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No, it's not. Numbers and the manipulation there of is a very parochial mechanic to use and results in a narrow style of play. Numbers will result in players being forced down certain roads because it's the path of least resistance, changing mechanics and intelligence allows characters to play how they want..but against smarter opponents.

Making ridiculously high saves for enemies forces players to methodically use spells like Divine Light, Drain Willpower etc and it doesn't make it hard, it makes it tedious. It's like having a huge equation with multiple variables, but the variables have been already figured out so all you have to do is plug them in..its not hard, it just takes a long time.

Basically, by changing numbers all you do is recreate the same hurdle to jump through over and over. Damage output vs damage received and using debuffs to saving throw abilities. By changing how enemies react and think you force new strategies on the player.

I love Dark Souls, one of my favorite series and I have played it since Demons Souls. One of the reasons people love the difficulty of Dark Souls series is that most of the time the added difficulty comes in the form of enemies having new abilities, changing their attack routines or adding another monster that isn't hard to kill but substantially changes the fight because of some small thing they do. Yeah, they have more HP, Res, Def and hit harder as well but the player isn't hamstrung and the numbers on the Evil NPC stat sheet are not the only thing that changes.

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Quote
No, it's not. Numbers and the manipulation there of is a very parochial mechanic to use and results in a narrow style of play. Numbers will result in players being forced down certain roads because it's the path of least resistance, changing mechanics and intelligence allows characters to play how they want..but against smarter opponents.


Right now (good) players have to avoid many tactics to get a decent challenge. Reducing the effectiveness of a small number number of overly strong skills won't force players down one road, but will actually incentive them to use other skills that were just inferior before. I agree that AI and mechanics are the most important things to fix, but number balance has its place too. I guess we'll just agree to disagree.

The early part of this thread was a discussion of just how easy the game is. Except for the beginning and a couple boss fights, the game is really quite easy. Fixing numbers will take us from easy to "I actually have to think a little bit since the 'I-win-automatically' tactics will be gone," and then fixing AI (by increasing variety of their behaviors and reducing their dumb mistakes) and changing some mechanics will actually make the game hard in a fun way. Changing numbers can create tedium if fights become formulaic and long but not challenging, so Larian certainly has to be careful here.

Is variety part of the answer? Most certainly, but variety is also already part of the problem. Players can access basically everything and they don't make very many sacrifices to do so. Mages don't have to specialize, and many great spells or abilities in all schools are available with one point in a school. There should be many more spells available overall, but players shouldn't be able to access quite as many of them. There's probably nothing Larian can do about that now, though. I don't think there's a simple, non-radical solution to the classless system. The best we can do is to rebalance a lot of the skill trees so they're not so frontloaded with amazing spells. E.g., you shouldn't be able to get a 3-AP oath of desecration with 1 point in Witchcraft.

On the one hand, I want variety and to be able to use it. On the other, I want to have to make serious choices about spells and abilities. Hopefully adding a lot more spells for each class will help both of those, but I think there'd have to be deeper changes to really find that sweet spot.


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Originally Posted by Bladenite78
No, it's not. Numbers and the manipulation there of is a very parochial mechanic to use and results in a narrow style of play. Numbers will result in players being forced down certain roads because it's the path of least resistance, changing mechanics and intelligence allows characters to play how they want..but against smarter opponents.

Making ridiculously high saves for enemies forces players to methodically use spells like Divine Light, Drain Willpower etc and it doesn't make it hard, it makes it tedious. It's like having a huge equation with multiple variables, but the variables have been already figured out so all you have to do is plug them in..its not hard, it just takes a long time.

Basically, by changing numbers all you do is recreate the same hurdle to jump through over and over. Damage output vs damage received and using debuffs to saving throw abilities. By changing how enemies react and think you force new strategies on the player.

