Making Health its own stat is an excellent move.

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Re: Making Health its own stat is an excellent move.

Post by anonymous6059 » June 15th, 2016, 7:58 am

HarveyV wrote:
sear wrote:
HarveyV wrote:They literally and factually said they added the health pool system because idiots might end up going into encounters unprepared.

That is what casuals do. They are stupid and don't take their time or learn the mechanics, and die. Duh.
I think you may be misinterpreting what I said. ;) The intent was not to "dumb down" the game for "casuals". It was primarily to allow us to balance combat better. Numenera is a system built for the tabletop and while it has some great elements, our goal is still ultimately to do a Torment CRPG and not a 1:1 tabletop simulation.

Without a human GM tuning each situation, stat pools doubling as health introduced a ton of variance in character builds and capability levels that made it extremely difficult to balance encounters, DTs, items, etc. across the entire game. With health we have a more consistent reference point for balancing encounters, and resource management is still an extremely important part of exploration/conversation gameplay as well as for combat abilities.

You are welcome to extrapolate what that means for the game, or discuss how that relates to the spirit of Numenera if you wish. But I just want to get it out there that accessibility to some nebulous idiotic mass audience was not a factor.
Balancing combat is cancer and its what fucking ruined PoE.
Wait the combat in PoE sucked? I loved it... Really loved almost everything about that game. I found this mind bobbling article that blew me away on how much work is involved in combat balancing. Not sure why you feel PoE's combat ruined the game. @Sear I do really wish you guys would show us a little bit more of what's happening behind the curtain though. Making a change like that might of been easier to handle if we had some kind of warning.
http://kotaku.com/how-to-balance-an-rpg-1625516832

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Re: Making Health its own stat is an excellent move.

Post by Aramintai » June 15th, 2016, 8:18 am

Game's not even out yet but people already complain about combat balancing :roll: Just wait until release version, sheesh. Comparing it to PoE's post release rebalancing issues now is stupid.
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Re: Making Health its own stat is an excellent move.

Post by kilobug » June 15th, 2016, 9:08 am

HarveyV wrote:Balancing combat is cancer and its what fucking ruined PoE.
anonymous6059 wrote:Wait the combat in PoE sucked? I loved it... Really loved almost everything about that game. I found this mind bobbling article that blew me away on how much work is involved in combat balancing.
IMHO the combat itself in PoE was reasonably balanced, but the XP progression was not. By doing most side quests, you reached XP cap way before the end of the game (both in vanilla and with the expansions), which is a bit frustrating when you don't gain any more XP during all the end of the game.

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Re: Making Health its own stat is an excellent move.

Post by Lord of Riva » June 15th, 2016, 11:20 am

as im unwilling to play the beta again currently, could someone please explain what the health system implementation means in practice?

thanks in advance.

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Re: Making Health its own stat is an excellent move.

Post by Havelok_ » June 15th, 2016, 12:31 pm

Lord of Riva wrote:as im unwilling to play the beta again currently, could someone please explain what the health system implementation means in practice?

thanks in advance.
The core Numenera, when you take damage it affects your three pools. Most of the time, it depletes your Might first, then Speed, Then Intellect. If all three pools are depleted, you die. If One or Two pools are depleted, you would gain a fettle (Torment's word for debuff) and of course be unable to complete any special actions in that pool. There are special attacks that target other pools (something which may still be present in the game, but we haven't seen since the health implementation is so new. In other words, having a health stat does not rule out pool damage entirely).

With the implementation of the health stat, the pools are now exclusively focused on effort and ability usage, with general damage being soaked by a separate stat. In practice, this means that in combat, you can take mundane damage and not have to worry about your ability pools being drained by said hits. Instead, you will use your pools exclusively for offensive and defensive abilites, and will have to decide how many resources to use in said combat encounter instead of having said resources "stolen" from you via enemy damage.

You also don't have to worry about using up your might pool and having an encounter right around the corner, leaving you extremely vulnerable. A player would be prone to sitting on their might pool, not risking any actions outside of combat, *just in case* there was a crisis around the corner. Or, alternatively, a player that did not would be made extremely vulnerable for making the "wrong" choice, which, funnily enough, would be interacting with the interesting game elements.

