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Originally Posted by kanisatha

Yes exactly. That feeling of vulnerability at low levels is what is a rush for me. Having to run away from a pack of wolves ... priceless. And yes, I also have replayed BG1 way more than BG2.


Also true for me.

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Regardless of low or high (>6) level, it comes down to the challenge of the encounters. One area where I think a lot of developers get trapped into the same old tropes is when they scale everything for high level characters. In ToB for example, suddenly every character you meet has >100 hit points, even the gate guards! Ridiculous. And that is probably also why all high level D&D adventures eventually end up in the Underdark, because there you can justify all sorts of high level characters walking around. I am not a fan of this kind of global level scaling as a means of creating a challenge. I liked the fact that in BG I your first level character has a chance to interact with a 15th level wizard (Thalantyr). I think I would also enjoy the converse, where perhaps my high level PC (>6) has to deal with a low level character, if the story was good!

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Originally Posted by Warlocke
Originally Posted by SorcererVictor
Originally Posted by Warlocke
I do enjoy me some Dungeons and Kobolds. I’ve probably played BG1 twice as often as 2 for that reason. I do like the process of taking a character from a wet behind the ears greenhorn to a weathered veteran, but there is something special about the early part of the adventure. Every encounter carries more risk and danger. I always hate when DMs decide to start an adventure at level 4 or 5. (...)


But 2e maintain lethality even on crazy high levels. Karsus, the strongest magician who ever existed? A insanely powerful lv 41 arcanist, the highest of all genius magicians, of the most magic advanced magical kingdom ever who casted his first spell while a baby and the unique guy who casted a 12th tier magic ever, had just 74 hp. A polar bear probably can kill him in one round if he is in a antimagic field and can't use his powerful spells/magical items/contingency/etc.

An single poisoned arrow CAN kill you on 2e at lv 6 depending on your character. 2e also gives way less ho per level up, mainly after lv 10.

Many DM's love to start at lv 5 mainly on 2e and 3.5e cuz there aren't much things that you can do at lv 1/2/3. Hell, Paladins can only start to cast spells on 2e at lv 9. Necromancer specialized wizards only able to raise skeletons on lv 9 too.


Hmmm, it has been a looooong time since I actually played AD&D 2E pen and paper, but in my recent 5E campaign where our party was all lvl 13/14 we were still having some pretty tense encounters. We had a boss fight where our tank (a half orc who is literally Santa Claus) was taken down to 2 HP in only two attacks (one was a really nasty crit) and the only reason we survived the encounter was because Santa was healed by electrical damage, and my lightning attuned monk/sorcerer was hiding behind him hitting him with shocking grasp over and over, or as like to call it, spanking Santa.

... God I love D&D.

So maybe it depends on the DM? I dunno. I’ve had campaigns that maintain the threat for the entire duration. I do get that 5E is a very different beast than 2E, and there is a lot of stuff that has made it easier, but I find it to be overall better designed. I’m having more fun with it than previous iterations.


If he goes down, he has 3 "saves" to get up. If was on 2e, "Santa Claus" would have far less hp. After lv 10, he would get little to no hp bonus. Even on "epic" high levels, most of your characters, martial guys included are on two digit hp range. On 2e, even your lv 20+ character can die in a single round. An squad of 9 crossbowmans with poisoned arrows can kill a lv 20 fighter relatively easy on 2e, if he is not wearing armor.

Most problems of tedious long encounters are lv 15+ on 5e. This is the main reason to why I don't wanna lv cap = 20. If a Elder Brain CR is 14, having a lv cap of 13 is fine. Taking a mindflayer ship is not that impossible for a mid level party

Originally Posted by Warlocke
I hope Avowed has a third person camera. I never find 1st person more immersive. I feel more apart of a fictional world if I can see the character I’m playing as, visually place them in the setting. I’m hesitant about Microsoft taking control of any studio, but I’ve always maintained that Obsidian could do great things with proper funding, so we will see.