I love Dark Souls, one of my favorite series and I have played it since Demons Souls. One of the reasons people love the difficulty of Dark Souls series is that most of the time the added difficulty comes in the form of enemies having new abilities, changing their attack routines or adding another monster that isn't hard to kill but substantially changes the fight because of some small thing they do. Yeah, they have more HP, Res, Def and hit harder as well but the player isn't hamstrung and the numbers on the Evil NPC stat sheet are not the only thing that changes.


Amen!

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What could be done easily and fast is rather simple:

- No out of combat opening attacks
- Initiative gets randomized
- NPCs apply more Crowd Control Attacks (like the demons from mangoth already do btw)

Nothing dramatic, nothing really new, but all 3 combined certainly raising difficulty by soem notches.

Regards,
Thorsten

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Only 1 problem with "No out of combat opening attacks" how do you do that in a game that has you use magic to clear dangerous ground effects or blow up doors and crates etc.?

It would have to be a special flag just for enemies then? What if those enemies stand near a barrel, and you target that? Seems like a solution, but in practice first-strike is in the game because of certain design choices. I doubt it could be easily removed without breaking the game. And to begin with, some battles would have to be re-designed entirely. Right now some situations are clearly made with first-strike and certain move order in mind. ANY encounter with bomb carriers for example. Imagine the trap with the chest and the 12 explosion guys, with random initiative wink You'd be dead unless you are lucky.

Not saying that makes your conclusions wrong, I am saying the game was not made for these changes. And there are plenty of situations where changes have secondary effects. To begin with the entire stealth and even the TUTORIAL would no longer work.

Reminds of the saying "There are simple solutions to all problems, and they are all wrong" wink

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Easy in comparison to all other suggestions on how to make combat more difficult.

Regarding the graveyard - yes, fight would have to be revamped. Although with rain you are in no danger whatsoever in any case.

Even a new difficulty should be aimed at a reasonable amount of players (like say 10%) instead of the ususal 1% extreme min/maxers.

Regards,
Thorsten

Last edited by Thorsten; 17/10/14 06:47 PM.
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The game needs a hard mode, more so than the one built in. The most recent patch on Steam that made mention of "balancing" the combat seems to have made it insignificant. In the original release game build a part of level 3 characters would be committing suicide taking on the level 7 wolves in the Cyseal zone. Playing a new game after the patch in order to try the new rogue and ranger characters with a back story I was able to easily defeat the level 7 mobs at level 3! The battle against Braccas Rex was comical at best. The boss ran into the door way where you enter his dungeon and stood there watching me kill his minions and only after the last one was dead did he wake up. The ice king battle King Boreas, prior to the patch on normal the battle was a long drawn out slug fest that was allot of fun. After the patch my group had him at 1/2 health at the end of turn one and he only managed to summon one set of elementals before he was dead. After that battle I increased the difficulty to hard in the hopes of making it more of a battle instead of a slaughter for the enemy!

I have about 550 + hours in the game and I assume part of the problem is I know the game too well now. My usual gold total is between 700,000 ( if I am being lazy ) to 1.1 million if I really work at it. Coll down time on all spells is 1 turn due to intellect numbers as high as 26. Base damage for Madora is about 570, AC is 200 + and with her speed at 13, she is virtually unstoppable on the battle field. On my last play through #5 I didn't bother with constitution a whole lot. My Ranger with Glass Cannon skill was at 1300 HP and my Tank, Madora was at 2600. I concentrated on speed ( for more action points in combat ) perception for my ranger at 15 and 15 on my lead character to spot traps and hidden items without the use of pots or spells. Black smithing over 2 was all I needed and 3 in craft then +2 more with gear. Lore master was 3 and +3 with gear. I notice that random drops favor lore master and telekinesis allot more than is needed.

The pure randomness of the buffs on loot is a real sore point with me. I find a 2 handed weapon that has +1 sneak and +1 one handed sword? Heavy full plate armor with +1 dexterity and +1 Bow? The loot tables really need a good over haul as the random effects are pure rubbish and very lazy on the part of Larian.

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Now, now, lets not be that harsh skinny. Rubish, very lazy... cmon.
Manners please. After all we get so much loot that it really isnt a problem if every piece isnt perfect or useful.

