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  1. Update by Tim Cain, Senior Programmer and Designer Hello! I'm sorry I haven't done an update in a while. I've been working on classes and everything related to classes: abilities, skills, spells, combat...you know, the good stuff. For the past several months, Josh and I have been refining the designs for the non-core classes, the classes that are most unusual, classes like the chanter and the cipher and one of my favorites, the monk. Monks in Eternity are different than you might expect. There are no restrictions on armor and weapons – you could wear plate and use a sword, if you wanted to, and the talent system is flexible enough so you could build a great monk that specialized in that gear. But at the core of this class is a little rule about how monks take damage. You see, when a monk gets hit, only part of the damage is inflicted on him or her immediately. The rest is redirected to a Wound, which is an effect that causes damage over time (called a DoT effect) to the monk. That slowly-ticking Wound would only seem to be delaying the inevitable result except for one thing: the monk can get rid of that Wound by using special attacks. The monk gets all kinds of cool special attacks that do extra effects beyond simply damage and, as a side effect, also eliminate his Wounds. Some of their special attacks include: Torment’s Reach - this ability increases the range of melee attacks by 200% for a short duration. Enemies between the monk and his or her target are also attacked. Costs 1 Wound to activate. Turning Wheel - if the monk suffers from a DoT effect (including Wounds ticking down), he or she adds a proportional fire bonus to his or her melee damage. This is a passive ability which works automatically whenever the monk has any DoT effect. Clarity of Agony - when used, this ability cuts the duration of hostile status effects in half. It lasts for a brief amount of time, halving both incoming effects and ones that are currently on the monk. Costs 2 Wounds. Each of these attacks makes monks stronger in battle, and many also consume their Wounds, hopefully before those Wounds have done the damage the monks were originally supposed to take. And as monks level up, they get more than just these special attacks. They can gain room for more Wounds, so they can have more of them at once to use at the same time for an extraordinarily powerful attack or use them across multiple special attacks. Monks can also change how their Wounds function. For example, they can choose to have their Wounds do less damage at the start and more at the end, so getting rid of them faster is advantageous. Monks can also choose to do their damage sequentially, letting the monk build up a lot of Wounds to fuel a crazy powerful ability and not take much damage for doing so. So as a monk, your goal is simple: you want to take damage, so you get Wounds, so you can perform extraordinary attacks. But remember when I mentioned the monk in plate mail using a sword? Sure, you can do that, but that plate armor will inhibit your ability to get Wounds, which means you don't get as many special attacks. And unarmed attacks are among the fastest types of attacks, so a weaponless monk can get rid of his Wounds faster than any armed monk, so he will suffer very little of their damage-over-time effects. That's like having extra hit points for free! FOR FREE! Who wouldn't want that?! This is why you see a lot of unarmed and unarmored monks running around. Not because the rules say you can't use those items, but because in most situations it's one of the best ways to play. An unencumbered monk can be a terror on the battlefield, a nightmare that just won't seem to die, no matter how hard he gets hit. Blows that seem like they should kill him only serve to make him stronger. Trust me, you are going to love playing a monk. But if you ever feel the need to use a magical sword for its raw damage potential or wear enchanted mail to gain fire resistance for battle with a dragon, you can do that too. Because Project Eternity is all about bending the roles of each class, so you can play how you want, resolve conflicts how you want and solve problems how you want. After all, this is *your* game. Culture Concept Concept artist Kaz Aruga has been developing the look of some of Project Eternity's various cultures. So far, he's created concepts for people from the Dyrwood, the Vailian Republics, the Aedyr Empire, and the Valley of Ixamitl. We hope you like the range we've come up with. Let us know what you think!
  2. You guys think that there is any chance of a sequel to Arcanum in the works? I realize that Jason Anderson works for Turtle Rock Studios and Leonard Boyarsky works for Blizzard Entertainment. However, considering that Obsidian Entertainment worked with Jason Anderson and inXile Entertainment on Wasteland 2, I am extremely hopeful to get a sequel to the game I played (and replayed) throughout my highschool years. What do you guys think?
