Jump to content
Cultist

Attributes - Fixed or Increasing?

Recommended Posts

Fixed or slow increasing.

 

In fixed sytem there could always be some methods to increase your attributes like manuals in BG, or perks and medical procedures in fallout, but increase should be very limited.

 

In slow increasing system you could maybe get one attribute point per level or per multiple levels, character should never be able to double his, her or its orginal attribute value.

 

In my opinion systems that uses either of this systems it's much easier to keep on balance and game designer don't have any need for such comical level scalings what you can see for example in TES IV: Oblivion, and this is because character will not chage god-like creature so easily (health points increase on every level can of course make you somewhat immortal in high levels as we are seen in Fallout 2).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My personal preference is for a system where ALL of your attributes (stats, skills, abilities, whatever else) use the SAME POOL OF POINTS. So you can have a character with really bitchin' stats and few skills, or with lots of skills and few abilities, or whatever floats your boat. And, as you get points, you can increase anything as it suits you.

 

The downside of this system (and I do recognize that there is one) is that it lends itself to catastrophic build problems--that is to say, builds which are completely unplayable--not to mention character creation can take HOURS as you weigh the benefits and detriments of every conceivable combination.

 

There are ways to mitigate these downsides. You can have pre-built characters with a few leftover points to spend on customization for those who don't want to micromanage every last point. And you can have build point diminishing returns, where once you raise a given attribute, skill, or whatever above a certain threshold it costs more and more to raise it further. This helps with game balance as well because you can aim for most abilities to be at or slightly above the threshold with outliers that are extremely above or extremely below to provide some goodies for people who do wonkus stuff. Basically, you arrange your check frequency on a bell curve, with the threshold being at the center.

 

This sort of system also provides a benefit in that it rewards breadth. I really, really like systems that reward breadth, where characters don't get that much more comparatively powerful as they go on but instead have the ability to do a wider variety of things well.

  • Like 3

Grand Rhetorist of the Obsidian Order

If you appeal to "realism" about a video game feature, you are wrong. Go back and try again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Same pool for all attributes like you said is hard to balance. Look at fallout and the gifted trait for example, it gave more SPECIAL stats and took away some points from skills and it was massivly overpowered so that everyone used it. To have options that give clear benefits for the player does take away the choice of them. Because almost everyone will use it. To leave it is like when you see a good armor on the floor, nobody thinks "nah, that is too good for me, I rather stay naked" and walk on. You will use it when you find it.

 

I rather have a system that is easier to balance, so players have a real choice and have some points you can put in your stats and then they stay the same for the rest of the game. If they don't stay the same, then it is also hard to portrait the companions you have with you, because your stats often do define a lot of his character and if you can raise stats, then maybe you made your minsc very smart in the meantime and all his dialogues make no sense anymore.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I actually like rolling for stats a lot, but I think it should be optional. Rising or fixed I am not so sure about.
The problem is that there are essentially two possibilities: you can roll higher stats than you can buy in a reasonable amount of time, or you can't.

You can also roll lower stats. Also, point-buy systems tend to discourage exceptionally low values in any stat (though I doubt Obsidian would do that).

 

I like fixed or mostly fixed stats. I'd also support a GURPS-like approach where you can buy stat increases with skill points, so instead of learning a new skill you can make yourself stronger or give yourself more hit points.

 

In fact, I'd be interested to see a game where hit points don't increase unless you buy them at level-up.

  • Like 1

God used to be my co-pilot, but then we crashed in the Andes and I had to eat him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My personal preference is for a system where ALL of your attributes (stats, skills, abilities, whatever else) use the SAME POOL OF POINTS. So you can have a character with really bitchin' stats and few skills, or with lots of skills and few abilities, or whatever floats your boat. And, as you get points, you can increase anything as it suits you.

This is exactly what I'm talking about. Throw in hit points and I'm 100% behind you.


God used to be my co-pilot, but then we crashed in the Andes and I had to eat him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i'd like the stats to be skill-bound, and raised depending on what type of activity the character is involved in

like, yes

in jagged alliance 2 :biggrin:

 

or ultima (-online?)

Edited by kabaliero

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i'd like the stats to be skill-bound, and raised depending on what type of activity the character is involved in

like, yes

in jagged alliance 2 :biggrin:

 

or ultima (-online?)

