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January 10th, 2018, 22:46
However, it appears that pickpocketing is VERY OP, and I seem not able to resist the temptation to exploit it. Probably will tire of it soon enough.
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January 10th, 2018, 22:47
Originally Posted by Thrasher View Post
However, it appears that pickpocketing is VERY OP, and I seem not able to resist the temptation to exploit it. Probably will tire of it soon enough.
Yes, Thievery is our primary source of money in the game

But you can earn money in other ways - and you don't really need to buy that much gear - so it's just fun.

Also, if you don't enjoy powergaming - then you can easily just not use it, as it's not needed if you don't care about damage potential and stuff like that.

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January 10th, 2018, 22:51
That's the key isn't it.

fun

If it gets too repetitive then I will start crafting for money. But all the free skill books obtained by thieving are hard to resist when I want to play with all the toys as soon as possible.
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January 10th, 2018, 22:53
Yep, it is powerful but not required. Another thing the game does rather good: balancing of money.
In the beginning money is rather scarce. Later on you got plenty. However, it never becomes as meaningless as in other games.

Personally I did not use thievery at all and was doing fine.

Regarding the D&D System: I remember having played NWN2…and I strongly disliked that character system. Pretty much required me to plan the character ahead and to put my points into the right stuff for that specific level, or I might have trouble to take my other choice 5 or 10 levels ahead. Not a system I'd chose as example for great design. No idea about newer d&d systems though if there are any.
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January 10th, 2018, 22:53
Originally Posted by Thrasher View Post
That's the key isn't it.

fun

If it gets too repetitive then I will start crafting for money. But all the free skill books obtained by thieving is hard to resist by someone who wants to play with all the toys as soon as possible.
The easiest way is just to steal money - because that doesn't count as stolen property

Then you can always pick and choose afterwards.

Thankfully, skills are restricted both on skill-level and character level - so you can't "cheat" yourself out of the experience of progressing by stealing.

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January 10th, 2018, 22:56
Regarding the D&D System: I remember having played NWN2…and I strongly disliked that character system. Pretty much required me to plan the character ahead and to put my points into the right stuff for that specific level, or I might have trouble to take my other choice 5 or 10 levels ahead. Not a system I'd chose as example for great design. No idea about newer d&d systems though if there are any.
Very true, D&D is rather opaque if you want to powergame and create the strongest characters.

But it's extremely easy if you just go single-class and pick "recommended" and you never have to worry about anything.

NWN2 isn't balanced around powergaming, anyway.

Personally, I absolutely love building a strategy and seeing if it actually works through playing the game. It makes me look forward to every little level - and I don't mind making mistakes, because that just means more experimentation.

Obviously, that's a matter of taste.

In DOS2 - they clearly didn't want anyone to plan anything - as they give you a 100% free respec mirror

That's very convenient, but also removes a lot of replayability and strategy.

To each his own, and all that.

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January 10th, 2018, 22:57
Personally I love DnD3.5, and planning out my character builds carefully over the course of a few days. In a way it was a fun puzzle to figure out how to interleave attribute, skill point, and feat additions in a way that empowered a multi-class character build. It was magic for me.

NWN 1/2 is much more rigid than OS 2 though. No respeccing!
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January 10th, 2018, 22:59
Originally Posted by Thrasher View Post
Personally I love DnD3.5, and planning out my character builds carefully over the course of a few days. In a way it was a fun puzzle to figure out how to interleave attribute, skill point, and feat additions in a way that empowered a multi-class character build. It was magic for me.

NWN 1/2 is much more rigid than OS 2 though. No respeccing!
There are mods for easy respecs

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January 10th, 2018, 23:16
Originally Posted by NewDArt View Post
Very true, D&D is rather opaque if you want to powergame and create the strongest characters.
Actually I just wanted to play a melee character who, at the same time was also good at dimplomaty as far as I remember. And NWN2 was especially bad regarding that, as most interactions could only be done with your main character.

In DOS2 - they clearly didn't want anyone to plan anything - as they give you a 100% free respec mirror

That's very convenient, but also removes a lot of replayability and strategy
I'd put it differently: They wanted the player to feel that he can experiment freely.
But I personally would actually have prefered some "decent" costs associated to it.