  3. Update by Tim Cain, Senior Programmer and Designer I have been working on a lot of different gameplay mechanics since my last update about monks (Update #52). All of the classes are in the game now, along with their abilities and spells up to level 5. This should give us a good basis to test encounters in the game's early maps. So I have turned my attention to some of the non-combat skills, including crafting. Crafting Basics Crafting is the skill that you use to make equippable items like armor and weapons, and consumable items like potions and food. To begin crafting, you must find an appropriate crafting location. Forges – these blacksmithing locations can be used to make all of the equippable gear. From helmets to armor to boots, if you can wear it, then you can make it here. Labs – these alchemical tables are used to make any enchantments, as well as all alchemical consumables like potions, scrolls or figurines (which let you summon a creature that will fight for you). If you want to improve your gear or brew a potion, you need to find one of these labs. Hearths – these cooking spots are used to make food and drink that can give you long-term benefits when you ingest them. Many rest areas will have hearths, so crafting of this sort can often be done “in the field”. When you use the central object at these locations, such as the anvil at the forge, you will enter a crafting interface that displays all of your forge recipes, broken down into categories such as armor, weapons, boots, helmets, rings, etc. You pick a category and can see all of the recipes you know for that category. Each recipe has a set of ingredients needed to make its item (or items, as some recipes will make batches of items). Some recipes will have additional prerequisites, including requiring you or a companion to have a certain talent or ability or even skill at an appropriate level. Higher level recipes have more prerequisites and need rarer ingredients. You may be wondering where you get recipes. You get a few automatically when you level up your crafting skill, and you can also buy them from vendors. Sometimes you will find recipes in the world, as loot on creatures or as rewards for finishing quests. There will be a lot of recipes in Project Eternity for you to find, so make sure you explore every nook and cranny of this world, especially the crannies. Crafting doesn’t take any time. If you have everything the recipe needs and are at the appropriate crafting location, then you can make the item instantly. Usually the ingredients are used up, but sometimes they are reusable. And for recipes like enchantments, the main ingredient is not used up but is instead improved by the addition of a new bonus. For example, you might have a sword with high accuracy and a Flaming Sword recipe that adds fire damage to any sword. If you use that sword with that recipe, you will have the same sword with a high accuracy bonus but also with additional fire damage! Win win! Crafting can also be used to repair items, but first we should talk about item durability in Project Eternity. Item Durability Most items don’t degrade over time. This means that boots, rings, helmets, gloves, amulets, cloaks, and belts are not worn down by use. However, weapons, shields, and armor (that is, chest armor) do have durability values and are worn down by use. Specifically, every attack with a weapon degrades that weapon by one unit, and armor and shields are similarly degraded when the wearer is attacked. Items have lots of units of durability, and they do not suffer any negative effects until those units are completely gone. When an item has reached 25% of its maximum durability, it will become “worn” and appear that way in your inventory, but it will not behave any differently until the last unit of durability is lost. At that point, the item is “damaged” and the following effects will happen: Weapons – damaged weapons do less damage and have less accuracy Armor – damaged armor has lower damage thresholds and the wearer’s attack speed is slower Shields – damaged shields lose part of their defense bonuses Items can never become worse than “damaged”. They will not break or become more damaged. They just stay damaged until you have them fixed. Vendors can repair items for money, so that’s a fast and easy way to keep all of your items in top notch condition. The cost of the repair is proportional to the percentage of the durability lost and the cost of the item, so expensive items tend to be more costly to repair than cheaper ones, especially if you let them lose a lot of their durability before repairing them. However, let’s see how you can save your precious hard-earned money by bringing this discussion back to crafting. A typical Hearth where you can craft food and drink. Durability and Crafting You or any companion can repair items by using the crafting skill at a forge. More importantly, you can use materials instead of money, if you have the right ones. The higher your crafting skill or the more materials you have, the less money it costs to repair an item. Some items might even repair for free! But wait...there’s more! The crafting skill also decreases the rate of degradation on items used by a character. So if you have the crafting skill, when you hit someone, your weapon doesn’t lose a whole point of durability. Instead it loses a fraction of a point. And when you are hit, your armor and shield don’t lose a whole point each either. And the higher your crafting skill, the less durability you lose. We are assuming that if you know how to make an item, you also know how to use and take care of it. So a high crafting skill means your weapons, armor, and shields degrade more slowly and you can repair those items (and those of your companions) more cheaply than a vendor. That is such a win-win situation, how can you afford to NOT take the crafting skill?! I’ll answer that question in a future update about the other skills in Project Eternity.
