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Project Eternity Update #36: Off to our elfhomes, but first...

project eternity josh sawyer resolution fighter priest rogue wizard

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#21
cjs

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Looking through the previous posts on this forum, it seems that there's often an implicit assumption about whether a "tetris-style" (a la The Witcher or Torchlight) or "list-style" (a la Fallout 3/New Vegas) is being used. Can you clarify that?

Personally, I'd prefer the latter with the tagging I discussed in another post.

#22
rjshae

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It all sounds very juicy. Nice! I like where you are heading with this. Thank you for the update... and happy holidays! :)


Minor points: I didn't see any mention of undead in the Priest section, so I'm left wondering what role they will play in that regard. I guess no cantrips either? Not even a cheap light spell?

#23
Ainamacar

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Very informative update, thank you!

I think the three-tiered inventory sounds wonderful, and I like that it permits gear strategy at both the intra-encounter and inter-encounter detail without needless micromanagement, while also permitting people to pick up everything if they want. Sounds very slick, although I hope there is some reason why items effectively "teleport" back to camp.

I'm not totally sold on some of the special class abilities ("escape" in particular, since I have difficulty buying blanket immunities without a pretty strong in-world justification), but the overall philosophy of flexible class progression with variable complexity buy-in sounds great. And the wizard's familiar sounds quite wonderful, although finding the sweet spot between too weak and too powerful for "extra" agents like familiars and summons has always been challenging.

Finally, I think the weapon system sounds pretty solid as long as switching to the "optimal" weapon type doesn't become a tiresome chore. That can be done by making the difference between weapon effectiveness not that strong, of course, but that obviates the purpose for the distinction in the first place. And if the difference in effectiveness is very noticeable, it may become uninteresting and rote. The inventory system allows some strategy in this regard, but pretty much every fighter worth their salt will have one of each type if possible, so I think switching weapons in combat to the "best" type should not always be optimal. For example, if switching weapons takes time one must weigh the possibility of delaying the initial attack or suffering from momentarily lowered defenses.

Thanks again, my favorite update thus far!
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#24
rjshae

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Your classes make me feel like you have a melee tank, a ranged healer, a squishy melee dps who can escape the fight at will, and a ranged caster dps.

None of these interest me particularly. Please include more options, like straight up melee dps, ranged physical dps, etc

While combat really isn't the focus of your game and won't be the focus of my playthrough, at the least I'd like it to be 'okay' :|

Possibly a troll, but... perhaps one should not be expecting too much for a first level character? They seem fine as starting points, and, as the OP mentions, you'll build your character up from there.

#25
Calyps0

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I'm not sure if the "stash" option is something I really like. Having just a limited amount of space in your inventory on the road and choosing what you were going to take and what you were going to leave behind made the game a little bit more challenging. Maybe I'm not understanding it fully though.

#26
LadyCrimson

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The way I'm interpreting this is that the stash is not a bank or a chest in some fixed location, but rather represents gear that is stuffed deeply and inaccessibly in the bowels of someone's pack. So, equipment is the stuff you have immediately at hand, "top of pack" is stuff that you've placed in an accessible location, a belt pouch, small bag, or literally the top of a pack. The stash, then, is all the things you have packed together so tightly that in order to find and retrieve any particular item you would just have to unpack and repack everyone's bags. In that case, it would make sense that you would only have the necessary time and security to do it in the same sort of place you would feel comfortable resting.

If it's accessible while travel-camp-resting (vs. only in certain locations) that's actually a fair/reasonable way to look at it. I can go with that. :)

#27
Andy Law

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I've been meaning to drop by here ever since backing the Kickstarter, so now's as good a time as any to start.

I've not kept up with all the updates, but intend to now as I'm pretty excited by what this game offers. Because I've not read/watched everything, I'll refrain from any in-depth comments or queries, primarily as I may be covering ground previously trod. However, one thing did stand out for me:

When you find gear, you have the option of placing it wherever you'd like as long as there's room for it. You can use it immediately, put it in your top of pack, or just chuck it in the stash. Once an object is in the stash, you can access it at camps, your home, and similar locations. We've created this division of inventory space to add strategy to your gear loadout decisions instead of having a weight limit, while also allowing flexibility for backup equipment. Most importantly, it doesn't prevent you from doing what adventurers love to do most: loot everything they find that isn't bolted down.
Update from Josh Sawyer



I really like division of storage you've presented. If I understand it correctly, characters will have a small amount of equipment readied (the stuff they are using), a slightly larger pool of trappings to hand (stuff they can quickly access if required -- perhaps hanging on belts, in handy pockets, and so on), and a greater well of gear stored away in their backpacks or similar (typically inaccessible stuff characters'll hopefully never need). That sounds, to my ears, a perfect split, for it not only sounds vaguely realistic, but also creates strategic choices concerning where you'll put your stuff, which presents a modicum of management (where do I put this stuff?), but not too much to interrupt gameplay (most of this stuff is useless, so I'll drop it into my stash -- job done -- except for this nifty Undead-Slaying Spatula, I may need it later, so I'll make space for it in my Top of Pack). I like that -- some inventory management, but not too much.

