Larian Banner
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Late-Game Content #653381
27/06/19 03:59 AM
27/06/19 03:59 AM
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 556
Midway Through Infinity
Try2Handing Offline OP
addict
Try2Handing  Offline OP
addict

Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 556
Midway Through Infinity
By late-game content, I mean: Please give us plenty of things to do, and keep the game fun, once we start to get into late-game portion.

One of the very few gripes I have with Baldur's Gate 2 is that, the game is almost over once you get out of Chapter 5, even though that is only about 70% of the base game. Chapter 2 and 3 can be huge if you do every single quest you can. Chapter 4 and 5 are ok. Then Chapter 6 is just way too short.

From your 2nd playthrough onward, you can totally save some quests for Chapter 6, including the Watcher's Keep questline, just so you will have more "things to do". But why would you have to do that? Not to mention, the majority of quests that you can do during Chapter 2 and 3 are not really designed for late game. Once you get into Chapter 6 you are way too powerful for these quests. Judging by the game's scripts, it appears there is a cut main quest that would have you travel to previous areas on the world map, but this idea was scrapped for some reason.

The PoE2 game, when I last played it, also became extremely stale all of a sudden, when my party hit level 11-12. There were several reasons for this:
- High-level abilities just suck. I played a Cipher and was totally let down when I read the level 6, 7, 8, 9 spells. There was almost no reason to get most of these spells.
- Wizard's grimoire mechanics, which allow you to have access to pretty much all spells, making the process of "selecting spells upon leveling up" almost completely pointless.
- The game was getting way too easy. This used to be one popular feedback on the game's forums back then. I understand that they have made a lot of changes since, with much tougher difficulty settings. But having to crank up the difficulty just for the sake of keeping the game from getting dull is also not something the player should have to do.
- And a couple other things which also became much less exciting simply because I didn't feel like there was much else to try to achieve, such as ship building, or weapon upgrading.

As for DOS2's last act, while personally I didn't find it too bad, I know there used to be opinion that the last act feels rushed and not very well polished, and so on.

TLDR: My hope is that, BG3 will not have to suffer from any of these issues. It's easier to make early-game interesting and exciting, since by default everything is new and fresh, and your characters are not very powerful yet. It is the late-game portion that needs more attention. IMO, there are several things that can be done to keep late-game fun and exciting:

- Give the characters plenty of room to grow and to become more powerful.

- Give the player plenty of quests to do, and things to discover. Lengthy and fun quests, only available during late-game, and designed for a late-game party. Epic boss encounters included.

- Difficulty scaling. It's not that every single encounter you run into has to be unusually tough. There just needs to be a good amount of challenging encounters, at the right time and location, especially during main quests, so that the player can genuinely feel, "I have to become stronger. This is not enough."

- And, naturally, I hope the end-game portion will be lengthy and intriguing throughout, story-wise.

Basically, as players, we want to feel that there's still plenty of things to do and plenty of goals for our characters to achieve, even as we approach end-game. We don't ever want to feel, "That's it. I can't get any stronger than this.", or, "That's it. There isn't much else to do from this point on."

Last edited by Try2Handing; 27/06/19 04:03 AM.

"We make our choices and take what comes and the rest is void."
Re: Late-Game Content [Re: Try2Handing] #653383
27/06/19 04:15 AM
27/06/19 04:15 AM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 4,460
The Frog & Hounds
vometia Offline

Duchess of Gorgombert
vometia  Offline

Duchess of Gorgombert

Joined: May 2010
Posts: 4,460
The Frog & Hounds
Originally Posted by Try2Handing
As for DOS2's last act, while personally I didn't find it too bad, I know there used to be opinion that the last act feels rushed and not very well polished, and so on.

I was one of the complainers about that. It took me so long to get back to it that the DE had happened, which I think added an awful lot of polish that was needed, but at the same time I realised that there was also more content than I'd remembered: I think the problem is that I'd really hammered away at the game so much in the early stages with multiple half-done play-throughs that I'd slightly worn in out for myself.

