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blotter

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Everything posted by blotter

  1. In what way? If this is in regards to multiclassing being obviously superior to single-classing, that's something that'll have to be balanced to some extent whether or not the companions can fully benefit from the disparity. If this is about players being able to make build choices for companions based on mechanical advantages rather than roleplaying concerns, then restricting multiclassing won't stop this either; we'll still have free range in choosing abilities, skills, and equipment, which can all similarly have implications as to what sort of people the companions are, and these choices can also conflict with the developers' vision for them. And then there are the things that we'll be able to make them do behavior-wise, which will have the potential contradict companion personalities even more dramatically. Technical limitations on multiclass restrictions are hard to argue with and while I'd like to see more flexibility, I think that there are probably other places that the resources would be better spent than tinkering around here. But as a method to preserve the integrity of the developers' characterizations of the companions, multiclass restrictions are just a flimsy half-measure unless the developers are willing to commit to this policy in many other ways as well.
  2. I set the attack option to K and that works just fine for me. If memory serves, it's one of those things that doesn't have a hotkey until you set one for yourself. I haven't tried that one, but I have noticed that I can't use Ctrl-Click to select multiple party members. The select icon changes to show the minus sign to exclude someone from selection, but never the plus sign to add someone like in Pillars 1 (not that it matters much with the drag and select option being available).
  3. Based on Sawyer's response, it has nothing to do with ensuring that the only multiclassing options for characters are those which 'make sense' for them (as if there were only one or two possibilities for each companion that could fit that bill). The only reason cited for the change was technical challenges in designing the UI and progression for the initial selection.
  4. Did you happen to have your entire party selected when you were trying to use the attack option on one of them? That will result in it switching to the crossed out circle, but if you try using the attack option with a single character or even a group of characters against a party member who hasn't been selected it still works (in my experience).
  5. You can still attack party members outside of combat using the sword icon or whatever hotkey you've tied to it. This works both when you've selected only a single character and when you selected multiple characters. The switch to the crossed out circle only occurs when you're trying to attack a party member who happens to be one of the people you've selected to perform the attack (such as when you have your entire party selected, for example). (Edit: And yes, I just dropped into the beta to confirm that right before posting; something about the thought of not being able to kill my companions whenever I want unsettles me, though I wouldn't mind them putting up more of a fight along the way.)
  6. While I believe your deductions are promising overall, I think it's worth pointing out that iconography pertaining to the gods that the Engwithans created could predate their manifestation as living beings for a number of reasons: The gods could be based on a primitive Engwithan pantheon that was conceived of ages before they had the means or inclination to search the Beyond for proof of the gods' existence. The gods' symbols/representations/creeds could have been instrumental in their subsequent creation: Well-established beliefs and legends about divine figures among the populace might have been an essential part of what enabled the thousands of Engwithan souls to "stick" together long enough to become the various gods, for example. If so, who knows how many generations in advance myths and beliefs about these gods were cultivated before Engwithan souls were ripe for apotheosis. The most iconic forms of the gods may have been derived from Engwithan rulers/heroes/villains that were traditionally revered (or reviled/appeased as may have been the case for figures like proto-Rymrgand or proto-Skaen) prior to being adapted as avatars/representations of the divine. My memory of the inscriptions is really hazy at this point, though, so maybe they contradict these or other possibilities more than I realize.
  7. I'll cast my vote against both ideas as I think the game has enough artificial constraints as it is and this change, in particular, would eliminate much of what personally made me excited about Deadfire in the first place. The change may also look pretty bad more generally, considering how prominently they've featured multiclassing and the flexibility it affords in character building throughout their promotion of the game so far. If the respective benefits of single vs multiclassing need more effective balancing, then I'd prefer that they approach this via the scaling of higher level abilities/the benefits of power levels gained and tying the progression of abilities' power more closely to power level in general; a lot of things have ended up being flat bonuses in the beta despite earlier claims to the contrary, and this connection was originally intended to play an important role in balancing the options (albeit back when they were aiming for 3e style multiclassing).
  8. There won't be different body type options available for player characters unless Sawyer/the developers have changed their minds since then. There was some talk possible NPC model variation, but only child models are confirmed to be in (I hope that the fat, ass-scratching merchant of Adam's dreams makes it into the game as well though).
