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The armor system is largely the result of a questionable design of the first game. In a turn based strategic game with very few units, the majority of CCs should be soft to keep the game fun and balanced, but in Divinity: Original Sin, hard CCs are just as common as the soft ones. Of course the designer can constrain them with RNG, but having tons of binary complete disables with RNG would greatly increase the randomness of the game, and many players do not like that.


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Thanks, roughly what I think about the game as well.
Bought it a long time ago based on how much I liked OS:EE, but the final systems are pretty much all downgrades and balance is entirely off.

I particularly dislike the stat change with JRPG style inflation.
Reminds me of Diablo 3, same silly model that was a plague since the very start(disclaimer: I think D3 was fun despite the stat system). Separate physical/magical armor with the current CC interactions, wonky initiative and the other small annoyances quickly add up.

EE was a nice gesture so didn't refund this one on seeing what was released.
Since then I'm over the 2 hour limit so here's to hoping in a few months it's something I also enjoy playing.

Last edited by Draba; 27/09/17 11:43 AM.
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Originally Posted by Draba
I particularly dislike the stat change with JRPG style inflation.
Reminds me of Diablo 3, same silly model that was a plague since the very start(disclaimer: I think D3 was fun despite the stat system).


The inflation increases the value of bartering, luck and thievery.

You haven't actually mentioned what exactly you don't like about the inflation though. Just that it reminds you of D3.

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Originally Posted by Draba

EE was a nice gesture so didn't refund this one on seeing what was released.
Since then I'm over the 2 hour limit so here's to hoping in a few months it's something I also enjoy playing.

But DOS: EE did not improve mechanics much, most flaws in the vanilla version are still there, and certain things like combat stealth and bartering became completely useless. Hope this time it will be different.

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Originally Posted by Aryah
The inflation increases the value of bartering, luck and thievery.
Wait, are you confusing his use of "inflation" in relation to the stats with monetary inflation? He is no doubt referring to the way numbers just increase without any actual value, whether we're talking about health, damage, resistances or anything else.

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Originally Posted by Aryah
The inflation increases the value of bartering, luck and thievery.

You haven't actually mentioned what exactly you don't like about the inflation though. Just that it reminds you of D3.


Yep, inflation in the "why on earth does a lvl 18 weapon does ~90% more damage than a lvl 17 one" sense, nothing to do with prices.
Didn't go into specifics as the first post in this thread is pretty detailed.

It reminds me to D3 because:
- Both stat systems are VERY simplistic: pump mainstat for a straight multiplier on damage, maybe get some extra HP(and a constant tax for memory slots in OS2)
- Both systems end up with way too many zeroes at the end of damage/HP, for no good reason

This kind of system is a staple of grindy MMORPGs(for gating content) and primitive browser games(for low-effort content generation), feels out of place in a game like this.
Really subjective but for me it's usually an indicator of poor balance and certainly doesn't feel elegant.

Originally Posted by qwerty3w
But DOS: EE did not improve mechanics much, most flaws in the vanilla version are still there, and certain things like combat stealth and bartering became completely useless. Hope this time it will be different.


It felt a lot better than the original one and was free despite probably needing a lot of time to make. Was still kinda unbalanced but in the end its faults were much less annoying than how fun the combat was.
Definitely a big plus in my book.

Last edited by Draba; 27/09/17 01:56 PM.
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Originally Posted by Luckmann
Wait, are you confusing his use of "inflation" in relation to the stats with monetary inflation? He is no doubt referring to the way numbers just increase without any actual value, whether we're talking about health, damage, resistances or anything else.


Nope, I'm referring to the inflation of stats. They increase the value of the "money skills".

Originally Posted by Draba
Yep, inflation in the "why on earth does a lvl 18 weapon does ~90% more damage than a lvl 17 one" sense, nothing to do with prices.


It has a lot to do with prices wink

Originally Posted by Draba
It reminds me to D3 because:
- Both stat systems are VERY simplistic: pump mainstat for a straight multiplier on damage, maybe get some extra HP(and a constant tax for memory slots in OS2)


What's actually wrong with simple though? As I mentioned previously, your class levels give you stats as well. That in combination with attributes is plenty.

Originally Posted by Draba
- Both systems end up with way too many zeroes at the end of damage/HP, for no good reason


What is actually wrong with a few zeroes except if you have something against zeroes?

Originally Posted by Draba
This kind of system is a staple of grindy MMORPGs(for gating content) and primitive browser games(for low-effort content generation), feels out of place in a game like this.
Really subjective but for me it's usually an indicator of poor balance and certainly doesn't feel elegant.


They are absolutely gating content with the inflation. This is an incredibly novel thing in tactical RPG gameplay. In most RPGs I'm used to having ridiculous amounts of money where it is no object. This happened in DOSEE. Here in DOS2 you have to carefully plan how you're going to be spending your resources.

Except in DOS2 (and DOS generally) they have per encounter ethic with regard to combat encounter content generation. Each encounter is unique with unique terrain. That's how it was in tabletop RPGs and is something which wonderfully sets DOS apart. This is a far cry from a grindy game like Pillars of Eternity (which I also enjoyed ultimately). To say they have low effort content generation, IMO is an incredibly unfair assessment.

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In my experience retribution has been amazing. Currently I am playing two dwarf chars with max con and lone wolf with retribution up to 22-24 lvl and its a lot of fun to me with comeback kid and morning person. Especially when a melee comes in and does whirlwind and then takes 110% of damage dealt TWICE. Archers kill themselves, mages kinda do a funny run back and forth thing because their casts hurt them so much more. So far its the only build that makes me laugh in combat.

DOS:EE though, I laughed a lot with pretty much any build because for some reason the combat was just a lot more fun.

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Low numbers are visually cleaner, for example:
361 hp 46 damage
Compare to:
3645943 hp and 464356 damage

And high item obsoletion rate make getting good new items feel much less rewarding, a better system to many players here would be the best items can be found throughout the game, but a player won't have enough of them to fill every item slots until the very late game.

I don't see how inflation is needed to make resource mangement interesting. It is not necessary for a survival game, Rogue-like or old-school dungeon crawling RPG, why it is needed for D:OS2?

