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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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Maybe they'll finally pull of a cooldown system that really works for once. It's highly unlikely, especially without an extremely insightful analysis of what went wrong with all of the other attempts, but it's not impossible.

 

EXACTLY!

 

The thing that troubles me the most is that I've heard Obsidian talk about how bad the old vancian and resting system is... BUT not a word of criticism towards cooldowns (I may have missed some announcement and if I have, please tell). It would be nice if they at least acknowledged the flaws of that system in the same way.

Edited by qstoffe
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There is NO Publisher involved with Project Eternity. Unlike BioWare.

Meh, there was no publisher involved with Bioware when they made those terrible design decisions. They chose to do them by themselves.
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So, another love it/hate it dichotomy? Instead of asking when and how a mechanism might be useful and whether or not another mechanism might serve that purpose better? I really don't get the passion. I can see hating particular implementations of cooldowns. But any possible implementation of cooldowns? It's like hating pencils because you had a bad experience in a voting booth.

 

And if I don't hate them, I must love them, be undecided, or feel we have no input to offer? I feel like I've wandered into Congress ....

 

You haven't wandered into Congress, but you have wandered into an active war zone. Are you unsure of whose side you are on? Of your forum faction? Perhaps I can be of some service in this regard. Just list the cRPGs that you love and the cRPGs that you hate. Although, no matter what, you are in the pro-cooldown faction. On your side are the Dragon Age and MMO lovers among others. That's the lawful evil faction in case you were wondering.

 

Actually, I'm an independent who always plays Neutral Good--and suspects those eager to categorize others of being Lawful Evil. ;-)

 

Neither Dragon Age nor MMOs support full party control in the sense that the IE games did, so whether or not I care for them is irrelevant. What works for them isn't going to make sense in Project Eternity. That doesn't mean that cooldowns couldn't serve a purpose in PE, though. It just means that MMO/DA-style cooldowns would be horrific if you really tried to manage everyone in the party. Of course, I've only played DA:O not DA 2 so I'm not familiar with the latter's mechanics.

 

Actually, my chief feeling on this issue is that what's good for the goose should be good for the gander. If mages are prone to running out of resources, other classes should be similarly accursed. Cleave should be an attack that warriors feel they need to save until they really need it since it can only be used a couple times before their weapons become too heavy and they have hike back to town to rest and replenish their special attacks. Until I start hearing folks who like to play physical damage dealers saying that it would make the game more interesting if their PCs regularly got to stand around watching the casters handle whatever danger the party has encountered, perhaps because enemies are only susceptible to magical weapons, and magical weapons are really scarce, I'm not going to be too interested in the opinions of folks anxious to keep mages on a short leash.

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Then again, if I was describing that system my main descriptor would not be cooldowns.

 

Yes. If they really have something completely different in mind it would be pretty unwise to refer to it as cooldowns because of the natural association that follows (i.e. spell mechanics like Dragon Age).

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A proposal of a method to both have long (non-combat) cooldowns on spells but still avoid tedium:

 

Spellcasters have slots (divided into levels, received as part of level advancement & class selection) and can put spells into these slots. When a slot is used to cast a spell, that slot is no longer available (and therefore the spell that resides in that slot is also unavailable). Slots have cooldown timers that only advance outside of combat of, say, "level"*10 minutes. "Rest", or at least rest that resets cooldowns, is highly restricted (generally not available in the field). Nothing really new yet. :)

 

Spellcasters have an option (set when putting spells into slots, most likely) to divert some portion of XP received into replenishing slots instead. I'm envisioning a slider that runs from 0% to (say) 20%. If the spellcaster choses to do this, then each time he/she receives XPs all of his/her cooldowns advance based on the amount of XP diverted to this purpose. Note that the XP is divided equally between available slots, without regard to whether a particular slot is in cooldown or not, or what level it is. For example, if you have 30 slots, have 20% of XP received diverted to reducing cooldowns, and earn 300 XP, then 2 XP are assigned to each slot. If you only have 1 slot, though, then 60 XP is assigned to that slot. Therefore, as you advance in level (and gain more slots) you'll naturally need more XP to get the same "bang for your buck" (which you will get if you fight level appropriate encounters).

 

This, it seems to me, would solve the problem -- if you are in a situation where you can't advance due to all of your spells being on cooldown, you have several choices:

1) Set the slider up high, find an extra (not to easy but not too hard) combat, and tada: Your cooldowns are reset (both because of the time you spent finding the combat, and the XP converted into cooldown counters at the same time).

2) You can retreat until you can rest, then increase the slider so that you'll get your spells back quicker in future combats.

