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Everything posted by BrettNLowe

  1. Circling back to report on spellcasts per fight - I just finished Llengrath on POTD. Spell casts left for my three Vancians: Priest MC: 3/4/4/4/4/3/3/2 Aloth: 6/2/6/4/4/3/1/2 Hiravias: 4/4/4/4/3/2/3/3 I believe each of them used 2 of their 4 mastered spells. My point being, 2 per-encounters per spell level is way overkill unless combat has drastically changed. And finally, changing the Vancians to Mana seems a really poor choice. There's no real reason to. Spell slots are interesting design space, and if you want a Mana pool, almost all of the other classes have you covered. To be frank, I think Mana pools were a poor choice for most classes. This favors mostly taking passive abilities and then the one or two best powers you want to spam. The per encounter system for martials in POE1 created more variety in ability usage because they weren't competing for resources. Sure, Barbaric Shout is cool, but do you really want to burn Rage on that when you could Heart of Fury instead? But it's far too late to worry about that now.
  2. I'm 75 percent through a POTD playthrough, and more than ever I'm believing that you should only get one spell slot per spell level until you hit the former mastery levels - i.e., you get another level 1 spell at power level 5, 2 at 6, 3 at 7, 4 at 8, and 5 at 9. On almost no fights have I managed to burn through a significant number of spells before the fight is over, and that's including the boss fights that you aren't trying to hold back on. What's more is that there are spell levels that my characters don't even use because they just have so many casts at the levels that have the OP spells.
  3. Honestly, the current system is the easiest. But too many people want muscle wizards.
  4. Yeah, even if you steal recovery from Dex (worsening that stat), you've basically made a duplicate of Dex. Sure, it's slightly different, but they are both "do things faster."
  5. Ugh. I guess the Muscle Wizard fans win after all. At the very least we can all hope *something* works out for Resolve other than going back to the Pillars 1 system where Resolve was terrible.
  6. Can't you use Empower to refresh spell slots, or am I mistaken there?
  7. Somewhat off-topic, but . . . "From SneakAttack perspective: Graze and UnderPen is multiplicative; while Crit and OverPen are additive; From Strength perspective: Graze and UnderPen is additive (with double inversion); while Crit and OverPen are multiplicative. That's because: - Sneak Attack, Crit, OverPen and other bonuses belong to preAdditive group; while - Strength, Graze and UnderPen belong to postAdditive group." Ugh! This seems completely wrong to me. Crits, Grazes, and Pen bonuses/maluses should be in one group with Strength, Sneak Attack, and Soul Whip in another. Especially Sneak Attack - historically, that was supposed to be a source of damage that makes you less reliant on strength. If Strength and Sneak Attack are multiplicative, then you want muscle rogues. Putting Soul Whip in that category also makes it so Ciphers don't have to worry as much about Strength and can focus on other stats. Some other bonuses you could consider as to what makes sense. For example, Two-Handed Style makes sense to not be in the Str group - you want Str to be multiplicative with it so 2-handers value Str rather than devalue it.
