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The Black Pits 2: Gladiators of Thay

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  • nanonano Member Posts: 1,632
    @TvrtkoSvrdlar. It's hardly an arbitrary restriction, it's an entirely new game mode. The point of having separate game modes is so they can be balanced independently without having an impact on the main story.

    I can see maybe letting players participate but they lose all the xp and loot they gained afterwards, as a kind of illusionary challenge.

    If you really want the xp just console it in afterwards.

  • LiamEslerLiamEsler Member Posts: 1,859
    The main issue with including the Black Pits in the main campaign (apart from story) is balance. It's very hard to balance battles and XP in the first place; having to account for almost every level of player would be a mammoth task.

    JuliusBorisovAldericEudaemonium
  • TvrtkoSvrdlarTvrtkoSvrdlar Member Posts: 353
    edited October 2013
    @Kaigen
    Clicking the button and making a new party isn't a difficult task, I might've gone into hyperbole a bit, but that's not the issue... not the main one, anyway. The gist of it boils down to having original content that you can't play during the normal story campaign. It's restrictive in an arbitrary way; you have content, but can't access it unless you want to dump your whole party and start a new one. And it breaks immersion. I don't know, I guess you can say it's personal preference, and we can agree to disagree, I'm okay with that, but I'd really like it if the devs included some hidden entrance to the Pits, if only to give those of us who want a continuous, uninterrupted experience a way to play through everything in one go.

    @nano
    I didn't know that.

    @LiamEsler
    But why not just include it as an easter egg? Plainly state that it's not supported balance- and loot-wise, but still sneak in an entry to the Pits somewhere in the main story. It can be a magical scroll, or a crazy hermit NPC, or whatever. I'm sure 90% of the players wouldn't even find it on their first playthrough. And those that do will be the ones specifically looking for it.

    Also, the main issue would be XP, not items or gold - there's plenty of both in Watcher's Keep, and more than enough overpowered weapons during the original campaign (giving the player access to a few more in the Pits wouldn't really tip the scales much). No, the main issue is XP... and this is easy-peasy to fix; instead of having the entire Pits experience award ~30 levels (you guys said the Pits will take a party from lvl8 to lvl40), just slash it down to ~10 levels. I'm sure you guys can open an editor and tweak a couple of XP variables to make enemy kills and quest completion give 33% or even 20% of their original value.

    But I completely agree with your point, balancing every single battle would indeed be very time-consuming, if not unfeasible. The thing is, you don't have to waste the time doing that - just add it as a sort of "it's here, we don't support it, use at your own discretion". Everyone knows the Pits is supposed to be a stand-alone module, but that doesn't mean you can't grant access to it from the normal campaign... with a few caveats, of course! ;)

    tl;dr: include a secret entrance to the Pits, and slash the overall XP gains in there by 80%


    As I said, I'm getting the game either way.

    I'm only badgering you because I care! :P




    riyahhassett
  • LiamEslerLiamEsler Member Posts: 1,859
    The Black Pits are accessible from within BG:EE -- just use the console. :)

    nanoEudaemoniumPantalion
  • EudaemoniumEudaemonium Member Posts: 3,199
    Hmmm. Does teleporting yourself to them change the XP cap or is it locked to normal EE levels? =/

  • LiamEslerLiamEsler Member Posts: 1,859
    @Eudaemonium You'd be working within the normal EE XP cap.

    Eudaemonium
  • EudaemoniumEudaemonium Member Posts: 3,199
    That makes sense. I assume it sets the XP cap when you start.

    LiamEsler
  • TvrtkoSvrdlarTvrtkoSvrdlar Member Posts: 353
    LiamEsler said:

    The Black Pits are accessible from within BG:EE -- just use the console. :)

    How, exactly?

    And what happens when you finish the last fight - do you get teleported back to the location you were at, or does the game end?

    Also, will the Pits in BG2EE be accessible via the console?

  • KaigenKaigen Member Posts: 1,567
    Presumably you can use the console to "MoveTo" the area for Black Pits. You'd have to console back to where you came from after you were done.

