bit beyond it's range indicator.

Rage (Warfare) is so OP in it's current form that using it (especially in combination with Warlord) makes every encounter barring the EA final boss trivial. In order to justify 100% crit chance and the movespeed bonus, Rage would need to remove all armor and magic armor on you, and double damage received from all sources. Right now the drawback is non-existant.

Snipe (huntsman) is in itself pretty balanced. But with sneak, guerilla and Rage I was critting for 750 dmg at lvl 6 with a 60 dmg crossbow... Took out the voidwoken in a single hit. But those have been the only real outliers that I've found.


Talents:
I was disappointed to see so few new talents for the EA, and that many of the old ones that were underpowered, had not been buffed. When was the last time you picked Morning Person, Five Star Diner or Escapist?
At least the new talents that were included are good. Hothead, Pawn and Savage Sortilege all have their merits. Glass cannon is strong as hell again. Warlords, as mentioned a few times, is blatantly overpowered and in the same category as Rage. Even at 1 AP per kill it's still a no-brainer, unless we get other ways to manipulate the AP pool.

I really hope the talent tree is being worked on and reiterated. Talents are granted so seldom, and it would be nice to have more than 1/3 of the talents being worth choosing.


Itemization:
I would very much like to see some differences between the different types of weapons. Why should I use a sword over a club, for example? The sword could have an implicit 10% bonus chance to hit. The club could deal an extra 25% damage to armor. See what I am getting at?

Oh, and weapon switching. Can we not make that a thing, without having to spend a ton of AP and do it manually? I really want to make a huntsman/rogue hybrid, but in it's current state that is not worth it at all. A warrior could switch between 2h against enemies that have been cc'ed, and a shield when facing multiple ranged enemies he can't get to..

Speaking of shields, they are pretty shitty in their current state. Bonus armor is too low compared to the damage you're giving up compared to 2h or dualwield. Even shieldless 1h is better, since it reduces your AP per attack from 2 to 1.

Regenerating armor in combat, by that magical or physical seem very scarse. Frost armor and fortify does it, and a few consumables. To the best of my knowledge, that's about it. That severely limits the value of armor in long drawn out battles...


Combat itself:
Building on the above, if tanky characters are ever to be a thing, then they need ways to manipulate the battlefriend. Right now, offense (hard cc included here) is a much better defense than having high armor/resist/magic armor. Without taunt, there is no way besides positioning for you to redirect damage from your squishies to your tank.

Several skills should be added to address this issue. D:OS1 EE added a taunt skill, which was a good start. Other options include: Skills that allow you to support your team with massive defensive buffs based on your own level of tankyness, essentially forcing them to focus your tank before they can hope to bring down your team.

What about an aggro system based on distance to enemy, to make enemies significantly favor (but never guarantee) attacking close party members? That would favor building tanky on warriors, while rogues still have their 'get-in-get-out' shenanigans.


Wrapping it up
Combat feel more fluent than in D:OS1. AI took forever to complete it's combat, would often stall, casting multiple spells was a chore due to some innate animation cooldown period etc. It definitely feels much smoother now.

Overall, I had a highly enjoyable time playing the EA. Some changes needs to be made. Thankfully, a lot of them are just crunching numbers. Others need some revision, but very few demand an actual overhaul.

Overall I can see the potential for this game and it's combat/leveling mechanics to surpass the original.

Cheers, and see you once more content ha been added to the EA.

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Great feedback - and I agree especially about tanks. To piggy-back off of the idea of manipulating the battlefield, I would strongly suggest adding 'pull' and 'push' abilities to the tank's repertoire, and possibly even a damage-sharing/reducing ability modal so that you could, say, body-guard a rogue or wizard to allow them to be more aggressive.

That said, I could see them being out of control in power if such abilities weren't well balanced, especially given the amount of grenade crafting and talents available for just about anyone.

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Big thumbs up to OP. I actually came to the forum to address a number of the issues mentioned and was pleased to see that it was done already.

I just want to re-iterate a couple things - Rage in its current state is utterly OP, and even more frustrating is it removes the point of crit chance bonuses from items/stats. Why bother increasing Wit when you can just cast rage? Please change/remove this spell.

Other imbalanced skills: the elven racial trait is too strong right now (25% dam and +1 ap by far outshines the other traits). Likewise, as OP mentioned, snipe + rage can basically one shot anything in the game. My last playthrough with a ranger class was doing 2000 damage snipes from stealth by the end of act 1. I think this would be mostly fixed just by rage being nerfed, but thought it was worth mentioning. Lastly, Warlord is OP, and lets you have virtually unlimited AP.

Two, wizards are significantly weaker than fighters in D:OS 2. This was true in D:OS 1 as well, but the gap wasn't quite as great. This is primarily due to the fact that they just due way less damage, and are squishier, due to having to split attributes, skill points more than fighters. An elven two handed wielding fighter with warlord, rage and adrenaline can finish every combat encounter in act 1 in a single turn (with the exception of the last encounter, which can take a few more). I kid you not. One single turn, because of the 2 bonus AP from Warlord for killing an enemy. Maybe fighters are just intended to be a lot stronger than rogues, rangers, and wizards, but if not, I feel like the game is going down the path of D:OS original, where a two handed fighter could finish every encounter in the game in a single turn. The only exception was death knights where he could only remove invulnerability from one at a time, and so had to wait. A properly built fighter could even one shot the void dragon with flurry. Fixing rage and warlord will go a long way towards balancing them, but I think overall damage output of two handed weapons needs to be slightly reduced, or other benefits added to shields, dual wielding, etc.