  9. Her original plan was to drop a meteor on them, which Abydon fractured and then blocked with his body when its fragments were still heading towards the Engwithans. If the goal was to put an end to their civilization, then the actions of both gods seem excessive if the Engwithans were already virtually extinct by that time. On the other hand, it could be that Ondra was more concerned with wiping out all traces of the Engwithans' culture and Abydon was more concerned with protecting these traces rather than the surviving Engwithans per se. This would make sense given the dialogue's emphasis on Abydon's lost aspect as the god of preservation, but it's still a little odd on Ondra's end for a couple reasons: 1) she considers her work to have been a "success" despite the fact that there seem to be plenty Engwithan ruin still present throughout the Dyrwood, the Deadfire Archipeligo, and who knows where else in the world (to say nothing of Sun in Shadow itself and what it can still reveal about the gods), 2) the Engwithans themselves seem to have been extremely willing to cooperate in the process of burying their secrets even without going to the trouble of lobbing meteors at them; aside from Thaos' example, which is admittedly limited, the other missionaries were willing to sacrifice any possibility of their own bloodlines surviving into the future for the sake of eliminating all first-hand knowledge of the gods' origins and the thousands of Engwithan souls used to produce the gods suggests considerable dedication on the part of the populace at large (whether as a result of their personal convictions or the ability of their leaders to effectively manipulate/control them).
  10. In terms of their place in the setting, soulbound items don't really need a unique explanation for their existence as a category of items (which is what I assume Ninjamestari meant by "no real story", since, individually, they all have stories about their origins which are gradually unlocked alongside their enchantments). Pillars 1 already established that a) souls can linger within objects/places and/or b) soul energy can change how objects/environments function - soulbound items are just examples of either phenomenon. There are also multiple cases in which soulbound items are acquired under special circumstances, contrary to Ninjamestari's claim. The Hammer of Abydon is the most prominent example, given its importance to the White March 2 storyline, but there are others to which this applies to varying degrees: the Grey Sleeper has a specific location and scripted interaction tied to its acquisition, while the Stormcaller has to be assembled through parts uncovered via exploration. I wouldn't consider killing a monster/enemy to be "special circumstances" in games like this, but even so it is fairly appropriate for soulbound items to be gained from certain "boss" fights, as in the case of the Dragon's Maw Shield or Steadfast (if you don't resolve things with Adaryc peacefully). A similar case could be made even for purchasing soulbound items, if the seller is important enough and the price is high enough (but I don't think the former standard is met in Pillars 1 for the soulbound items that you can purchase in the game and access to them should probably be gated via special stock access requirements). That said, I do agree that too many soulbound items end up being plopped into your stash rather trivially. For example, getting Ydwen's Redeemer from what is essentially one random bandit encounter among many seems "off" to me, I barely noticed when Gyrd Haewanes Stenes ended up in my inventor at the end of a fairly insignificant opener quest for the conflict with Lord Gathbin over Caed Nua, and I actually had to look up Nightshroud in the wiki to recall where I got it. The Unlabored Blade finding its way to you as an afterthought at the end of a fairly simple sidequest is actually narratively appropriate for it, but I still have mixed feelings about it overall. I also agree that soulbound items are too cut off from the world in general after you acquire them, with the exception of Abydon's Hammer, given its use in dealing with the Eyeless. They don't all necessarily have to attract special dialogue from NPCs (and a number of them probably shouldn't, given how obscure they are), but tying their enchantments to scripted interactions where appropriate may be an interesting way to give them a bit more life throughout the game. That said, none of these things amount to a case against the idea of soulbound items in general or the soulbound item system itself, but rather how they're handled/introduced throughout the game. In part, these problems are related to the fact that soulbound items were introduced via the White March and Deadfire Pack add-ons, which comes with some constraints in terms where and how we get them in the interest of ensuring that they're accessible to players regardless of how far they've already gone in the game. Since they'll be present in Deadfire from the start, the same restrictions need not apply. I would like to see more differentiation between greater and lesser soulbound specimens: some are legendary or even divine artifacts, while some are merely items that have inherited a few of their past owners' quirks. The effort involved in mastering one type should not be the same as mastering the other type, and they shouldn't necessarily have the same number of enchantments to unlock, and lesser soulbound items wouldn't necessarily have the same expectations associated with them as far as in-game preamble and reactivity are concerned. Additionally, it might be interesting for ranks in a particular skill (Arcana, History, or Metaphysics come to mind) to introduce more variability to the unlocking requirements, though this should be more of a reward for high ranks in the skill than a punishment for low ranks. If this would be unbalancing for the skill in question, then it could be tied to a proficiency/general talent (if the developers are still planning to widen the range of choices available there).
