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First things first, I'm absolutely loving the game.
I was already fond of D:OS 1, despise its occasional flaws, and by the end of Act 2 seems like this sequel is topping it in almost any conceivable way.

I'm having mixed feelings about the armor system, because while I'm growing used to it, every time I stop to think about its ups and downs I come away thinking it's probably NOT the most elegant solution for the goal Larian wanted to achieve.
Still, it doesn't bother me too much.

What I'm mostly disappointed with, on the other hand, is itemization.
It's baffling that the game is importing this issue straight from the first title without addressing most of its problems.

1 - Items scale in power way too quickly.
This has several downsides.
Two levels up from when you get a powerful item, it's usually becoming trash that needs to be replaced.
Now, I should be upfront with it and stress I've never been fond of compulsive loot swapping even in games like Diablo.
Well, it works even more poorly in a party-based game with a finite number of encounters and an entire group to dress up at any level up. The amount of loot you'll have to "juggle" almost at any given time is more pace-breaking than rewarding, and it really doesn't help the game in an area where it's already fairly messy, which is inventory bloat.

2- Randomization is YET AGAIN another weak point.
While I commend the effort Larian put on inserting more hand-placed loot in the game, it seems to me that they overlooked the major issue with it: a hand-placed item is meaningful when it stands out as remarkable, not when it's drowned in a sea of randomly generated ones which are more or less comparably powerful.

It's weird to me that everyone keeps trying to reinvent the wheel in this area when we already have a game that perfected this art: Baldur's Gate 2. A game that had over-abundance of loot without getting bloated by it, where items ranged in power from "common" to "legendary artifact" in a meaningful way but without too much spread in stats between the two extremes, where equip could easily serve the most diverse builds and where an useful finding could be useful for several hours before something else could be considered a net upgrade (rather than a "sidegrade") over it.

Not to mention a game where every single reward felt valuable in the long term and at times even memorable, to the point some people (ME, for one, but I'm not alone) planned entire additional playthroughts (or even speedruns) planning in their minds an entire roadmap of what to get, when and how.

Also, if you really feel like you need a ramp up in stats to give a vibe of "epicness" (spoilers: you don't) there's another game that handled it in a fairly intelligent way: Might & Magic X with its golden Artifacts that leveled up with the player.
With that expedient you could get a good item even early in the game and see it improve over the hours as it "gained more exp".

I'm really really struggling to understand the stubbornness Larian is showing with its commitment to randomized itemization when it has been broadly pointed as the weakest point of the game even in D:OS1.

If they are ever going to revamp things for an hypothetical Enhanced Edition in the future, this is (in my opinion) where they should start from.




Last edited by Tuco; 30/09/17 02:35 PM.

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Originally Posted by Tuco

1 - Items scale in power way too quickly.
This has several downsides.
Two levels up from when you get a powerful item, it's usually becoming trash that needs to be replaced.
Now, I should be upfront with it and stress I've never been fond of compulsive loot swapping even in games like Diablo.
Well, it works even more poorly in a party-based game with a finite number of encounters and an entire group to dress up at any level up. The amount of loot you'll have to "juggle" almost at any given time is more pace-breaking than rewarding, and it really doesn't help the game in an area where it's already fairly messy, which is inventory bloat.


Totally agreed. I was able to skate by finding things as they came... up until about level 11, when enemies at level 10 or 11 started being able to one-shot characters from full health because "things as they came" didn't come fast enough or good enough (0 points into Lucky Charm). My characters were wearing stuff several levels behind.

At this point I need to stop playing and craft up a bunch of stuff and sell a ton of things so I can get better gear and re-equip everyone. I'll probably have to sacrifice a lot of modifiers on gear too just for plain stuff with good armor values.


Quote
2- Randomization is YET AGAIN another weak point.
While I commend the effort Larian put on inserting more hand-placed loot in the game, it seems to me that they overlooked the major issue with it: a hand-placed item is meaningful when it stands out as remarkable, not when it's drowned in a sea of randomly generated ones which are more or less comparably powerful.


Yep. Hand-placed uniques don't have much impact when all loot very rapidly becomes disposable due to the power scaling.


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U right. There is so many things to do for hypothetical EE smile


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Item growing with character, yes please. It was a pity to ditch Braccus' Spear (and they are always harder to find at vendors, compared to other 2 handed) or that cool armor set. Or make them upgradable (increase item level) by crafting.

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Originally Posted by 3lackrose
Item growing with character, yes please. It was a pity to ditch Braccus' Spear (and they are always harder to find at vendors, compared to other 2 handed) or that cool armor set. Or make them upgradable (increase item level) by crafting.