 

Problem solved, I think: Poor players are "punished" for being poor by receiving less XP for their spellcasters, so they have an incentive to improve (which some people seem to think is critical), without introducing tedium.

 

Thoughts?

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A proposal of a method to both have long (non-combat) cooldowns on spells but still avoid tedium:

 

Spellcasters have slots (divided into levels, received as part of level advancement & class selection) and can put spells into these slots. When a slot is used to cast a spell, that slot is no longer available (and therefore the spell that resides in that slot is also unavailable). Slots have cooldown timers that only advance outside of combat of, say, "level"*10 minutes. "Rest", or at least rest that resets cooldowns, is highly restricted (generally not available in the field). Nothing really new yet. :)

 

Spellcasters have an option (set when putting spells into slots, most likely) to divert some portion of XP received into replenishing slots instead. I'm envisioning a slider that runs from 0% to (say) 20%. If the spellcaster choses to do this, then each time he/she receives XPs all of his/her cooldowns advance based on the amount of XP diverted to this purpose. Note that the XP is divided equally between available slots, without regard to whether a particular slot is in cooldown or not, or what level it is. For example, if you have 30 slots, have 20% of XP received diverted to reducing cooldowns, and earn 300 XP, then 2 XP are assigned to each slot. If you only have 1 slot, though, then 60 XP is assigned to that slot. Therefore, as you advance in level (and gain more slots) you'll naturally need more XP to get the same "bang for your buck" (which you will get if you fight level appropriate encounters).

 

This, it seems to me, would solve the problem -- if you are in a situation where you can't advance due to all of your spells being on cooldown, you have several choices:

1) Set the slider up high, find an extra (not to easy but not too hard) combat, and tada: Your cooldowns are reset (both because of the time you spent finding the combat, and the XP converted into cooldown counters at the same time).

2) You can retreat until you can rest, then increase the slider so that you'll get your spells back quicker in future combats.

 

Problem solved, I think: Poor players are "punished" for being poor by receiving less XP for their spellcasters, so they have an incentive to improve (which some people seem to think is critical), without introducing tedium.

 

Thoughts?

 

So long as melee and archers are also charged XP if they choose to replenish their supply of special attacks ...

 

Personally, I don't think that it is the role of entertainment to be punitive, and that particularly in a single-player game folks worry far too much about others possibly playing poorly.

Edited by Lady Evenstar
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As far as that whole issue with "rest spamming" and similar problems go... well, I'd be surprised if someone else hasn't already brought this up, but suppose a game could use some sort of "chain" system that rewards players for not resting* between encounters? The easiest way to go (both from a lore and mechanics standpoint) would of course be an experience point bonus, but they'd of course have to consider how this would affect the player's progression through the game.

 

Having a static "chain bonus" would probably be enough to give the player incentive to avoid resting, but the first game that comes to mind with a similar system (Final Fantasy XI) used an incremental bonus system that rewarded sustaining long chains. (But level progression functions in an entirely different way in a grind-oriented MMO, so the incremental version likely wouldn't be a good idea.)

 

Of course this also assumes that enemy encounters reward you with experience points to begin with. Unless it was a matter of experience point rewards being exclusive to "chained" battles.

 

 

* In the case of a cooldown system, standing around and doing nothing would be considered "resting"

Edited by JediMB

Something stirs within...

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So long as melee and archers are also charged XP if they choose to replenish their supply of special attacks ...

 

Actually no. I don't think classes has to be equally balanced in every aspect so that they basically become the "same" class but in different cosmetics. As you said this is a single player game were it imo is more important to create a dynamic and variance between choices than to balance every choice to be 100% equal. The more differences of pros and cons between two choices, the more difficult and fun they are to make. If everything is too similiar in most aspects it becomes dull to make choices between them.

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Then every battle is exactly the same. BORING. There is no Tactics, challenge or any sense of tension, like you DID experience in the IE games.

 

Did you ever play them?

 

 

I did play them. BG2 in particular I tend to recal stacking many instances of a few (often one) spell at the same instance because I couldn't predict what was coming up in the future and I tended to pick spells that were the best balance between most versatile and effectiveness.

 

 

I don't think that this means that every battle is exactly the same. It only is if you have spells that are clearly superior. Though if that's the case, then you're not solving that with a Vancian system anyways.

Edited by alanschu

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I don't think we have enough information about the system they're going to use to jump up and down about it's deficiencies yet. There is every chance that they will tweak whatever they use to make the most of it, so something we think sounds dull now we may end up really enjoying. I just want to keep a open mind about things.....except in the case of Paladins, they have to have Paladins!


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The Divine Marshmallow shall succour the souls of the Righteous with his sweetness while the Faithless writhe in the molten syrup of his wrath.

