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  1. I excluded Priest from the poll due to the 10 choice limit per question. I figure that as the only true healing class most party's will include one regardless of usefulness. That said, please feel free to tell everyone if the Priest is awesome or terrible in the comments!
  2. Hi, just starting the backer beta again. I find it irritating that we still have this portrait selection. Clicking through and viewing one at a time is not a good design. By the time you get through all of them you forget what the earlier ones look like exactly, it makes it hard to compare and pick which one you like the most. Especially as they add more in, and you have a bunch of custom ones (which is quite popular with these games) A grid system would be much better. The ability to view them all at once, easily compare and then click what you like. Possibly even categorized into race in the grid. There is plenty of screen space on both sides on the character model to do this
  3. So I'm a backer and I play tested awhile back and the game was fine for that stage of development, but my attention wandered to other games. Just launched a new game in Pillars of Eternity intending to catch up on where the game has gone, and there was enough change to require a new character and a new game. Unfortunately once I went through and created a decent elf ranger and gave him a name I finished character creation and my only available option was to exit out to the main menu once more. I couldn't even save the character. The 'done' button was grayed out. There wasn't a 'next'. What am I missing? How do I launch a new character into the game, or what did I fail to notice? Any ideas?
  4. I just installed the Backer Beta today, and it's entirely possible that I'm missing something obvious, but now that I've finished creating a character, the "Done" button is still grayed out and I can't proceed. My first guess would be that I picked some combination of things that aren't available in the beta. Here's my character: Male Human Paladin - Darcozzi Paladini Mig 15 Con 15 Dex 10 Per 12 Int 15 Res 11 Rauatai - Laborer Colors: Cyan, Dark Green Facial Hair 6/13 Head 3/5 Hair 13/15 Portrait: blonde armored dude with a goattee. Voice: Male Wizard 01 Any ideas?
  5. Just a small thing - the variety of portraits is far too small for the number of races that are available. Something akin to Shadowrun Returns' system (race and gender-specific portraits, 3 or so base for each race/gender combo, and lots of variations on the base portraits) would fit very well for this game IMO.
  6. My main focus here is going to be on the forced use of Character portraits. I understand they are near and dear to a lot of people in this type of community but I'd again rather have a system that just shows a crop of my created character. I don't want to have to use a custom portrait and spend 20 minutes of my life every time I created a different character due to me being unsatisfied with the provided (vanilla) character portaits. Now, moving on to lack of customization options for faces and my issues with bodies and height. Why is it that all of the faces have the same deminsion and size? why are our options of facial hair and other things so limited? I also find some of the races (Humans) to be awkwardly stumpy in demenor. Very short with large heads as if for no real reason other than to say all human males are 5ft tall. I didn't care for this much. Or rather I do care. A lot. And lastly Over all texture quality for the NPCs in the world are too low. Everything else in the world is seemless and beautiful but the characters take away from it. They stick out like a sore thumb against these 2D backgrounds, and not in a good way. They appear at times to be pixilated, jagged, and their animations bring about a strong desire for me to have the option to turn texture filtering up to X18 and X8 antializing. But then I realized it wouldn't do anything to change these settings when they are provided because the textures themselves are made to be old looking as if to pay homage to an older game. This is not however, an older game. I'm running a machine capible of playing the witcher 3 on max settings. I would just like to see some more quality and higher texture resolution. Also, heavier NPC and character shadows and possible character outlines to make NPC's stand out more from their background. Thanks guys. Sorry If I was a jerk. It's 5am!
  7. Im not sure about this but it kinda feels like that one of the main reasons behind the "we can build characters that are good at everything" problem is that we get to many skill points at character creation. Less points would mean that we have to choose what we want and make sacrifices.
