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To avoid situation like in Fallout 2 when you could use traps skills in like 4 places (one of them the first location) and in one quest. That made the skill redundant unless you wanted to assassinate one of the family heads in Reno with 80% traps skill check.

 

Redundancy is when you have two things that perform the same function. An under-utilized skill isn't redundant, it's under-utilized. There's no redundancy because there isn't a second skill meant to disarm traps.

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Also, I'm confused, because you cited that Lockpicking tends to work that way (i.e. tends to affect nothing outside of specific instances of die rolls), yet you very specifically state here...that Lockpicking already affects combat.

Bad articulation on my part, but try to understand. What I meant was that lockpicking, as a player action, is not interesting because pretty much the only thing the player has to consider with lockpicking is how many stat points to allocate in the lockpicking skill. Outside the stat sheet, you see a lock, you pick the lock. On top of that, the player isn't going to have a good idea, even with early game experience, how much having lower or higher lockpicking skill will hurt or help them.

 

If combat is so interesting because it has such depth, then why is the only possible means of adding depth to other systems to tether them to combat as much as possible?

How else would you balance skills that don't have "dense applications", other than by "tethering" them to the most strategically significant, or "dense"(?) parts of the game? And if combat encounters are the parts of your game that are the most complex and most strategically significant, then 1) more clearly defining how non combat player actions impact combat encounters allows you to better balance the game, and 2) if the player has some idea how choices outside of combat may impact combat encounters, every one of those choices becomes more significant, because you add the complexity of the combat mechanics to each choice (provided the combat encounters look challenging enough for the choices to matter). Of course you still increase the game's complexity when you increase the depth of the game's other "systems", but how interesting do you expect these "systems" to be without combat involved somewhere down the line? Will they even look like systems at all?

 

Is the story and game in its entirety (minus combat) simply a means of augmenting the depth of combat, or is combat simply a means of augmenting the depth of the story and the rest of the game?

Obviously the non-combat and combat portions of the game augment each other, or you would have no game system. The more sensibly linked they are, strategically and in the story/setting, the better they will augment each other.

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I don't understand how there'd be any new problem in this area with separate skill types (non-combat/combat) as opposed to the non-separate system, except that now, instead of having a Mage who's awesome at Speech and Alchemy, a Rogue who's good at Climb and Bluff, and a Warrior who's good at Throw and Intimidate, you could have any one of those classes specialize in any one of those example skill sets (without sacrificing stats/skills that affect combat effectiveness.)

 

Are you wondering how to avoid having all party builds possess a wide range of non-combat skills? It's highly possible I'm not understanding your question.

 

If combat and non-combat skills drew on the same pool of skill points, that would make for exponentially greater variety of how those skill points could be spent (wisely).

If you have to decide between making your three tanks expert swordsmen or expert climbers, swimmers and trackers, or something inbetween, you can have widely different results on different playthroughs (that is of course implying that those non-combat skills are worth it).

 

Now this won't be the case in PE, you can raise your combat skills and raise your non-combat skills without any trade-off. So I'm asking how they will avoid having all parties looking like this:

 

- 1 alchemist expert (brewing healing potions and preparing flaming oil)

 

- 1 character who opens locks and disarms traps

 

- 1 dedicated scout with sneaking and tracking

 

- 1 character with medical skills

 

- 2 characters with crafting skills

 

The obvious answer would be "there will be many skills and they will all be useful, stupid!". Which is what I meant by skill point scarcity.

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Now this won't be the case in PE, you can raise your combat skills and raise your non-combat skills without any trade-off. So I'm asking how they will avoid having all parties looking like this:

 

- 1 alchemist expert (brewing healing potions and preparing flaming oil)

 

- 1 character who opens locks and disarms traps

 

- 1 dedicated scout with sneaking and tracking

 

- 1 character with medical skills

 

- 2 characters with crafting skills

 

The obvious answer would be "there will be many skills and they will all be useful, stupid!". Which is what I meant by skill point scarcity.

 

Will there be any benefit to having multiple characters with the same non-combat skills though? If not then surely there will be a degree of specialisation, in fact skill point scarcity in my mind would push players towards creating 6 specialists in whatever they consider to be the 6 major skills.

 

What could be quite interesting and i think someone else alluded to this would be a system where non-combat skills can increase a characters combat effectiveness, e.g. a few levels in scouting may give you a boost to perception, which in turn could be a modifier for ranged attacks, therefore whilst you may still have a tracking "expert" it could still make sense to have a few characters well versed in it.

 

I do think seperating the experience pools is a good idea though, it was quite annoying in Arcanum when you had to utilise skill points to learn how to make new guns, which in essence was a one use skill and even if you didn't take it you may still find the weapon in the game world.

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in fact skill point scarcity in my mind would push players towards creating 6 specialists in whatever they consider to be the 6 major skills.