  • LiamEslerLiamEsler Member Posts: 1,859
    You MoveToArea to the appropriate area. The game would probably end, so you'd need to MoveToArea out before the final battle.

    Inclusion into the main plot is not something we're looking at right now, just to be clear. :)

    scriver
  • CoryNewbCoryNewb Member Posts: 1,330
    LiamEsler said:

    You MoveToArea to the appropriate area. The game would probably end, so you'd need to MoveToArea out before the final battle.

    Inclusion into the main plot is not something we're looking at right now, just to be clear. :)

    Thanks for the clarification @LiamEsler :) Your activity these past few months has been appreciated.

    That said, I am glad it is staying separate. It is a separate morsal for our eating pleasure.

    EudaemoniumKaigen
  • Chaotic_GoodChaotic_Good Member Posts: 255
    Its not lore friendly as far as I can tell with my limited knowledge and does have a pretty rich story line that does not really fit the surface world we play in. They could have added a open ground arena of sorts with a high lv soft cap and great gear for low lv parties (a wonderful trap for hc players). It is really far to late for requests though the game comes out in 15ish days.

  • PurudayaPurudaya Member Posts: 816
    edited October 2013
    @TvrtkoSvrdlar

    But it's not arbitrary - Shadows of Amn and Throne of Bhaal were (I'm guessing quite meticulously) crafted to scale in difficulty as the player levels up. Just like, well, all other RPGs - the fights get harder as you get stronger.

    Unlike an Elder Scrolls game, this is a static feature - the challenges don't scale organically with the player. So having a player run through the Black Pits (where I imagine the leveling is going to be pretty rapid to begin with) even for a few battles could seriously ruin the game's challenge depending on what stage of the game your character is in.

    Story is what BG2 is all about, and part of what makes that story intense and engaging is the sense of tension and danger that accompanies critical fights - having a level 36 party take on the D'Arnise Keep doesn't just kill the battle, it kills the story. That's why it's generally no fun importing a maxed-out character to start a new game with.

    If the Black Pits 2 were structured more like Watcher's Keep (if you try to beat it early on, each floor is staggered in such a way that you won't survive the next area unless you play some of the main game to level up), then I might be with you. As it is, it would be more of a mess than the "freedom" it's worth, especially for new players who might not know any better.

    Like others have said, MoveToArea should be a way to make everyone happy. I wouldn't want it accessible from the main game, but it would be fun to run Charname and some Bioware/Beamdog NPCs through it just for the novelty.

    ***

    All that said, I'm surprised to find myself really looking forward to the Black Pits 2, especially after hearing that it's going to be more expansive than its predecessor.

    I didn't expect to enjoy The Black Pits in BG:EE as much as I did, but the story was well-written and voiced, the combat was fun, and it provided a great utility for trying out new class combinations. Can't wait to see what Beamdog has planned for the sequel :)

  • TvrtkoSvrdlarTvrtkoSvrdlar Member Posts: 353
    edited October 2013
    LiamEsler said:

    You MoveToArea to the appropriate area. The game would probably end, so you'd need to MoveToArea out before the final battle.

    Inclusion into the main plot is not something we're looking at right now, just to be clear. :)

    Good enough for me!

    Just one final question - will this mess up any of the current game's flags/variables? Like, say you're in the Underdark, then use the console to do the Pits, finish all the fights except the last one, and then use the console again to move your party back to the Underdark... would this break the game? Or could you normally continue on your way, with the amassed loot/gold/xp in your pack, and the current game still none the wiser to your dimension-hopping escapades?


    @Purudaya
    Hey, that's all I ever wanted - to be able to take the Bioware/Beamdog NPCs along, and play through the Pits as if they were a part of the main storyline (even if this doesn't really mesh with the roleplaying approach). If the console allows this, and without introducing bugs or breaking the current playthrough, then I'm good to go! :D


    Purudaya
  • mysticexarchmysticexarch Member Posts: 12
    I' m not too happy with the Black Pits 2 and I'm wondering if anyone else feels the way I do.

