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  1. Yeah whats your opinion on this topic. We know that we will propably be able to custimize our character but what yo think about those type of specialization like hunter for ranger, assasin for rogue etc.
  2. What are your thoughts on the diversity of roles that any given class can take? Should classes be more linear in their character choices, focusing on a specific role, or should they be more diverse, capable of taking a variety of roles based on choices made? I realize there is already a topic similar to this, but if I remember correctly, the topic is about a year old. So instead of bumping an old topic, I wanted to start anew and open the topic with some ideas of my own in regards to roles, classes, and party dynamics. The point of this topic is to throw around ideas for how classes should be built and what choices are available to players in terms of abilities, traits, and attributes to create builds. > Roles In Strategy RPG's I think by now, everyone can recognize four basic roles in strategy games. You have your Tanks, which act as the center of attention and absorb incoming damage for your allies, DPS, which inflict the highest damage over time to enemies, Mezzer, which control mobs with status effects (not necessarily mandatory), and Healer, which provides buffs and healing to the party members (mostly to the Tanks). These are the simple ideas behind each role, but they are not even what I see as important roles in a party. Honestly, a party make-up can be further simplified to just DPS and Healer, since the only requirements for a successful party build is a way to deal damage efficiently and a way to avoid damage efficiently. In essence, roles are defined by the threats in a game. If every conflict can be dealt with by simply beating someone up, you don't even need roles, really. Most of the time, classes are built to appeal to a role. In games which allow more lenience in builds, such as pen-and-paper tabletop games, a player determines their role by how they mix and match classes and character choices (traits, abilities, etc.). I think the simplest example that comes to mind is the Druid class in Pathfinder. There are two main builds for Druids; one centered around 'wild-shaping' and one centered around 'spell casting'. In Pathfinder, wild-shaping is simply a set of physical Ability Score modifications and bonus special rules. As such, the wild-shaping Druid must sacrifice their spell-casting potential for better physical attributes. On the other hand, if the Druid wished to be the spell casting variant, they would increase their spell casting attribute to increase the effects of their spells. In one hand, the Druid is a physical damage dealer and more tough than their spellcaster counterpart. In the other, the Druid has more supportive abilities, such as better healing and stronger control effects, than their wild-shaping counterpart. This illustrates an example of greater flexibility in roles as a certain class based on character choices (choosing to be more warrior-like or more spellcaster-like). I will speak later about how this appeals to my own ideas about party roles and parties. Now let's consider the Infinity Engine games and what roles are played in those games, or at least what I've perceived according to my experience. > Roles In IE Games Infinity Engine games typically split their classes between 'Mages, 'Priests', 'Warriors', and 'Rogues', but when it comes to the actual task of playing through the game, I've identified the following roles for (in my opinion) effective gameplay: The BSF: Also known as the Big Stupid Fighter and the Meat Shield. When it comes down to it, the BSF is the primary source of damage for your party. They have the most HP, the lowest AC (nothing is more terrifying than melee combat supremacy at -10 AC), and the highest melee damage. An archetypal Tanker is not expected to deal that much damage, medium at most, which is why the BSF is not your typical Tanker. They have the highest THAC0, the best weapons, and the highest Strength among your party members. In most cases, the party is simply supporting the BSF, such is the case of the Spellcaster. The BSF is typically a Fighter, Ranger, or Paladin. The Spellcaster: I think many people maintain the idea that the Mage and the Cleric are two different beasts with quite different roles. The Mages are the archetypal blasters, with spells like Magic Missile and Fireball. The Clerics are the archetypal healers and buffers. However, I put them together because, in my experience, they perform a similar role, and that is to support the BSF. The Spellcaster has two goals in a fight; keep the BSF going and make the BSF better at killing. Healing and summoning creatures as distractions are the best methods to keep the BSF going. Buffing and crowd control make the BSF better at killing. In regards to Blaster Casters (Mages with a plethora of direct-damage effects), I don't believe this is the best direction for a Mage, considering the limitations of the Vancian spell system used in IE games. As such, Mage spells with longer durations, including, but not limited to, summoning spells and crowd controls are actually more effective than direct damage. Not to mention the higher chance of team-killing with blast spells like Fireball and Cloudkill, the BSF has to clear out of the way in order to maximize the spell's effect (it's not worth it to damage the enemy if you also damage your allies) and some enemies are highly resistant to certain elemental damage. Therefore, I typically let wands and scrolls do the blasting for me. Why waste slots on blast spells when you can just use a wand? Regardless, most of the time, I let the Utilitarian do the ranged damage. The Spellcaster is typically a Mage, Cleric, or Druid. The Utilitarian: I recall in games having that one rogue to handle traps, lock-picking, conversations (depending on rule set), and scouting. Most of the time, this character had high Dexterity, making them great archers and the designated 'magic arrow hoarder' of the group. When the BSF wasn't hitting, usually the Utilitarian picked up the pace. The Utilitarian was also the primary initiator. They could usually one-shot the first enemy that came barrelling towards the group (although in most of my games, I gave everyone ranged