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We've got a crowdfunded project with many many rpg veterans chipping in. I'm ready for some innovation and experiments. Here are some features of my imaginary, perfect 'Project Eternity', add your own below!

  • Resting

Spells/abilities regenerate instead of becoming unavailable after use until the party rests. The party acts at 100% efficiency when well rested, but gradually becomes more vulnerable and loses effectiveness in all skills when tired. Spells not only cost mana, but tire casters independently. The same holds true for physical skills without consuming mana. The party can rest anywhere to regain up to e.g. 50% efficiency, but can only recuperate to 100% in designated resting areas.

  • Familiar:

As a tactical asset, it can spy, explore, steal, poison, play tricks etc. either on enemies/neutrals or companions. It's got character (I always thought Morte was a good familiar, if overpowered as a fighter.)

It's not an ugly beetle.

  • Dialogue

Regular people share parts of a huge knowledge pool. Besides the traditional dialogue window, a kind of "google autocomplete searchbox" displays possible questions relating to the key words typed in.

E.g. "Mr. X" would permit the questions: "What do you know about Mr. X?", "Where does Mr. X live?", etc.

  • Choices

Some painful, some impossible, and some to be proud of

 

Example: "You paid dearly for doing the right thing. As a child slave, you decide to help a friend avoid punishment. You get caught and your hand is chopped off in retribution. Later on, you can't use bows and 2h-weapons. Furthermore, the wound is a stigma of a caught and convicted petty thief."

In the later game, those friends' actions have special significance to the player, and create immersion. If later on a magic liquid metal hand that restores lost abilities, can shapeshift and execute killmoves happens to be found, it'll be enjoyed all the more.

On the other hand, any injury can be avoided by not helping the friend in the first place.

 

Not paying attention makes it easy to inadvertently go down the wrong path. You want to be a good guy? Be prepared to swallow rage and forsake the satisfaction of vengeance. Vigilante killings are recognized as such by society. It's not easy to be just, and almost impossible to entirely avoid being manipulated. Prudent choices such as "bringing someone in" instead of killing them outright are available. It's impossible to succeed every time, and players are confronted with moments of intense frustration.

  • No guiding hand

An immersion breaker in modern games is the relentless pace. Not in Project Eternity. Here it is important to pay attention to the dialogue. Little is gained by following quest markers or checking objectives. Facts are recorded, but the player jots down his/her own conclusions in the journal next to them, and chooses his/her plan of action. The minimap is not a substitute for looking at where you are going, players need to familiarize themselves with the game world. Help is readily available by talking to people, but the right questions need to be asked. Superior solutions to quests apparent only with understanding and immersion are available next to regular endings.

  • Mystery

The player is placed in a wondrous place, and is not all that powerful nor important. He/She isn't able to battle everything, and might need to run from a conflict without ever having a chance of besting an opponent. In PST the lady of pain set a great mood. Beating everything into submission does not solve anything, nor does it even seem a worthy endeavor.

  • Themes

Philosophy is fun and fascinating. Kierkegaard and Hobbes inspire fascinating dark characters whose dispositions and actions give a special flair to this RPG. There is no arch enemy, per se, the player develops a philosophy he/she needs to see through.

  • Combat

The trade-off for tactical mastery in turn based combat is the static feel. Especially during unchallenging encounters, parties approach each other, find the right distance, stop, and lose health until one dies.

 

Not in Project Eternity. To start with, enemies have hit boxes which can be individually targeted.

Moreover, terrain, obstacles, distance, position and stance are integrated as tactical elements. Attacks and spells can knock targets around.

More action oriented players such as myself appreciate timed active actions (block, parry, riposte/counter, chain...), although these are optional in the game menu.

 

Both classic rpg lovers and action oriented gamers appreciate differentiated combat stages, where party characters dynamically adjust their standard attack according to distance. Long range, mid range, and melee. A melee character needs to consider how to approach through a debuff focused mid range without penalty (by fog, evasion, cover, long range stun/knockdown...), thus making the "approach and hack" tactic less feasible.