I strongly disagree. If the game gives the option, I an playing on first person.

My first RPG was Might & Magic VII - For Blood and Honor. The game was in first person.


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Originally Posted by Argyle
Regardless of low or high (>6) level, it comes down to the challenge of the encounters. One area where I think a lot of developers get trapped into the same old tropes is when they scale everything for high level characters. In ToB for example, suddenly every character you meet has >100 hit points, even the gate guards! Ridiculous. And that is probably also why all high level D&D adventures eventually end up in the Underdark, because there you can justify all sorts of high level characters walking around. I am not a fan of this kind of global level scaling as a means of creating a challenge. I liked the fact that in BG I your first level character has a chance to interact with a 15th level wizard (Thalantyr). I think I would also enjoy the converse, where perhaps my high level PC (>6) has to deal with a low level character, if the story was good!

This is a very good point with which I fully agree. I think this is part of a bigger issue in cRPGs and especially in recent years: the expectation that every single NPC or creature in the game is there for the purpose of giving the player something more to kill. It's bad enough that we now have people clamoring for the "right" to kill everyone and everything in a game. The next stage of this seems to be the demand that all those NPCs and creatures that one can kill should also be "challenging," so that one can pat themselves on the back for having done what they did "for the challenge of it" and not because of their psychosis. So when that god-level PC wanders across a puppy and they want to kill that puppy, the puppy had better be "challenging" so they can feel okay about killing the puppy.

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Who cares about balance, this is not a MMORPG, just play with no items and hardcore mode or something.
I want rule the world as a wizard god.

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Originally Posted by DrStrange
Who cares about balance, this is not a MMORPG, just play with no items and hardcore mode or something.
I want rule the world as a wizard god.


Even mmos got DESTROYED by ""balance"" cultists. Look to 90s mmos. Ultima Online, Dark Sun Online : Crimson Sands, an mmorpg with you ROLLING ATTRIBUTES, etc; and look to modern mmos, are all about managing cooldowns and farming stat stickie carnavalesque gear in a world with zero character individuality. Balance is good but not above role playing, fun, rule of cool, variety and etc.

Wanna make the game 100% balanced? You now can only be human ranger at lv 8 and will be a human ranger at lv 8 for all the game. No imbalance among player choice. Fun? No.

Last edited by SorcererVictor; 06/09/20 03:09 AM.
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Originally Posted by DrStrange
Who cares about balance, this is not a MMORPG, just play with no items and hardcore mode or something.
I want rule the world as a wizard god.


This conversation has been about challenge, not balance. Balance is making sure different classes and abilities have appropriate costs and drawbacks so nothing is so overly powered that it eclipses other classs and abilities. Challenge is making sure that the game is appropriately difficult throughout from start to finish. You shouldn’t need to artificially impose a lot of restrictions on yourself in order to find a satisfying challenge. I say this as somebody who regularly ascribes myself rules to increase or alter the difficulty of the games I play.

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I hope people understand that higher levels means we're giving-up something else because: LIMITED RESOURCES.

Do I want higher levels? Yes.

Would I trade the option for more subclasses, races, XGtE spells/invocations, etc. for more levels? NO.


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Originally Posted by NinthPlane
I hope people understand that higher levels means we're giving-up something else because: LIMITED RESOURCES.


There's no way to prove or disprove 'limited resources'. They could either stand pat with the amount of developers/etc they have now, or they could decide to hire more if needed, as far as that goes.

You're also forgetting the other variable in play, for which none of us know any set-in-stone value involved, and that is simply time from now till 1.0 release. Everyone has conjecture that it'll be around a year from now, but it could be longer - or shorter than that. Bottom line...the presumption you're making there is by no means a given fact at this point.

Last edited by Tyndaleon; 06/09/20 08:47 PM.

“Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain - and most fools do. But it takes character and self control to be understanding and forgiving.”---Dale Carnegie.
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I think every level up become less meaningfull by a huge amount if you level to fast in the early part of the game and to often as whole for 5e

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Originally Posted by DrStrange
Who cares about balance, this is not a MMORPG, just play with no items and hardcore mode or something.
I want rule the world as a wizard god.