weapons, something I also recommend). Other uses for the Utilitarian included picking off enemy spellcasters and archers (while the BSF busied himself with the melee baddies), using stealth to scout ahead (picking off anyone who strayed alone), and laying waste to enemies who were just too tough for the BSF (while I made my BSF play a game of 'cat and mouse' with the big scary monster). The Utilitarian is typically a Rogue, Bard, or Ranger. I think there are occasions where any of these roles shined and any of these roles utterly failed. Furthermore, I've discovered these roles through my personal experience of playing IE games. If you have different opinions about playstyles, I'd love to hear them, that's what this topic is for. In most games, my party build would consist of 2-3 BSF's, 2-3 Spellcasters, and one Utilitarian. So, assuming that the goal is to break from these roles, how can P:E give classes the choices to mix and match these roles or even create new roles? > Personal Ideas Concerning Roles When it comes to the relationship between classes and roles, I absolutely hate how stale builds can become. My favorite pasttime has been experimenting with builds to create quirky mechanics for a character. I remember one build in Pathfinder where I mixed a monk and dragon disciple for a 'glass cannon' character. She was essentially a normal monk that could turn into a dragon and inflict a high damage natural attack combo combined with her normal unarmed damage (never found rules saying that I couldn't use kung-fu as a dragon ;P). And I know for sure in D&D 3.5, there was an incredible diversity in builds. A huge variety of build options were provided with the introduction of new feats and new prestige classes in every book. Even though 3.5 characters spiraled out of control sometimes (templates, oh god the templates), they were also highly varied. I think one of my favorite games for creating builds is League Of Legends. I know it's nothing like an IE game (despite also being a strategy role-playing game), but I think there are still lessons to be learned from the system. First of all, it's possible for some of the quirkiest builds in the game to work effectively, regardless of who you play. Some characters synergized really well with certain items and certain team members. Best of all, some characters have lenient roles. For example, one character named Kayle is known for having the flexibility to be built like a DPS or built like a support. I'm not saying P:E should allow players to create quirky character builds that don't make any sense (ala D&D 3.5), but rather options should be provided to allow characters to fulfill a role in their class' "flavor", For example, if you wanted to play a fighter archer, they would be more focused around different types of archery attacks, where as a ranger archer would be focused around utilizing traps and their animal companion with their archery. Regardless, both would be effective as a ranged damage dealer in their own way. I think when designing their classes, Obsidian designers should consider how a particular class could be built and provide options for those builds. No, it's not possible to identify every little role, but it is possible to provide a diversity at the least. Not all paladins have to be divine melee fighters, why can't they inflict their smite with archery? Not all rogues have to be assassins, why can't they be tankers based on evading attacks? In reference to the IE roles discussed earlier, what if I could utilize a Rogue as a BSF? They wouldn't be the typical 'high armor, high melee damage' character, they would be a BSF in the Rogue-fashion, evading attacks and maybe inflicting sneak attack whenever they 'parry'. Or Mages as Utilitarians? If spells were more accessible or provided more utility, mages could fulfill this role as a secondary damage dealer and jack-of-all-trades. It's going to require careful game design, but I think a move towards 'more roles for any class' will provide an interesting experience for people whether they build for effectiveness or just build for fun. > TL;DR I think P:E should provide more roles (Tanker/DPS/Support) to each class, but those roles should be played different between each class. For example, a Rogue Tanker would be based around evasive maneuvers and sneak attacks 'procing' on successful parries.
  3. Hail, elves. It's been a while since we've had a mechanics update, so I'd like to cover a variety of topics today: the basics of our "non-core" classes, our cooldown system (or lack thereof), an update on how attacks are resolved, and another update on the evolution of our armor system. I'd also like to show you a dungeon tileset test render and some sweet shakycam of some of the combat basics running in engine. Non-Core Classes We've previously discussed the design of our "core four" classes: fighter, priest, rogue, and wizard. The non-core classes are the other seven: barbarian, paladin, ranger, druid, monk, chanter, and cipher. Like the core four classes, the non-core classes all start the game with two active or modal abilities and one passive ability. When it comes to the balance of active/modal and passive options, the classes generally reflect their D&D counterparts, with spellcasters having more active use abilities and weapon-based classes being oriented toward more passive or modal abilities. Even so, it will be possible to push a spellcaster toward more passive talents and to optionally buy more active/modal abilities for traditionally low-maintenance characters. While all classes will have many more abilities as they advance, here are some basic elements for each of the seven classes. Barbarians can use Wild Sprint a limited number of times per day, allowing them to rapidly rush across the battlefield to a distant target while ignoring hazards along the way. Paladins have limited healing capabilities, but their Revive command allows them to instantly snap an unconscious ally awake with a large Stamina boost. Rangers' animal companions are so closely bonded to their masters that they share Stamina and Health pools, which can be both a blessing and a curse. Druids can Shapeshift into animal forms, gaining natural -- and some supernatural -- abilities associated with those creatures. Monks absorb a portion of incoming damage and convert it into a Wounds resource they can use to