 

Different armors equal different strengths and weaknesses. Weapon changes during combat are quick and necessary. Semi-scripted melee and spell combos bring joy to all (thief hamstrings an opponent from behind, fighter bashes his head in)

  • Romance

During the last years games have opened up a lot in this respect. We saw more LBGT friendly interaction, and a lot more skin. Since all bases are covered in Project Eternity, a large cast of characters is needed. Most characters are regular boring heterosexuals, not that much interested in sex in any case, because immersion doesn't permit otherwise.

 

A true romance (and with good reason not everyone wants to go there) seeps out of the confines of dialogue. Combat changes, as do expectations from partner and party. Interaction is more frequent and natural. A darker side of romance is the power to influence/manipulate/control one's partner, and some evil bastards take advantage of that.

  • Leveling

A Fallout approach is chosen in lieu of fixed classes. It's possible to pick up formerly unknown skills during the story which are not included in a skill tree/pool, and different types of equipment have unique actions.

  • Toolset

Whatever wishes stay unfulfilled, a toolset brings them to life. Modders not only add or change content, they change gameplay, fix bugs and update graphics. A toolset for a game is the gift that keeps on giving. (Check out the oblivion/skyrim/fallout3/falloutnv nexus if you haven't already, it is insane what these people deliver)

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Races. Non-Tolkienesque races would be nice.

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The KS Collector's Edition does not include the Collector's Book.

Which game hook brought you to Project Eternity and interests you the most?

PE will not have co-op/multiplayer, console, or tablet support (sources): [0] [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

Write your own romance mods because there won't be any in PE.

"But what is an evil? Is it like water or like a hedgehog or night or lumpy?" -(Digger)

"Most o' you wanderers are but a quarter moon away from lunacy at the best o' times." -Alvanhendar (Baldur's Gate 1)

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BTW, these sorts of questions (and many have been asked in different threads) are the ones I think we're most interested in hearing your thoughts on. I certainly have my own opinions on things I'd like to change from the standard operating procedure (e.g. resting mechanics), but you folks are the customers.

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Just blue-sky thinking here, but wouldn't it be neat if there were some sort of countervailing mechanic that served as a disincentive to rest? Not talking "spirit meter" territory, but it'd be kinda cool if there were an area of magical/mystical abilities that actually peak in effectiveness when you've gone a long while without sleeping.

 

"Well, we're pretty beat up and should probably camp for the night, but that's going to bring our Psionicist (or whatever) back to his 'groggy early morning' state, and we used up all of our espresso supplies three days ago."

 

(Or perhaps Barbarians just can't get up the urge to Rage properly until after they've had lunch... and ripped off a couple of limbs.)

Edited by Enoch
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One thing I would love to see change is having 'quests' be time sensitive.

 

For example: You might get a quest to go save someone who was kidnapped for a ritual. You might then only have 7 in game days from the time of pick up to complete the quest. If you don't complete it in those 7 days, something related to that quest happens. Not getting there in time might mean you then end up having to fight some horrible monster or something later on, or like... some part of a town gets destroyed, and the prices in that town go up or something.

 

It's probably wishful thinking, since it'd be a pretty ambitious undertaking to do it well... but it'd be really nice to see quests that don't wait around for the hero to get there, kinda deal.

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Some feedback on those points

 

- Resting

I've always thought that resting kills flow of the game, it seems to kill any momentum, when you've got to stop to rest. Maybe mana isn't an answer , some kind of cool down mechanic would be much better. But keeping your party rested is dated idea, sure it's realistic etc but it bores me to death. There was a GTA game in which you had to eat, work out etc it was hopeless for me.

 

- Familiar

I would love familiars to be part of a game, but change with your characters, for example if characters is bad familiar makes some kind of nasty deeds(maybe changing how they look as well). Making them some kind of character avatar would be cool, as long as they're not very powerful.

 

- Dialogue

I'm not sure, I would be totally satisfied with rich and interesting dialogues and don't really care how it'll be executed.

 

- Romance

cool option as long as it is executed well, it would have to be complex and well constructed unlike BioWare games.

 

- Story

I would love it to be something special, there are some memorable stories in history of the games ( Metal Gear Solid, Knight of the Old Republic, Planscape Torment, Heavy Rain, FFVII) I would love this project's story to be among them. I hate how cliche and uninteresting main plot in games becomes - take DA:Origins - great game with some interesting ideas, cool combat system and many memorable side quest but somehow ruined by stupid - evil rises, demonic invasion, lone chosen by destiny hero to save the world crap.