  11. The winged (male_human_k) and horned helm (male_human_l) portraits both exist as options within the beta, so they have watercolor versions already.
  12. And that's where you've taken the assumption too far. The developers did say that skill checks will be more common than attribute checks, but that isn't equivalent to saying that attributes don't matter in roleplay anymore, as you concluded above. I don't know what to tell you about the Let's Play videos as I haven't watched any of them, but it's worth noting that some the attribute-specific checks that I encountered weren't clearly labeled in dialogue. The first Perception check that I mentioned didn't involve a choice at all, it was just extra information with the attribute's symbol in brackets before it as I clicked through the dialogue, if memory serves. Similarly, the Strength check isn't gated by your Strength score; it's just that you'll fail to force the door open and get injured if your Strength's below 20 (some food can help with that in the latest version of the beta). In cases like those, you wouldn't even necessarily know that there was attribute-specific content to miss.
  13. Even if skill checks are more common overall, the beta has enough examples of attribute checks in dialogue and scripted interactions that it seems premature to conclude that the developers are planning to make them irrelevant to roleplaying aspects of the game, especially with the introduction of a requirements system that allows them to check for multiple distinct categories (e.g., skills, backgrounds, race, class, attributes, etc.) when determining if you qualify for particular options in dialogue/scripted interactions. At various points throughout the beta, it checks for Strength (if you try to force the door open at the Poko Kohara ruins), Dexterity (during the scripted interaction at the desert well to catch the gems - after the Athletics check), Intellect (I think it was an alternative to background check in dialogue), and Perception (passively checked during a dialogue in Tikiwara and also later on the notice some details about the door to the ruins in Poko Kohara, if memory serves).
  14. A quick explanation of the purpose of the Topic and Strength parameters shown in one of the screenshots from the link AndreaColombo provided above.
  15. True, I honestly hadn't even considered that. It would be a departure from the way that every other proficiency works for every other class, but I can't deny that it allows for a lot more flexibility in deciding what to do with the proficiency. It'd also be something of a shame for monks to have no use for an unarmed proficiency's modal, but selecting it would allow them to blend Transcendent Suffering with the Devoted's subclass benefits as well as various passives that are tied to weapon proficiencies so it's not exactly wasted either. Maybe an alternative for the proficiency would be an if/then setup where non-monks get a standard damage/Penetration bonus or whatever while the modal would treat a monk's power level as being +1 or +2 higher for the purpose of calculating Transcendent Suffering bonuses at the cost of increased recovery for unarmed attacks.
  16. I haven't spent much time considering the overall implications of this idea, but I do recall reading some complaints about Athletics being *too* useful in Deadfire, to the point that investing in it to some degree is mandatory: what if Second Wind became a feature that was tied to Constitution instead of Athletics? With the change, Athletics could boost Stride and Disengagement defense instead, kind of like the Tumble skill in d20, and mitigate terrain-based penalties/impediments. The latter steps on the Island Aumaua's toes, granted, but that's another thing I've seen a fair number of complaints about.