 

That was the approach used in Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion also ... it has its pros and its cons as do all the approaches :)


Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing.” ― Robert E. Howard

:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fixed with the exception of extraordinary events, one would assume we'll be playing adults at the height of our physical capabilities, so they shouldn't change dramatically with the aforementioned proviso of course.

  • Like 1

Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm in favor of the D&D 3.X method of a slow increase at set intervals. I don't want to see radical shifts in our statistics, but a modest one that rewards the player with a sense of growth in their PC is a good thing.


http://cbrrescue.org/

 

Go afield with a good attitude, with respect for the wildlife you hunt and for the forests and fields in which you walk. Immerse yourself in the outdoors experience. It will cleanse your soul and make you a better person.----Fred Bear

 

http://michigansaf.org/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ultimately the method they choose needs to match the type of game they are making:

 

Fixed favors the D&D style of BG/IWD - you roll or reroll stats based on the class you wish to play ... you optimize your stats to your class and for HP (survival) and strength (pack mule) and possibly charisma (if your main character will do most of the interactions) ... the fixed approach requires a balanced CRPG design (combat, puzzles/traps, and diplomacy) and decent NPCs who will join and supplement the party ... it also requires stat improving items be available in a variety of form factors for different classes (rings, armor, belts, amulets, etc)

 

Constantly increasing favors combat style (like the ARPGs Diablo, Titan Quest, etc) - you optimize your stats to match your class or build (combat abilities for fighters, magic abilities for mages, dexterity for ranged attackers/rogues, etc) ... your carrying capacity is not tied to your strength with this type build usually so focus on hit points and stats that enable the use of class specific items (Armor, wands, bows, etc) ... in this model you have to provide LOTS of leveling opportunities (usually combat)

 

Gain what you use favors skill based games (Elder Scrolls, etc) - you optimize your skills to match your starting skill areas ... you need to have lots of primary and secondary skills for this to work ... this approach also requires lots of leveling opportunities and lots of variety of skill using opportunities ... depending on how flexible it is, it can turn everyone into a jack of all trades eventually

 

The fixed approach works best if they want to limit the final level to a fairly low level (Baldur's Gate was only 7/8, I think IWD got into the teens) ... constantly increasing works best if you get lots of levels (diablo and titan quest worked best if you were in the 20's/30's at the end of the game) ... skill based is usually somewhere in between although it can get very similar to the constantly increasing as well

 

Since I prefer a game in the BG/IWD vein I would still like fixed ... but I have successfully played the franchises using the other methods as well ... although they would not be my preferred method for this game ;)


Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing.” ― Robert E. Howard

:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that attributes should be done either like GURPS(for classless) or D&D 3(.5)E(for class systems). Preferably attributes will not grow at an incredibly fast rate where 100+ is common. Also, all attributes should benefit every class in some way.

 

At character creation I would prefer a "point-buy" system to a "roll" system.

  • Like 1

"Take your child murderin' god and shove his him up his own ass."-Volorun

 

"...the vote of a black redhead disabled homosexual transsexual Jew should probably be worth the same as at least a hundred white heterosexual Christians."-Rostere

 

"i can think of many women i would gladly sleep with, but not a single one that i would want as a girlfriend/wife... neither real nor fictional."-teknoman2

 

"I'm all for killing dogs in film." - algroth

 

"Iselmyr is the one who did GOMAD... Aloth is lactose intolerant" -ShadySands

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Am I the only one that actually really likes when the main character becomes powerful? As long as combat has a certain part chance, I can feel powerful and yet still feel that I can die if I play without strategy.

 

I like points so I can choose which way my character becomes better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like essentially fixed, provided you can min-max, which I'm sure will be the case. I also think that it should be an option to increase a stat, or multiple stats, at the cost of experience points, or something along those lines. Occasional quest-related increases OR decreases should be possible, but they should be really difficult to obtain. As in, it is a sequence of tasks for a quest, and it generally isn't revealed beforehand that you will get a stat increase in something, but a surprise. I know tons of people read game guides, so they'll just meta-game to get to it, but I personally don't ever read guides, unless I'm absolutely stuck and can't progress further (and it's important). So for me, it WOULD be a pleasant surprise but not unbalancing.