power their soul-based abilities (such as Stunning Blows) through any weapons they use, including unarmed strikes. Chanters begin the game with a number of phrases they can arrange to form songs with different effects. Aefyllath Ues Mith Fyr is a phrase that causes allies' weapons to emit magical flames. Cipher powers often gain intensity as they maintain focus. Their basic Mind Jab starts as a minor irritant but can build to inflict devastating damage. Cooldowns Early on, some folks asked about cooldowns and both Tim and I agreed that we weren't opposed to using them in some form if it made sense for our mechanics. To be more explicit about it, the only way in which we are currently using anything cooldown-like is for per-encounter and per-rest abilities. Per-encounter abilities can be used a number of times in an encounter and are then disabled until combat ends. Per-rest abilities can be used a number of times after resting before you must rest to recover them. We've previously discussed grimoire-switching for wizards possibly invoking a cooldown. It's more likely that grimoire-switching will be limited through the inventory system and not by a cooldown. We also have modal abilities that can be turned on and off at will, with some abilities being exclusive to others, meaning you can only have one active at a time. Attack Resolution I've talked about this a bunch on the forums, but not in an update. All attacks in Project Eternity compare the attacker's Accuracy value to one of four defenses: Deflection (direct melee and ranged attacks), Fortitude (body system attacks like poison and disease), Reflexes (area of effect damage attacks), and Willpower (mental attacks). A number between 1 and 100 is generated to determine the attack rules. If the Accuracy and target defense are the same value, these are how the results break down: 01-05 = Miss 06-50 = Graze 51-95 = Hit 96-100 = Critical Hit A Hit is the standard damage and duration effects, a Graze is 50% minimum damage or duration, a Critical Hit is 150% maximum damage or duration, and a Miss has no effect. In a balanced Attack and defense scenario, the majority of attacks wind up being Hits or Grazes. If the Accuracy and defense values are out of balance, the windows for each result shift accordingly, while always allowing for the possibility of a Graze or a Hit at the extreme ends of the spectrum. Damage Type vs. Armor Type We've previously talked about how different weapon damage types (Slash, Crush, and Pierce) fare against Damage Threshold (DT) in the game. We implemented that system and found that while it worked well on paper and scaled well, it was unintuitive when put into the game. It was not possible for players to make informed decisions about what weapons to use against a given armor type because doing so required making relative damage vs. DT calculations for all weapon types, i.e. having a spreadsheet open for comparison at all times. In light of this, we are going to try a more explicit damage type vs. armor type model where armor, regardless of its DT, has a familiar weight classification: Light, Medium, and Heavy. Damage types are either good or bad against a given weight classification. When a damage type is "bad" against an armor type, it does half damage before DT is applied, making it very inefficient. Within the "good" types of damage, there's still an efficiency curve against DT for meticulous players to figure out, but it has less impact than avoiding "bad" damage types in the first place. Energy-based attacks (like most spells) oppose a different characteristic of the armor, its substance type (Natural, Armor, or Spirit) and like damage types, have good and bad opposition characteristics. Weapon bonus damage that is energy-based is applied to the target separately, but at a fractional DT value matching the bonus damage. E.g. if a sword has a fire effect that does +15% the sword's damage, it is opposed by 15% of the target's Damage Threshold. Tileset Trials and Tribulations Environment artist Sean Dunny has been experimenting with building tilesets for our dungeons. "Tilesets?!" you may be saying (or thinking). It may be a surprise, but many Icewind Dale and Planescape: Torment levels started from a tileset or modular unit base. We use these tilesets to generate basic renders for testing layout, navigation, and combat. Once we like the basic layout, we refine it by adding additional "meta" (special) tiles, modifying the tiles individually in the layout, adding lights, and of course having an artist do a 2D touchup pass. That's all for this week. Thanks for reading! Update by Josh Sawyer
  4. Now I know this will go against IE games set, but it will sense of realism. Instead of choose your class in the character creation, the player can choose their class in a school during gameplay. These have been games that apply this mechanic already like TESV: Skyrim and I sadly mention Maple Story. Players can choose his or her profession during gameplay, and this can adding a sense of maturely and uniqueness to the player. For example If the player wants to be a fighter, he and she can start at renowned barrack with a possible quest line Or if the player wants to be a specific class like the monk, he or she will probably need to go a legendary temple In the end, this adds a personal story elemental to the gameplay and it gives a beginning to how the player will face the trials ahead. Multi-classing can be done by going to multiple schools.
  5. I am. A new element to branch out of would be a great way to add replay value and something new to the genre. Fire, water, ice, earth, lightning have seen its fair share of use since the ancient greeks first go the idea they made up the cosmos. Well, now that its 2013, how about we draw some information from more current sources understanding? Biology, particle physics, quantum mechanics, there's a great deal of awesome fields of knowledge to draw inspiration for! Why isnt anyone trying something new like this? The setting doesn't necessarily demand it, theres no rule saying a fantasy rpg has to stay with old tropes, neither does it preclude the use of modern science-inspired elements, you can always rephrase them in a way that aligns them with the rest of the arcane world. Yes, i realize some of the "elements" might best be suited as individual skills, but you get my point.
