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Some feedback on the Shifter sub-class. I think it would both be more fun to play, and make more sense, if the shift was permanent and restricted to one form which gets a bonus.


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The whole appeal of a shapeshifting druid would be specializing in a form and get that form a bonus and/or permanence. Currently the shifter is like... a generalist shifter with no identity. As you can access all forms. The biggest issue is that shifter shapeshift has a duration though. I think a better solution to shifter would be to have all regular druids have access to all forms, allowing one timed shift. Weirdly enough... other druids and shifter seems to have their mechanics (as to what makes sense logically) reversed.

Suggestion to change shifter:

 

POSITIVE

Decide on one shapeshift form to specialize in. That form gains permanent duration and you can shift in and out at will. Shifters gain a bonus to their chosen form based on what form they choose. They all gain one additional damage type (as to not be useless vs immune to X damage type). These are just examples for what the bonuses COULD be:

Wolf: A stacking 1% weapon damage added as raw damage per hit up to a 25% cap. This is per encounter. Heal for X when you hit a blooded or near death enemy.

Boar: 25% chance to stagger on attacks. Critical hits causes interrupt. +1 Engagement. 

Bear: +2 Armor. +3 engagement. 

Stag: +8 all defenses. Gain 1% recovery bonus stack per hit up to 15% max. Resets per encounter.

Cat: +30% stride. Can not be detected in stealth. +15 defense bonus to disengage. 

NEGATIVE 

One (or maybe 2) forms.

Can not cast spells while shifted. 

Each time you shift, the power level of your spells is decreased by -1. Stacking to -5 max penalty (per encounter).

When not shapeshifted, damage done to you has a low chance (15%) to instantly shift you into your animal form.

VISUAL

Slight visual changes to each shapeshift form to make them a bit more menacing as a shifter

 

Ending Note

I felt I had to post this feedback and suggestion... why is shifter a generalist shapeshifter and not a specialized shapeshifter with one form which gains a bonus? Why isn't a timed one-time shift to all animals the general druid's thing? The whole point and fun of playing a shifter is using your animal form, and feel a sense of identity and strength to it. It shouldn't be timed. Regardless of counterbalancing measures, timed shift should NOT be a thing for shifters! And having access to all shifts, instead of 1 (or maybe 2 chosen ones)... maybe people disagree - I feel it's a loss of identity to your shifter. Better to give all shifter forms a unique bonus passive or ability extra and restrict to one.

 

 

 

Edited by Ouroboros226
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I suggested a long time ago that it's only one animal form and the shifting made a true modal (so that you'd be able to switch it on and off with a little cool down like other modals have). Keep the "no casting while shifted" thing.

But nobody listened. ;)

 

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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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Too powerful I think. Cat form's weapons are on par with monk fists but require no investment and are equally good as a multiclass. And though you lose special properties from your armor when you transform, the spiritshift hide is also really good (base 8 AR, , no recovery penalty). There kind of needs to be a limited duration. I do like the balance polishing mod in that it makes wildstrike frenzy trigger on crit instead of kill, so even against megabosses a single class druid can potentially stay in spiritshift form permanently.

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On 8/26/2021 at 9:27 PM, NotDumbEnough said:

Too powerful I think. Cat form's weapons are on par with monk fists but require no investment and are equally good as a multiclass. And though you lose special properties from your armor when you transform, the spiritshift hide is also really good (base 8 AR, , no recovery penalty). There kind of needs to be a limited duration. I do like the balance polishing mod in that it makes wildstrike frenzy trigger on crit instead of kill, so even against megabosses a single class druid can potentially stay in spiritshift form permanently.

I don't think it would be too powerful since Shifter can't cast. Loosing casting is a super big deal (with a proper cooldown). Druid, even Shifter, is meant to be a caster.

Cat form does about x1.6 time the damage of a weapon of equivalent quality. With Wildstrike counted. Mowdyr is about x1,4 without any downside. The gap is much more significant for Spiritshift armor though.

