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These are what the current ability score bonuses are: Might: + all damage (spell/melee/ranged), +fortitude Constitution: + Endurance, + Health, + Fortitude Dexterity: + Action speed, + Reflex Perception: + Interrupt, + Deflection, +Reflex Intelligence: + Area of effect (all abilities), + Duration (all abilities regardless of physical, mental, or magical), + Will Resolve: + Concentration, + Deflection, + Will As a result most characters focus on might and int, except for a couple of builds. Why should all potent mages, priests, ciphers, archers, all damage dealers look like arnold schwartzenhager? They shouldn't, its absurd. Why should any character who wants to maximize their abilities durations, regardless of physical or magical orientation have to max out intelligence? Why do all potent barbarians, priests, etc... have Einstien like intelligence? They shouldn't, its absurd. That doesn't mean you shouldn't be able to make that kind of character if you want (at the expense of other areas), but it should definitely NOT be the norm for those classes. The current allocation of bonuses are unintuitive, lack common sense, and go against most RPG mechanic norms. Deflection is a measurement of not being hit and DR is a measurement of shrugging off some of the damage after being hit. Why then does resolve affect deflection, but not dexterity? This current system fails on so many levels. I'd never play a table top pnp rpg with this at the core of its character creation. In my humble opinion (30+ years of running table top rpgs), I would have done something more along the lines of this: Might: + melee damage, + fortitude, + might requirement for equiping various weapons and armor Constitution: + Endurance (not a %, but actual integer per level bonus), + Health, + Fortitude Dexterity: + Action speed, + Reflex, + Deflection Perception: + Interrupt, + Defelction, + Ranged physical damage (guns/bows, basically your aim), +Reflex Intelligence: + Area of effect, + Will, + Damage (spells) Resove: + Concentration, + Will, + Duration The current system creates a lot of dump stats for most character builds. It should give each stat considerable weight so people don't want to dump them without taking a big hit, but still allow for unique builds that are not mainstream. To be honest, I was really disappointed with the basic ability score mechanics in the game. I've been looking forward to this game for 2 years. And I know the developers are big time pnp gamers. So why then did they utilize mechanics from the worst version of D&D ever made (4th ed), and why did the ability score mechanics fall so flat? Seems crazy to me.
PE's current attribute design appears to be a bit bogged down by player expectations and nostalgia and the current design has combat stats spread across attributes very thinly due to the removal of defenses from the equation. This questionnaire will ask some very important questions about what you as a player want to see in Eternity's attribute system and will allow you to give your perspective on some of the nostalgic points of the IE games attributes. This is not a poll as the player's opinion is more important than their vote and it will give the designers a chance to read through what you have to say and perhaps get some ideas or better understand what things are or are not important to the majority. For the record here are some of the main design goals No dump stats Dumping a stat is harmful to every build Every attribute must be useful for every character (class) Attributes must be reasonably balanced It should be hard to make a bad character No Attribute shall govern multiple defenses QUESTIONNAIRE Q1: The current hypothesis is that PE must have SIX (6) attributes because the IE games (and D&D) had six attributes. Does nostalgia require that this be so ? Would you be upset if it was 5 or 7 ? Q2: Do you think that defenses should be weighed against other prominent combat stats such as Accuracy and Damage ? (as in, should you have to choose between putting points into damage or accuracy instead of into deflection or willpower) Q3: Should Health and Stamina be spread across two attributes or would you prefer that they be married in advancement under one attribute ? Q4: What do you think about Deflection be attribute independent ? Q5: Should Action Speed be influenced by attributes? Q6: Should inventory size be handled by attributes like it was in the IE games. If so, how do you see this being handled ?
