And I agree with you, though I went the route of lowering XP rewards significantly rather than raising the ceiling. Same basic idea. But like you said, it would also exacerbate the current XP imbalance. Which is why I also tried to tweak the values to not favor one style over another.
As long as there is XP, people will farm it. It's a simple fact of life. Take me for example, I am not that kind of player. I play games as intended as much as I can, and in my first playthrough I used passcodes and only took one route to the objective.
But now I'm going through a second time, I do all the XP-intensive stuff as well. XP only exists to get Praxis points and somebody answer me this: even if you have an XP system that is perfectly balanced, where whatever solution you choose to a problem nets you the same XP... what is the point of an XP system? If you get the same rewards no matter how you play, then the end result is identical to if you didn't have one in the first place.
"But what about rewarding exploration and experimentation?" I hear you cry! Easy, just award more Praxis points direct. Somebody finds a secret area? Have some Praxis (not all secret areas of course, but enough to encourage some exploration).
But the last thing you want to do is give XP for tasks such as hacking. When you have players ignoring passcodes they have discovered in order to hack for XP, you know something is wrong. Yes, you could balance it by increasing XP in certain areas and implementing some fail-safes...but when all this will do is achieve the same results that eliminating it entirely would, why not just take the simple option?
Wha? Yes there would. Not having an XP system would encourage you to play the way you want, as opposed to playing the way that gets you the most XP. If you want to play one way without being flexible, that'll work fine. If you want to adapt and experiment, that'll work as well. Removing the XP system encourages flexibility, it doesn't restrict it.there would be absolutely no flexibility in your playstyle.
Unless of course I'm remembering it wrong and you actually got skill points for everything in the original. In which case we should seriously ask the question: was it balanced? Or were the skill points just less of a big deal in the original, making the issues raised by imbalance much less noticeable?
Well, you would have to search everything everywhere for being absolutely 100% sure that you didn't miss anything. Here, you can have fun to explore an area, and just stop when you're bored. Sure, you're gonna miss 100 to 400 XP here and there, and maybe 5000 in total but that would be it.
Besides, once there will be a walkthrough on the internet, people will just go straight up during the entire game, except for retrieving the praxis kits. People are stupid, if there is no reward, they're not gonna go for it. How many person would do the entire game without killing anyone if there wasn't an achievement related to it? Except Deus Ex players, not a lot I think.
Personally, I'd still put a few Praxis kits in some secret areas. Or, even better, more hidden sidequests.
I might be very pessimistic but I think it would be even worse. Think about it.
If people could extract the maximum of the gameplay playing straight up to the objective, 90% of the players will do so. If you hide plot-content in secret areas, they will even complain that the story is crap if they didn't understand it (same if there was not enough ammos without the secret areas)
Now if 90% of the players don't use your multiple paths solution (because the reward is barely there gameplay wise), do you think developers and editors would spend time and money to create multipaths solutions for the others 10%? I think the answer is no, and there you go, you don't have your Deus Ex game anymore.
I mean sure, XP points or achievements altere most of the players playstyle, but it's only there to motivate the players to discover what the developers have put into the game. How many people replay their game once they won their platinum trophy/1000 Gs or whatever?
First of all, I'm talking about hidden areas. Places you have to actively explore to seek out. This is not the same as multiple paths to an objective. And as long as there is interesting content, of course people will seek it out. Because many players want to expand their understanding of the story and the universe they're in. I know things aren't quite like "the good old days" any more, but that instinct to explore and experience is not lost on modern players, even when there is no gameplay benefit. As long as the act of exploring is fun in itself, people will explore.
Secondly, in regards to multiple paths: yes they will use multiple paths. I can even cite precedent on this one: Metal Gear Solid games give you plenty of ways of sneaking around a problem. Do you want to go through the vents? Do you want to go over the roofs? Through the middle of the building, up close and personal? Do you want to go 100% undetected or tranq the enemies? There's no XP system there to force you to play one way, and players will always experiment, or find a solution that they particularly enjoy. Or set their own challenges.
Solving problems in a creative way is not something players do 'just for the XP'.
Well exploring and using multiple paths solution, it's kind of the same type of players that do it, hence the shortcut I took.
In Metal Gear Solid, you don't win any levels/capacities though. You can play as you want without making any choices on how your character evolves.
And even then you can still choose to mix it up whenever you like, without fear of penalty. So I don't see the problem.
Just beat HR again, best game I've played in several years. However, I have two criticisms: boss fights and XP system. The boss fights were forgivable given the time and money constraints of Eidos Montreal, and they fixed that portion with TML. Now, the XP system, which is not so forgivable (IMO). I felt they were WAY too generous with how many praxis points you earned, as I had almost every augmentation unlocked by the end of the game. In the first DX you could master up to 3, maybe 4 skills if you found absolutely every secret location and completed every quest in the game. You got a much better sense of character specialization in DX1, not to mention replayability because of the the XP limitations.
I have figured out an easy way to limit the amount of praxis you can spend in HR, for those playing on consoles who don't have access to the PC difficulty mod. It requires a bit a self-restraint, but it works (for me at least). You can increase or decrease the amount of praxis you're allowed to use based on how specialized you want your character (Jensen) to be. I like a 3 fold decrease in spendable praxis. For example, if I have a total of 9 praxis points available, I can use 3 of those. Or, if I have two praxis points left, I can't use a praxis until I get a 3rd one. Once that 3rd is used, I have two left, so I can't spend another praxis point until I get to the 5 point mark. Then I spend a praxis point, I have 4 left; can't use another point until I reach the 7 point mark--and so on. Also, you can't include points past the accumulated point mark: so if you have 13 points remaining from your last augmentation purchase, you can't use any of those 13 points, only points accumulated past that mark. It's probably best to write this down as you go so you don't lose track of the numbers. This has made the game a load more enjoyable for me, as it's sort of a throwback to the original DX regarding character specialization.
I would like to know if anyone else has any other self-made systems that they use for coping with the broken XP system? Please post if you have any helpful criticism of this system or would like to share systems of your own.
The game became a lot more enjoyable for me when i 'let go' and ignored the exp system, and forgot about trying to play so as to optimize my exp gains. I know they put the exp system in to 'reward' you for certain things (e.g. playing stealthily, nonlethal, etc), but instead the game made me feel like a failure whenever i didn't maximize my exp. For example, I've played the game through loads of times now, and still find it hard to resist maximizing hacking ASAP, go through every vent etc, fearing that I may be losing out in some way later on.
I really like your suggestions for using less praxis points - I'll use that next playthrough
Seems everyone has this issue with DXHR tho (admittedly it's not such a big deal, coz the game is awesome and superfun regardless). I'm not an expert by any means, but i recently read "a theory of fun for game design" by Raph Koster - and he brings up this very point - that players will always 'cheat' the game, or go against its spirit, in order to maximize their power. Anyhow, I really hope DXHR has a tweaked exp system (exp for objectives and secret areas only, for instance) and more specialization
Jason, surely you jest. =P
And Bajininja, next time use the search function. There's a number of threads pertaining to the XP system already.
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