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#631212 15/10/17 03:51 PM
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Just a FYI, I have not yet finished the game (currently lvl 14), but I have indeed read the complaints about stat-inflation in the later stages of the game (that obviously should be addressed)

My own criticism revolves around the very streamlined itemization system that seriously needs to be addressed.

I remember a similar system being introduced in DoS:EE (which was otherwise a near-perfect upgrade over the original) where items followed a very linear upgrade path, that allowed for a steady progression throughout the game, but also removed any sort of suspense.

I vividly remember the feelings of awe and wonder when I found a 2h sword back in DOS, that had some lucky modifiers and almost doubled my DPS straight up. THAT felt rewarding, even though I knew i was lucky.

Right now I'm browsing merchants for new daggers for my lvl 14 DW rogue. There is no thrill of discovery. Every single rare dagger has 40-42 damage, the epics have 42-44 damage and the legendary ones have 43-46. Every...single...time.

Yawn.

Meanwhile, the secondary modifiers available follow a similar structure. They vary, but very little. Every dagger comes with finesse. While it's not a bad idea to have modifiers on daggers spawn with attributes that are useful to a rogue, surely some of them could have memory, constitution and wit? And surely, not all of them should have the same amount? And what's the point of daggers spawning with +crit chance, when rogues backstab 90% of the time?

You know what I want? I want a dagger with double the damage of all the other ones, but at the exclusion of everything else. I want another one that has no damage modifiers, but gives me +8 constitution, just 'cause.

Could we please make itemization less streamlined, less structured, and by extension much more interesting?

Thank you...

Last edited by Cavemandiary; 15/10/17 03:51 PM.
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I can agree with this and being on my second playthrough.

It's kind of hard to swallow that a lot of items are dependent on the category they fall into with fixed value, with unique's being the exception. The problems I have noticed a lot of the time is that after 1 or 2 levels, it's time to go shopping, again, rather than finding consistent loot that would be relevant for level or sets.
The Tyrant Set for example was unique but as far as I know, that's the only set that requires searching for. I would love to see a loot system similar to Diablo 2's set armor/weapon hunt, or Dungeon Siege 2.
The last issue I've seen is that some of the values tied to certain armor or weapons simply don't make sense. A battle axe giving you +2 for finesse for a warrior is largely useless or a robe with 3+ str/heavy armor with 3+ int (unless you're running a battlemage).

I'd be down with random values, or set items being introduced and hunting for them. Something to break the monotony of returning to town constantly to look for items that are largely the same or useless from divine/legendary/rare

Last edited by DirtyDishSoap; 18/10/17 12:00 PM. Reason: Typo
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Originally Posted by DirtyDishSoap
I can agree with this and being on my second playthrough.

It's kind of hard to swallow that a lot of items are dependent on the category they fall into with fixed value, with unique's being the exception. The problems I have noticed a lot of the time is that after 1 or 2 levels, it's time to go shopping, again, rather than finding consistent loot that would be relevant for level or sets.
The Tyrant Set for example was unique but as far as I know, that's the only set that requires searching for. I would love to see a loot system similar to Diablo 2's set armor/weapon hunt, or Dungeon Siege 2.
The last issue I've seen is that some of the values tied to certain armor or weapons simply don't make sense. A battle axe giving you +2 for finesse for a warrior is largely useless or a robe with 3+ str/heavy armor with 3+ int (unless you're running a battlemage).

I'd be down with random values, or set items being introduced and hunting for them. Something to break the monotony of returning to town constantly to look for items that are largely the same or useless from divine/legendary/rare


Indeed.
I, too, would be in favor of a more diablo-esque system that allowed for a broader range of itemmodifiers. The challenge is obviously the balance between "too random" and "too restrictive".

I think we can all agree that diablo 3's itemization at launch was a mess. Pure, unrestricted randomness is a terrible idea, and that certainly is not the point of this post. Nobody wants to see 1-handed swords with a bonus to 2-handed. On the flip side, the current DOS:2 system is too restrictive and unimaginative.

