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A problem I have with previous games is where you only really need one companion to use each skill. If one of the first companions you run into will have a really high diplomacy score, there really is no reason for the PC to put any skillpoints on that skill. I'm not sure how to fix this. Maybe make it so that other modifiers might sometimes reduce that companions score, (meeting someone who is racist against his race, other alignment or similar) making the PCs score useful.

 

Perhaps some of these will be skills that only the player character can initiate - for instance it may be that a companion may be able to pick a lock but perhaps not negotiate for the group -

 

In other words it may be that traveling companions are not going to be able to just stand in for the player character using their skill set instead of his in every situation thus not allowing the player to arbitrarily choose any companion to more or less be the player character of the moment.

 

Obviously I have no clue whether or not this is what is intended but I suspect it's a possibility.

 

In any event I am very pleased to hear that non-combat skills are going to rank right up there with combat skills overall.

That's one way to solve it. The problem then is that those skills would more or less be useless for companions. It would be kind of strange if only the PC had the ability to be threatening or diplomatic. That's the way it was done in Mount and Blade. What happened was that the PC only focused on the skills that he was alone in being able to use while he let the companions only focus on the other skills.

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Thank you for the update sir. I am happy to see that you guys are dedicated to these types of choices, especially in terms of progress.

 

That being said, I am somewhat surprised that combat and non-combat allocations will be separate. I can see this system allowing for a lot of combinations of classes, skills, and noncombat skills. I like it, however, the amount of available skill allocation points could mess with the balance of the game. For example, in Fallout 3 one was awash in perks. I know this is a very different game and system, but I could see too many free combat and non-combat skills being a problem. I am sure you guys will fnd a balance.

 

Anyways, 23 days to go and an almost 2 million, that's a good sign in my book. :)

 

edit: The amount of combat and non-combat skills may also be a deciding factor. Even if combat and non-combat no longer restrict one another, the amount of skills and the extent of skill depth/specialization could ensure that we do not have character balance spinning out of control.

Edited by Nixl
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Regarding lockpicking:

 

I feel a lot of games rely on a lockpicking system way too much as a way to put cheap hurdles in the player's way.

 

For PE, I would want it to be a restricted skill. Only characters with high DEX (or whatever stat is the closest to dexterity) should have access to it. In real life, if I'm not very good at doing precision work with my hands, I wouldn't be able to lockpick, period. I also feel that lockpicking skill progression should rely on experience as much as skill points. That is, you begin being only able to lockpick easy locks, and if you try a medium or difficult lock, you have a high chance of permanently locking yourself out of the chest (except if you find the key). You gain more and more experience, then you become able to lock medium locks quite safely. At the end, when you're very good at it, the chance of breaking a difficult lock could be reduced to 25%, so that there is always a risk.

I agree with the first sentence, but for me it's a big no on everything else. Locks of varying difficulty, sure, but players shouldn't be punished for trying something difficult early on. For me, getting locked out of a chest is a reload situation. I want to explore everything everywhere; the game should never close off avenues of exploration for anything other than narrative purposes. For example, if I choose to kill the bandit chief and burn down his hut then sure, the trapdoor leading to his treasure room is buried under rubble and I can't get to it. That's fine, that was my choice. But if I've managed to sneak into the hut past his guards, I should be able try the lock and if it's too difficult for me, know I can come back later.

Does this unit have a soul?

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Also if you include stuff like mining or crafting in general. Please explain the backgrounds of the materials. And not stuff like Mithril is +5 better than Iron. And if not in the game itself explain the material properties in the campaign setting book. One of the very few quests I really liked in World of Warcraft (shut up I can have my guilty pleasures :-/ ) was one in Northrend where you had an entire quest chain about the properties of a new kind of ore found on the continent called Saronite (which is the crytalized blood of an Old God). The quest showed how durable it was by (for example) NPCs attacking it in several different ways to no effect (holy magic, brute force, elemental attacks etc). Or that mining it too long leads to insanity as the Old God starts whispering to you over time and even more so if you wear equipment made out of the refined metal.

 

I really liked that.

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Overall, I like the ideas described in this update, with one exception. I would very much like some magic spells to be multi-context (i.e. useful both in combat and outside of it). Magic in games often lacks any subtlety. You can be a mage, scorching enemies left and right, but when someone asks you to start a camping fire, then you absolutely must have that special quest matchbox. Stuff like that makes the character look and the player feel silly.

