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

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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. :)


“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts

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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.

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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.

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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:

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

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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.

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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

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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.name/index.php?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).

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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.

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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 :)


"What if a mid-life crisis is just getting halfway through the game and realising you put all your points into the wrong skill tree?"

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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
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Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt. - Julius Caesar

 

:facepalm: #define TRUE (!FALSE)

I ran across an article where the above statement was found in a release tarball. LOL! Who does something like this? Predictably, this oddity was found when the article's author tried to build said tarball and the compiler promptly went into cardiac arrest. If you're not a developer, imagine telling someone the literal meaning of up is "not down". Such nonsense makes computers, and developers... angry.

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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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How about multi-monitor resolutions?

 

Unity 3D only supports one rendering window. However, there are some suggestions in that thread about how to use hardware or OS based scaling across multiple monitors.


Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt. - Julius Caesar

 

:facepalm: #define TRUE (!FALSE)

I ran across an article where the above statement was found in a release tarball. LOL! Who does something like this? Predictably, this oddity was found when the article's author tried to build said tarball and the compiler promptly went into cardiac arrest. If you're not a developer, imagine telling someone the literal meaning of up is "not down". Such nonsense makes computers, and developers... angry.

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I'm thinking I'd like damage types to be more "flavour" than a strictly necessary strategic consideration. Say, crushing gets a bonus against heavy armour, but unless the encounter is especially challenging, requiring me to consider every single minor advantage I can possibly get, I'd be fine simply bashing away with my longsword.

 

That said, I'm well confident you devs will strike a good balance! Maybe weapon switching will be necessary in higher difficulties/challenge modes in order to take on different encounters, while lower difficulties have less dependence on damage types :)


"What if a mid-life crisis is just getting halfway through the game and realising you put all your points into the wrong skill tree?"

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Woot, great update. happy holidays Obsidian. This stuff will "handle" us enough till you get back on your seats :)


Nothing is true, everything is permited.
 

image-163154-full.jpg?1348681100

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thanks for the update! I wonder why stop at 2560x1440? Its been reported the next gen consoles will run 4k resolutions and due out the end of next year. We're not limited to dvd or blue ray's, though maybe it will be cheaper for you all to make some if you're concerned with bandwidth. Meanwhile in Kansas City they started installing new google internet 100X faster than current cable internet for only $70 a month. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/google-new-internet-service-banishes-buffering-article-1.1207373 and here. http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/12/googles-coolest-project-broadband/ I expect it to grow over the next 2 years.

 

Inventory- Any chance you guys could please create a junk bag and a quick way to toss things in the junk bag to sell when you reach a vender. Basically exactly what Kingdoms of Amalur did, they got that perfect!

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Solution: Less is more

Not all classes need the same number of active abilities. Mages should have most, fighters least.

 

 

Isn't part of the point of this update to show that if you want to make your fighter or whatever play like it did before with little to no active abilities you can and it'll be a viable option? I say design as many active/passive abilities as they see fit and let the player choose how to mix and match and in what ratios don't give a class less abilities of a certain type just because he is that class.

Edited by Inertia
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I was wondering if the devs were also cosidering dividing a weapon into %slashing/%piercing styles too. For example, you can slash with a sword, but you could also pierce with one.

 

Maybe it could be interesting to try style hybrids and see how they play out too?

 

But, I am strange.

 

The question is: are you the REAL JVC? If you are, just wanted to salute you sir. Your M&M series was what started my love for dungeon crawling RPGs. Cheers.

Edited by Hormalakh

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

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

My DXdiag:

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

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And I come from the school of thought that any move, like riposte, cleave, etc. Are all in fact equally active abilities as a mage fireball and magic missile.

 

Otherwise playing fighters becomes a real snorefest. Whenever I play any IE games I just set the auto-attackers to attack and then I fiddle with my casters. Regardless of who my actual character is.

