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Alternatives to Vancian or Cooldowns? Other suggestions?

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Or it could just be as similar as it was in the IE games. That's why we liked it.

 

I did not like the IE games because of the Vancian magic system. As Lohi says, I tolerated it; I adapted just fine, but by no means did I enjoy the Infinity Engine games for one combat mechanic. Goodness. That's such a one-dimensional view of the IE games that it's rather sad.

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An archer should stock up before going on a longer expedition, he should collect arrows, repair broken ones if possible. And he always has his backup weapons.

However in most games you don't act this out. It's rare to have a game where you collect arrows from corpses or repair them. A lot of players would complain that this was too tedious. So you stock up on an absurd amount of arrows which have 0 weight and volume (really how many arrows do you think can fit into a quiver?), and it's done in the name of convenience.

 

But the same convenience doesn't happen to the magic user. They're forced to do the ritual of sleeping for 8 hours in some games. If it's made easier than some players post here that it's dumbed down or stupid!

 

As for backup weapons, in the D&D system your mage has a backup weapon but it does low damage, the mage can bary hit anything, and is wearing no armor. It's a viable option for a ranged fighter, but it's not at all viable for a mage. A mage in a D&D game is essentially casting magic, using magic items, or else trying to stay out of combat.

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Or it could just be as similar as it was in the IE games. That's why we liked it.

These were the things I disliked the most in IE games. I like the games themselves, but I did not like the D&D game system or it's magic rules. These were things I tolerated.

I simply can't understand your kind. What made the IE games for me were the spell system and selection. The huge amount of spells, the different ways to use them, the mage battles in BG 2, the sheer utility and power of it all. Finding a new high level spell scroll was a real joy, as was reading all the different spell descriptions and planning out casting orders and techniques.

 

Who hasn't spammed Chromatic Orb on Firkraag after lowering his SR and saves to instant kill him? Or set up clever spell sequencer combinations? There were so many options. Spellcasting made the IE games; the melee and ranged combat was very dull.

Edited by Jasede
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I'll just post what I did in the longer thread, but with a few additional remarks.

 

 

Let's just say that I haven't seen a single example in which cooldowns ended up working well, imo it is also one of the largest banes of the MMO genre that they can't seem to finally drop that crap system. (in that combat degrades into pushing 1-2-3 etc. repeatedly and it is very saddening that it's flowing over into SP RPGs) I was actually more fine with Ultima Onlines reagent-based system than any cooldown-based one I've seen or experienced so far...

 

I don't think most people want the Infinity Engine-based system back as it was translated 1:1, entirely with rest-scumming and having to walk back to town, traversing 2-3 maps to do so and come back again, but have it IMPROVED upon. It could likely be more easily fixed to be made into something fun and tactical than ANY cooldown-based system.

 

A recent game with a Vancian magic AND hp system checkpoint-based "campsites", a lot of people loved because of it, got critical acclaim and worked rather well was Dark Souls (despite the respawning enemies).

 

 

The idea behind the system is the planning through choice, challenge and limited usability of abilities and spells that comes with it, and not hanging on every little detail in regards to the mechanic like having to get back to town because "it was such in the Infinity Engine games".

In the ideal case, the player would only have to resort to that if he hit an impossibly challenging wall (a boss he can't beat or enemies one/two-hitting the entire party) and wants to get back to a Hub and do a certain other quest series or stock up again before he comes back (kind of like in Dark Souls when going back to Firelink and taking another way).

 

If I remember right Dungeons & Dragons Online had an interesting system with campsites/rest places with limited usability sparingly distributed inside dungeons. There was no HP or spell regeneration before you hit those places, and you had to get through quite a lot of enemies and fights before you got to one (or they were placed right before/behind a boss encounter). You could only use each of them once so there was a certain tactic involved in when you wanted to rest up, the challenges and fighting could be balanced around using as many resources as possible to get the the next such place. If you dropped too low in HP and couldn't get through to the next resting spot, you pretty much wiped and had to try again (e.g. having to go back to town and reprepare).

Souls obviously solved it by respawning every non-special enemy and having the player perform to the best of his abilities till the next checkpoint, but I guess that would be too tedious, and let's not forget that there should always be different ways of resolving a certain battle e.g. there should always be a large variety of compaions, weapon combinations and strategies to get past something.

 

The details on how it would solved (e.g. "according to D&D rules", "like videogame X" or in a totally new way) doesn't seem awfully important as a discussion point, just that it doesn't rely on cooldowns:

 

* If the cooldown on spells/abilities is low, and all it takes is spamming the same 3-4 optimal skills for an encounter over and over again every few seconds in a "skill-rotation", where is the fun and tactical challenge in that? The most boring systems around this are those where you just press a number-key like "1" and your character starts performing an ability. (e.g. most MMORPGs or games like Dragon Age: Origins/2), there were a few new systems like having to press additional keys in Age of Conan or the skill combo only being accomplished with a certain Mouse-Button/Keyboard-Combo like in fighting games in DCUO, but those didn't particularly work all that well and this ain't an action game.