 

- Races and Monsters

keep in simple, traditional fantasy races are cool, just make your own spin on them, add some other races and it would satisfy everyone, I would love it to be ultimate RPG and Elves, Dwarves are part of it, but I understand that some people are sick of those races, so be keeping some traditional races while adding some new ideas would be very cool.

 

- Classes

The more classes the better but why to chose them ? Think about a system which automatically make you this or that. For example you choose as a spell caster and then start playing as a fighter - that automatically make you a mage-warrior classes(name it dragon mage or whatever) giving you access to some new abilities. Be using backstab, decoy , poisoned weapon and having evil personality in time your character becomes an assassin and is able to specialize even more in that department. And unlocking classes should be made automatically without information how much more you have to do to obtain certain class.

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In regards to factions, I would like to see a roughly equivalent positive and negative portrayal of them all. One area I felt New Vegas failed was in how Caesar's Legion was presented to the player. Yes, there was the odd NPC that provided a fresh perspective and a conversation with Caesar about his long term goals, but beyond those scant moments I was never presented with a compelling reason to support his side. Not unless I was role-playing a sadistic monster or an unempathetic pragmatist, anyway.

 

That is not to say I'm against the idea of an "evil" faction. Only that I'd like every faction to offer believable incentives to join or support. I don't ever want to feel as if one choice is clearly superior to another. Perhaps it might be easier if none of the main factions were the primary antagonists. Unless having an option for Evil McEvil characters to join the Big Bads is intentional; in which case ignore this whole post. :p

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  • Familiar:

As a tactical asset, it can spy, explore, steal, poison, play tricks etc. either on enemies/neutrals or companions. It's got character (I always thought Morte was a good familiar, if overpowered as a fighter.)

It's not an ugly beetle.

 

Love this! I would love to see a familiar interact with the dialogue flow or even be a dialogue option. It could be upgradable through more than just levelling - for some reason I am thinking Unbroken Circle of Zerthimon. Having companions be able to interact with it is genius!


"You would not understand. No mortal possibly could. It is beyond the powers of comprehension of all but the most powerful of powers, and once they understand, they move beyond the veil of mortal comprehension. I can explain it no more than that. Perhaps, sometime, you will understand." - O

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Cultural differences, in dress, speech and moral viewpoints. The decadent kilted profligates of the soft southern cities, a racial mish mash of half a dozen peoples, garishly adorned and of a driven cheerful disposition should stand in stark contrast to the conservative betrousered and drab northerners, who ride forth from the dark wald to trade their kine and furs on the borderlands.


Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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Would really like to see the honeycomb mission structure, maybe just for one bigger side quest. I would also appreciate more puzzle quest. Otherwise as mentioned in another thread I would really like to see Obsidian refine some non-combat/social skill. And the speech skill shouldn't be a winning button. It always feels like cheating.

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I've been pushing for RPGs to revamp their dialogue system. I'm no fan of cutscene dialogue, where you're basically just held hostage to someone else trying to talk to you. It'd be nice if the dialogue system was something more contextual. Someone tries to talk to you, you press a button which brings up response choices. Or, if you want to ignore them, or even break the conversation mid discussion, you can just walk away. Basically, you still have enough control that while the bad guy is giving his epic speech about how he's misunderstood (and also a god) and that he really tried to be better (but now he will devour your soul), you get to just start firing arrows at him mid-sentence.

 

Being able to walk away from conversations was a nice feature in Neverwinter Nights.

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"Show me a man who "plays fair" and I'll show you a very talented cheater."

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I can tell you what I don't want, because it's easily as important as what I do:

  • No romances

  • No 'cinematic cut-scenes'

  • No forced joinable NPCs

  • No 'Chosen One' schema

  • No Unicorns

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What I do want:

 

Crunchy tactical combat that manages to be fun and elegant, and by elegant I mean immersive but not overly complex

 

Options in combat --- Disarm / bull-rush / stun etc

 

Classes-but-classless --- By this I mean I like class tropes, but classes should also be able To Do Other Stuff. A tribal warrior might have learnt some shaman-esque combat buffs. A city-dweller thief might have learnt a useful cantrip or two.