  • Like 1

"1 is 1"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My personal preference is for a system where ALL of your attributes (stats, skills, abilities, whatever else) use the SAME POOL OF POINTS. So you can have a character with really bitchin' stats and few skills, or with lots of skills and few abilities, or whatever floats your boat. And, as you get points, you can increase anything as it suits you.

This is exactly what I'm talking about. Throw in hit points and I'm 100% behind you.

 

Actually, the system I'm talking about (Mutants and Masterminds) *gasp* DOESN'T HAVE HIT POINTS. Instead, you have a damage save that you roll when you take damage (similar to fort save, it also uses constitution as the base), and depending on whether you make or fail or how badly you fail the save, you get various conditions starting with -1 to future damage saves and going from there to stunned (lose next action) through to knocked out. It's meant for a four-color comic book feel so you can't actually die from combat unless you use the optional "grim and gritty" rules with bleeding and lethality.

 

It's actually really cool, fastest d20 combat EVAR. Makes up for the fact that it can take upwards of 2 hours to make a single character.

  • Like 1

Grand Rhetorist of the Obsidian Order

If you appeal to "realism" about a video game feature, you are wrong. Go back and try again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Am I the only one that actually really likes when the main character becomes powerful? As long as combat has a certain part chance, I can feel powerful and yet still feel that I can die if I play without strategy.

 

Powerful compared to what?

 

I don't like it when the end of the game is basically identical to the beginning only they've taken all the numbers and multiplied them by 10 or 100 or 1000. This is tedious and uninspired, not to mention they usually couple it with a system where enemies scale up with you so now the ENTIRE WORLD is mysteriously populated only with level 500 badasses when 40 hours ago it was full of level 1 pushovers. Bleh.

 

Do I like to be able to find some level 3 dudes when I've hit level 10 and one-shot the whole lot of them? Sure. But you only need to be about twice or 3x as powerful as you were in order to do this, and it's more fun if you still get some benefit from going and doing the areas with level 3 stuff. You can't have this if level 1 is mook and level 10 is superhero.

 

But, if they're going to give you godlike powers, I'd prefer to save that for the sequel at this stage.


Grand Rhetorist of the Obsidian Order

If you appeal to "realism" about a video game feature, you are wrong. Go back and try again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, all attributes should benefit every class in some way.

 

Oh GAWD yes. A thousand times. Having a dump stat should radically change your experience. That's not to say that it'll be unplayable, but it should feel very different.

 

Although, I am in favor of having abilities that, say, let you change the origin stat for some specific bennies. I like build customization. Lots and lots of it. But it shouldn't be a matter of "casters use Int for hit and damage", it should be "certain kinds of casters, if they take this ability, can use their Int for to-hit." And then maybe you find a special unique weapon that lets you use int for damage. But you are still stuck with the low carrying capacity and other detriments of having a low strength or dex. Plus you can really only use that one weapon effectively.

 

I also like it when it's perfectly possible to just play a strength-based melee caster and use your spells for buffs/debuffs instead of damage and other effects which rely on having a good int.

  • Like 1

Grand Rhetorist of the Obsidian Order

If you appeal to "realism" about a video game feature, you are wrong. Go back and try again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Attributes should be either fixed or with very minimal increases (something like the FO:NV implants, or the ability score increase every 4 levels from 3E). To me, this makes character creation much more interesting, because the decisions you make will stay with you for the whole game. Having to put some thought into it is a good thing. Compare this to the system in Dragon Age, where the few points you distribute at character creation quickly become irrelevant as you level up further, and you end up with your primary attribute increasing 5 fold over the course of the game.

 

As for point buy vs rolling for stats, I have fond memories of rolling up characters in Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale, but my preference is for point buy just from a balance perspective. I also agree with making all attributes benefit each class, most of the infinity engine games were guilty of having complete dump stats.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm okay with pretty much whatever they do if it isn't based around what skills you use. Sure, it makes more logical sense (lol, logical sense in world full of magic, gods, etc), but most sane people who experienced how that can play out in Elder Scrolls IV understand just how god awful such a system can be. Oh man, I didn't jump enough this level, so I get gimped stats, or oh man I didn't run in circles for five hours (hold down forward while watching a movie), I get gimped stats, etc, etc. Basically, it encouraged masochism and anything but sensible and enjoyable play from the player to not randomly become a complete gimp.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As for the original topic of fixed or increasing ability scores (We all know the OT is not about rolling), it all depends on how the system is going to be designed. I've even come across with someone who seems to think skill system is always tied to aggressive ability score increase but it's not true. - Probably, he/she hadn't played original Fallout. Simply, modern game systems took the path of letting the players play the game first, and invest on the game-plays of their liking (even at unconscious level). PST anticipated this in terms of the intention, which ended up with conflicting with some basic D&D rules and the expectations of the players from the D&D logo, which turned out to be rather misleading. BTW, GURPS had high-adaptability but it's game-balance was... Generally speaking, more flexible systems mean more tougher to balance.