  8. Saying Fireball serves a different purpose by comparing 4 fireballs vs 2 is a little off the mark. If you are firing off 4 fireballs per fight, that means you are resting every fight, too, which is clearly not how the game was designed. As I mentioned in the Vancian thread, POE1 at least felt like it was balanced around 4 fights per rest on average. Is it possible to mod attributes? I know I'm a pariah for preferring Str to Mgt, but I'm interested in seeing if you can add a 2%-per-point Armor recovery modifier to Str. Anyway, back to spells - another thing I mentioned in the Vancian thread is a point system for evaluating spells. There are a lot of variables, and it would take a lot more to evaluate how a debuff compares to damage, but perhaps we could come up with some ideas on damage spells alone. If I'm not too tired after work, I'll circle back, but here are some initial thoughts. First you start with a baseline - say, single target with either pierce, slashing, or crush damage - as X damage. Now we can consider damage types. Is it safe to say Frost and Fire are better? Maybe set them to .9X. Then Shock or Corrode might be slightly better than those, at .8X. Raw is the strongest, so maybe it warrants a .6X. For a mixed damage type, we take at least the lowest type, then subtract a little more based on the other type. Corrode/Crush might be .8-.05=.75X. Or Shock/Burn would be .8-.1=.7X. Then consider upfront vs. duration. I would consider instanced as well (magic missle vs single shot) except I don't think it matters as much now that there is no DR. The more damage is spread out over time, the less valuable it is. 6s DOT would get a minor boost - 1.05X. 12 s =1.1X, etc to 30s =1.25X. Or maybe the boost should be higher - again, this is just a starting point. Then consider shapes/sizes. A small AOE might be able to hit three enemies. But That's the ideal scenario, so just dropping damage to .33X would be too much. My gut says something more like .75X. Is it Foe only? On a small AOE, that is less important, so it makes sense for a smaller penalty - maybe .7x. Medium AOE can hit more targets, but harder to use unless Foe only, so maybe we're looking at .6X vs .5X. Large is even more pronounced - let's try .5X and .35X. Other shapes are trickier. Quick gut picks: Cones are .8X/.7X, beams are .9X/.8X. All of these numbers could be adjusted - this is just a theorycraft starting point. With Vancians, the main concern is balance within each spell level. For Ciphers, it is trickier because all spells have the same pool of resource.
  9. I feel like the reason you cast the same spell over and over is because the spells aren't properly balanced, not because they are per encounter. In POE1 you usually cast the same spells everytime because generally speaking, the best spells were obvious. When Chill Fog was Foe AOE, that was the default level 1 Wizard spell because everything else paled in comparison. The spells in general could use a serious balance pass. It would take some doing, but one could conceivably create a formula to rate spells by giving different values and/or multipliers to spell characteristics like damage, duration, AOE, debuff/buff, range, cast time, etc. And if you did, you'd probably quickly find the balance of POE1 spells to be all over the place.
  10. If you look at POE1, I figure the game was balanced around resting every 4 fights on average. With that in mind, the former Vancians have even more casts than they should. Just switching them to Mana is lazy - I think spell slots can be interesting design space. I'd even bring Vancian per encounter casts down. You shouldn't get your second 1st level spell until the time you get a spell mastery in POE1 - 9th level (5th power level). You still have strategic decisions to make regarding whether a spell is better cast as an opener or if you should save it for if things go south. Right now it is a no brainer to open with a spell because you have *so many* casts. If you don't open with a cast, you won't have an opportunity to actually use all of your spells. Lower the total casts also allows the spells to have a solid impact, bringing them more into balance.
  11. You have to remember that Pillars 1 harkens back to Infinity engine games, which are all based on DND. Yes, the ruleset is different, but you can draw a lot of parallels. Accordingly, you can see that Fine/Exceptional/Superb are just replacements for +1/+2/+3 magical weapons. A Fine weapon increases accuracy by 4/100, and damage by 15%. A +1 enchantment on a 1-12 weapon increases accuracy by 1/20=5/100, and damage by 1/6.5=15.4%.
  12. I really disagree on puppet master and whisper of treason (and to a slightly lesser extent re: Mental Binding, since it's AoE): they need to be fairly quick casts, because 10 seconds is a relatively short duration, and there's a miss rate. I've shown the math elsewhere on the forum, but once you factor in miss rates, whisper and domination need a fast cast time to be worthwhile -- otherwise you're just trading your time for the enemy's at an even rate, and since PC time is more valuable than the time of a random monster, you need a really strongly beneficial time trade to make casting the power worthwhile. There's an additional factor too, which is harder to quantify; I mention it because I'm not sure how you did your testing and it might not be obvious without extended play of the class. The "ex-vancian" casters have to wait a lot less time before casting, while Ciphers have to build focus over the course of the fight, which takes time; they can't open the fight with their strongest powers in the way that a Wizard or Priest or Druid can. Because of that, I'd argue that cipher powers should be *very* fast-casting, to make up for the time lost autoattacking and waiting to build focus. (The same argument applies to an extent to Chanter invocations). That argument applies generally to all Cipher powers though, not just the specific crowd-control powers. Net effect, I'd actually argue that ciphers (and possibly Chanters) should have cast times similar to or better than their casting times in the previous game, even given the generally longer casting times in Deadfire. Everyone else moved to non-vancian, per-encounter casting, and Ciphers need something to balance that out or they'll be relatively much weaker. Fast casting seems thematic and appropriate and not unbalanced given the focus mechanic. I completely agree with this. Ciphers lost their niche - the versatile caster that doesn't rely on per-rest resources - but kept the disadvantage they paid for that versatility (building focus). To give them back an edge, their powers should virtually all be fast or instant-cast, which would help them maintain their status as effective gishes.