While I agree that items able to level up with the player -through exp or crafting, doesn't really matter- is a decent solution (since I suggested it myself) I'd really like to stress that it's secondary to the main issue, which is that there shouldn't be need to deal with such a brutal ramp-up in stats.

It's not just that it's hard to balance (and it is); the issue is that even if you manage to tune it properly, it's still such a weak, "game-y" thing to do compared to just having loot that scales a lot less.
I mean... What's even the point of it?

I often wonder about it when games do this cheap stuff.
Take Mass Effect for example. Every enemy levels up with you; the exp every kill gives to the player levels up with you; the damage you do scales proportionally with levels; the price of things is proportional to your level too...

At some point you have to wonder "Why are numbers even going up constantly when everything is keeping the same proportional ratio and every ACTUAL NET BENEFIT could be summarized in a far more limited increase?

What purpose does it serve?

It also marries really poorly with anything that tries to embrace a non-linear exploration/progression.


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Chances are the topic just isn't interesting to many as it is to me, but I'll try this last attempt at bumping the thread.

Clearly people seem to care more about arguing the nerfing or buffing of specific abilities than to discuss questionable core design choices.


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It's a known issue, that the scaling after midgame ist just insane. In the first game it wasn't really such an issue as far as I remember.

And that item stats are far to random, turning maning items into useless garbage is something I already pointed out during EA.

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The only purposes it seems to serve are:

-To create a clear advantage when fighting enemies with a different level.
-To create a clear advantage to equipping higher level gear.

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Randomise gear in a limited enemy game is nonsensical, the only way to get the gear you want is to afk 1 hour for vendors to refresh or resort to save scumming. Getting a +2 finese on a wand in your face is insulting not to mention frustrating RNG business.

Leave randomisation to diablo like games, this game should have no business with it.

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I tend to agree. I prefer static loot in these kind of games.

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I guess, randomized items are necessary, because the game is classless. Static items would mean, only a certain items for specific classes will get found by loot, limiting the freedom of the player of playing what ever they want. 4 warriors, 4 archers, 4 rogues, a mix or whatever. Also replayability would go down a lot, if you always know in advance, which loot you will be getting.

They just need to limit the RNG, so that a STR-based does not turn being useless, because it offers FIN or INT for example.

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RNG items have ruined RPGs, imo.

It works in games like Diablo, which are loot-based dungeon crawlers. It works in games like Borderlands which are loot-based grinders. But in narrative RPGs which should have depth to the characters.... randomized items need to be thrown out.

It's lazy design at this point as well as not adding any real value to the game. I understand why devs still use them, because they've become such large staples of the industry... but it allows these problems you listed to occur way too easily. Power creep in particular.

Another point I'd like to add is that items in modern RPGs don't add value: most items add X-Y primary stat (damage/armor), +X whatever skill/stat... which just bloats stats and leads to the ''hang on to 3 of these items so I can equip them when I barter but then I need to remember to unequip them RIGHT AFTER so I have my combat gear...''

It's just weird and annoying tedium. I'd rather see gear add more interesting elements than ''+X skill''.

White gear -> just basic equipment.
Green -> adds some combat-related boon (+X health, +.5m move)
Whatever/blue -> adds an interesting effect (10% damage reflection, 50% chance to stun attacker, whatever)
Legendary -> adds effect that changes how you approach combat slightly or moderately. Like add freeze effects to skills, emit heat aura that prevents you from freezing and melts ice within 1m around you.

Something MORE than ''+X skill''.

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I agree with the OP - the loot system was most likely the least liked feature of the game for me. I actually don't mind the RNG that much, but the overdone scaling did bother me a lot for the same reasons mentioned already - it forced me to upgrade my gear at least partially every new level to stay relevant and replace that cool unique item I just found with something of much higher base damage or armour values.

One thing I haven't seen mentioned yet though is what happens when you actually over-level the content: you end up solely relying on buying your upgrades from vendors rather than finding them in the world, almost entirely removing the feeling of finding that super duper item at the end of tough dungeon or boss fight. This actually happened to me and forced mandatory vendor runs every level.

Also in my opinion the stats on items are generally just very uninteresting, even on the Unique/Legendary/Divine ones. The were very few cases where I wanted to stick to an old item because of the secondary stats rather than upgrading it with higher base damage or armour values.

Finally I also agree that Baldur's Gate 2 in particular nailed the itemization, but I also fondly remember Ice Wind Dale 2 in that regard. Both games had a very healthy mix of items you find in the world and items you could buy from vendors to supplement your finds.