Originally Posted by Thrasher View Post
Personally I love DnD3.5, and planning out my character builds carefully over the course of a few days. In a way it was a fun puzzle to figure out how to interleave attribute, skill point, and feat additions in a way that empowered a multi-class character build. It was magic for me.

NWN 1/2 is much more rigid than OS 2 though. No respeccing!
Imho a game should never require you to "study" a character system for days if you want to have some decent result. While I kinda love minmaxing to some degree, I think that this is bad game design, and might stop players to even start.
Some other examples of games who did this are Wasteland 2 (gated skills, missing retroactivity), Might and Magic X (almost impossible to judge the classes on the initial presentation alone without having a deep understanding of the game, could lead to being stuck in the first part of the game), Lords of Xulima (again, missing retroactivity, some "timing" of increasing the skill at the right levels required) and ofc Oblivion which has the worst skill system I have encountered yet (by not just being unintuitive but actually counter-intuitive. The choice you intuitively think is best, is actually the worst).
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January 10th, 2018, 23:21
Originally Posted by Kordanor View Post
Actually I just wanted to play a melee character who, at the same time was also good at dimplomaty as far as I remember. And NWN2 was especially bad regarding that, as most interactions could only be done with your main character.
I'm not sure I get what you're saying. You found it difficult to put points in the skills you liked?

In D&D - your combat prowess is all but unaffected by your skills. So, you could easily pick skills without affecting your power in combat - including diplomacy.

However, there's a difference between the system in itself - and how NWN1/2 implemented it.

I'd put it differently: They wanted the player to feel that he can experiment freely. But I personally would actually have prefered some "decent" costs associated to it.
Definitely, but since it wasn't free - you didn't have to use your brain, really. You can just willy nilly do whatever you want and never have to worry about consequences.

They did the same thing in Diablo 3 - and I never liked that.

I love the strategy of building a powerful character through study and understanding - and a BIG portion of my enjoyment of replaying games is doing that.

In DOS2, I really have zero reason to replay it - because I can try nearly all combinations for free on the boat.

Imho a game should never require you to "study" a character system for days if you want to have some decent result. While I kinda love minmaxing to some degree, I think that this is bad game design, and might stop players to even start.
Some other examples of games who did this are Wasteland 2 (gated skills, missing retroactivity), Might and Magic X (almost impossible to judge the classes on the initial presentation alone without having a deep understanding of the game, could lead to being stuck in the first part of the game), Lords of Xulima (again, missing retroactivity, some "timing" of increasing the skill at the right levels required) and ofc Oblivion which has the worst skill system I have encountered yet (by not just being unintuitive but actually counter-intuitive. The choice you intuitively think is best, is actually the worst).
I think you misunderstand. NWN2 never required anyone to study anything. You can play it 100% without hassle if you pick recommended for any of the classes.

However, if you want to maximise and come up with a uniquely powerful combination then you DO have to plan a careful strategy.

That said, it gets easier as you learn the system.

I could sit down right now and create a dozen characters in NWN without looking anything up - because I'm so familiar with the system.

But it's a complicated and very rich system - which means you can't expect to understand everything about it within a few hours.

It's just personal preferences, nothing more.

I definitely wouldn't recommend powergaming in D&D if you don't like building a careful strategy and studying classes, feats and so on.

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January 10th, 2018, 23:28
Hah, found my old NWN2 build which I did in the tool:
http://nwn2db.com/build/?43734
Just look at the "Outline". Quite colorful
No idea if this character would have been any good in combat. Just wanted to have decent main character for dialogues and interactions for this main character centric game. (as far as I remember they changed that in the expansion)
Actually never really played it long enough to matter. Stopped playing after a couple of fights and horrible experience with the controls and party-AI in combat. Spent more time in the tool than in the game probably.
And that now ties in, into the other thread "A thought" which was about finishing / not finishing games.
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January 10th, 2018, 23:29
Well said Dart. I didn't need to study it, I wanted to.
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January 10th, 2018, 23:31
Originally Posted by Kordanor View Post
Hah, found my old NWN2 build which I did in the tool:
http://nwn2db.com/build/?43734
Just look at the "Outline". Quite colorful
No idea if this character would have been any good in combat. Just wanted to have decent main character for dialogues and interactions for this main character centric game.
Actually never really played it long enough to matter. Stopped playing after a couple of fights and horrible experience with the controls and party-AI.
And that now ties in, into the other thread "A thought" which was about finishing / not finishing games.
Looks pretty good to me for a "diplomatic" melee guy.

