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Matt Chat Interview with Sawyer about Eternity

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Ohhhhhhh. Matt Chats are always good. Gonna check it out. :yes:


:closed:

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Good interview. Matt Chats are pretty neat.

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"Things are funny...are comedic, because they mix the real with the absurd." - Buzz Aldrin.

"P-O-T-A-T-O-E" - Dan Quayle

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Wow. I kinda feel immortalized now. Can't change the avatar. :biggrin:

 

Here is part 1 transcript of the particular section I think most would be interested in, courtesy of mine typing:

 

Anyway, I got a question here from RPGCodex… What are your thoughts on cooldowns versus mana pool versus--I believe this is Vancian magic? It’s apparently a hot topic on the Eternity forums right now.

 

 

Yeah, so--Vancian for people that don’t--aren’t familiar with that term--they’re probably familiar with what it actually is but not necessarily the term. Jack Vance in I think it was the Dying Earth series--the wizards in that setting would--they would literally memorize a spell and when they cast that spell, the words of it would just be burned out their memory. So Dungeons and Dragons spellcasting, before 3rd edition at least, before sorcerors--were sort of a Vancian system where you would prepare your spells, memorize them including multiple uses of the same spell, and then you would cast them and then they were gone.

 

So it’s come up because, you know, people ask my opinions on cooldowns, and cooldowns are just--they’re a mechanic--like they’re a thing, and they can be used with a lot of other things. And I don’t think that cooldowns are inherently really great or inherently really bad. They’re just a balancing tool.

So the way that we’re actually looking at wizards specifically for the setting, is that we want them to learn spells. We want them to have a spellbook, or actually a series of spellbooks that exceeds their capability to cast at any given time, where we’re not strictly using a Vancian “you must go rest and ‘re-memorize’ a spell” to get it back. So cooldowns, the only thing we’ve talked about for wizards with regard to cooldowns is the idea that cooldowns can be used as a means of essentially locking off blocks of spells once you’ve exhausted it for a level.

  • Like 5

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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Part 2 transcript:

So for example, you have a mid-level mage who’s casting, you know--I can cast four Third level spells, just like an 11th level wizard could cast in D&D, I think. Third level spells not counting for bonus spells, but anyway. (?) …And the spells that are currently available in the selected spellbooks are Fireball, Lightning Bolt, Haste, and Slow, let’s just say. So the wizard goes in, casts Fireball. Nn, that didn’t do it--another Fireball. Oh crap, I need to speed my party up--Haste, great. Uh, oh, and one more Fireball. Great, cast it. So was able to, in sequence, cast those; they didn’t have a cooldown in the sense that they were locked out from using that spell again. But once they’ve cast four of those Third level spells, the Third level spell bank is locked out for a period of time that is likely to last the rest of the combat, maybe most of the rest of the combat. So it’s effectively accomplished the same thing you would as if you’ve exhausted in a normal D&D game.

 

The difference is that because the cooldown is not incredibly long, after the fight or between fights, that’s going to come back on. So essentially you don’t have to literally go find a camp and rest. And so the cooldown is really just used as a means of locking you out for a tactical purpose. So like, yeah, you blew all your Third level spells; you can’t use them anymore.

 

The only other way we talked about using cooldowns is, we like the idea of a player preparing different spellbooks. So you have your spells that you know, and at any given time, you can cast spells from your spellbook, and that’s up to your limit. So you may actually “know” 20 Third level spells--you’re crazy, you got all these different spells. In your current spellbook, maybe you can only have four in one book at a time. So if you come up against a tactical threat, where you suddenly realize you’re not particularly well-equipped to deal with it, you have the option of either sticking with your current set and sort of adapting, or if you’re willing to take a lock-out cooldown--basically saying like you can’t cast any of your major spells for the next, like, let’s say, 30 seconds, you can swap your spellbook out. So when the spellbook is being swapped out, you might be able to use very low-power--or like your standard attacks or things like that. But you’re not going to be casting Finger of Death or anything like that, because that’s all in your spelllbook.

 

So from that point, it becomes a very--there’s a pretty big disincentive to not try to switch that book in the middle of a fight. However, if you get in that fight and you realize, “Whoa, this area’s full of fire salamanders, and I have a book full of fire spells, this is not good”--if you swap that book out, you can probably just keep moving immediately because it’s only going to be 30 seconds before you have--and I’m using 30 seconds as a general term. It’s not literally going to be 30 seconds; I don’t know what it’s actually going to be. But that means of buffering allows there to be a tactical consequence, but it doesn’t strictly say you must go rest to get those new spells back.