 

I wouldn't have a problem with that, as long as it's not the same 6 skills on every playthrough because the others are just flavor skills (my idea was that if you have flavor skills, make them cheap).

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Fair enough, i get the impression flavour skills are something they want to stay away from, although at the same time utilisation of the word "appealing" as opposed to "balanced" may imply otherwise, but yeah in that case i'm in agreement with you, as long as there more useful skills than can possibly be obtained in one playthrough i'll be happy :D.

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I wouldn't mind seeing a tree-like 'Focus' spending scheme for skill points. For example, a mechanism skill could have specialized foci for locks, traps, and repair; spend 2 points to improve in the mechanism skill, or 1 point to improve in a specific 'focus' skill. But there would probably need to be a cap on how much you could spend in total on each focus; perhaps 3-5 points.

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"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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@Game_Exile:

 

I get what you're saying. I guess I'm just saying that you have to make sure it doesn't just go one way. If all the significance of actions and choices that aren't directly involved with the combat system lies purely within the extent to which they ultimate indirectly affect the combat system, then you're left with a game that's purely about combat. Obviously that's just an example of the extreme end of the spectrum, but, you've got to allow combat to indirectly contribute to eventual instances of non-combat complexity, too. If a part of the game allows you to choose more combat over less combat (amongst alternatives), then the rewards of that combat challenge should be applicable in dialogue options and non-combat skill effectiveness.

 

If you use experience or other rewards from combat to improve your stealth skills in order to utilize them to bypass a different combat scenario, then combat was used to support the depth of the stealth system, without any immediate concern for stealth turning around and supporting combat again.

 

It should just be very symbiotic, rather than parasitic. It's fine for combat to be prevalent in 70% of the game, but the non-combat skills and systems should be able to rely on support from the combat system for their 30% prevalence.

 

 

So I'm asking how they will avoid having all parties looking like this:

 

- 1 alchemist expert (brewing healing potions and preparing flaming oil)

 

- 1 character who opens locks and disarms traps

 

- 1 dedicated scout with sneaking and tracking

 

- 1 character with medical skills

 

- 2 characters with crafting skills

 

The simple act of splitting the skill pool into 2 groups doesn't affect whether or not you'll have a party-of-all-trades. This is just as possible in the single-skill-pool system. The only difference (unless it's horribly balanced) is that, now, your characters don't have to skip an improvement in combat effectiveness to improve alchemy. Also, with 2 separate pools, there are opportunities to grant non-combat skill points without granting combat skill-points, and vice versa. All other effects are up to the mathematical balancing, same as the 1-pool system.


Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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The simple act of splitting the skill pool into 2 groups doesn't affect whether or not you'll have a party-of-all-trades. This is just as possible in the single-skill-pool system. The only difference (unless it's horribly balanced) is that, now, your characters don't have to skip an improvement in combat effectiveness to improve alchemy. Also, with 2 separate pools, there are opportunities to grant non-combat skill points without granting combat skill-points, and vice versa. All other effects are up to the mathematical balancing, same as the 1-pool system.

 

I'd agree on saying that the question of how skill selection plays out is specific to the game design.

 

Say you can raise any skill by an unlimited amount at every new level, and all draw on the same pool of points. You could spend all points on "sword skill", on alchemy or divide your points. That's one thing that won't happen in P:E. You'll never have a character who's great at alchemy but not at anything else (if you actually want that or not is entirely up to personal taste I guess). This is also implying that I'm a bit jaded about "combat skills"; I don't expect those to demand much skill/ thought to choose.

 

If all points come from the same pool and i.e. alchemy is a costly skill, that would require it to be just as powerful (or even more powerful, depending on cost) as any combat skill as it would be in direct competition with those; something that is very rarely seen for non-combat options in CRPGs as you'll probably agree. It's a real case of c&c if you decide to have a master alchemist who's entirely crap at combat and brittle to boot; maybe less so in a 6 person party (rather than the 4 of Darklands) but it's still something you'd mull over. You can't do the same in P:E or every party will have a master alchemist (since it's just one choice of what to do with those non-combat points). The questions you'd ask in P:E are "would alchemy support my current party well?", and "who's best suited to be the alchemist?". That's still ok, and balance in all things isn't bad. It's just a different setup.

 

What I'm hoping for in P:E is that

 

a) skills are derived from stats. So maybe a high INT character would be best suited to be an alchemist, thereby reducing your choice for the best possible alchemist to a wizard or cipher. So alchemy wouldn't be something you'd rely heavily on if your party concept calls for a different class to fill that slot.

 

b) non-combat skill points are few (thereby again enforcing choice) but this is also related to

 

c) there will be enough viable choices in skills so that you can't have all bases covered with 6 characters.