Edited by Gambler
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Overall, I like the ideas described in this update, with one exception. I would very much like some magic spells to be multi-context (i.e. useful both in combat and outside of it). Magic in games often lacks any subtlety. You can be a mage, scorching enemies left and right, but when someone asks you to start a camping fire, then you absolutely must have that special quest matchbox. Stuff like that makes the character look and the player feel silly.

 

Agreed. So much agreement on my end here I'm overflowing.

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Spells having utilitarian use would be great. I remember how in QFG3, you never had to bother with a tinderbox as a mage because you can just fireball it. That's a game where having magic is truly versatile, because it's not just 'what kind of damage can I inflict with bat guano today'.

 

It's obviously going to be really hard to make magic spells interact with the surroundings, though. Everything's got to be separately scripted and animated.

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Sword Sharpener of the Obsidian Order

(will also handle pitchforks and other sharp things)

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If I may, I'd like to put in a plug for an athletics skill to cover forms of movement like running, swimming, climbing, jumping, balancing, and maybe even levitating or low-altitude flying. Those are elements that I've come to miss from the tabletop games because they add significantly to the player's options for completing missions. Granted these actions may be more difficult to include with a fixed isometric perspective. But they would add another means for potentially bypassing combat. Why not include climbable walls and swimmable streams where they would help the party bypass opposition? It would be fun to sneak into a mansion by climbing up to the roof, or entering a pirate ship by swimming up to the side and climbing aboard.

:cat:

"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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Said this in another thread, but I'll repeat it here since it's appropriate. I'm a fan of the idea of rewarding all types of play styles, not just brute tanks who fight everything to earn XP. It'd be nice to be able to (though I'm not sure I'd do it on my first play through) a more diplomatic character who will avoid combat whenever possible, and still earn XP in the process.

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"Console exclusive is such a harsh word." - Darque

"Console exclusive is two words Darque." - Nartwak (in response to Darque's observation)

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Very nice things in there :)

 

Just my two cents : a little versatility on the speaking side of things would be great. The system of vampire bloodlines was awesome for that : you could sneak your way out, fight your way out, and also talk your way out in three different manners : be a seducer, a brutal thug and/or a persuasive man. That's just the best way to roleplay a character in a game if you can mark your way of doing things with him. Plus ADD had the same set of skill if I remember right. So it's not that farfetched :)

Different type of langage skills is a must I think. Just investing in one skill and be done with it, like most RPG do these days is a little boring from a customization point of view. It's also a great addition on the way the quests end. The world change a great deal if you seduces it or if you brutalizes it.

I loved the beginning of Arcanum for that. There was this annoying group of thugs really strongs who were stopping anyone form the village to quit it without paying a fee. You could deal with them in so many different ways that would greatly affect your character and the way the world view you afterwards. That was really great :)

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A problem I have with previous games is where you only really need one companion to use each skill. If one of the first companions you run into will have a really high diplomacy score, there really is no reason for the PC to put any skillpoints on that skill. I'm not sure how to fix this. Maybe make it so that other modifiers might sometimes reduce that companions score, (meeting someone who is racist against his race, other alignment or similar) making the PCs score useful.

 

Perhaps some of these will be skills that only the player character can initiate - for instance it may be that a companion may be able to pick a lock but perhaps not negotiate for the group -

 

In other words it may be that traveling companions are not going to be able to just stand in for the player character using their skill set instead of his in every situation thus not allowing the player to arbitrarily choose any companion to more or less be the player character of the moment.

 

Obviously I have no clue whether or not this is what is intended but I suspect it's a possibility.

 

In any event I am very pleased to hear that non-combat skills are going to rank right up there with combat skills overall.

That's one way to solve it. The problem then is that those skills would more or less be useless for companions. It would be kind of strange if only the PC had the ability to be threatening or diplomatic. That's the way it was done in Mount and Blade. What happened was that the PC only focused on the skills that he was alone in being able to use while he let the companions only focus on the other skills.

 

Well some people are always going to meta-game no matter the system and for my money it's not up to the devs to look at every design feature and attempt to either enhance or avoid the possibiltiy of doing so - since those who wish to will always find a way anyway... :yes:

 

Then again I generally try to play these game more or less as the devs intended so I'm probably in the minority anyway o:)

Nomadic Wayfarer of the Obsidian Order


 

Not all those that wander are lost...