That aside, I definitely agree with you. It's one thing if I play the game to death but it's another if I still feel I have unfinished business but the game has just stopped giving me things to do and I've scratched around looking for every last quest. I wonder if in some cases games-writers might even "top-load" games with the most inventive stuff at the beginning on the basis that a lot of people (and especially reviewers) will only play the first part before moving on! Then again, I think of my own very limited experience of writing mods where I would start off with massive amounts of enthusiasm and become really overly-ambitious, going really over-the-top at the beginning before burning out with "modding fatigue" and often not even finishing it... but then again I never claimed to be a good project manager. biggrin

Anyway, just some meandering thoughts, of varying degrees of (ir)relevance.


J'aime le fromage.
Re: Late-Game Content [Re: Try2Handing] #653385
27/06/19 04:24 AM
27/06/19 04:24 AM
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 39
NoVa, United States
BillyYank Offline
apprentice
BillyYank  Offline
apprentice

Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 39
NoVa, United States
I wouldn't be surprised if late game content gets abandoned because that's when the deadlines start looming.


FABRICATE DIEM, PVNK
Re: Late-Game Content [Re: BillyYank] #653387
27/06/19 04:28 AM
27/06/19 04:28 AM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 4,460
The Frog & Hounds
vometia Offline

Duchess of Gorgombert
vometia  Offline

Duchess of Gorgombert

Joined: May 2010
Posts: 4,460
The Frog & Hounds
Originally Posted by BillyYank
I wouldn't be surprised if late game content gets abandoned because that's when the deadlines start looming.

Hopefully that's where the lack of a publisher breathing down their necks will make a difference. I'm reminded of Divinity 2's rather abrupt ending and the subsequent "add on" with the actual final stages that was later merged into the remastered game.


J'aime le fromage.
Re: Late-Game Content [Re: BillyYank] #653390
27/06/19 05:34 AM
27/06/19 05:34 AM
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 108
Artagel Offline
member
Artagel  Offline
member

Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 108
Originally Posted by BillyYank
I wouldn't be surprised if late game content gets abandoned because that's when the deadlines start looming.



And they shoe horn in a Battle Royal mode.

Re: Late-Game Content [Re: Try2Handing] #653394
27/06/19 07:50 AM
27/06/19 07:50 AM
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 1,233
S
Sordak Offline
veteran
Sordak  Offline
veteran
S

Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 1,233
why the hell do you people pretend that this is EA developing this game.

Anyway. Larian games always have a problem with beeing cut short at the end and needing an EE to fix that problem.
im pretty sure every single larian game had that problem so i wouldnt be surprised if it doesnt happen again.
Also comes from the fact that most people dont actually finish RPGs, sounds ridiculous but the numbers dont lie.

as for engame in terms of power: my hope is that we dont actually reach epic levels.
DnD falls apart at those, so many problems become trivial, the stakes become so insaneley high that its hard to care and class balance which is already pretty bad in 5E becomes a complete laughingstock.
Start with a quaint low level adventure that developes into a mid level romp.
Thats where the meat of DnD is anyway.

The whole going into dungeons and defeating monsters stuff, thats great in that spot just before the game starts becoming ridiculous.

Re: Late-Game Content [Re: Try2Handing] #653402
27/06/19 02:39 PM
27/06/19 02:39 PM
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 171
A
Archaven Offline
member
Archaven  Offline
member
A

Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 171
Try2Handing .. this is what i think.. maybe larian or wotc? possibly have planned expansion or DLC or maybe another sequel for late game content. as i see it, BG3 possibly a reboot catering for low to mid level. but i do share and agree with you. most of the time late game became boring without much content. also regarding some items/weapons/armor or even spells and abilities? yes pretty much you dont have much content to use them. in regards to poe2. when was the last time you played the game? i played the game on highest difficult with upscaled AI. the game is still challenging for me even i'm at maxed level.

another thing i would like to know how normally XP or leveling gets balanced? it seems tremendously difficult? for example.. some people just wanted to play through the campaing and do minimal side quests. and some people like me.. would like to complete as much if not all? side quests before going through the main paths.

the issue here is.. if you didnt do the main paths early on, you possibly have a much difficult time if you try to play the side quests. because the game will scaled the XP / level gain base on the progress of the game. you will get much more XP and leveling if you brief through the main campaign but skipping the end game battles. they were designed in such a way that, you still be able to complete the game (even your interests are just the main campaign).

so this ended up that you are at the intended level when completed let's say 80% of the main campaign. but since is open world concept, you can still do other side quests (which became tremendously easy at this point.)