 

Also, with 2 separate pools, there are opportunities to grant non-combat skill points without granting combat skill-points, and vice versa

 

Well that's something I really hope won't happen (often). It's the infamous "you read book. Gain +2 tracking skill points!" thing I dread.

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You'll never have a character who's great at alchemy but not at anything else (if you actually want that or not is entirely up to personal taste I guess). This is also implying that I'm a bit jaded about "combat skills"; I don't expect those to demand much skill/ thought to choose.

 

Yeah, I get that. I think they just want to make sure that you're not restricted to having a character who's all but useless in combat just because you wanted to fully explore alchemy. Alchemy and combat can co-exist peacefully in the game, so they want characters to be able to be viable at both. The point limitations for 2 pools can still be balanced enough to make sure you can't be a master alchemist AND swordsman AND bowman AND nimble, stealthy lockpicker AND enchanter... etc. Fully pursuing alchemy shouldn't inherently prevent you from holding your own in combat. At the very least, your masterful skill in Alchemy should allow that character to perform extra, supportive actions and/or use potions and mixtures more effectively in combat. You don't want him so restricted that he becomes an Alchemy vendor who happens to travel around with you, is all.

 

I know what you mean about player's taste, and if you want to build a character like that, you probably can. I fully understand wanting to, also, even if I most likely wouldn't do so.

 

 

If all points come from the same pool and i.e. alchemy is a costly skill, that would require it to be just as powerful (or even more powerful, depending on cost) as any combat skill as it would be in direct competition with those; something that is very rarely seen for non-combat options in CRPGs as you'll probably agree.

 

That's true. I mean, if it wasn't, then that design would be lopsided (the points would have different values depending on what you spent them on... kind of like a sword and a twig both costing 100 gold.) But, think of it this way. In a system in which all the points are in one pool, imagine you gain 10 skill points per level. Let's assume that whatever other mechanics and factors are in your RPG, this point value is perfectly balanced. Now, suppose you simply cut them in half, and say "you can only spend 5 of these on combat skills, and 5 on non-combat skills." If you just left it completely as-is after simply splitting them, then yes... you'd have some issues, because the effectiveness of the skills would already have been balanced against the single pool of points (there'd be a much different relationship between the number of points spent in combat skills versus the number of points spent in non-combat skills.) But, with the split, the effectiveness of the spent points in each category will be rebalanced accordingly.

 

 

What I'm hoping for in P:E is that

 

a) skills are derived from stats. So maybe a high INT character would be best suited to be an alchemist, thereby reducing your choice for the best possible alchemist to a wizard or cipher. So alchemy wouldn't be something you'd rely heavily on if your party concept calls for a different class to fill that slot.

 

b) non-combat skill points are few (thereby again enforcing choice) but this is also related to

 

c) there will be enough viable choices in skills so that you can't have all bases covered with 6 characters.

 

Sawyer's statements regarding how dialogue will be handled suggest he wants stats to play a significant part in things (A), including non-dialogue skills. To exactly what degree, only time will tell. I don't know about "derived from" though. I think it'll be more that INT, for example, will provide a bonus to the effectiveness of the usage of an INT-based skill, rather than to its level. I.e. it might be easier to brew potions, or require fewer ingredients because your INT is ultra-high, but I'm not so sure about anything like a skill level cap based on stat values. I think they want the only restriction to be "You can only be 100% at so many things," in lieu of the typical "you can be pretty good at some things, but only a different class can be REALLY good at non-combat skills available to any class."

 

(B) and © seem to be addressed by the same thing. I think there'll most likely be more than 6 non-combat skills, and the points will be balanced by the maximum number of points that can be obtained in the game. It probably won't be possible to max out on multiple non-combat skills. There might even be something along the lines of caps once you max one out (the same thing could be true of combat skills), so that a 2nd one can only be raised to 60% or-so, and, after, a third to 30%, etc. You could still spread them out in such a system, assuming minor benefits could be gained from a variety of lower skills, but perhaps only 15% per skill if you spread them across every single one (just for example numbers).

 

 

Well that's something I really hope won't happen (often). It's the infamous "you read book. Gain +2 tracking skill points!" thing I dread.

 

Heh, I'm with you on that one. Such implementations might have been pushing the bounds of code complexity 18 years ago, but we can definitely do better nowadays (if it's decided to issue them separately in any instances.)


Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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If all the significance of actions and choices that aren't directly involved with the combat system lies purely within the extent to which they ultimate indirectly affect the combat system, then you're left with a game that's purely about combat.

Nothing is going to lie purely in anything else. If combat encounters are ultimately going to be the most strategically significant parts of the game, the other stuff will inevitably lead to combat, and they should be balanced for a proper challenge. The only way to make the other stuff more significant is to make those things more challenging than combat. But, just for fun, lets imagine how the dynamic changes with stuff like timers and hunger.