I was bored this evening and after glancing across the "Josh Sawyer on attributes" thread and seeing that it's still going I once again started to wonder what method would Josh Sawyer use to make attributes have balance and to remove dump stats. The first thing I did was make a list of the known (unofficial) attribute names Strength - from the RPGCodex Q&A with Josh Sawyer earlier this year, he revealed that at that current state in time, there was an attribute that governed Damage and bonus healing. The reason I think this is Eternity's Strength Attribute is because in other posts he has implicitly mentioned that Eternity also has a Constitution and Intellect attribute. One of the pillars of Eternity (get it) is familiarity. The familar attribute that governs damage, at least, melee damage in most games is Strength and since all damage is governed by one attribute and Josh Sawyer has explicitly stated that his attribute design is not simulationist and people may find it weird, I believe Strength to be the most likely name for that attribute and I even think that Josh said that there was an attribute called Strength somewhere recently, but did not say what it did. Unnamed Attribute - from the RPGCodex Q&A with Josh Sawyer earlier this year Josh Sawyer mentioned that an Attribute governed Accuracy. He did not mention that the attribute governed anything else, it is possible that something has been added with Accuracy to make an Attribute or the Attribute only governs Accuracy. Constitution - Josh Sawyer mentioned this Attribute in a post somewhere, it might have been on here, or on Something Awful. I will not bother linking it but if you do a search, you will likely find it. It is also possible, but unlikely that it was named in an interview - but if my memory serves it was a forum post. We do not have any information on what Constitution does, but I will take a guess later in the post. Intellect - this attribute was mentioned in a forum post as well, possibly in the update thread that revealed the Vithrak. We also do not know what this attribute does. Constitution and Intellect were also implicitly named, not explicitly. You will not see Josh confirm these until attributes are semi-finalized. After reading every single post Josh Sawyer has made since September 2012, and every interview he has done, I think I am starting to understand some of his design principles. I believe that his attribute design revolves solely around 'combat efficacy' - stats that increase the efficacy of a character or monster in combat. I have come up with the following list of combat stats that are (confirmed) or might be related to character attributes, most of these are confirmed, some of these are not confirmed, but are likely. Confirmed combat stats - Damage, Healing, Accuracy, Deflection, Fortitude, Reflex, Psyche Likely combat stats related to Attributes - Hit Points, Action Speed +Damage - increases the the damage of all attacks +Healing - increases the stamina regeneration of a character (assumtion: includes passive stamina regen and maybe gives bonuses from spells/potions etc) +Accuracy - increases a character's chance to hit with all attacks, abilities and spells that explicitly or implicitly target other units. Subdivided into Melee and Ranged Accuracy (not explicitly, but there is a distinction for the purpose of some classes, and probably other things) +Deflection - increases the character's Deflection score which governs a unit's chance to be hit by physical attacks (not sure about touch attacks) +Fortitude - increases the character's Fortitude Defense which governs a unit's chance to be hit by Fortitude attacks such as Poison or Disease. +Reflex - increases the character's Reflex Defense which governs a unit's chance to be hit by Reflex attacks such as Fireball and Lightning Bolt spells (and possibly touch attacks). +Psyche - increases the character's Psyche Defense (same as Will in D&D) which governs a unit's chance to be hit by Psyche attacks such as Charm or Confusion. +Hit Points (guess) probably governs additional Stamina Points and thus Health Points - may not act like D&D and may not actually increase per character level but may in fact be a flat bonus like other games. Also may not be necessary for Project Eternity and actually may be a superfluous mechanic as HP could be governed by class alone, also could simply be handled by Stamina to Health Damage Ratio, but since that is currently a Barbarian exclusive stat, it is unlikely. +Action Speed (guess) - My guess is that there will be a 'stat' that governs Attack Speed, Cast Time and the cooldown (downtime) between when character's and monsters play attack animations and cast animations. The last known information was from a post here on the forums by Josh Sawyer, where he said that attack speed currently (at that stage in time) only affected the speed of the attack animation and not the downtime between them, however he also said that was something that will probably be changed, so it is likely that by release that "Action speed" shortens the downtime between actions in combat. There may also be other 'stats' that are governed by Attributes, but I cannot really think of anything major. Other than maybe Effect Duration I can only think of very specific use cases that could be handled by Skills (all skills in Project Eternity will give a combat bonus to the character) or Talents. This gives me a list of 7 confirmed stats and 2 very likely stats. The Theory This theory assumes that there are at least SIX Attributes because D&D and the IE games had six attributes. That is not to say that there will be six attributes in Project Eternity (Pillars of Eternity now I guess) and there may in fact be more, but six is the likely _minimum_ number of stats based on a specific quote from Josh Sawyer on Something Awful - "No Attribute affects multiple defenses". We get six from an attribute for damage/healing, one for accuracy (which may be tied into something else) and four for defenses. Because of this distinction we can assume that all elements that make up an attack in Project Eternity - Accuracy, Damage and Action Speed are also separated. Following these supposed