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

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As far as the "Well, why use piercing weapons?" conversation goes, remember that some characters might not have the option to switch between slashing and crushing. And archer can use a broadhead arrow against an unarmoured target and a bodkin against a more durable enemy, but there aren't any "extra heavy blunt arrows" for crushing damage.

Edited by Tamerlane

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Pixel doubling would only be required if displays moved outside of the realm of the sane, e.g. running at double current Retina display levels with current monitor/display sizes. A 27" Thunderbolt doesn't even run at the highest current Retina res; it runs at our high-res target, 2560x1440, and that's on a 27" monitor. Those displays are remarkably clear and smooth. If, for some wacky reason, we continue to inflate resolutions while keeping monitor sizes the same, I do not believe the player would benefit much from rendering out 4x as many pixels as our high-res target.

 

Just to keep this in perspective, the original games were 640x480. We're at a 16:9 aspect ratio, but 1280x720 is roughly double the size as a base resolution. 2560x1440 is four times as many pixels for the same scene and would be sixteen times as many pixels for a 640x360 scene. An environment rendered out at 5120x2880 would be sixty four times as many pixels as a 640x360 scene. That seems like overkill on displays that will likely range between 11" and 30".

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My question is, when would piercing be the preferred damage type? Against medium armor? How would the maths work for this?

Piercing is best when the target's armor is good but not great, i.e. when the DT bypass of the piercing weapon is negating more of the armor than the equivalent slashing can power through. Slashing weapons, especially the single-handed slashing weapons, start getting inefficient very quickly when armor piles on. The piercing weapons continue doing all of their damage up until the point where the DT exceeds the bypass. When the DT is so high that it is effectively negating all of the piercing weapons' bypass AND damage, that's when crushing weapons emerge as the best choice.

 

All that said, more protective armor always protects you against more damage, regardless of what the source of the damage is. So at the high end when guys are pounding away with mauls, war hammers, and maces, they're doing proportionally much more damage than slashing or piercing weapons, but they're doing much less damage overall than weapons of any damage type when the target has no DT.

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reading this update reminds me why I have felt confident about this project knowing that Mr. Sawyer is one of the chief designers. the amount of thought that goes into the rpg mechanics/systems is staggering. it really showed in new vegas, and i'm sure it will show again in PE


The Internet: A place where everything is literally binary and the only shade of grey is the one seen by angry nerds when imagining what their ideal Diablo screen-shots look like.

Killing is kind of like playin' a basketball game. I am there. and the other player is there. and it's just the two of us. and I put the other player's body in my van. and I am the winner. - Nice Pete.

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WIth every update I am pleasantly surprised with the sound technical choices being made, the approach to this as a game that must "feel right" and provide various tactical options yet remain accessible. I can't say if it'll dethrone BG2, but it's sure lining up to be a resounding success, and probably a much better game than Icewind Dale 2 at least.

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My question is, when would piercing be the preferred damage type? Against medium armor? How would the maths work for this?

Piercing is best when the target's armor is good but not great, i.e. when the DT bypass of the piercing weapon is negating more of the armor than the equivalent slashing can power through. Slashing weapons, especially the single-handed slashing weapons, start getting inefficient very quickly when armor piles on. The piercing weapons continue doing all of their damage up until the point where the DT exceeds the bypass. When the DT is so high that it is effectively negating all of the piercing weapons' bypass AND damage, that's when crushing weapons emerge as the best choice.

 

All that said, more protective armor always protects you against more damage, regardless of what the source of the damage is. So at the high end when guys are pounding away with mauls, war hammers, and maces, they're doing proportionally much more damage than slashing or piercing weapons, but they're doing much less damage overall than weapons of any damage type when the target has no DT.

 

So would it be theoretically possible to have slashing/piercing weapons that could possibly do the same amount of damage as a maul? Like a slashing weapon that does 20-30 damage with 10 damage negated for heavy armor doing the same damage as a maul which does 1-10 damage?

 

Also how does stamina play into this whole slashing/piercing/bludgeoning idea? Any of these more powerful for stamia or health?

 

Finally, have you considered weapons that can deal multiple types of damage? Like a sword that can deal either 1d6 slashing or 1d4 piercing, or something like that?

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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Planescape: Torment, IWD, and BG were designed to run at 640x480 and people played those comfortably at 1024x768. Doubling those sizes takes us to 1280x960 and 2048x1536.

 

If you intend for PE's characters and UI to be similarly sized on a 13" 1280x720 as they were on a 15" 640x480 screen, then I suppose yes:

 

BG scaled well from a 50PPI 640x480 15" to a 100PPI 1280x1024 17" (and 110PPI 2560x1440 27"), the characters would appear 2" tall on the former and 1" tall on the latter due to double the pixel density.

