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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.