    1. I'm frustrated with the fact that you cannot cast spells outside of the actual arena battles. Pre-buffing is such an important part of the game. It isn't like I'm cheating because I know for 100% sure that there is going to be a battle. Know what I mean? Plus, most of the enemies pre-buff and have contingencies prepared ahead of time, which is something I cannot do. At higher levels, this makes player controlled clerics and mages not-so-good while at the same time giving a huge edge to enemy mages.

    2. I may be incorrect here, but it is impossible for the party to avoid capture by defeating the mercenaries in the beginning of the game. I imported a max-level sorcerer whom I was going to solo the game on insanity. As soon as the battle started, I popped prot. from magic weapons to stay alive and then cast time stop. I was going to blast them all to baator with a volley of time stops and high level spells. However, while time was stopped, the Winged threw the spell that puts you in the orb and captures you. Seems to me that the game essentially cheats and says "no, you can't do that" when it should totally be possible. I was even out of line-of-sight from her! I think players should be allowed to defeat Dennaton's mercenaries and avoid capture altogether. I don't see why not.

    3. I as working on my solo (blind, by the way), and discovered I couldn't complete it due to the fact that my character was helpless during some of the quests that take place out of the arena itself. For example, I couldn't free Najim, because I couldn't fight back against the efreeti. It would be nice if there could be some support given so that characters can solo it if they're skilled enough.

    4. The gladiators that can be hired to fight for you absolutely suck. Voghiln got killed in literally a few seconds in one match. I'm not saying they should be gods, but it would be nice for them to actually have some usefulness.

    5. The game is just way too buggy. The best example is Voghiln, or whatever his name is, glitching out and not letting me ask him to poison Joker. There are others, but this is the most significant one.

    That said, I'm wondering if there are any ways around these problems. I find it hard to believe nobody else is frustrated by this.

  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 16,206

    I' m not too happy with the Black Pits 2 and I'm wondering if anyone else feels the way I do.

    1. I'm frustrated with the fact that you cannot cast spells outside of the actual arena battles. Pre-buffing is such an important part of the game. It isn't like I'm cheating because I know for 100% sure that there is going to be a battle. Know what I mean? Plus, most of the enemies pre-buff and have contingencies prepared ahead of time, which is something I cannot do. At higher levels, this makes player controlled clerics and mages not-so-good while at the same time giving a huge edge to enemy mages.

    If you go to the bunks (where you rest) you should be able to cast contingencies and triggers for an upcoming battle.

    jackjack
  • mysticexarchmysticexarch Member Posts: 12
    elminster said:

    I' m not too happy with the Black Pits 2 and I'm wondering if anyone else feels the way I do.

    1. I'm frustrated with the fact that you cannot cast spells outside of the actual arena battles. Pre-buffing is such an important part of the game. It isn't like I'm cheating because I know for 100% sure that there is going to be a battle. Know what I mean? Plus, most of the enemies pre-buff and have contingencies prepared ahead of time, which is something I cannot do. At higher levels, this makes player controlled clerics and mages not-so-good while at the same time giving a huge edge to enemy mages.

    If you go to the bunks (where you rest) you should be able to cast contingencies and triggers for an upcoming battle.
    But not regular buffs like barkskin, chaotic commands, etc?

  • kamuizinkamuizin Member Posts: 3,684
    1 - Really Sucks, agree.

    2 - It's possible, there's a video from a guy that made it, alternate with the staff of the magi to force invisibility, so the winged can't target you. Kill him first, them the rest is party time.

    3 - Yes, solo game become a bit impossible in the BP2.

    4 - Not true, try the drow mage and the elder sage for example, they rock a lot. The crazy girl "MUFFINS!!" near them also fight well. The Dwarven Defender too is a source of tank for ranged or casters.

    5 - ... yes, a lot of bugs, the Voghilin not giving procedece to his quest, the paladin that create a leap in his banters making an infinite circle that doesn't let the banter end, the cook helpers that stop talking with you after his quest, the elder sage quest that you start but never end (even worst when you give one of the components of his spell to the Wild Mage to make another spell). Also the revolt is a lot bugged, but then that's my experience from my first attempt before the game got updates.