Oh, and an interesting fact from a psychology student; Neurotransmitters such as dopamine is released in a similar fashion when playing loot-based games (that hit the right spot between "purely random" and "completely expected") is actually very similar to those found in compulsive gamblers. That might seem rather harmful, but is actually a great tool to use when designing games to "hook" people. But if something is "too expected", those chemical responds actually decrease significantly - hence the amount of complaints of itemization we see on these forums.

Last edited by Cavemandiary; 19/10/17 04:10 AM.
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Thanks for the dopamine explanation, Cave!

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Originally Posted by DirtyDishSoap

The Tyrant Set for example was unique but as far as I know, that's the only set that requires searching for. I would love to see a loot system similar to Diablo 2's set armor/weapon hunt, or Dungeon Siege 2.


The tyrant set was obsolete the moment my group found all the parts. The ones being able to wear it had already found or bought better equipment that wasn't cursed once you didn't equip the full set.

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I understand what the OP is trying to say, but I strongly disagree with the solution suggested.
For how I see it, the last thing this game needs is EVEN MORE wild variations in numbers.

Once again I think the Baldur's Gate model should be the one to follow: few distinct tiers in quality, with no level scaling or requirement, not too far apart in terms of stats to prevent insane variations, but with a broad range of secondary special abilities to make each one of the top quality items feel unique and valuable.



Party control in Baldur's Gate 3 is a complete mess that begs to be addressed. SAY NO TO THE TOILET CHAIN
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Originally Posted by Tuco
I understand what the OP is trying to say, but I strongly disagree with the solution suggested.
For how I see it, the last thing this game needs is EVEN MORE wild variations in numbers.

Once again I think the Baldur's Gate model should be the one to follow: few distinct tiers in quality, with no level scaling or requirement, not too far apart in terms of stats to prevent insane variations, but with a broad range of secondary special abilities to make each one of the top quality items feel unique and valuable.



Well, I wasn't suggesting WILD ranges in numbers. Let's just call them moderate. We all know that the most important stat on an item is it's damage, so having like a 0-200% range would be quite detrimental (just look back at diablo 3 at launch...different genres, I know, but the same principle should apply). But something like a 0-30% range might be fine, if those 30% damage would come at a cost of a modifier like +stats.

That being said though, your idea of a solution is also worth serious consideration. The caveat here would be balancing the tiers properly, so that you're not incentivized to use your level 3 ring at level 20 (except for certain niche builds) - upgrades are a part of the (a)rpg genre after all, but too frequent upgrades causes items to lose any sense of tangible value.

Personally I would be fine with either approach. As long as Larian recognizes these issues and deals with them, one way or another.

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The items that bother me are the armor pieces that, for example, buff finesse but require strength to wear. Or vice versa.

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Diablo 3's loot system is not a good exemplar. It isn't even inherently better compared to what it was before greater rifts. Pre greater rifts, D3 had a treasure hunting component. There were many affixes and the min/max value range for each affix was huge. The probability of finding anything good enough to be worth opening a trade window for was very low. This gave the auction house a useful function. You could skip an arduous treasure hunt by simply paying money for the items you wanted.

Post greater rifts, D3 has been re-purposed into a gauntlet style arcade game. The items don't matter. Paragon levels matter. Items are a by-product of grinding rifts to get paragon levels.

Damage calculation in D3 is a multiplication of factors. The items you need have unique bonuses that act as independent damage multipliers. You make huge damage numbers in D3 by wearing exactly the same gear as everyone else, running exactly the same builds as everyone else and then pumping main stat gained from paragon levels. That is the only real way to get competitive advantage in greater rifts.

Skills that are not supported by massive damage multiplication cannot scale damage output to keep pace with the doubling of monster hp every 4 to 5 greater rift levels.

D3 is instanced and therefore has an infinite number of chances to acquire loot. The game is perpetually online and the randomness in the loot system is balanced around a 3 month season, though in reality, if you hit the rifts hard, you can get most if not all the gear you need in days to weeks, not months. When you kill everything in a rift or kill the guardian in a greater rift, you pick up the loot, re-instance and go again. Repeat ad infinitum.

D:OS2 by contrast is a single player adventure role playing game. It does not need mechanisms to keep players online so the game retains large numbers of concurrent players for matchmaking and chat channel activity.