  8. I'm a huge fan of this project and unfortunately discovered it after Kickstarter was finished. The games that inspired the creation of this game are among my favorites. I'm a 40 year old professional senior designer with game design experience, and I'm not asking how I can sneak into the beta or anything I do not deserve. Based on things I'm seeing in beta videos and designer/developer videos, I have some concerns that hopefully the team may consider? 1 - I thought I saw that there was no fight experience, just quest experience. With exploration and leveling up games like this, a lot of fun comes from users "outsmarting the developers" and getting advanced levels ahead of where they "should be" in relation to the quest. It can be fun for a lot of people to "farm up" and then blow through a few extra levels of your super dungeon before they should be able to. Getting experience from random encounters or clearing every room and "getting ahead" caters to a certain play style and other gamers do not HAVE to do this. They can proceed through the quests in order as quickly as possible. 2 - If combat is challenging and difficult, it is dangerous to make combat a waste of time. (no experience) 3 - D&D 4.0 balanced all their classes... essentially, there was no return for level of effort... the time required to make a good wizard was the same time required to make a good fighter, and both classes had special abilities that did some level of target or area damage for roughly the same amount. This was a huge failure. People still figured out how to NOVA certain character classes, but if you didn't, combat was long and boring. Gamers switched to Pathfinder in droves because people want to be able to make a class that is potentially game breaking at high levels. Pathfinder still protects the GM and has rules in place, but all the classes are NOT perfectly balanced. In this typical old school 3.5 D&D system, you can still make an effective Monk or Fighter if you want that challenge, and you can choose to put in the homework needed to make an uber powerful Cleric or Mage or Barbarian. As a GM and former indy game designer, I have players who don't want complicated class concepts and are happy playing a slightly less min/max concept. I also have players who want to play a min/max concept. Allowing players to min/max without breaking the game... but making it "easier for them to be godlike" than players who don't do that research... this is something people enjoy. What I'm saying is that some of the old school experience did not need to be fixed. When a fireball became so lame it couldn't clear a room in D&D 4.0, there was no joy in casting a fireball or grabbing a handful of D6 dice with a wicked smile. If I'm stuck only advancing through quests, and combat is not a means to advance, and I can't build world-beating characters (balanced but not perfectly balanced), it takes away a big incentive and enjoyment for me. You'll find players working very hard to share "best builds" online and "how to maximize their weapons and spells" and as long as there are ways to max out most of the classes in different strengths, the game will have a lot of legs. You guys seem great, and I'm eagerly awaiting dropping my money on this game and trying to recruit friends to buy it. Please consider the things I've said above, and best of luck clearing the bugs and issues in your beta. Had I been aware of your Kickstarter, I'd be in at about the $200 range. I'm now on your email list so I'll be aware of future stuff. Best of luck!
  9. Reproduction: 1. Create a new character 2. Sex: Any, Race: Any, Class Cipher or Chanter (most likely any that choses spells/powers/phrases, etc) 3. Chose any two powers. 4. Deselect one of the powers by clicking it again. 5. View the power description on the right without moving the mouse. Expected Result: The power description should follow mouse-over as it did before the spell was deselected. Workaround: Move the mouse cursor off the spell it is currently hovering over and back over it (or any other). The power description will show the correct information. Alternatively, select any spell (including the one deselected) and the description corrects itself. Impact: Minimal to none. The problem corrects itself by the time both powers are selected.
  10. So, I've decided to create a Wizard now and game asks me - what spells do you want? Description of spells is REALLY noninformative, no range, no damage, nothing. Let's say... Jolting touch. Is it ranged attack or melee attack as it could be logically implied? Eldritch Aim... for short period... short period is? 1 round? 5 rounds? 1 minute? 1 attack? M. Minor Missiles. Same here. Range? Approximate damage? How can I choose spells without actual knowledge how they behave ingame? In comparison, when I create my character in Divinity: Original Sin, I recieve full information on all possible spells/abilities. If I start new game in BG2:EE, I also have full description of all spells that I can choose. Definitely MUST BE fixed.
  11. The faces we get to choose from are all quite young-looking. All I ask for is at least 1 old looking face for each race/gender combination, and grey-ish hair color to match. It would be a shame to have all these character creation possibilities yet unable to role-play an old man.
