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I think that if all options are valid better it is for the game as it usually means more different play troughs.

 

Of course some options could and should be better or worse for you chosen play style or goals that you want achieve in the game.

 

So if there is no optimal character build or party composition, better player can usually play game so as s/he wants.

 

Therefore Sawyer's opinions how game should be balanced sound very good for me.

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IMO what JES is saying is pretty much common sense. Of course there's a risk of "overbalancing" to the point that all classes end up in the same place (e.g. a rogue is just a wizard who throws grenades instead of fireballs, and a wizard is just a rogue who uses Knock and Find Traps spells instead of Open Locks and Search skills), but I think he and the rest of the P:E gang are smart, experienced, and self-aware enough to be able to avoid this pitfall. If the game has a viable path for any relatively sane character and party build, and different character and party builds produce materially different but interesting experiences, it will have been a success.

 

I mean seriously, why would you even want to implement riding if there are no horses in the game? [Yes, I know this has been done. And it is puzzling to me.]

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I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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Thanks for posting this, Horm. I wouldn't have ever seen it otherwise.

 

While the constant reminders that posters need to relax and not be too negative are getting old, I certainly prefer it to a developer backlash followed by silence. It would be great if we could just point to things like the OP to calm people instead. Nothing inspires more confidence in me than an eleven minute video from a lead developer answering a random question by a random poster.

 

As for the content, I really like the direction Sawyer's proposing. I can see a system in which all classes have the ability to do important things like heal but do them in vastly different ways creating a different experience. All I know is that I am sick of having to have a thief in my BG party or accepting that traps are just going to blow up in my face.

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All I know is that I am sick of having to have a thief in my BG party or accepting that traps are just going to blow up in my face.

 

I can see what you mean and how that would be frustrating for many players but i kinda liked the tradeoffs that would imply, i.e. if i want to avoid trap damage i need to have a weak utility character in my party when instead i could've had a fighter tank who could soak up the damage, or another healer to fix the damage etc.. Of course this did become a bit irrelevent with the swashbuckler class and then the TOB "equip anything" skill, which basically turned thiefs into killing machines.

 

But in the end as long as there are distinctly different classes, races and playstyles and not just 6 different ways of doing the exact same thing then i'll be happy, personally despite being a cynic at heart i genuinely believe Obsidian are devoting the time and effort to make this a unique and enjoyable system.

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I can see what you mean and how that would be frustrating for many players but i kinda liked the tradeoffs that would imply, i.e. if i want to avoid trap damage i need to have a weak utility character in my party when instead i could've had a fighter tank who could soak up the damage, or another healer to fix the damage etc.

 

Or a wizard who can summon goblins you can send into the trapfield to set them off. Or a ranger who can tame sheep that can be used as living minesweepers. The possibilities are endless.

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I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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As far as im concerned, most of the stuff he said is basically what 3E was trying to do and a LOT of that comes down to less about the classes but about what the classes physically go up against. You can make a 3.5 party with nooo priests and still manage just fine. Probably use more potions but you don't really need a healer. That and healers in DnD have, more often then not, been about 'after the fight' then the MMO style of 'during the fight' where that's all the priest does.

 

Also a group of all clerics is freakishly dominating in 3E heh. Full Plate, good with a morning star, tower shield, summons, dmg spells, powerful buffs. Not really the point though, or maybe it is to some extent.

 

Anyway I agree with what hes said, its been done before, it's not a new idea, and it usually works out pretty well but requires the encounters (both combat and otherwise) take into account all the available options. His ranger example was good, why would you ever take Halfling as a favored enemy in NWN? You don't ever 'fight' them but its an option? The hell? Granted they had all the options in NWN due to the custom modules and whatnot but with in their own campain, never used in any real capacity. Should of had the ability to turn certain things on and off on a per module basis to avoid that kind of stuff but doesn't matter to much... and wont apply like that to PE, but simply not having the option in PE will fix it.

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Def Con: kills owls dead

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From a post i made elsewere:

Sawyer's approach make sense under a sertain light. Maybe all this class "overlap" really means that it is his way to intoduse multiclassing without naming it so.For examble,you start with a mage and over the course of the game you can leave him a traditional mage, or make him an assasin-mage, or mage with armor and two handed sword, or pistols. If that is the case it seems to me he tries to conbine the class system of IE games with the developing freedom of,lets say Arcanum. I think it has potential if they can pull it of.Don't forget, that Sawyer is not alone.Tim Cain is also on board as a senior designer.