  17. Re: Question #1 - Proficiencies are supposed to reflect specialized training and techniques, and being able to hurt people with your fists seems as appropriate (to me) for a Fire Godlike Devoted or an Aumaua Berserker as it is for an Orlan monk of any stripe. This is already a game where we can use wooden clubs and staves to bludgeon flame blights to death without catching on fire and use daggers to carve up oozes without melting our hands off in the process, so it seems strange to insist that punching armored people without breaking our fists is taking things a step too far. Re: Question #2 - I suspect that unarmed attacks are likely to slide into obsolescence as the game progresses and better weapons pile up, but even if I'm right, anything that could resolve that would be way too problematic to give out as freely, and as early, as proficiencies are. Then again, proficiencies are supposed to be about providing benefits with meaningful downsides rather than straightforward boosts to weapon strength, so I'm not sure why the inclusion of an unarmed proficiency would need to be justified in terms of the inadequacy of base unarmed attacks. I don't really care about druids at all, but the same reasoning applies in the case of Spiritshift attacks. I'd love to see "unarmed" weapon types make it into the game, but I'm pretty sure that Sawyer vetoed that in an earlier interview (I'm thinking during that lengthy end of backer campaign countdown video, but I'm not sure) on the grounds that they would be too niche to justify the resource expenditure and the player demand for universally accessible weapons like this might not be sufficient to prove otherwise. One of the problems with coming up with a balanced Unarmed proficiency is that both monks and non-monks need to be considered simultaneously so that what's suitable for one isn't excessive or inadequate for the other. A modal to increase unarmed damage to the point that it would make selecting the proficiency appealing for non-monks would run the risk of boosting a monk's unarmed damage to unreasonable extremes. Even if a balance that leaves the damage from unarmed attacks competitive for non-monks but not excessive for monks can be struck, the proficiency will still rapidly become irrelevant for non-monks as the game expects you to be wielding fine, exceptional, superb, or legendary weapons (as well as anything beyond that) and enemy AR increases to reflect this. A Penetration modal might be less problematic in this regard since there's a stricter ceiling to it. I'd worry about how this would interact with the Penetration bonus from Transcendent Suffering, but it's probably going to be similar to that of equivalently tiered weapons if not somewhat below (especially for multiclassed monks) and I suspect it won't be easy for monks to hit the ceiling for Penetration with their fists even with the use of Thunderous Blows, given the nerf to the Tenacious inspiration. For non-monks, though, this probably doesn't do much more than delay the irrelevance of unarmed attacks for a few more levels: if the modal's equivalent to the Sword or Stiletto's, then 7 Penetration's going to lag pretty far behind well before the endgame, and if it's more, then we start to edge back towards problems with how it plays with Transcendent Suffering/Thunderous Blows during potentially significant sections of the game even if it settles over the long term. I think the advantage of an Interrupt modal for unarmed attacks is that it sidesteps the balancing concerns of appropriate Damage/Penetration values for monks vs non-monks by aiming to be useful in a different way altogether, albeit a situational one. It's not going to make unarmed attacks stand out as a top weapon choice for non-monks by any means, but it might be handy enough on occasion to dual wield with or leave a slot in reserve and the value of a quick, resource-free Interrupt attack seems likely to remain at least somewhat stable throughout the game.
  18. Or they could call it Flurry of Blows to appeal to the D&D monk crowd. It does seem like it could end up being redundant for monks, given the existence of the Swift Strikes ability, but then again, it could free up ability points that otherwise go towards the ability or equipment slots that would be tied up with equipment to get Recovery down to 0 if not for the boost. In either case, it's probably a good thing that the modal doesn't build on any of the things that monks already get augmented via Transcendent Suffering while still giving monks an edge in terms of getting a greater benefit from the modal by offsetting its downside more easily via Transcendent Suffering's bonuses. In an earlier thread on this topic, Climhazzard suggested a Pressure Point Strike modal for unarmed proficiency to allow unarmed attacks to impose afflictions at the cost of damage or recovery. I think this is a good direction for unarmed combat that wouldn't necessarily require monk abilities to be useful. Targetting pressure points seems more mystical/monkish to me (especially against extremely large, undead, plant-based, elemental, and/or heavily armored targets), so I'd personally be inclined to rename it Disruptive Blows and have the flavor text focus more on the use of unarmed strikes to interfere with effective movement/balance, but in terms of the mechanics, the modal could reduce the damage of unarmed attacks while causing them to interrupt targets or knock them prone on a critical hit.