  6. What do you fink about power limits in eternyty shoud it be like jrpg 1 hit everythng burns or more realistic ?
  7. So, how are skills assigned in Project Eternity? Besides being "skills". Which brings up classes as well, what defines a "class" in PE? So far as I know, neither has been decided yet, besides "classes need to be flexible." "A wizard should be able to pick up a sword and be a melee fighter" paraphrased. What then defines a class? Well, let's take one, a barbarian. What defines a barbarian? A barbarian charges into the fray, heedless of safety to slaughter his enemies. So if that's what a barbarian is, that means that's what other classes aren't. Meaning, say, a unique set of skills only the barbarian has access to. Something like a temporary damage reduction buff that stacks based on the damage your barbarian is doing. The more damage he does in a short period of time, the less damage he takes in that time. Other skills could follow based on that, a unique skill tree that encourages you to fling the barbarian into the midst of combat, knowing they'll do the best that way. But not locking the barbarian into being ranged or melee, or heavy or light armor or etc. Which brings up the prospect of skill trees, and why not? They work well, and give interesting choices. Each class could have a unique skill tree and access to several others based on what they are, and one skill tree could even be your choice. Rangers might, besides their unique (animal companion?) skill tree, skill trees for bows, nature magic, stealth, and (choice), not any unique tree obviously. A wizard, on the other hand, might get (unique), nature magic, heal/buff magic, elemental magic, (choice). The main point, I think I can make here, is that som way needs to be decided for how you choose skills, and that classes need to be defined in some manner. A unique set of skills for each class, accessible only to them, and potentially very important seems the least that can be done to make classes unique without limiting them.
  8. Ok, I recognize that we have a lot of different threads about individual classes or sets of classes. I'd think a major issue is really how each class fits into a role within a party. While the designers have expressed a desire to have flexibility enough where a party can be comprised entirely of one class, it's also been expressed that certain classes will naturally be stronger in certain areas than others. So, I think looking at the system from a bird's eye has some value. I'm going to provide a sketch of what I perceive as class tendencies and their natural roles, and others can add their feedback on how they'd like to see the roles develop: * Fighter: Best tank class. Many strong defense abilities. http://eternitywiki.com/Fighter * Barbarian: DPS Tank. "Rage" or equivalents increase damage output. Weaker defensive abilities than warrior http://eternitywiki.com/Barbarian * Paladin: Support tank. Moderate tanking. Provides buffs. Also provides area of effect damage. http://eternitywiki.com/Paladin * Ranger: Ranged support. Ranged DPS. Weak tanking. Skirmisher * Monk: Weak tank. Skirmisher. Possible light DPS? * Rogue: DPS. Skirmisher. Tactical combat using contraptions? http://eternitywiki.com/Rogue * Chanter: Moderate, passive buffs/debuffs. Versatile supporting abilities. http://eternitywiki.com/Chanter * Cipher: Primary crowd control. Charms to distract and disrupt enemy tactics? Possible secondary skills? http://eternitywiki.com/Cipher * Wizard: Ranged Area of Effect DPS. Moderate crowd-control? Weak tactical combat using contraptions? http://eternitywiki.com/Wizard * Priest: Strong buffs/debuffs. Possible weak/light combat? http://eternitywiki.com/Priest * Druid: Distraction through summons? Possible secondary skills? When the wiki has something, I've included it, but for rangers, monks, and druids, the wiki did not say very much directly about the class. I'm speculating that wizards are more DPS oriented, due to their roles in many other games(project eternity seems conventional in that sense), leaving druids to be a more likely option for summoning. With rangers it's the fighter description that suggests rangers are the strongest ranged class. Additionally, by putting this forward, I am not saying that wizard-tanks, or rogue-tanks are outside of consideration, only that the class will tend to guide a player towards certain builds. I think Obsidian seems to favor flexible classes that can fill many different roles, but also classes that tend towards certain roles. Even if they had another idea, this also seems the most reasonable approach to class builds, to seek to allow a rogue-tank, but to tend to specialize a rogue's talents elsewhere. So, here's what I'm seeing from the current class system: 1) More caster variations than IE. IE tended to only have 2 different types of casters: divine or arcane, where divine types were interchangeable, and arcane types were interchangeable. PE seems likely to have 4 different types of casters: Druids, Ciphers, Wizards, and Priests, each of which going down a different pathway. 2) Because there are too many casters, this also suggests that PE casters are not as obligatory as IE games. So in IE, it's harder to play through without an arcane caster and a divine caster in your party, and it's expected you'll have both. We can't be expected to have 4 caster classes. So, this suggests a vision of different compositions of spell-casters. And maybe a stronger role for the Bard as the guy who can handle more cross-class casting. 3) Possible better specialization than IE? So, in an IE game, a Paladin really only seems different from a Warrior because he can wield a Holy Avenger sword. In this case, specializations seem more likely to be more deeply rooted in the build. 4) More varied combat styles? Because specialization is better, classes are to be treated as more interchangeable, combat is better because there are different ways it can be run. Different buffers to use. Different distractions to use. Different tanking methods. Etc. I dunno, anybody else have thoughts about party builds?
  9. Since we are going to find out more about up to four classes soon, I was wondering which classes are the ones people are the most curious about. On one hand, we have Druids, Monks and Rangers where we have very little information to work off of. On the other hand, we have others classes like the Cipher, Rogue and Paladin where even though there is released information, there are at least some of us who want to know more MORE MORE because it has piqued our interest, or it is our favorite typical class, or some other personal reason out there. So in short, if you could pick which 4 classes had information released this week, which ones would you pick? (I will, however, be very amused if they are released before I even finish posting.)
  10. I hope that in PE, every additional party member can add something useful to the party. Don't make too many class abilities non-stackable; it should make a difference if you have one, two or three bards or paladins in the party, rather than profiting from only one of them at a time. If that means making these class abilities more offensive rather than defensive/ passive, so be it. Of course this also has some overlap with the skills issue, like having different conversationalists/ scouts etc.