I would have preferred it too. I do think that Shifter subclass is interesting too, but maybe there could have been another subclass which allows permanent spirit****.

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The moment when you realize the forum censored what you thought you wrote down as "shift"... ;)
By the way: Deadfire druids lack some serious Bullshift... 

 

54 minutes ago, Elric Galad said:

I don't think it would be too powerful since Shifter can't cast. Loosing casting is a super big deal (with a proper cooldown). Druid, even Shifter, is meant to be a caster.

I agree.

Also I don't like that they used a modal in the first place (which in this game is used exclusively for effects you can switch on and off again - except Spiritshift). Is breaks the systemic coherence.
One time a modal can be switched on/off and another time it cannot? Ach...

I mean why not just use a normal ability button for the normal Spiritshift. One that triggers the transformation and has a duration - like with Form of the Fearsome Brute (which basically is a Wizard's Spiritshift)? Has anybody ever wanted to shift back prematurely before the spiritshift duration was over? Why would you? There's no downside to being shifted (except maybe that you don't have access to weapons' and armors' special effects). I never shifted back before the duration of that "fake" modal was up. Not once.

Then for Shifter you could have chosen a fixed Spiritshift form but make it a "real" modal. Maybe don't call it Shifter then (the name "shifter" actually fits a druid subclass that can change into multiple forms quite well imo) but maybe Therian(thrope)* - a Druid that specializes on this one very form he chose an is able to change as often as he/she wants. But the transformation into a man-beast is so profound that the ability to cast spells is lost during the shift. 

 

But yeah whatever 🤷‍♂️ 😄 don't mind me babbling... ;) 

)* Therianthropy is the umbrella term for lycanthropy (wolf),  ailuranthropy (cat) and whatever animal+man form.

Edited by Boeroer
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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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I'm relatively new so I'm not sure if my suggestions for balancing hold any weight with you guys. But I also think there are some other really horrible subclasses.  

Corpse Eater for barb: Should remove +1 rage cost to abilities. It should rather grant a 2nd barbarian rage resource pool which starts at 0 and can be filled to 5 by eating corpses. This being the corpse eater's "stomach" so to speak. So that you can use up to +5 rage in a difficult encounter if you've eaten that many people. People you eat staying in your stomach until used indefinitely. Causes a constitution and ACC penalty the more empty your stomach is. This way corpse eating isn't just useful situationally, but becomes a strategic resource as you can save up corpses for harder encounters.

 

Mage Slayer thing for barb: Why does this also affect friendly spells? It is perfectly balanced around no potions or scrolls already. 33% chance to evade any hostile spell, and not affecting positive spells and this subclass is fixed.

 

Wizard subclasses. Why not give the specialized class +3 power level, and the unspecialized classes -1?

Or select one school by choice as the magic you neglected to learn to specialize. So that you get like +2 power level and specialization bonus to one, then you choose one spell school which is disabled for you. Why is Obsidian sticking to the archaic DnD rules by mimicking them at their worst, when they make their own system with the freedom to be creative here? 

 

There's a few more but these are the worst imo. Not sure what the consensus is among you veterans here but I think these badly needs to be changed. 

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18 minutes ago, Ouroboros226 said:

I'm relatively new so I'm not sure if my suggestions for balancing hold any weight with you guys. But I also think there are some other really horrible subclasses.  

Corpse Eater for barb: Should remove +1 rage cost to abilities. It should rather grant a 2nd barbarian rage resource pool which starts at 0 and can be filled to 5 by eating corpses. This being the corpse eater's "stomach" so to speak. So that you can use up to +5 rage in a difficult encounter if you've eaten that many people. People you eat staying in your stomach until used indefinitely. Causes a constitution and ACC penalty the more empty your stomach is. This way corpse eating isn't just useful situationally, but becomes a strategic resource as you can save up corpses for harder encounters.