 

If PE's characters are roughly 2" tall on a 110PPI 1280x720 13" I can see it scaling well to a 220PPI 2560x1440 13" (or a 5120x2880 27" for that matter) , where they would appear 1" tall.

 

The jump in pixel density is about the same.

 

I suppose I was under the assumption that the characters would be roughly 1" on regular, 110PPI monitors, making them far too tiny on high density 220PPI ones.

 

Going from 1280x720 to 1920x1080 is a proportionally smaller jump.

This depends entirely on the physical size of the monitors in question (their pixel density).

 

 

PS:T, IWD, and BG run comfortably at 1920x1080, too. But only if the screen is 22" or larger. It doesn't play very well at all on a 1080p 10.6" screen, unless you pixel double it by playing in a lower, non-native resolution.

 

They also play rather well on 27" 2560x1440 screens, because the pixel density is very similar to that of a 22" 1080p. It wouldn't play well on a 13.3" 2560x1440 or 2560x1600.

 

I know the screens currently on the market that I bring up here are small, but, as apple puts it, retina is becoming a thing. Expectations are that the next set of iMacs/thunderbolt displays will match the pixel density of the retina MacBooks. In time for the release of the game I think we'll be seeing 21" 2560x1440, 24-27" 3840x2160 (4k res) on the market.

 

We'll eventually (by 2014/15) have a market where the pixel density of a 24" screen ranges between 100 (1920x1080) to 180 (3840x2160). Playing at native resolutions on the 180PPI screen will make the game an ant farm, the solution would be to pixel double it by lowering your resolution while playing, or render out a separate set of high resolution assets for these monitors for native resolution high dpi gorgeous goodness. I believe it would make sense to have two different sets of graphical assets as detailed in my previous post, one appropriate for 100PPI and one appropriate for 180PPI.

 

The ~100PPI assets would be for displaying at native resolutions of screens like 10-13" 1280x720, 20" 1600x900, 24" 1920x1080, 27" 2560x1440.

 

The ~200PPI assets would be for displaying at native resolutions of screens like 10" 1920x1080, 13" 2560x1600, 15" 2880x1800, 24-27" 3840x2160.

 

It would make you see roughly the same of area on the high pixel density screens as on the regular screens, but at twice the fidelity(!). If you don't believe the market is moving in the direction of high pixel density screens I'll throw more proof at you in the shape of announcements and products :cat:. I'm only bringing it up because I think it would be possible to pull off supporting these screens at native resolutions without pixel doubling by simply reconsidering what resolutions you will be rendering your assets at, since you can easily downsample from higher res assets.

 

 

 

To round off, if you think pixel doubling is an acceptable way of dealing with high pixel density screens I'm not going to argue any more, my eyes think differently, but that's just me :).

Edited by mstark

"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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Great update, thanks.

 

I like just about all the details that were mentioned, in particular the inventory and combat...and yes, I am happy that the game will probably look great on my 1680x1050 display.

 

I hope the Obsidian staff has a nice winter solstice break, and I really look forward to seeing the fulfilment site in the new year.

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Pixel doubling would only be required if displays moved outside of the realm of the sane, e.g. running at double current Retina display levels with current monitor/display sizes. A 27" Thunderbolt doesn't even run at the highest current Retina res; it runs at our high-res target, 2560x1440, and that's on a 27" monitor. Those displays are remarkably clear and smooth. If, for some wacky reason, we continue to inflate resolutions while keeping monitor sizes the same, I do not believe the player would benefit much from rendering out 4x as many pixels as our high-res target.

 

The 27" 2560x1440 display is only ~110 PPI. The 200+ or even 300+ PPI displays of the Nexus, iPad, Macbook Pro are unquestionably clearer. It's less certain whether it makes as much of a difference with games in motion. Even in 2014, i can't see there being a large amount of PC gamers with these type of displays. Who wants to game on a 13" or 15" screen? I can't see any high PPI large screens on the horizon and anywhere near affordable prices, the 4K TVs are ~50-80 PPI. A game would certainly look great on a high PPI screen, the interface would have the cleanest lines you've ever seen, but that's a lot of work for a tiny minority of people with small high end laptops that aren't even designed for gaming.

 

So it's official retina resolutions will not be supported, I'm fine with that, it's a sensible decision.

Edited by AwesomeOcelot

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The number of players who would benefit from a standard screen size of 5120x2880 (which, again, is more than double that of the highest res 27" Thunderbolt display currently available) is very small, especially considering the enormous amount of time and effort that goes into rendering out and touching up each screen. Take the Eternity screenshot we showed during the KS campaign. That's at 2560x1440. We will be rendering out many "6x6" areas (a common exterior area size in BG and IWD). That's a 15360x8640 image. We have to open that in Photoshop and adjust the brightness/contrast/color levels and surface details across the whole environment.