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So long as melee and archers are also charged XP if they choose to replenish their supply of special attacks ...

 

Actually no. I don't think classes has to be equally balanced in every aspect so that they basically become the "same" class but in different cosmetics. As you said this is a single player game were it imo is more important to create a dynamic and variance between choices than to balance every choice to be 100% equal. The more differences of pros and cons between two choices, the more difficult and fun they are to make. If everything is too similiar in most aspects it becomes dull to make choices between them.

 

Admittedly, I'm still burning over all the whining by folks who like to play rogues and warriors that mages shouldn't be too powerful and the subsequent (I won't say consequent) weakness of destruction magic in Skyrim. I think it's good to ask if you're proposing limitations on a class that you don't normally play as PC whether comparable limitations would be fun on a class that you do tend to play. If you're immediate reaction is "no, it wouldn't be fun for my warrior to stand around feeling useless" why would you think it would be fun for players of mages to do the same? Balance doesn't require sameness, but it does require that there is an adequate payoff for limitations. If all the suggestions on this board were implemented, balance would require that one spell from a mage--if they decided the situation was dire enough for them to cast one--would clear entire dungeons--and it would take about 50 axe strokes to kill anything, because skills you can use all the time would have to be weak. Hardly fun or strategic gameplay ...

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In any case, I think it would be interesting (in fitting in with the lore of the game, what little we know of it), to have non-wizards / non-clerics use the same system. Instead of what we think of as "Spells", they would have abilities similar to feats in D&D 3E (for example, "All-Around-Attack"). Rather than buying these feats at level up, they would gain access to them automatically and could control the # of uses "per day" by putting them into slots. Lots of advantages to this route:

 

* You can try different techniques without re-specing your entire character.

* You can chose just a few abilities (that you can use frequently) or lots of abilities (that you can only use rarely), as you see fit, instead of being locked into a "one size fits all" approach.

* Many abilities, as they are implemented in CRPGs, are really supernatural / magical in nature -- "Sneak" is the biggest one. Once you have successfully started sneaking, you can walk right in front of an opponent without being detected, and nobody is that good at sneaking. :) By making "Sneak" an ability that consumes a slot, though, this makes alot more sense.

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It is interesting to hear Tim Cain willing to repeat the same mistakes they did on Arcanum back in Troika. Spam Harm spell, anyone? Yeah, great idea. Just so that every mage can fall back on something. You know, back in DND, mages had slings, staffs and other low tier combat options when multiclassed. It's *extremely* disappointing to see that they are thinking of "resolving" problems with lazy design.

 

And whatever happened to the magic of magic in high fantasy anyway? Why do we even need to have spammable low level spells? Is a mage no good for anything else? Does everything have to revolve around combat this much?

 

If mages are prone to running out of resources, other classes should be similarly accursed.

 

Yes.

 

Cleave should be an attack that warriors feel they need to save until they really need it since it can only be used a couple times before their weapons become too heavy and they have hike back to town to rest and replenish their special attacks.

 

Absolutely no. "Cleave" (or insert whatever melee ability) is not "special ability". If you are capable of doing it, you already got the training to do it any time. It's just a certain way to hit with your weapon. You don't "replenish" a physical move. You don't run out of a physical move.

 

What can happen is you run out of stamina, the energy to do it. And that could be resolved through more meaningful mechanics closer to PNP. Stamina pools. Fatigue. Cumulative penalties to your subsequent attacks when you don't stop for a moment to take a breath. Mechanically, it would still be similar to cool-downs except not really because cool-downs have this very specific context of being specific to abilities or ability groups.

Edited by villain of the story
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Agreed on low level spell spamming. You magic users and clerics are the SINGLE MOST POWERFUL resource, you as a player have at your disposal. And you need to use them tactfully or not at all. Having your Mage spam some low level spell, does not really make them still useful. They then are reduced to endless zapping machines.

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Rather than having spells with unlimited use, couldn't wizards just have some sort of ranged attack with their staves/wands/etc.?

 

Or a focus ability that speeds up the recovery of one or more spell tiers?

Edited by JediMB

Something stirs within...

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Agreed on low level spell spamming. You magic users and clerics are the SINGLE MOST POWERFUL resource, you as a player have at your disposal. And you need to use them tactfully or not at all. Having your Mage spam some low level spell, does not really make them still useful. They then are reduced to endless zapping machines.

as opposed to endless rock flinging machines.

 

And this isn't unlimited use within a single fight. But it essentially gives you low level spells to use every encounter.

Edited by ogrezilla
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Agreed on low level spell spamming. You magic users and clerics are the SINGLE MOST POWERFUL resource, you as a player have at your disposal. And you need to use them tactfully or not at all. Having your Mage spam some low level spell, does not really make them still useful. They then are reduced to endless zapping machines.

as opposed to endless rock flinging machines.