  13. For anyone who doesn't understand that Resolve was a dump stat in POE1, you have to look no further than 6th level priest spell Crowns for the Faithful, which adds a whopping 25 points of Resolve as a buff. Only one other buff goes into double digits (Champion's Boon), and it is a mere +10. Can you imagine a +25 buff for any other stat besides Resolve? It would be ludicrously overpowered.
  14. Actually, Davriel, my original post also argued for divorcing ability damage and healing from Might on a mechanical level as well, not just because I hate muscle wizards. (Incidentally, I don't hate muscle wizards, if that is actually what they were. But muscle wizards did not actually fit the lore - again, see Concelhaut. Anyway, this is getting away from the point.) Again, I don't want to rewrite everything, but the short version was that Might affected too many things, and also percentage increases made it have way more of an impact on ability damage than it did on auto-attacks. Also, as another aside, Might was overrated as a Cipher stat in POE1. Dex and Perception were far superior due to Might's additive nature. Now that it is multiplicative, though, it is valuable to Ciphers again. Another reason to put Whip and Might bonuses back in the same category.
  15. I still have issues with dual-wielding being the better option the more recovery penalty from armor you have. Dual-wielding should favor light armors, while sword and shield or two-handers should favor heavy armor. I'd rework it so that Dual-wield gets a greater penalty from armor recovery than single-wield. I don't know if the math works out so that double the penalty would be enough, but that would be my starting point as it is pretty intuitive.
  16. I made a long post advocating for essentially this change before they even announced it, so don't assume everyone is against it. I don't care to rewrite the whole thing, but the idea that Might made sense thematically as spiritual strength just never rang true. Every interaction that involved force of will keyed off of Resolve. Concelhaut was a mighty wizard, but am I supposed to really believe his weak and wizened frame could swing a sword like the Hulk? Meanwhile, is a the mass of much that is a Forest Lurker really supposed to be a creature with a strong soul? No, and no. I still think Strength needs something to help it not be a dump stat, but overall this system is better in a thematic sense. Personally, I'd give it a multiplicative bonus/malus to armor recovery penalties.
  17. Oh, wow. That's a big change. I bet it's a large reason autoattackers seem overpowered right now, unless they've drastically retuned everything else.
  18. Might was never that important for Cipher autoattack damage in Pillars 1 anyway. Every Cipher has Soul Whip, and almost every Cipher takes Biting Whip as well. That means a Cipher starts at 140% damage by default. Might is additive, not multiplicative, so that first point of Might makes a mere ~2.1% absolute difference rather than 3% like it would for another class with less inherent damage buffs. If we're talking about dropping from 18 to 14 Might, you're looking at 164% vs 152%, which is only a 7.3% decrease. And this is all assuming you don't have some other additive multipliers to damage. This is also the reason Might is less important on Rogues than many people think.