 

you've got to allow combat to indirectly contribute to eventual instances of non-combat complexity, too.

Didn't I just get done saying how combat will contribute to the significance of all the strategic elements in the game? How in hell is this NOT a reason to balance these strategic elements around combat challenges? Before we go too far off track let me remind you what I said in my first post:

If the "application" of certain skills are not particularly "dense", then these skills should at least be designed with an emphasis on how they will (eventually?) impact combat challenges. How else would you balance them?

And that is all I meant. I want the game to be a little more challenging and a little less random with things like character progression. Who actually thinks that arbitrary XP rewards, and arbitrary stat point allocation is good?

 

If you use experience or other rewards from combat to improve your stealth skills in order to utilize them to bypass a different combat scenario, then combat was used to support the depth of the stealth system, without any immediate concern for stealth turning around and supporting combat again.

This example makes no sense. Stealth has always been a combat skill, not even a non-combat skill, and certainly not a separate system. You use stealth to avoid, delay, or gain advantages in combat. The only exception is with quest goals that require stealth, and there it is the same as with lockpicking, where the player gets quest rewards et al.

Edited by Game_Exile

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Nothing is going to lie purely in anything else. If combat encounters are ultimately going to be the most strategically significant parts of the game, the other stuff will inevitably lead to combat, and they should be balanced for a proper challenge. The only way to make the other stuff more significant is to make those things more challenging than combat.

 

The other stuff doesn't necessarily "lead to" combat. It exists alongside it. A quest might involve combat, but there will be paths through dialogue that lead to the absence of combat, where combat would've been with different dialogue choices. Also, regarding stealth, you yourself just stated that stealth is sometimes used to "avoid," as in "to not partake in." If stealth can be used to avoid combat altogether (which it can in certain scenarios), then it isn't inherently a part of combat. Stealth is merely the art of remaining undetected. Not "the art of remaining undetected only whilst slaying things."

 

Lots of things factor into combat, and they should. No one's disagreeing with you there. But, I don't understand what you're suggesting that's any different from "Things should affect combat, wherever applicable, and these things should be well-implemented and balanced." I mean, if the only thing that mattered about quest dialogue was its effect on combat, then the depth of dialogue would be moot (which it is not). The only thing that would matter would be the outcome.

 

You have to balance anything non-combat with its effects on combat in mind, and you have to balance all things combat with non-combat systems in mind. You seem to be suggesting that, since combat situations will take up a greater percentage of the total gameplay time, that we need to worry less about the impact of other gameplay elements on the game as an entire unit and focus solely on making sure everything supports the crap out of combat. Maybe I'm the only one misunderstanding you.


Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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Sawyer's statements regarding how dialogue will be handled suggest he wants stats to play a significant part in things (A), including non-dialogue skills. To exactly what degree, only time will tell. I don't know about "derived from" though. I think it'll be more that INT, for example, will provide a bonus to the effectiveness of the usage of an INT-based skill, rather than to its level. I.e. it might be easier to brew potions, or require fewer ingredients because your INT is ultra-high, but I'm not so sure about anything like a skill level cap based on stat values. I think they want the only restriction to be "You can only be 100% at so many things," in lieu of the typical "you can be pretty good at some things, but only a different class can be REALLY good at non-combat skills available to any class."

 

Well, if all classes have access to all skills, and all classes get the same amount of skill points, and all classes can raise all skills by the same amount per level, that would put a dent in the viability of a class system IMO. I'm just not sure about barbarians being great at lore and alchemy.

 

 

You don't want him so restricted that he becomes an Alchemy vendor who happens to travel around with you, is all.

 

I think it's obvious I'd like that ;) but of course it depends on how much depth is gained by this. In Darklands playing your alchemist resulted in taking different routes gameplay-wise; you were actively questing (and spending time and money on) gathering new recipes. You had to buy raw materials. If alchemy (or any other skill) comes down to "something to click on while resting" then of course nothing is gained by having characters built around this.

Edited by Sacred_Path

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Personally, I think skills should be used an equal amount of the time.

 

It might be overbearing to say every skill occurs in exactly 100 dialogue choices each, and leads to you acquiring 25 items, 25 combat avoidances, 25 improved rewards, and 25 pieces of information. However, a structured system like this would ensure that all skills are equally useful.

 

Rather than being balanced, I think good flavor for the skill uses is very important. I think certain skills should be more useful if you are dealing with the thieves guild compared to the church. The skills you choose should be thematic and not just mechanical.

 

To balance usefulness, i think internally they will probably have some sort of point system where you look at how often you can use it. If it is dialogue only, then it should be given higher rewards than something which can be used all the time to craft items, for example. Then again, if crafting components are rare and dialogue skills are used all the time, maybe the weights should be reversed.