Edited by Malekith
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I think it might be worth noting that as general as any class in PE might have the potential to be, in character development there should (and we can assume will be) a balance within each individual class. Especially in party based games that tradeoff is usually intended to be between damage, mitigation, healing, and utility. Now, this doesn't always pan out in practice, but if we look at it from that perspective making classes more well rounded is no less balanced that making them focused. Each individual character will still need to choose how much they focus on any one area. In the example of a group in which all characters are able to tank with a single healer, it would follow that while that party might be feasible it would minimize damage output and thus discourage many players from such one-sided and focused parties.

 

And before it comes up, yes I know that 'healing' as we know it in previous games has been altered, but there have been clear indications of stamina healing during fights and no indication that there will not be damage mitigating abilities that can be applied to others, which would also constitute 'healing' in this context.

 

When you get right down to it, the system that's being proposed need not be that much different than previous games. Take a bunch of multi-classed characters, or take a bunch of single-class and single-purpose characters. It only increases our ability to prioritize the RP parts of character creation and selection. Of *course* this assumes that the devs work out the balance as well as possible, but doesn't the gameplay of every game we ever see produced?

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From a post i made elsewere:

Sawyer's approach make sense under a sertain light. Maybe all this class "overlap" really means that it is his way to intoduse multiclassing without naming it so.For examble,you start with a mage and over the course of the game you can leave him a traditional mage, or make him an assasin-mage, or mage with armor and two handed sword, or pistols. If that is the case it seems to me he tries to conbine the class system of IE games with the developing freedom of,lets say Arcanum. I think it has potential if they can pull it of.Don't forget, that Sawyer is not alone.Tim Cain is also on board as a senior designer.

To be honest, you could do this in 3rd and 3.5 Edition D&D as well. It's just so feat intensive that it was clearly not optimal.

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I'm all for everything he said, though I admit I might just be hypnotized by the early success of his development beard.

 

It's a seasonal winter cycling beard, not development-related.

 

 

(Like bottlenecks at doors)

 

How is using a choke point to your advantage an exploit/metagaming? In any other game (or reality) it would be considered sound tactical reasoning. Choke points are natural defensive positions in any combat scenario, be it reality or strategy game or first-person-shooter. It would be folly not to take advantage.

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Really wish I could catch some of these great threads before they became so long winded. Overall I'm very optimistic with what Sawyer is presenting us with in this case. It will be refreshing to see a game that not only provides you with options for your characters, but also opportunity for all of those options to be utilized. It's an attempt at more diverse paths/solutions rather than more streamlined/generic linearity.


Do not criticize a fish for being a turtle when it is, in fact, a fish.

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How is using a choke point to your advantage an exploit/metagaming? In any other game (or reality) it would be considered sound tactical reasoning. Choke points are natural defensive positions in any combat scenario, be it reality or strategy game or first-person-shooter. It would be folly not to take advantage.

 

Humanoid enemies should switch to ranged attacks to dislodge you from your position. So it would still be a choice to hole yourself up somewhere, but only if you want to avoid melee.

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A: Yes, they should still care because if there are weird imbalances in the party that are assumed to be solved with a "correct" party composition, that implicitly suggests "incorrect" party compositions. It's pretty common in D&D groups to "need" a healer.

 

Arguably in BG2 there are places where you absolutely need an arcane spellcaster. I think that limits potential party compositions and is not a benefit to the player.

 

I think we should move away from class designs that shove classes into a niche that have little/no overlap with other classes and then make content that effectively demands you have a character of class x/y/z to move forward.

 

While I'm not really all too worried, this particular answer has me a bit sceptical.

Won't such a design, where no need for a specific set of abilities/skills/characters exists ultimately lead to an overall more bland and simple game?

I could potentially see this negatively affecting the sense of challenge both in and out of combat.

 

If I get this right any party composition should be able to solve any "problem" just the same as another one. (Oversimplification incoming, but I don't want to write a novel of finer examples) So a party of just fighters/barbarians could just bash open a lock without needing a rogue. There would be no way for a mage to protect himself from melee attacks 100% since this melee oriented party still should be able to kill him. Likewise healing items or some sort of healing ability has to be readily available so such a party can heal itself after a battle.

