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  1. 1. What do you think about cooldown for spells?

    • I love the idea of cooldowns.
      21
    • I hate the idea of cooldowns.
      67
    • I'm undecided.
      31
    • Obsidian will make the best decision without our opinions.
      62


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Turn-Based world would solve so much, with a turn-based cooldown.

 

If you aren't playing the game, time won't pass~ basically.

 

Your joking, I assume, because even the mostly strictly based turn-based game in the world doesn't use turn-based mechanics outside of combat. I can see it now:

 

DM: "Ok, you are currently in your rooms at the inn -- everyone roll for initiative"

Fighter: "I win, I'll move towards the church"

DM: "You are now 60 feet closer to the church -- next"

Cleric: "I'm going to the church as well"

....

 

You do understand that the only cooldown timer under consideration here are out of combat cooldown timers, not the standard in-combat timers, right?

 

HAHA! Yes of course it is a joke, but it is serious too. I see you are expecting the turns to be Heroes of Might & Magic "One character at a time please". I understand that, per definition, a "Turn Based World" would imply that everything is static "one at time" qeue. In a computer game you can make all of that automatic, when you aren't in "combat mode" all of that happens by itself.

 

Out of combat you tell your character "Walk over there" and he walks over there. In-combat you tell him to "Walk over there" and he walks over there in turns. With this said, if you do not take your turns, if you stand still, the game would automatically pause so you can't abuse the "I'll make some popcorn and wait for Cooldown, maybe watch a movie".

 

EDIT: Auto-Pause Option: If you do not take an action within the game for this or that many seconds/minutes the game will Auto-Pause for you.

To my understanding some people want quicker reset on their spells and on the cooldown, and some want slower. With this option one party will get faster easier cooldown and one party will get authentic cooldown.

 

DM: "Ok, you are currently in your rooms at the inn -- everyone roll for initiative"

Fighter: "I win, I'll move towards the church"

DM: "You are now 60 feet closer to the church -- next"

Cleric: "I'm going to the church as well"

"DM: You are now 62 feet closer to the church -- next"

Mage: "Yeah, I'm going to the church too"

DM: "You missed your roll. You are still 150 feet away from the church -- next"

Mage: "Darnit!"

Edited by Osvir

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Eschalon games do not use turnbased mechanics outside of combat, based on my experience, though. If you just stand in one spot (no movement) then time does pass (e.g. NPCs move around), and the post that I was responding to said that this shouldn't happen.

Wrong again (and I'm honestly not trying to ruin your day). Time doesn't pass in Eschalon, when you just stand and do nothing, and NPCs don't move. That's why I never used the ESC pause menu. I didn't need to. Oh, and hitting the pause button on your keyboard will actually make a turn pass.

 

Btw. I'm not saying this as an argument in this discussion. I'm not a participant of it. I'm just reading and I noticed you mixed up some facts a bit.

Edited by norolim

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Just a thought: If you dont want to camp, you dont push the camp button. Everyone wins.

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image,Gfted1,black,red.png

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I would like a discussion of both pros and cons with using cooldown timers as a game mechanic to limit spell usage. I've seen a lot of comments about how bad cooldowns are but very little about what is good about them other than counter complaints on other systems.

 

I can start by describing what I think is both a pro and a con:

 

Combats become isolated

 

In the longer perspective (over multiple battles) you don't need to worry about being economical with spellcasting. Spells will be refreshed before the next combat anyway. This is a pro for some since it's a very "forgiving" system that will spare some people from frustration. I myself see it as a con because I become less enthusiastic to do really well in combats because I see no point in doing better than to just barely survive.

 

A clear pro of cooldowns, however, is that combats become easier to balance for the developers because the designers can always assume you're at full strength at the beginning of every battle since cooldowns usually don't stretch across battles.

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Eschalon games do not use turnbased mechanics outside of combat, based on my experience, though. If you just stand in one spot (no movement) then time does pass (e.g. NPCs move around), and the post that I was responding to said that this shouldn't happen.

Wrong again (and I'm honestly not trying to ruin your day). Time doesn't pass in Eschalon, when you just stand and do nothing, and NPCs don't move. That's why I never used the ESC pause menu. I didn't need to. Oh, and hitting the pause button on your keyboard will actually make a turn pass.