This. My second character that I rolled in the 5th grade was a wizard, I really enjoyed going from hiding behind the rest of the party to being able to alter reality. First character was a clone of Elric who had blackrazor and could walk through level 15+ without fear of death.

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Valid point. In that case the cost is delaying the release date and the trade-off/question becomes:

... would most people be willing to wait X additional months for Y number of additional levels?


Last edited by NinthPlane; 06/09/20 09:09 PM. Reason: spelling
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Originally Posted by NinthPlane
Valid point. In that case the cost is delaying the release date and the trade-off/question becomes:

... would most people be willing to wait X additional months for Y number of additional levels?



The decision has already been made. If that particular design choice is the variable that will delay the release of the game then we are going to wait whether we want to or not.

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Originally Posted by DrStrange
Who cares about balance, this is not a MMORPG, just play with no items and hardcore mode or something.
I want rule the world as a wizard god.


I really dislike this argument, and I see it a lot. Balance is still important in a single player RPG. A game that isn't challenging also isn't as rewarding. It's why there are difficulty options - but balance is just the first step to that. Just stacking numbers higher doesn't make a game feel harder so much as it makes it feel tedious.

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Originally Posted by Annyliese
Originally Posted by DrStrange
Who cares about balance, this is not a MMORPG, just play with no items and hardcore mode or something.
I want rule the world as a wizard god.


I really dislike this argument, and I see it a lot. Balance is still important in a single player RPG. A game that isn't challenging also isn't as rewarding. It's why there are difficulty options - but balance is just the first step to that. Just stacking numbers higher doesn't make a game feel harder so much as it makes it feel tedious.


I feel just the opposite. Too much balance makes things bland. While PoE1 had one of the best -- if not the best -- stories to appear in an RPG the rules were bland and combat was a chore. And the ruleset was bland because of an excess of balance. There was no one class that stood above the rest, no race or background that stood out. The story of DOS2, on the other hand, was, well present but the ruleset allowed you to become a demigod that could beat the toughest enemies -- youtube is full of suggestions on how to build the strongest possible demigod.

Which doesn't necessarily equate to less challenging -- after figuring out the DOS2 ruleset I focused on beating the hammer twice and getting both of her hammers. After figuring out BG2 I tried to do it again with a solo character.

In D&D more levels means more options -- the wizard who only had and handful of things to do at level 1-5 now has a dozens of options.

TL;DR more levels = more options = more fun.

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Originally Posted by Annyliese
Originally Posted by DrStrange
Who cares about balance, this is not a MMORPG, just play with no items and hardcore mode or something.
I want rule the world as a wizard god.


I really dislike this argument, and I see it a lot. Balance is still important in a single player RPG. A game that isn't challenging also isn't as rewarding. It's why there are difficulty options - but balance is just the first step to that. Just stacking numbers higher doesn't make a game feel harder so much as it makes it feel tedious.


Challenge and balance are not the same thing.

Look to Dark Souls 2. A naked guy with a club will have a much harder time than a Chaos Rapier Hexer. Probably the strongest build since it has fire and dark damage, a quick attack on close quarters and powerful long range spells. But the game is fun and challenging with both builds. On Gothic 2, mages has way harder time than paladins but this doesn't means that the game is not fun or challenging as a paladin. A dwarf who wanna be a magician on Arcanum has a way harder time than an Elf. This doesn't means that is not a interesting character concept and run. Low int runs on FL 1/2 aren't optimal but are fun.

Balance is some times AGAINST immersion and variety. Pick vtmb for eg, the game is not hard, but Nosferatus has a way tougher time in that game compared to a Tremere for eg. If the devs had removed the clan from the game, killing a little of variety, the game would become more balanced. But better? And if the clan curse was nerfed and the deformity played just a -1 dot for seduction. It would kill the clan identity but would make the game more balanced.