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Re: Making Health its own stat is an excellent move.

Post by sear » June 15th, 2016, 12:55 pm

I'll note that stat pool damage is something we are considering including for certain enemies or special attacks, but it probably won't be a universal thing.

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Re: Making Health its own stat is an excellent move.

Post by Homer Morisson » June 15th, 2016, 1:15 pm

sear wrote:I'll note that stat pool damage is something we are considering including for certain enemies or special attacks, but it probably won't be a universal thing.
I agree with this completely; permanently reducing the maximum pool(s) should be reserved for massive attacks from truly powerful adversaries and overexertion when using powerful and potentially dangerous Numenera or skills, like how I received a permanent Intelligence pool deduction for a certain rather extreme (and completely optional) use of the Tidal Surge ability.

This felt appropriate to me, to convey a sense of the importance of my actions and their consequences.
Similarly in battle, I would be fine with being subjected to a massive physical/psychic attack for instance from the Sorrow or another truly powerful being and thus receiving a permanent malus to my Intellect pool, but I would be annoyed if the same thing happened from a minor encounter against mere street thugs for instance.
Last edited by Homer Morisson on June 15th, 2016, 3:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Making Health its own stat is an excellent move.

Post by Havelok_ » June 15th, 2016, 3:02 pm

Homer Morisson wrote:
sear wrote:I'll note that stat pool damage is something we are considering including for certain enemies or special attacks, but it probably won't be a universal thing.
I agree with this completely; permanently reducing the maximum pool(s) should be reserved for massive attacks from truly powerful adversaries and overexertion when using powerful and potentially dangerous Numenera or skills, like how I received a permanent Intelligence pool deduction for a certain rather extreme (and completely optional) use of the Tidal Surge ability.

This felt appropriate to me, to convey a sense of the importance of my actions and their consequences.
Similarly in battle, I would be fine with being subjected to a massive physic attack for instance from the Sorrow or another truly powerful being and thus receiving a permanent malus to my Intellect pool, but I would be annoyed if the same thing happened from a minor encounter against mere street thugs for instance.
I don't think he is referencing permanent damage, rather regular pool damage, such as if a psionic enemy were to spike your brain, you might receive intellect damage. This would only affect your current pool, rather than your maximum.

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Re: Making Health its own stat is an excellent move.

Post by Homer Morisson » June 15th, 2016, 3:11 pm

Havelok_ wrote:
Homer Morisson wrote:
sear wrote:I'll note that stat pool damage is something we are considering including for certain enemies or special attacks, but it probably won't be a universal thing.
I agree with this completely; permanently reducing the maximum pool(s) should be reserved for massive attacks from truly powerful adversaries and overexertion when using powerful and potentially dangerous Numenera or skills, like how I received a permanent Intelligence pool deduction for a certain rather extreme (and completely optional) use of the Tidal Surge ability.

This felt appropriate to me, to convey a sense of the importance of my actions and their consequences.
Similarly in battle, I would be fine with being subjected to a massive physic attack for instance from the Sorrow or another truly powerful being and thus receiving a permanent malus to my Intellect pool, but I would be annoyed if the same thing happened from a minor encounter against mere street thugs for instance.
I don't think he is referencing permanent damage, rather regular pool damage, such as if a psionic enemy were to spike your brain, you might receive intellect damage. This would only affect your current pool, rather than your maximum.
You may be right, although I wouldn't even worry about such mechanics... as long as it isn't permanent damage with every little encounter, I'm perfectly fine with having certain specialised adversaries that could temporarily hinder me from unleashing my most powerful abilities by cutting my relevant pool in half... so long as there are countermeasures that can be learned/applied, even if it were a simple "Talk to enemy" to disrupt their concentration. =)
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Re: Making Health its own stat is an excellent move.

Post by KSH » June 15th, 2016, 6:21 pm

Well, I think making health its own stat is a terrible move, period. One of the reasons I was excited about T:TON to begin with was its faithful implementation of how the stat pool also function as health, as this makes gameplay so much more interesting when making decisions concerned with spending points from the stat pool. With this change the game gives up one of its most interesting traits, and takes one step towards mediocrity the way I see it. I respect the decision, but I don't particularly find the stated reasoning behind it to be very convincing tbh,

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Re: Making Health its own stat is an excellent move.