Frenzied Berserker with Power Attack in NWN2 is among the most ridiculously broken prestige classes, so you either got very lucky with that combination - or you followed a guide

That said, NWN2 didn't implement the class correctly - so it's not a D&D balance issue, it's an Obsidian balance issue.

No surprise there…..

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January 10th, 2018, 23:42
Didn't follow any guide. Just used the wiki to inform myself about the system, requirements, skills and all that stuff and built the character accordingly. And actually there wasn't tons of wiggle room from what I remember. But that's 5 years ago now.

Regarding replay value: I think DOS2 actually has lots of replay value. There are two origin characters you will not have used yet and there are lots of decisions you could do differently, also because the game isn't really as black and white as Bioware games (speaking of ME1&2, Dragon Age 1) where you only have "good"and "evil" choices.

Also while you could have done almost everything skill wise due to respeccing, I don't think that people generally do that. Personally I pretty much stuck to my choices and only used the mirror to optimize (and to exploit some options only available to characters with petpal+other characteristic). So personally I'd try out a thief when I played the next time (which I won't as I only play through games once in general). Ofc generally I agree that it reduces the replayability by some margin.
But on the other hand, I can't really think of any other game where this is much different. E.g. in Pillars of Eternity, you can use henchmen. Or in other games you could just temporarily swap a character who is skilled differently. So you could already have seen every aspect in that regard as well.
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January 10th, 2018, 23:48
Originally Posted by Kordanor View Post
Didn't follow any guide. Just used the wiki to inform myself about the system, requirements, skills and all that stuff and built the character accordingly. And actually there wasn't tons of wiggle room from what I remember. But that's 5 years ago now.
In that case, I'm very confused as to what your problem was with building a strong character

Regarding replay value: I think DOS2 actually has lots of replay value. There are two origin characters you will not have used yet and there are lots of decisions you could do differently, also because the game isn't really as black and white as Bioware games (speaking of ME1&2, Dragon Age 1) where you only have "good"and "evil" choices.
That depends on why you replay games. Personally, I almost never replay games in the first place - and when I do, I almost never find these story changes sufficient to sustain my interest for another playthrough.

I'm not really big into the characters either. I consider them flavor - but nothing that will change the familiarity with what I really enjoy about games.

However, one thing that DOES motivate me to replay games is a rich character system with tons of options. That's why I can play NWN/NWN2 over and over - regardless of which campaign I pick.

I'm generally just there to enjoy the ride with a new character

Also while you could have done almost everything skill wise due to respeccing, I don't think that people generally do that. Personally I pretty much stuck to my choices and only used the mirror to optimize (and to exploit some options only available to characters with petpal+other characteristic). So personally I'd try out a thief when I played the next time (which I won't as I only play through games once in general). Ofc generally I agree that it reduces the replayability by some margin.
But on the other hand, I can't really think of any other game where this is much different. E.g. in Pillars of Eternity, you can use henchmen. Or in other games you could just temporarily swap a character who is skilled differently. So you could already have seen every aspect in that regard as well.
Oh, I stuck to my choices for the most part, too. It's just that if I ever wanted to try new skills or combinations - I wouldn't actually need to replay anything.

I tend to stick with a few "themes" that are my favorite kinds of characters.

In DOS2 - I've already respecced around 4-5 times - meaning I'm about done combining skills in the way I wanted to try. They were still all mostly Rogue skills - but with some variations.

Meaning, I feel no incentive to replay it, really.

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January 11th, 2018, 00:09
Originally Posted by NewDArt View Post
In that case, I'm very confused as to what your problem was with building a strong character
Well, I almost expected you to laugh about what I put together back then.
But that said, I am not bad at putting characters together, understanding systems and whatnot. I also did this for Xulima and that for M&M X which I mentioned as well as bad examples for getting you in the game.

My "problem" with that is just, that I think it's a bad design philosophy to highly incentivise planning your character detailed with knowledge you can't normally have yet (without external sources), before even starting the game.

