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Lephys last won the day on January 3 2018

Lephys had the most liked content!


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About Lephys

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    Punsmith of the Obsidian Order

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    The Punforge
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  1. This. Limits have their place, but it's hard to say "unlimited is bad" or "limited is bad" without knowing the context of the game. I think the loot systems in games have just gone the way of the "Well a large drink is only 20 cents more. So even though it's 70 more oz, and I don't need that at all, that's more drink for my dollar!" notion and gotten us used to making sure things don't go to waste. Again, because ANY Xaurip spear on the ground is a potential couple of CP for us to put towards something else. You don't really want the Xaurip spears. You want the value. I like that you mentioned BG and tabletop before that. I'm actually gearing up to play some 5th Edition D&D with some friends, and I was looking at the "selling treasure and valuables" section. It's actually really hard to sell a magic sword, because they're very rare and people don't really know where THEY'D sell them, or who they'd sell them to. You have to actually find a person who's got those sort of connections. Yet, in video games now, everything is always worth some money. I mean, maybe selling it at shop A will get you 100 gold, and at shop B will only get you 52 gold, but that item is ALWAYS able to be recycled back into money for the purpose of furthering financial progress towards a new, shinier thing. That's just how it works now. You're supposed to be able to speed up your gold intake and acquire most stuff via purchases. That, and "well, what if you don't want to do side content? We don't want you to miss out too much, so here's almost equally-cool swords to buy everywhere. Or what if you don't want to fight things? Well, here's equally cool rewards for the diplomatic route. AND the stealth/stealy route. Etc..." I'm definitely in favor of the "trash items are a resource for a means other than money" route. If you can break down old weapons on the battlefield and send them back to your stronghold or something (not in Deadfire, necessarily, since you're on a ship... but this is just an example), then it's no longer just "these are valuable items to me even if I don't want to use them for anything, so I'll make sure they aren't gold lying on the ground going to waste." If you had a cart, or a collective pack or something that you carried around, then could send on a pack mule or something back to your stronghold, or just hide somewhere and send a message to your agents to come retrieve it, then you could eliminate the whole troublesome inventory management thing. And if the stuff was only useful for salvage, for your blacksmiths to have scrap metal to refine and them make into useful equipment, they wouldn't need INFINITE of it. They'd only need certain amounts. So it wouldn't be just this overarching "THAT'S ALL MONEY ON THE GROUND GOING TO WASTE! ALL OF IT!" thing. Heck... if you had a bunch of spare money from something, and you needed resources really badly for La Resistance or something at your stronghold, you could even just go to a shop and buy a bunch of trash stuff, and just have it sent straight to your stronghold.
  2. Sorry for the delayed response, as I had a very busy past few days. Firstly, you've completely ignored anything I've said beyond the words "level" and "scaling," then just responded as if I said whatever it is you imagine anyone not saying "I hate level scaling and it's terrible" would have said. Nowhere, in any of this, did I even come close, to ANYTHING, that could even be con-SIDERED a suggestion to scale everything 100% to the player's level, all the time. So, I'm sorry... I don't even know how to respond to this without just repeating what I've already said probably multiple times in this thread alone. Also, I'd just like to note that I think people might be holding a little too tightly to some semantics, here. When I say level scaling, I merely mean the adjustment of the level of the enemies the player WOULD face under different circumstances. In the event of the big-bad-boss guy who's really strong, and slowly gaining power throughout the campaign, if you run into him early on, he's just plain supposed to be more powerful than you. So yes... he's the exact same guy, so you'd just literally scale his level. That doesn't mean you couldn't also adjust other things. Level is just the easiest thing to start with, as the entire purpose of a level system is to measure things' "level" of capability in an organized fashion, in the interest of relating those to other things' level of capability. So, to be clear (despite the fact that I've been re-iterating this entire time that intelligent scaling/adjustment is much more than just "make this a different level, DONE!"), I'm in favor of whatever type of scaling is useful, and not in favor of arbitrarily relying on only a specific type of scaling (for example, "You're level 10 instead of level 5, so this bandit is now level 10 instead of level 5. DONE!"). You're right... it isn't some form of arcane magic. Neither is the idea that every single encounter in the world doesn't need to be statically decided at the start of the game. You haven't presented a reason why no encounter in the entire game would possibly benefit from being dynamically determined depending on the circumstances surrounding its existence. What about scouring through the entire game for a purpose other than to make our character just as powerful as he can be? Does an RPG's content only serve as a means to become beefier, or are these games actually about "R"ole "P"laying and stories and immersive worlds full of adventurous content? Yeah, if there are several incredibly tough encounters designed like that. Exactly. Not infinite. If those are scaled to your level, that's bad. Why? What determines that? The idea behind their purpose as decided from the get-go. That's a specific criteria hand-picked by the developer's brain that then denotes "adjusting this = bad." It's not like you can't scale any encounter because you have no way of knowing which one needs to be set in stone and which one doesn't. You're the developer. You're the one deciding these things. Also, you're still only arguing against things being scaled "to your level," specifically, despite the fact that I've gone about as far out of my way as possible to illustrate just how much versatility there is in the adjustment of an encounter. You want a good example of all this? Chrono Trigger. In Chrono Trigger, an entity known as Lavos lands on the planet in the prehistoric era, burrows into the planet's crust, and slowly begins to consume the planet. The more time passes, the stronger he becomes. In the future (or the main character's future... the latest time portrayed in the game), almost everything is destroyed, and everyone's dying, etc. You actually have to go back in time and fight Lavos, so that he's weaker (I say "have to," that's the whole story, but you can actually fight him at about 5-or-so different stages throughout the timeline of the game, mostly just for various different fun challenges). Why? Because he becomes stronger as time passes in the game world. Why? Because that's generally how things work. That mighty dragon that makes such a nice cliche example of a powerful foe didn't hatch as a mighty dragon. It had to fight and survive and grow into what it is now. And if you give it another year, will it not be that much more powerful/experienced? (obviously up to a certain point). Bandits. Are all bandits in the game the exact same level? Or do you have lvl 3 bandits, then "other" bandits (maybe they're called "highwaymen" in the bestiary or something) who are lvl 5 or 6 or what-have-you? Okay... what do you think just happened there? The developer came up with an idea for an enemy, then scaled that into a different enemy template, for use in different circumstances. You can say "oh, it's more complicated than that," and act as though I'm being preposterous somehow by pointing this out, but everything is built from the most basic of blocks. That's how it works. So, why is it okay for a developer/creator to scale bandits for a handful of different templates, but NOT okay to make any more than that? How many bandit templates are okay, and how many are somehow inherently wrong? Is it 6? After 6 it's problematic? How do you even determine that? And if the game says "Okay, this area's gonna have these lvl 3 bandits in it," why is it somehow illegal for the game to say "Hmmm... you know, that player just ran off in the other direction and changed a hell of a lot of kingdoms and politics and economical stuff over the course of several in-game months... maybe these bandits are not in this place anymore? Maybe I shall use one of these other convenient templates, as they've somehow changed in any capacity imaginable over the course of the months that have passed."? No one's addressing any of this, for some reason, even though it's the direct thinking process by which game worlds are created and populated with encounters. But no... please, point out one more time how that one super-tough boss fight in the game shouldn't be scaled down to exactly the same HP and attack power as your party, and how therefore everything is bad and useless. That would be great. I just love typing. *eye roll*. Because level is a limitation. You can't voluntarily choose to equip more HP, and will yourself to know 9th level spells instead of 7th. If you have access to equipment, you have access to equipment. The adjustment is only made based on what you are limited by, not what you just choose not to do. Look... this is all adapted from tabletop gaming. Literally the only reason the developers even HAVE to calculate a bunch of potential XP and try to balance encounters in the middle of that somewhere is because there's not a DM sitting there running the game for you. The DMs (developers) have to just design something, then let thousands of people run through it in all different manners. You think a grocery only carries the selection of items it does because those are all the best possible items, ever, and no one should ever carry the other things that they don't have? No... it's because they are forced to limit their selection, by space and frequency of sales, etc. Obviously if you could go into a local store on the way home, and they'd always have whatever you needed in stock, that would be the best solution. Well, guess what? A video game can make adjustments where they'd be valuable, and not make them where they wouldn't. It doesn't HAVE to guess at the click of "Start Game," then just hope for the best. So, they can get a lot closer to having a DM there, saying "Okay, you probably want some level of a challenge throughout this game, so I'm gonna make sure you don't feel like Luke Skywalker fighting a stick of butter, just because you like to partake in side content, and not necessarily because you just want to completionistly get all the XPs." Hmmm, who knows, though. Maybe Call of Duty should just do away with matchmaking, and just pair people who only have a rusty pistol unlocked against people who have gold-plated dual light machine guns and 79 character perks. Because levels are useless, and anyone who has gained XP no longer wants a challenge from anything, except for that one big scary dragon. Also, the world should never change, so make sure that those bandits are trapped in a time bubble forever, as their only purpose in life is to let the player measure the power of his party against them. Congratulations... you've envisioned the perfect RPG. Until I can telepathically convey my thoughts, these words are going to have to serve as clues. Try to actually decipher my thoughts from reading this, THEN decide how you feel about those ideas, rather than simply boxing all of these words up into the boxes you've already got designated for the wrong ideas, so that you can then tape them up, write "incorrect" on them, and kick them back over to me. Because, so far, you've barely addressed much of what I've actually said. You've just clicked "quote," then retaliated against your own ideas of level scaling (including ones I've already condemned several times).