  11. probably too late to squeeze into the budget (maybe in expansion?) or someone already suggested it... Basically a class for more senior gamers who want to finally become that fat merchant character who made fortune on them in every RPG they ever played. You start with ridicules amount of gold you made by selling crappy overpriced equipment to adventures and buying their loot for pocket change and you got idea that you might make even more money by cutting out the middleman and going after the loot yourself! Despite having ability to sell vegetables to Ogres and having money to buy best equipment possible, your combat abilities are so bad that even for rats in your basement you have to constantly hire new customers which enter your shop in order to buy cheapest sword possible. In short merchant class would have unique ability to buy from almost any other NPC (named or generic) at discount prices and sell to merchants at nice profit (trading with other merchants would be at real price so you don't make or lose anything unless the game will have trading system which allows you to buy in one town and sell in another for more), also any artifact they get their hands on would bring them piles of gold since they are well connected. On the downside they must spend their money on personal bodyguard(s) or risk getting robbed (mo money mo problems, but at lest you make new cash fast without the need to kill dozens of enemies). As such you are forced to hire some mercenaries and since famous adventures (NPC) cost a fortune (and don't really like you because you were ripping them of for years) and you being a cheapskate (and don't want to risk bankruptcy) decided to hire some crappy soldiers, rouges, novice mages... generic NPC is ok, although it would be more fun if we had individual soldiers which could be equipped by player using that huge amount of gold for first class gear only to be slaughtered in seconds by experienced enemy. We would need some loyalty/morale/happiness system for mercenaries since they get paid weekly/monthly and depending on how well they are treated (lot of casualties, too long outside towns/taverns, lack of money, bad food...) they will act and might decided to desert or even flee if combat is going badly leaving player alone or worse deciding to rob the player themselves! Like in Mount & Blade morale would depend on the numbers also so while player could hire dozens of soldiers, mages, rouges it would be impossible to keep them (after all player is only greedy merchant not charismatic leader) so for large parties expenses would skyrocket (but since in most RPG your are drowning in money in late game that wouldn't be a big problem). Mercenaries mix would also play a big role since foot soldiers only party would easily be ambushed or killed by traps, so player would still need to hire good rogue or ranger, as well as mage and priest. In combat mercenaries would fight without player control using their own AI (besides basic commands attack, stand ground, retreat, again you are greedy merchant not strategic genius) which depends on their level what is the main purpose of merchant class - reducing amount of player burden but still leaving that cool frustration when battle goes wrong because you underestimated your enemy. Of course during combat player character would be parading around in shining armor collecting lot from dead enemies and finishing off those practically dead. Developing combat/magic skills would be discourage because you would need more and more money as your party becomes stronger = more expensive and developing yourself into weak fighter instead of better merchant would be pointless. Mercenaries system could be used by other classes but expenses and crappy combat performance would make them useful only as canon fodder on very difficult quests but since loyalty/morale would start low for fresh troops (unless you get them drunk at tavern first ) they would probably run away at the start of the battle. Reputation system would play big role because while doing favors and having good reputation would mean you could count on someone coming to your aid (like Mysterious Stranger from Fallout) if you get ambushed it would also cut into your profit margin while on the other hand having bad reputation and tons of gold would draw every bandit, thief and other adventures towards you. Maybe some quest which makes you enemy of another faction/race or if you refuse to pay big tax/tribute to someone and have to evade them? Other possibilities that come to mind are adding trading wagon to your party which makes you extra money in each town you visit but slows you down and attracts even more bandits, Orc/Goblin war parties etc. Of course player could just stick to trading in town and make absurd amount of gold in neverending game.
  12. 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).
  13. Hello Forumites and Members of the Obsidian Order. Given what has been revealed about the world thus far and the overall theme of the playable races revealed, it is to my understanding that we will be given a pallete of tolkien-esque playable races that may or may not be flavored in ways to make them interesting and not generic. Obviously if all the playable races were something odd like bug men, alien like slugs with psedopods for vocal speech with multiple eyes, ghosts and ghouls, or anthropomorphic/magical Animals like Gnolls, Dires Tigers, and Werebears [oh my!], then the more hard core RPG players from the 70s to early 90s will most likely drop the project altogether. Not to mention it would make it exceedingly difficult to make a compelling story centered around your actions as said creature in a different type of game world. So with these little tidbits of exposition in mind after that huge run on sentence that would make most editors consider the euthanization of such a person as I, consider the companions. Several Companions have been revealed to us already, all of them human or human looking, though the guy that looks like a mage may not be human [he kinda reminds me of the scholarly Illum from D&D]. Other than the basic and predictable backstories following human mercenaries looking for work with a troubled love life, or perhaps the scholar with his own agenda after professing interest of some sort of otherworldly quality of yourself, what sort of stories and interesting perspectives may be expressed by these companions? The Baldur's Gate Series, the Neverwinter Nights Series, Even Dragon Age have all, very successfully I might add, made me care deeply for the campions I chose to travel around with. But even then, I began to grow bored of the fact that they come from the expected and tried and true backgrounds [other than Minsc]. This Brings me to my actual point of this poorly worded Dissertation, Companions. Dragon Age Origins: Pebble[That Pessimistic Golem Statue thing with the lisp and odd sense of Humor] NeverWinter Nights 2: Neeshka[Had to Mod her to give her the Tiefling Tail] Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer: That Ghost Wraith Thing of Evil Doomy Doomyness Neverwinter Nights 2: Storms of Zehir: The Lizard Man that Guides you to his Chief Neverwinter Nights: Hordes of the Underdark: Mother Fracking[the kind where you use high presure of water to break of rock for oil] DEEKIN [The Kobold Bard of awesomesauce that may or may not multiclass into Dragon Disciple and become a winged Kobold of fire breathing goodness] Neverwinter Nights: Kingmaker: The Solar outsider, The WereRat What do all of these companions have in common? They are all Non Human and Come from very different baackgrounds. Why