D:OS2 is not instanced and has a finite number of lootable containers. The way items are generated and distributed is also different and persists through save states (which D3 doesn't have) so it is possible to save/load and repeat container sequences to get exactly the same loot distributed in exactly the same container sets. This exposes the pseudo random mechanics of loot generation and distribution to the player. The same mechanism generates items in trade windows and the same techniques can be used to reset a trader's inventory if RNG serves up hot garbage and you don't want to wait an hour for an inventory reset.

I think the entire system is not appropriate for a single player game with limited opportunities to generate loot. Damage calculation and itemisation in D:OS2 already have too many analogues in D3, a game which is not even remotely similar, nor should it be.

D3 itemisation is designed around exponential scaling of damage output to keep pace with exponential scaling of monster hp in greater rifts. This is how you turn 100k damage hits into 10 trillion damage hits by level grinding for a month. In that time you will jump many difficulty levels and throw away a tonne of gear because you outscale it within hours or it simply doesn't facilitate exponential damage scaling in the first place.

D&D is a good point of contrast because the numbers are deliberately kept small so the requirement of doing mental math does not get in the way of people enjoying the game. Because the numbers stay small, a level 10 weapon isnt hundreds of orders of magnitude more powerful than a level 1 weapon. You dont outscale gear at an insane rate. The player keeps the stuff they find for longer. The longer players use the same stuff, the more you can tie loot into a story and the world of the game because it is a constant part of it.

Braccus Rex set is an example of hand placed loot in D:OS2 with an interesting back story and a fun associated treasure hunt which you will never use because you out-scaled it before you got all the pieces. It is a good idea to have more hand placed loot in D:OS2 but damage scaling does not give the player an opportunity to use it before it is redundant.

This is a difficult problem to solve because of how gameplay systems interact with one another. Changing damage calculation changes difficulty curve and may ruin the flow and continuity of the game. Difficulty spikes may become impossible requiring many combat encounters to be tuned by hand. It also has a knock on effect on itemization because a large portion of your character's damage stats come from items.


Last edited by Hayte; 23/10/17 07:33 AM.
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Originally Posted by Othniel
The items that bother me are the armor pieces that, for example, buff finesse but require strength to wear. Or vice versa.


Yes, the stats make little sense at times. Requirement strength 14 but buffing finesse, wits and huntsman or scoundrel.

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Originally Posted by Hayte

D&D is a good point of contrast because the numbers are deliberately kept small so the requirement of doing mental math does not get in the way of people enjoying the game. Because the numbers stay small, a level 10 weapon isnt hundreds of orders of magnitude more powerful than a level 1 weapon. You dont outscale gear at an insane rate. The player keeps the stuff they find for longer. The longer players use the same stuff, the more you can tie loot into a story and the world of the game because it is a constant part of it.


x100000000000


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Originally Posted by ExecutiveCivic
Originally Posted by Hayte

D&D is a good point of contrast because the numbers are deliberately kept small so the requirement of doing mental math does not get in the way of people enjoying the game. Because the numbers stay small, a level 10 weapon isnt hundreds of orders of magnitude more powerful than a level 1 weapon. You dont outscale gear at an insane rate. The player keeps the stuff they find for longer. The longer players use the same stuff, the more you can tie loot into a story and the world of the game because it is a constant part of it.


x100000000000


Also agree - with the contingency that upgrades are not so rare that the lootsystem feels stale.

It's a difficult balance it seems.

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Ok I admit it I am level 11 and wanted to fight level 12 or 13 Enemies and all I can say is: nope.
They have like 5-10 times armor compared to the amount of damage I do and do the same damage to me. At first I thought people are overcomplaining but yes you were right it is no fun to go back every single level to get new weapons and armor at traders. Even with lucky charm 6 I barely find enough so traders are by far the most important source for items espiacially weapons.