  3. *nod nod*. My favorite note on this is that famous quote by Henry Ford that apparently wasn't actually a quote by Henry Ford (some newspaper reporter at the time didn't have their facts, or twisted some words, or something, for a better story), but darnit if it doesn't illustrate the problem with consumers. I think it went something like "If I had asked people what they wanted, they would've said 'a faster horse.'" (in regard to his pursuit of automobile mass production). Game mechanics and the like are much like cookies. Sure, people know "I like chocolatey cookies," but they don't often stop to really consider all the aspects of the cookie. They just equate it to a good thing because it's tastey. So, if we were gonna go with the analogy, then they'd demand chocolate cookies from you. So you'd go "Oh, okay, I'll just give them what they want to please them." Then, a few days later, a big group of people might say "Hey, I ate like 150 of these cookies in one day, and now I'm in a diabetic coma!" And you'd think, "but I gave you the cookies you wanted!" Basically, just because people want a thing does not mean they have fully considered the specifics of what will affect their enjoyment in the big picture. There are easy examples for RPGs, like... start characters out with mega powerful spells and abilities, and that's super fun in one respect, but they'll quickly complain that nothing's challenging and/or that they never get to progress and they're bored, etc. Most discrepancies are more nuanced than that (though some are that silly... *shrug* humans tend to be mentally lazy), but they function the same way.
  4. You wouldn't, which is why I did not suggest you would. You have misunderstood my point by omitting key details from what was said. In my proposed example with the big bad dragon encounter, you want there to be a big bad encounter for the player, but you don't necessarily want it to be at the end of the game. You can either make several different encounters of various levels so that the player always has a relatively difficult encounter, just to technically not scale the dragon, I suppose. But this doesn't really meet your goal, because your goal wasn't to have 5 dragons in this particular example scenario. Also, the dragon isn't lvl 25 until it exists. You're not taking a lvl 25 dragon and making sure a lvl 13 party can take it on. You would be making an encounter, then making sure that a lvl X - lvl Y party could take it on, instead of JUST a lvl X party or just a lvl Y party. It's pretty simple design reasoning, really. If you can't imagine that example scenario effectively, then imagine it's the big-bad-boss of the game, whom you're following (or maybe he's chasing you? *shrug*), and you encounter him at various places throughout the game. The whole time you're playing and progressing, so is he (relative to the time that's passing whilst you're questing and whatnot, not literally every second you play the game, he gets more powerful). Well, if you have optional quests such that you could either encounter him when you're level 3, or when you're level 5, then how do you make sure he's appropriately difficult once encountered? Should he just be a static level no matter what in that encounter, and if so, why? Sure, some encounters should be static and should just be a big challenge for the player that probably can't be taken on much below the level cap. But to have every single encounter in the game be like this is silly. There is absolutely nothing declaring a specific level that you want certain encounters to be. Their entire purpose as a game design element is to be appropriately challenging when they are presented to you. In tabletop games, the DM literally manufactures encounters on the fly based on your party's capabilities. Even in the event one isn't designed for you to win (you're supposed to run away, or its difficulty is some other large part of the ongoing plot, but isn't really just a combat challenge you're supposed to overcome with combat), that still means it's gotta be a certain level of difficulty. And if you make it level 1 billion, how do you know it won't kill everyone instantly? You've got to adjust something on it (like just giving it a bunch of HP instead of just increasing its level), so that it will be unable to be beaten but not instantly slay everyone. I can keep thinking up examples, but the point remains that you should only do what you need to to meet your specific goals for a given encounter, and not something that arbitrarily groups it in with other encounters or adjusts it for no reason. You didn't provide a basis for this statement yet. You're impatiently jumping to this conclusion. "Well, if I drink a swimming pool worth of water in a day, I'll die... therefore water is bad and is not good at all." You can't tell me that you can't think of a single situation in an RPG in which you, as a developer designing an encounter, would want to scale that encounter based on when the party was going to face it. Even if it's as simple as "if you complete Chapter 2 before doing this side adventure, this encounter's lvl 5. If you don't, it's lvl 3." That's still an adjustment, to an encounter that wasn't concrete to begin with, because you're deciding what it will be based on other factors, and not just "Here, in the world, for thousands of years, stand these 3 lvl-3 bandits! For they are unmovable, immortal, and all-encompassing!"