 

* If the cooldown is long and it takes minutes for a spell to regenerate and you are standing before an encounter where you know you will likely need it, how exactly is it better than going back to a campsite e.g. "I'm getting my Ultimate in 10 minutes, then we can do the boss, AFK brb in 10" in MMORPGs

 

* Does anyone else have a single example of a CRPG in which a cooldown system has worked better tactically and regarding challenging gameplay, than one where players have to prepare for encounters beforehand like in the old Infinity Engine games or ToEE?

I'm really curious, since I haven't seen any, and looking at some of Obsidians other experimental game mechanics in Neverwinter Nights 2 and some of the campaigns, in Alpha Protocol or in Dungeon Siege III let's just say I am not filled with the utmost confidence that they are the right company to solve this particular problem satisfactory.

 

* Any system that doesn't restrict spell or ability usage in a way will ALWAYS be exploited in the best way for players to perform at optimum or do the "maximum amount of DPS" and similar. They will only use a few of the abilities that they deem the best. Just look at ANY cooldown-based system and it's always just a "skill rotation" based on a pre-defined build, Blizzard for instance designed the Diablo 3 spell/skill-system in a way that doesn't favor skilltrees and specialization and everyone can use every single skill/spell, and there were still just the few viable builds with most of the rest being outright ignored.

 

Same thing mainly happened in games like Dragon Age: Origins.

If you are limited to only a certain number of spells you can use, you WILL make sure to memorize ones that are actually helpful and you WILL use them in some way tactically after you ran out of the "good"/useful ones. If you don't have that Meteor Shower or Fireball anymore, you'll use even the lower level attack spells, buffs or other spells you might otherwise not in a way to maximize their efficiency, possibly even the likes of cantrips, which gives the spell system as a whole more tactical depth than could ever be achieved through cooldowns.

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D&D was an early primitive form of RPG, the "role playing" part was really really new and it was just an extension of wargaming with miniatures. There was no attempt to balance classes. You were supposed to create a party of unbalanced characters that worked together. The working together part is great, however the unbalanced part is not.

 

Yes, lack of balance is a problem because every character is played by a human and no one wants to feel left out.

 

In a party-based video-game you play for entire party, you are both the fighter and the mage. That little difference makes your entire wall of text pointless.

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I liked the combo of fatigue and reagents. Every character has a fatigue bar, determined by say a CON stat plus feats or whatever the game uses (cardio training type feats would increase max fatigue without the HP benefits of boosting CON). All abilities cost fatigue. Fighter abilities would cost increasing amounts as they get more powerful, making CON a good stat to invest in. Magic would have set costs thag could be reduced by using proper reagents or spell focuses. Rogue types could get more attacks depending on Dex making their attacks worth more for the same fatigue cost.

 

As your fatigue bar depletes you suffer penalties from... being fatigued. These could be speed reductions, damage reductions, spell failure chance, etc. If your fatigie bar is completely drained, you can still use abilities, but it begins draining health.


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Let them eat experience points...

 

If you want to put a serious strain on your soul (which presumably powers "magic"), let it come at a cost that cripples magic wielders that are over reliant on their "gifts". I seem to remember some different approaches in one of the updates, like rituals and flesh mortification to wring out that extra energy of your soul. Wouldn't be surprise me if they came up with not one, but several alternatives to fuel such stuff coming with different downsides, depending on your chose flavour of magic.

 

I can count on you for good ideas! People want consquences right!? :D

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Fighter is always useful, mage however starts out as useless and over time becomes somewhat useful, and eventually extremely overpowered.

 

This is how it worked in old D&D, but there is no reason why it should be like that in PE.

What's stopping the devs from giving a LVL 1 mage 10 starting spell slots? Suddenly he isn't so uselss at start.

 

 

Therefore, if a mage has to rest after using a certain number of actions, then it is only fair that a fighter do this also. If a ranger can shoot 20 arrows in a row, then it is only fair that a mage be able to shoot the equivalent amount of damage.

 

Yes and no. I don't see action beign equalent. You're talking about a "perfect" balance that is unrealistic.

 

Yes, fighters should grow tired over time, but tehre is absolutely NO reason why they should grow tired jsut as fast as mages. It would depend.

 

What armor is he wearing? What is he doing?

Waht spells is a mage casting? The rate at which characters tire should depend ONLY on what they are doing/weaporing and not have anything to do with class.