 

A magic system as immersive and elegant as combat. Dragon Age 1 tried hard but having symbiotic spells (grease + fire for example) lets see that ball run with a bit more perhaps

 

Big, lunatic, old-skool dungeons full of loot, traps and stuff. Durlag's Tower writ large. A dungeon just for the bloody sake of it. The vibe that made IWD so great.

 

Factions where you can properly burn bridges

 

Crafting. I used to *hate* crafting but now I like it as games made it a bit easier. The items in D3 might be crap, but the crafting *mechanic* is fun.

 

Proper loot. Back to BG2 levels of unique items rather than the generic and cartoony NWN versions

 

NPCs who, just for five minutes STFU without banging on about their problems. Have a couple of strong fairly silent types for those of us who want to get on with it

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Cultural differences, in dress, speech and moral viewpoints. The decadent kilted profligates of the soft southern cities, a racial mish mash of half a dozen peoples, garishly adorned and of a driven cheerful disposition should stand in stark contrast to the conservative betrousered and drab northerners, who ride forth from the dark wald to trade their kine and furs on the borderlands.

I really love this stuff, personally.

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As an aside, the trial from NWN2 was great. As long as thick-as-mince characters get interesting options too, that would be great.

 

As for the idea of cultural differences --- brilliant but does it stretch art assets too much? It would be cool if you were wearing armour from one region and in another it was commented on, for example.


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personally i hate the MMORPG-ish system of in-combat healing. Hits should mean something and shouldnt be negated by a healer standing 10 m away from the action. I liked the D&D games where healing in the middle of a fight was risky and not as efficient as post-combat healing.

 

Also pure healing classes are the worst.

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Cultural differences, in dress, speech and moral viewpoints. The decadent kilted profligates of the soft southern cities, a racial mish mash of half a dozen peoples, garishly adorned and of a driven cheerful disposition should stand in stark contrast to the conservative betrousered and drab northerners, who ride forth from the dark wald to trade their kine and furs on the borderlands.

I really love this stuff, personally.

Yeah, considering what had been told about Black Hound and this Infinity, I think this kind of aspect is what I most expect as an old fans of detailed world settings which have some common things through our histories/lives. IMO, this can compose most mature experiences in role-playing games. The graphical presentation of Assassins' Creed is eye-pleasing but, it lacks core themes to be explored in historical settings. I believe if there is a mature role-playing game at all, I'd expect such interactions which explore humanity bit more. A role-playing game which put the players into different cultures to eventually see something common in our lives would be my dream RPG.

Yeah, considering what had been told about Black Hound and this Infinity, I think this kind of aspect is what I most expect as an old fans of detailed world settings which have some common things through our histories/lives. IMO, this can compose most mature experiences in role-playing games. The graphical presentation of Assassins' Creed is eye-pleasing but, it lacks core themes to be explored in historical settings. I believe if there is a mature role-playing game at all, I'd expect such interactions which explore humanity bit more. A role-playing game which put the players into different cultures to eventually see something common in our lives would be my dream RPG.

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I've been playing an older eating/sleeping-required game lately, and I'd say that there needs to be more to the mechanic than the inconvenience/expense of having to run back to an inn to regain full health for it to feel rewarding. "Necessities" that mostly seem to add low-interest filler are better omitted in my opinion. If scarcity is central to the setting or a particular situation managing party supplies could be a meaningful exercise, but in the absence of compelling need I'd rather not be constantly interrupted by notifications that my party is tired or hungry.

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We've got a crowdfunded project with many many rpg veterans chipping in. I'm ready for some innovation and experiments. Here are some features of my imaginary, perfect 'Project Eternity', add your own below!

  • Resting

Spells/abilities regenerate instead of becoming unavailable after use until the party rests. The party acts at 100% efficiency when well rested, but gradually becomes more vulnerable and loses effectiveness in all skills when tired. Spells not only cost mana, but tire casters independently. The same holds true for physical skills without consuming mana. The party can rest anywhere to regain up to e.g. 50% efficiency, but can only recuperate to 100% in designated resting areas.