Last edited by Archaven; 27/06/19 02:42 PM.
Re: Late-Game Content [Re: Try2Handing] #653403
27/06/19 02:55 PM
27/06/19 02:55 PM
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 11
chad878262 Offline
stranger
chad878262  Offline
stranger

Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 11
A common issue with 'late game' content is that instead of power scaling as it does in the early levels, it suddenly skyrockets at a certain threshold. Consider the HLA's introduced in Throne of Bhaal... How much stronger was whirlwind attack, HLA traps, Use any Item and epic spells than any of the abilities given before? On top of this multi-classing opened up options to synergize HLA's for things like Assassinate+GWW for 10x sneak attacks to annihilate even the inflated enemies of the end game, making them even easier than the less powerful enemies that were fought before gaining these uber powers. The same thing occurs with Epic Feats in NWN1 / 2 where you have things like Overwhelming Critical (NWN1) or Expose Weakness (NWN2) being so far and away better than other feats that builds "dip" classes simply to access them.

A key point in the OP I hope Larian takes away is to not let balance get away from them in higher level / end game mechanics. The closer you approach 20 in any edition of D&D the more unbalanced the gameplay gets. I have yet to see epic levels introduced where it did not become a situation where there is no encounter you can design outside of gimmicky 'puzzle' bosses where you have to figure out the right sequence to beat them which will challenge the party / player in the way that low-to-mid levels will. Would be refreshing to see a game that strikes a healthy split between encounters which reinforce how much stronger the party has grown and encounters which can still challenge the more powerful party to let them know there are forces in the Realms as strong or stronger than they are...

Re: Late-Game Content [Re: Try2Handing] #653404
27/06/19 03:54 PM
27/06/19 03:54 PM
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 1,233
S
Sordak Offline
veteran
Sordak  Offline
veteran
S

Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 1,233
the problem with hihg level DnD lies in DnD.
the best solution is not to touch it.
most PnP campaigns dont get there and for good reason

Re: Late-Game Content [Re: Sordak] #653406
27/06/19 04:23 PM
27/06/19 04:23 PM
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 108
Artagel Offline
member
Artagel  Offline
member

Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 108
Originally Posted by Sordak
why the hell do you people pretend that this is EA developing this game.


That bit about battle royal mode was something most people would consider humor...

Re: Late-Game Content [Re: Archaven] #653411
27/06/19 10:15 PM
27/06/19 10:15 PM
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 556
Midway Through Infinity
Try2Handing Offline OP
addict
Try2Handing  Offline OP
addict

Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 556
Midway Through Infinity
Originally Posted by Archaven
in regards to poe2. when was the last time you played the game? i played the game on highest difficult with upscaled AI.

I only played PoE2 when it just came out, actually. Way before the first DLC came out. I know "difficulty" wasn't much of a thing at that time. I watched CohhCarnage streamed it on very high difficulty much later on and saw that there were a lot of changes to difficulty and balancing compared to when I played it.

Originally Posted by Archaven
another thing i would like to know how normally XP or leveling gets balanced? it seems tremendously difficult? for example.. some people just wanted to play through the campaing and do minimal side quests. and some people like me.. would like to complete as much if not all? side quests before going through the main paths.

the issue here is.. if you didnt do the main paths early on, you possibly have a much difficult time if you try to play the side quests. because the game will scaled the XP / level gain base on the progress of the game. you will get much more XP and leveling if you brief through the main campaign but skipping the end game battles. they were designed in such a way that, you still be able to complete the game (even your interests are just the main campaign).

so this ended up that you are at the intended level when completed let's say 80% of the main campaign. but since is open world concept, you can still do other side quests (which became tremendously easy at this point.)

I like the way Dragon Age Origins handles this, with its Challenge Scaling system. There is a "level range" attached to every area, and a level range attached to basically every single enemy. Generally speaking, enemies will scale to your party level, but their level can't go below their minimum level or the area's minimum level, or above their maximum level or the area's maximum level.

For example, the Orzammar areas have level range 10-18. You can go there as early as at level 7, but you will have a pretty rough time, especially if you're playing on Nightmare, because all enemies are at least level 10. If you play through other major quests first, you may hit level 16-17 before getting to Orzammar, and the difficulty will feel more reasonable. An early area may have level range 7-15, so you can play through this area at early or mid-game and should still find reasonable challenges. Also, enemy level is only determined once, the first time your party enter that area, so that you can come back when you are stronger and *actually* have an easier time fighting enemies who used to be too tough for you. In general, as an enemy's level scales up, its statistics and equipment quality also scale up, and it will have access to higher level abilities.