  5. Keep in mind that the lack of a different bonus is functionally a "penalty." That being said, it doesn't mean there's definitely no reason for Order penalties, but sometimes, the whole "you get a bonus, but also a malus" thing is less valuable, because the malus is redundant when just a "because you picked A, you don't get B, C, or D" penalty would've sufficed. Also, a malus is only useful in this type of balancing when it makes things more interesting. I'm always a bigger fan of "you can do this cool extra thing, but you have this kind of crazy, interesting malus" over "You get +5 to this, but -5 to this other thing." I found the penalties to be fitting to the Orders, or at least the ones i can remember. Bleak Walkers being better at dishing out damage via better FoD but being bad at healing makes sense. Kind Wayfarers doing less damage when doing a sneak attack makes sense as they are honorable 'good guys'. Gold Pact not having auras ..... not sure of the why but their +4 armor ability is super powerful so they needed something punishing. Shield Bearers not being able to use Lay on Hands on themselves sounds fitting as they are all about helping others. Darcozzi having less zeal ...... I guess they just ran out of ideas. Only problem I have with these is that the penalty doesn't really match the bonus. For example, Bleak Walkers are better at offense but worse at healing? So, if you don't care about healing anyone (which you don't HAVE to do... you have 4 other party members to do healz), you just get a free offense bonus. Instead, just for example, if you were to, say, grant a critical damage bonus, but reduce attack speed, both of those things affect attacking. You can't be like "I want to do more DPS, but I don't care how quickly I attack, u_u...". Or, maybe your heals are larger areas, but are slightly less potent. Those are direct tradeoffs. "You get a cool bonus, but also you aren't allowed to wear spiffy boots" is not really a great tradeoff, no matter how thematically it fits, as statistically only like half the people are going to care about a cool bonus, whilst EVERYONE'S going to care about wearing cool boots! (I jest... obviously it's the opposite, ).
  6. ^Meh... if it's all intuitively and concisely designed, almost any amount of complexity works well. You learn the basics of attacking in combat, then you learn of a couple of other things you can do to affect that, etc. Or, you even have things like Dragon's Dogma, in which a lot of the complexity is just discovering that X affects Y. It's not so much 730 different controls you have to juggle. Granted, a lot of the things in that game aren't very intuitive (like how pawn behavior works in accordance with the various dispositions -- it just doesn't tell you the rules well enough, and that system could've been designed better). So yeah, if you've gotta use every single key on your keyboard just to play the game -- if you're QWOP-controlling your characters legs and ankles to get all 5 party members to jog around in combat at the same time -- that's terrible. If there are just a whole ton of different cool interactions, effects, and results to be had as a consequence of concise and intuitive controls for choice-making, then the more complexity the merrier. Now, as to the whole "Might -- an awesome idea, or a terrible idea?" subdiscussion that's been going on over the last couple of pages... The problem with Might is not that it consolidated all damage into one stat conveniently. That's the only good thing it did, but the problem is that it's still a stat. If they just removed damage altogether from the stat system, and the only way you could do it was via talents or something (i.e. "+7 damage with ranged weapons, or magic, etc,."), then that would work nicely. However, to have stats that individually represent different things, then just say "one of them's gonna do stuff for EVERYTHING!", that contradicts itself. It would be like putting all your damage mitigation into one stat, and just going "Meh, damage mitigation is damage mitigation. This makes it easy." No... it makes it lame. Might as well just combine all the magic spells into one class, since magic is magic. The same effect is achieved. The same lessening.