  4. By Tim Cain, Senior Code Wizard and Systems Designer Hello! I have spent much of my time for the last few weeks devoted to making the game’s stronghold system, which was one of our Kickstarter project’s biggest stretch goals, into one of the best systems in the game. Josh has created an amazing and detailed stronghold design, with lots of upgrades and activities and random events that really make owning a stronghold fun and exciting. I want to spend this update explaining what we have made in the game, but first, let’s talk about the stronghold itself. First, a caveat: I am going to describe the stronghold as it is currently designed. This design is mostly programmed already too, but as with all development, it might change as we finish the art and audio, fix any bugs, and tune the game play. So please view this as a snapshot of the stronghold development as it exists today. You will be offered the stronghold early in the game, before you finish Act 1. But the stronghold itself is old and dilapidated, and you will want to upgrade it as soon as you can. These upgrades will, in turn, open up new activities and events that can happen, which will make the stronghold a dynamic and fun place to own. So let’s go through the many reasons why you will want to have a stronghold. Bonuses There are five bonuses you will receive for getting and upgrading your stronghold. Resting bonuses. Some of the upgrades to your stronghold will grant temporary bonuses to your attributes or non-combat skills when you rest there. As examples, you can build Training Grounds to improve your Strength or a Library to improve your Lore skill. Some of these upgrades are expensive, but you’re worth it. Adventures for idle companions. You will eventually have more companions than will fit in your party, so you will have leave some of them behind. While they are idling away at the stronghold, they can take part in their own adventures, earning additional experience for themselves and extra money, items and reputation bonuses for you! Ingredients. Many of the stronghold upgrades will generate ingredients used by non-combat skills. For example, Botanical Gardens create Survival ingredients over time, and a Curio Shop produces ingredients for use by both Lore and Mechanics. Special offers. Sometimes visitors to your stronghold will have rare items for sale, or perhaps they will offer you items in return for something else. Pay attention to these visitors. Some of these items may be nearly impossible to find any other way! Wealth. Don’t forget that by owning a stronghold, you also own all of the surrounding lands and impose a tax on all of the inhabitants. It will feel nice for a change to have someone recognize your high standing and give you the money that you so richly deserve. These bonuses all sound great, right? Well, they are great, but they are just the passive benefits from owning and upgrading a stronghold. There are a lot of activities you can do too, once you take possession of your stronghold. Tim in his typical Stronghold creation attire. Activities First and foremost, when you get your stronghold, you are going to want to upgrade it. Upgrades are improvements to various parts of the castle, usually to add to the security or prestige of the place. Security affects how much taxes you collect as well as helps reduce the number of “bad” random events, while prestige increases the number of “good” random events as well as increasing tax collections, too. Upgrades can also serve as prerequisites for other upgrades. For example, you cannot build your Training Grounds (and get your Strength bonus after resting at the stronghold) until you have repaired the inner bailey of the stronghold. Every upgrade costs money and takes time to build, but as long as you have the prerequisites completed, you can have as many upgrades building simultaneously as you can afford. And you don’t have to wait at the stronghold while they are built, either. You can continue adventuring, and you will be notified when they are built. You can begin collecting taxes from your populace as soon as you gain the stronghold. The amount of taxes you collect increases with your prestige (because people know of you and like you), but the amount also increases with higher security, since some taxes are lost to banditry. You will want to keep both of those values high. You can also employ hirelings to stay at your stronghold. These people will provide bonuses to your prestige and security, but they cost money to employ. Some will leave your castle if you stop paying them, but others will wait around to get paid again (but not provide any bonuses until they are). If you have cleared the dungeon and built a prison under your stronghold, then when you are fighting some of the named NPC’s in the game, you will be given an option to take them prisoner instead of killing them. Prisoners are kept in a cell in your prison, where you can visit them and talk to them, and occasionally use them as leverage later in the game. But you will need to keep your security level high, or you might suffer from a prison break! Finally, several upgrades will produce ingredients used by non-combat skills. This feature, along with upgrades that can improve your skills, makes your stronghold a great place to craft and store items. You can stop by your castle occasionally and make food, potions, scrolls, armors and weapons, and any that you don’t need immediately can be stored in chests and other containers in a variety of places around the stronghold. You know, in case of an emergency. Which brings us to random stronghold events. Random Events As you play the game after getting the stronghold, whether or not you are physically there, you will be told if a random event happens at the stronghold. Sometimes, you will