 

I do hope they try to spread item acquisition across all the skills so you don't get "combat avoidance" skills and "treasure acquisition skills". The reason being, I want to kill all the enemies, combat is the best part of the game for me. It is kind of annoying when you get a dialogue option that uses your intimidate or diplomacy skill and all it does is avoid the battle... I was hoping something more interesting would happen.

Edited by ShadowTiger

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Rather than being balanced, I think good flavor for the skill uses is very important. I think certain skills should be more useful if you are dealing with the thieves guild compared to the church. The skills you choose should be thematic and not just mechanical.

 

I hope that skills will be more or less useful on certain paths throughout the game. A law-abiding party may ultimately get less out of their lockpicking skill than a shady party whose main pastime is breaking and entering. In that case an imbalance is just fine IMO.

 

I do hope they try to spread item acquisition across all the skills so you don't get "combat avoidance" skills and "treasure acquisition skills". The reason being, I want to kill all the enemies, combat is the best part of the game for me. It is kind of annoying when you get a dialogue option that uses your intimidate or diplomacy skill and all it does is avoid the battle... I was hoping something more interesting would happen.

 

Well I'll wait for more updates before I form an opinion on this.

 

IMO the big three (parlay, combat, stealth) should all play out somewhat differently over the course of the game. Sneaking can be used to avoid enemies (if the game allows it), but it can also be used to get yourselves into a favorable position before combat. Diplomacy could sometimes lead to avoidance of combat, in other cases it might just reduce the number of opponents you face or bestow a morale penalty on enemies. Initiating combat on your own should give you a slight intiative bonus and of course it should be possible to kill and loot NPCs who weren't hostile to begin with.

 

What I'm most concerned about is that in IE games (well most CRPGs) combat by far takes the most skills, thought and ingame preparing. Sneaking was ridiculously simplified, and finding the "right" diplomacy options wasn't difficult. I definitely hope they implement different mechanics for both to the point of becoming mini-games. I want to have to deftly move my rogues through the shadows, alternately running, walking and sneaking, and I want to pick from a lot of text in the case of diplomacy.

 

If you're really bent on just killing everyone though... well I'm sure you'll have the option to build a party around that ;)

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Now the new information is that classes will have bonuses in certain skills favored by this class. The example given was lockpicking for rogues.

 

Now that's basically what I was hoping for

 

What I'm hoping for in P:E is that

 

a) skills are derived from stats. So maybe a high INT character would be best suited to be an alchemist, thereby reducing your choice for the best possible alchemist to a wizard or cipher. So alchemy wouldn't be something you'd rely heavily on if your party concept calls for a different class to fill that slot.

 

Let's say rogues gain bonuses in both lockpicking and disarming traps. I also hope that

 

b) non-combat skill points are few (thereby again enforcing choice)

 

So if you're going for the best locksmith available, you won't have the points to also make him the best possible trap springer. This is important IMO since most 6 person parties could accomodate 1 rogue (since all classes are combat viable), but 2? And not even one of them has the points to be great at sneaking? Tough choices :dancing: Although I'm not sure if skill points will really be so rare. Also this builds on the assumption that specializing in a skill pays good dividends.

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Well, if all classes have access to all skills, and all classes get the same amount of skill points, and all classes can raise all skills by the same amount per level, that would put a dent in the viability of a class system IMO. I'm just not sure about barbarians being great at lore and alchemy.

 

Good point. It seems there was a comment about no one who isn't a Rogue being quite the absolute best at lockpicking, etc., in update #36. So, it's the same idea you're suggesting. Which I think is a very good, really. I think it's more a matter of bad implementations in the past. It's really hard to gauge it with math ("what percentage of effectiveness should we allow a Barbarian to have at lore and alchemy?", for example) and call it a day. You often run into a system that says "Hey, Barbarian! You can totally pick some more potion-making instead of some more skull-demolishing. Of course, A) you'll be delaying progression in what Barbarism is all about, and B) your potions will pretty much never be useful." The system wasn't really designed with the effects of a Barbarian taking Alchemy skills in mind, but then it was decided that more options were better than fewer, so it was tossed in and "controlled" with a hard skill cap.

 

Obviously all the bad implementations weren't quite so simplified, but I'm wordy enough without citing all the variants from that basic concept from 5 different sources, in MLA format. The point is, you don't want to offer an option that's basically a lose-lose situation. But, then, in that same example, if you simply don't allow the Barbarian to even TAKE Alchemy or Lore or anything that isn't femur-fracturingly applicable, then you basically make it so that a Barbarian has no variance.

