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A quick suggestion regarding Halsin's abilities. I noticed during my last playthrough that Halsin has 6 or 7 (I don't exactly remember) 1st level spell slots. He also has 5 or 6 2nd level spell slots. For any druid, according to DnD 5e, the maximum number of spell slots of these levels that you could possibly have is 4 and 3, respectively. Why does that bother me? Because it gives me the feeling of 'oh look what an amazingly strong NPC this is, sadly I can never be this strong', because we can not have this number of spell slots, no matter how high our level is. It also gives me the feeling as if Halsin doesn't even need my help since he is so freaking strong already.

Yes, Halsin is the first druid and therefore powerful, but he is not above the rules. Or he shouldn't be, is all I'm saying. If you really think Halsin should be stronger for whatever reason, just give him a higher level, but don't add things that a player can never achieve. It is demotivating.

Edit: I have been made aware that this apparently also applies to other NPCs and enemies. Of course my point applies to those as well, not only to Halsin.

Last edited by Sigi98; 06/06/21 08:07 PM.
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This is kinda a thing that has happened across the board for better and worse, most all the NPC casters have an amount of spell slots or castings that do not align with the player character.

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Giving NPCs a higher level lets us admire or fear them, depending if they are ally or foe. Giving them unfair abilities and having the rules not apply to them is demotivating at best, and very frustrating at worst.

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Not even something I was aware of or that I cared about until I read this post, but still... I have genuinely no idea why Larian seems to be so obsessed with this conviction/design principle that they need to constantly come up with some custom stuff rather than sticking to the rules of the setting.

Monsters with powers that don't match the lore (Phase Spiders are supposed to attack only in melee, not spit AoE poison. Minotaurs are not supposed to jump tens of meters away, Spectators shouldn't have half a dozen casts per turn, etc), arbitrary implementation of spells and rules and little or no care for internal consistency.

I guess the idea here was "People in the past complained that Halsin is not very credible as Arch druid (I did this myself pointing that at level 4 he had no place as a archdruid, by the way - Tuco) so let's make it more powerful".
Ok? Not a bad idea in principle, but why didn't you make it more powerful by building him up like an actual D&D character, rather than improvising asspulls left and right?

If the concern is that a high level druid helping directly the player would be imbalanced, here's two comments on that:

1) you put yourselves in this situation by deciding that an arch druid would temporary join the party. Deal with it somehow.
2) why not just give him some very heavy debuff like "Weakened"/exhaust/whatever? It would solve a lot of issues while maintaining narrative consistency.

Last edited by Tuco; 06/06/21 01:59 PM.

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They can always raise NPC levels without breaking the rules. Why do they need to tamper with spell slots separately??

I don't like them tweaking the rules everywhere. Those changes are almost without exception making the game worse. I especially hate the monsters that have been given extra abilities and mobility. Larian are destroying the tactics and dynamics of combat with these unnecessary additions.

Same with attributes. They give random NPCs much higher stats than what is available to players with point buy. Doesn't exactly make your PC feel special when some whatever mini boss has much higher stats. Higher levels would be fine because there is always someone more experienced than you. But the PC should be the "special" one with the greatest hero potential.

Last edited by 1varangian; 06/06/21 02:42 PM.
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Originally Posted by Tuco
I guess the idea here was "People in the past complained that Halsin is not very credible as Arch druid (I did this myself pointing that at level 4 he had no place as a archdruid, by the way - Tuco) so let's make it more powerful".
Ok? Not a bad idea in principle, but why didn't you make it more powerful by building him up like an actual D&D character, rather than improvising asspulls left and right?

Yeah, this is exactly what I meant.

Originally Posted by Tuco
why not just give him some very heavy debuff like "Weakened"/exhaust/whatever? It would solve a lot of issues while maintaining narrative consistency.

This could be a good solution!

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Could also be a placeholder for EA, as they haven't implemented 5th level and above.

In the released game he might very well be a lvl XX druid

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Originally Posted by EvilVik
Could also be a placeholder for EA, as they haven't implemented 5th level and above.

In the released game he might very well be a lvl XX druid
Well, sure. It could be.
It would be easier to know what they think about this stuff if they were ever going to talk to us about this stuff.


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Exhausted status is certainly implemented in EA ... you can see it at various NPCs, for example that bird Nettie is taking care of.


I liked original spellcasting system more ... frown

Anyway ... i cast Eldritch Blast!
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As if to say, virtually every enemy wizard has much more spell slots than the player. Honestly, I don't care too much. The AI always cheats in games for a simple reason otherwise it wouldn't stand a chance against the player.

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Originally Posted by Rhobar121
As if to say, virtually every enemy wizard has much more spell slots than the player. Honestly, I don't care too much. The AI always cheats in games for a simple reason otherwise it wouldn't stand a chance against the player.
I don't think that's a good excuse, honestly.
AI often "cheats" in games and players since the dawn of videogames have called that bullshit out.

And the AI usually has already the numeric advantage to make up for the gap. Or (initial) control of the battlefield and other similar minor compensators.


Of course, cheating by playing with a different set of rules is an option too, but the most distasteful. Which gets worse when you are even adapting what was already a game system to begin with, with precise expectations on how certain things should behave.