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When I did a BG/BG2/ToB co-op playthough a while back, I hacked in the ability to shapechange into a bat for a friend playing a druid. This was a non-combat skill in that the bat form had no damaging attack, but it was very fast and didn't aggro monsters (permenant invisibility) so it was very good for scouting. She really enjoyed scouting out enemy locations and telling the rest of the party how to avoid or get the drop on mobs. You can do that with a normal thief / hide in shadows of course (e.g. Annah in PST) but I like this as an example of a shapechange that isn't for melee tanking (rarely seen in CRPGs).

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Thanks again for this update. A lot of good things in here. We know that there will be stealth type of abilities....travel skills with teleportation, ships, over mountain climbing...the ability to "win" an encounter without fighting, craft items, have NPCs craft for us...lots of goodies.

 

A+ to Obsidian for the amount of info that is coming out. The community appreciates it.

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Regarding lockpicking:

 

I feel a lot of games rely on a lockpicking system way too much as a way to put cheap hurdles in the player's way.

 

For PE, I would want it to be a restricted skill. Only characters with high DEX (or whatever stat is the closest to dexterity) should have access to it. In real life, if I'm not very good at doing precision work with my hands, I wouldn't be able to lockpick, period. I also feel that lockpicking skill progression should rely on experience as much as skill points. That is, you begin being only able to lockpick easy locks, and if you try a medium or difficult lock, you have a high chance of permanently locking yourself out of the chest (except if you find the key). You gain more and more experience, then you become able to lock medium locks quite safely. At the end, when you're very good at it, the chance of breaking a difficult lock could be reduced to 25%, so that there is always a risk.

I agree with the first sentence, but for me it's a big no on everything else. Locks of varying difficulty, sure, but players shouldn't be punished for trying something difficult early on. For me, getting locked out of a chest is a reload situation. I want to explore everything everywhere; the game should never close off avenues of exploration for anything other than narrative purposes. For example, if I choose to kill the bandit chief and burn down his hut then sure, the trapdoor leading to his treasure room is buried under rubble and I can't get to it. That's fine, that was my choice. But if I've managed to sneak into the hut past his guards, I should be able try the lock and if it's too difficult for me, know I can come back later.

 

Both reloading because you broke the lock and being given an infinite amount of chances to lockpick without any consequences sound unsatisfying to me, but right now I can't think of any solution.

 

By the way, your scenario made me think that it'd be awesome to be able to carry some of the smallest containers with you in case you can't open them on the spot (ie. a jewelry box). It'd add to the mystery.

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I like this as an example of a shapechange that isn't for melee tanking (rarely seen in CRPGs).

 

I'd like to see something like that too, assuming shapechanging exists in Eternity.

 

For example, in the Gothic series, you could shapchange into a bug in order to crawl under a fortress wall and open the gate from the inside. In Arcanum, shrunken characters (via magic) could pass through certain narrow passages and get to otherwise unreachable locations.

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I agree that non-combat skills are just as important as combat skills, but I'm concerned that by keeping them separate you risk discouraging the use of non-combat skills. Since learning non-combat skills would then have no associated cost in terms of reduced combat effectiveness, this system encourages dabbling.

I beleive it will be somewhat similar to what we have seen in dragon age origins. So nothing to worry about.

:closed:

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Finding the true name of a demon.. I REALLY love this idea! Perhaps in order to summon demons/monsters etc you must know their true name? This would make the types and kinds of things you could summon "collectible" in nature, the same way as other loot in the world will hopefully be.

 

Also.. procedurally generated items, perhaps (along with unique "fixed" items?) Adds a LOT of replay value to almost any game. The industry seems to be focusing more heavily on this, and I love it. Something to think about.

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In Arcanum, shrunken characters (via magic) could pass through certain narrow passages and get to otherwise unreachable locations.

 

Dragon Age did that with the mouse form in the nether and I thought it was a neat little puzzle element (along with the golem and flaming man forms).

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I can't even keep up with all the updates anymore.

Not going to nitpick at this sort of stage so I'll just say conceptually I like a lot of the ideas in this one. But then I'm kind of a fan-girl and would likely say I like the ideas and concepts in every update. :*

“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts
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