Assuming I have the right idea, perhaps more characterful names for each of the three inventory divisions would be worth considering. As it stands, you have:

Equipment
Top of Pack
The Stash

Maybe something a little more 'in game' might be nicer. Something like:

Equipped
To Hand
Packed

A stash sounds like something that you would walk away from and return to if you needed it. That said, perhaps this is exactly what you intend, like you've dropped the gear in a magic bag or pocket realm, rather than in a physical backpack.

Minor suggestions, yes, but it's the small things that help with immersion when you're playing an RPG.

#28
Malau

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Dohoho looks like the medicine ball's gonna see heavy usage on those walking tanks

#29
Andy Law

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I'm not sure if the "stash" option is something I really like. Having just a limited amount of space in your inventory on the road and choosing what you were going to take and what you were going to leave behind made the game a little bit more challenging. Maybe I'm not understanding it fully though.


The implication is that the 'stash' is not bottomless. See the bolded text below:

When you find gear, you have the option of placing it wherever you'd like as long as there's room for it.

Of course, that may just refer to equipped items and top-of-pack stuff, but it does seem to suggest the stash can be filled as well.

Perhaps.

#30
rjwest0004

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Thanks for the updates. Love everything you said here. Core classes with lots of customization. Looting without extreme inventory management issues. Scalable resolutions for larger displays. I love all the thought you guys are putting into it. Obviously you guys have tons of experience and insight into what works well, what doesn't, and what you want to try differently. Keep up the good work. :dancing:

#31
Volourn

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Some good stuff. Some bad stuff.

#32
Gvaz

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I'm gonna be mighty pissed if you release this game with black bars on 1920x1200 screens :|

#33
Valorian

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Great update indeed.

I like that they chose to make spells per-rest --> per-encounter rather than per-rest --> cooldown. I also hope this applies to abilities, such as "Surge".

If my assumption is correct, stamina doesn't actually regenerate on its own in combat (hopefully), but you need to use active abilities like Surge and you can use them only a set number of times before locking them, like spells.


Regarding swapping weapons...

I prefer having my warrior fight with specific weapons. You mentioned you're not going to have specialisations for specific weapons. I wonder if you plan to have specialisations for groups of weapons like slashing / crushing / piercing weapons, small / medium / large weapons etc.?

With armor your plan is to offer a persistent benefit if you wear lighter armor (executing actions faster than with heavier armor), but what about weapons? For instance, I'd like to specialise in piercing weapons so that swapping to two flails wouldn't be a no brainer when I see a heavily armored opponent.
Weapon stylistic choice is no less important than armor stylistic choice, for a character concept.

Also, swapping weapons in the middle of the fight is no easy task, there should be a negative effect for doing so such as a penalty to accuracy/defense for a period of time.

#34
Calyps0

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I'm not sure if the "stash" option is something I really like. Having just a limited amount of space in your inventory on the road and choosing what you were going to take and what you were going to leave behind made the game a little bit more challenging. Maybe I'm not understanding it fully though.


The implication is that the 'stash' is not bottomless. See the bolded text below:

When you find gear, you have the option of placing it wherever you'd like as long as there's room for it.

Of course, that may just refer to equipped items and top-of-pack stuff, but it does seem to suggest the stash can be filled as well.

Perhaps.



Ah, I missed that. That clears things up a bit.

Edited by Calyps0, 18 December 2012 - 09:45 PM.


#35
Frenetic Pony

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Can't see a stilleto? May I point you to a cool little demo call "phone wire AA" http://www.humus.nam...p?page=3D&ID=89

Or rather, just anti aliasing for very thin objects, it's not actually anti aliasing, and it really is dead simple. It just makes sure objects that are really thin don't vanish entirely by, instead of you not being able to see them, fading them out via transparency the farther away they are. So that way, the object, like a phone wire in many games, doesn't get smaller than a single pixel, and so doesn't just vanish (and possibly pop back in).

#36
Ubica_Padonkoff

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How about multi-monitor resolutions?

#37
Jotra

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I'm really not sure if I like this stash idea. You say it reduces inventory micromanagement but at least on some level it seems to actually increase it. I mean if you want to loot quickly and not worry if the looters inventory can hold the items or loot them to the stash, but then at some point you need to go over what is in your stash and distribute those to the characters you want to use them on anyway. Isn't forcing you to do that right away with no middle steps the less micromanagy option?

Also I see this adding some frustrations in a way that you really feel like you need to use that eg. bandage or whatever you just looted during combat, only to realize that it's actually still in the stash and you have no access to it. So you can pull those greatswords or crossbows from your pants, but suddenly the bolts are actually in this inaccessible thing.

#38
mstark

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I'm in love.

To people worrying/confused about "black bars" on aspect ratios different to 16:9: stop worrying. It won't happen, you'll simply see more 'vertical' terrain. Same way as the IE games work :)

#39
Luridis

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RE to Obsidian on Update #36

Resolution & Scaling: Yay! But don't forget there are people who are not running 16:9, even though they should be with current panel prices.