Post by anonymous6059 » June 15th, 2016, 6:38 pm

kilobug wrote:
HarveyV wrote:Balancing combat is cancer and its what fucking ruined PoE.
anonymous6059 wrote:Wait the combat in PoE sucked? I loved it... Really loved almost everything about that game. I found this mind bobbling article that blew me away on how much work is involved in combat balancing.
IMHO the combat itself in PoE was reasonably balanced, but the XP progression was not. By doing most side quests, you reached XP cap way before the end of the game (both in vanilla and with the expansions), which is a bit frustrating when you don't gain any more XP during all the end of the game.
Interesting, I've only played through it twice without the expansions so I guess that never was a problem for me. All this talk about PoE is got me itching to give those expansions a shot.

Wait a second, if they really did make this move because of balancing and not because of the stupidity of the players isn't that a good sign? I mean the combat is one of the lowest parts of the game in my opinion. So the fact that they are taking it serious enough to tweak the core mechanics should be a good sign? Well, a good sign or a really really bad one... Either way, please Inxile don't let the combat suck like it did in PST. Although that would be pretty faithful to the original if the combat did suck. :lol:

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Re: Making Health its own stat is an excellent move.

Post by -Archangel- » June 15th, 2016, 11:22 pm

sear wrote:
HarveyV wrote:They literally and factually said they added the health pool system because idiots might end up going into encounters unprepared.

That is what casuals do. They are stupid and don't take their time or learn the mechanics, and die. Duh.
I think you may be misinterpreting what I said. ;) The intent was not to "dumb down" the game for "casuals". It was primarily to allow us to balance combat better. Numenera is a system built for the tabletop and while it has some great elements, our goal is still ultimately to do a Torment CRPG and not a 1:1 tabletop simulation.

Without a human GM tuning each situation, stat pools doubling as health introduced a ton of variance in character builds and capability levels that made it extremely difficult to balance encounters, DTs, items, etc. across the entire game. With health we have a more consistent reference point for balancing encounters, and resource management is still an extremely important part of exploration/conversation gameplay as well as for combat abilities.

You are welcome to extrapolate what that means for the game, or discuss how that relates to the spirit of Numenera if you wish. But I just want to get it out there that accessibility to some nebulous idiotic mass audience was not a factor.
You have 12 major encounters and few minor ones... how hard is to balance that?! Come on! Bg2 had encounters change depending on player levels and it has way more than 12 major encounters and had way more smaller ones. You could have easily balanced these 12 encounters based on some player numbers as they are entering it or something.
This is such a terrible excuse you should be ashamed you even used it.

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Re: Making Health its own stat is an excellent move.

Post by anonymous6059 » June 16th, 2016, 3:43 am

-Archangel- wrote:
sear wrote:
HarveyV wrote:They literally and factually said they added the health pool system because idiots might end up going into encounters unprepared.

That is what casuals do. They are stupid and don't take their time or learn the mechanics, and die. Duh.
I think you may be misinterpreting what I said. ;) The intent was not to "dumb down" the game for "casuals". It was primarily to allow us to balance combat better. Numenera is a system built for the tabletop and while it has some great elements, our goal is still ultimately to do a Torment CRPG and not a 1:1 tabletop simulation.

Without a human GM tuning each situation, stat pools doubling as health introduced a ton of variance in character builds and capability levels that made it extremely difficult to balance encounters, DTs, items, etc. across the entire game. With health we have a more consistent reference point for balancing encounters, and resource management is still an extremely important part of exploration/conversation gameplay as well as for combat abilities.

You are welcome to extrapolate what that means for the game, or discuss how that relates to the spirit of Numenera if you wish. But I just want to get it out there that accessibility to some nebulous idiotic mass audience was not a factor.
You have 12 major encounters and few minor ones... how hard is to balance that?! Come on! Bg2 had encounters change depending on player levels and it has way more than 12 major encounters and had way more smaller ones. You could have easily balanced these 12 encounters based on some player numbers as they are entering it or something.
This is such a terrible excuse you should be ashamed you even used it.
See this is exactly what I was wondering about as well. Combat is virtually nonexistent in TToN. So what difference does it really make? Why go through all that trouble unless they do plan to make combat a strong element of the game. Inxile if you're making these changes to make this game more enjoyable keep it up. Just go ahead and gut the whole system if need be, just kidding ;). Please just don't let the combat suck or not exist at all. That was the big mistake with PST. You've already got a great story. Please keep working on the combat though. You got this Inxile!