rules I can come up with the following likely scenario: Strength - Damage, Healing Attribute #2 - Reflex, (Action Speed) Constitution - Fortitude, (Hit Points) Attribute #4 - Accuracy (+something?) Attribute #5 - Deflection (+something?) Attribute #6 - Psyche (+something?) One of the unnamed attributes is called Intellect. I am not sure which one as the attribute system is gamist, so your guess is as good as mine. If the attributes all follow D&D naming conventions and Charisma has been dropped then I would go with Psyche, If Charisma was not dropped I would go Deflection. If Action Speed and Hit Points are not governed by Attributes, then every attribute must control one combat stat except for Strength. The effect of bonus healing from Strength would probably be negligible outside of combat, but it's placement with damage might even be solely to give the Fighter class a reason to bump the Damage stat as it would benefit their longevity in an encounter because they are the only class that gain stamina regen in combat and they are not a high damage dealing class in Project Eternity, other than their efficiency with disengagement attacks. So without bonus healing, taking Damage on a Fighter might be inefficient. If Action Speed and Hit Points are governed by Attributes then I think there is at least one other combat stat that is missing from my list because I cannot imagine Fortitude, Reflex or Psyche to be the only thing goverened by an Attribute unless they are all the only thing governed by an Attribute. In my above example Psyche is on it's own. One thing I can think of that is *possibly* attribute related is Effect Duration. This would be useful for *most* classes as most classes do have abilities and spells that have effects, but the duration bonus would have to be finely granular as to not be OP. As far as I know, the Fighter does not have many abilities that have effects, but Fighters have a low Psyche Defense, so bumping the Attribute that governs Psyche is not a trap choice because it is strengthening that weakness, like a High Wisdom Fighter in D&D. It is also not impossible that every Attribute governs a High Efficacy combat stat and a lower efficacy combat stat, of which case Bonus Healing, Hit Points and Effect Duration (and undetermined others) would be lower efficacy combat stats and Damage, Accuracy, Deflection, Fortitude, Reflex and Psyche are high efficacy combat stats. This would also be in line with Josh Sawyer's fixation for unified mechanics, but it is possible that Accuracy and Deflection have a higher weight than other combat stats in the game, due to Accuracy being used for every single attack in the game and Deflection probably being the most attacked defense. It is also possible that the Character Attributes have the exact same naming conventions as D&D, so we might end up seeing thing such as characters with high Wisdom being more accurate in combat. I would finally like to remind everyone that this is just a theory and much of this information is assumed from the face value of quotes. It is also likely that some of the information in these quotes has now been changed, and that I am basing some of my assumptions of out of date information. EDIT: Changed all references "Stamina Regen" to "Bonus Healing" as per the actual quote on the Damage stat - http://www.rpgcodex.net/content.php?id=9059
Okay, I can tell I'm going to make a fool of myself and my limited knowledge of the DnD system used by the games that have inspired Project Eternity, but oh well. Traits and statistics. The qualities and numbers, respectively, that define our characters. What would we like to see in Project Eternity? It might be intuitive to think that Project Eternity will mirror the classic cRPGs in this regard, but there is always room for innovation. ============================================================================= Statistics broadly fall into two categories: basic and derived. Basic statistics tend to be ones that you the player can directly change during character creation or leveling, whereas derived statistics are things like Hit Points, Fatigue, Mana/Magicka, saving throws, and combat statistics like attack/to hit and armor class/defense scores. I'll admit, I'm not an expert on the latter in the DnD system (though I generally find the trifecta of Hit Points, Fatigue, and Mana to be sufficient), and this post is primarily concerned with the former. Among the most commonly used statistics in video games are those concerning fundamental attributes/ability scores; Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma in the familiar DnD system. This scheme is tried and true, but there is no reason I see why it cannot be deviated from. It's not as simple as coming up with words that sound nice, though; if one attribute is less utilized than the rest, it will inevitably become a worthless dump stat. The current system works because each ability score is equally integral, and I like to think they can be further broken down to reveal their true essence. Evidently one could probably decompose "attributes" endlessly in this manner ("what is running speed but the combination of leg muscle and reflexes?", etc.), but at some point we must draw a line and ultimately ask whether the groupings are logical. Here is a likely incomplete list of what these actually measure in my opinion, or rather things that an ideal system could possibly measure: Physical: Raw physique (which influences melee damage, ability to perform physically demanding tasks, and maximum encumbrance), endurance (the attrition rate of fatigue), balance, speed (in the form of acceleration and agility), "dexterity" (as I describe manual skill and/or hand-eye coordination), reflexes (reaction speed, dodging), "constitution" (innate resistance versus poison and disease), sensory acuity, and physical attractiveness. Mental: Willpower (volition), concentration (focusing of attention, and I suppose discipline is also related), creativity (use of the imagination), memory (though this is typically not included in video games), reasoning (including all high-level cognitive function), wisdom (for the sage archetype just as reasoning is