  12. Option Bug: When going into the option menu and choosing for example, graphics, the text to the left that describes what option you currently are in, disappears (though the window the text was in remains). This is relatively minor as this does not affect the options nor prevents you from choosing the empty windows and going to different options. (there is no step to step to this other than I started the game, clicked the options, chose graphics and the windows to the left became empty) Might and dexterity (+classes) Problem: I have encountered the problem when starting the game first that I was unusually unsure which I should choose, Might or Dexterity. I was building an Godlike Paladin. The problem was, that according to each background the Paladin would get a different weapon (and starting gear), but there was no mention of which the weapon focused more on, Might or Dexterity. All it said was that they used accuracy which I guessed meant that they relied more on Dexterity, but that was in no way clear, especially since it seemed like all weapons were relying on accuracy and Might was just for slightly extra damage. Suggestion: Make the difference between those clear in the character creation. I noticed that when I started the game I saw percentage that indicated what I gained from each stat, but before that I had no idea of the actual value of each stat (except only a rough idea). I suggest that you change the text a bit to tell what specific weapon type rely more on, Might or Dex and also that this percentage can be seen in the character creation since that will make creating a character to your liking a lot easier. Note: I have not played much of the game so far so I have not been able to test out the combat so maybe the weapons do not inherently rely more/only on one of those stats but due to being used to that type of setup I inherently expected it to work in such a way. There must be some way to make that part of character creation intuitive enough so new players realize how it works. Regards, Elm
  13. There has been some discussion in the various video threads on Backgrounds, including references to weapons and why one is going to choose a certain background and such, but I thought it would be fun to have a topic on this OUTSTANDING aspect of the character creation process. For reference: http://pillarsofeternity.gamepedia.com/Culture_and_background (N.B. I don't know if there are multiple wikis or not or if there is any competition, and if there is I have no vested interest one way or another, this is just the first that came up with a google search of PoE Wiki). A couple question I want to ask to start out with - 1) Are these ALL the background choices? Are there going to be some more with different racial/subracial choices? I saw a number were locked to culture selection. 1a) If they are inclusive already, is there a chance of adding any more? I doubt there would be time with additional dialogue and such, but it can't hurt asking. I would particularly like a soldier background, which I think is distinct enough from mercenary, unless there are dialogue options to make mercenary seem more like an ex-soldier then a sell-sword. 2) This is a question in honour of Sylvius the Mad, but do we HAVE to choose a background? Is there a mysterious wanderer background for us to choose if none fit our roleplay preference? Is this included in a drifter (although this sounds like a fantasy hobo to me; a stabbing kind of hobo of course).
  14. Replaying some Shadowrun: Returns with a character named Shoddy Short Arm. I like it. But it doesn't work well in the dialogue, where maybe "Shoddy" or "Shorty" would work better. It's often like this in other games too, few games have "Nickname" or "Short Name". Full name goes to Records/Biography page, maybe even some bosses or plots could say the full name too (a boss or maybe a baron etc.). Plot name. To take it one step further would be to introduce a "First Name" & "Last Name" at character creation. It could be solved quite easily by a "Show/Hide" varibale as well, "Show/Hide Last Name". Which accomplishes the same thing. Thoughts?