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Originally Posted by lamp


DOS:EE though, I laughed a lot with pretty much any build because for some reason the combat was just a lot more fun.


In DOS:EE combos worked. And there was plenty of option to do very weird and fun shit in combat. I dont feel that option in DOS2. Even if Retri build is okish its boring as fuck.

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Originally Posted by Aryah
It has a lot to do with prices wink


Oh, you mean rebuying gear every few levels acts as a moneysink. I'd prefer other mechanics, camping shops isn't fun.
Repair costs, consumables being more practical, anything else really.

Originally Posted by Aryah
What's actually wrong with simple though? As I mentioned previously, your class levels give you stats as well.


There are less meaningful choices, removes a lot of depth.
In most systems there are inevitably better and worse choices, but "pump mainstat every level" is something I'd expect from a browser game.

Originally Posted by Aryah
What is actually wrong with a few zeroes except if you have something against zeroes?


- Finding an interesting unique doesn't feel as rewarding. Got a silly axe that makes humans generate a pool of water below themselves on hit? You will replace it in an hour anyway.
- I really, really dislike the artifical progression and difficulty it generates. A lvl 20 character is practically a different species than one at 15.
Not because it has access to powerful abilities and dirty tricks, simply because it has 5 times your stats.
- Not the cause of, but exacerbates the problem of camping vendors being the best way to get gear. Drops 1-2 levels below you are practically guaranteed to be useless.
- Smaller numbers are just more comfortable to work with(before anyone asks, yes I'm kinda familiar with the 4 basic mathematical operations smile ).

I said inflation is mostly used for gating and procedural generation and don't see the purpose here, not that it's a low effort copout(although I do think one of the reasons was to reduce time spent balancing).
The only purpose I can think of is making sure that munchkins and roleplayers are both roughly in the same league at a given level, so both can go for roughly the same areas.
Dunno why would that be important with explorer/classic/tactician modes being an option though.

Don't see why you feel gating is something new or innovative here, if you really don't want people to wander into areas 3+ levels higher just lock those.
The end result is practically the same, you just can't use "total freedom of movement(you'll get creamed ofc)" as a marketing bullet point.

Overall I'm probably part of a minority in that I practically only liked OS:EE for the combat and that being interesting/somewhat challenging is my main priority.
Seems like plenty of people love the game as-is so I'll just wait for some updates/mods, or just skip the next game if this one doesn't end up as something I enjoy.

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Originally Posted by Draba

Overall I'm probably part of a minority in that I practically only liked OS:EE for the combat and that being interesting/somewhat challenging is my main priority.
Seems like plenty of people love the game as-is so I'll just wait for some updates/mods, or just skip the next game if this one doesn't end up as something I enjoy.


Im with you 100%. I expected DOS2 to have great combat and character progression/variety. I liked the more adult tone of the game and story is better but still if combat is bad then the game has very little value to ME. I enjoyed one playthough but I could get myself to do second one. And in DOS1 on my second playthough I only began understanding the game and mechanics.

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This is a bit more general but I feel like people reading this thread could give me some insight. Why do games change with sequels? Why did they completely overhaul combat when their first game did it so well? Why change? I really loved the first game it was the best I played in years and I thought the combat was a ton of fun. Why didnt they just add in their new skills/classes, new map and update graphics? Why would you take something that was so good and totally change it?

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Originally Posted by Luckmann
This is a compilation of my thoughts on a range of topics, originally prompted by the thread on the RPG Codex and the request by Kevin at Larian for feedback. Since this was originally written by me on the RPG Codex, I will not primarily be monitoring this thread, but rather my original post there. However, I'd like to implore Larian to actually trudge through said thread, since it is in the nature of the 'dex to pick apart and analyze even the smallest flaws, even on the things we love, but also to relentlessly dump on the unacceptable. If you can get past the coarseness, it is a gold-mine of feedback and suggestions.

These are my thoughts regarding some of the issues discussed, why they're issues (when not obvious), and thoughts on what can be done about it. I'm just listing these based on the small list of suggested issues mentioned earlier in the thread, and while other things have been discussed, most other issues have been simple matters of taste, or things that are literally unfixable at a fundamental level (there is no way to get the money back that was spent on voice acting, anyway). These vary greatly in their size and relevance, as will commentary on them. Some are minor, and some are really major in how they affect the game.

There are also very specific issues in the game, such as how specifically Necromancy seems to have been somewhat shafted, or how incredibly fucking broken Bone Widow is, how oil surfaces penetrate anything but completely non-magical fire surfaces somehow target magic armor, or the apparent tendency towards massive over-compensation, will not be addressed. They're simply too specific and this would quickly simply devolve into a laundry-list of unconstructive bitching, like a list of unforgivable grievances straight out of the book of grudges. It's an imperfect world. The intent of this episode of "Issues as according to me" is to examine things that are actually fixable or discuss things that are systemic in nature. Not every single flaw in the game, big or small.

I do this, as stated, because I feel it necessary to do so, lest bitching remain simple bitching. I genuinely enjoy most of D:OS2, I absolutely adored D:OS1 and think it was one of the best co-op experiences I've ever had in a game, and while I doubt that D:OS2 will reach that same level simply because it seems to be based a lot less around the idea of co-op (I will forever lament the fact that there appears to be no points of contention or places in the game where there's an exchange between player characters on what to do next, and that the contentious resolution system (Rock–paper–scissors), however silly it may have been, is gone forever; it was a nice piece of shared storytelling, whereas now the focus appears to be on an individual story that you just happen to share).

There's really no way to TLDR this.
  • The AI behaving retarded at times, for no discernible reason.

This one is actually quite minor, but frustrating, because it is so consistent. By far the most common issue is that enemies often tries to run away from players with Opportunist, suffers an Attack of Opportunity, lose AP, and proceeds to commence the attack they were seemingly planning all along - often a touch-attack spell or even a melee attack. Neither of which they would've needed to move for to begin with. And this happens a lot. Sometimes, they break away from someone with Opportunist, only to run to someone else (that may also have opportunist) and attack them - then, the next turn, they break away from the character they are now engaged with, suffer an Attack of Opportunity, and runs back to the one they first ran away from. Sometimes this happens even over environmental effects.