 

Btw. I'm not saying this as an argument in this discussion. I'm not a participant of it. I'm just reading and I noticed you mixed up some facts a bit.

 

Conceded -- I was think of Spiderweb Software games. I've never played Eschalon (I've looked at it a few times, but I strongly prefer party based games). Does Eschalon have a "Wait until time X" button, though? :)

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Does Eschalon have a "Wait until time X" button, though? :)

 

No. It has camping mechanics. And since Eschalon has mana, resting let's you recover it faster (real-time faster). You can't rest spam though because the game has hunger and thirst and you usually need to eat and drink after you take a longer rest. You can't take unlimited amount of supplies, because they have their weight and you have your limits. It's a well balanced system.

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From what I've read, it appears most people want to retain the tactical and strategic magic system depth of the original IE games, with their multitude of spells, combined with the need to use your magic resources carefully in combat. On the other hand, the resting mechanic to "recharge" spells is disliked by many--the Vancian system was imported wholesale from the old DnD systems, just because that's what was done--everyone loved the tabletop games, the systems were detailed and robust, so why fix what ain't broke?

 

But what works in a tabletop game doesn't work in a cRPG. Mechanics that require downtime or grinding--like walking 10 minutes to town and back just to replenish your spells--are boring, let's face it. Unless some element of play can be added to the mechanic, then it's just a chore the player has to do to get back to enjoying the game.

 

As wonderful as the panoply of options and strategies the old Vancian system offered, cRPG systems have moved on, let's face it. Mana bars (or, most likely in PE's case, "soul" bars) are here to stay. Cooldowns, along with mana bars, have been shown to be effective too, most recently in Dragon Age, at least until Bioware's balancing problems led to late-game nukefests with your AoE spells. But there's a way to keep the mana bars and cooldown timers while retaining the tactical aspects of the old system.

 

The old systems had spells organized into schools--evocation, conjuration, etc.--so why not make a mechanic whereby every mage has an option to pick, before resting, a "school" for meditating upon? The spells in this school could cost half-mana, or half soul-energy, compared to spells from every other school. So there's strategic benefit to picking, say, the ice-magic school before venturing into the fire-giant lair, while minimizing the micromanagement of the old systems of having to reorder your entire spell book before every new dungeon. Mana would recharge real-time, but slowly, so no need for "resting" downtime, unless you were so dumb as to be trying to kill the Polar Bear pack with icestrike, in which case, you deserve what you get.

 

Higher-level mages could get the options of meditating on more "schools" before battles, if they wanted. So an eighth-level mage could concentrate in 2 schools, and a 15th level mage could have 3, or a 15th level could even double-concentrate in 1 school, so those spells cost 1/3 normal mana. This would even add to roleplaying, if combined with, say, Fallout-style perks. So, say, your icemage Baldric Winterkill, if he took the right perks and concentrated enough, could theoretically take down that ice-resistant Polar Bear pack by spamming ice-strike. It would only do 1 damage each time, but if he spams it for 10 minutes while his fighter tanks and his triple-concentrated-in-healing-spells mage heals the tank, it could theoretically be done. Not the most efficient way to do things, but hey, it's his choice, and role-playing choice is what it's all about. My $.02

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Rather than focus on them being "good" or "bad", you should consider them on a contextual basis and ask how well they mesh with the rest of the game. Cooldown abilities work great in RTS scenarios, where the action relies heavily on two or more opponents which have access to, relatively, the same resources - and it comes down to who can use them in a more tactful fashion.

 

Let's take the RPG approach, though, and compare some common elements. When you say "Cooldown", you usually refer to a combat ability which can be used either for free or by consuming resource X, and then cannot be used against for a short period - generally measured in seconds or more rarely minutes. But "cooldown" as a mechanic exists pretty much everywhere, it's just not as obvious. In an FPS, cooldown can be a weapon overheating and forcing you to delay firing. It can also be the time it takes you to reload when a clip or magazine is spent. It can be the time needed to reload a bow or crossbow, it can be the time needed to recover from swinging a 2-handed weapon versus a 1-handed weapon. It can be the delay between casting two successive spells. D&D largely uses the round/turn system to implement moment by moment cooldown. Each individual ability can be used as many times as you have resources available for it, whether it's a bunch of scrolls or the same spell memorized multiple times, but you still have that 6-second or X-second "cooldown" between successive uses.

