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J.E. Sawyer

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Everything posted by J.E. Sawyer

  1. We do have such a system, but the prefabs still need to be marked to do it. Creatures like beetles and wolves don't get marked that way because they aren't going to drop their critter weapons, just pelts, shells, etc.
  2. It's always tricky to figure out what abilities should be available at a given level. In our ability progression, previous unselected options are not locked out for the player, which does ameliorate some of the problems with forcing a selection between two modals or two passives. I'll take another look at the low levels for classes, but it may mean that at levels 9/11 some classes are getting 1 new option instead of 2 (since some abilities may have been moved down to be offered alongside the existing pairs).
  3. Pretty much all critters that are wielding weapons and wearing armor that could be of use to the players should be dropping those items. I know there are enemies in the BB and the game in general that don't drop their gear right now, but they are supposed to and our area designers are making a pass to ensure that.
  4. I don't think it's something that's inherently difficult, but it would be time consuming. Anytime we change a model and the underlying skeleton, it can be tricky to get working properly. We currently try to adjust the sizes of player-controlled models (and their selection circles) to prevent pathing issues in different environments. That's why the ranger's bear is relatively small. A smaller spiritshifted orlan would be less of an issue than a larger spiritshifted aumaua, but it's still out of scope. Sorry.
  5. It's my fault the strings don't appear for some of the new abilities. Here are the appropriate descriptions in case you want to use them: Nature's Vigor (1st level druid spell) Draws on the invigorating power of nature, creating a mild regeneration effect and raising Max Endurance on party members. Disciplined Barrage (3rd level fighter ability) The fighter intensely focuses on his or her training, significantly raising Accuracy for a short amount of time. Deprive the Unworthy (7th level paladin ability) The paladin temporarily snuffs out all active beneficial effects on a sing
  6. Using per rest abilities (spells or otherwise) is both a tactical and a strategic choice. That's one of the things that makes the choice more interesting. However, I've found throughout my career that people who minimize resource consumption are not extreme and they're not small in overall number. It's a very common behavior exhibited by a lot of players, both RPG veterans and new players.* I still think it's important to have those per rest (or simply limited overall, like potions/scrolls) resources to consume, but I also think it's important for players to feel that they have somethin
  7. Every spell does not have a uniform casting time. Spells have one of three casting times: instant, short, and long. Instant and short are both used a lot. Long is currently used less frequently. We could subdivide casting times even more, but I think past a certain point, differentiating your choices becomes difficult. Classes don't have the ability to do everything. Yes, any class has the ability to access any skill. A single character cannot excel at all skills. Any class can equip a great sword. If you want to rush a barbarian, a rogue, and a wizard into a mob swinging that swor
  8. To put this in perspective, we are are talking in the beta forum for a game that has yet to be released. The beta process involves finding both functional bugs and making balance adjustments. Making balance adjustments prior to bugs being fixed in a system is often counterproductive. It can obfuscate functional errors and, once the functional errors are fixed, requires revision to the adjustments that had already been made. PoE's combat had a number of functional bugs connected to timing and recovery. There were problems with loops playing for incorrect time values, animation playback
  9. Really a lot of this comes down to whether you would like the Talents to reinforce what the styles already do or if you would like them to grant a different type of benefit. The style Talents are currently a mix, but could be collectively or individually shifted. Passive Abilities and Talents are supposed to always stack, so Superior Deflection should stack with the benefit from Two-Handed Style. However, I have noticed that the character sheet is not displaying the same data that you see in the combat log. Specifically, the bonus from Two-Handed Style appears in the log but
  10. I agree with this generally, but I think there are exceptions. I think it's important for your main character (in a game like BG/BG2 and PoE) to feel solid from beginning to end. The games are built around parties, but people pretty much always want their MC to feel strong. In BG1, magic users were extremely weak at low levels -- especially before adding party members -- and it was frustrating for a lot of people. Before kits, I'd say that pure thieves and bards felt pretty bad most of the time in in BG, especially with another thief (albeit multiclassed) in the party very early on. I
  11. It would be a much more difficult solution, IMO. People are already reticent to use per rest resources and consumables. Combining them, plus linking components to spells and disseminating them throughout the game would be extremely time consuming and, again IMO, would likely cause people to be even more conservative about using them. I do consider your opinions, but we are also trying to final the game. In addition to the general balance/feel considerations, we have a lot of regular functionality bugs to fix. That's the main reason we haven't been as present on the boards latel
  12. Next kickstarter pls I was really disappointed that the Ars Magica Kickstarter didn't take off. I don't have anger toward anyone on these forums, but it does bother me that people think I'm trying to sabotage their favorite class, class feature, game feature, etc. It is not possible for us to make everyone's vision of this game come true. It's not even possible for us to make everyone's vision of an individual class, race, etc. come true. When I make decisions about how to balance parts of the game, it's based on the feedback that people give me and how I observe them play
  13. I don't have any hostility toward spellcasters/spellcasting. In A/D&D, I usually play clerics. For the past year and a half, I've been playing in one Ars Magica game and running another. Magic is a big part of most FRPGs. The difference between a game like Ars Magica, where magi are explicitly stated to be insanely powerful compared to mundanes, and a game like D&D or PoE, where wizards are ostensibly roughly on par with other classes, is the expectation of viability and relative difficulty. You should have fun playing a wizard, I should have fun playing a priest, Gfted should hav
  14. There's a lot of stuff to go through in your post, but I did want to make a few comments: * One of the problems with higher difficulty = more XP (and inversely, lower difficulty = less XP) is that the altered progression winds up shifting the actual difficulty. If harder difficulty gives more XP, you'll level faster, making things easier (even relative to the increased difficulty). If lower difficulty gives less XP, you'll level more slowly, making things more difficult. In a game like Diablo III, there's a large amount of relative scaling going on as you progress. We try to avoid doin
  15. Hi, kloperius. We did early experiments with trees and grass and they were... okay. We believe it does really help areas feel more alive, but we weren't happy with how they looked given the amount of time we put into them. It's something we would like to revisit for future projects, but we didn't have time to keep experimenting once we entered full area production.
