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Sylvius the Mad

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Posts posted by Sylvius the Mad


    How does the game know you beat a monster? Simple....hp got down to 0 and it's reward bag opened up giving you some xp and some gold or a shiny new item or something that's how. Is that even a serious question? Not all actions are marked in the logbook but the game certainly tracks everything.

    Sure it does. My question has to do with how the events that aren't part of larger quests fit into the XP system. If everything I can do is either part of a larger quest or has its own associated XP value, that would be a solution, yes. Or they might decide that there is little enough in the game that isn't associate with a larger quest that the extra stuff is its own reward - killing a guard you don't need to kill (or stealing from him) gets you loot but not XP, for example.


    Update #7 is the first one I've seen so far that leaves large enough holes behind wherein I immediately saw potential risks. Everything else that's been announced has ranged from good to incredible.

    • Like 1

    Alan I understand that but nobody has adequately explained to me how that works. I'll say it again - what happens when I meet tough wandering monsters and kill them? It's not part of a quest or objective or whatever you want to call it. What was the point?

    That question might be answered by Obsidian's previous answer to how the world will be implemented, in the large-scale.


    There was a question asked about how exploration would be handled - whether it would work like BG, where the player could choose to wander anywhere at anytime (which is my preference, incidentally), or like BG2, where areas only became visitable as they become plot relevant. Whole areas didn't even exist, in game terms, until a quest explicitly sent the PC there. They said they were aiming for something more like BG2.


    What this might mean is that there won't really be many opportunities to just head off into the wilderness to look around. As such, those "touch wandering monsters" might always be encountered while engaged on some other quest.


    i think you are misunderstanding the meaning of "goal" in this context.

    It's not about what your objectives are as a character or what quests are on your journal. It's about having a set of "achievements" (or "accomplishments" if you prefer a less abused word) that lead to that amount of exp reward.

    If XP is awarded to me for overcoming obstacles, how does the game know that I've done that? That's my concern.

    • Like 1

    Even in real life, you can be good at more than one thing. Especially if one has to do with fitness(weapon skills ingame) and the other with, say physics or programming(mental skills).

    But you could be even better at fitness if you never took the time away from physical training to go learn physics.


    There are some teenaged girls somewhere who are really good at calculus. There are also some teenaged girls who are Olympic gymnasts. I'm fairly confident that those two groups don't overlap; the gymnasts don't have time to excel at calculus.

  5. Choices are between different combat and different non-combat abilities (separately).

    Those are easier choices. If I know that I can always resort to combat when I want to, that eliminates some of the risk associated with learning non-combat skills.

    The aim of this approach is to ensure that non-combat skills are important as combat skills.

    That goal could equally be achieved through world design, without depriving us of level-up trade-offs.


    Did you play Vampire: Bloodlines?


    In that game if your goal is "get rid of this guy", you get exp just getting rid of the guy, it doesn't really matter how you accomplish the goal and what you do on the way to reach him.

    But that only works for goals that are assigned by the game. If I decide that my character's goals are different from that, do I break the system?

  7. I agree that non-combat skills are just as important as combat skills, but I'm concerned that by keeping them separate you risk discouraging the use of non-combat skills. Since learning non-combat skills would then have no associated cost in terms of reduced combat effectiveness, this system encourages dabbling.


    I like my level-up choices to have both benefits and costs, and I don't see costs here. Choosing to specialise in combat should make me less effective at stealth. Choosing to learn both stealth and combat should prevent me from being as good at combat as someone who didn't learn stealth.


    Having a combination of combat skills and non-combat skills offers the character versatility. Where is the cost for that versatility? Where is the reward for eschewing it?

    • Like 5
  8. Murder-based XP (which is how most CRPGs work) is a terrible system, I'll grant. But I see potential pitfalls in quest-based XP, particularly with regard to the PC's ability to accrue wealth without gaining levels. Depending how equipment, or scaling, or any number of other things work, that could cause balance issues.



    Seriously, though, if you're realism simming, of course training more in gunplay will not leave you as much time to practice basket weaving... but for fun and game balance (at least for those of us who don't enjoy managing spreadsheets or find enjoyment in weighing the pro's and con's of two unlike things drawing on the same resource (do I cast Alarm or do I sharpen my sword for the next day, I can only do one in the given time, gah!)) I think separating combat from non-combat is the right way to go.