Movement & Combat Feel: Yay! Also, I'd love it if melee types had control abilities that automatically fire when an enemy attempts to circumvent them. (Think: An attack of opportunity that is purpose-built for enemy position control instead of just free DPS.) i.e. A light fighter type (Ranger-ish) would automatically get an opportunity to hamstring an enemy trying to walk past. A warrior type could get a free knock-down attempt via a shield slam to the back when an enemy attempted to run by. If the enemy is running the chance of success could increase for the defender. Roguish types would of course need some sort of evade ability since targeting the artillery line is a valid strategy there. And finally... of course this would need to work both ways with regards to players and NPC enemies.

Damage Types: Yay! As long as I don't need a calculator or spreadsheet... those things are for work. P.S. I'd love to finally have a reason to equip a nonsword.

UI Design: Double Yay! I just started playing NWN2 for the first time. (Yes, I'm behind in CRPG uptake.) I'll be honest and say I'm pretty sick of glassy startrekish UI's in just about every game that's made. And yes, I realize that with NWN2 a lot of design decision was publisher or IP-owner mandated. So no, I'm not shaking a finger at Obsidian with that comment. A solid UI panel would stop making me feel like I'm going to miss something going on behind the little icons. This is why me and a lot of other people want to see the return of the kokpit (lol correct spelling got sensored!) in simulators. If the designer deems [this] as the view port and [that] as the controls area I'll stop thinking that piece of environment lighting (brazier, torch, etc.) is an enemy casting a spell behind my UI.

Core Four Class Design and Advancement: Triple Yay on the caster ideas! I've always disliked both memorization and mana pools, but have had no idea how anyone could fix them. What you guys have come up with there sounds new and interesting.

BTW: Happy Holidays to all you great folks at Obsidian and be sure to enjoy the time spent with your friends and families.

Edited by Luridis, 18 December 2012 - 11:16 PM.

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#40
JonVanCaneghem

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On the topic of classes and active abilities:

Please keep some stark distinction between mages and fighters. The active ability plague has descended upon the CRPG (and D&D) from the realms of MMORPG. Granted, in an MMO, you typically control only one character, so managing and rotating cooldowns keeps the player engaged. If you like that sort of thing (I was a short order cook, and for me it was far too similar for me to enjoy MMOs now). But it becomes a meaningful challenge because you CAN'T pause the game at all. With D&D, my dislike of samey character class abilities comes from the ultra-gamey feel of it. I can't explain why, but it just feels like fighters are "mostly melee-ranged mages." The game mechanics, in attempting to be more "unified?" end up destroying a lot of the immersion.

Worst is when the active ability express comes to realtime/pause RPGs. Dragon Age Origins being a prime example, I find that I spend most of the battle paused, which in turn causes severe pacing problems. ESPECIALLY if I can't queue up abilities. The solution to this problem was a primitive if/then list with which you can "program" conditional behaviors onto your minions. DAO even thought it would be fun to make these programmed behaviors tie into a skill progression allowing you to program even more conditions. Ick.

Dragon Age: Origins also only went up to a party of 4, I can't even imagine the snail's pace of a combat where I had 6 characters laden with micromanagement-demanding abilities.

Solution: Less is more
Not all classes need the same number of active abilities. Mages should have most, fighters least. This really helps the flow of combat, and reduces the time spent paused assigning actions to each of 6 party members. Fighters having different "stances" is ok, just stay away from magical-type effects that defy logic (logic-defying because they're NOT supposed to be magic). Mages should have plenty of choices, but sometimes the best choice is not "which ability" but "should I use a limited use ability at all, or save it for a tougher fight?" A mage in a party facing a pack of wimpy kobolds, for example, would simply bust out his sling and disdainfully hurl rocks at them (they don't rate a magical assault). In more modern games, the reason not to use abilities against weak enemies is usually "I'm too lazy, I know I'm going to win, and my health will regen before the next fight". This is a bad thing to have in your head, because it takes you further away from the idea that these are actual characters, worried about their own survival in this wonderful made-up fantasy world.

And sure, admittedly, a lot of this comes from my perfectionist nature. I always want to feel like my characters are performing the "optimal" actions, because that's what they'd do if they were each controlling themselves. I've seen a lot of people who don't care about this at all, who just leave the game unpaused as they jump around to a few different characters with the most interesting abilities. The other half of their party completes its assigned task and then proceeds to perform downright stupid default behavior.

All this is to say, please be mindful of bloat on active abilities! Remember, that new games typically have really small parties, and that you are going to go with the traditional 6... Don't come crying back to us upon playtesting your battles saying, "well, this system really only works with parties of 4 or less", and then cut the party size. Hell, I'd love to play a game where I could command a group of 12, with only about 6 active abilities between them. But, I am strange.
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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: project eternity, josh sawyer, resolution, fighter, priest, rogue, wizard

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