Each creature type also has their own level range, to further adjust for their intended challenge rating. Creatures that are meant to be very weak will always be very weak, even if you enter the area at high party level. Creatures that are meant to be a challenge will, in most cases, not feel like a pushover, even if the area itself is right for your level.

Last edited by Try2Handing; 27/06/19 10:27 PM.

"We make our choices and take what comes and the rest is void."
Re: Late-Game Content [Re: Try2Handing] #653414
28/06/19 01:56 AM
28/06/19 01:56 AM
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 22
Stahl33 Offline
stranger
Stahl33  Offline
stranger

Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 22
Scaling has always been a bugbear of mine. DOS2 did it badly in some ways: Power and level items went up way too steeply!

@ Try2Handing: I agree a range of creature levels was a good thing about DAO - in fact DAO did a lot of good things!

My comments here: http://forums.larian.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=652823#Post652823

re-posted:

"Scaling:
I liked DoS2, but scaling was my biggest bugbear. I suspect D&D 5th edition will deal with this well. Within a system you need internal consistency. Hitpoints were originally representative not just of physical toughness but of the way a character could avoid damage or mitigate it on being hit. Humans / humanoids are not Gods, and if you scale things too far, the stats are unbelievable.
Also don’t make weapons and items scale too much. A level 1 character might stumble upon a +5 vorpal sword: He wouldn’t have it long, as the magic would soon be sensed by a magic user or monster of the planes. Or a rich merchant would pay well for it to take it off his hands, or someone would hire a thief to steal it. Lol you could include that in the game at first level, but then have it stolen after a bit, or be overwhelmed by a high level adventuring party that leaves you alive, but robbed of the high level item.
I think for immersion you need to look at a level 15 character and compare it to a level 1 character (with appropriate gear for level) and see just how big the difference is. If it is too big, it is too unrealistic! Again I suspect 5th Edition D&D will help prevent this."

In earlier D&D (I think 2nd edition), you saw a falling off of level gains, so that characters didn't become OP at higher levels. I still think this is the best way to do it... while some increase is still available at higher levels, the benefits should not be as great as earlier on... this means characters are still challenged by fights from earlier levels: just not as much.

One way would be:
make THAC0 reductions spaced out more at higher levels
maybe give more tricks on level ups (eg. HLAs), but make them NOT powerful, but just giving different options or ways around things. More tools!
Reduce hitpoint gain on level up significantly

Just imagine a log curve tapering with level on the X Axis and relative power on the Y Axis.... There is limited returns to levelling... BUT there are still returns!

Re: Late-Game Content [Re: Stahl33] #653415
28/06/19 03:01 AM
28/06/19 03:01 AM
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 556
Midway Through Infinity
Try2Handing Offline OP
addict
Try2Handing  Offline OP
addict

Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 556
Midway Through Infinity
Originally Posted by Stahl33
I agree a range of creature levels was a good thing about DAO - in fact DAO did a lot of good things.

It did indeed. If you do a bit of digging into the game's codes and all that, you get the feeling back then they still put a lot of thoughts and effort into their game(s), and into the right places.

A nice thing about Baldur's Gate 2 is that, it is harder than in most other games to be overleveled / overpowered. In BG2 the bigger emphasis is on what items and equipment you have available, and how you use them. In most cases your characters don't suddenly become much stronger every level-up. Maybe except for clerics and sorcerers.

Last edited by Try2Handing; 28/06/19 03:08 AM.

"We make our choices and take what comes and the rest is void."
Re: Late-Game Content [Re: Try2Handing] #653427
28/06/19 11:54 AM
28/06/19 11:54 AM
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 1,233
S
Sordak Offline
veteran
Sordak  Offline
veteran
S

Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 1,233
bounded accuracy solves the OS2 numbers bloat problem.
it does not however solve the issue of overleveling the content if you are a completionist

level scaling can be a double edged sword.
i like a bit of it.
What i dont like is stuff like WIzardry 8 where, if you overlevel too much you can end up with some figurativeely unwinnable encounters on the first road.

Last edited by Sordak; 28/06/19 11:54 AM.

Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.2