  7. If all mobs scale, sure. Even then, that's not exactly the case. Having the fireball spell as opposed to lacking it is not a direct mathematical measurement. Part of progression isn't direct power improvement. Also, the second half of that quoted portion is entirely false. Your party progression is a singular thing. Unless you adjust your power progression by X for one encounter, then by Y for another, you can't simply adjust power progression overall and somehow achieve tuned scaling adjustments for various individual encounters or groups of encounters. It's quite simple, really. In a linear game, would all the enemies be lvl 5, in the entire campaign, while you climb up to level 100? No. But in a linear game, you know EXACTLY when and where the player's going to have gone, so you can say "Hey, on this path through this forest, we'll put lvl 11 enemies there." You can STILL have quantities of optional content, such that the player can either be lvl 10 when they get to those enemies, or lvl 13. However, when you make the world/campaign non-linear, the player could be lvl 5 when they try to go there, or lvl 20. This simple fact comes about PURELY because you don't know the order in which the player will do stuff, and doesn't necessarily have anything to do with your desire for that encounter to be at that particular level. In general, the idea doesn't change. You want to give appropriately-challenging encounters to the player throughout their playthrough. Again, if you made ALL The enemies in the world lvl 5, that would be silly. So, are there times that the developers intentionally want certain encounters to get easier and easier? Sure. But does this mean that anywhere you could possibly place a static encounter, and a player could encounter it either 2 hours in or 70 hours in, you don't want that encounter to be an appropriate challenge for the player? Not at all. The two factors are not mutually glued together. To look at it another way, if I put some unique big bad dragon into the game, and I'm thinking "this is my game, and my game world, and this dragon is supposed to be really, really powerful compared to the player," then I COULD make the dragon lvl 25 when the player can only be lvl 20, tops. That would work, but now I'm just saying "I want the player to go fight this dragon at the very end of their progression," because facing it at lvl 13 would be infeasible. So, what if I want there to be a big scary dragon encounter, but I want the player to be able to do it starting at lvl 10 if they want, just because of the branching/openness of the campaign? How do I do that? By adjusting the dragon once they lock into facing it. If I don't do that, it's very likely to be either WAY too difficult (compared to what I want), or way too easy. To say "No, developers... the only correct way to want to design such an encounter is to just make the dragon lvl X and be done with it" is silly. The dragon didn't exist until the developer thought it up and imagined pitting it against the player party to begin with. And until the players encounter that dragon, what lvl is it? It's lvl UNDEFINED, because the dragon doesn't freakin' exist yet. No one's messing with the natural balance of things by merely deigning to adjust an encounters difficulty so that it's appropriate for the party even in a very flexible progression environment, because there is no natural scheme for this that was dug out of the ground on stone tablets. We didn't just find mobs in geodes in the earth, and now devs are unnaturally trying to genetically alter them before putting them into a game. That's not how it works. So, scaling is a useful tool that does useful things, but doesn't always do nothing but useful stuff no matter how crappily you use it. You're essentially just stereotyping game mechanics. "Oh, several guys with blue eyes have been crappy to me in life, therefore GUYS WITH BLUE EYES ARE CRAPPY HUMANS AND ARE USELESS!" That's not true, and neither is "scaling is pointless and useless just because I've seen it be used poorly a lot."
  8. You could still do that, yes. I think the STR/RES change is still valuable, though. Does it fix all the problems? Probably not. There's most likely more tweaking to be done. There are really 2 problems with the stat system issue: 1) People tend to think that if there can be any problem within the system, it's just broken (i.e. "well, this isn't perfect still, so see, we should just do the thing that I happen to like and not even worry about function/effectiveness") 2) People tend to think that if a change doesn't fix EVERYTHING, then it's fixing nothing. Granted, I'm not saying you're suggesting that. You very precisely said that the STR/RES change just doesn't prevent ridiculous builds. And that's correct. My only direct emphasis on the ridiculous builds thing is that we consider how to make sure, to the best of our ability, that the system doesn't blatantly allow builds that sort of go against the goal of the interesting limitations of the system to begin with. It's easy to just slap together an attribute system, maybe just based on things about characters you'd like to simulate, and end up with problems. The blatant ones are "this one stat does oodles of useful stuff for my character, and this other one doesn't do much at all, no matter how much I like the idea of it." That sort of thing.