  15. We have several sort of brainstorming threads in here now, for various things (wondrous items, creatures, factions, etc.), and I just thought it might be fun/interesting to brainstorm some traits. Since we don't know exactly what all mechanics will exist to be affected by traits, or exactly how they will work and be affected by things, the general idea of how a trait will work is what I'm going for. An idea that can be adapted to mechanics, even if it has to be less vague until we know more specifics. They can be more like backgrounds (as in Arcanum), or simply character qualities (like in Fallout). I personally love the Shadowrun PnP style of having both positive and negative traits (Edges and Flaws), separately, that one must balance out in a given character. So, here are a couple from my mind (Keep in mind that I'm separating them into positive/negative effects, a la Shadowrun; If you have 5 points worth of positive traits, you have to balance that with -5 points of negative ones, in that system, just for example. Many of these could be paired into a single trait, like in Fallout): Clumsy (detriment): You tend to fall more often than stumble. You generate more noise than the average person, while sneaking, and you suffer a penalty to disarm and knockdown checks. Your attack rolls below 5 result in the fumbling of your weapon, costing you one attack's worth of delay in order to retrieve it. Keen Aim (benefit): You are particularly steady-handed and sharp-eyed when it comes to combat. Your base range with all ranged weaponry is 15% greater than other people's. Arachnophobia (detriment): Arachnids instill a terror into your very marrow. Whenever you are within 30ft of an arachnid, your panic results in penalties to both attack and defense (does not stack with multiple arachnids). Whenever an arachnid enters your melee engagement radius, you will automatically target that arachnid, and cannot offensively target anything else until that arachnid is either dead or once again outside of melee engagement (you can still move/flee and target allies/yourself with abilities). NOTE: Obviously, this one would only be possible if arachnid enemies were at least fairly common throughout the game. Silken Voice (benefit): The very sound of your voice is soothing. Those who converse with you tend to be calmer from the start, and slower to anger or agitation whenever emotions are sparked.
  16. For Wasteland 2, the community had significant impact on what attribute system was ultimately accepted. Is there an attribute system would you like to use? Do you have any suggestions for improving traditional concepts and systems? I for one, would like to see Strength and Constitution to be merged into one (physical) Fitness stat, and Intelligence and Wisdom to be refined into a Reasoning stat. Furthermore, I would like to see Charisma evolved beyond just the ability to interpersonally influence others, but also as reflection of a character's identity, sense of self, and fidelity to it. Perhaps renaming it, Persona. Finally, I've always been fond of Perception stats. I'd like to see Perception apply not merely to detection radius of foes & traps, but of NPC motives, bluffs, and even of magical/metaphysical phenomena. I would also like to see some Deadlands influence. I loved how stats started out average, but that for every character flaw (hinderence) a player chose, they were allowed to enhance another attribute. These went beyond mere numbers, and were both expected and encouraged to be roleplayed. What are your views, suggestions, and hopes for character attributes in Project: Eternity?
  17. Ok so I have been thinking about this a long time. I wanted to wait to post for a number of reasons, some to do with wanting the board to dilute down to only the serious forum visitors, others because I wanted to wait until it was all fleshed out and maybe some other threads had touched on things. So what is the post/topic about exactly? Namely Character Creation, more specifically how many games do it wrong. Secondly it is about Alignment, how many games do it wrong, why it matters and should be in game, how to do it right, how it relates to character creation, and lastly how it should effect npc interactions in a fairly simple way. Lastly it is about "romance" but more specifically NPC relationships in general. Before you proceed I am warning you now. This post.... it will be long. First before I go into anything we need to touch on the idea of "Comeliness". Specifically the idea of a statistical number representing how attractive your character is. For a number of reasons I think this is important to good RPG's of all types and should exist in P:E. No it should not be a simple "stat" derived from your other character statistics. You might wonder "Kark why does this matter and why the heck are you mentioning it at all?" For a couple reasons. First, I don't know about you, but in the real world it is my experience that appearance not only forms a large portion of a persons first impression but it can also be deceiving. For believable and immersive NPC interactions you need to make certain inroads to allow for a partially realistic approach. Part of that is making NPC's react based on things that make sense and are logical. Example: How many times have you been wandering through the woods, follow a road, and get ambushed by some bandits who demand a toll be paid? Isn't it kinda silly that they don't bother noticing you are armed to the teeth? You