do they matter? They bring very interesting, if sometimes humorous, perspective on things in general. They allow you to view their race or their circumstance with a perspective that is otherwise unavailable when fighting their patron races be they lizard men, golems, undead, kobolds, were creatures, and planar outsiders. I feel Project Eternity can greatly benefit, story telling wise, with a companion that is not any of the playable races and is out of the Tolkien "norm." I am currently not quite sure how it would fit with Project Eternity Lore, or how awesome the team behind making the companions actually are in creating interesting and memorable characters. Creating Companions based off of class or racial stereotypes can indeed railroad the character of that Companion into a specific path, but I for one believe that creating exotic and very different companions can add more to the game than it would detract. I am not sure how my thoughts will be viewed/praised/flamed, but please talk away, I am happy to discuss things as long as things stay civil. P.S. I am not crazy nor on the verge of a nervous breakdown, Just trying to express myself after being subjected to days of boredom and instant insanity puzzles [Look up Instant insanity puzzles and realize my dilemma] P.P.S. Thank you for reading, I hope you had fun.
  14. I took the time to sum up all of the classes, companions, etc. that will be included in the game BESIDES the amount of content (quests, areas, NPCs, etc.) that is also included. I thought some people might be interested in seeing what we are getting without the need to search for the info. At $2,5 million we will have (summed up): 6 races (human, elves, dwarves, godlike, ??? and ???) 9 classes (fighters, wizards, priests, rougues, rangers, monks, druids, barbarians, ciphers) 8 companions (edair, cadegund, aloth, monk dude, dwarven ranger chick and 3x ???) Tell me if you find a mistake.
  15. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Uyzap5FcgI This update is going to be a little different. Instead of doing an update on a topic that we chose, we asked readers on reddit to submit questions and vote them up or down, and on Friday we took the five highest scoring questions to answer here. You can visit the Project Eternity reddit group here: http://www.reddit.co...rojecteternity/ and the Q&A subgroup is here: http://www.reddit.co...ns_answered_by/ Let us know if you like these Q&A updates, and we can look into doing more of them. Tim. AtheistBots asks... Class vs. Classless systems You're most famous for classless systems involved in Fallout and Arcanum. It sounds as if Obsidian will be using a class based system. What do you see as being the advantages of a class based system that you're hoping to leverage in Project Eternity? Answer: We are designing a class-based system because we want the different characters in your party to fill different roles, and classes are the best way to achieve this goal. In a skill-based game, it's harder to tell if a companion gives you the skills you are looking for, especially before you recruit them. In a class-based game, you know what each class can do, so you can decide that you want a particular class even before a potential companion offers to join you. And when you have a lot of companions and can choose which ones you want to take on a particular adventure, classes make it easier to form the group and be assured that you have your skillsets covered. Bonus question: Are you considering multiclassing? Answer: Bonus questions are cheating…but yes, we are considering adding multi-classing to the game. A better way to put this answer is that we are not ruling them out at this time. If they work well with our final system, we will offer them. Kaaaboom asks… I was a bit discouraged when I heard that the combat was going to be RTwP (real time with pause), myself being a big fan of TB (turn-based) and the possibility of tactical combat that it lends to a game. My question is then: how are you going to make the combat in P:E tactically interesting despite it being RTwP? Answer: Hmm, this is a bit of a loaded question, as it implies that real-time games aren't tactically interesting while all turn-based games are. Believe me, I have played plenty of dull turn-based games with very few options on what to do on each turn, and there are lots of real-time games that are incredibly tactically rich. Look at all of the real-time strategy games out there! So to answer your question, we are going to make sure that the distinct abilities that our classes will have will each provide different roles to those characters in combat, and that you will always have choices to make in combat about how to best position yourself and use your attacks. In addition, we are going to design the enemy encounters to be ever-increasing challenges, so that one way of fighting won't carry you through every encounter. You will be forced to mix it up a bit, tactically speaking, and use all of your combat skills to make it through to the end of the game. Let me add that as an Infinity Engine inspired game, our pillars of design include isometric exploration of a fantasy world, a reactive storyline with interesting and believable characters, and real-time with pause combat. Those elements are expected in our game, and we feel strongly about providing them. Elthosian asks… How much reactivity can we expect from the world based in our character's race and sub-race? Answer: We will provide a lot of reactivity in our game to your choice of race. We are planning on giving each race a set of traits that the player can pick from, and those traits affect everything from dialogs choices to skill bonuses to what kind of options you will have to finish some quests. There probably won't be quests that are just for one race, but one thing we are not going to do for certain is make race-restricted items. While many items have a cultural connection to some races, they will still be useable by members of other races. It might be unusual to see humans in elven chain, but they can wear it. NeuroArcanist asks… What aspect of cRPGs missing from modern games do you most want to recapture with Project Eternity? Answer: I can answer that in one word: parties. I like playing cRPG's that allow the player to control big parties of characters, and by control, I mean you can pick the actions of each party member if you want. We will have lots of pause conditions in our combat, and if you want to have the game pause whenever a party member can perform a new action, you can do that. Most modern games only let you control one character, or if they give you a party, you only control one member of that group. In this game, I want to control all of them. Zinicel asks… Will there be modding capabilities for this game? I know it's a tall order for this style of game, but I've wanted a definitive answer to this question. Knowing Unity, I know it's somewhat unlikely to offer this. But it'd still be nice to know for sure. Answer: That is a very good question, but unfortunately, I don't have an answer for you. We are still looking at Unity and how it bundles up content in the shipped game, and we will have to see how much of that we can make available to the player. I can say that we want you to be able to mod the game, and if it's possible, we will allow you to do it. It's not our primary focus, which is to give you an amazing single player experience with our game, but we know a lot of people will want to tinker with the game and make their own content, so we will let you know how this objective is faring when we are further along in development.