  19. While it's true that the developers have said that, it's also true that the beta contains multiple examples of attribute checks in dialogues and scripted interactions. In particular, the Strength check to force open the door to Poko Kohara directly contradicts your claim that brute force options have effectively been divorced from Strength/Might and assigned to Athletics. Incidentally, this was a Might check prior to the update and it was another example of a feat of physical strength in the vein of those Might checks from Pillars 1 that have been criticized in this thread and elsewhere (my character at the time was a monk/cipher, though, so maybe the text differed for a more "pure" spellcaster). That said, I'm personally ambivalent about the change. I didn't care for physical strength and spiritual strength being bundled up into the same attribute to begin with, but the abstraction of it made Might's role in influencing the damage of certain weapons (like crossbows, guns, and implements) seem more reasonable to me and I'd have preferred to see them come up with something for Resolve that would be of more widespread appeal to different classes. Edit: Also, if we're talking about what makes sense here, the change from Might to Strength introduces new issues in that the latter attribute should logically become useless in the Beyond since your characters are just projections of the soul in that environment, but the game's all too happy to overlook that so that fighters, barbarians, and others who heavily invest in Strength won't turn into dead weight however many times we find ourselves wandering around in there.
  20. I ran into this bug a while ago. If you want to, you can switch back to your original portrait by first changing it to something else (the portrait immediately before or after it, for example) and then changing back to it from there.
  21. The Beguiler subclass already delves into non-attack-based Focus gain via Illusion (presumably Deception) powers that they use against enemies, though they're currently bugged from what I've heard. To an extent, something could also be done without resorting to subclasses. For example, there could be an Echo power to transfer your Soul Whip to another party member (though there'd have to be significant downsides to both the cipher and companion, I suspect - perhaps the projected soul whip interferes with the companion's ability to heal and the cipher suffers increased incoming damage from enemy attacks due to the heightened sensitivity that this link requires, or maybe just have something along the lines of a lesser Pain Link effect that applies to the cipher and the companion) and/or a modal ability that disperses the cipher's soul whip, preventing them from using it themselves but allowing modest accumulation of Focus over time while enemies suffer ongoing damage/impairment from the cipher's powers in return.
  22. Yeah, they didn't actually use the term "necrotic damage" to describe the specific damage type until 4th edition and after, but you're right that Chill Touch doesn't actually inflict cold damage. The caster channels negative energy to disrupt the target's life force or spook undead (though the latter part didn't carry over into 5e).
  23. I agree that getting an in-game glimpse of the keep in Pillars 2 before it's reduced to rubble would be nice, but if we do get to spend any time in the Dyrwood at the beginning, then I'd like to set off to the Deadfire from New Heomar. It's a port city and it's been mentioned enough in the first game that I'd appreciate a glimpse of it.
  24. Yeah, it would be interesting if the game's developments could potentially serve to challenge the Watcher's perspective on Thaos' choices as they learn more of the secrets of the world/the gods. Tinysalamander touches upon the fact that this has been addressed to a limited extent where companions and their issues regarding are concerned, but there's definitely room for further development. Also in relation to the end game, I wonder how often the Watcher will have opportunities during the sequel to try to convince others of what they learned within Sun in Shadow. Good point. In most of my games, I do tend to steer Eder away from devotion to the gods, but I didn't really think about the implications of doing so as they pertain to Deadfire. Based on the examples that developers have provided about companion relationships and how Eder works within that context, it does sound like being pro-Eothas is still one of his centrally defining characteristics, but end game states from Pillars 1 may well influence how open he might be to opposing viewpoints. While we're at it, one of the earliest updates had this to say about Xoti's perspective on Eothas: Her conflicted views on his return might be sufficient to remove any requirement to defend Eothas to the death, or even to leave the party depending on how you deal with her and/or things develop throughout the game. It's less that I assumed anything about your priestess of Eothas (and I'm not sure why you'd bother to spoiler that) and more that, in my preceding discussion of options focused on killing Eothas, I hadn't considered how that would play out for Eothasian Watchers at all. But sure, I've no doubt players can find reasons for potentially wanting Eothas dead despite still technically being priests of his faith. I'd hope that the game reacts to that, even if I personally have no intention of playing an Eothasian Watcher any time soon. That said, I suspect that Tagaziel's right in that the game is unlikely to portray a deicidal route as being particularly reasonable; at the very least, I'd be surprised if the game didn't devote a significant amount of time to considering the potentially disastrous consequences of killing Eothas.
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