 

So that’s all we’ve talked about, but that could change. Our goal is really to give the feeling of strategic and tactical considerations that go into playing a wizard in 3rd Edition or 2nd Edition, but without the very strict level of, you have to go rest for eight hours to get those spells back or to change those spells.

Edited by Ieo
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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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:lol: The look of "Oh god what is this going to be about..." when the words "RPG Codex" are uttered.

Yeah his eyes - he was like, OH ****. lol

 

Kind of understandable after that whole cooldown debate.

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:closed:

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:lol: The look of "Oh god what is this going to be about..." when the words "RPG Codex" are uttered.

 

Wasn't it utterly predictable what any question from the Codex was going to be about? :dancing:

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Yeah. Matt is great. I also think Sawyer does a surprisingly good job at these sort of 'live' interviews. He seems very sincere. His laugh when asked if he was familiar with the codex was classic.


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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I'm so confused by this thread. The interviewer is terrible. The questions weren't particularly interesting and when Sawyer was giving answers, they'd cut to incredibly distracting videos, even playing the PE pitch with the *sound* on.

 

Still not convinced by cooldowns. How will random encounters be integrated into the game? Or will those disappear? I think cooldowns are, in fact, inherently evil. Probably Lawful Evil.

 

I do think the idea of the Grimoire is excellent however. If changing the Grimoire/Spelltome is the only thing affected by a cooldown I'd be far happier.

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They think my style strange,

I think they all the same.

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Wow, I didn't know that the Spell Memorization was actually like... magically burned out of the Mage's memory... that is pretty cool.

 

EDIT: ^Vancian magic

 

2nd EDIT: Also I'm subscribing to Matt Chats, beer tasting!? :D

Edited by Osvir

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That's a great interview, from both of them. A very sincere and natural feel to it.

 

I'm all for the way that magic system works too. Resting every 5 minutes in the middle of a dungeon or fortress or whatever, always seemed ridiculous to me, so I never did. Which means that either my casters were without spells halfway through the dungeon, or I never actually used any of the more powerful ones, hanging on until I really needed.

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I like how the wizard in this game has an ability of spontaneous casting just as a sorcerer in D&D3.x. I mean that there is no need to select how many times you are going to use fireball in the future, you can just put it in a grimoire and use it up to locking the whole level. I adore sorcerers of D&D3.x so these are really good news to me.

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matt is the man!


"if everyone is dead then why don't i remember dying?"

—a clueless sod to a dustman

 

"if we're all alive then why don't i remember being born?"

—the dustman's response

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:lol: The look of "Oh god what is this going to be about..." when the words "RPG Codex" are uttered.

 

Wasn't it utterly predictable what any question from the Codex was going to be about? :dancing:

 

What is wrong with asking for clarification on the combat system?

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Wow, I didn't know that the Spell Memorization was actually like... magically burned out of the Mage's memory... that is pretty cool.

 

EDIT: ^Vancian magic

 

2nd EDIT: Also I'm subscribing to Matt Chats, beer tasting!? :D

 

A couple of my friends who've actually read The Dying Earth by Vance explained that the D&D implementation isn't entirely accurate in the abstract sense: Magic is "living" in the books, and when the caster learns a spell, it "lives" in the brain; upon casting it, the spell is "released" into the world, thus leaving the caster's head. So it's not exactly memorizing/forgetting, but in practical application, that's what it looks like (because knowing something and forgetting instantly seems really weird to me).


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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Still not buying cool downs. You cast a bunch of spells and they lock out with a cool down. What exactly happens during that cool down while you can do other stuff that allows them to be unlocked again in the first place? It's so artificial and non-involving.

 

And is it not better to focus on the known problems of a pre-existing tried&true system and improve on it instead of coming up with an uncanny mix of everything without any street cred? Especially that has repeatedly failed to be at least as good in most if not all of its incarnations?

 

Grimoires is an excellent idea, though.

Edited by villain of the story
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^ I am also baffled by Sawyer's explanation. But am prepared to give him benefit of doubt due to early stage of dev cycle.


sonsofgygax.JPG

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