 

Imagine doing that with a 30720x17280 image. It's a huge amount of work, and I really do not think many players would benefit from it. Steam's last resolution survey put 1920x1080 at 29% (the highest) of all participants. People running above 1920x1200 make up only a small percentage of participants. The next biggest chunk comes at 1366x768 (18.69%), which is a really common laptop resolution.

 

http://store.steampowered.com/hwsurvey

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The 27" 2560x1440 display is only ~110 PPI. The 200+ or even 300+ PPI displays of the Nexus, iPad, Macbook Pro are unquestionably clearer. It's less certain whether it makes as much of a difference with games in motion. Even in 2014, i can't see there being a large amount of PC gamers with these type of displays. Who wants to game on a 13" or 15" screen?

People with laptops, who make up a non-trivial number of gamers.

 

So it's official retina resolutions will not be supported,

Why are you saying this? We're rendering out to 1280x720 and 2560x1440, with the horizontal pixel count being the important part. On a 13" MacBook Pro with Retina, you'll see an additional 160 vertical pixels of the environment. On a 15" MacBook Pro with Retina, you'll see an additional 320 horizontal and 360 vertical pixels of the world. On a 27" Thunderbolt display, you will see it at the target resolution exactly.

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Fair enough.

 

I only brought it up because I didn't think it would be that much more work to edit the 30720x17280 image, it may be 4 times as large, but it will contain the same stones and trees as the 15360x8640 one, just in higher detail. You could make edits to it at 50% the zoom, and it would seem like a similar amount of work. (I work with high res imagery myself, back and forth between retina/non-retina screens). If it involves more than this, I fully agree it's not worth spending the effort doing it for the quite minimal return it will have. I only think it could be consider if you could figure out a way of making it happen fairly painlessly, since retina-like screens of all sizes are popping up everywhere at the moment, and it's giving PE a chance to shine above all other by being the first to support it :).

 

The problem with the Steam numbers is that it doesn't tell you what physical size the 1920x1080 screens are. Yes, it's very likely that 95% are around 100ppi 22-24" and maybe 5% are 150ppi 15", but in the future maybe this number will be made up of a larger part of 200ppi 1080p 10" screens (as they entered the market a few months ago). Apart from educated guesses, there's no way to tell from the Steam numbers how large the monitors carrying these resolutions actually are.

 

The retina assets wouldn't just target the (fictive) 27" 5120x2880, but it would make the game enjoyable on all screens of similar pixel density, regardless of their physical size in inches (13" 2560x1600, 15" 2880x1800, 10.6" 1920x1080 ... sorry, repeating myself).

 

That said, if it will take serious amounts of development time away from the game to pull this off, which I was hoping it wouldn't, then it's fully understandable if you won't look into it.

 

Either way, it sounds like the 110ppi target you're going for (27" 2560x1440) will allow the game to be playable without becoming too tiny on a 220ppi monitor at native resolution (please do not include any pixel doubling in the engine for these screens, I beg you :)! ).

Edited by mstark

"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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The 27" 2560x1440 display is only ~110 PPI. The 200+ or even 300+ PPI displays of the Nexus, iPad, Macbook Pro are unquestionably clearer. It's less certain whether it makes as much of a difference with games in motion. Even in 2014, i can't see there being a large amount of PC gamers with these type of displays. Who wants to game on a 13" or 15" screen?

People with laptops, who make up a non-trivial number of gamers.

 

I probably should have phrased that, who want to spend $1800 on a 15" laptop to game on, referring to high PPI laptops. Rarely would a 13" have a GPU for gaming at any PPI.

 

So it's official retina resolutions will not be supported,

Why are you saying this? We're rendering out to 1280x720 and 2560x1440, with the horizontal pixel count being the important part. On a 13" MacBook Pro with Retina, you'll see an additional 160 vertical pixels of the environment. On a 15" MacBook Pro with Retina, you'll see an additional 320 horizontal and 360 vertical pixels of the world. On a 27" Thunderbolt display, you will see it at the target resolution exactly.

 

Why am I saying this? Perhaps I don't understand. I was thinking if you try to display the same pixel for pixel image on a 27" monitor as you are on a 15" monitor, things are going to be a lot bigger on the 27" monitor, and a lot smaller on the 15" monitor. Full support for retina would be a 2560x1440 image that has the same scale as a 1600x900 image on a 15" monitor. Like on the iPad when it's not scaling low PPI content, buttons aren't bigger, they just have more pixels.