I really like this. Gives some sense of urgency when you're in a dungeon, and gives value to designated resting areas (no more trips to that one unused tomb, Mr. The Nameless One). And I always hated the "rest to recover all your spells", thing, too.

 

One thing you didn't mention? Ambushes. I... really don't know how I feel about ambushes while resting. Are you really adding "tactical choice to your decisions" when it can all be avoided with a hit of "F9"?

 

  • No guiding hand

An immersion breaker in modern games is the relentless pace. Not in Project Eternity. Here it is important to pay attention to the dialogue. Little is gained by following quest markers or checking objectives. Facts are recorded, but the player jots down his/her own conclusions in the journal next to them, and chooses his/her plan of action. The minimap is not a substitute for looking at where you are going, players need to familiarize themselves with the game world. Help is readily available by talking to people, but the right questions need to be asked. Superior solutions to quests apparent only with understanding and immersion are available next to regular endings.

Rather importantly, people have to give good directions, here. You ever play a modern Elder Scrolls game with the magic arrow turned off? It's miserable. You never know where anything is, because the developers assumed that you would have the arrow on, so nobody gives directions. Nobody says "follow the dirt trail by the red house just east of town" because for most players, that's totally irrelevant.

  • Combat

The trade-off for tactical mastery in turn based combat is the static feel. Especially during unchallenging encounters, parties approach each other, find the right distance, stop, and lose health until one dies.

 

Not in Project Eternity. To start with, enemies have hit boxes which can be individually targeted.

Moreover, terrain, obstacles, distance, position and stance are integrated as tactical elements. Attacks and spells can knock targets around.

More action oriented players such as myself appreciate timed active actions (block, parry, riposte/counter, chain...), although these are optional in the game menu.

 

Both classic rpg lovers and action oriented gamers appreciate differentiated combat stages, where party characters dynamically adjust their standard attack according to distance. Long range, mid range, and melee. A melee character needs to consider how to approach through a debuff focused mid range without penalty (by fog, evasion, cover, long range stun/knockdown...), thus making the "approach and hack" tactic less feasible.

 

Different armors equal different strengths and weaknesses. Weapon changes during combat are quick and necessary. Semi-scripted melee and spell combos bring joy to all (thief hamstrings an opponent from behind, fighter bashes his head in)

For me, there are two important things in the combat.

 

First is that mages and non-mages have some semblance of parity. No stubbed-toe-insta-gib level 1 mages, no god-tier level 20s.

 

Second: let warriors control space. Let them punish runby attempts and kite-micro. Attacks of opportunity, sure, but more than that. An attack of opportunity might take out 10% of a guy's health as he runs past you to gut your mages. Give defenders ways to tie up opponents who try to ignore them. Give them ways to punish.

  • Romance

During the last years games have opened up a lot in this respect. We saw more LBGT friendly interaction, and a lot more skin. Since all bases are covered in Project Eternity, a large cast of characters is needed. Most characters are regular boring heterosexuals, not that much interested in sex in any case, because immersion doesn't permit otherwise.

 

A true romance (and with good reason not everyone wants to go there) seeps out of the confines of dialogue. Combat changes, as do expectations from partner and party. Interaction is more frequent and natural. A darker side of romance is the power to influence/manipulate/control one's partner, and some evil bastards take advantage of that.

Something similar to the Practical Incarnation/Deionarra thang would be really neat, whether you get to do it, you can have it done to you, or you can see one companion do it to another.

  • Leveling

A Fallout approach is chosen in lieu of fixed classes. It's possible to pick up formerly unknown skills during the story which are not included in a skill tree/pool, and different types of equipment have unique actions.

Whatever stat system they do use, I'd really like it if the stats were actually representative of something. It's common in JRPGs and even many WRPGs for your warrior to have 200 strength and 20 intelligence while your mage has 200 intelligence and 20 strength. Does that mean that the warrior is ten times stronger than the mage? Is the mage ten times smarter than the warrior? No, of course not, because those numbers don't actually reflect the characters' strength and intelligence. They're just there to slightly increase their damage multipliers and give the player a sense of progress. And I hate that.