That and the fact that loot especially items that look cool and worthy are completly useless a level or 2 later is just stupid. I guess I am stopping the game now and getting a mod to reduce the number spread. Sadly..... frown

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Originally Posted by MAsterX
Ok I admit it I am level 11 and wanted to fight level 12 or 13 Enemies and all I can say is: nope.
They have like 5-10 times armor compared to the amount of damage I do and do the same damage to me. At first I thought people are overcomplaining but yes you were right it is no fun to go back every single level to get new weapons and armor at traders. Even with lucky charm 6 I barely find enough so traders are by far the most important source for items espiacially weapons.

That and the fact that loot especially items that look cool and worthy are completly useless a level or 2 later is just stupid. I guess I am stopping the game now and getting a mod to reduce the number spread. Sadly..... frown


Indeed.

There are a few exceptions though, especially in Reapers Coast, where you can find/steal some very potent uniques that are best in slot for atleast 3-4 levels. Spoilers below.






- Enrach, a 300 physical str armor that gives str+con+two handed and movespeed can be stolen from the Bloodmoon Isles merchant, at a time where most armors range from like 150-200 physical armor.
- Belt with 70 armor, +con, +poly, +singlehanded and deflective barrior at a time where most belts have like 25-35 armor. Can be stolen from Eithne in Cloisterwood.
- Reavers Axe from Bloodmoon Isles, 100 dmg 2h axe with 20% crit and 2 sockets that will carry you several levels, although you will probably need some serious +accuracy and peace of mind when you first find it.

Just a few from the top of my head.

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The whole inflation thing in my opinion is a affected by a lot of things.
Game does this so you have to change gear often. This leads you to having some skills in earning money or stealing. Another thing is that there is no way you can find an op item that you can keep it for a long time because after couple of levels it will be obsolete. At first i didnt like that thing but then i realised that this is how the game works. Its one of the things among others (like the way armor works) that makes this game unique. I dont mind spending some time to buy new items every couple of levels since this + lucky charm works fine by me.

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No, you NEED money-earning skills because you have to change gear so often. The entire RNG loot system is Sven's baby despite being a mess in both DS1 and 2, and the absurd scaling means that your gear becomes obsolete within a level or two.

It's forgivable in ARPGs like Grim Dawn and Diablo because there are respawning monsters, but even in those games, there are build-defining equipment and sets (offhand, Uruboruuk's Raiment for necromancers, Dreeg's for poison/acid occultists, etc). The random itemization in DOS2 utterly destroys any concept of gearing up, unless getting +Two-Handed on One-Handed Gear is your thing.

Vendors should supplement your gear process, not overtake it entirely.


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I'm not referring to D3's system. I whole heartedly agree that D3's items/gear are largely irrelevant to overall gameplay, which is kind of sad considering it's predecessor set the standard for what gear and stats should be.

The main issue is as described earlier. Gearing in DOS2 isn't awful, but it's woefully bland or nonsensical.

Here's how the itemization works:
Your first few levels, 1-10 I believe, are set with Standard, Magic and Rare, with Uniques being present. All of these rarities with exception with Uniques are present with shopkeepers.

Fast forward a few levels, you're now introduced with rarities being included with shopkeepers that are now Epic and Legendary. These rarities are incredibly uncommon drops from monsters, but oh so common with shop keepers.

Fast forward again, and more than likely it'll be Arx, but the last rarity, Divine, appears commonly in shop keepers inventories.

What I'm getting at is this, the itemization in this game promotes more towards getting levels, looting everything to be sold, and getting whatever the shop keeper gets. That's already mind numbingly boring, but the problem progresses worse, when those same items that are "Divine", or "Legendary", become obsolete after 1 or 2 levels, and it's a near demand to take those items because the stats on them cannot be ignored, even if it's only a very marginal difference in comparison to standard. In other words, I'll rock a helmet that gives me +2 Warfare with a pure mage only to gain the added magic and armor that the rarity provides, and that's it.

That's all these rarities really mean when you boil down to it. A slight increase to armor and magic armor that the other rarities wouldn't normally provide. That's not exactly fun when I want gear. It eliminates the incentive to boss hunt like The Corpse of Alice or The Harbinger of Doom. I want unique items or sets from doing these optional boss battles, not just the satisfaction of just beating them and gaining some EXP.

I challenge anyone to forego shopping altogether and see how much more difficult the game is when you rely solely on drops.