  19. Admittedly I don't have access to the beta, but in the original Pillars, Aloth autoattacked quite often. Even with per encounter abilities, I am sure on longer fights that everyone will autoattack at least somewhat. And if you throw on armor penalty reduction, then Might is useful for everyone unless they are naked. And the deflection on Resolve is so miniscule, I didn't even really consider it. Isn't it only 1 point per stat? Basically, going from 10-20 is the equivalent of +2 AC in D&D. You'll note that defensive spells/abilities add the equivalent (or in some cases, actually) of 20 or more Resolve points in Pillars 1. No other star gets that kind of buff! So I'm fine with tossing it. Resolve still has defensive properties, as Fighter Recovery, or Barb Savage Defiance would get extra healing. At the very least, it's no longer yet another defensive dump stat. In Pillars 1, ranged characters could pretty safely dump both Con and Resolve.
  20. I know Josh would never go for this, but it's time to pull ability damage/healing off of Might and move it to Resolve. Thematically, it makes sense. Yes, Might is supposed to be strength of soul, but in general terms as well as how it is portrayed in scripted interactions in the game, it feels like Resolve covers that ground much more heavily. This also helps with the muscle-wizard concept. Sure, Concelhaut has a strong soul and spells, but does his frail body really swing a sword that well? Likewise, Swamp Lurkers are have high Might to indicate their physical size, but are those masses of muck really supposed to have strong souls? Mechanically, it is helpful too. Might simultaneously does too much at once while doing little that is noticeable. Doing too much - if I want a priest that is a strong healer, a strong blaster, or strong autoattacker that focuses on buffs, they all will have very similar stat builds. Yes, they will have slight differences, but they all want might. Likewise, a wizard-warrior and a blaster wizard are built very similarly. Doing too little - because Might is percentage-based and affects abilities, it had to be kept weak. While a percent increase will average out over a long fight, nukes throw things off in practice -especially AOEs. A fireball that hits 3 targets for 50 suddenly does 75 to each when getting a 50% buff, while a sword that hits for 15 only jumps to 22.5. In percent terms, it is the same, but in absolute terms it is much more damage that may end a fight because the monsters only have an absolute amount of health. As such, we were left with Might adding a piddly 3% per point. Soul Whip+biting whip was equivalent to a whopping 13.3 points of Might. The solution? Make Might autoattack damage only, while Resolve takes over for ability damage and healing. Now a wizard that whacks wants Might, but a Wizard that blasts wants Resolve. A Chanter that wants to do support chants and whack takes Might, but a Dragon Thrashes Chanter wants Resolve. For abilities that use full attack or primary attack, they would rely on both. For example, Flames of Devotion would do a full attack which is multiplied by Might, while the 50% fire damage would be calculated based on that attack and then multiplied by Resolve. Now the multipliers can be set differently - first guess would be something like Might 5%, Resolve 3%. You could also give Might a little something extra (say, an armor penalty reduction). Like I said, I don't see them ever doing this - they are pretty married to Might as the only damage increase. But it is what I'd do!
  21. This is exactly what I was talking about earlier. You want a single-class barbarian that excels in two-handers? Great! Roll a barb, take two-hander proficiencies. Done. You'll be good with a variety of two-handers, and have the stronger Barb power source and higher abilities. I challenge anyone to find a similar post in the Pillars 1 forums saying "I have a Barb concept that excels in Soldier weapons, but I just can't do it because only Fighters get Weapon Specialization and Weapon Mastery, for 25% more damage! My concept isn't being allowed!"