for the tinkerer), awareness (by which I mean perceptual awareness of surroundings), intuition (which I suppose is social awareness), charisma (persuasive ability), and I suppose something that represents degree of attunement to magic or whatever. Obviously I have just included magic as a mere afterthought, so the system isn't perfect, but I think that touches on quite a few things the DnD system leaves out, or perhaps includes in the form of traits instead of statistics. Is there some way we can better group these characteristics, that will give us more precise control over our character, or open up new possibilities? Do we really need separate derived statistics like saving throws, or can ability scores be rearranged to render them obsolete? Historically, some aspects such as memory and creativity have gone completely ignored, in theory left up to the player I suppose; is that how it should be? Is character movement too neglected, and we should actually add agility separate from manual dexterity (which would still be useful for ranged attack and trade skills). Or perhaps add an Awareness attribute (I can hear the hardcore DnD crowd wincing)? Are balance and concentration best left as passive skills, and sensory acuity best left as trait modifiers? ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The other predominant form of statistic is the "skill", which can denote combat skills, trade skills, survival skills, social skills, among others. This is one part of the DnD system that I find particularly deficient, with little distinction made between the very different types of skills. Typically, at any rate, these skills contain some kind of ability check (reflecting the above attributes) and are leveled up through experience. So far I believe we know that Project Eternity will contain trade skills unlike some of the other cRPGs we know, but we don't know much else. I'm not going to go into detail regarding which skills I'd like to see as that deserves its own thread and this one is long enough, but there is one thing I wish to harp on with regard to skills. Skills in real life are the result of knowledge and experience. Disappointingly, however, I have yet to see a game really get this right. Many games just forgo knowledge altogether, and ultimately become a game of how quickly you can collect X experience orbs to level your character, or at least their skills. While I can see this for overall leveling, for individual skills it just makes little sense to me; I think leveling all manners of skills should have a knowledge component and experience component. To this end, there should be teachers/trainers throughout the world along with a wealth of books or another medium by which knowledge is transferred, which is just as important to character advancement as grinding. That's something I'd really like to see with Project Eternity. Also with regard to skills, in particular practical skills, I'd like to see some kind of profession/occupation field on the character sheet if the trade skill system is as good as I'm envisioning (which for one thing would be better than vanilla Skyrim's). Most tradeskills should involve multiple steps of transforming raw materials into finished goods, but each of these steps doesn't necessarily need its own skill for leveling. In fact, some steps of the process could have no skill check (yet still give experience), but complexity is immersive. Just as a brief overview, I could see various DnD-esque skills but a wider variety. Individual combat maneuvers (parry, disarm, shield bash), mercantile skills (appraise, haggle, bribe), stealth skills (pickpocket, sneak), various persuasive tactics (bluff, intimidate, charm, deceive, etc.), leadership skills (rally and other things to make up for lack of bards), survival skills, along with trade skills. Perhaps movement skills like swimming, climbing, and jumping, or perhaps those would be best left as derived statistics. ================================================================================== Whereas a statistic is quantitative, a trait is qualitative (though it often has a numerical impact on a relevant statistic). However, traits can range from racial bonuses and penalties to feats, and also conceivably include physical and personality traits. Notably, keenness of the senses has usually been relegated to trait status, which I suppose makes some sense since they can't be readily improved. On a side note, why limit it to race? Perhaps we should choose our characters age, height, and weight during character creation, and those should confer certain physical and mental bonuses and penalties. More importantly, I'd personally like to see the use of traits widened substantially in Project Eternity. I know this would be quite difficult to implement and nigh impossible to perfect, but perhaps have us select from a list of traits in character creation that merely influence what kinds of dialogue options are open to our character? Things like attractiveness (if that doesn't become an attribute), sense of humor, body language, etc. ================================================================================= Even with all the traits and statistics in the world, there are some aspects of characters that can't be captured in numbers or single words (here I maybe reveal that I sort of come from a roleplaying angle), and it would be cool if there were various ways to define one's character and some aspects of their past outside of "We choose your character's story, and you put a name and a face on them". Perhaps things like socioeconomic status, level of education, religious beliefs, etc. or am I asking too much? What character creation/progression system would you like to see in Project Eternity? Does the classic DnD system cut it for you? Should attributes be rearranged? Should skills be grouped in any way, or should they all draw on the same allocation pool? Should skills in Project Eternity reflect both knowledge and experience, or should they stick to experience? Do you wish for more freedom in defining your character's various non-quantifiable traits? Did you actually read this whole post, or did I waste my time writing it?