Now, someone might argue that "the AI doesn't know that you have Opportunist, nor should they!" - and that's a fair point, and one I happen to agree with, but it is already an established fact in D:OS2 that the enemies are psychic, as evidenced by their use of everything against Glass Cannons, or how they immediately target undeads with healing spells. I personally believe that the AI should treat all opponents equally unless they have cause to do otherwise, meaning that until they know that someone is undead, they won't target you with healing spells, and until they know that you seem to have no armor at all, they should treat you as if you do, and if someone runs away from an Opportunist and immediately suffer an Attack of Opportunity, everyone involved should know that that man does Attacks of Opportunity, and stop trying to run away and get pelted again-and-again.

It's absolutely jaw-dropping. In many, many ways, the AI is actually fairly clever, and sometimes (but rarely) they do very clever things - although this is somewhat restricted by another issue that will be discussed later. While there's been a lot of discussion about these AI issues, make no mistake that the AI is a lot better than it was in D:OS1. Sometimes, the enemies even use barrels or multi-stage setups, and sometimes they even try to cleanse themselves of effects. All of this is well and good, but this also means that when the AI does something stupid, it really stands out, and it stands out every time. The AI can - provided that they are considerably outnumbering the player - move things around and set up smart tactics at the end of one turn, only to have another AI-controlled creature literally run around in circles at the beginning of the next round.

Since everything that has to do with the AI is fairly esoteric, I cannot fathom why this is, or what can be done about it, but, fundamentally, the AI should be reluctant to move away from someone with Opportunist, and they should be similarly reluctant to move on dangerous surfaces. In D:OS1, this wasn't a problem, and the AI had no trouble avoiding running around on dangerous surfaces. Therefore, I have a suspicion that this has something to do with the armor system, and I have consistently seen enemies with very little magic armor run straight into blazing infernos, only to - of course - catch fire two steps in. At the same time, the AI being able to tell exactly how much damage moving a certain distance in dangerous terrain would cause them would be equally silly - just like the psychic nature of enemies in regards to the nature of the various allied characters (undead, glass cannons, etc).

And for all that is holy, tell the AI to stop trying to run away just to get a set distance away from you before they engage you in melee or casts a touch spell. I suspect that this is due to some order that they have to get in range, with "in range" defined as the maximum distance of whatever they're trying to do, and they're ignoring the fact that they are already close enough. I'm probably wrong, because it seems too simple, but that's the impression I have of what they're doing. I've seen enemies die to this on multiple occasions, and it's.. I don't want to sound entitled, but they really shouldn't be doing that; it's simply unacceptable. And I don't mean that as some kind of childish demand from my side, I'm saying that you, Larian, must agree with me, from your own point of view, that an enemy literally killing itself in front of me instead of attacking is unacceptable.
  • The laughably bad defensive abilities.

Another issue that I have a feeling can largely be chalked up to the binary armor system, because they seem to exist on some kind of principle, but are essentially vestigial since the binary armor system rendered the original defensive abilities meaningless or non-functional. The new ones, however, in what appears to have been an inability to conceive of new defensive abilities to match the new combat format of binary armor and outcomes, aren't just conceptually lackluster, they're simply bad. Now, I won't pretend like the defensive abilities of D:OS1 were amazing, or that the system was some perfect gem, or that I ever put a ton of points into any of those, but they all had a purpose and while a min/maxer might argue that they were a waste of points, it was never a complete loss to invest in them, and again, they still interacted with the overall system in a meaningful fashion.

Defense abilities in D:OS2, however? Can they really say the same? Leadership didn't even use to be a Defense Ability, but seems to have been moved under that header in an attempt to salvage the category. What's worse, the bonuses aren't necessarily bad, a bonus to dodge and a bonus to resistances, but at the same time, the range is restricted to 5 meters. 5 meters. That's practically "melee combat only" in D:OS2, but for whatever reason, Leadership is an "ability" Conjurers start with. A min/maxer might argue that you can move those points around - and you should, absolutely, because Summoning is the only ability that has a capstone reward at 10 points (which is a bad idea for many reasons, but that's another discussion entirely) - but from a design perspective, the preset is encouraging the use of an ability set (or, as I would call it, skillset) that will practically see no use.

Perseverance is even worse, conceptually, but only because the armor system is bad, and Perseverance has the potential to take it from "bad" to "borderline psychotic". But more so than that, Perseverance is simply bad. It allows you to restore Magic Armor after recovering from Frozen or Stunned, and Physical Armor after being Knocked Down or (for some seemingly arbitrary reason) Petrified (which does Earth damage, targeting magic). The only one out of those that happen consistently is Knocked Down, and at best it gives you a small breather from being affected by the same thing(s) again, but unless you're facing tons of enemies, it is unlikely that armor will actually remain long enough to matter, and if you are facing tons of enemies, it will be stripped anyway. Perseverance appears to be an attempt at create a relevant defensive ability in the context of the binary armor system, in lieu of other potential abilities that can boost defenses, but because of how the armor system functions (i.e. there are no other defenses), there is no way to properly balance this or make it relevant enough to matter within this context.

Even in a best-case scenario, it's extremely situational, and if you invest enough for it to even matter in those scenarios (so, 10 points for 50% restoration) you've irrevocably shot yourself in the foot. It would surely be fun when it does trigger, but by the time it does, you could've done something useful.

Now Retribution. Now we're really deep into the barrel of uninspiring, lackluster and useless. This thing deserves some kind of reward for it's uselessness and just how ill-fitted it is for this kind of game. A retribution-based ability is something you'd expect to see in a run-of-the-mill ARPG, and in such a game, it might even be useful - to an extent. But to have it in D:OS2 is just.. weird. And the ability is terrible. Not just in the applicable sense, as in it likely being the single most worthless place you can waste a point, with little-to-no battlefield application, but also conceptually, in a mechanical sense.

The reasons for this is actually quite simple. It is terrible as a choice for the player because it is entirely reactive, and completely dependent on the damage the enemy does to you. With 1 point in it, you take 100 damage, and you'll reflect 5 damage. The thing is, though, even with 10 points wasted into it, you'll "only" be reflecting 50% of the damage done to you against your enemies. And when has an opponent ever done damage anywhere even comparable to his health pool relative to yours?