 

Just... y'know, not too restrictive. I loved SPECIAL, but that hard cap of 10 was painful. Taking a naturally strong character, putting him in strength-enhancing power armour, and giving him strength-enhancing drugs should make you feel like a walking POWERTHIRST commercial, not someone stuck at the same arbitrary cap you were at before.

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Races - a large variety, but no tolkein types

 

Resting - meh, I hate resting and it serves no purpose besides a time sink. Would rather have a regenerative health/magic that regenerates at a steady rate, but if you stand still and/or not fighting it regenerates faster.

 

Romances - love romances and want to see it added as long as its optional

 

Non violent solutions to problems - I love the thinking character who can talk their way out of problems through logic/seduction/threats..etc

 

Dialog - I like lots of dialog to read, with dialog trees, with many branching dialog choices based on your knowledge/skill/stats..etc A combination of planescape torment + vampire the masquerade bloodlines dialog would be great.

 

Evil paths - I want the option to be evil, not just slightly bad guy but still does good quests (bioware, looking at you), but actual bad guy that does bad things.

 

factions - Lots of factions, but if you join some, you will be locked out of others. I also want to see some evil factions to join. What about cults? Definetly want to see assassin and theives guilds.

 

Assassination/thief dialog - can talk to someone and try to still/poison/kill option in dialog depending on what you have. Like the option to casually touch and inject a poison into a target with a percentage chance score could show up.

 

Unusual Magic I would like to see

  • Social - Most magic deals with throwing fireballs, lightning..etc, where are the ones to manipulate people? Most of these should be availible to activate in a dialog chat

  • Seduction - can be used to seduce someone, can be activated in a dialog text
  • fear - make someone afraid of you
  • forget - makes someone forget something
  • Remember me - makes a character think they know the person
  • sleep - makes a character tired and knocks them out (like talking to a gaurd)
  • madness - makes someone goes insane
  • Thrall - evil power to turn someone into a thrall/servant for you
  • etc

Dark Arts - where are the cool evil powers?

  • Necromancy - raise the dead to fight for you, should have levels, the beginning should have just bring a corpse back, the master level should bring the corpse back, but raise their level to a level below your character to fight for you. At the hight of this power you should be able to bring back a person as an udead minion with all their skills/memories to fight for you as a thrall
  • Summon Dead - summon skeltons/zombies/vampires..etc
  • Summonology - summon demon or other entity, can choose what type of being if you know its secret name, some might fight for you for a price, some might be summoned to make a deal with a character, need to know something? Sure, for this price, want more power..sure, for this price, etc, Not all entities should be bad, but they should all want something in return, however the evil entities like demons should try to get your sould and/or corrupt you to the dark side.
  • Possession - if in visual range, you can take over someones body to control it like your own
  • Astral Projection - not really evil, but being able to project your mind out of your body to scout and spy on people/locations, the limit is the distance from the body, if you have the possession power you can possess people also.

these are off the top of my head.

Edited by Badmojo
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Whatever stat system they do use, I'd really like it if the stats were actually representative of something. It's common in JRPGs and even many WRPGs for your warrior to have 200 strength and 20 intelligence while your mage has 200 intelligence and 20 strength. Does that mean that the warrior is ten times stronger than the mage? Is the mage ten times smarter than the warrior? No, of course not, because those numbers don't actually reflect the characters' strength and intelligence. They're just there to slightly increase their damage multipliers and give the player a sense of progress. And I hate that.

Oh gosh, yes. I thought this went without saying, but it doesn't hurt to say.
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"Show me a man who "plays fair" and I'll show you a very talented cheater."

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Whatever stat system they do use, I'd really like it if the stats were actually representative of something. It's common in JRPGs and even many WRPGs for your warrior to have 200 strength and 20 intelligence while your mage has 200 intelligence and 20 strength. Does that mean that the warrior is ten times stronger than the mage? Is the mage ten times smarter than the warrior? No, of course not, because those numbers don't actually reflect the characters' strength and intelligence. They're just there to slightly increase their damage multipliers and give the player a sense of progress. And I hate that.

Oh gosh, yes. I thought this went without saying, but it doesn't hurt to say.

 

A lot of things should go without saying, but then the last half decade happened.