 

Mage Slayer thing for barb: Why does this also affect friendly spells? It is perfectly balanced around no potions or scrolls already. 33% chance to evade any hostile spell, and not affecting positive spells and this subclass is fixed.

 

Wizard subclasses. Why not give the specialized class +3 power level, and the unspecialized classes -1?

Or select one school by choice as the magic you neglected to learn to specialize. So that you get like +2 power level and specialization bonus to one, then you choose one spell school which is disabled for you. Why is Obsidian sticking to the archaic DnD rules by mimicking them at their worst, when they make their own system with the freedom to be creative here? 

 

There's a few more but these are the worst imo. Not sure what the consensus is among you veterans here but I think these badly needs to be changed. 

Deadfire Balance Polishing Mod at Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Nexus - Mods and Community (nexusmods.com)

Basically the subclasses you name are the ones that got buffed (but in other ways that you suggest). 

Edited by Elric Galad
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2 minutes ago, Elric Galad said:

Deadfire Balance Polishing Mod at Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Nexus - Mods and Community (nexusmods.com)

Basically the subclasses you name are the ones that got buffed (but in other ways that you suggest). 

Thanks for the link. But I'm a modding purist. Though I do love mods (over 100+ in Skyrim alone) - I never - ever - use mods that changes gameplay balance in any way, shape or form. The reason I've always taken this stance, is because I am heavily opposed to gameplay balance responsibility being handed/shifted to modders instead of developers. IMO it is the people making the games, that should be responsible for game balance. Because it creates a fair objective baseline experience for people, even in games without direct competition. 

 

I only share my opinions on balance when I think issues of game balance is really bad. But I always respect developer choices in such if their statement is "This is how we want it". By that I mean - I'm airing my dissatisfaction for game balance here. But if a dev responded with arguments for WHY it's this way, and why they want to keep it that way - and state they won't change it for those reasons. I respect that and concede. 

 

What is problematic for me with the subclasses I mentioned - is that it's almost like the developers don't play their own game. Many of the subclasses are just really poorly balanced to the point that it seems like they don't even care or are ignorant to the gameplay experience of those subclasses. Maybe a lack of playtesting? I don't know - I'm just speculating.  

 

PS: This may be pretty harsh criticism, but I'd rather be blunt and honest in such. I love Obsidian and their games but I just can't understand the balancing of many of the subclasses. IMO many of them are too strong even. 

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18 minutes ago, Ouroboros226 said:

What is problematic for me with the subclasses I mentioned - is that it's almost like the developers don't play their own game. Many of the subclasses are just really poorly balanced to the point that it seems like they don't even care or are ignorant to the gameplay experience of those subclasses. Maybe a lack of playtesting? I don't know - I'm just speculating.  

Lack of playtesting, I think.

I've corrected many obvious bugs for abilities that are a bit meh based on their description and doesn't see a lot of play. They corrected bugs and balanced based on player feedback, which means "unattractive" abilities were caught in a vicious loop where nobody cared.

 

The game sold poorly, so don't expect a super high level of quality in term of balance. It is not even a top priority in term of post-release additions.

Adding the (poorly balanced) Turn Based mode is way above proper balancing for usual player satisfaction.

Also Balancing a single player game could lead to player dissatisfaction (if you nerf the ability that everyone loves).

 

Theoritically, I agree that balance feels more legit to be left to the devs. And Gameplay mods are... often somewhat poorly balanced.

But I'm also the author of the mod above. Because it's clear that there is zero change of getting balance update now.  I've done my best to create something as.. well.. balanced as possible while remaining quite faithful to original intents, including gathering "peer review".

Edited by Elric Galad
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30 minutes ago, Elric Galad said:

Lack of playtesting, I think.

I've corrected many obvious bugs for abilities that are a bit meh based on their description and doesn't see a lot of play. They corrected bugs and balanced based on player feedback, which means "unattractive" abilities were caught in a vicious loop where nobody cared.