  9. Probably the largest singular problem with the handling of romance in RPGs is that it's a thing that you can optionally do. Conflict between characters isn't a thing you can optionally do. Neither is pretty much any other emotional development. I mean, sure, outcome A or outcome B might occur between your party and some NPC depending on your choices, but you don't just get to choose "Nah, I'm not gonna have anyone be mad at me." Romance is just a part of the people-simulation of the world and characters. Generally, it gets crafted into the game as this weird, super-separate add-on (which is bad), AND it gets wayyyyy too in-depth. Like "This character whispers sweet nothings into your ear... what do you do? (list options of things to whisper back)." It's just weird. The rest of the game doesn't go into that level of detail with interactions, but then, now that it's "a romance" (again, the weird separate thing), it gets all of its own super-zoomed-in interaction details. Or, worse, you get basically the option to either woo NPC, or opposite-of-woo NPC. I wish people would just accept that if you're going to write a world full of characters, many of them are going to seek romantic involvements/emotional bonds. Doesn't mean we need to code in a "doin' it" minigame. It just means that it's a thing that's in the game world, just like basically any other motivations or character personality factor ever. Romance is a classic case of a "it's for some reason been accepted to just approach it incorrectly from the get-go, so most games do it wrong, so let's just shun the very idea of it because no one wants to bother actually taking the time to consider how it would be better handled in general" feature. It's not unlike the dreaded "DLC." Lots of it has been dumbly designed money grabs, so now "DLC" in general is just this evil entity. As if anything you could digitally download to expand a game is now bad. Obviously it isn't, but it's commonly shunned as some kind of overly specific thing.
  10. ^ Understandable. I've had this discussion before, . You are correct that 1:1 scaling is generally bad. But, again, that's a bad implementation of the idea of adjustment, which is all scaling is. For example, JUST by simply changing the scaling factor from 1:1 to like 1:2, you end up with a huge difference. Imagine a designed encounter is lvl 5, and you're lvl 10. With 1:1 scaling, the enemies are now all lvl 10, forcibly so. They're basically keeping up with you. With 1:2 scaling, when you're level 10, they're level 7.5 (I know that doesn't make sense... they'd be 7, I suppose. Unless you wanted to round it up... that's beside the point). Anywho... that's just one change. You can do that. You can say "don't start scaling until the player's party is at least 3 levels above the encounter level," etc. The point is, it's a tool, just like anything else. If you hit a screw with a hammer, it's not going to hold stuff together very well. However, if you use the hammer on nails, it works much more effectively. Scaling can effectively be used to make sure that you don't encounter things that are simply insects. Doesn't mean you don't ever need to be able to encounter insects. But, you have to think of things from a developer standpoint. Just because you want to populate the world with encounters doesn't mean you want them all to be lvl X at all times. The world is not a static place. If you take out a big group of bandits, maybe an opposing group thinks "Finally! Now that we don't have to worry about them keeping us off that turf, we're gonna expand and take over the place!" Maybe those bandits have better equipment and/or training, and just couldn't get the resources to expand before. A world in which everything staticly sucks compared to you after you improve a bit (which is part of the gameplay -- progression, that is) is just as boring as a world in which everything is always equally as improved as you are. "I want to feel powerful" is great and all, but if you launch a nuke at a mosquito, does that REALLY let you feel powerful? Or would it feel better to launch a nuke at the moon, and watch it blast apart. Then go "Man, that moon wasn't some tiny rock. That... that's a pretty huge deal to be able to damage the MOON like that!"? That's why I don't buy the "everything should stay tiny lvl 1 rats, even if it was only intended to be lvl 1 rats when I was lvl 1 or 2 or so, because level 17 enemies at the time would've been preposterous." So, I think that just like designing the world and the encounters in the first place, if the designing can account for the order in which you do things and changes in the world, it should. Does that mean everything is always super different when you get to it? Nope. But it definitely doesn't mean that nothing ever is. Why arbitrarily limit things to "that encounter I thought up when I guessed when the player party would be encountering it"?