have dude wearing archmage robes with a staff pulsing with power behind you but they don't care? It takes you out of the game because there are no rules to account for your appearance. "But Kark WAIT! Wouldn't simply having them do a level check count too?" Well yeah.... but I did say appearances can be deceiving right? Who is to say your current mode of dress or appearance is an accurate representation of your power? Forton looks like a psycho crack head but I bet he could beat the crap out of an average bandit. Here comes Zaotaichi the Blind Masseuse who kills people like it is going out of style. By looks he is just some blind dude with a cane in shabby clothing. Sure he could kill you easy, but he doesn't "look" like he could. So we can agree appearance is important to NPC interaction. Whether you are trying to woo the Baroness into the bedroom, intimidate a thug, smooth talk your way to discounted good from a merchant, or inspire a group of town guards with a speech as the goblins attack appearance can have an effect on this. A large part of that is "Comeliness". After all the Baroness is not going to get it on with someone who looks like they took a hoof to the face then got chewed on afterwards. Likewise though is the veteran town guard sergeant going to relate to a pretty boy Adonis as well as he would a guy who looks like he could be found at the pub? So this isn't a one way street. Beauty is after all in the eyes of the beholder. So this is important to relationships with NPCS for a number of reasons because it can help form an initial reaction as well as a guidepost for certain entry requirements for relationships if they are in game. Of course gear and such can also have an effect on this. You can hate the games all you want but titles like Saint's Row and Fable for example are actually pretty good at this and serve as great examples of how gear should effect NPC reactions. So you need two "measures" for appearance. 1: Comeliness. 2: Gear or clothing. Combine them and you have a general idea of what your character looks like and how people will react at first glance. This is nice because it also gives a valid excuse for those who like the idea of "town clothes". So clothing is pretty obvious. How do you get a "Comeliness" score if it isn't just a stat (which it shouldn't be)? Thus we enter..... Character Creation. Blank slate characters SUCK. Don't get me wrong, I love the new Fallout games like New Vegas. I put over 200 hours in Skyrim. For me though they are not "blank slate" games because regardless of whether the game realizes it or works with it or not I create my own backstory for these characters. Just like I did in Icewind Dale, just like I do in Baldur's Gate with the caveat that Imoen is my friend "maybe" and Gorion raised me. How do you avoid the blank slate but still leave the character up to the player. Well you take a dash of Mount and Blade, a pinch of Ultima, a sprinkle of sweet roll crumbs Morrowind, a peppering of the old 16 bit original Ogre Battle game, melt it all down, and pour it all over a cake made from the character creator options in Dragon Age Origins. Meaning... You do more than just say "Yhat sex are you? What race? What's your Class? What are your skills/special powers? GO!" You start with the basic stuff like male or female and what race. Then you pick your class. Heck let's even roll our stats now. Then you get to the part that matters. What subrace are you? Meaning are you a Elf from those woods to the east? Or are you one of those Elves who live in that swamp to the north? Make a social class be chosen, what did you do for fun as a kid, so when you got older did you take up a job or go to some school, ever have a important someone, yada yada yada. You ask a specific series of questions that pin down (in general) where you grew up, what your status was socially, why that was your status (did you get solid into slavery or was your parents a merchant etc), how were you raised, what did you choose to do when you became a adult, and so on. This gives a general framework for your character. NPC's can now make comments about your accent, you can be given flavor text about how you visited a place once, basically the game has a set of general info that it can use to more immerse you in the game while allowing you to have actual control of who and what you want to be. You could (but don't have to) even use this to determine what sort of starting scenario your character plays out ala Dragon Age Origins just better. Depending on how far you want to take it these answers could even effect your stats in slight ways or your options come actual character customization. Third we go into the morality spiel. Maybe you aren't the Avatar and I am not a Gypsy in some wagon but this is important anyway. Once we get to the point where "you are an adult and you found yourself at X point" part of the questionnaire we redirect and put the player in a scenario based on previous answers. Now you get the morality questions that range through different topics and scenarios. Straight forward right? Lastly we finally get to actually customize our character maybe with facial models, body type, hair style, skin, eye, and hair color, yada yada. Whats neat is the options you have right now are based on your race, your sex, and the choices you made leading to this point. You might get stuck with a scar on your right eye no matter what because of how you answered the questions. So on so forth. In the end we are done and the character is created. Why did it have to be that complex, well I am glad you asked, because it diluted down into what I call the "Big 4". They are.... 1: Comeliness: Little did you know while customizing your character look in the background you are being assigned a score on how attractive you are based on the options you chose. Go figure that a ratty afro is not as sexy as long flowing full hair like Fabio. 