  22. A good bit of this is largely what Josh talked about regarding taking things away vs giving new things. If Two-Handed Style had never been in P1, would you be missing it now that it was added to give Fighters more to choose from? Did anyone complain in P1 that they couldn't make a sword-wielding Priest because only Fighters have access to Weapon Mastery: Soldier? If you want to make a Two-Hander Priest, do it! Use Two-handed weapons, grab two-handed proficiencies. No, you can't get the +15% damage, but you are different from a Priest with one-handed proficiencies. Maybe you can't match the Fighter's default damage with the talent, but you pop a Priest goodie like Minor Avatar and you'll lay on the damage. That said, it does sound like we need some more Talent options, and I do agree there should be a few more proficiencies to help define characters. I don't like one-handed, dual-wield, or two-handed - those would just become proficiency taxes. It sounds like shields have modals - is that done through picking shields as a proficiency? That sounds like the right way to make defensive characters. What I think should be added are spell-ish proficiencies. Scion of Flame - add a little accuracy to fire spells, then Modal - sacrifice accuracy for damage on active abilities. Spirit of Decay - +acc corrosion, Modal - sacrifice damage for penetration on abilities Heart of the Storm - +lightning, Modal - sac accuracy for interrupt/lower cast time etc etc. For the sake of build diversity, I also think it is time to bust up Might and take at least Healing from it (and possibly even splitting off ability damage from auto-attack damage) and put it somewhere else (probably Resolve, moving Concentration to Constitution), but that's a whole nother can of worms.
  23. I liked the New Vegas method, where most of the special weapons (excluding DLCs) were available once you hit New Vegas (and some before), but many of them either cost a healthy amount of caps (so they are something you work toward) or are available via side quest/area. Maybe some sort of rumor monger could give you hints on the locations so you don't have to use a wiki.
  24. One way to differentuate the implements would be to have them target Fortitude instead of Deflection (either that or Will, but I think Fortitude makes more sense lore-wise). I'd also have the traditional ranged weapons target Reflex, but maybe that's just me.
  25. Here was my crack at making all of them. Rather difficult in some places and I'm not happy with all of them. Overall my intention was to choose relatively simple titles rather than badass sounding ones, to match the original titles of the classes. After all, the idea is that these are new options, not upgrades - you shouldn't be drawn to them because they have cooler names. I also tried to pull from popular media where it made sense. I originally did this on a spreadsheet so as not to make a huge list, but I don't think we can make tables here? B/Ch - Skald B/Ci - Reaver B/D - Shaman (these always seemed more nature-y than a B/W would be) B/F - Gladiator B/M - Berzerker (hard to think of a disciplined Barbarian, so went more with the power-from-wounds bit) B/Pa - Zealot B/Pr - Fanatic B/Ra - Raider B/Ro - Marauder B/W - Auger Ch/Ci - Silvertongue Ch/D - Summoner Ch/F - Warlord Ch/M - Lector Ch/Pa - Herald Ch/Pr - Cantor Ch/Ra - Troubador Ch/Ro - Bard Ch/W - Spellsinger Cipher in general was the hardest to combine, I think. Sometimes I went with their untrusted aspect, sometimes their mental. Ci/D - Warlock Ci/F - Hexblade Ci/M - Enigma Ci/Pa - Purifier Ci/Pr - Prophet or Confessor Ci/Ra - Clairvoyant Ci/Ro - Shadow Ci/W - Enchanter or Sorceror D/F - Warden D/M - Hermit (this has more of a nature connotation than Ascetic) D/Pa - Green Knight D/Pr - Sage D/Ra - Beastmaster D/Ro - Wildstalker or just Stalker D/W - Witch or Sorceror F/M - Sentinel F/Pa - Champion F/Pr - Crusader F/Ra - Wayfarer or Wanderer F/Ro - Duelist F/W - Battlemage M/Pa - Oathkeeper M/Pr - Martyr M/Ra - Zen Archer M/Ro - Assassin M/W - Mystic Pa/Pr - Seraph Pa/Ra - Pathfinder Pa/Ro - Witch Hunter Pa/W - Eldritch Knight (I know this is typically tied to fighters in D&D, but Paladins are the more knightly types in PoE) Pr/Ra - Circuit Rider (my preferred BY FAR) or Missionary Pr/Ro - Inquisitor Pr/W - Thaumaturge I found Ranger combos difficult as well because they don't have a lot of unique flavor of their own. Druids take most of the nature aspect, so all they are left with is marksman (which isn't actually a definite of the class) and traveling around . . . with a pet. Ra/Ro - Vagabond Ra/W - Arcane Archer (needs a better name, but this is tradition) Ro/W - Arcane Trickster (see above)
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