 

About agressive character advancements, quite many CRPGs have this, no matter what they are base on - ability scores, skills, and/or class-based increases. Some PnP systems only allow quite limited margins of these "ability" increases once the characters are created through their backgrounds (My liking. Among CRPG, Darklands has this feel). If not this extreme, (semi-)fixed ability scores/classes are unforgiving for the players who are unfamiliar with the rule-set*. On the other hand, if the players are familiar with the rule-set, letting them define their characters in character creation gives the players clear image of their characters.

 

* This seems to be why some designers are inclined to allow the players to respec in a way or another. Quite many people who work on writing manuals don't seem to think information is perfectly transferred among people without any possible misunderstanding.

 

Also, all attributes should benefit every class in some way.

Agreed. My preference in presentation is something like- building a high INT fighter allows the character choose more strategic choices.
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think attributes should be flexible to some degree. Variation in both directions from your base character stats should be possible, but not to an extreme extent. After all, a scholar who reads a lot of books gains a lot of wisdom, just as a fighter who wears and wields heavy gear becomes stronger as a result (over time.)

 

On the other side of the scale, something that goes unused typically suffers. Lack of exercise typically leads to a loss in strength and stamina and an increase in fatty fat fatness. Henry VIII's strength and dexterity took some serious hits later in life.

Edited by AGX-17

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would rather they improve over time. Again, not D&D, and a system that isn't hard line on set values probably gives a little more wiggle room to the devs on how they want the mechanics of their game to work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I prefer point-buy systems. You determine what your character will be good at, what she will be average at, what she will be bad at, generalist or specialist. That puts the choice for what and how the player wants to play the game in her own hands, and not dependent on dice rolls.

 

I feel the same way about character progression. Grant additional build points at each level to be spent however the player wants (within the broad limits of the class, in a class-based system).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I prefer point-buy systems. You determine what your character will be good at, what she will be average at, what she will be bad at, generalist or specialist. That puts the choice for what and how the player wants to play the game in her own hands, and not dependent on dice rolls.

 

I feel the same way about character progression. Grant additional build points at each level to be spent however the player wants (within the broad limits of the class, in a class-based system).

 

That's not the point of the discussion at hand. Regardless of how stats are determined, this is about whether they can change once set. Fallout 2, for example, gave you multiple methods of increasing SPECIAL attributes after character creation outside of taking perks on level up. The idea of things like that is what is at issue here, not the method of acquisition of those points.

Edited by AGX-17

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a refinement of a post I had made earlier.

 

The one thing I noticed with all of the different stats systems is that they worked really well for their worlds. I think ultimately that the developers should probably create something very similar to these systems, but to utilize some stats (strength, int, endurance, etc) as ways to define unchanging attributes of the people of this world (what I call "gene stats") and skills (barter, mechanics, steal, etc) as more flexible attributes that can change during the game ("skill stats"). Gene stats should define innate attributes of people that do not change with training or experience over time (your "genes"). Changeable "skill stats" can change with training/experience or distribution of points with increases in character level.

 

The creators of the game should decide a few questions. One is "What aspects of the game world are we trying to highlight in this game system?" Secondly, "What attributes do we want to make unchanging/relatively stable in this world?" For example, would one's access to his soul be something highlighted and will it be changing or unchanging in this world? If unchanging, consider making it a stat. If changing, consider making it a skill (Access soul skill, for example).

 

In regards to fixable stats, I agree with JE Sawyer in that rolling a dice for fixed stats should not occur. Instead, you should be given a fixed number of points to distribute across your "gene stats" and then any variation in these is through very specific and limited situations (a la BG2 when in you are in the Nether Planes).


My blog is where I'm keeping a record of all of my suggestions and bug mentions.

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/  UPDATED 9/26/2014

My DXdiag:

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/2014/08/beta-begins-v257.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...