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Everything posted by SymbolicFrank

  1. The code is easy to manage, yes, but only if you just want to make your own mod. If you want to use something like WeiDU for that, you need an API. An API is both a set of common functions that have to be used, as well as a set of rules that you have to follow. The difference with most other games supported by WeiDU is, that there only the resources/assets are modified, not the code. Because, code is very hard to break up into small, independent units. That is, if you don't use strict guidelines and not always use the library functions. Because that is the same as having an API. For assets there are interdependencies as well. If a part of the code references mob1_x.x, and another uses mymod_mob1_x.x, you have the same problem. That's why you essentially NEVER want to change the code, and only the resources/assets. Or if you do want to do that, make sure everyone uses it. Otherwise, your mod won't work with any other one. Then again, if the development proces of the base game is structured well, this will be available automatically. Edit: if things are externalized as text files, they become assets as well. That's why scripts are somewhere in between assets and code. Sure, scripts are code as well, but that's why normally the base game is called the 'engine'. And any changes to that should be backwards compatible with all the assets.
  2. If you can sell your first short sword for 10 gold, but your 10th short sword only sells for 1 gold and your twentieth for 1 copper, the inventory problem mostly disappears. Unless camping supplies, arrows, gems, jewelry, minor healing potions and such don't stack. Or only by type, when there are many different types.
  3. If we talk about classes, do we mean that they are specialized in a certain thing, or that they can only do that certain thing? That's a difference. As an example, let's take a skill like 'first aid'. Which class would be best in that? - A cleric wouldn't, because they don't actually need to know anything about wounds: they pray that their God fixes them. They're good at praying, not at treating wounds. - A warrior would be quite good at doing first aid, as it's probably to himself. Scratches, abrasions, minor cuts, concussions and even broken bones would be things they would definitely (want to) know how to treat. - A wizard might not be very good at bandaging, but he's most likely the specialist when it's about medicine: what herb or spell to apply for which effect. They might not focus on healing effects as such, but they would know the ingredients and understand the cause and effect. Like, use an ice spell to cool a burn wound. - An unarmed and unarmored monk could be good at causing blunt damage, but as he cannot take any damage without having serious problems would probably not be any good in treating it. Does a fighter specialize in weapons? No, he's a generalist (can use them all). Even the specializing in only one of them is mostly a proficiency: the thing he likes best / uses most. He would only be a specialist if he could only use one type of weapon. Like a cleric, for example (although they can use both melee and ranged blunt weapons). Or a monk. To recap: the cleric specializes in praying, the fighter in causing and treating mechanical damage, the wizard in understanding and causing status effects and the monk in avoiding damage. But that doesn't mean that they can only cause one effect. That's just the means they use to cause their effects. Like the cleric can pray for healing, they can also pray for harming. Or very utilitarian things, like lighting up a place. The fighter uses bandages, swords and torches to do the same things. Etc. To go one step further: say, you wanted a set of new magic spells. Practical and preferably simple ones. Who would you ask? - The wizard has a very good knowledge of all the available spells. And he should know why they are the way they are. So he will only come up with slight modifications of existing spells. - The cleric will try to combine parts of existing chants into slightly different ones as well. - The fighter is not used to think in status effects, but he will probably come up with interesting new utility spells, like 'make my pack lighter'. - The monk is the most specialized and restricted one, and therefore has the longest wishlist and broadest range of requests. So probably also the most ingenuity to come up with really new ideas. The thing is, all of them don't know how to make their dreams reality. They miss understanding of the underlying mechanics to do things in a different way than they're used to. That's what we probably mean with specialization. If you want innovative weapons, ask the monk or cleric. They will come up with strange things they could use and might give them an edge. Don't ask the fighter, because he's used to picking the right tool for the job. He will tell you which existing one is best for that, and why. The most creative people are the true generalists. They might not be best at anything, but they know just enough of everything to come up with interesting but realistic solutions to any problem. Like, when you face a roadblock of warriors, the fighter will calculate his chances and select the right armor and weapons to break through. But that generalist isn't good enough with either to do that. He needs to come up with a creative solution. In game play terms, I would start with suggesting that any character can get either a focus on a specific weapon/skill/spell/whatever that allows them to become very good at using/doing that, regardless if that is something that class can do at all, or the option to use/do everything, but badly.
  4. With an RPG, the idea is that the stats of the player matter less than the stats of the characters. And with a party, it stands to reason that the other members act on their own, according to their stats. Like they would in P&P. Otherwise it's not an RPG, but a RTTG (Real-Time Tactical Game). But those only work when they're turn-based. As soon as APM or twitch reflexes matter, it's the skill of the player that is the most important, not those of the characters.