2: Style: Simply put how intimidating/crude you appear versus how stylish and debonaire you are. That scar on your right eye may not actually make you uglier, but it certainly makes you look a lot scarier and brutish. So a guy with a low score is Sarevok on a bad day while a high scorer is James Bond. 3: Perception: This is primarily scored by the first half of the questions you got asked. It is in a nutshell how society in general sees your character. Are you a law abiding member of the upper social graces or a dirty roguish thug with no respect for authority? This is broken into two sub categories. Society and Morality. Society being the Law versus Chaos dichotomy and Morality being plain old good versus evil. 4: Alignment: Guess what this is? It is exactly the same as Perception, except instead of it being what society "thinks" of you it is the cold hard reality of your character. Society may have looked at you as a lawless scum of low morals for stealing food from the castle kitchens, but in reality you did it to feed your starving friend who would have died to illness without food. So while you might not respect laws, it is not to the degree society likely thinks, and while society considers theft evil, you did it for a moral reason. Get where I am going with this? The most important thing is that all four of these "stats" are 100% hidden. You simply don't see them or know they are being created. Thus character creation is about making the character you want, while giving the game the tools to understand and work around that character in an immersive way. Why do you need two separate "alignment" stats? Because one is what people will think of you the first time you meet, when coupled with appearance you get a base starter "reaction score". IE: How much does this character like me? As you interact with that character the "Perception" score is slowly over time changed by the "Alignment" score. They no longer base their opinion on what they "hear" it is now based on what they "saw". Lastly, and probably the most important, these things tie into important NPC interactions in a key way. Like I said, why would the Baroness hop in bed with a ugly dude? This can effect everything from what NPC's will refuse to join you as companions, to who will be romance-able (sorry Jaheira and Viconia now have different preferences instead of just wanting to get with you cause you are the main character and a dude), how major story npcs will relate to you (turns out the leader of the thieves guild was a better friend than the King), and it may even effect the story itself in some ways. The whole point is it allows for "blank slate" design in that you can be any character you want, while also creating a system that allows the game itself to react to that character in a reasonable and believable way. End result is NPC's that feel more real, a character that is unique to the player, and a story and world that you care more about. Will this make it into PE? Probably not. Will you write in exactly detail how you could do all this? I don't have all week so probably not again though I could go into some detail if I had to. I am posting this because I want to share my thoughts on these issues and how they can be addressed and done right, that's all. Feel free to share thoughts and or flame as you feel needed.
  18. 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?
  19. Hello all, I was motivated to post this because of unfair lack of left handed adventures and NPCs in RPGs. As a member of the left handed community, I find it offensive and rude on the parts of game developers that leave out the option to be left handed. It limits the realism and variety in combat and takes out any chance we will ever have at handedness quest lines. Considering all of the other requests that I have seen on this forum, you should find my request no less absurd. If a man can make a request for obesity, there is no reason that the fat man can't also be left handed. Considering the fact that you would most likely not even have the choice to be fat in a medieval society, what with severely limited food supplies and all, I think it is all the more reasonable to include left handedness. Now I admit, this would be no small task for the game developers. I'm asking that a second set of animations get made for everything so that the 7-10% of left handed people can feel good about themselves and not ashamed of their disability. It takes a lot of bravery on my part to even bring this to your attention. I'm sure people will congratulate me heartily for it. If I had a dollar for every time people brought this lack of detail to my attention, I would still be a poor and dollarless man, but I think it should still receive some consideration. Personally, I can't wait to finally have handedness included in combat mechanics. Your thoughts? p.s. I'm as serious as an opera singing ostrich