need to deal with the event immediately, but usually you are given some time to decide what to do. The most common event at your stronghold is having a visitor arrive. There are all kinds of visitors, but they all share one thing. They can adjust your prestige and/or security just by being at your stronghold. Some visitors are wonderful and give good bonuses, and you will want them to stay as long as possible. Some of these visitors can even be employed as hirelings and will stay on as long as you pay them. Others are not so great, and you will want to offer them one of your companions to act as an escort to their next location, or perhaps simply pay them to leave. Some visitors will offer rare items for sale, and some might even offer a very rare item in exchange for one of the prisoners in your dungeon. As you can see, visitors require some decision making on your part. As mentioned above, your idle companions can take part in adventures as those events arise. You will be informed of what adventures are available, how long they will last, and what the rewards will be (in general terms). If you send a companion on an adventure, he or she is unavailable until they complete it and return with the rewards. You can recall any companions early, but then they earn nothing. Why would you ever want to recall them then? Because your stronghold can get attacked! Attacks are the most potentially dangerous of all stronghold events. Occasionally troublemakers (of various sorts) will decide to attack your castle. You will be warned ahead of time of any such attack, so you can return to the stronghold and take part in it directly, if you want. Otherwise, the attack is simulated and you are told the results. A well-defended stronghold can repel any but the most concerted attacks, but there is always a chance of damage which can destroy upgrades, kill hirelings, and cost money. The threat of attacks is the most important reason to keep your security level as high as you can afford. I hope you have enjoyed this sneak peek into the world of Project Eternity and the role your stronghold will play in the game. No matter how you play the game, your stronghold is certain to provide many benefits and also be a lot fun too!
  5. Fellow RPG fans, hello! My name is Felipe, and I'm currently working on a crowd-sourced book on cRPGs. After organizing the RPG Codex's Top 70 list, I decided to expand that into a full blown book. The idea is to feature in-depth reviews of over 250 great cRPGs in chronological order, from Akalabeth to Might & Magic X, plus interesting articles on the genre and interviews. All that written by RPG fans from all over the world, compiled into a beautiful book with big a colored screenshots. It is a book showing what the genre has best, and how people enjoy them. A book that every review that you read you will see that it was important for the reviewer and want to play the game he just talked. So far I've got some big developers in, like Tim Cain, Chris Avellone, Josh Sawyer (Obsidian has been very supportive ), Ian S. Frazier and Colin McComb. I also got full support and access to the content of forums like the RPG Codex and RPG Watch (including some stuff from RPGdot), DJ Old Games, some indie developers like Iron Tower Studios, Sinister Design and Rampant Games, as well as bloggers such as cRPG Addict and modders like Durante and Wesp5. Here's a small WIP preview: The entire project is entirely non-profit, so the final e-book will be freely available for download, under Creative Commons and all that. And if everything goes well I intend to make a paperback print also available, fully colored and in high-quality print, for those that want one. Non-profit as well, of course, sold at cost price. My call for aid Here's the list of games that will be in: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1t-49SyrsdP0M5re68sDH9cB2MrPqVKwQQiFF_54VibI/pubhtml I'm looking for fans willing to write a review of one or two of the listed games still unassigned. You can, of course, also suggest games that should be added. The reviews specifications: There are two kinds of reviews, the ones with one page and the ones with two. These are displayed on the list. If you think that the game you're writing about needs 2 pages instead of 1, contact me and we'll discuss it. But please note that not every game needs two pages, ok? One Page reviews have up to 2000 characters, one header image and 2 screenshots + descriptions. And they have room for one short side blurb or info-box. Here's an example of a 1 page review: http://i.imgur.com/AKINvJj.png Two page reviews have up to 4200 characters, one header image and 3-4 screenshots + descriptions. They feature a developer's quote and they have room for two or three short side info blurbs or info-boxes. Here's an example: http://i.imgur.com/LfZfHEw.png You can, but don't need to provide the screenshots (in .png if you do, please), just be sure to say what you think is important to show and write the descriptions for the images. They are a good place to point out things that won't fit the main text. The developer's quote will be handled by me (unless you know a good one already). The tone can be somewhat personal, talking about how you stayed up for a whole night trying to map that dungeon in Wizardry 4, but it’s very important that a reader that knows nothing about the game is able to understand what the game really is, its strong points and occasional flaws. Don’t say that “it has great combat”; explain why it’s great. BEFORE starting to write, please post on the thread about what will you do, PM me or send an e-mail to crpgbook at gmail.com. Someone might have already taken the game, or I might have extra details to discuss. Thanks all for your time and sorry for the massive 12/12 Wall of Text.