  11. Keep in mind that the lack of a different bonus is functionally a "penalty." That being said, it doesn't mean there's definitely no reason for Order penalties, but sometimes, the whole "you get a bonus, but also a malus" thing is less valuable, because the malus is redundant when just a "because you picked A, you don't get B, C, or D" penalty would've sufficed. Also, a malus is only useful in this type of balancing when it makes things more interesting. I'm always a bigger fan of "you can do this cool extra thing, but you have this kind of crazy, interesting malus" over "You get +5 to this, but -5 to this other thing."
  12. Each player chooses the way he wants to play, but that doesn't mean that no build can possibly be ridiculous. The goal of the game sets the criteria for that designation. For example, the game is designed such that you have a limited amount of health, so that combat is SOME level of a challenge, instead of just a matter of time dealing damage greater than 0 and eventually winning all the time. That would be pointless. A "skip through combat and automatically win" mode would serve much better if never losing combat were a goal-option to provide to the player. Thus, if the game could allow you to make a build that gave you 73-times the number of hitpoints anything else in the game had, so that you'd effectively never feel the limitation of Health at all, that would be a ridiculous build, by the game's own definition. To look at it another way, the idea that his calling min-max builds ridiculous is his opinion is your opinion. Thus, a difference of opinion never gets us anywhere. I mean, it can be fun for conversation fuel, in learning about each other. But it doesn't help an objective discussion. If you feel that he's objectively incorrect or mistaken in thinking that the builds he's thinking of are ridiculous, that's a perfectly valid point to make. However, "Well, the sheer idea that something could be problematic or ridiculous is just an opinion, and nothing really can be" isn't a notion that does anything but designate discussion, itself, to be pointless. The statement negates its own purpose. If we're down to pure subjectivity, then every single opinion is incorrect, AND every single opinion is correct, simultaneously. End of all discussions.
  13. Well, there are two types of people in the world: Those who adhere to reason, and those who do not. People can dislike things for any number of reasons, and every single person could dislike the same thing for a different reason. The only sensical thing to do is to adhere to reason. Look at it another way. If everyone's correct just because they think something, then everyone's wrong as well, because someone else always thinks someone's wrong. It makes no sense. Most SJWs have a good point somewhere that they're starting from, but they essentially become addicted to fighting for a cause, so they have to make EVERYTHING about their cause. It's funny how much discrimination goes on in the whole "your opinion is wrong because this person I'm fighting for's opinion can't be wrong!". *shrug*. All things in moderation.
  14. Yeah, sorry. I was attempting to point out that, while the statement itself didn't directly pertain to the objective functionality of attribute mechanics, your point on top of the statement DID pretty directly (inversely, sort of?) apply to the idea of changing something that works just to not only make it more artistically/aesthetically pleasing, but also pleasing in accordance with someone else's tastes rather than your own. 'Twas hard for me to convey that without one of my usually walls o' text, and I'm trying to kill those. Haha.
  15. Fair enough, but "and then our party of adventurers swept over the land with the force of thousand suns and were met with naught but a mosquito's resistance" isn't a very exciting story. I dare say the struggle of a conflict is part of the stories they tell, And yet, by design, the entire campaign of the game has your opponents scaled such that the path you walk in the first 30 minutes of the game, when you're level 1, isn't populated by level 73 dragons, but instead by lower-level things that are feasible for you to face. The creators of the game world and campaign have literally forced the world to be reasonable to your starting party. Scaling monsters, in-and-of itself, is neither good nor bad, any more than math is bad in a video game. It's all in how you utilize it. Just because it's often poorly implemented does not make it a thing we should all shun. Note that I am not arguing that it is good and should be used as much as possible. But... if you have yet to encounter some hostiles at point X on your travels, I don't really see why it matters how they're "adjusted" before they've even spawned into existence. "Dangit! These goblins that I didn't even know where goblins yet aren't the goblins they're SUPPOSED to be! You know, the ones who were just inherently dug up as a part of this game code, on an ancient stone tablet, by the development team, and which they then built the rest of an RPG around! >_<"
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