 

The game sold poorly, so don't expect a super high level of quality in term of balance. It is not even a top priority in term of post-release additions.

Adding the (poorly balanced) Turn Based mode is way above proper balancing for usual player satisfaction.

Also Balancing a single player game could lead to player dissatisfaction (if you nerf the ability that everyone loves).

 

Theoritically, I agree that balance feels more legit to be left to the devs. And Gameplay mods are... often somewhat poorly balanced.

But I'm also the author of the mod above. Because it's clear that there is zero change of getting balance update now.  I've done my best to create something as.. well.. balanced as possible while remaining quite faithful to original intents, including gathering "peer review".

 

The game selling poorly leading to less incentive to bother change and improve stuff? A comment about it selling poorly. I think boats, oceans and pirates is a hard sell. I can't speak for everyone, but the reason I did not buy POE2 initially - was the prevalence of the pirate, boats and ocean themes. This had a MAJOR impact on me negatively. Civ, Red Alert... probably 20+ other games... boats, ocean and naval stuff is usually bad. The fear of pirates being overstereotyped is there (becoming silly and over the top).   

 
I've totally fallen in love with PoE2. Because the pirate stuff is more grounded and brutal. Not "cartoonishly" silly. The boat fights and travel - I love it. Good execution. Story and characters, I love it all.

IMO POE2 failed to sell well because oceans, boats and pirates is a hard sell. The cover is also kinda dull. The cover of a game is the first impression - companions fighting in a boat is a "meh" when it comes to advertisement and a poor hook. So IMO the marketing failed when it came to the decision of the game cover, and the heavy emphasis on boats/water/pirates. They should have used a different cover for the game, and tried to sell it in other areas (the game doesn't lack there). Anyway I'm ranting again...

 

I'd just like to say that - though I personally reject balancing mods - I have lots of respect for those of you that put so much time and effort into such mods to make it a more enjoyable experience for people that want it. Especially if you feel the devs stopped caring. My stance is a vast minority, and I'm very happy and appreciative of people like you committing so much time into making games better or more fun to people's taste. I'm just stating this incase you got the impression that I'm unhappy with modders adding balance changes. It's the other way around, I just personally don't use mods that alters balance.

Edited by Ouroboros226
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53 minutes ago, Ouroboros226 said:

 

The game selling poorly leading to less incentive to bother change and improve stuff? A comment about it selling poorly. I think boats, oceans and pirates is a hard sell. I can't speak for everyone, but the reason I did not buy POE2 initially - was the prevalence of the pirate, boats and ocean themes. This had a MAJOR impact on me negatively. Civ, Red Alert... probably 20+ other games... boats, ocean and naval stuff is usually bad. The fear of pirates being overstereotyped is there (becoming silly and over the top).   

 
I've totally fallen in love with PoE2. Because the pirate stuff is more grounded and brutal. Not "cartoonishly" silly. The boat fights and travel - I love it. Good execution. Story and characters, I love it all.

IMO POE2 failed to sell well because oceans, boats and pirates is a hard sell. The cover is also kinda dull. The cover of a game is the first impression - companions fighting in a boat is a "meh" when it comes to advertisement and a poor hook. So IMO the marketing failed when it came to the decision of the game cover, and the heavy emphasis on boats/water/pirates. They should have used a different cover for the game, and tried to sell it in other areas (the game doesn't lack there). Anyway I'm ranting again...

 

I'd just like to say that - though I personally reject balancing mods - I have lots of respect for those of you that put so much time and effort into such mods to make it a more enjoyable experience for people that want it. Especially if you feel the devs stopped caring. My stance is a vast minority, and I'm very happy and appreciative of people like you committing so much time into making games better or more fun to people's taste. I'm just stating this incase you got the impression that I'm unhappy with modders adding balance changes. It's the other way around, I just personally don't use mods that alters balance.