  20. I know that I am odd in this regard, which is why I make no claims that my view is in any way representative of the population present on these forums or elsewhere. This is a personal rant, and I say rant because it comes entirely from an emotional need I posses for which I have no logical explanation. I'm posting it here because if I don't, and this game fails to reach the admittedly high bar I set on this topic, I'll have only myself to blame for never having tried to make a difference. This way when it doesn't meet my requirements I can simply resume grumbling to myself, and I'm only out my donation money instead of potential years of self-loathing and regret. Here's what I'm looking for in a RPG (or any game, really): A very large part of why I play RPG's is for their character customization - it's not the only consideration, but it is almost always the deciding factor in buying a new game (of late, the only "new" game I've purchased is Skyrim - with which I was disappointed in the character customization options, but it was better than average). Story matters, but I find the stories in most games weak in comparison to most books, so that's a secondary concern. What I have apparently become addicted to is creating unique and interesting characters. This falls into two roughly equal segments: visual and mechanical. Visual encompasses both the physical appearance of the character, as well as specifics to what sorts of items and spells that character is "allowed" to use (ex: if I make a character who's theme is "fire mage", I voluntarily do not use any spells that do not fit that theme - ice or water being the classic examples, but it can be more, less, or differently limited depending on the complete character concept). Visual also encompases most of personality with regards to character creation (things like voice selection can be involved as well, as can weapon preferences, skill selection, and even feats/abilities on occasion) - this means that my characters face (or portrait, or general physical appearance) must fit the concept I have of them in my head. I cannot explain why personality is so important to me, but it is absolutely crucial - If I cannot fit a character's appearance to their personality that character doesn't get made and I go back to the drawing board (for this reason, it drives me crazy that it's basically impossible to find or make a smiling face/portrait/etc in any game... Would it kill developers to have a "Default Facial Expression" option/slider? Why must my character frown/stare blankly at everything? I know the models are capable of smiling). It may sound like I'm requiring a high degree of graphical fidelity here - nothing could be further from the truth. I require only as much graphics/artwork as is necessary for me to "see" (as in visualize/imagine/personify/etc) my character in whatever format the game presents him/her - often, high fidelity graphics get in the way of this, as they add details that are not present in my mental image, whereas lower quality graphics leave those details open to the imagination. The other side of the coin, mechanical design & customization, encompases everything you probably think it does: Classes, Racial Bonuses (though not looks), Attacks/Abilities/Spells, Stats, Skills, etc. My design goal with any given character usually follows this pattern: Think of an interesting combination of mechanics, then design a character (visually) to match those mechanics. This leads to characters that have looks, personality, and abilities all revolving around a core theme - they (usually) have one or two "signature" abilities upon which their entire character concept was created. I'll create them with this in mind, then play it out to the final extreme or until the concept proves flawed in some way I didn't originally notice (if it's viable but I've misplaced a point somewhere I'll either re-create them or use console commands to correct the error, depending on what's available). In some cases it works the other way around, wherein I'll create a personality or visual style that inspires a slightly different mechanical perspective that I deem worth exploring. Characters created based on mechanical innovations become more and more interesting as the game progresses and they gain access to the full scope of their potential ("growing into their destined role," if you want to dramatize it... which of course we do, this being an RPG forum), but characters based on a visual style or personality are the most fun to work with in character creation and during plot defining moments (these tend to be the ones I don't actually play, just design). With regards to the actual mechanics of the game, and how classes/abilities/skills/etc interact with each other, it should be obvious that I prefer a highly flexible system. My ideal would actually be a classless system, but a decently done classed based system can be almost as good (restrictions are necessary to make character customization interesting - it's the working around and manipulation of those restrictions that makes mechanical customization fun). That said, multiclassing is basically required. It can be left out if the primary emphasis is on abilities/spells/feats and not class mechanics (to employ a simile: The classes are like differently shaped container for legos, where a roughly equal number of uniform legos, or feats/skills/abilities, can fit into any given container). If the emphasis is on the parts that make up the character (the feats/skills/abilities), rather than it's shell (the class), and these parts can be interchanged fairly freely between classes (with some exceptions) then