 

And this isn't unlimited use within a single fight. But it essentially gives you low level spells to use every encounter.

 

Not only that, but it also makes it "ok" to not rest. Basically, it will encourage people to go through fights without using the high level spells without giving such a penalization for using spells that you feel you need to rest every two fights.

 

Because let's be honest here, in BG/BG2/etc if we didn't know the fights we were going in in a new quest we would almost always need/want to rest a couple of times within an enemy infested map. It's only on subsequent playthroughs that not resting once while going to the castle of Arnise is remotely possible, and that gives players few reason to limit the sleep-spamming.

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Some more info here.

 

 

There have been some concerns regarding Cain's proposed Wizard magic system. Mainly that it means we can use every spell repeadetly in longer combat encounters. Can you calm our fears?

 

I think it depends on what you consider "longer". Practically speaking, even a mid-level mage would have to be in an encounter for a long time to both exhaust entire levels of spells and then continue the battle long enough to see those levels unlock again.

 

Let's assume a 10th level PE wizard has the same number of "castings" per level to cast as a 10th level wizard in D&D 3E. I don't know how we would want to roll over levels of spells from per-rest resources to timed lockout resources, but for now let's say that the wizard's 5th and 4th level spells are per-rest resources (just like normal D&D) and that 3rd, 2nd, and 1st level spells are on timed lockouts. For simplicity, let's also assume that it takes about the same amount of time to cast these spells in a full round as it would in an IE game. Though we will not use the same timing as the IE games, it's likely that wizard spells will be among the more time-consuming actions to perform.

 

Using D&D spells for this example, the wizard could cast fireball three times or fireball once, then haste, then slow, or two hastes and a fireball -- in any combination, the wizard has exhausted all three of his or her 3rd level spell slots. All level 3 spells are now locked out for 30(ish) seconds. The wizard would have to cast another five spells before the level 3 spells were available for use again. Either the wizard is going to use up a lot of 2nd and 1st level castings (possibly locking out one of those two levels in the process) or is going to be eating into his or her per-rest resources.

 

There are a number of tools we can use to balance how this works: 1) the number of castings before a level is locked out 2) the time that an individual level is locked out before it can be used again 3) when a wizard's spell levels roll over from being per-rest to timed lockout (e.g. in this example, maybe 3rd level spells should still be per-rest, but 2nd and 1st are timed lockout) and 4) the power of the individual spells.

 

Our goal is to allow casters to contribute to combat in a way that is more substantive than hucking sling stones without always needing to chew into a per-rest resource. Additionally, we want the caster's higher level spells to be reasonably powerful but also a strategic resource for the player to manage.

 

I REALLY like this so far.

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my biggest question is this: Why did they describe this system first and foremost as "cooldown based?" It sounds more like Vancian with a little cooldown flair to it.

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I like the overall proposed implementation.

 

my biggest question is this: Why did they describe this system first and foremost as "cooldown based?" It sounds more like Vancian with a little cooldown flair to it.

 

There is no flexibility with the D&D Vancian system, and it's much harder to tweak across difficulty levels too. With the combined spell tier + grimoire cooldowns and scaling application by character level, that leaves a lot of room for tweaking... There's still one major variable missing, though, and that's soul. Hmmm. I hope they get creative with soul and not treat it as a pure mana bladder or something.

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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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Ahem:

 

 

If you're talking specifically about the Formspring link, that was already linked twice on the previous page. :p


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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I like the overall proposed implementation.

 

my biggest question is this: Why did they describe this system first and foremost as "cooldown based?" It sounds more like Vancian with a little cooldown flair to it.

 

There is no flexibility with the D&D Vancian system, and it's much harder to tweak across difficulty levels too. With the combined spell tier + grimoire cooldowns and scaling application by character level, that leaves a lot of room for tweaking... There's still one major variable missing, though, and that's soul. Hmmm. I hope they get creative with soul and not treat it as a pure mana bladder or something.

 

Kaz and Kairean (unsure about the latter's exact spelling, some newer people on the forums) suggested this in some other threads:

 

"Magic System Ideas" thread@Kairean:

http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/61100-magic-system-ideas/

 

"Magic: Limited Casting?" thread, couldn't find Kaz post (I quote it in this thread):

http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/61135-magic-limited-casting/

 

Short version:

A; Mage's use their own souls to cast magic (potential "Soul Sickness"? further additions and conclusions = casting too much of too high powered spells could kill your Mage).

B; Sucking the souls of your slain enemies to replenish.

 

Brilliant? Yes, imo.

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