  5. Swords didn't last very long when used for fighting. Or actually, any weapon used to hit the enemy. Weapons were very disposable from the moment the Romans invented logistics ~1500 years ago. Before that they were extremely expensive, so they did see use until they broke. Like in Japan. Then you have myths: Long swords were actually most often used two-handed. Katanas are actually shorter and heavier than long swords, and inferior to even cheap European swords. The most effective weapon was a simple spear, the metal head being optional. Etc. Then again, large-scale battles were extremely rare as well. But as an "adventurer", you're mostly being a successfull bandid. One of those who settles down becoming a petty king. Actually, weapons were very rare. You didn't stuble upon armed peasants or robbers. Mostly underlings of your petty ruler, demanding taxes.
  6. Strangely enough, skewering someone with a sword was often a one-hit-kill. Duels tended to take about 10 seconds, on average. The first hit was almost always the deciding one. Weapons tend to be designed to be immediately lethal.
  7. I think it all depends on what the developer expects of their customers' expectations. If you think they expect an interactive movie, you will make something vastly different then when you think they expect a customizable sandbox in which they can experiment. For what I read about the PoE expectations, I don't think replayability is high up on the list, if it's on the list at all.
  8. With zero marketing, nobody would know about your game. You wouldn't be able to have Steam or GOG distribute it. What you're talking about is alternative ways of marketing that don't cost money immediately. Still, you need to hire the people who lobby with the people who make the "free" advertizing, etc. There is no free advertizing. It always costs money.
  9. If you don't advertise, people won't know about your game, and so they won't buy it. Therefore, it makes perfect sense that most of the budget goes into marketing and hyping the game. That's how you maximize your potential profit. The main criteria for people to determine if your game is worth buying are the marketing hype and the looks. Because, that's all they have before the game becomes available. And for a computer game, the window of opportunity is about two weeks, before the emotional rush subsides and peopel start nocticing the irritations. An interesting fact about human behavior is, that they will value something they bought to be the very best. Simply because if it was a bad product, they would not have bought it! And they want to be sure they did The Right Thing. Or, in other words, they made a smart decision. Which is a rather interesting process to monitor for someone who is far smarter than just about everyone else. It makes you smile a lot. SO, the best product to make if you want to sell millions is a good-looking, but very bland product. Because, if it has obvious defects, people will ventilate about those. While being bland mostly makes people forget about it. There is no impact. And, the people who do check forums and reviews to see what the opinion is, will be happy. Because, if you don't care, you won't post negatives. You will only do that when the game is Great, but has irritations. Even more so: if the game is great, more people will play it for longer, and so will be more upset by the minor irritations, that when you have a bad game nobody plays. So, all in all, it's a far more monetary rewarding strategy to make bland games that are easily forgotten, and hype them as high as possible, than to make new and innovative games that will encourage many people to post about the bad things.
  10. "Never attribute to malice that which can be attributed to stupidity." After thinking it over, I think Josh is very sure his system is the Best. And I don't think he distinguishes between systems for RTwP computer games, turn-based computer games, pen and paper or live-action role-playing. There can be only one! While I think each has vastly different requirements, and so requires a vastly different system. Or, at least, that's what I do when designing a project: make the solution match the requirements, instead of the other way around.
  11. In some ways, like the spell list, PoE is a carbon copy of Infinity Engine games. In others, it's quite different. This is all expected and fine. But there are discrepancies. By which I mean: the design and execution go in opposite directions. Like, if you want to design a real-time with pause system, you should do just that. But, it turns out that someone thought: "Well, RTwP is crap. Turn-based is the way to go! And we're not going to compromise!" And so we have a turn-based system that is turned into a RTwP system without changing anything. Because, surely, everyone can see that turn-based is the superior system! So, we end up with a total mess. It doesn't work. If you design a turn-based system, make it turn-based! And if you are obliged to make a RTwP system, make one! In the end, the only way we can get a good game is if we now all go beg to please turn it into a turn-based system. And that will make the person who is responsible for this mess very happy: "See! I told you! They don't want any moronic RTwP systems! They really want the great turn-based system I designed!" And the same goes for classes vs. classless.