multiclassing isn't required, but is still beneficial. It's my opinion that this "focus on the parts" view is simply good game design - it detracts nothing from those who don't care about character customization, but will keep people like me (assuming there are others like me...) buying as many expansion packs as you care to produce. When you do make expansions, adding classes is a pretty common theme - however, if these classes are insular (not subscribing to the "focus on parts" view), then you're only really adding one or two play styles... if you've done it the way I'm suggesting you've potentially exponentially increased the number of available character customization options (and therefore play styles) while achieving all the same benefits that adding a class normally accomplishes. Now, by the fact that I've taken the time to both think and type all this out in great detail, you can probably infer how big a deal it is to me, but just in case let me underline the point: I still play NWN2. Not only do I still play it, It's practically the only game I play. My computer uses video card drivers specifically selected for their compatibility with it. I have over a hundred characters created (since the last time I had to do a reinstall... a bit over a year). I've essentially memorized the dialog for the entire game (not so much on the expansions, as I prefer to start at level 1-3 and don't really care for SoZ [side note: MotB is a work of art, give Mr. Zeits my warmest and sincerest regards for that please.]). I've also modded the game with Kerendin's PrC Pack, which adds 49 classes (and is still in active development), and Races of Faerun which adds something like a dozen races, as well as complete overhauls like the "OC Makeover SoZ Edition" and Wulverheim (these last to add some variety to the game while I play through yet another character concept). Neverwinter Nights 2 (with mods) is the closest thing I've ever found to satisfying my craving for deep character customization, and even it is horribly flawed (by my standards). I'm not asking you to fulfill my every wish with Project Eternity, what I'm really asking for (more like begging for) is a replacement for NWN2. I am so damn tired of that game in every regard except character customization (and I think mathematically I may be approaching the point where I've done all feasible combinations of mechanics). I'm desperate for something with enough character customization to allow me to put away NWN2 for good, something with a fresh plot and new as-of-yet unmemorized dialog, new character interactions that give me more fine tuned options for defining and expressing my character's personality (the city watch / thieves guild segment of NWN2 kills off 90% of my character concepts unless I just grit my teeth and act completely out of character - it's destroys immersion and could be the subject of a completely separate rant all by itself). If I were a rich man I'd throw buckets of money at you just for that little consolation, but I'm not and so all I can do is give what I can afford in a desperate gamble, hoping that the people who gave me NWN2 can give me something to replace it. It feels good to get all that off my chest, as it's been stewing in and ever-expanding pool of frustration for some time now. If I had the time and skill I'd make my own game, if I had the money I'd pay someone to do it for me, alas I have neither. The only good that's come out of this is that I've discovered my skill addiction obsession can be put to productive use by churning out NPCs for my DM to put into our far-too-infrequent D&D games. That's not quite as satisfying, but it's kept me away from NWN2 for about a month running... Though after writing this I can already tell that streak isn't going to last the week (if it weren't 4am it wouldn't last the night). As I said when I started - I needed to say this for my own reasons, and even if it doesn't have an effect on this game it's still acted as a pressure release for me (and maybe it will influence something else down the line - who knows). That said, thank you for taking the time to read it and I do hope it leaves an impression (other than one of mild insanity - I know I got that one across but I hope some of the subtler points made it as well).
  21. So I got to thinking about Character Creation and how different games have handled it. One of the most enjoyable times I ever created a Character was Mass Effect 1. Even though it was basically a step-by-step progression Character sheet the trappings used in its construction allowed you to either play straight away as Sheploo or build your own Shepard without a jaringly different experience for the self created avatar. The failing computer records system (That occurred when you Generated your own Shepard) felt just as much a part of the story as the plot that followed. (This was lost a bit in ME2 & ME3, in fact Character import being broke was a major negative) It was neither to confusing or sparse in appearance and the music was a dream. The different themes really thrust you into the story and your Origin choice had a real game effect in the tone setting of the opening sequence. This was enough for me to still love the game even after the A,B,C pick a colour ending and RUSH JOB that was ME3 that made me spit bullets. What do people want to see (or don't want to see) when sorting out an Avatar to play P.E. [Answers on the back of a postcard ]
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