  16. Casting times have been adjusted downward for all standard casts (from 3 seconds to 2 seconds). You should see this in the next Backer Beta update (I don't think it's in the version you have). I do think that the traditional caster classes (wizard, priest, druid) do need more casts per rest. I also certainly agree that we need to find a better balance between the number of per rest uses and the power of individual spells. Most spells take longer to cast and recover from than weapon-based attacks, and they're linked to a per rest resources, so they should have some kick to them. A big i
  17. Although I do not believe it is currently in the Backer Beta, last week I increased global recovery times by 20% and added a recovery delay to all creature armor so they operate more at the pace of party members. Many creatures were also significantly reduced in overall speed*. Most notably, spiders, beetles, and various spirits (shadows, shades, etc.) but other creatures as well. I don't think there are many players in this thread who are new to this style of game, but there are many such players on our team. We did our play week last week and the new players picked up the mechanics pr
  18. Hi gnoemli. I just added the descriptions for the spiritshift forms this morning. You should see them in the next Backer Beta update. We talked about doing Spell Sequencer type spells but it would have been too time-consuming for the initial release. I wouldn't rule it out for the expansion, though. We did set our personal buffs to be "Zero Recovery" and most of them to Instant cast, so you should be able to fire off several very quickly.
  19. I don't think action recovery time is worth looking into yet (for classes), the problem is the percentile amount of endurance that per-hit damage represents. Slowing Recovery speed will make creatures drop a party member in 2 hits a tiny bit slower - aka not a big difference. The creatures that drop party members in 2 hits (e.g., forest/swamp lurkers) are outliers. When people (externally and internally) give examples of the typical situations where combat moves too fast, it usually isn't the party vs. one big dude, it's the party vs. a pack of creatures that are attacking and re-attacki
  20. Some of the spell effects will be reduced in intensity and duration. Kaz and the effects team will be going over the list to make sure they are suitably intense without being overpowering/confusing. We've discussed extending all Recovery Times by a bit but haven't tried it yet (we will likely be trying it in the next few days). That would make the self-buffs immediately more appealing not just because of the overall pace but because most of the self-buffs are now marked "Zero Recovery", so you can act immediately after they go off. Most creatures also don't have Recovery values set on t
  21. Adam and several of the other programmers have been working on some memory optimizations, especially in the prefabs for summoning, which take up a huge amount of memory.
  22. I know some people wonder why this was the specific time when we chose to announce our delay. After all, there were big problems in Gamescom/BB build, so why not announce a delay immediately? I think it's a reasonable thing to wonder about, so hopefully this explanation will answer some of your questions. When you, the individual developer, think there is a timeline problem on a project, it's usually not enough to simply rely on spidey-sense. There are exceptions to this, e.g. if you're working on a small team where everyone has high exposure to almost every aspect of the game. But wit
  23. Major things we are working on right now: * Restructuring class advancement to allow more options, both within the selection of core class Abilities and through the (many) Talents that we implemented based on backer feedback. * Modifying some class features to be more transparent or just fundamentally work better. Monk wounds (and many of their abilities) were very confusing previously. We've revised them to make what's happening much clearer and easier to use. * Save/load and other persistence issues. This has been more troublesome than we initially expected and it has caused p
  24. You may also notice some odd loot drops (e.g. gems from wolves). We did change the loot tables, but that's a bug.
  25. My goal isn't to discourage killing/combat overall, but to avoid the emphasis of combat solutions as the de facto best way to resolve quests (unless the quest is fundamentally about killing someone/thing, of course) and to avoid the player feeling compelled to kill everything they come across. I think it will be good for the game if a player can ask themselves, "Am I losing out by not completing this area with combat?" and sometimes answer, "Nah." Quest only XP accomplishes this, but obviously a lot of people want to gain XP from fighting. Short of having a separate mode where you get comba
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