  6. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbyFqrEYSFw Tim's Q&A This week's Q&A is a little different. I spent some time reading the questions that people were asking in various Project Eternity forums, including our Kickstarter comments, our Project Eternity Facebook page, the RPG Codex forums, the reddit Project Eternity group, and our own Obsidian forums. I have picked five questions to answer, one from each of these forums, and I have answered them below. For each question, I have included the forum poster who asked it, along with his original question text. Let's start with Facebook. Facebook Ockert van der Westhuysen asks... Will back for psionics. Any hope? I think you might find our cipher class to your liking, since their method of using "magic" is quite different from wizards and clerics and is instead tied to mental abilities. They feel a lot more like psionic abilities from earlier D&D editions. You can read more about the cipher class in Josh's update #15, which you can read here: http://www.kickstart...ty/posts/321413 RPGCodex Wise Emperor asks Is there any confirmation that Eric Fenstermaker will be involved in PE? Obviously it would be cool if yes. Eric is currently working on another project at Obsidian, but there is a good chance he will move over to Project Eternity when that first project is completed. Until the Kickstarter campaign is over and we know the full scope of the game, the assignment of particular people to it will not be completed. Obsidian forums rjshae asks... Back in the BG series, experience growth was relatively slow and it felt like an accomplishment to reach a new level. Since then, D&D v3.5 rules came out and level up began to feel almost like a cheesy accomplishment that didn't require much effort. That has become the trend in modern games: leveling up after every few battles. I have to wonder how this will be handled in PE? It sounds like Obsidian wants to return to the style of the BG series, which would seems to entail a return to slower level progress. If they do allow a more rapid level up, I hope they tone down the power growth rate so that lower level monsters remain a challenge for longer periods. We are working hard to make Project Eternity revive the spirit of the older IE games, and this includes making leveling up an important accomplishment, one that makes your character feel substantially more powerful afterward. I agree that frequent level-ups make the event feel less special, so we plan to space out these events over the course of our storyline. The first few level-ups will occur relatively early in the game, but the pacing of the subsequent level-ups will be much slower. For people who enjoy level-ups, they are free to use our Adventurer's Hall to swap out new companions frequently, so they are always leveling up new characters to use in later parts of the story. For people who aren't sure what character classes they will want to have available in the end game, it's always nice to have the choice of having all of them. Kickstarter Stephen P asks... After seeing this screenshot my anticipation for the game has spiked considerably, but it left me with a few questions. I understand the 2d portrait background concept, but will there be any overlapping animation with the river to make it appear flowing, even if the actual image doesn't move? The same question for the flowers? trees? will wind be simulated somehow? We will certainly be adding animations to our backgrounds. The trees should sway, there will be birds or butterflies or insect clouds, depending on where you are, and the water in rivers and waterfalls will flow. We are using a rendering technique similar to the one we used in Temple of Elemental Evil, where the background is a pre-rendered 2D image and the characters and some props are 3D objects. This gives us the advantage of exquisitely detailed environments without the polygon cost, along with lots of animation without the memory cost that 2D sprites would entail. Reddit Mirokunite asks... Will there be low intelligence/charisma dialog? Yes, we will have these dialogs. They are a great deal of work, since it means writing two versions of every dialog in the game, but I am sure that our wonderful writers are up to it. I really want these dialogs too! I find it fun to replay the game with a low intelligence character, just to see how the NPC's react to my slow-witted attempts to help them. And there we have it! Five questions answered from five sites. Again, thanks for your support of Obsidian and Project Eternity. There are just a few days left before the Kickstarter campaign is over and we enter full production of this game, and we are all very excited about the prospect of working on a classic CRPG again! RPG Eats! Do you like to eat? Do you like RPGs? I am going to give out my favorite RPG themed recipes to all of our backers! The Project Eternity Cooking with Tim Recipe Book will contain 10 delicious recipes in PDF format. Enjoy the good eats while you play Project Eternity when it's released! Troll Portraits by Chris Avellone Chris Avellone has graciously volunteered to draw a custom troll portrait for you to help raise additional funding towards our last stretch goal target of $3.5m for Big City #2. Chris will number and sign the portrait, write a humorous message to you, and a print will be physically and digitally sent to you. This is a limited run of 30 at a $750 tier (includes all the goods in the $500 tier), so get in quickly. If you are above the $750 tier and would like a custom troll by Chris Avellone please contact Obsidian and we will work with you. Adam is currently live streaming all day long today at UStream. Join in on the fun and watch him play Icewind Dale II. We also hit 60,000 backers! Again, one more level to the dungeon is added! Update by Tim Cain