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Re: Making Health its own stat is an excellent move.

Post by kaiman » June 16th, 2016, 5:24 am

KSH wrote:Well, I think making health its own stat is a terrible move, period. One of the reasons I was excited about T:TON to begin with was its faithful implementation of how the stat pool also function as health, as this makes gameplay so much more interesting when making decisions concerned with spending points from the stat pool. With this change the game gives up one of its most interesting traits, and takes one step towards mediocrity the way I see it.
So far I really couldn't point to what felt wrong about health, but I begin to see clearer now. In almost all RPGs, stats are divided into those that are combat-relevant and stats that govern everything else. This separation means that outside of combat, no real thought needs to be given to any action that is performed. There are basically two modes of gameplay that are completely distinct.

Now for once the same resources needed in combat are also those needed out of combat. This is actually brilliant, as it unifies gameplay in and out of combat and enforces a different, more thoughtful approach to the exploration part of the game. By introducing combat-specific resources like health, this concept is watered down.

Certainly, balancing a single set of resources across the complete game is more complicated than balancing combat and exploration content separately. But (a) meticously balancing single player games just tends to make them bland and sterile (IMO), and (b) the danger of entering a crisis unprepared in TToN isn't really much bigger than the danger of having the wrong spells memorized in the IE games. Just because one or two party members are (less) useful in one crisis shouldn't mean that all is lost. I was under the impression that each crisis would be solvable in differnt ways anyway. Maybe no optimal resolution will be possible with depleted pools, but with the right approach it should be possible to prevail regardless.

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Re: Making Health its own stat is an excellent move.

Post by KSH » June 16th, 2016, 5:53 am

kaiman wrote:So far I really couldn't point to what felt wrong about health, but I begin to see clearer now. In almost all RPGs, stats are divided into those that are combat-relevant and stats that govern everything else. This separation means that outside of combat, no real thought needs to be given to any action that is performed. There are basically two modes of gameplay that are completely distinct.

Now for once the same resources needed in combat are also those needed out of combat. This is actually brilliant, as it unifies gameplay in and out of combat and enforces a different, more thoughtful approach to the exploration part of the game. By introducing combat-specific resources like health, this concept is watered down.


My thoughts exactly, it makes you have to think more about what you do both in and out of combat and the consequences that might follow any actions that impact the stat pool. In short, it adds another dimension to "C&C". This is a unique and brilliant mechanic, and one of the most central aspects that separate the Numenera ruleset from all the other rulesets out there. With the relatively small number of encounters in the game taken into account, I don't find it convincing in the least that this move has anything to do with balancing as we all know and use the word: far, far more complicated balancing issues are addressed by devs on a regular basis (I have been involved with game balancing myself). I'm afraid inXile don't really mean balancing as much as they do "balancing".

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Re: Making Health its own stat is an excellent move.

Post by anonymous6059 » June 16th, 2016, 6:57 am

KSH wrote:
kaiman wrote:So far I really couldn't point to what felt wrong about health, but I begin to see clearer now. In almost all RPGs, stats are divided into those that are combat-relevant and stats that govern everything else. This separation means that outside of combat, no real thought needs to be given to any action that is performed. There are basically two modes of gameplay that are completely distinct.

Now for once the same resources needed in combat are also those needed out of combat. This is actually brilliant, as it unifies gameplay in and out of combat and enforces a different, more thoughtful approach to the exploration part of the game. By introducing combat-specific resources like health, this concept is watered down.