 

Then you get into an even bigger gray area. Think of all the "X use per day" abilities you get in many games, particularly RPGs. If you have 1 use of "Lay on Hands" per day, that's technically a skill that has a 86,400 second cooldown. As a developer myself, I can tell you it's not that often the focus is going to be on expecting the player to have an *exact* set of skills available at any given moment - it's going to be very generalized. Not "does this player have this awesome show-stopping abilitiy available right now", but "given the potential range of player capacity at this point in the story, would the player be reasonably expected to survive this encounter?"

 

I don't think it's as simple as saying "cooldowns make it so all you care about it surviving each combat by any means possible, even if it means expending all your resources and using all your cooldown skills and letting your companions die, because all is forgiven when combat is over".

Edited by soulmata
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with using cooldown timers

 

Timers? I have yet to read anything about timers. What about an invisible cooldown?

 

Taking a real life circumstance: As a human, you have some purposes that you want to fulfill every day. You need to eat. Time is invisible. "Cooldown" is just a mechanical robotic term for the instance of "cool word of time passing". If I'm not wrong, that's per definition is it not?

 

"Cool down" = "Chillax. Calm down. Wait a while."

 

http://forums.obsidi...r/page__st__180

Good evening all,

 

I'd like to take a few minutes to discuss a few things. The goal/vision of this project is to capture the magic (old school feeling) of the Infinity Engine games. Many of the long time folks at Obsidian are just as big of fans of old school RPGs as you are. We are not interested in "capturing the biggest market" or making a game that "caters to everyone" for this title. We just want to make the best possible PC RPG we can, that lives up to the vision I stated above. Those games did very well for the publishers of their day, and since we don't need to deal with a publisher and are going direct, we are more than happy to ship this game to a smaller fan base, i.e. you.

 

This bears repeating. We want to capture the OLD SCHOOL feeling of the Infinity Engine games. We know the lack of cinematic dialogue or using an isometric camera is not enough to accomplish this. This obviously doesn't mean we are making a BG or IWD clone, however. We want it to feel like those games... with improvements. Not to stream-line it or dumb it down, just to make it better.

 

I'd like to share a good example of this philosophy from the 3rd edition D&D rules. In the olden days, classes in D&D leveled at different rates. Rogues leveled faster than everyone else and wizards were the slowest, others fell somewhere in the middle. This was built into the system and each class had different xp requirements for each level. Without getting into why the old systems did this, most people hated it. Of course there was a die-hard fan base that thought it was great. When WoTC released 3rd edition they got rid of it... or did they?

 

I'm using a pen and paper example here because not all of the CRPGs that used the system implemented this. If you played a rogue and disarmed a trap (without anyone aiding you), you got extra xp. Looking at the rules as written (RAW) in the DMG, that character overcame a CR challenge alone. Doing so gains quite a bit of XP and if the DM allowed this, caused a rogue to level much faster than any other class.

 

Conversely, the Wizard received the Scribe Scroll feat for free at 1st level. If you wanted to be ready for any situation, you crafted scrolls and memorized your core spells. Crafting scrolls (and any other magic item) cost XP, sometimes A LOT of it. Result: every wizard I ever played, played with, or DMed, leveled slower than everyone else. This was now a player choice to level slowly and he was rewarded for it. IMO, this is MUCH better design that accomplished the same thing in most cases as the old system.

 

These are the types of designs we are striving to implement into PE. We want this game to feel like the games you loved, while not implementing clearly poor design choices. Much like our community, many of us on the team are passionate about certain aspects of RPG design. I tend to fall into the hardcore, old school, group. Part of my job is to be the voice for that community (I've championed turn-based combat on multiple occasions). I know what you guys don't want. Josh and I have discussed this on multiple occasions and I have every confidence in his vision.

 

Lastly, nothing is currently set it stone. Game development doesn't typically work that way. This will be an evolving process to get us to the goal of making a great strategy system, that feels "real" if that makes sense. Josh's vision of combat will get input from a lot of folks that have a lot of experience in playing and making RPGs. We'll get it right.