  7. First of all i would, as i am sure all others here would concede to doing, thank the Team at Obsidian for going on this fruitful journey of resurrecting the crpg genre, spearheading it along with inXile, and more than likely even more projects inspired by your success. But in this thread i would like to point out a particular individual and by extent the remnants of a once great developer. Tim Cain and Troika. I am a Norwegian, and unsurprisingly we play games. A lot of them. There arent a lot of us though, i think we just hit 5 million a year or so ago. Because of this, our gaming communities are small and densely populated, spread over a few sites. The biggest of them, having won the national gaming-medium award every time since it was thought up, namely Gamer.no, put up through January 2010 polls that would determine the 100 greatest games released over the last decade. "Why are you telling me about this" some of you might ask. Well, Vampire: Bloodlines has been one of my definite favorites. I rarely replay games but found myself just recently having gone through it for the sixth time. The first two times i got hit by the Dr. Johansen boat bug (i appreciate the attention and the irony of this) so that's how far i got until the third run-through, spurred by finding a fix through google. Bugs aside, the game was mind-blowingly good. For a long time, i thought i shared this knowledge with only a few enlightened individuals. So Bloodlines, landing on 8'th place, beating not only AAA titles like TES: Oblivion, Fallout 3, Battlefield 2 but also Deus Ex, was a pleasant surprise. Hearing this and knowing that some developers were essentially working for free the last few weeks i felt i wanted to share our appreciation with the team behind this classic. But with Troika gone, i found no way of contacting any former employees. But Project Eternity has along with its many other fruits, given me an opportunity to do this. So to Tim Cain and Troika, from the land of the midnight sun and brown cheese, Thank you. http://www.gamer.no/...ste-spill-10-1/
  8. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UpBqLbyR7o8&feature=player_embedded This week we announced our Mega Dungeon, our base classes, the cipher and barbarian classes as stretch goals, and the Adventurer's Hall as another stretch goal. We are coming up on our final week of the Kickstarter, and we have exciting stuff planned for you in the coming week including new rewards, a special inside peek into Obsidian, and a first look at Project Eternity. Exclusive Backer Pet, Hardcover Books for $250 and Name in the Game for $500! At the $50 tier and up we have an exclusive in-game pet for you! The pet is optional and will not have any in-game function besides being a quiet companion that will never leave your side. We are looking for ideas on what the pet could be, so let us know what you would like to see in our forums. We have great news for $250 and up backers! We are upgrading the Collector's Book at the $250 level to a hardcover at no extra charge. The Collector's Book is a full-color book that includes concept art, our monster manual, information about the campaign setting, and a special behind the scenes look at the making of Project Eternity. Additionally for our $500 backers and above, we will let you put your name and a personalized message on a memorial stone in game. Your unique message will be encoded into Glanfathan runes, and can be decoded using a unique in-game ring. It's a way for all of us to remember your large contribution to Project Eternity. Tim Answers Your Combat Questions from Reddit Kaboom asks: Hi Tim! I'm curious how the close combat in P:E will turn out. Will the melee of P:E encompass stuff like reach weapons, opportunity attacks, flanking, grappling, charging, prone/standing-modes and so forth? Tim: Yes, we are looking to include many of these features into our close combat system. Specifically, opportunity attacks and flanking are definitely in, as well as charging. We're not sure about reach weapons yet (we need to figure out if that attribute on a weapon will be worthwhile enough in combat and will supportable with the appropriate UI), and while we will support prone positions, you won't be able to attack while prone because the animations involved are too different from attacks while standing