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My thoughts on how character powers and urgency could be implemented:

http://forums.obsidi...nse-of-urgency/

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Solution: Less is more

Not all classes need the same number of active abilities. Mages should have most, fighters least.

 

 

Isn't part of the point of this update to show that if you want to make your fighter or whatever play like it did before with little to no active abilities you can and it'll be a viable option? I say design as many active/passive abilities as they see fit and let the player choose how to mix and match and in what ratios don't give a class less abilities of a certain type just because he is that class.

 

That's kind of an odd solution. The problem perfectionist people like myself have with the multitudinous active abilities, is that we AREN'T lazy. If I were, I would be content to allow my party to perform sub-optimally, so that I wouldn't have to tell all 6 of them what to do throughout the fight. The gist of the concept, "just build a character with more passive abilities," implies that I would be lazy enough to BUILD a sub-optimal character (i.e. forgo powerful active abilities). I'd be far more likely to pick what I considered "the best" of the active and passives, and I think this is exactly what an overwhelming majority of all players will tend to do. If by some game-design miracle the passives and the actives were perfectly balanced in utility, then the majority of people would choose the passives. After all, you have 5 other party members to worry about!

 

There's this idea that the game becomes more approachable or intuitive when each class has a perfectly equal number of abilities... but it is far easier to explain old D&D to someone.

 

"This is a fighter. Send him after the thing you want dead first. Sure his attack is always the same, but who you send him after can have a huge impact on the battle. Also know when to let them come to you."

 

"Mages have interesting and more situational abilities. As your mages gain power, choose a few of those spells you have available to memorize and use the next day. Spells can have huge effects, but you only have so many, so use them like a scarce resource."

 

The whole spectrum of complexity is found between those two, and it adds up to not a whole lot to wrap your head around. In my opinion of course.

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That's kind of an odd solution. The problem perfectionist people like myself have with the multitudinous active abilities, is that we AREN'T lazy. If I were, I would be content to allow my party to perform sub-optimally, so that I wouldn't have to tell all 6 of them what to do throughout the fight. The gist of the concept, "just build a character with more passive abilities," implies that I would be lazy enough to BUILD a sub-optimal character (i.e. forgo powerful active abilities). I'd be far more likely to pick what I considered "the best" of the active and passives, and I think this is exactly what an overwhelming majority of all players will tend to do. If by some game-design miracle the passives and the actives were perfectly balanced in utility, then the majority of people would choose the passives. After all, you have 5 other party members to worry about!

 

There's this idea that the game becomes more approachable or intuitive when each class has a perfectly equal number of abilities... but it is far easier to explain old D&D to someone.

 

"This is a fighter. Send him after the thing you want dead first. Sure his attack is always the same, but who you send him after can have a huge impact on the battle. Also know when to let them come to you."

 

"Mages have interesting and more situational abilities. As your mages gain power, choose a few of those spells you have available to memorize and use the next day. Spells can have huge effects, but you only have so many, so use them like a scarce resource."

 

The whole spectrum of complexity is found between those two, and it adds up to not a whole lot to wrap your head around. In my opinion of course.

 

I agree that this works well for video games, were you indeed control a whole party and you have always stuff to do and adding too much may become a chore. Dragon Age worked around this to some degree so that you could program your guys to do their abilities so you could focus on playing the ones you wanted to play. This could be a good idea. Boss fights always demanded more micro management, but for regular mobs, the party AI worked well. And that's how it should be.

 

However, as a tabletop game saying "He's a fighter, sure he does the same attack always, but that's fighters do, right?" is just horribly boring.

Edited by Lord of Lost Socks

My thoughts on how character powers and urgency could be implemented:

http://forums.obsidi...nse-of-urgency/

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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.

 

Correct. You are not understanding it fully. The "stash" is carried, but inaccessible during combat, i.e. all of those bits and bobs buried deep in your pack that would take fifteen minutes to pull out. The top of your pack is presumably a place to store consumables or other things that your companions can get to in a hurry during combat if you fall, etc.

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