 

What I'm ultimately trying to say is that Obsidian got this ;)

 

In the meantime we can only speculate what it could mean. I have a distinct feeling that this "cooldown" system will fit in authentically with the world.

 

EDIT: However I missed one of the great points here, what are the Pro's as well as the Con's?

http://forums.obsidi...0996-abc-magic/

This is something that I personally would like to see, or at least considered.

 

So I'll use that as a basis, as that is also my own kind of grasp at an improved Baldur's Gate system. We don't exactly know what Obsidian wants, and I am perfectly fine and enjoying the secrecy as well as the aspects that they shouldn't tell. With this being said, it is hard to make a Pro's and Con's list when we don't know what Obsidian has in mind.

 

Feel free to come up with suggestions for more pro's and con's.

 

Insta-Cooldown (Resting):

What we see in Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale, as an example.

 

+ You can be constantly fresh and loaded.

+ Gives atmosphere

- Easily abused unless limited.

- Random encounter's could be more often and more dangerous.

 

Insta-Cooldown (After/Before Fight):

Seen in Penny Arcade On A Rainslick Adventure 3 (messing up the title I'm sure), and it works very well for that type of RPG. P:E isn't going to be such an RPG. Yet I can see it be implemented into this type of RPG as well, but it doesn't feel right personally.

 

+ You are always ready for a fight.

+ Encounter's need to be more of a puzzle with only one solution, to be a challenge.

- Just one solution?

- Which can be great unless you want the atmosphere and feeling that (roleplaying-wise) you can't be ready for every fight every time. You get tired, fatigued. At some points you need to rest.

 

Turn-Based Cooldown:

Seen in Disgaea I believe, when you do an ability afterwards a number appears on the spell icon "13 Turns Left". I believe Heroes of Might & Magic follows the same rules, so does Fallout.

 

+ A very controlled tactical system. Chess-like.

- Chess is hardcore, unfortunately. Many enjoy it, but would they play 300 games of it in a row?

 

Time-Based Cooldown:

Seen in games like World of Warcraft and other similar mass produced games. The cooldown is only 3 or 4 seconds in many cases, has there ever been a game with a 10 minute (600 seconds) cooldown on your first level 1 spell? I would say Baldur's Gate is that, after about 10-20 minutes playing it I need to rest to replenish spells (Past Candlekeep).

 

+ It is simply great for many reasons, mainly atmosphere.

- It is misunderstood I believe as something only common in action games. Or I am endorsing it so much that I am blind to the consequences :p

 

Help me out.

Edited by Osvir
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In-combat cooldowns suck major balls, but the tentative plan to have some type of system that cuts out spam resting is intriguing.

 

For now I'm "undecided" and it all comes down to execution by the devs.

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Option A

 

Level 4 Mage has Fireball 1x, Magic Missile 3x, Hold Monster 1x - PER COMBAT ENCOUNTER COOL-Down.

 

Pros

- This is very easy for developers to balance

 

Cons

-Not Tactical

-Boring, all encounters feel the same

-No challenge

-No sense of tension

 

Option B

 

Level 4 Mage has Fireball 1x, Magic Missile 3x, Hold Monster 1x - PER DAY COOL-Down.

 

 

Pros

-Each encounter will be tactical and challanging and different

-Creates a great feel of tension

 

Cons

- This is harder for developers to balance

 

 

Option C

 

Level 4 Mage has Fireball 1x PER DAY, Magic Missile 3x PER ENCOUNTER, Hold Monster 1x PER DAY

 

 

Pros

-mildly tactical

-Possibly easier to balance

 

Cons

-Most all fights may still feel the same

-No great feel of tention

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I see that more and more it is leaning towards "I hate the idea of cooldowns" but little arguments to why?

 

What would be the better solution? Isn't everything cooldowns?

 

Time is a cooldown in itself.

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Jaesun, I think you need to quantify what you mean by "per encounter" vs. "per day" -- specifically, what does this mean in terms of real-time, which is what matters to the player.

 

If "Per Day" <= 10 RT minutes or so, then I'm probably good with all three options.