Keep in mind that this is also in a game completely without defensive abilities beyond these three, and if you were to put those 10 points into, say, Single-Handed, you'd instead have +50% Damage and +50% Accuracy with one-handed melee weapons. Nothing that wouldn't absolutely destroy you will even react to the fact that you reflect 50% of the damage it does to you, and it certainly would not compete with a consistent +50% damage (and Accuracy!) that a weapon ability would net you regardless of whether the enemy is attacking your or not (such as being under Crowd Control).

However, even if Retribution would be buffed to 200% in returned and you had the defenses of a god, simply standing there until the enemies kill themselves by hitting you, it would still be conceptually ruinous, because you'd be committing one of the biggest sins in design that you can commit: you'd be rewarding the player.. for doing nothing. Just stand there, soak it up, and have the enemies kill themselves. In a turn-based, ostensibly tactical, role-playing game.

There's no way to actually save this ability. It should never have existed, and it should simply be removed. It's not just bad, it's conceptually and mechanically unforgivable.

I honestly cannot understand who thought that was a good idea, or good design, or how they even thought it could be useful. It deserves it's own little special layer of hell.
(Also, a completely separate issue, let me state for the record my enduring hatred of the D:OS franchises cemented tendency to systematically and categorically conflate the terms "skills" and "abilities" in a way no other game I have ever played does - "Skills" and "Abilities" are, everywhere outside of Belgium, apparently, the other way around. This messes considerably with my ability to uphold consistent terminology.)

  • The near-meaningless attributes and the slaughter of complexity & depth.

Now, I'm not going to pretend like D:OS1 didn't have any balance issues. That would just be silly. We all know it did. It was generally easy to simply pump one Attribute, maybe two, and that was it, and due to some other issues, largely absent in D:OS2 due to other changes, stacking modifiers to AP and Initiative was king - move first, move hard, and then move again.

But look at this. And then compare it to this.

It's depressing! It's downright pathetic! It's jaw-dropping how an attribute system can become so watered down and so simplified that it almost has no meaning or point to it's existence. This is Diablo 3-levels of oversimplification and dumbing down, with the exception that we pretend like there's any meaningful choice remaining, by still allowing the player to place their points.

"You are playing an X-type character. Do you want +5% damage to X, +5% damage to Y, +Health, or +1% Critical Chance? Or do you want to pay this Attribute Tax so you can have more skills?"

While there are more major concrete issues in the game, this thing is probably the one that makes me the most depressed, because it shows such a clear decline in meaningfulness, build versatility, and system complexity. It is really on a point where I feel that you might as well remove Attributes as a concept altogether, and simply apply +5% damage to the character, a health boost, and an increase in critical chance on a per-level basis, because none of this ultimately constitutes a meaningful choice; it's entirely and painfully obvious from the creation of your character to the end of the game where you'll be placing you points, and the near-obligatory points you practically have to put into Memory doesn't change that, but is rather to be considered a form of cheap attribute point taxation in order for you to be allowed to use more skills - not that you have to have that many skills, due to other issues in the game, since action points are very limited, cooldowns short and crowd control shorter.

I really don't know what else to say about this, and there's no simple way to fix this. The attributes need to do different things in different ways, and with so many parts of the game cut into in terms of depth, with no saves or resistances (beyond pure damage), straight-jacketed action points, and completely normalized ranges across the entire field for weapons (13 meters, I believe, whether we're talking crossbow, bow or wand), it's hard to determine what the attributes should actually do.

A lot of these changes shouldn't have gone in to begin with, especially not if they affect the core character mechanics in such a way that you eventually come to the final conclusion that "Oh, wait, what are these attributes supposed to do now that we've stripped out all the subsystems?". Someone might argue that it's "balanced", but balance for the sake of balance itself has no inherent value. Balance is only needed in the sense that too obvious options are stripped out to avoid one-trick-ponies or abuse, and forcing the player to think and adapt, deriving pleasure from outwitting or outsmarting the opponent or the system, strategically or tactically, but here, it has clearly come at the cost of meaningful player agency in terms of attribute distribution and build versatility - the very things that the concept of balancing is intended to support, because if it's not that, then what point is there to it?
  • The rollercoaster-ride of Talents.

Oh man. Should I take Five-Star Diner or Duck Duck Goose? Should I take Escapist or Executioner? Should I take Ambidextrous or Far Out Man? Should I take Elemental Ranger or Guerilla?

All of these questions are rhetorical. Some Talents are extremely powerful. Others are almost completely useless. To add insult to injury, some completely beneficial, while others constitute trade-offs. Escapist is based around the concept of actually losing a battle and fleeing, Five-Star Diner doubles the bonuses of food, but the issue with food was never the bonuses it gives, but the duration which it lasts, and why on Earth would anyone waste four Action Points to go into Stealth in order to do 40% extra damage? Either you spend 6 Action Points to do 140% damage, or you spend 6 Action Points to actually attack 3 times to do 300%.

Why do Ice King and Demon come with trade-offs in the way they do? If it trades 15% for 15%, the only real benefit is the +10% to a single resistance cap, which you'll be hard pressed to reach and that matters a hell of a lot less in a game where the armor system negates magic damage for a while anyway.

Why does Leech completely consume blood on the ground, when Undead don't consume ooze/poison? Is it just to make it incompatible with the single most thematically fitting combination you could do when you play a Leech, which would be that of a Nercomancer with the Blood Sucker skill?

Why are Slingshot and Far Out Man separate talents, when they essentially do the same thing conceptually?

Why does Ambidextrous have absolutely nothing to do with actually being ambidextrous or duel-wielding, and do you actually expect people to invest a talent in the concept of leaving their one hand completely free (foregoing both the more powerful bonuses of two-handers and the dual bonuses of having a secondary weapon or a shield)?

Why are The Pawn and Executioner mutually exclusive? Are you really so deathly afraid of people saving even a single extra AP and being able to kill someone? It's not an amazingly powerful combo, even.