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I still havent finished my run so im not gonna comment too much here.

One thing im wondering tho: What are spears about? I like that they are back to finesse for hybrid characters, on the other hand i feel that using them forces you into an awkward hybrid that doesnt go anywhere since both finesse based trees are relying on weapon types that arent the spear.
Tho i have no idea how one would go about fixing this.

I feel that despite there now beeing armor, the enemies in this game spam elemental fields more than they did in original sin 1 which i found a bit irritating with 3 melee characters, cloak and dagger + tactical retreat seem to be extremley usefull for those types of characters.

I also wondered about one hand and shield, it seems fairly pointless to me.

Joined: Aug 2013
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+1 to OP and his feedback! /agree


"I don't make games to make money, I make money to make games". (Swen Vincke)
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Excellent post.

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I agree with most of the post.
But i dont think that glass cannon is too strong. ( a bit weak for melees and maybe a bit too strong for archers ).
Rage should be self cast only and maybe add some real drawbacks ( get 50% more damage maybe? )
Warlord is a bit strong yes but should be okay with 1 AP / kill ( or maybe cap it at +2/round ). I think and hope that enemies in Tactitian and/or later in the game will survive a bit longer -> Warlord becomes a bit weaker.
For Attributes i agree we should not be forced to spend all our points just to keep up. Maybe just 1? Or just remove this and only allow us to spend 1 Point/level.
I also think that mages need some kind of buff. The memory system + high cooldown is really bad for them. Maybe decrease the spell cooldown by increasing the skill ( Hydro 3 -> -1 round CD for example ) or at least 1 spell on a wand ( water spell on a water wand etc. ) and atleast 3 skills on Staff. I dont see the point to choose a Staff above 2 Wands right now.

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Agree on many points.

I think for shield balancing at the end of the act I had a rare shield with just as much armor as a good breastplate so that's good but I believe shields should have both Magic and Physical defense and bring back the %chance to block or some kind of damage reduction mechanic. Additionally they could add skills/skillbooks that only work with shields. Turtle, shield bash, hunker down etc..

Wands are very potent especially given elemental focus and magic damage. Staves are near useless in comparison their damage is abysmal/melee only and the mage bolt is weak as hell. If it were me wands would be the mage equivalent auto attacker and staves would grant an actual spell not mage bolt (or memory slot) both would have a niche and be useful.

Some talents can also be boosted with making their synergy better. If food wasn't so abysmal five star diner would be decent small %heal and %ele resistance is paltry. Walk it off does not need that beneficial effect reduction even without a downside its a mediocre talent the only caveat I would add is a minimum 1 round duration which may already be in game.

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Thanks for giving this in depth feedback, I'm too lazy to write something so big but I wanted to. And good points all around too, I agree with them. However, I think that devs know about most of these issues, especially balancing. Unfortunately balancing is something they will tune last, so for a while we'll have to bear with it.

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Was going to write up something similar, but OP nailed most of it. Ill just add a few things:

Racial stats / abilities. Stats could be 1 of all primary attributes, wits, con, memory, or mix of the 3 utility. These options all work well with all classes.

Attribute system: It's terrible. Maybe it balanced, but having your damage scale *DOWN* with level feels like you are being punished. Even the utility parts scale down as the baseline scales up. This makes me suspect (although I didn't try it) that pumping full stats into hp is the way to go, since the bonus/malus seems to be capped at 30%. 70% damage at double HP is clearly the best option in this case.
Possible Fixes : Add in back a DOS type scaling, and only give one point per level. Furthermore, you could add back in the baseline stat requirements PER SKILL, and give diminishing returns on having points above the cap.

Schools/Spells: As far as I can tell, no skills require more than 1 point in their school. The bonuses on school vary a lot, but are either op (necromancy), or not all that useful (earth only affects one spell). There should be other reasons to level up, particularly if you are heavily invested in that school. I would like to see either a memory or CD reduction to skills by investing heavily in a school.

Memory: The idea seems fine, but the balance is off. 2 points per 1 skill slot is a terrible trade. If memory is that scare, only skills that are always useful will be taken, and no one will ever bother with rain. This is made worse by the fact that most of the harder battles are ambushes, so you don't have the opportunity to switch out your skills to optimal (unless you scum / reload, but then your skills will always be optimal anyways). Look at arena mode : The level 8 characters have something like 25 memory, and having all of those skills gives MORE interesting options, rather than just keeping the vanilla damage skills. Memory should scale slightly with level, be cheaper to upgrade, or skills should have reduced usage if you invest in their school.