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One thing I really want to see in Eternity is innovation within boundaries - so definitely, features that don't break the IE formula but make a significant difference in the rhythms and patterns of play. People have of course commented on resting, and that's been the bugbear throughout the NWN series as well.

.

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I really think Sawyer building the combat / character system from ground up gives opportunities to make changes at the level of combat as an abstraction. Generally,

  1. magic is a totally independent effect, self-contained upon the world; the fireball is created by magical rules through magical power, effects the world at an abstracted magical sense (hit points), then dissipates with no other impact.
     
  2. the elements of the combat scene that are made 'dynamic' are limited; systems remain independent.

So in a RTwP IE game, yes, terrain and positioning matters, yes magic matters, yes individual character stats matters, but mostly independently. That's why when you try to add things like destructible terrain or terrain bonuses or aimed shots, they are hard to do well, aside from building yet another separate system.

 

.

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This is rather unsystematic, but the kinds of things I'd like to see is precisely this greater interaction.

  • E.g. the AOE of an area spell should be restricted by terrain and obstacles, elemental spells should have spillage on ground terrain that changes its properties - take what was in BG1 with lightning bolt or DA:O with spell synergy and take it further.
  • E.g. instead of evocation spells that dissipate after casting and conjuration spells that just create monsters, have summons that are more like static 'sentry' units with an area of persistent effect, i.e. a zone of silence, then have synergies; e.g. a sentry of silence maintains a silence effect in that area but the sentry itself can be taken down; you could overlap it with a immunity to arrows sentry to protect the first sentry from being felled by arrows.

 

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Obviously we can't suddenly destroy the concept of magic as consisting of singular spells cast by a single user, etc., fundamental things like that, but I'd like to see greater variation from standard dynamics like single-target single-effect no-time spells. There should be more magic that has a spatial, temporal and synergistic consequence, which is organised into general principles so users can understand quickly.

  • E.g. if all fire spells were consistently more effective against leather armour or even forested terrain, and repeated damage had a distinct effect, this introduces a new level of decision-making (fire 5 fireballs or mix it up with another AOE damage spell).

Again, some of this was done by DA:O's synergy, which I felt was one of the best things it did, but it could do a lot more - especially if you introduce again already-known things like crippled limbs and terrain bonuses.

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Ah, you just reminded me of something that briefly came up in the healing thread, and I think it kind of fits in here. Also, you just reminded me of X-Com's terrain destruction/spreading fires/smoke effects. Damn I love that.

 

What is a hit point, anyway? What does it mean to lose a hit point? Does that mean that you have been hit? Or are hit points some vague combination of your character's natural strength, their focus, their luck, armour, and agility? Of course if all those things are unified, you can't have separate block and dodge and damage reduction via armour and all that nice stuff because they're already covered as hit points. And that's what I prefer, but it's not something you really see. Like, ever. Instead, hit points represent some noexistent "vitality" thing that lets one character survive one axe to the face and another survive ten axes to the face because HIT POINTS RARGH.

 

I'd love to see some manner of unified hit point system. One great, big bar. A small number of hit points for everyone, but to do damage to those, you have to get through their armour hit points. And to get through that, you have to get through their block/parry hit points, and maybe there's a constitution bonus there or something. And their dodge hit points. And if it's a spell maybe it bypasses armour but there's a separate "magic resistance" hit point or... something. And you know what, Obsidian is probably miles past thinking about this stage so I'm just talking to hear myself talk.

 

I like hearing myself talk.

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Instead, hit points represent some noexistent "vitality" thing that lets one character survive one axe to the face and another survive ten axes to the face because HIT POINTS RARGH.

 

'Vitality' is represented by your 'Constitution' stat, which merely affects hitpoints. Losing one hitpoint out of 75 means you were barely hit, not that you can take 75 more stabs through the chest. An axe to the face would mean 50 out of 75 or 1 out of 3, etcetera.

 

Simply put, this interpretation means that 'Armor Class' (and such) isn't the only statistic that represents your martial prowess, hence why martial classes gain more hitpoints even though they may have as much 'Constitution' points, and may go through the same physical exercises as a non-martial class.

Edited by Delterius

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