 

Of course, a lot still depends on other factors. Take lockpicking. If the Rogue's the best (100%) at it, and a Priest can only get to pretty good (80%) at it, then there should be a reason to pick 80% lockpick skill (as opposed to there being absolutely no reason to pick it... I'm not saying there should be a reason to always pick it.) This is affected by chest placement, and the progression of chest skill checks, and the usefulness of chest contents at various levels, etc. Which is really just balancing, when it comes down to it. But, since the class mechanics (and limitations) exist within pretty much every other element of the entire game, you have to build these mechanics and decide how to introduce variation accordingly.

 

And, I understand the idea of the Priest's use of lockpicking being moot because it's a party-based game, and the Rogue will always be better. But, with, what... 12 classes? 13? More than 6 classes... and 6 party members total, and at least one NPC companion per class? That gives you many feasible party builds that don't involve a Rogue, but you may still want to be ABLE to pick locks, and you accept that you won't get to pick all of them. That just seems like a very inefficient use of content to give people the viable option of having an entire party makeup with no Rogue (maybe they just don't prefer the other class mechanics) and then have them still go through the exact same world FULL of locked things controlling characters who all just shrug at one another at the mystery mechanism that is a lock. You'd pretty much hafta severely lessen the significance of getting past locked things, or balance every class-ability-restricted segment of the game as a fully standalone, optional part of a far less homogenous game world. Imagine if only certain classes could even engage in dialogue (much less gain access to more dialogue options).

 

I think it's obvious I'd like that ;) but of course it depends on how much depth is gained by this. In Darklands playing your alchemist resulted in taking different routes gameplay-wise; you were actively questing (and spending time and money on) gathering new recipes. You had to buy raw materials. If alchemy (or any other skill) comes down to "something to click on while resting" then of course nothing is gained by having characters built around this.

 

Yeah, I'm sorry about that. I didn't mean to say that an alchemist party member who pretty much couldn't even fight has absolutely no use or place in any RPG gameplay, whatsoever. And I totally understand the value of such a particular balance of skillset and restriction in a party member, given the right gameplay environment to support it. It's really just a matter of other design foundations in P:E that we know aren't malleable enough to support that type of character without making it a completely different game.


Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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The other stuff doesn't necessarily "lead to" combat. It exists alongside it.

Every less significant part in a whole leads to what is most significant. I expect combat to be central in P:E (why else would you have an XP system and all those stats for it?), but I could be wrong. It depends on how the player needs to reach the game winning goals. Like I mentioned before, there are always additional resource mechanics like timers and food, that would affect the dynamic. But that is all moot, anyway, if the devs don't seriously try to balance for a proper checkpoint system or an "ironman" mode.

 

But, I don't understand what you're suggesting that's any different from "Things should affect combat, wherever applicable, and these things should be well-implemented and balanced."

I'm not saying anything contrary to this. I am suggesting that combat should, first of all, be really good. And then all the little non combat actions, the ones whose long term strategic significance is supplementing combat anyway, should be balanced appropriately in relation to combat encounters to help ensure that combat will be really good. The devs should know what their most significant stuff will be, and not fly off the handle in too many different directions with "content", that's all.

 

I mean, if the only thing that mattered about quest dialogue was its effect on combat, then the depth of dialogue would be moot (which it is not). The only thing that would matter would be the outcome.

I was talking about balancing, remember? Don't try to pin opinions on me that aren't mine. Why would I want dialogue to suck? Do I have to quote you my initial post again?

 

You have to balance anything non-combat with its effects on combat in mind, and you have to balance all things combat with non-combat systems in mind.

You have to balance everything with everything according to what the player can do, will likely do, etc., etc. First time playthroughs, second time playthroughs, constant reloading, and lol. OK, then.

 

You seem to be suggesting that, since combat situations will take up a greater percentage of the total gameplay time, that we need to worry less about the impact of other gameplay elements on the game as an entire unit and focus solely on making sure everything supports the crap out of combat. Maybe I'm the only one misunderstanding you.

"focus solely on making sure everything supports the crap out of combat". Yeah, you're definitely misunderstanding me. I don't know about anyone else, though.

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Of course, a lot still depends on other factors. Take lockpicking. If the Rogue's the best (100%) at it, and a Priest can only get to pretty good (80%) at it, then there should be a reason to pick 80% lockpick skill (as opposed to there being absolutely no reason to pick it... I'm not saying there should be a reason to always pick it.) This is affected by chest placement, and the progression of chest skill checks, and the usefulness of chest contents at various levels, etc. Which is really just balancing, when it comes down to it. But, since the class mechanics (and limitations) exist within pretty much every other element of the entire game, you have to build these mechanics and decide how to introduce variation accordingly.