If that would come true that would be kinda awful imho.

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So a party of just fighters/barbarians could just bash open a lock without needing a rogue. There would be no way for a mage to protect himself from melee attacks 100% since this melee oriented party still should be able to kill him.

 

Or you would need to equip firearms on your fighters and barbarians to kill mages. I believe they will accomplish their goal by offering a multitude of possible builds, thus making every class able to tackle any challenge, if they're specialized correctly. It doesn't mean every class will be automatically able to do everything, nor that certain classes won't be generally more effective at certain tasks.

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"Lulz is not the highest aspiration of art and mankind, no matter what the Encyclopedia Dramatica says."

 

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@Quadrone: No, see DnD 3E, 3.5E or Pathfinder variations past that point. 3E set out to do 'exactly' what Sawyer mentioned, and for the most part it did a good job at that. Ultimately what hes been getting at, and to use DnD as an example again, it depends on what the DM does in relation to the players. If you take a skill, or a feat that's only good at 1-2 things, and the DM just decides that, tough luck, they don't want to include a means for you to utilize your lore in ancient magic blah blah whatevers then... to bad.

 

Thing is, this is a computer game, any skill or feat or whatever they call there whatevers... they can directly link that to gameplay. They know whats in the game, they know how those skills will interact with all of it. That's all it comes down to.

 

If you compare 2nd Edition to 3rd you should, hopefully, see what im talking about. 2E, need a Thief, why? Cause they're the ones that can pick locks and disarm traps. 3E? ANYONE can, doesn't matter what class or class combo you are, you can pick a lock, and you can use special tools/potions to enhance your skill if you so need. Now a Rogue is the 'best' at it and DC checks up a certain point (extremely high) 'require' a Rogue (kinda like needing a specialist for a safe) but a few points in said skill and anyone can deal with a good number of locks. Which makes the high DC the outlayer, the thing a DM can easily take into consideration, something he could whip an NPC together for, something in a cRPG would be 1-2 rare, well hidden chests only a 'Rogue' could get.

 

As for healing, the stamina system covers the DnD style of 'requiring a healer' (if you ignore potions/other methods). It basically gives you an artifical 4 times normal health for the sake of extending rest times. 'Healers' or self abilities will help bolster moments directly in fights to keep a character from passing out or maybe getting them back on there feet. But beyond that it's all non-combat and combat related stuff and, 3E or PE - it's all what brand of combat flavor you prefer in the end... it's RP stuff. All they got to do is make them interesting and feel different from each other with out making one of them a living nuke and it'll all be gravy. And, frankly, no forced 'Thief is the only one who can pick locks' role is going to make that any better.

 

Also 2E had 'class kits' to get around a lot of there own pole-up-ass restrictions (and alternate rules).

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Def Con: kills owls dead

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(EDIT: You guys totally beat me to most of what I was saying, haha.)

^^^@Quadrone:

 

I think he only wants to get away from the design of classes that can only accomplish certain, necessary tasks. Example:

 

Mage's shields. In a lot of prior RPGs, if a Mage is using a barrier to render 99% of your party's attacks useless (if not 100%), then the ONLY thing you could do was have a Mage cast the correct spell to un-invulnerablize him (totally a word... don't look it up, it's... really new?). Well, in P:E, the blast from a firearm can pierce the Mage's barrier. And, since they mentioned something about "close range" (which makes sense, because the blast/bullet constantly loses velocity the longer it's out of the barrel), I'd guess that taking on that Mage with just a gun-wielder in your group will be different from simply casting "DE-BARRIER!". You might have to get someone close to the Mage, or fire several shots that crack the barrier before its pierced.

 

There's a difference between accomplishing the same goal and doing the same thing.

 

As for the negative impact, I think the only thing that'll be is that "Awww, I'm kinda nostalgic about how I used to have to use one class to do this this certain way and that was it. He felt super uber important because of that!". Which, I'm not mocking that nostalgia, and it IS something that we can't really feel to quite the same degree without relying on specific class roles. BUT, we'll still be able to feel that our classes are important, because they're still doing useful things, and how we build/use them will be very important.

 

In the example above, you can STILL have a Mage who de-barriers that enemy Mage, and think "Man, I sure am glad I built my trusty Mage like I did. He sure is trusty and handy. I don't really want to have to crack shields with firearms."