that we would have to make every animation twice, once for standing and once for prone. This limitation also means that grappling abilities will not be included. There are too many new animations needed and special case limitations that apply, e.g. how does a human grapple a centaur or a dragon or an ooze?). Tim answers more of your questions in the video and the text version is on our forums. Also check out the Project Eternity reddit group. Mod Support From Neverwinter Nights 2 to Fallout: New Vegas, we've enjoyed supporting the mod community, and we are continuing that with Project Eternity. It is awesome to see how you extend the worlds we make. To make getting mods easy, we are excited to announce that our friends at the Nexus will be the official spot to download Project Eternity mods once the game is released. They have been a great host for mods for our past games, and we want to continue the trend with the Project Eternity Nexus. Check out the Nexus Network at www.nexusmods.com. Our plan is to release our file-format information and expose as much of the data in the game as possible for you to extend and edit. We traditionally do not "hard-code" numbers so that our designers, and you, have the power to easily change and iterate on RPG data. We also plan on releasing localization tools to let communities around the world create localized versions for languages we are not translating Project Eternity into. As we get more familiar with Unity during production, we will be extending Project Eternity even more for mod makers. Look forward to announcements in the months ahead as we make further progress and can provide you with more information about tools and mod support. The Endless Paths Grows! We've passed 52,500 backers! The Endless Paths of Od Nua Mega Dungeon continues to grow larger! The next level will be added at 55,000 backers. Thank you for helping us to spread the word about Project Eternity! Kickstarter Comments and Kerfluffles! Lastly, if you haven’t been attending all of the fun in the Comments section of our Kickstarter, you’re really missing out on some fun conversations. From the Obsidian Order of Eternity representing in full force, to one of our favorites, the Kerfluffle Marshmallow lady, Spring Barnickle, who asks: Hmmm... how many marshmallows indeed. Beware paladin-types... beware! Until next time... Update by Tim Cain and Adam Brennecke (You can also discuss the entire Reddit Q&A part 2 in this thread.)
  9. For our weekend update this week (update 16!), we have another Q&A from our reddit readers in the Project Eternity Q&A Subgroup, with all of the questions having to do with the combat system of Project Eternity. Tim answers the top five questions below (as voted up by the community) as well as picking an additional question at random from all of those asked. Also check out the main Project Eternity group if you stop over to reddit. And now, on to the questions! Kaaaboom asks... Hi Tim! I'm curious how the close combat in P:E will turn out. Will the melee of P:E encompass stuff like reach weapons, opportunity attacks, flanking, grappling, charging, prone/standing-modes and so forth? Yes, we are looking to include many of these features into our close combat system. Specifically, opportunity attacks and flanking are definitely in, as well as charging. We're not sure about reach weapons yet (we need to figure out if that attribute on a weapon will be worthwhile enough in combat and will supportable with the appropriate UI), and while we will support prone positions, you won't be able to attack while prone because the animations involved are too different from attacks while standing that we would have to make every animation twice, once for standing and once for prone. This limitation also means that grappling abilities will not be included. There are too many new animations needed and special case limitations that apply, e.g. how does a human grapple a centaur or a dragon or an ooze?). DTKT asks... Are you guys designing some of the abilities/spells to be used in synergy with other spells? AKA, a grease spell and a fireball? Yes! We love abilities (including spells) that leave side effects on the target that subsequent abilities can take advantage of. So we may give you an attack that has a chance to stun a target, and another attack that does extra damage on stunned targets. Or you have a spell that catches targets on fire, and another that causes explosions on burning targets. These abilities work fine on their own, but when you learn the combinations, you will be much more effective. Karel_evzen asks... On KickStarter you mention positioning will be an important aspect of combat. How important will this (and tactics in general) be? Will we see similar combat mechanics as in NWN2 (backstabbing, friendly fire) or something completely different? We plan to make positioning very important, since we will support flanking attacks and backstabbing. We want you to be thinking about where your characters are standing and facing, not only relative to the monsters but also to each other, because we