Just to say that the reason why the game (initially) sold very poorly has also been debated a lot.

Pirates theme has been pointed without evidence about it being the main cause. If it is part of the problem it is a bit sad, because it's mostly well done (bar naval combat that is 99% skippable) and quite original. It would mean that audience isn't interested by unique content, even in a sort of intellectual genre.

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Yeah no way to know all the contributing factors and their scale. For me it was a big negative, however - it is (imo) executed so well I enjoy it immensely DESPITE having serious negative connotations to such. Which I'd say is a huge compliment to the devs in my book. I hope the world map thing wasn't ill received? One of the best and most fun features is the world travel imo. 

I enjoy POE2 so much I'm considering gifting a few copies to some friends of mine just to support the game. I think it's a masterpiece so far. I haven't completed it yet (rerolled like 10+ times) but they would have to really, really mess up to ruin it so I doubt I'll be disappointed by the end.

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5 hours ago, Boeroer said:

Has anybody ever wanted to shift back prematurely before the spiritshift duration was over? Why would you? There's no downside to being shifted (except maybe that you don't have access to weapons' and armors' special effects). I never shifted back before the duration of that "fake" modal was up. Not once.

lol, i definitely do this like 99% of the time, because most of the druids i've played are custom or PCs that use cat form.

shift->trigger cat flurry->shift out, start dumping spells. weapon and armor special effects can be extremely relevant.

 

with my recent sorcerer, i had to pre-shift out early also just when i wanted to switch grimoires (as a workaround to a ruinous bug with grimoire spells while shifted).

 

this is my one small small counterargument to shifter being just a superior druid, because the delay in being to disable the modal can mess up the shift->trigger cat flurry->shift out->dump spells flow, because ordinarily while waiting for the modal to clear i can cast a spell or two, but can't with shifter.

Edited by thelee
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Myeah, but that's because you don't actually use Spiritshift for what it is intended but simply as a "haste" effect. If I had designed the Cat form then the "flurry" would end as soon as you shift back. It doesn't make much sense to have the speed of a cat when you are no longer a cat.

I'm pretty sure you wouldn't switch back prematurely if you couldn't abuse cat's flurry. ;)

1 hour ago, thelee said:

weapon and armor special effects can be extremely relevant.

Extremely relevant? Which ones?

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11 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

Extremely relevant? Which ones?

off the top of my head:

  • lord darryn's voulge (+3 storm PL)
  • lance of midwood stag (+2 all PL)
  • chromoprismatic staff (+1 various PL)
  • any xbow (10% hit to crit)
  • vatnir's armor (the one that gives you more action speed/damage)

 

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23 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

I'm pretty sure you wouldn't switch back prematurely if you couldn't abuse cat's flurry. ;)

even in the cases where i've gotten cat's flurry suppressed (happens a lot more often than you'd think 😕, enemy wizards open up with arcane dampener at the same time i'm trying to open up the flurry dump) there've been cases where i want to shift back (outside of grimoire bug workaround). In general, I actually wish more things functioned like the spiritshift, actually, cause sometimes I wish I could just get rid of some summoned weapons when I no longer want them. In PnP, those would just be spells you could dismiss at will.

 

i'm planning on a full shifter run, but even with a partial (aborted early) shifter run I found myself switching a lot simply because of varying enemy defenses (e.g. different forms do pierce or slash, or sometimes i just want to abort and use a staff I have or create a summoned weapon).

Edited by thelee
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49 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

Summoned weapons are/were supposed to go away once you switch weapon sets - but somehow they messed up the implementation (or forgot to implement that in the first place).

i think it might have worked at some point in deadfire patch history - istr an ancient bug report by me where i tried to switch away from kalakoth's minor blights, but due to how that weapon works it would mess me up because i'd get a new weapon summoned in at a later point. either way, can't get rid of summoned weapons anymore now.

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