  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 16,206

    elminster said:

    I' m not too happy with the Black Pits 2 and I'm wondering if anyone else feels the way I do.

    1. I'm frustrated with the fact that you cannot cast spells outside of the actual arena battles. Pre-buffing is such an important part of the game. It isn't like I'm cheating because I know for 100% sure that there is going to be a battle. Know what I mean? Plus, most of the enemies pre-buff and have contingencies prepared ahead of time, which is something I cannot do. At higher levels, this makes player controlled clerics and mages not-so-good while at the same time giving a huge edge to enemy mages.

    If you go to the bunks (where you rest) you should be able to cast contingencies and triggers for an upcoming battle.
    But not regular buffs like barkskin, chaotic commands, etc?
    You can cast those in that area but they will be dispelled if you leave it.

  • mysticexarchmysticexarch Member Posts: 12
    kamuizin said:



    1 - Really Sucks, agree.

    2 - It's possible, there's a video from a guy that made it, alternate with the staff of the magi to force invisibility, so the winged can't target you. Kill him first, them the rest is party time.

    3 - Yes, solo game become a bit impossible in the BP2.

    4 - Not true, try the drow mage and the elder sage for example, they rock a lot. The crazy girl "MUFFINS!!" near them also fight well. The Dwarven Defender too is a source of tank for ranged or casters.

    5 - ... yes, a lot of bugs, the Voghilin not giving procedece to his quest, the paladin that create a leap in his banters making an infinite circle that doesn't let the banter end, the cook helpers that stop talking with you after his quest, the elder sage quest that you start but never end (even worst when you give one of the components of his spell to the Wild Mage to make another spell). Also the revolt is a lot bugged, but then that's my experience from my first attempt before the game got updates.

    2 - I know, I saw the video. Unfortunately for me, I'm a sorcerer. I can't melee her to death during time stop like the other guy did. I'm lowering her resistance and casting breach, then doing horrid wilting a bunch of times to kill her. However, as soon as time unfreezes, she just instantly captures me in the globe. Sometimes some damage somehow gets to me after time comes back. This is odd, since I had protection from magic weapons, was invisible with the staff of magi, and protection from magic energy. I don't see how damage, like a flame strike or whatever, could possibly get through.

    4 - Helpful advice. However, I've never seen these characters. Either I'm really unobservant, or it was another bug.

    5 - So all the bugs are now fixed, then?

  • kamuizinkamuizin Member Posts: 3,684
    Really don't know if all the bugs were solved @mysticexarch, to your sorcerer beat the winged one, use timestop+improved alcharity, followed by improved haste and shapeschange: mindflayer option. Then just hit the winged one to her death.

  • mysticexarchmysticexarch Member Posts: 12
    edited December 2013
    kamuizin said:

    Really don't know if all the bugs were solved @mysticexarch, to your sorcerer beat the winged one, use timestop+improved alcharity, followed by improved haste and shapeschange: mindflayer option. Then just hit the winged one to her death.

    I did. It seems she is immune to magical weapons, though. The mindflayer's devour brain attack is considered magical weapon. I would have to dispel it. However, spells like breach or spellstrike wouldn't take affect until after time stop ended. And at that point, she'd get me with the globe spell.

    I'm going to try using spell immunity while time is stopped. I'll do Alacrity and then spell immunity for enchantment or transmutation. I figure her globe spell has to be one of those. Then I can try what I've been doing before. If she still gets me, then I suppose there's nothing I can do.

    Update:

    I did it!

    I ran out of her sight and cast time stop. This way, she never saw me in the first place and didn't cast the spell.
    I ran over to her and lowered her resistance many times and barraged her with skull traps and magic missiles. She sees me when time goes in, but dies almost immediately so her spell doesn't go off. After that, it was a cakewalk.

    Post edited by mysticexarch on
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