    I would think game balance would be a reason not to do this. Allowing combat and non-combat skills to advance independently would (in broad strokes) allow the player to decide whether he wants to employ combat or non-combat solutions on a case-by-case basis, regardless of his previous advancement choices. It eliminates what could have been an important strategic element from the game, and, frankly, a valuable roleplaying opportunity.


    When my character gains a level, what skills does he learn? If he needs to weigh the benefits of getting better with his sword against learning how to disarm traps, or negotiate with merchants, or swim, or whatever else, and furthermore, if he really likes his sword and has always dreamed about becoming the greatest swordsman in the world, that level-up becomes a really interesting roleplaying event.


    But if he doesn't need to make that choice, and instead can choose to learn his sword AND how to negotiate with merchants, that opportunity is lost.


    Roleplaying is, at least partly, about making choices. But if we can have our cake and eat it too, where's the choice?

  9. I have considered possible ways to track XP outside of formal quests when using quest-based XP. It typically involves generating mini-quests on the fly for each thing done when that thing isn't tied to a quest, but the implementation always gets really complicated when I try to work it out.


    And I'm forced to admit that I haven't played the original Fallout games. My gaming history runs 1983-1993, 1998-present. I was dark for a period, leaving a mid-90s-shaped gap in my gaming knowledge. If Fallout had this sort of segregation of combat and non-combat skills, and it worked, then my fear on that front is at least partly assuaged.

  10. We should have to backtrack.


    Moreover, if we tell someone to leave, there should be no guarantee we can find them again. Perhaps they'll strike off on their own somewhere. Perhaps they'll die.


    But if they do just hang around waiting for me, either travelling near me (DAO), or staying in a central location (BG2), or standing in the wilderness where I left them (BG), they shouldn't earn any XP. This is always something that has bothered me. If the companions level up on their own, how are they doing that? How are they earning risk-free experience? It must be risk-free, because they never die when I'm not watching them. And they also never collect loot, so they're obviously not adventuring off on their own. And if there is some means to earn risk-free XP that doesn't break the setting, why isn't the PC doing it?

    • Like 5
  11. Update 7 raises two concerns.


    First, I am not immediately comfortable with the idea that combat and non-combat skills will be purchased separately. I like having to choose between magic missile and herbalism. I like being able to focus on one thing and get REALLY good at that thing, paying for that by lacking versatility, and I like being forced not to be especially good at things if I choose to have versatility. Versatility has value. Therefore, versatility should have a cost.


    Maybe the game world will be designed such that this will still work, but at first glance don't like the idea that I can make an expert in non-combat solutions who is also an expert in combat solution.



    Second, not penalising people for avoiding combat is good, but Tim specifically referred to getting XP for quests as opposed to getting XP for killing things. How does that work when challenges are overcome without those challenges being tied to a quest? Is that effort wasted? In some cases, perhaps it should be wasted: grinding low-level monsters probably shouldn't grant XP is there's no reason for killing them. But if I ignore the quests available to me and start stealing from people, does that mean I won't earn XP for that stealing?


    I can imagine world designs where that would work, but I can imagine many more where it wouldn't.


    I'm not saying these features will make the game worse. I'm saying they worry me.

    • Like 5
  12. I love the idea of having a giant dungeon where only part of it is mandatory.


    Ultima IX did this, though there it was a result of rushed development. The second half of Hythloth wasn't balanced yet, and the puzzles were diabolically challenging, so they put all of the plot-relevant stuff in the first-half of the dungeon and then added an escape hatch. Still, the final result was terrific.

  13. The thing about rolling stats is I think it makes it harder to balance the game because you have to make it easy enough for gimped or average players to beat the game while everyone just rolls until they get high rolls for their characters making it a lot easier to beat the game.

    The solution is simply not to balance it for gimped characters. The point of gimped characters is that they alter the nature of the challenge, be they roleplaying challenges or tactical challenges.

    If you have a set number of points to spend then the developers know what stats you'll have and how to design challenging combat for those characters.

    Which tends to make all combat the same. If this level of balancing is desired, then you need to scale all of the encounters anyway, and I certainly don't want that.

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