Last edited by DirtyDishSoap; 24/10/17 02:11 PM. Reason: Challenge
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Level 16 atm. I don't think it's a big deal. Many players (including myself, usually) tend to optimize play, but it actually isn't required even with current level of scaling. Our 4 player group doesn't buy much items, so we have always lower level loot and we still win all fights (some deaths, but almost always due to misplays).
See the scaling system as a difficulty tool. If you buy items every level it is easier, otherwise harder.

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I remember getting Dak'kon's Zerth Blade in Baldur's Gate 2 and having it for the entire game and not really having a problem with that. The D&D comparison isn't really apt though, as you'd have to scale damage with stats only; afaik there is no concept of "leveled items" in D&D. (Though I did stop at 3rd edition).

It seems like Larian tried to strike a balance between leveled loot and unique lore based items, but I don't think you can really have both comfortably. Take some high-fantasy sword like Glamdring from the Tolkien universe. The idea behind loot in D&D was to bring the experience of finding a sword like that (plus other fantasy fiction concepts) to a game. You don't have a story where Gandalf throws out Glamdring halfway through the adventure because he finds a better sword. It's freaking Glamdring.

The ideal for me would be for this D&D, lore based system where all the loot is "unleveled". Meaning everything has numbers in the same range and these get multiplied by skills, stats and perks. Merchants can have less selection too, I'd be fine with that. I realize this is a huge rewrite, would break savegames and piss a lot of people off who like the system as-is. So it's best left to a mod or a future game.

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I remember that in the early access the stats were more important: str gave you phys armor, int gave you magic armor, finesse upgraded crit chance, wits evade, etc... so your character stats mattered more, making builds like spear fighter more viable for example, and you can spend more time with your low level gear because your stats made up for it. Now all your armor and evade depends on your gear, and a big part of your damage too. In a game with no respawning mobs to farm for loot, as stated.

I am really enjoying the game but this kind of loot-based mechanics do not think suited the game, as most people stated here: huge level gaps in damage and protection in armor and weapons every level in a game with no respawnable mobs (like diablo-type games)and loot and lots of "points of no-return" forces you to grab what you can, depending on sheer luck and change your gear every odd levels, making unique loot pointless ( unless they have civil skills, like justinia´s gauntlets, Captains´compass or gloves of adquisition. But you are not going to use it in combat anyway).

Also forces you to always max economic-type civil skills (thievery, luck and barter) because you are gonna go shopping a lot. Even containers have a level cap, so if you outlevel that particular zone you will only find loot of your level in traders. You are not going to farm mobs or containers to loot, you farm shops for loot ¿? . And i think this is a weird option for a story-driven game with no respawning mobs. Personally I prefer more dialogue and fighting and less shopping. Too much shopping already with my gf, do not need more black fridays ingame, thanks.

I do not mind strange combinations in gear because sometimes I do some weird mix of skills in my characters and it is nice to have equipment for them ( one handed with +2 int goes well with my phys-based necromancer, as robes with warfare, or a plate with finesse and scoundrel to my 14 str rogue, etc)

Originally Posted by DirtyDishSoap

That's all these rarities really mean when you boil down to it. A slight increase to armor and magic armor that the other rarities wouldn't normally provide. That's not exactly fun when I want gear. It eliminates the incentive to boss hunt like The Corpse of Alice or The Harbinger of Doom. I want unique items or sets from doing these optional boss battles, not just the satisfaction of just beating them and gaining some EXP.

I challenge anyone to forego shopping altogether and see how much more difficult the game is when you rely solely on drops.

I am currently using some mods to counteract this: reduce bloat to close the gap between levels and reduced xp ( I found that most of the unique loot I found in unmodded was one or two levels below me, now when i found it i can use it, so optional zones and boss battles to get unique loot are worthy. And tougher), all coupled with monster madness, leveled monsters and tougher bosses. If I found some mod to make stronger unique level loot it would be neat.
It has some drawbacks and it is not perfect but I found this playthrough more enjoyable to play. Maybe it is my dopamine talking...


Last edited by _Vic_; 26/10/17 05:53 AM.

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