 

Also mages aren't usless once out of spells. Repeat after me - THEY CAN STILL FIGHT.

 

 

 

 

Here's my main problem with games like BG1/BG2/etc. If you are in a simple fight the mage does nothing. Because it's a waste to use your limited number of spells on kobolds. Just send in the fighters. So I just leave the mages standing there twiddling their thumbs until there's a tough fight. This is boring! And it's completely unfair that some classes get to have fun because they have no restriction on the number of actions that they can do during the day.

 

A mage can still fight.

you got crossbows, you got wands, you got scrolls, you got staffs.

Assuming the mage doesn't have 5 HP (there's no reason they should in PE) AND can wear armor, there's no reason why he should sit fights out.


* YOU ARE A WRONGULARITY FROM WHICH NO RIGHT CAN ESCAPE! *

Chuck Norris was wrong once - He thought HE made a mistake!

 

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I hate Vanacian system....I know that many players don't like mana or cool down system but mana+cooldown is nice and easy way to do this and yes it can be very tactical contrary to general belief. Take DA:O on highest difficulty cool down + mana was very important and you had to choose spells carefully to survive harder fights. Vanacian system is all about load/reload until you find working combination for particular combat or choosing the most versatile spells which work in majority of situations and in both cases it is very boring.

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Thank goodness Sawyer doesn't seem to share your taste in combat systems, Virgil. So BG2 combat = boring and DA:O combat = tactical and difficult. Interesting.

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JoshSawyer: Listening to feedback from the fans has helped us realize that people can be pretty polarized on what they want, even among a group of people ostensibly united by a love of the same games. For us, that means prioritizing options is important. If people don’t like a certain aspect of how skill checks are presented or how combat works, we should give them the ability to turn that off, resources permitting.

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and yes it can be very tactical contrary to general belief. Take DA:O on highest difficulty cool down + mana was very important and you had to choose spells carefully to survive harder fights.

Nope, whole system was quite cheesy - you could simply max out magic power and burst everything you encounter without any problem on max difficulty. No need for large mana pool anymore, if everyone around is dead from first casts. No need to care about cooldowns, if you have 3-4 almost same nukes. With blood magic included (and/or health for mana spell from one of dlc's) + vampiric spells + near 300 spellpower at end - ehm... Fun, but no challenge or tactics at all.

Edited by SGray

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Clearly very few of you have forgotten about the only gripe Obsidian got for their marvellous NWN2-expansion Mask of the Betrayer: the spirit meter. I didn't mind it so much, at least it was integrated well in the story and all, but heaps of people just hated it. And several suggestions here are in line with that meter, I think Obsidian would be very cautious about bringing in some kind of soul meter to PE, but that's my five cents.


*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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If some don't like Vanacian and many don't like cooldowns, what then?

 

Here's an idea:

 

Fatigue

A fellow Jagged Alliance fan? I definitely approve of this idea. And not only should spellcasting drain fatigue, but so should general physical exertion (combat in heavy armor, excessive encumbrance or special fighter abilities) and damage.

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Interestingly enough, I didn't find the holy cows some of you speak of (MotB, PST) so interesting...hard ot pin down exactly why. Maybe the whole philosophical/metaphysical concept didn't set well with me. Or the plot....meh.

 

 

Either way, fatigue seem to me to be a very realistic system while also very powerfull adn flexible.


* YOU ARE A WRONGULARITY FROM WHICH NO RIGHT CAN ESCAPE! *

Chuck Norris was wrong once - He thought HE made a mistake!

 

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What I want:

-Plenty of spell- and weapon-attacks to choose from

-Strategy - looking for good ways to combine the above for a certain encounter

-Using "pause" if I wish to assign my party's various responses in a split second in a complicated encounter

-More strategy: where I place the characters on the screen and how and when I use certain spells and skills should matter (but I need not have the motor skills and stress tolerance of a NASA-pilot)

 

What I don't want:

-Hasty clicking of combos,

-A few spammable spells on quick cooldown

-Repeating tedious buffs and other spells (see another post of mine)

-Realism, as in fatigue, degrading armor, hunger, thirst, loo-woos


*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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An archer should stock up before going on a longer expedition, he should collect arrows, repair broken ones if possible. And he always has his backup weapons.

However in most games you don't act this out. It's rare to have a game where you collect arrows from corpses or repair them. A lot of players would complain that this was too tedious.

 

What makes you think it has to be tedious?


* YOU ARE A WRONGULARITY FROM WHICH NO RIGHT CAN ESCAPE! *

Chuck Norris was wrong once - He thought HE made a mistake!

 

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He and the party go traveling. They've been on the road for 2 hours and the mages maximum fatigue has gone down, so now he's at 90/90.