If I start a game like these without planning ahead, I might have played 10 hours, realize that I did a bad mistake with the initial choices and than have the decision between:
-correct the decision and start over
-live with the decision and constantly feel bad for the remainder of 90 hours of playtime
-just stop the game because both of the choices suck

If you are the kind of person who doesn't care regarding the second "choice" or you like replaying games anyways, then ofc you'd never have this problem. In that case your character will just be worse off because you didn't know better, which in that case is the "game's fault". I am not judging whether this is a good or bad thing.
But I think it's a lose-situation for most kind of players in some way.
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January 11th, 2018, 00:18
Originally Posted by Kordanor View Post
Well, I almost expected you to laugh about what I put together back then.
But that said, I am not bad at putting characters together, understanding systems and whatnot. I also did this for Xulima and that for M&M X which I mentioned as well as bad examples for getting you in the game.

My "problem" with that is just, that I think it's a bad design philosophy to highly incentivise planning your character detailed with knowledge you can't normally have yet (without external sources), before even starting the game.

If I start a game like these without planning ahead, I might have played 10 hours, realize that I did a bad mistake with the initial choices and than have the decision between:
-correct the decision and start over
-live with the decision and constantly feel bad for the remainder of 90 hours of playtime
-just stop the game because both of the choices suck

If you are the kind of person who doesn't care regarding the second "choice" or you like replaying games anyways, then ofc you'd never have this problem. In that case your character will just be worse off because you didn't know better, which in that case is the "game's fault". I am not judging whether this is a good or bad thing.
But I think it's a lose-situation for most kind of players in some way.
Frenzied Berserker is a relatively straightforward prestige class - but you combined it with Red Dragon Disciple - which makes it more interesting. You seem to be missing Supreme Power Attack, though - which you absolutely want in that game.

It's not a very uncommon build - but it's certainly going to be effective in NWN2.

It seems you've decided that planning ahead is necessary or "highly incentivized" in NWN - and there's little I can do to disprove that.

I can only say that I know for a fact that it's not - because I've played with people who used the recommended choices exclusively several times - including a couple of non-gamer girlfriends. They never had a problem killing stuff in NWN

Also, I don't know how a system can be rich and complex and yet easy to understand right away.

I've never played a game like that. All rich and complex games I've ever played have required me to study the mechanics before I could make optimal choices.

I would really hate for something rich and complex to be straightforward and it should absolutely never be easy to come up with optimal build strategies.

But that's me

However, if what you're asking for is just a cheap and easy way to respec - then I can understand that.

Then it comes down to how much you enjoy replaying games to build characters.

I completely understand people who don't enjoy that part of the game - but that's really not about the D&D system. There's nothing about D&D that prohibits respeccing - it's just not a traditional PnP choice.

But it's 100% down to the developers if they want to allow for that to happen in any given D&D game.

Also, for both NWN and NWN2 - there are popular mods that will enable you to respec your exported characters very easily and then import them back again.

Another very big advantage over DOS2 - where you can't separate your character from the campaign like that.

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January 11th, 2018, 00:40
Well, imho DOS2 is actually rich and complex. And could also work well with an expensive and hard way to respec.

But there is actually another option which you didn't mention yet:
To actually introduce a player into the game and it's system, and to become more complex once the game progesses.
You see this rather often with single character games that you have some sort of introduction where they first explain the game mechanics. I remember Fallout 4 for example (and I think there were others) which let you play for 2-3 hours and then offer you a final option to adjust your character before you start with the "real" game.
Some games let you start doing stuff with a basically fully equipped main character to explain how system work, just to let him almost die, he magically loses all his skills and have to gather them again. Well, yeah, weak story, but something like this can show you how the game works.

Or you start with basic skill-sets and then slowly get more choices regarding your character development while you are learning to understand how the mechanics work.

Personally I think that DOS2 makes a very good compromise here. Maybe the respecs should have costed something. Maybe the respec possibility should have been limited after leaving the first and before entering the last island or something along the lines. But generally I think it's a great system.
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January 11th, 2018, 00:42
I certainly wouldn't call Fallout 4 complex in the character building department (or anywhere else for that matter)…
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January 11th, 2018, 00:44
One other thing: It also helps to have all information available in the game itself.
E.g. I don't think that Might and Magic X has actually a bad system. But they completely fail to show the potential of each class.
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