Combat : Feels a bit fast. Wouldn't mind a 20% buff to everyone's hp. Further, the new armor system is fine, but it would be nice if there were a few (lesser) forms of cc that penetrated armor, and more interactions with armor (currently there are 2 skills that increase armor, and a few that specifically target it). Since cc is 100% effective after armor is gone, more ways to defend / cleanse against cc would also be nice.

Act 1 : Feels significantly smaller than act 1 in DOS. Particularly, there seem to be less 'little' quests / side quests (Sparkmaster, wandering chest, the wells, escorting the researcher back to town, etc). There also seems to be significantly less combat, in particular boss style fights. In DOS act 1, we had the lighthouse ghoul, the twins, the court, and braccus. Here we have the end of the act only. Sure there are one or two harder encounter (one in the swamp, and the witch), but in DOS there were plenty of hard encounters and plenty of bosses.

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on staffs: I realy do not understand what they were thinking with this.
Basically wands made staffs obsolete, with you no longer having to sink points into wands AND dual wielding they are doubly good.
Staffs should be the two handed equivalent of the wands and work in a simmilar way, auto casting some form of magic on attack instead of doing that magick missle skill that was never any usefull

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About school spells: this is still an alpha: we don't have access to the very powerful skills.

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This post is excellent. I literally just made a forum account so I could post support for this thread. It is well mannered and detailed. Thanks OP.

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Very detailed post from the original poster.


There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls.” – George Carlin-
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As others have mentioned, I think the top poster pointed out many of my concerns with the game (with the attribute leveling system being the foremost concern).

I am really loving the game so far and can't wait to jump into my second playthrough. The only reason I'm really commenting here is because I want this game to be great, and Larian seems interested in taking feedback from players. Wonderful work so far! I think a lot of the complaints boil down to balancing - the overall design feels wonderful so far.

I would like to say more, but I think everything was really summed up well by the top poster.

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Thanks for the feedback. Happy to know that people are enjoying and largely agreeing with it.

I've updated the itemization section regarding Unique items that I felt warranted some attention. Have a look.

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Well, that's a bummer. Getting an error every time I try to update my original post. For those interested, here is the section:

"Throughout Fort Joy, I managed to find a couple of unique items. One merchant, which you meet right after escaping through the sewers had a damn good 2h axe and staff. But other than that, there was nothing unique or interesting about the rest of them. Please give them some love. Please draw inspiration from games like Path of Exile and Diablo 3. Different games no doubt, but the idea is simple: Uniques/legendaries are not just statsticks. They alter the game in various unique ways.

I know that designing these takes a lot of programming and effort, but it's worth it for the players.

So here is a new take on the axe and staff that I mentioned:

Sundering Cleaver
97-119 damage
+2 strength
+1 warfare
-0.2 movespeed
+15% chance to crit

* Crits with this weapon cause Battle Stomp. (3 turns cooldown)
* Deal 30% bonus damage to armor.

Sunders something now. In this case, the ground on which your enemies stand.

Turner of the Tides
77-84 damage
+2 intelligence
+1 hydrosophist
50% fire resistance
Immunity to burning

Unlocks skill: Staff of the Magus

* Enemies within 5 meters are wet and chilled
* Automatically cast Global Cooling when your health reaches 50%. (4 turn cooldown)

This version actually turns tides. A must have when living near volcanoes.

So yeah, those are just a few of the ideas I had in mind. Of course, these items are blatantly overpowered and are meant as nothing but ideas to demonstrate some creativity and what uniques could be if given the proper love and care by Larian."

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Speaking about shields, I think the problem is not just their defensive stat is inadequate, but also that they heavily gimp your offensive output:

1. Your auto-attack now costs 2 AP as opposed to 1. That's a 50% reduction in damage per turn from normal attacks, folks.

2. Many of the warfare school of skills cost 2 AP. By having normal attacks that also cost 2 AP you are often left with an awkward 1 AP that you have to save for next turn instead of finishing off the enemy with 1 hp left.

3. AFAIK there isn't a taunt skill that allows you to aggro enemies into focus firing your shield-wielding fighter in order to maximize the benefit of having a shielded, high defensive stat teammate.

Some solutions I think that might work:

1. Fix it by buffing the defensive capability of the shield. Bring back blocking %. Introduce a taunt skill that require a shield (ie: aggros all enemies around the fighter in a set radius and make them go berserk into auto-attacking him for one turn etc).

and/or

2. Fix it by lowering the offensive penalty the shield brings. Removing the AP usage penalty straight up might be imbalanced because then there will be no reason to go 1H no shield. Perhaps introduce a talent that removes the AP penalty so people can spend one precious talent point to achieve damage parity with a pure 1H build? Still might be too much of a gimp so a combination of 1 & 2 is probably necessary.

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Shields do have block %s at higher levels. Not a huge amount (1% is all you're likely to see), and certainly not enough to change the value of shields much, but it's there.

I actually prefer the offense-over-defense style of combat right now though, and I'm not in favor of pushing 'tank' gameplay (everyone is forced to attack the heavily protected guy just because); it makes combat extremely predictable (and exploitable) against AIs and won't work at all in the PvP elements that the game wants to allow/encourage.

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PvP Taunt can simply be a damage boost to tank, damage penalty to others; done.

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