 

And, I understand the idea of the Priest's use of lockpicking being moot because it's a party-based game, and the Rogue will always be better. But, with, what... 12 classes? 13? More than 6 classes... and 6 party members total, and at least one NPC companion per class? That gives you many feasible party builds that don't involve a Rogue, but you may still want to be ABLE to pick locks, and you accept that you won't get to pick all of them. That just seems like a very inefficient use of content to give people the viable option of having an entire party makeup with no Rogue (maybe they just don't prefer the other class mechanics) and then have them still go through the exact same world FULL of locked things controlling characters who all just shrug at one another at the mystery mechanism that is a lock. You'd pretty much hafta severely lessen the significance of getting past locked things, or balance every class-ability-restricted segment of the game as a fully standalone, optional part of a far less homogenous game world. Imagine if only certain classes could even engage in dialogue (much less gain access to more dialogue options).

 

Absolutely. I hope that varying degrees of skill leads to varying degrees of profits, rather than only one being viable. OTOH I want to see a difference if I have a natural at lockpicking (rogue) specializing in it. Just that last margin of success that wouldn't be possible otherwise.

 

I'm still curious about how they will avoid the classical party setup being the most viable option. I personally hope the world/ content will not be adjusted towards your party setup, so that you'll badly miss a specialist in a certain skill at certain times. As long as this is true for all classes/ skills I don't see a problem there. I hope there will be points where you miss a specialist Rogue just as much as the Paladin's AoE attacks or the Chanter's songs.

 

Good point about dialogue though. It is a bit separate in that it won't make use of character skills. I hope that all characters can chime in at some point if they have something useful to say/ do (like a stealth specialist, be it a rogue or a ranger).

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"focus solely on making sure everything supports the crap out of combat". Yeah, you're definitely misunderstanding me. I don't know about anyone else, though.

 

Ahh, well, my mistake. I'm not claiming to be capable of misunderstanding. I just try my best. I apologize for the inconvenience.

 

Every less significant part in a whole leads to what is most significant.

 

This is the only thing left I don't quite see as very accurate. Take an internal combustion engine. Surely the cylinders, pistons, and crankshaft are the most significant parts, right? Maybe we could include the fuel/air mixture and the spark. But, the cylinders are where the engine's operation occurs, and they turn the crankshaft. These are part of the actual significant function of the engine. However, if you take out the engine's oil, it's going to overheat and seize. So, which is more significant: the oil, or the rest?

 

I get that the combat is most likely going to be very prevalent (as far as portion of the game spent within it goes), but the other systems make the game what it is, as well, obviously. So, I'm just wondering specifically what kind of balancing combat should get more attention in than other systems? I don't know how you would conceivably balance between combat and lockpicking in favor of lockpicking. Or, take the item system... look at Borderlands 2. If you put 3,000,000 different pieces of equipment in the game, the item system STILL doesn't steal the microphone, so to speak, from combat or exploration or anything else. It still just supports it, and, in-turn, is supported by it. The relationship doesn't seem to change at all.

 

Might I trouble you for a specific example?


Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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Every less significant part in a whole leads to what is most significant.

This is the only thing left I don't quite see as very accurate.

There is nothing accurate or inaccurate about it. It's an observation about how things work psychologically, and it's practically in the definition of the words "whole" and "significant". When you are gathering resources and strength in a game, what are you gathering them for? Like I said, it depends on how the player needs to reach his goals.

 

I get that the combat is most likely going to be very prevalent (as far as portion of the game spent within it goes), but the other systems make the game what it is, as well, obviously. So, I'm just wondering specifically what kind of balancing combat should get more attention in than other systems?

It was obviously a general balance issue that I had. My post would actually be very easy to understand if you weren't just trying to claw for the possibility of an error I might have made somewhere in those three sentences. The amount of explanation you've asked from me has really gotten ridiculous. I would accuse you of intentionally trying to obfuscate the issue, but I'm beginning to suspect that you don't really have a choice about it.

 

Might I trouble you for a specific example?

If you lockpick a chest at the beginning of the game and you get excalibur, combat at the beginning of the game will be too easy. LOL.

 

Ahh, well, my mistake. I'm not claiming to be capable of misunderstanding. I just try my best. I apologize for the inconvenience.

OK, run along then.

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There is nothing accurate or inaccurate about it. It's an observation about how things work psychologically, and it's practically in the definition of the words "whole" and "significant". When you are gathering resources and strength in a game, what are you gathering them for? Like I said, it depends on how the player needs to reach his goals.

 

Something can't be neither accurate nor inaccurate. And I was referring to its application in the realm of RPG design. Using combat as a basis for all balancing efforts would probably work just fine in a Fighting game, or a multiplayer shooter, since those games are literally made out of combat. They harvest it from mines with pickaxes, then refine it into a game.

 

It was obviously a general balance issue that I had. My post would actually be very easy to understand if you weren't just trying to claw for the possibility of an error I might have made somewhere in those three sentences. The amount of explanation you've asked from me has really gotten ridiculous. I would accuse you of intentionally trying to obfuscate the issue, but I'm beginning to suspect that you don't really have a choice about it.