If "Per Day" > 10 RT minutes, then I think this is a bad idea (unless a "rest" mechanic is included, possibly limited, that instantly resets the counter)

If "Per Day" = 8 RT hours, then this is completely absurd.

 

Another interesting solution is to make it "Per N encounters" -- so, for example, "Per day" might be "5 encounters", for example. You'd still need to include a rest mechanic (that forcibly resets the counter), but it offers additional balance options. In particular, "N" could be low for low levels (where mages tend to exhaust their spells quickly) and much higher at high levels (to encourage usage of a wide variety of spells).

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Generally speaking, people who hate cooldowns fall into two camps (as I've observed):

 

1) A large number of people object to cooldowns because they suck as implemented in other games (especially MMORPGs and DA:O / DA:2). Of course, these are all cooldowns that reset during combat, and that's explicitly not what the devs are talking about, but... :)

2) Most of the rest object to the idea of "8 Real-Time hours must pass before spells are restored, and nothing the player can do will speed this process (no "rest", for example)". This doesn't seem to be what the developers are going for, but it hasn't been explicitly disclaimed by them, and it is arguable that this is what they are doing. The object here is that this "punishes" the player for poor play via creating tedium -- and this is a bad thing.

 

I fall into the #2 camp, myself.

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There is a rest mechanic in the game

 

Yes, but we don't know what mechanical effect it has. It is possible (perhaps even likely) that "resting" has nothing to do with spellcasting at all, but is the primary way to heal. Nor is has there been any statement about when resting is possible. I'll admit that something that advances the game clock would likely reset cooldowns as well, but there hasn't been a DEV post directly on topic.

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It is possible (perhaps even likely) that "resting" has nothing to do with spellcasting at all, but is the primary way to heal.

 

That is pretty much my guess at this time. That actually, could be...... interesting.

 

Of course Sawyer will come by and probably throw another curve-ball and throw us all off track. :)

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Obsidian will make the best decision with our opinions. I think cooldowns have pros and cons. I just don't know enough system detail to know precisely what those are. I don't love or hate them, they are a means to an end. If Sawyer thinks it can do what he wants, yay. If others disagree and make a compelling argument, I hope Sawyer takes heed and weighs that.

 

Just kind of chiming in on the poll from the topic you may have noticed just got merged with this one.


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

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I see that more and more it is leaning towards "I hate the idea of cooldowns" but little arguments to why?

 

What would be the better solution? Isn't everything cooldowns?

 

Time is a cooldown in itself.

This is such a backwards way of thinking and isn't even an argument. We use certain words to convey our intent to others. If cooldowns covers everything it is a meaningless term.

 

The game mechanic "cooldown" in the context of RPGs, is commonly understood to be any ability that has a cooldown period after you use it. i.e. a cooldown timer. If someone uses the word cooldown to describe a different type of mechanic, it's entirely their fault if they are misunderstood.

 

Yes, but we don't know what mechanical effect it has. It is possible (perhaps even likely) that "resting" has nothing to do with spellcasting at all, but is the primary way to heal. Nor is has there been any statement about when resting is possible. I'll admit that something that advances the game clock would likely reset cooldowns as well, but there hasn't been a DEV post directly on topic.
I don't think there will be per-day abilities at all, as this runs into the same issue Sawyer is trying to avoid where you can find a safe spot to rest to refresh your 'per-day' spells. Also it doesn't make any sense for resting to not refresh your spell if it turns "walk back to town" into "go make a coffee".
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Obsidian will make the best decision with our opinions. I think cooldowns have pros and cons. I just don't know enough system detail to know precisely what those are. I don't love or hate them, they are a means to an end. If Sawyer thinks it can do what he wants, yay. If others disagree and make a compelling argument, I hope Sawyer takes heed and weighs that.

 

Just kind of chiming in on the poll from the topic you may have noticed just got merged with this one.

 

I'm still neutral about them... And I hope people remember not to consider a "cooldown" only in a vacuum.

 

We already know there will be "rest." And there is a yet undescribed soul mechanic.

 

Nothing ruling out mana/power, fatigue/exhaustion, and anything else people can think of.

 

I think with some creativity, a combination can be very interesting. And tactical.