  16. They've made it clear that Souls are going to be a key thematic element of the game. They've mentioned "Strong Souls" "Lineage Souls" "Travelling Soul and" so on. So what element do you think Souls represented by Races or Classes. They've said that magic is powered by souls so I'm inclined to think Classes. So someone born with multiple Souls could be a multiclasser, someone with a "Strong" soul might be a fighter, someone whose soul has been to divine realms might be a cleric, one with purity might be a Paladin, one with lineage might be a wizard, and so on. Alternately it could be race. The Godlike races (peple seem to forget the Godlike are multiple races, not a single race, just like the planetouched have tefling, Genasi, and Aasmir) would have had a soul visit the divine realms, a elf may have lineage, dwarf a strong soul, human fragmented, and so on. So what mechanical representation do you think souls will have?
  17. I've seen countless threads on a variety of topics, and having watched the forum like a hawk, I.. don't think I've seen a thread like this. If there is and it's not antiquated already, point me in it's direction and I'll see if I can trash this thread. Saw one for races a while back, but none for classes. Anyway; We already know that we will be seeing some traditional fantasy "races" (god how I hate the way "race" is basically "species" in the fantasy context) such as humans, elves and dwarves (le sigh). So I think that a lot of us are also expecting the nauseatingly predictable classes, as well. But this thread isn't really for what we can expect to see (although quips about that is welcome). It is about what we, I, you, want to see. I know that there's been threads on specific requests, such as Ninjas/Samurais (which I generally detest, personally, depending on setting) - but this is a chance for everyone to come out and talk about what they want to see. Alchemists, Pyromancers, Knights and whip-wielding Archaeologists, step right up! It doesn't have to be specifically classes, I'd like to hear some ideas regarding Kits or Specializations, or just class features that you'd like to see a specific, expected class to have! What would you want for your dream-class to have? What kind of class would be the most suitable for your favourite kind of character? I have a few ideas of my own that I'd love to see, but I'll try to write about them later in the thread, as to not derail my own thread before it starts.
  18. The topic of the class system has been on my mind given how update 7 actually significantly changes the traditional structure of the DnD system, and given that this system has more classes than many other RPGs(I think we're now at 7), I think that the topic of classes would be a really interesting one to explore, especially given how it touches issues of the magical system. The way that update 7 changes things is that it abolishes the skill-monkey class while keeping the skills, which is a really cool thing. I just want to bounce ideas around though, and I hope I'm not repeating too much that's been said. Here's some ideas for conceiving of a possible set of classes: * 2 or 3 core magic classes(I've thrown around ideas in another thread on magic) http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/60372-vancian-magic-system/page__st__160?do=findComment&comment=1203875 DarkWaterSong did similarly above me. * Brute (in DnD terms: fighter, barbarian.) Heavy armor, heavy weapons, high strength and constitution build. * Monk (in DnD/NWN2 terms: monk, weaponmaster, swashbuckler/duelist, maybe some paladin features.) None to medium armor. None to medium weapons. Build uses dexterity and some vaguely magical stat. Special talents focus on high skill or magical attunement, and perhaps a lot of surprises. Conceptually a martial artist. * Magic Knight (In DnD terms: Eldritch Knight, sort of like a Paladin or Ranger, but less nerfed on magic.) Light armor, but maybe heavy given the backstory. Any weapon. spellcaster/warrior with some of both sets of abilities. May not be needed if multiclassing and magic system set up a certain way * Assassin (In DnD terms: Thug variant fighter, rogue/fighter, etc.) Light-Medium armor. Light to medium weapon. Focus on misdirection, high damage precision, possibly ranged attacks, poison, invisibility, finesse. Build uses very high dexterity. * Bard (in DnD terms: Bard.) Light-medium armor. Light-medium weapons. Support class. Focus on misdirection, buffing, information, ranged support, perhaps some magic. Just some thoughts, but feel free to throw things around or criticize. The point is getting what kind of conceptions people would think would be interesting for a class system. Like the degree of magic for classes. How bizarre or conventional the classes should be. Etc.