So many questions. The Talents are a mess, ranging from amazing to questionable to functionally worthless. And what's worse is that this was true already in D:OS1, but it has somehow gotten even worse, with many talents removed or nerfed - some of them because the subsystems sadly no longer exists to support them (Courageous, Voluble Mage, Headstrong, Lightning Rod, Sidewinder, etc.) and others seemingly arbitrarily and without reason (Packmule, Sidewinder, Swift-Footed, Thick Skin, Anaconda, etc.).

What's left is a small number of Talents that vary wildly in usefulness, and are almost all universally applicable, with very little effect on actual build or character, with a few exceptions (Opportunist is obviously for warrior-type characters, etc.).

The solution here is both complex and very simple. First of all, if some things are changed for the better, such as the current armor system, the return of flanking, etc., many of the old Talents could easy be recreated and reinstated. But also, some Talents simply need to be buffed, or have the trade-offs removed from them, to actually make them solid choices. Other talents could be merged together, such as Far Out Man and Slingshot.

There's no reason I should go through all the potential fixes and things that could be done to each individual Talent, it should be fairly evident in each case. And for fucks sake, stop having Leech such the blood from the ground so you can actually use it with Blood Sucker (which should remove the blood from the ground).
  • Binarity of outcomes, predictability, and the armor system.

I'm unsure of where to even get started on this one. D:OS2 uses a binary system with two different types of armor, each of which determines whether something does damage to Vitality or not, and whether an effect of practically any type works or not, whether it's Taunt, Burning, Charm or Frozen.

First of all, it's completely unintuitive. You launch a big rock and throw it at the enemy? It targets magic armor and is absorbed by it, and only does damage to it, not to physical armor at all. You scream at someone and call 'em a cunt, trying to use Taunt on them? It literally bounces right off the shield, targeting physical armor. You launch a fireball? Magic armor. You throw a physical barrel of oil on someone and then throw a physical molotov cocktail on the barrel, creating a burning inferno? Soaked up by magic armor, and enemies can pass over it with little difficulty, without catching fire.

But that giant boulder you launched at the enemy, which was completely soaked up by magic armor? It spread oil on the ground, imposing the slowing condition, which automagically pierces all forms of armor, both magic and physical.

But the fact that it is unintuitive and feels arbitrary (which it isn't, it's actually completely consistent) is actually completely secondary. What it does is that it leads to a completely predictable combat system on any given turn. You know, with 100% certainty, whether something will work or not. There is absolutely zero ambiguity to it. Do they have armor? Your effects will fail. Do they not have armor? Your affects will succeed.

Any feeling of suspense is removed, and any risk taken with practically any action, making your actions in any one turn likely a given, without any considerations, hail mary's, or surprising turn of events. Simply put, the armor system completely negates any element of the Delta of Randomness. This is terrible design in itself, because that delta of randomness is one of the staples, I would say fundamentals of good turn-based gameplay, and the armor system breaks this completely on a systemic, tactical level.

So how can it be resolved? Short of reworking the entirety of the game and reinstate a save- or resistance-based system, there's not a whole lot that can be done. If absolutely determined to maintain the armor system at it's core in how it works right now, several things would have to change.

First of all, the intuitive nature of the system is more important than consistency. Whether something targets physical resistance/armor or targets magical resistance/armor should be determined by the nature of the spell or skill or item used, not by the damage type or the condition it imposes. A rock should target physical resistance/armor. A fireball should target magic resistance/armor. A molotov should target physical resistance/armor. And a lot of things - such as most surfaces or Taunt, should not stoppable by armor at all. The ability to resist them should either be by a flat percentage, or modified by something else entirely, such as Wits, or mental or magical resistances.

Furthermore, rather than having a system in which armor either completely blocks something or does nothing at all to block anything, the protection garnered could be a percentage based off remaining armor. If you have 100% magic armor, you could have a 90% chance to resist most spells or magic-based effects, as well as the magic armor soaking 90% of all magic damage, meaning the spell would only do 10% of it's damage to vitality.

At a theoretical 0%, the chance to resist would inversely be a mere 10%, and the spell would do full damage to vitality (since the armor is now completely gone).

While I would consider this approach imperfect, it would be a way to keep using the currently existing sub-systems and itemization and so forth, while constituting a considerable improvement upon the nature of combat resolution and the tactical layer of the game, which right now - for all practical intents and purposes - simply do not exist.
  • The Round-Robin Turn Orders.

This thing right here. I've pointed it out to multiple paste-eaters, and despite the very obvious and major issues, they simply hadn't noticed. It boggles the mind. And once you see it, it cannot be unseen. Most people assume that Initiative has a meaning in the game. They assume that it works like initiative usually works. They assume that the rounds in D:OS2 are operating on an initiative-based system.

I mean, it has to, right? I mean, if Initiative doesn't matter, then the mechanical benefit of Wits would be reduced to a mere +1% critical chance, the +2 initiative benefit for being human wouldn't matter, and all those initiative modifiers on items and equipment would be irrelevant? Surely, initiative must matter in a tangible fashion?

But it doesn't. D:OS2 operates on a round-robin turn system, where the only thing initiative determines is who goes first within a given group. And it is, hands down, the absolutely worst aspect of the entire game, and the single most indefensible design decision. To understand the issue, you must understand the implications of this, and to do that, you must understand how it works.

In D:OS2, allies & enemies always alternate their turns throughout a round. No matter who has the highest initiative, the opponent of that person will go second, followed by an ally, and then an opponent. Regardless of actual initiative scores. Let me give you an example:

Let's say your party of 4 has an initiative of 10, 11, 12, and 13 respectively. You are meeting a group of 8 enemies that all have an initiative of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8. So, markedly lower than even the lowest one in your party.

You will move in this fashion, bar any special circumstance (such as summons):

You (13 Initiative)
Them (8 Initiative)
You (12 Initiative)
Them (7 Initiative)
You (11 Initiative)
Them (6 Initiative)
You (10 Initiative)
Them (5 Initiative)
Them (4 Initiative)
Them (3 Initiative)
Them (2 Initiative)
Them (1 Initiative)

Now, that alone should be enough to make you raise your eyebrows and go "Wait, that's retarded!", but the issues with it goes far beyond that.