My thoughts exactly, it makes you have to think more about what you do both in and out of combat and the consequences that might follow any actions that impact the stat pool. In short, it adds another dimension to "C&C". This is a unique and brilliant mechanic, and one of the most central aspects that separate the Numenera ruleset from all the other rulesets out there. With the relatively small number of encounters in the game taken into account, I don't find it convincing in the least that this move has anything to do with balancing as we all know and use the word: far, far more complicated balancing issues are addressed by devs on a regular basis (I have been involved with game balancing myself). I'm afraid inXile don't really mean balancing as much as they do "balancing".
Hold on, so could it be that they felt they had to do this in order to allow players to do more during a play through? See, the last time I played the Beta resting would progress certain quest in the game. So resting isn't something you want to do unless you really have to or you would miss out on certain possibilities. Having a Health bar allows players to participate in combat and still be able to accomplish several quest before each rest is required. Basically, if they didn't include the health bar you'd be forced to either:
  • 1. Avoid combat as much as possible in order to spend points from your pools on quest related task.
    2. Fight collecting loot, cyphers, and other drops, but be forced to miss out on a great deal of quest.
See I think the real problem here for Inxile is the Time sensitive Quest. Yep, think you're making the right move Inxile if that's the case. Most players are going to want to fight 3/4 of the time. It wouldn't be fair if you constantly had to choose between one half of the game or the other. It is one thing to have to choose between 10 different side quest in a play through and something totally different to have to choose between two completely different ways to play the game.
Health bar has my seal of approval

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Re: Making Health its own stat is an excellent move.

Post by Aramintai » June 16th, 2016, 7:33 am

anonymous6059 wrote: See I think the real problem here for Inxile is the Time sensitive Quest.
You mean 3 time sensitive quests (murders, sticha, quorro&lazaret). And yea, there was a big discussion about them and necessity of resting. However, I don't think adding health bar was necessary for that, because it seems that devs also changed how effort works - now it works to a degree even if the stat pool is depleted, so the need to rest is not as great now.
Personally, I'm reserving any judgment until I see a more finished and balanced product, because now it's all fiddling and looking for what works.
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Re: Making Health its own stat is an excellent move.

Post by Homer Morisson » June 16th, 2016, 7:35 am

anonymous6059 wrote:
KSH wrote:
kaiman wrote:So far I really couldn't point to what felt wrong about health, but I begin to see clearer now. In almost all RPGs, stats are divided into those that are combat-relevant and stats that govern everything else. This separation means that outside of combat, no real thought needs to be given to any action that is performed. There are basically two modes of gameplay that are completely distinct.

Now for once the same resources needed in combat are also those needed out of combat. This is actually brilliant, as it unifies gameplay in and out of combat and enforces a different, more thoughtful approach to the exploration part of the game. By introducing combat-specific resources like health, this concept is watered down.


My thoughts exactly, it makes you have to think more about what you do both in and out of combat and the consequences that might follow any actions that impact the stat pool. In short, it adds another dimension to "C&C". This is a unique and brilliant mechanic, and one of the most central aspects that separate the Numenera ruleset from all the other rulesets out there. With the relatively small number of encounters in the game taken into account, I don't find it convincing in the least that this move has anything to do with balancing as we all know and use the word: far, far more complicated balancing issues are addressed by devs on a regular basis (I have been involved with game balancing myself). I'm afraid inXile don't really mean balancing as much as they do "balancing".
Hold on, so could it be that they felt they had to do this in order to allow players to do more during a play through? See, the last time I played the Beta resting would progress certain quest in the game. So resting isn't something you want to do unless you really have to or you would miss out on certain possibilities. Having a Health bar allows players to participate in combat and still be able to accomplish several quest before each rest is required. Basically, if they didn't include the health bar you'd be forced to either:
  • 1. Avoid combat as much as possible in order to spend points from your pools on quest related task.
    2. Fight collecting loot, cyphers, and other drops, but be forced to miss out on a great deal of quest.
See I think the real problem here for Inxile is the Time sensitive Quest. Yep, think you're making the right move Inxile if that's the case. Most players are going to want to fight 3/4 of the time. It wouldn't be fair if you constantly had to choose between one half of the game or the other. It is one thing to have to choose between 10 different side quest in a play through and something totally different to have to choose between two completely different ways to play the game.
Health bar has my seal of approval
My thoughts exactly!