 

Max fatigue goes down as the day goes by and as you do physicly demanding things (long journesy, running, etc..). Even if you don't cast any spells, you will need sleep.

 

 

 

Resting should be a part of any true RPG. It gives inns and villages a clear purpose. It is a safe haven to gather information, prepare, stock up, rest and heal.

 

 

 

 

See, to me, this just sounds tedious. Resting was really only included when it served a functional purpose. A functional purpose that was ported from a different medium into CRPG's. There is nothing inherent in resting that enriches an RPG. Inns and such serve whatever purpose the devs want them to serve. They can still be places to gather and interact, but pressing a rest button has always struck me as a strange, artificial action. Do I have to press the "use the bathroom" button as well?

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An archer should stock up before going on a longer expedition, he should collect arrows, repair broken ones if possible. And he always has his backup weapons.

However in most games you don't act this out. It's rare to have a game where you collect arrows from corpses or repair them. A lot of players would complain that this was too tedious.

 

What makes you think it has to be tedious?

 

See, this can sort of tedium can be made less obvious. Instead of looting every shot corpse, you automatically receive a portion of spent ammunition, modified by a flecher or scavenger skill, minus those that break through predetermined criteria (maybe all critical hits are un-retrievable - you can't quite pry it out of the ogre's skull).

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Where does this "my mage has to do something every battle" come from?

 

Besides, how badly do you use your mages if yours didn't? You can buy as many wands as you like. Then there's magical slings and darts.

 

Do you really want a game where your mage casts a spell every round? Boring and repetitive.

 

Edit: Scrolls, anyone?

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Resting has been done very well in some games. The best implementation of resting in a game I have ever played has been in Realms of Arkania: Star Trail. In That one, you set up camp, picked the order or who kept watch, tended to the sick, hunted, gethered herbs, etc. It added quite a bit.

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Well spoken, DCParry! For all of us who have played these computer games since the 80s soon realized that "resting" in a digital game context was nothing like resting in a session of pen-n-paper role playing. Just think of NWN2, there resting was just a countdown, which certainly gives the countdown-discussion an interesting twist. It has played out its role, and so has a lot of tedious clicking and other boring chores that were part and parcel of many pen-n-paper ports to the digital arena of games. There must be loads of better ways to address RPG adventuring in a computer game today. And countdowns and passives can be made into whatever new Obsidian wants to do with them. I certainly do not like many ARPGs and MMOs of late, and wouldn't want those systems for a party RPG inspired by, say, BG2, Planescape and MotB. But if something takes some enjoyment out of a game, making it meaningless, tedious or even absurd, then those systems should be replaced with new systems, and that is not the same as click-fest-streamlining, it's just common sense.

Edited by IndiraLightfoot

*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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I would argue it is best to fix things than remove them. If one simply removed items that were not implemented perfectly, you end up with less features. If you improve things, you end up with more features that are great.

 

I would love to see them implement rest well in this game. It HAS been done well in the past and it could be done well now. They are not going Vancian, but I could see the value of using rest as a mechanic whereby players could use rest to recover morale, fatigue, heal wounds/ailments, gather herbs, hunt and prepare their slate of spells (even if spell uses regen, perhaps spell swapping could be done at camp).

 

The main thing, I think, is to add risk/reward to resting and to severely limit saving since the real culprit, I think, is overuse of save/load ("oops, that rest resulted in my getting ambushed, well, I will just reload...").

Edited by Shevek
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He and the party go traveling. They've been on the road for 2 hours and the mages maximum fatigue has gone down, so now he's at 90/90.

 

Max fatigue goes down as the day goes by and as you do physicly demanding things (long journesy, running, etc..). Even if you don't cast any spells, you will need sleep.

 

Resting should be a part of any true RPG. It gives inns and villages a clear purpose. It is a safe haven to gather information, prepare, stock up, rest and heal.

 

See, to me, this just sounds tedious. Resting was really only included when it served a functional purpose. A functional purpose that was ported from a different medium into CRPG's. There is nothing inherent in resting that enriches an RPG. Inns and such serve whatever purpose the devs want them to serve. They can still be places to gather and interact, but pressing a rest button has always struck me as a strange, artificial action. Do I have to press the "use the bathroom" button as well?

 

 

Tedious? Dude, try traveling for the whole day and telling me resting is pointless.

 

It has purpsoe. It has worth.

 

Not only does it make the world more real, it also fulfils a logical purpose and gives towns and inns more character.

 

 

And that "bathroom" bit is getting old. An argument that never worked because it can be extended to everything.


* YOU ARE A WRONGULARITY FROM WHICH NO RIGHT CAN ESCAPE! *

Chuck Norris was wrong once - He thought HE made a mistake!

 

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