First of all, this completely invalidates Initiative as a relevant secondary attribute. That +2 Initiative humans get? Completely irrelevant. Wits? Neutered; it effectively only gets +1% critical hit chance, and the only reason you'd take it is because you maxed out either Strength or Finesse, or to find secrets, which only one character in the party needs to do - presumably the one that you want to move first in the turn order and use to initiate combat.

All those items with +Initiative? Useless. You used a Bucket for a helmet for much of the initial stages of the game? Makes perfect sense, because -Initiative literally does not matter, especially if you are the one to initiate combat anyway.

But these issues are secondary or even tertiary to the effect it has on the strategic layer of the game, the layer beyond the actions of a single individual character (so brutally savaged by the aforementioned armor system). The execution of plans and the evolution of the combat landscape during the course of a single round is essentially non-existent, and it affects both the player and the AI.

Because of the round-robin turn-orders rather than an initiative-based system, the battlefield is a constantly changing landscape, to the point where it's hard to actually determine what is going on, or make any plans.

A common concept that I would consider foundational to the very concept of turn-based as an enjoyable way to play out key resolution mechanics is the ability to think ahead and act upon the perceived development of the landscape as it is (and by landscape, I don't just mean environment, I mean it in the widest possible meaning of the word).

In D:OS2, that's simply absent. Or at least it seems to have been lost as a key source of enjoyment, because it is practically impossible to plan ahead, because a single turn later, the landscape may be completely different than from when you ended your previous turn. And then it changes during your turn, but is immediately undone the next.

Furthermore, you may not even WANT to put down water (just as an example) because the next turn, there's a guarantee that no-one in your party will be the one taking action, so you might actually be shooting yourself in the foot - but there's no way for you to know if you are.

You don't want to throw out a barrel, because there's almost a guarantee that it will blow up in your face - if there's even barrels around at that point (which is a big difference from D:OS1, where barrels sometimes would not even get used in combat, or simply not get hit by environmental or AoE effects, which is almost a guarantee in D:OS2).

And this goes both ways. The AI doesn't want to do these things either - unless there's a significant number of enemies, meaning that they do get to do several consecutive turns at the end of the round. The end result is that the idea of planning ahead or predicting the actions of your opponents are absent from the considerations in D:OS2 combat. The kind of set-ups that were so common and so integral to the enjoyment of the combat in D:OS1 is entirely absent in D:OS2, and combat in D:OS2 often devolves into "playing catch-up" and reactionary decisions on a turn-to-turn basis; and because of the armor system, the actions taken within those turns are entirely predictable and essentially binary, meaning that you know exactly what to do and what will happen at any one time within any given turn, removing any feeling of suspense or momentary hopefulness.

Before I got a chance to examine the game and notice the major issues with it, my SO was already all in planning-mode about how we should plan ourselves to be complimentary, and how if she was using fire magic, I should take something to use earth magic, so if I made some oil, she could set it on fire. But in D:OS2, that doesn't happen. What happens is that I throw oil, and the enemy either remove it or avoid it and set it on fire themselves. And this doesn't just affect the player - it affects the AI too. The AI has the capability to do these things, I see them do it, it's actually quite awesome. But if they were to (like me) throw out a barrel from somewhere in front of them, I'd drop it on their fucking faces the next turn.

The only time set-ups like this can be done reliable, to see a plan and see it take shape, to get that rush of "FUCK YEEAAAAH BURN YOU FUCKING CUNTS, YOU DIDN'T SEE THAT COMING, NOW DID YOU?!" is when you're at the absolute end of the turn order in a little clump. And 99 times out of 100, that's just going to be the enemy in one of those fights where they come busting in from every direction at the drop of a hat as the BBEG twirls his mustache and goes "Hohoho, you didn't see this AMBUSH coming, did you?".

There are no moments of "YES!" or "Aaaah, noooo!" in D:OS2 that isn't caused entirely by your own fault, or that comes unexpected, and there is no enjoyment in the procession of consecutive turns because there is no way to fulfil even a short-term plan. And both of those things are absolutely essential to practically all turn-based systems.

But it doesn't end here. No. It gets worse. There's not only a de facto inability to plan and execute, further hampered by the randomness of the evolving landscape in any given encounter, but round-to-round, the turn order can be perceived as essentially random. "How can that be? Weren't you just saying that they're utterly predictable?!" you might ask.

Yes, yes I was, and they are - to a point. You won't be the one to do the next turn, but you might not know who will be taking that next turn. You can probably figure it out, but it's by no means intuitive or sensible. You see, the turn order I described earlier is mutable. After all, enemies can die, right?

And if you kill an enemy, you might expect them to be removed from the turn order, right? Well they are. But someone else will immediately take their place. This leads to the fun, fun, fun situation of you killing a weaker opponent towards the end of a round, and in the next round - which is coming right up - the much stronger opponent has now taken his place, meaning that he may be moving before, say, the 4th person in your party, whereas if that enemy that had just died previously would otherwise have been moving in his stead - and maybe he would've died this round instead, or maybe even on his own turn by being on fire. But because you killed an enemy last round, the turn order gets reshuffled, and the much stronger enemy gets to move instead, and he might kill your 4th party member before he even gets a chance to move.

This has created the situation where you as the player, by killing an opponent, actually ended up in a much worse position than you would otherwise have been in if you had left the enemy alive. Yes, this is an extreme example, but this is still something that happens all the time in the game, even if you obviously don't end up losing a party member every time it happens. However, the fact that you can regularly screw yourself this way is completely absurd; taking out an opponent should always be something positive, bar special, narrative circumstances - the default should never be for the player to question whether he ended up in a worse position or not, or if he should simply have ignored the enemy until next round, maybe simply skipping taking any action, despite being maxed out on action points.

But wait. There's more.

For simplicity's sake, imagine a scenario in which you are alone against two opponents, and for whatever reason, they both have higher initiative than you. It results in the following turn-order:

Enemy #1
You
Enemy #2

Soon, you'll kill an enemy. Who're you killing? It better not be Enemy #1, because then the following happens!

Enemy #1 takes his turn.
You take your turn, and you kill Enemy #1.
Enemy #2 takes his turn.
Enemy #2 takes another turn, because it is now a new round and Enemy #2 at the top of the turn order now, because Enemy #1 has died.