I much prefer the current speration between health and stat pools simply because I'd otherwise feel constantly on edge and insecure about wether or not I can tackle a certain quest at all, wether or not I should spend Effort to ensure the wanted result, not knowing when the next major crisis will strike and wether or not I'll be able to rest before that happens.

Like you say, resting isn't always the obvious solution to depleted effort pools as certain quests may be influenced negatively or even fail completely, certain NPCs might disappear overnight for one reason or another, thus rendering quests impossible to obtain or certain optional quest strings impossible to pursue.

This can easily be counterbalanced in P&P by a good Game Master, since he can freely, spontaneously and contextually react to everything that is currently happening in the game world - a CRPG cannot do this, there simply aren't any AIs advanced and streamlined enough for emulating this heuristic behaviour in a plausible and believable way in video games.

So if they kept slavishly to the P&P ruleset and mechanics without accounting for the inherent differences and limits of each individual environment/platform, they'd have done us a major disservice in my eyes... at least for me, this would have lead to regular frustration, regularly being annoyed by being forced to play the game a certain, most efficient way.
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Re: Making Health its own stat is an excellent move.

Post by anonymous6059 » June 16th, 2016, 12:08 pm

Homer Morisson wrote: This can easily be counterbalanced in P&P by a good Game Master, since he can freely, spontaneously and contextually react to everything that is currently happening in the game world - a CRPG cannot do this, there simply aren't any AIs advanced and streamlined enough for emulating this heuristic behaviour in a plausible and believable way in video games.
I know this comment is way off topic but I have to ask. Why don't we have video games that do that yet? I'll admit I know almost nothing about how video games are made, but I do know that chess engines exist that do act in the way you describe. Adapting to your moves, adjusting its tactics, changing its level of difficulty, and some on. You would think that "Difficulty modes" and the like would be obsolete by now. I'm not saying it would be cheap, but I could see a licensed GM engine for sell on steam some day that can be used across the board on most video games. Just imagine the day when all play throughs are unique and different... :roll: Sorry, got lost daydreaming again. :oops:

Forget Virtual Reality. I want a Virtual Game Master!!!!!!

To get back on topic, I think Inxile knows what's up. It wouldn't hurt for them to give us a heads up on these kinds of changes. I didn't even see it listed in the list of things Updated in the Beta. They just kind of hit us with it and it was a bit of a shock. If I was them I might of said something first. That way we could of at least braced ourselves. Aside from that I can't find anything negative about the change.

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Re: Making Health its own stat is an excellent move.

Post by Havelok_ » June 16th, 2016, 9:57 pm

anonymous6059 wrote:
Homer Morisson wrote: This can easily be counterbalanced in P&P by a good Game Master, since he can freely, spontaneously and contextually react to everything that is currently happening in the game world - a CRPG cannot do this, there simply aren't any AIs advanced and streamlined enough for emulating this heuristic behaviour in a plausible and believable way in video games.
I know this comment is way off topic but I have to ask. Why don't we have video games that do that yet? I'll admit I know almost nothing about how video games are made, but I do know that chess engines exist that do act in the way you describe. Adapting to your moves, adjusting its tactics, changing its level of difficulty, and some on. You would think that "Difficulty modes" and the like would be obsolete by now. I'm not saying it would be cheap, but I could see a licensed GM engine for sell on steam some day that can be used across the board on most video games. Just imagine the day when all play throughs are unique and different... :roll: Sorry, got lost daydreaming again. :oops:

Forget Virtual Reality. I want a Virtual Game Master!!!!!!

To get back on topic, I think Inxile knows what's up. It wouldn't hurt for them to give us a heads up on these kinds of changes. I didn't even see it listed in the list of things Updated in the Beta. They just kind of hit us with it and it was a bit of a shock. If I was them I might of said something first. That way we could of at least braced ourselves. Aside from that I can't find anything negative about the change.
AI is not advanced enough quite yet to duplicate a GM. Especially a *good* GM. It literally takes every ounce of my brainpower to run a tabletop game well. Until we have human-level AI, I doubt it will be possible. The closest thing we have right now is levelled encounters, and not many people enjoy that. We also have randomized levels (roguelikes and roguelites), but they often lack a certain something as well.

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