I think that decrease in difficulty you described there was in fact due to getting to know the game thoroughly.

As for Ai i would like to see it made bit dumber for specific enemies. I have a special beef with headless zombies using smart moves. :P

And of course i would be absolutely against removing opening attacks. What a silly counterproductive idea. If anything i wish enemies get them too more often.


Originally Posted by Cattletech
Originally Posted by Bladenite78
No, it's not. Numbers and the manipulation there of is a very parochial mechanic to use and results in a narrow style of play. Numbers will result in players being forced down certain roads because it's the path of least resistance, changing mechanics and intelligence allows characters to play how they want..but against smarter opponents.

Making ridiculously high saves for enemies forces players to methodically use spells like Divine Light, Drain Willpower etc and it doesn't make it hard, it makes it tedious. It's like having a huge equation with multiple variables, but the variables have been already figured out so all you have to do is plug them in..its not hard, it just takes a long time.

Basically, by changing numbers all you do is recreate the same hurdle to jump through over and over. Damage output vs damage received and using debuffs to saving throw abilities. By changing how enemies react and think you force new strategies on the player.

I love Dark Souls, one of my favorite series and I have played it since Demons Souls. One of the reasons people love the difficulty of Dark Souls series is that most of the time the added difficulty comes in the form of enemies having new abilities, changing their attack routines or adding another monster that isn't hard to kill but substantially changes the fight because of some small thing they do. Yeah, they have more HP, Res, Def and hit harder as well but the player isn't hamstrung and the numbers on the Evil NPC stat sheet are not the only thing that changes.


Amen!


Thats what i suggested in my thread about the overhaul of exactly that kind of penalties, then increasing the difficulty through more direct and organic gameplay features.


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Originally Posted by Bladenite78
...

I love Dark Souls, one of my favorite series and I have played it since Demons Souls. One of the reasons people love the difficulty of Dark Souls series is that most of the time the added difficulty comes in the form of enemies having new abilities, changing their attack routines or adding another monster that isn't hard to kill but substantially changes the fight because of some small thing they do. Yeah, they have more HP, Res, Def and hit harder as well but the player isn't hamstrung and the numbers on the Evil NPC stat sheet are not the only thing that changes.
Bullshit, people like Dark Souls because it has a spammable "Negate all damage" button and every boss is a huge QTE where you tickle him to death. You can beat the game with a character that has a MAXIMUM health of ONE POINT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Originally Posted by Bladenite78
...enemies having new abilities, changing their attack routines or adding another monster...
Would have been good to post examples.

Last edited by Blablabla; 22/05/15 08:26 PM.
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Originally Posted by Blablabla
Bullshit, people like Dark Souls because it has a spammable "Negate all damage" button and every boss is a huge QTE where you tickle him to death. You can beat the game with a character that has a MAXIMUM health of ONE POINT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


What is this "negate all damage" button? I've beat all the games and I guess I've missed that button every time.

There also is no QTE going on....

I enjoy those games because of the challenge that is not to say a small percentage of people wont find a way to beat the game at level one but all games have that percentage of people that find ways to beat the game without leveling.

Last edited by Deathfromace; 22/05/15 09:29 PM.
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Originally Posted by Deathfromace
....
What is this "negate all damage" button? I've beat all the games and I guess I've missed that button every time.

There also is no QTE going on....
Dodging makes you invulnerable while you dodge and that turns every boss fight into a QTE: "Press dodge button now or die". Just because it doesn't state which button to press doesn't change the fact that it is a QTE.

Originally Posted by Deathfromace
....
I enjoy those games because of the challenge that is not to say a small percentage of people wont find a way to beat the game at level one but all games have that percentage of people that find ways to beat the game without leveling.
Because dodging makes you INVULNERABLE! Try beating the game with blocking only at level 1.

Fun little thought experiment: Everytime you dodge in a boss battle you say "Dodge" out loud and record it. Can you determine what boss you're fighting if you listen to the recordings afterwards or are all they all too similar?

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