Again, the player has boned himself by killing the opponent, through no fault of his own. Had he instead killed Enemy #2, the result would've been different, without the enemy essentially getting a free turn.

But wait. There's more!

You summon something. The summon moves right after you. But then at the next turn, it gets shuffled into the round-robin turn order, meaning that one of your characters can be pushed back as much as three turns, suffering additional attacks that it would not otherwise have done.

Summoning an ally, presumably done to improve your situation, might end up screwing you completely, and there's really no way to tell beforehand. The system punished you for buffing. This becomes very obvious as a Summoner especially, since Totems are extremely weak, but get shuffled into the turn order too, so that "lump" of potential "overflow" opponents could end up picking them off one-by-one in a single round before they can even possibly act in that round.

But wait, there's mooooooooore!

Because all Initiative does is determine your in-group turn order, gaining initiative is potentially detrimental. Why? Because if the only benefit of Initiative is between the player's own party members, it means that if a party member actually gets "too high" initiative, it puts him above another party member, and it might be disadvantageous for him to do so - such as if someone with Fire Skills gets bumped above someone with Earth Skills, meaning that if you rely on (in the extent you can rely on it in D:OS2; this is really just for the purpose of explanation, I know full well that this doesn't really happen in D:OS2, because of the armor system and the round-robin turn orders) the latter laying out oil so that the former can set it on fire, you can't do that anymore.

Another example would be a warrior getting higher initiative than the buffer in a party where you rely on the tactic of buffing the warrior before he moves. In fact, I know that there are players that consider initiative purely a negative stat for their main character, because their main character is a summoner, and relies on others putting down environmental effects before he takes his turn.

Can similar situations arise in an initiative-based turn-order system? Yes, but it is a lot more manageable, because if two party members are close to eachother in initiative, they at least do not suffer from the fact that an enemy will forcibly be inserted between them, further exacerbating the issue, and if someone gets higher initiative, it is still a net benefit vs. the opponents themselves, on average.

So what can be done about this? It's actually quite simple. Simply flipping the switch and make the game Initiative-based would be a tremendous improvement, and I know that D:OS2 can handle it, because that is apparently how it used to be, and in fact the entire game already appears to be geared towards using an initiative-based turn-order system, as evidenced by the modifier humans get, the initiative bonus from Wits, and the many items and equipments in the game which supports the notion that initiative is intended to matter and is intended to be a positive modifier.

But while that would be a tremendous improvement, it wouldn't be perfect, because it would obviously mean going back to the issues that prompted the round-robin turn orders to begin with. The ideal solution, in my mind, would involve rebalancing encounters to avoid massive stacking of initiative as an end-all be-all viable tactic, as well as to add a per-round element of randomness that, despite constituting a random modifier, would not be so strong as to undo the benefits of getting a higher initiative.

While obviously completely untested, my suggestion would be to flip the aforementioned switch and thus go back to an initiative-based turn order, and then, round-by-round, modify every participant's initiative by +/- (essentially either add or withdraw) 1d[total initaitive/2].

What would this mean? It would mean that someone with an Initiative would have a per-round Initiative range of 5-15. Someone with 20 Initiative would have a per-round Initiative of 10-30. Notice how the average is always equal to your base initiative, meaning that if you have 13 initiative, during the course of all your rounds, you will average out at 13. Your initiative still matters just as much as it did before.

However, it also does not guarantee you to go first in any given round. But at the same time, each round in itself will play out predictably (turn-wise), and you will never be punished for taking out an opponent, you will never be punished for summoning, and you can prioritize targeting. Obviously, up to two or three rounds should be displayed to you, with the modifiers for each participant already determined, so you can actually tell who moves when - and, as opposed to as how it is now, rely on that information.

I can only hope that Larian listens. Especially on the last topic. Because currently, it's balls.


Agree 100% and this is FACTUALLY the truth about this game whoever denies this is a fanboy PERIOD.

And you forgot to mention how broken is lucky charm and thievery (the broken shit that this fanboys are using and then saying the game is fine, pathetic maggots seriously).

I am not afraid of saying this I ENJOYED THE COMBAT IN THE FIRST GAME WAY MORE THAN THIS GAME 100% SURE ABOUT THIS.

I finished fort joy and seriously 98% of the time i had to cheese the AI or reload multiple times to get a fight to "play right" so i was able to beat the enemies (I am playing tactician and I am not exploiting thievey or lucky charm to hearde the best loot or massive amounts of gold), most systesm in this game are compeltely retarded and i really really despise SOURCE, such a terrible mechanic.

DOS1 was WAY BETTER than this game in terms of Gameplay.

Joined: Dec 2016
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journeyman
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journeyman
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Joined: Dec 2016
All in all, I believe the issue like at the oversimplification of AP bar.

Who ever think of restricted AP bar with "6" max should shoot themselves in their feet, then playing naked in the middle of winter with naked characters.

That will teach them not to fix what isn't broken.

Joined: Apr 2016
Q
apprentice
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apprentice
Q
Joined: Apr 2016
I hate the amour system. Almost all my posts on this forum, right from the start of early access were to complain about it.

And to ask 1 question of Larian: "What problem did you see in DOS1 that you thought this would fix?"

Sure would love to see them try and explain this design decision.

The deterministic nature of the combat is horrible. If the problem was the overly successful turn 1 cc of DOS1 then you lower the success rates, or you cap the success rate.

You don't turn it into 0% or 100%!

I am finding it really difficult to finish a play through to the end of this game. It is so stupidly easy it is just tedious and boring.

1st tried with a solo summoner thinking that would be hard. Ended up being shockingly easy and gave up on it at level 10.

Then tried with a balanced group of 4 hybrids with a mix of phys and magic attack skills. Again got bored at level 11 because there was no challenge at all.

Now, I'm going with what I did in DOS1, party of 4, using only Warefare, Scoundrel and Hunter skills. No magic, no healing done with anything other than food -- took Five-Star-Dinner at character creation.

I hope it gets hard, eventually. Steamrolled everything so far, but only level 6 right now.

There's a nice game here but surprisingly it's the combat system that is the game's biggest flaw. Never expected Larian to get that part of the game so wrong.