  19. I only plan on playing through the game once as one race and class combination, so I want you, Obsidian, to focus all your time and money on making that race/class combination the best gaming experience you possibly can. Please remove all other classes and races, since I don't plan to use them. I don't care which you include. Maybe you should have a poll and only include the most popular race and class. Also, I don't like doing sidequests, so none of those, please, and no extra regions. I find a world-map that's too large to be confusing. Please make the main quest the best you absolutely can. Maybe you can release sidequests for those who want them as DLC later. There should be exactly 5 characters that will (not may) join your party. I want every moment of gameplay specifically crafted for my exact party, with each character chiming in with the perfect dialog at exactly the right time. Obviously, once you start multiplying party makeups, there's no way you can make so many different cohesive narratives on such a small budget. Please, please, please no multiplayer. I'll never use it. I would prefer that you focus on making the game the best that it can be when experienced by exactly one person. You basically have to make the whole game over again for each additional player you allow. I don't know what other features you're planning to add, but I would really prefer that you focus on crafting the best versions of the features I am going to use and leave the others out. Oh, I almost forgot. I am a male that is almost overflowing with testosterone and manliness. If I am not looking at a humanoid female's sexy body I have to immediately leave the computer and go do adult-things with my girlfriend. I will not be able to spend the 15 hours I expect the main quest to take looking at a tiny digital man-butt. For this reason I expect to play as a female. Please remove all other sexes. Her name will be Alwethia. Now you won't have to waste your tiny budget programming a field to enter the PC's name. Thanks. EDIT: I plan to have my character look like the babe in my avatar picture. I don't know what she's from, but if it's not a copyright issue, please use that image for the PC. Otherwise, something as close as possible.
  20. How do you like to structure fighter / warrior classes. The traditional (1st / 2nd Ed) D&D route is to (a) choose specific weapons (b) put proficiencies into them (c ) maybe choose a subclass or kit and (d) use the right magic items. It was pretty straightforward and not as interesting as the spell-casting / stealth classes. 3E made things a bit more interesting with kits, allowing you to build a tank, 'light fighter', dual-wielder, berserker or whatever using a menu of symbiotic skills, feats and classes. Then prestige classes came in and killed it. Then I started thinking about other games and the cultural underpinnings of warrior classes. If you think about it, the culture a warrior comes from will have an enormous influence on his or her class. * Types of weapons used (tech level / culture / taboo / tactics) * Codes / ethics (is there an elite warrior caste with rigid codes of chivalric honour or are fighters just mercenary scum?) * Armies (does the fighter come from a culture with a standing army or one with levies or auxiliaries or just a tribal horde) * Culture (tribal / developed) * Class (noble warrior trained in certain weapon types and tactics, or tribal skirmisher with survival skills and tracking?) Over to you. But I would like a warrior class that allows me to imagine a range of character archetypes, from rapier-armed remittance man through to axe-wielding berserker savage through to professional musketeer / mercenary through to wily and cunning tribal scout / skirmisher. And *without* the need for kits / subclasses. Is this possible?
  21. I'm tired of playing stick thin mages and dumb as bricks fighters. I know, I know, classes must be differentiated to offer a diverse experience and meaningful choices; and if a character is good at everything it utterly destroys this. I agree. At the same time I feel it's unrealistic that a fighter must utterly lack charisma and intellect (See Alexander the Great) and a mage must have never been outside in their life. I saw an interesting idea from a poster on the something awful forums that may offer a solution. Essentially, it amounted to having two entirely separate stat pools during character creation. So for example, using D&D stats (again, JUST an example), instead of dividing points from a big pool between STR CON DEX INt WIS CHA You would have two separate and equal pools (naturally modified by race and class) that looked like this: 1. Physical stats STR CON DEX 2. Mental stats INT WIS CHA Point taken from one pool have no influence on the other. Now you can have your clever fighter, your buff mage, your charismatic ranger, etc. I'd like for their to be even more mental and physical stats to differentiate this more, but most class differentiation would come in the form of skills and talents. You may have a fastidious wizard that insists on a balanced diet and frequent exercise, so he's actually quite strong and not going to be KO'd by stiff breeze; but compared to the fighter that's been in martial training most of his life, he's still very ineffective in combat due to a lack of technique. Fencing is about far more than strength. Conversely, the fighter may be poor in academic matters, but still possess a shrewd intellect and street smarts. This could differentiate characters even within a class. One wizard may have a very high INT score, and a low WIS. You now have something of a savant. Another might have a low WIS but very high CHA, being an excellent if unorthodox communicator. Thoughts?
  22. I love social specialists in RPGs, and I would love to make a party leader who had real leadership abilities. I keep thinking back to my fantastic character in Arcanum, a well-bred lady who went about in a fine purple dress. Her magical abilities were minor, but adequate to justify her place in an adventuring group. Her main "power" was her great personality which allowed her to lead a large team of more rough-and-tumble companions. (The companions in Arcanum were wonderful, weren't they?) That character was possible because of Arcanum's classless system. I would love to be able to do a character like that again in Project Eternity, even if Charisma or whatever has no effect on your party size. Hence, I suggest the Nobleman class. What would such a profession look like in terms of abilities? He would be likely to have at least some magical skill, being well-educated, but would certainly not be as powerful as a specialist. The spells he would naturally study might be utilitarian, informational, or cosmetic rather than destructive or combative. He might be trained in the use of dueling type weapons and light armor. He would excel in "formal", one-on-one combat, but might be less effective in large scale brawls. Social skills would be his true fort
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