 

So, it basically says "Hey, look at all the customization you have with your characters! And don't worry, because many skills/builds are quite useful across a range of situations!", instead of the previous "Hey, look at all that character customization! Oh, but you might not wanna pick that ability, or raise that skill, or your character will be too weak to perform his appointed task, u_u".

Edited by Lephys
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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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100% agree there Lephys, personally never had a nostalgia with that level of forced class stuff heh. I loved BG man, always held it above other things back then, was so revolutionary and all that to me. But I just kept wondering why I was so forcibly restricted in what any given person could do it never made sense to me. I got real excited when I was reading up documents and the approaches being taken for 3E and all the customization and 'everyone has skills now' and all that. Felt like all my internal whining and complaints about 2E was getting dealt with heh.

 

As for PE, their whole soul premise along with the design philosophy (that's a newer, updated reminisce of the 3E advances) has me just as excited.


Def Con: kills owls dead

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^ Heh, yeah, I personally always tried to push the class bounds in 2E when my friends and I played. :)

 

It was pretty tough. But, in the pen and paper games, the DM had the power and liberty to allow for tweaks to the system. Sort of on-the-spot modding, if you will, to allow for more versatility. So, he could allow my Mage to be slightly less useless in melee combat. Or, I'd pick skills like Climb and Hide, and he'd match my creativity by adding in little things here and there that would allow something other than my Intelligence and Magic to be useful.

 

But, cRPGs can only have so much hardcoded into them, so, if the devs don't design the system to support variance from the get-go, you run into the severe-restriction dilemma. It's just not fun to be strictly penalized for trying to be creative with the options provided for you in character development. It's like they've put out a buffet table, with 100 dishes, but only one of them is actually edible. The rest of them are rocks and bits of scrap metal and shards of glass... chemicals... Heh. "Oh, you can totally eat ANY of this stuff, but if you pick anything but the mashed potatoes, you'll suffer from internal bleeding the entire night."

Edited by Lephys
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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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I agree with what has been said in rebuttal to my previous post and do hope your assumptions are right, since having multiple solutions to a problem is absolutely fine, or actually something to expect.

Just to point it out though, my example of the fighter party was a bit of hyperbole and worst case scenario on my part, based on the possibility of not needing "a character of class x/y/z to move forward". I didn't really think that Obsidian would go down such a road of extreme "balance" but felt it necessary to show what such an inclusive, balanced approach could lead to.

Namely a game in which you can never go wrong and any challenge can be overcome by anyone at any time.

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A quick questions to JS:

1. What if everybody plays a chanter? Don't tell me you are going to Buff 10 classes. Same question applies to races.

 

I think that in case that one class or race is superior to others, then that class or race will get nerf update.

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I am super happy they are moving away from the DnD class designs. I am also happy they aren't listening to the fans too much. The guys at Obsidian are better game designers than we are. There is no doubt in my mind that JS has a better understanding of what will make a game I enjoy than I do myself. This thread has me even more optimistic.

Edited by ogrezilla
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While concerns are understandable, toward the unknowns of what the developers are attempting . . . I find something else to be concerned about. It's not what Obsidian are doing that I find of concern, it's the fan views of every last thing they're doing. The amount of negativity toward almost every single aspect, toward almost every single decision, is going beyond simply questioning. Questioning would be fine. It's this outright certainty some people have that one aspect, another, several or all of P:E is inherently wrong or flawed or what have you that's starting to get on my nerves.

 

It's nice to see people voice their concerns, and to see Obsidian respond to them, of course. Still, in short I agree with his response to one of the questions here:

 

Inevitably? Come on.

 

The questioner is so certain, and so certain based on . . . what? I share Sawyer's disbelief in the above quote. More and more people that think they know more about the game the Developers are making, than the Developers themselves, despite having next to no information on the game made public yet.

 

This - exactly!


Nomadic Wayfarer of the Obsidian Order


 

Not all those that wander are lost...

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the more I hear Josh talk the more confident I become that this is going to be a great game. Everything he says just inspires more confidence to me that he "gets it".

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Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
---
Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

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A quick questions to JS:

1. What if everybody plays a chanter? Don't tell me you are going to Buff 10 classes. Same question applies to races.

 

I think that in case that one class or race is superior to others, then that class or race will get nerf update.

 

Who nerfs singleplayer games? That's about the most retarded thing I've ever heard of.

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