Joined: Oct 2015
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apprentice
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Joined: Oct 2015
Originally Posted by Qiox
The deterministic nature of the combat is horrible. If the problem was the overly successful turn 1 cc of DOS1 then you lower the success rates, or you cap the success rate.

You don't turn it into 0% or 100%!


I don't think being deterministic is inherently wrong.
If you simply reduce chances too much CC could become too swingy: when it works you have auto won, hosed otherwise.

Would've preferred something like:
- slightly reduced chances
- increased CD on low level skills
- enemies have a chance to recover each turn
- HP values are increased so you can't ultramurder bosses in 1 turn

Or just go with deterministic and increase HPs + make armor reduce duration(severity where it makes sense).
Maybe make support abilities that remove CC common.

There must be a solution that puts CC usefulness between the extremes of the 2 games.

Joined: Oct 2016
Location: Germany
veteran
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veteran
Joined: Oct 2016
Location: Germany
I'm not totally sure, because much time passed since I played the first game, but I think enemies always had a chance to recover each turn, because Body Building/Willpower got tested every turn. If not, I would not mind to have it changed that way.


If hard CC is the issue, than it is because the Delta of Randomness ist to large, which means the difference between success and failure is to big: Success being hard CC'ed target and failure kind of wasted attack and possible own death.

Possible solutions would be:
- remove hard CC at all and keep only soft CC
- make hard CC a low chance effect of a skill and soft CC a always chance of a skill
- make hard CC only single target and high tier, high tear meaning 8 skill points and above into a skill tree and not 3, 3 is ridiculous low. In the first game you needed 10 points to learn one Tier 3 skill, 15 points to learn more than one. (But you got skill points later on much faster tough.)


For Physical Armor I once suggested during EA:
Return damage types and give them specifical traits, like piercing weapons always doing part of their damage as vitality damage, blunt weapons dealing extra damage to armor and slashing weapons always having a chance to cause bleeding. (Just as quick suggestion, not well thought out.)

With the current armor system, weapon benefits like "10% chance to cause shocked" are pretty useless, because the chance is anyway 0% while armor is on. Also magical soft CC on physical weapons is total bullshit anway, because the magic armor will hardly get penetrated for a chance of applying effect. In the first the problem was, that the chance were to low against high level mobs, making them useless and now they are even lower, making them even more useless as it seems.



Regarding chess:
Sure, that is strategy too, but in the end it is pretty boring. There are hardly ever real surprises, because the core game play means thinking several turns ahead and evaluating the most likely outcome of the next turns. Memorising all the typical high special moves/openings helps even more, but you won't have to need to think of a Plan B because the Plan A action failed, so hardly any need to improvise and hardly any suspense. Chess master can predict outcomes several turns in advance?

Joined: Mar 2014
old hand
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Retribution should be changed so it only affects enemies close by. And it should not penetrate armors as it does. It should be a magical ability that is defended against ...
But of course since armors work as they do, this is practically impossible to do.

This fundamental armor change is the core issue that affects all other mechanics and distorts them to fit, some bad implementations aside.

The overall goal and reason for these changes is removing what ignorant dimwits call "RNG" or "randomness", thats why you have armors that work like binary force fields and Hard CC. As well changed Initiative which has been simplified into no initiative at all. Larian simply chose to pay more attention to audience that is bothered by this fundamental misunderstanding of what "randomness" really means, instead of improving the mechanics.

But that is the audience who come to TB rpgs from mass market action/rpg hybrids and they simply dont understand how TB systems really work and keep expecting and demanding same fucking Real Time mechanics and style of gameplay over and over and over. It has been the same for the last several decades of RPG development.

Larian decided to please that audience, and thats why we have these horrible dumbed down mechanics in otherwise pretty good game.

Ive stopped playing until some better mods come out so i cant comment on the narrative and writing except that in the first area which i find very well done.


Ill just repeat my solution to this again, in hopes some moder sees it and makes a mod:

Armors should work as percentage based damage reduction and magic defense.
There should be more soft Cc effects which can penetrate the armors - also percentage based.
Obviously - because we dont want binary yes or no outcomes. These Soft Cc effects should improve chance to succeed, their damage and duration through investments in their respective skills and basic attributes.
So Strenght, Finess and Inteligence would be valuable for each type of damage.

Hard CC can be kept but it should be only critical strike success dependent.
Wits should increase chance to achieve these critical strikes, Con should give defense against these criticals.
That would make both attributes very valuable for all builds and it would fit perfectly with any build.

These changes are simplest possible changes and they would change the combat from the hard CC slug fest, into combat where basic skills and abilities, including elemental magic and effects, play a much bigger role in course of every combat scenario, while Hard CC are the cream on top, rare and therefore much more satisfying epic achievements.

Players would be able to make builds that achieve more of them and that effort would then feel very rewarding, while other builds could still sometimes achieve them but wouldn't be useless at all.
This would also make elemental damage feel much more valuable again. Instead of minor annoyance as it is now.

Overall it would change combat from - apply one of two damage types until you can cast hard CC - crapfest, into a much more nuanced and options rich environment. Both for the players and the enemies.

I cannot see any negative effect of this change on the gameplay at all, while benefits are numerous and multidimensional. Best of all it would all be naturally and easily understandable even to complete newbies.

Larian will never do this, so its up to modders.

Joined: Sep 2016
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apprentice
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Joined: Sep 2016
Originally Posted by Kalrakh

Regarding chess:
Sure, that is strategy too, but in the end it is pretty boring. There are hardly ever real surprises, because the core game play means thinking several turns ahead and evaluating the most likely outcome of the next turns. Memorising all the typical high special moves/openings helps even more, but you won't have to need to think of a Plan B because the Plan A action failed, so hardly any need to improvise and hardly any suspense. Chess master can predict outcomes several turns in advance?

Even a deterministic game with complete information will often go beyond a player's prediction if the game tree is complex enough, since it's impossible to memorize and calculate all details and the player has to rely on some rough generalizations. If a plan is bad, the player probably won't find it immediately, but he could find it after several turns and need to improvise. So I don't think this delta of randomness thing is necessary for a fun strategy game.

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