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Originally Posted by Kalrakh

And that item stats are far to random, turning maning items into useless garbage is something I already pointed out during EA.

Some stats are questionable to say the least (INT bonus on a STR based weapon etc) but one could argue that "These items are intended for players making hybrid unconventional classes".

Still, some are comically useless beyond redemption.
It's hard to justify when you get a "+2 SINGLE-HAND BONUS" on a bow or a Two-Handed weapon.
A bonus that would literally go away the moment you equip the item that would benefit from it.

And while this could be somehow fixed by changing parameters in the random item generator, it just serves once more to highlight how inherently superior and more memorable some good hand-crafted items could be.

Last edited by Tuco; 03/10/17 08:35 AM.

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Itemization is ass, but you can use the scaling mods to remove the scaling on vitality, which reduces armor and weapon damage accordingly (as they're bound to vitality, which means Larian intentionally bloated everything), making it easier to keep good items for a long period of time. Stats on items become bloated due to the fact that, after level 9 or so, every two levels boosts vitality by another 25 - 50%, because BIG NUMBERS LOL.

Talents are hardcoded, so modders can't even add new talents or fix the old ones. Best they can do is give people more talent points or a free talent.

For me, the worst part of the game is the talents, given that the EA had less talents than DOS1, and actual release removed more talents from the EA than it added. There's like 4 - 5 talents the people actually care about, and the rest are just 'I chose this because it's the least worst'. It also completely diminishes the amount of build diversity, as talents are the most diversifying feature of the game, more than classes, spells, race, etc. Entire builds tend to be based on talents, yet we have literally nothing, and no way of adding more.

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In D:OS2 hybrid build don't make a lot sense. In D:OS1 every attribute offered secondary benefits, but in D:OS2 hybrid build would just mean, you lose in damage overall, which is quite deadly in Tactician.

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For me the incongruity is in the lore around items. Bracus Rex's items should be powerful no matter what level the player is currently at. It seems a tad ridiculous to discard a supposed rare item because it is under levelled and doesn't do enough raw damage or whatever.

I'm sure Larian will be having a major look at this in future games.

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Originally Posted by BlueGuy
I'm sure Larian will be having a major look at this in future games.

Wish I could share this optimism.
This is an aspect of their games that was often criticized, in particularly with the previous D:OS, but for some reason they seem really, really committed to it.

It's weird, because honestly I doubt it even save them a lot of time/work compared to handcrafted/handplaced items.



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I actually stopped playing this game for now because I can't bear the itemization anymore. I like the story. I like the combat. I like exploration. What I don't like is spending half of my play time in shops buying gear.
The horrible itemization even detracts from the enjoyable elements of the game. All joy of exploration is killed because my only revard is some trash I'll get rid of 2 levels later (best case scenario)/some trash I overlevelled long ago (worst case scenario). Combat is plain boring once you buy some decent gear and it's a cakewalk when you overlevel enemies (which I inevitably do because I like exploration).
I won't even mention how sometimes some really horrible gear is generated. What's the point of STR-based armor with +2 scoundrel and +3 finesse?
I have yet to see a single player praising itemization in this game so I don't understand why Larian is so insistent on keeping it unchanged.
I have thought of some tweaks that would make itemization more bearable for me (apart from replacing the diablo-style RNG with hand-placed loot that is):
1. The horrible stat inflation needs to be toned down. What purpose does it even serve?
2.There should be a way to increase item level through crafting with some common ingredients. Alternatively some unique items should automatically level up with the player.
3. A way to transfer modifiers from one item to the other would be nice.
4. Civil skills should never ever be on items apart from uniques. That's abusable.
5. That said, +skill items are pretty boring...
6. I was seeing too much legendary and divine gear when I stopped playing. Afraid to think what the endgame itemization will look like. Legendary and divine items should be almost completely removed from merchants. Why do I even need exploration if I can just wait an hour for merchants restocking (not fun btw)?
7. Unique items should have unique effects/modifiers that can't be found on random gear.
8. Please fix your item generator so that it no longer spawns STR armors with +3 finesse.

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The funny thing is you're playing the game backwards. If your object in playing this type of game is to beat the game, then I assume you would do so by making the most of what you are given. If I find really good STR armor with +2 Scoundrel for my tank, I am actually happy, because now I am able to use really useful Scoundrel skills without actually putting points into Scoundrel...is your mind blown yet? Sure some items don't make sense, but why do you want to play a game where every single item you loot is an upgrade? If every item you find is an upgrade then you have to switch out armor after every battle, luls.

Also, what if I told you there are ways you could build a party so YOU DONT EVEN NEED EQUIPMENT to beat the game?

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