will have friendly fire in the game. Some abilities will affect their target and other targets around the main one, so you will need to use these abilities carefully. You can always avoid using these abilities at all, as they are never required, or you can choose to use them around your other characters that have a good chance to evade such damage. And if you don't like it, friendly fire will be an option you can turn off in most modes, but not in expert mode. In expert mode, you will always have to be careful when using area of effect abilities or abilities that cause splash damage, because you won't be able to turn off friendly fire. DoubtfulGuest asks... A question about combat magic: I really enjoyed the complexity of the system in the Baldurs Gate series where a wizard's repertoire included contingency spells, spell triggers, spell shields of different magnitudes, "prep spells" like Malison, and so forth. It added an interesting amount of strategy to a wizard duel. Will the system in Project Eternity have similar elements? Yes, we will have spells that are useful to counter other spells, and we will certainly have buffs and shields that you can cast on yourself and other party members. However, we are not going to make encounters that require the use of a particular spell or that involve a creature with extreme immunities (such as a creature only harmed by silver weapons). We don't want to make encounters that only have one solution, and if you cannot use that solution, you are out of luck. Instead, our encounters will have creatures with various strengths and weaknesses, and you can pick several different ways to take them down, and some of those ways will be more efficacious than others. Few choices will be outright unusable, though. Wormix asks... In certain CRPGs you will regenerate all your health and mana after every fight, ensuring that you have your full power for every fight. In the IE games you didn't regenerate spells or health after each battle, making spell management a strategic concern.While this allows individual fights to be balanced for difficulty easier and is less punishing in general, it removes an aspect of strategy from the game that a lot of players enjoy. What is Project Eternity's aim in terms of strategic resource management? In the old IE games, wizards and priests had resources that got drained and did not regenerate before the next battle, unlike fighters and rogues that few or no such resources. We are looking for a middle ground solution, either one where the wizards aren't the only ones to make a hard choice of whether to "use up" a resource, or one where no class has to make such a choice. For example, we are looking into the idea that wizards are only limited in the number of times they can cast their higher-level combat spells in a fight, and other spell are castable as many times as you want. As the wizard levels up, spells that previously had a limit can now be cast an unlimited number of times, and the newly acquired spells are the ones with a limit. And we could make similar abilities for fighters, priests and rogues too. In general, we always want to the player to have a choice of what to do with a particular character, and we want those choices to change as the character becomes more powerful. Now for a bonus question! Diablo169 asks... Could you please provide a bit more detail on how skill/spell cooldowns are going to factor into the games combat system? Sure, let me give some specifics on how we are planning to incorporate cooldowns into the wizard class. First off, cooldowns are NOT on individual spells. For any particular spell, you cast it, and when you are done, you can cast it again right away. But one limitation is on spells of a particular level. When you cast a certain number of those spells, in any combination, then the whole spell level group goes into a cooldown, and you can't use any of them until that cooldown has passed. That cooldown is long enough that for short battles, you are limited to casting a certain number of spells for each spell level. For long battles, that cooldown might expire and you can start casting those spells again. The other cooldown has to do with your grimoire. A wizard may know a lot of spells, but he can only cast a few basic spells plus the ones that are in the grimoire that he is holding. Grimoires vary in size, holding various numbers of spells of different spell levels, and the player is free to load up his different grimoires with spell combinations of his choice. But once combat begins, switching grimoires causes a cooldown for all of those spells, leaving the caster only able to cast his basic spells until the grimoire cooldown passes. This means the player will have to think carefully about which spells he adds to a grimoire and under what situations he would want to switch one for another. And that's everything for this week, folks. Thank you very much for your support of Obsidian and Project Eternity. Tim.
  10. 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.
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