Most amazing RPG's are umbalanced. VtMB? Arcanum? PF:KM? Might & Magic VI - Mandate of Heaven? All imbalanced.

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Originally Posted by SorcererVictor


Challenge and balance are not the same thing.


While you're right that they're not synonymous, challenge is a part of balance. Balancing a game also isn't just making sure everyone is on an even playing field. Specifically in an RPG it's making sure the player isn't being hit with ridiculous difficulty spikes or sections of the game that are incredibly too easy. For a co-op game it's also making sure everyone can play their build and feel like they contribute.

Balance NEVER hurts an RPG. There is always more choice than just 'remove what's strong'. Your example doesn't show balancing, it shows outright removal of a mechanic. Nerfing something or shifting its numerical values does not inherently change the identity of anything, for the second half of that. There are many ways to skin a cat, so to speak.

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The problem of low level campaigns it was not the challenge or balance, It´s that low levels were plain boring.

In 2e-3.5 the first 5-6 levels you are basically autoatacking every enemy you see with your preferred weapon if you play a rogue or a warrior of any kind, because you do not have much more to do than that. Rogues, even if you can do some sneaky stuff you´re so bad at it that you usually fail a lot. Mages and sorcs have spells to choose but you could only cast them twice or thrice a day...

Newer TT games usually give the players much more things to do at lower levels and some class features that made the game more enjoyable from the start.


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I hope at least they don't balance the game for low level characters like WotC does. Cause sometimes you wonder who tests their campaigns internally. Having a captain brute with 2 attacks per round and 65 HP accompanied by 7 brutes against level 1 characters in Descent into Avernus is certainly not what I call balance.

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Originally Posted by Annyliese
While you're right that they're not synonymous, challenge is a part of balance.


No, is not. If I wanna play VtMB as a Nosferatu, i expect that the deformity of the clan will make do most quests extremely harder. Because it makes perfectly sense.

Originally Posted by Annyliese
Balancing a game also isn't just making sure everyone is on an even playing field. Specifically in an RPG it's making sure the player isn't being hit with ridiculous difficulty spikes or sections of the game that are incredibly too easy.


That i STRONGLY disagree. If you decided to enter in a great wryvn lair at lv 4, you will get a really hard time. Having points on the history where the PC can take a huge challenge in exchange for a huge reward or points where he can enjoy a "power fantasy" by killing hordes of enemies easily is not bad.

Did you played gothic 2?

You in chapter 2 are send on valley of mines to SCOUT!!! Not to try to be the hero and kill all orks. If you try that, you will gonna die. Even if you have the Beliar's Claw as a warrior, you have no chance. Your mage, able to cast only circle 2 spells too. Not much chance against then.

However, when later in the game, you enter the valley of mines, you can now easily kill everyone who gave a really hard time and you had no chance. That is so satisfying... Mods from G2 like returning 2.0 maintain this formula and being able to end an ork army... This is so satisfying. Mainly when you spended hours running from then and now can >



Even D&D 4e which puts balance above everything else, included the "minion" rule.

Originally Posted by Annyliese
Nerfing something or shifting its numerical values does not inherently change the identity of anything, for the second half of that. There are many ways to skin a cat, so to speak.


Wrong. See spells on nwn2. They are trash.

Nerfing summons from CL * 2 hit dice of undead to a single undead literally killed necromancy in this game. Cloudkill is worthless and so on. Yes, nerfing some things can KILL an playstyle. And balance is entire subjective. See how many people complain about shotguns on BF 1/BF5, literally the least used weapon ever. I play nwn2 with spell fixes.

--------------------------------------

Modern MMOs are trash exactly cuz they put balance above everything else. On 90s, mmos was like SP games. Ultima Online and Dark Sun Online : Crimson Sands are extremely umbalanced but extremely fun. Modern mmos are trash. I don't wanna that the same thing who ruined mmos, ruins SP games too.

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