 

Perhaps. I think it also would've made a lot more since if it hadn't been a ludicrously inefficient method of saying "when balancing anything in the game, it's probably best not to screw up combat, and also combat happens a lot." If you weren't just stating the obvious (there was no contextual talk of screwing up combat), and you weren't stating some foundationary notion that formed the framework of "All you need to worry about while balancing," then I seriously, truly don't comprehend what your intention was. I would accuse you of purposefully conveying things in a convoluted manner so that you can come back with snappy retorts to people's responses, but that would be pure speculation.

 

 

If you lockpick a chest at the beginning of the game and you get excalibur, combat at the beginning of the game will be too easy. LOL.

 

An excellent example of the fact that combat is capable of being screwed up in game design. However, I was actually asking for an example of the balancing relationship to which you were referring that I don't seem to be comprehending. Also, it's good that you're so jovial. Laughter burns a lot of calories, you know. It's good for you. Just ask Patch Adams. :)

 

Ahh, well, my mistake. I'm not claiming to be capable of misunderstanding. I just try my best. I apologize for the inconvenience.

 

I've actually made quite the typo here. I meant "incapable of misunderstanding." Sorry for any confusion that might have caused.

 

 

OK, run along then.

 

Since it's a public forum, I don't comprehend what this means. Am I to go "home," on my browser? Would that be symbolic of running home, perhaps? o_O. Running IS good cardio, though, u_u. Better than laughing, even.


Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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Perhaps. I think it also would've made a lot more since if it hadn't been a ludicrously inefficient method of saying "when balancing anything in the game, it's probably best not to screw up combat, and also combat happens a lot." If you weren't just stating the obvious (there was no contextual talk of screwing up combat), and you weren't stating some foundationary notion that formed the framework of "All you need to worry about while balancing," then I seriously, truly don't comprehend what your intention was. I would accuse you of purposefully conveying things in a convoluted manner so that you can come back with snappy retorts to people's responses, but that would be pure speculation.

"Seriously" and "truly", liar? There is no space in between "obvious" and "foundationary", with general comments, amirite? This is what I posted, in case you forgot:

Why even bother making a bunch of one-off "skills" that won't affect anything outside of 10 or 100 specific instances of success/failure die rolls? The reason why combat is so interesting is because when the player uses combat abilities, it affects like a hundred different things in combat, i.e. it's more complex than the other stuff. If the "application" of certain skills are not particularly "dense", then these skills should at least be designed with an emphasis on how they will (eventually?) impact combat challenges. How else would you balance them?

I am making a simple recommendation about balance based on what I am guessing the game's content will look like. If some skills will not be that interesting to use on their own, they should at least be linked to combat. "Ludicrously inefficient", my ass.

 

If you lockpick a chest at the beginning of the game and you get excalibur, combat at the beginning of the game will be too easy. LOL.

An excellent example of the fact that combat is capable of being screwed up in game design. However, I was actually asking for an example of the balancing relationship to which you were referring that I don't seem to be comprehending.

That's it, you're simply not comprehending, and trying your hardest to pretend like it's some glaring fault in my initial post. It is an example of how lockpicking can impact combat challenges, moron. And people want to call me a "troll".

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I am making a simple recommendation about balance based on what I am guessing the game's content will look like. If some skills will not be that interesting to use on their own, they should at least be linked to combat. "Ludicrously inefficient", my ass.

 

If a skill isn't going to be that interesting on its own, then why even implement it in the first place? I think we could do without the Melon-Balling skill, rather than Obsidian spending their resources and efforts trying to make sure it "at least" enhances combat. If you could somehow incorporate mellon-balling into the game such that the skill became interesting (like if it was a cooking game instead of P:E, for example), then the skill would be completely viable. No skill "isn't interesting at all" to an absolute degree. It depends on the contextual details of the game design.

 

RPGs aren't very interesting, to some people. That isn't a valid reason for not-making them, or for just making sure they support some other genre of game.

 

That's it, you're simply not comprehending, and trying your hardest to pretend like it's some glaring fault in my initial post. It is an example of how lockpicking can impact combat challenges, moron. And people want to call me a "troll".

 

I'm actually just pointing out things that I don't understand about your initial post. I don't see how blatantly admitting that I fail to comprehend your point is "trying my hardest" to pretend like there's a flaw in your reasoning. Besides, I'm not trying to suggest you're one of those mortals who's capable of flaws or anything. You could be a demi-god for all I know. Which is why I'm simply pointing out what I do understand (regardless of whether or not it's wrong) as I believe it pertains to the things I do not understand, so that you might, should you so choose, help unite my current understanding with your point.

 

If you don't care about such things, then I suppose the validity of your point will remain misunderstood. If you somehow get points for that, then... I guess I'm glad I could help.


Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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