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Originally Posted by Rhobar121
As if to say, virtually every enemy wizard has much more spell slots than the player. Honestly, I don't care too much. The AI always cheats in games for a simple reason otherwise it wouldn't stand a chance against the player.

If the enemy is given a much higher level than me to make it challenging - please do, that's totally ok.
If the enemy is above the rules that I am forced to adhere to - that's demotivating.

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I think its fine for variance IF you get enemies who have less spell slots as well, otherwise I'd rather they follow the rules. Also replace Level when looking at a NPC with CR.

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Originally Posted by CJMPinger
[...] replace Level when looking at a NPC with CR.

I'd like that too!

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Originally Posted by Sigi98
Originally Posted by Rhobar121
As if to say, virtually every enemy wizard has much more spell slots than the player. Honestly, I don't care too much. The AI always cheats in games for a simple reason otherwise it wouldn't stand a chance against the player.

If the enemy is given a much higher level than me to make it challenging - please do, that's totally ok.
If the enemy is above the rules that I am forced to adhere to - that's demotivating.

It's not that easy. If you give him a higher level, it can be very confusing for players. If the player sees the wizard on 7lvl, won't he wonder if he accidentally came to some location too early? Level is a hint for the player whether he should be in this location or not it is too difficult for him.
What about higher level spells? If we raise our opponents to a higher level, shouldn't they get access to higher-level spells? Should the wizard in the goblin camp then be able to throw a fireball at us and possibly kill the entire team?
Adjusting your opponents is definitely needed. The opponents cannot be too weak, otherwise the fight will be boring at the same time, if you increase their level, it may turn out that they suddenly become too powerful. Theoretically, this can be fixed by increasing the number of opponents, but in this type of game it will not work well.

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Originally Posted by Rhobar121
If you give him a higher level, it can be very confusing for players. If the player sees the wizard on 7lvl, won't he wonder if he accidentally came to some location too early? Level is a hint for the player whether he should be in this location or not it is too difficult for him.

CJMPinger has suggested that enemies could get a challenge rating instead of a level, and I really like that idea. Then you would only need a quick tutorial message explaining that level doesn't equal challenge rating, and that's that. But I get where you're coming from.

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Originally Posted by CJMPinger
I think its fine for variance IF you get enemies who have less spell slots as well, otherwise I'd rather they follow the rules. Also replace Level when looking at a NPC with CR.

The problem with CR is that for most players say nothing. Level, however is an universal thing in games that any player will haven't a any problem.

Last edited by Rhobar121; 06/06/21 08:43 PM.
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I have three points to make about "confusing the player":

- since we are on topic, levels shouldn't be shown under the characters names at all. And that's true for CR as well. Maybe doing an inspect after a check on knowledge of a pertinent field or something of that sort. "Showing the level" is not a D&D thing and it's not a great mechanic for any RPG that wants to mantain a degree of "suspension of disbelief" in general. It's another instance of Larian borrowing from the DOS games one thing that many didn't like even there (because not liking the way DOS1 and 2 "railroaded" the players with levels is one of the most common complaints I read about these games even on more generalist forums). I sure as hell hope we'll be given AT LEAST the option to hide these level tags and that the game won't be designed on the same principle of "follow this breadcrumb trail of growing numbers"

- confusion or not, this is not strictly about telling to the players. An Archdruid should be ideally be a high level character FOR CONSISTENCY before anything else. Put the guy in a weakened state if it's for a balance concern, but that's pretty much it.

- I have no idea what sort of moron would explore the entire goblin camp and then suddenly seeing a high level non-aggro bear in a cage would think "Oh no, I must be in the wrong place, that's so confusing" and leave the area without doing anything, frankly.

Last edited by Tuco; 07/06/21 01:23 AM.

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I do like the idea of him being in a weakened state or there being a good reason he isn't so high level as a druid.

Originally Posted by Rhobar121
Originally Posted by CJMPinger
I think its fine for variance IF you get enemies who have less spell slots as well, otherwise I'd rather they follow the rules. Also replace Level when looking at a NPC with CR.

The problem with CR is that for most players say nothing. Level, however is an universal thing in games that any player will haven't a any problem.

It could mean something if you explain it to a player, what it means. Could have a tooltip when one successfully inspects an opponent it says "A Low CR means a weaker opponent, while higher CR means a stronger opponent. Be careful fighting enemies with a higher CR than your level."

Last edited by CJMPinger; 07/06/21 01:30 AM.
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Side thought, in regard to difficulty grade, area advancement and confusing the player...

What if they used monsters and creatures that all adhered to the actual game rules - and for custom monsters, they build them using the rules and calculating their CR correctly etc., but then, whenever you were actively in combat, it would have all of the enemies present with their ratings, and it could use the game's own rules to give you a peek at the projected danger grade of the encounter you're currently in - a little signifier on the UI somewhere, related to the combat elements. Something subtle but visible.

So, you get into an encounter with a group of creatures, and you're not sure if you're in an over-levelled area or not... but you can look and see off to one side on your UI that it's calculating the current collective of enemies in the initiative order as a 'Medium" encounter for the allies in the encounter. It's nota precise thing, and CR definitely can give false impression in some cases, but it's a guide line, or a rule of thumb that would be simple and helpful to the player, without being confusing.

The enemies would have to play by the same rules as us for building and stats for that to work, though.

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