  12. Could I make my own AI script that controls the party? Is there a robust scripting environment?
  13. I am watching an interesting Fallout Let's Play. The uploader (mynameisnotlilly) plays "a female, diplomatic mage converted to a technical setting": "We need intelligence and charisma, some perception and agility, strength is a dump stat, luck probably as well. The stats translate probably to the Speech, Barter and Science skill. And I found these two really interesting traits: Bloody Mess and Jinxed. Sounds fun!" Well, it's fallout, the typical game in which there are no dump stats. So that, indeed, sounds like fun. Speech and Barter will get you far, and Science has some nice perks. Low Strength and Luck (3), combined with Jinxed means that the few guns you can use are probably more lethal to yourself than to your enemies, but you can be pacifist for the most part. So, what does he do: he is totally not diplomatic whatsoever, makes many NPC's angry, and so ends up trying and/or having to shoot everyone. He uses more guns than clips, as they tend to explode. In Shady Sands and Junktown they all hate Lilly's guts. And the skill he uses most of the time (Small guns) is rarely raised at levelup. Instead, Speech, Barter and Science are raised almost exclusively. Of which only Barter is actually used. Still, he does manage to win the game. This raises the question: does the game have to cater for any choice and play style? Should there be no strategic choices that actually matter? Should you be able to win if you take the least effective choices all the time? Ok, you end up reloading a lot, but it is doable in Fallout. So, on the one hand, it's terrific that there are no dump stats. But on the other hand, you aren't rewarded all that much by making the smart choices, either. Because the difference isn't all that significant. It's like people who want to play chess, and end up using the rules for checkers, because "that's easier, and what does it matter which rules you use?" So, you can either randomize the statistics, or remove them. It doesn't matter if the difference between "best" and "worst" is marginal. EDIT: it would matter if it enabled different playing styles, but instead it seems that the difference between classes and playing styles gets reduced all the time. EDIT2: Actually, it's a lot like Chris Avellone's Arcanum Let's Play, now I think about it.
  14. AH! I get it! Instant death to your party members: BAD, fail. Instant death to enemies: GOOD, pass. It took me a minute to figure out.
  15. Spot traps Description: This ability will find all traps in sight range of the character as long as their Search skill is higher than the Difficulty Class of the trap. Type: activated ability Cooldown: 30 seconds Usability: 3 times each day Available to: all classes
  16. The fighter. Unless we're talking 3e D&D and higher, where an armored mage can cast spells. They can both cast spells. Well, that's a pretty significant piece of information there. One that changes everything, because if both can cast spells then this "duel" is no longer Fighter vs. mage. It's now Fighter/Mage vs. Mage. It's probably more like "fighter/mage/thief/cleric" against "mage/fighter/thief/cleric", with different specializations.
  17. In PE mage would probably win, because if I am understood correctly full plate has high DT and daggers have poor armor penetration. Although that fighter probably has high deflection and mage will have hard time to hit him with anything else than grazes, so at the end it will probably will come to see which character build has better abilities/spells to do damage. Agreed. AFAWK. I would love to know what it would take/how it would work.
  18. The fighter. Unless we're talking 3e D&D and higher, where an armored mage can cast spells. They can both cast spells.
  19. Well I give you a simple recipe to gimp a character in PE which I think should be possible: Make one attribute very strong, but don't take any feats/abilities depending on this ability. Another recipe: Give your character all feats and abilities good for two-wepon fighting but because he was disgusted about all the blood spraying on himself he uses a bow now. Another recipe: Maximize attributes and abilites for your monk being a first-class spell fighter, but the only spell he learns because of his peaceful agenda is 'Create Food'. Naturally I'm speculating here, but it would be really surprising if none of this worked. From what I understand, things like chance to hit/damage/deflection/defense etc. raise each level just because you're a fighter. So making such choices doesn't outright gimp you, it just makes you less effective.
  20. Depends on the circumstances of the fight. In close quarters neither claymore nor full plate gives any advantage. As far as I get it, the mage won't be able to hit/damage the fighter without using special abilities/spells.
  21. For PnP, very few people like to play a support char, they all want to be the "main" hero. But healers are a needed class. Imagine: the first healer was like a mage (a priest wearing robes with little weapons expertise) that could heal. And nobody wanted to play them! So, total party wipes were unavoidable. Hence the full-plate wearing and very destructive Cleric as we know them. But that still wasn't enough, so instead of support classes, they're now called "Leaders", and they have better destructive spells than a mage... That's also why we have Paladins and Druids: fighter-healers. For a single-player game, that first healer would suffice.
  22. Next up: we know that light armor and a dagger as main weapon are completely valid, high-level choices. So, who would win in melee: a fighter wearing light armor and using a dagger, against a mage wearing full plate and swinging a claymore?
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