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2) Most of the rest object to the idea of "8 Real-Time hours must pass before spells are restored, and nothing the player can do will speed this process (no "rest", for example)". This doesn't seem to be what the developers are going for, but it hasn't been explicitly disclaimed by them, and it is arguable that this is what they are doing. The object here is that this "punishes" the player for poor play via creating tedium -- and this is a bad thing.

 

8 In-Game/Lore "Real-Time" Hours. Which would be somewhere between 10-30 Minutes of your Gameplay.

 

10 minutes for a quicker pace

30 minutes for a slower pace

 

Isn't that were the two groups (generally) fall here about the cooldowns.

 

Some want more time, more contemplation

Whilst some want less time, more action

 

This to me sounds like a Difficulty Option/Options Screen thing more and more.

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All I want is some kind of strategic element that persists between combat encounters. I can't speak for others, but I think this is one of the main things that attracts people to the Vancian system despite all its other flaws.

 

Short cooldowns not only generally remove tactical thinking in a per-encounter situation, but have no strategic concerns with regards to managing and conserving your parties resources. Longer cooldowns can achieve this as deciding whether to use an ability now can affect how many uses you have of it later. But at this point it's not really a cooldown, as the amount of time left before you can use it should be longer than you'd wait around for.

 

Resource systems can achieve this in some cases, but if there are already limited resources governing your skill use, cooldowns just seem like a sloppy way of balancing powerful abilities.

 

However due to Sawyer stating that he doesn't want to punish the player "twice" for having trouble in an encounter, and then having some kind of penalty (extra fatigue, loss of spells, having to go to rest somewhere) I think the challenge of combat will only be per-encounter, and conserving resources between encounters will not be a concern.

 

NB: Lack of sleep may have made me repeat myself somehow...

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All I want is some kind of strategic element that persists between combat encounters. I can't speak for others, but I think this is one of the main things that attracts people to the Vancian system despite all its other flaws.

 

Short cooldowns not only generally remove tactical thinking in a per-encounter situation, but have no strategic concerns with regards to managing and conserving your parties resources. Longer cooldowns can achieve this as deciding whether to use an ability now can affect how many uses you have of it later. But at this point it's not really a cooldown, as the amount of time left before you can use it should be longer than you'd wait around for.

 

Resource systems can achieve this in some cases, but if there are already limited resources governing your skill use, cooldowns just seem like a sloppy way of balancing powerful abilities.

 

However due to Sawyer stating that he doesn't want to punish the player "twice" for having trouble in an encounter, and then having some kind of penalty (extra fatigue, loss of spells, having to go to rest somewhere) I think the challenge of combat will only be per-encounter, and conserving resources between encounters will not be a concern.

 

NB: Lack of sleep may have made me repeat myself somehow...

This.I honestly hope we won't get a 'walk-self contained fight-walk-self contained fight' game were the overall experience feels splittable in many pieces.It's basically the argument about a game being more or less than the sum of its parts(if fights are mostly self contained experiences it's likely going to be a case of 'less of its parts' since there's little to link these parts to one another.)

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All I want is some kind of strategic element that persists between combat encounters. I can't speak for others, but I think this is one of the main things that attracts people to the Vancian system despite all its other flaws.

 

Short cooldowns not only generally remove tactical thinking in a per-encounter situation, but have no strategic concerns with regards to managing and conserving your parties resources. Longer cooldowns can achieve this as deciding whether to use an ability now can affect how many uses you have of it later. But at this point it's not really a cooldown, as the amount of time left before you can use it should be longer than you'd wait around for.

 

Resource systems can achieve this in some cases, but if there are already limited resources governing your skill use, cooldowns just seem like a sloppy way of balancing powerful abilities.

 

However due to Sawyer stating that he doesn't want to punish the player "twice" for having trouble in an encounter, and then having some kind of penalty (extra fatigue, loss of spells, having to go to rest somewhere) I think the challenge of combat will only be per-encounter, and conserving resources between encounters will not be a concern.

 

NB: Lack of sleep may have made me repeat myself somehow...

 

Spot on. Especially the part about punishing players "twice". I think that effect is needed to create the feeling that your combat choices matter in the long run. Otherwise the choices you make in combat feels just as shallow as when you're picking "cosmetic" dialog choices that all leads to the same result. Such "choices" quickly become boring imo.

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