Edited by AwesomeOcelot

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Why am I saying this? Perhaps I don't understand. I was thinking if you try to display the same pixel for pixel image on a 27" monitor as you are on a 15" monitor, things are going to be a lot bigger on the 27" monitor, and a lot smaller on the 15" monitor. Full support for retina would be a 2560x1440 image that has the same scale as a 1600x900 image on a 15" monitor. Like on the iPad when it's not scaling low PPI content, buttons aren't bigger, they just have more pixels.

If you're playing on a smaller screen and/or at low-res, you will likely use the downsampled resolution (one screen = 1280x720) environments and GUI. If you're playing on a larger screen and/or at higher resolution, you will probably want to use the original resolution environments and GUI elements, the former of which are @2560x1440 for one 16:9 screen (downsampled to run as low as 1920x1080) with GUI elements designed for 1920x1080 as a starting res.

 

If you click on the colored rectangle image in the OP, you can see the various resolutions in "real" size, with the ghosted full-size environment and downsampled (half size) resolutions.

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Why am I saying this? Perhaps I don't understand. I was thinking if you try to display the same pixel for pixel image on a 27" monitor as you are on a 15" monitor, things are going to be a lot bigger on the 27" monitor, and a lot smaller on the 15" monitor. Full support for retina would be a 2560x1440 image that has the same scale as a 1600x900 image on a 15" monitor. Like on the iPad when it's not scaling low PPI content, buttons aren't bigger, they just have more pixels.

I think he explained it pretty clearly now, there's a few different situations:

 

Situation 1 - Low Resolution) Netbook or similar @ 1280x720, 1366x768 will use the low-res art assets rendered at 720p and downscale/upscale to fit

Situation 2 - Low Resolution with Different Aspect Ratio) Netbooks or similar @ 1280x800, 1280x1024, 1024x768 will use the 720p art assets but display additional pixels around the edges from the overall map respective the changed AR (you will see more of the screen)

Situation 3 - High Resolution) Assuming 1920x1080, 2560x1440 and similar will display the high-res art assets rendered at 1440p and downscale/upscale to fit

Situation 4 - High Resolution with Different Aspect Ratio) 1680x1050, 1920x1200, 2560x1600 will use the 1440p art assets but display additional pixels from the overall map respective the changed AR (you will see more of the screen with for instance 120 more pixels added to the height for 1920x1200)

Situation 5 - Slightly Higher Resolution) e.g. 2880x1800 and similar will "zoom out" the image and render natively with additional pixels from the overall map added (you will be able to see more of the screen at once than someone playing at 2560x1600 by an additional 320x200 pixels added to height/width)

Situation 6 - "Ultra" High Resolution) e.g. 3840x2160 and above will upscale the 1440p renders instead of showing that much more of the map (e.g. they won't add additional 1280x720 pixels to width/height as that'll lead to ant-ization). Further he said that he doesn't believe adding any more detail than 1440p would be "beneficial" for these type of screens.

 

Edit: I might be wrong about some of this though, as the image provided: http://media.obsidia...resolutions.jpg indicates 1920x1080/1600x900 etc. down to 1366x768 just showing increasingly less of the full 2560x1440 render @ native resolution instead of downsampling the entire screen to fit and would still lead to some people seeing 2x-4x the amount of image that others might, which seems odd/peculiar as that would change the nature of certain encounters and/or designs.

 

I just think they're making a mistake since the big manufacturers are moving ahead fast on a 4K future as I've stated here: http://forums.obsidi...er-resolutions/ and it might become a problem sooner than they think.

,M-F-333879-3.png

 

I'm just saying, look out for 16~17" Laptops with a 3840x2160 screen being introduced into the higher end market segments at CES in but 3 weeks and more and more monitors like this 4K one @ 32" being brought to market and getting affordable (even in the lower price segments) and replacing the standard resolutions of today soon: http://www.engadget....zo-lcd-monitor/ :p

Edited by D3xter

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I don't think we're making a mistake because there is no practical way for us to render and hand-edit maps with a target per-screen size of 5120x2880. Yes, the big manufacturers are moving forward with 4K displays. It will be many years before people hurl their current displays in the trash to buy replacement 4K displays.

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Even if Intel's prediction is right, think about how mature 1920x1080 is, how long its taken to get to 30% of gamers on Steam. 2560x1440 constitutes less than a percent on Steam. In 2015 we're talking a few percent of people with 4K resolution 21-24" monitors. To create assets for 200+ PPI screens like that would take more time, more resources, more people.

 

I'm pretty sure I've completely understood this from the beginning. If you have a 15" retina display you won't want to play at 2560x1440, you'll want to play at a lower resolution. I'm fine with that, it's pretty much the only option for the way the game is being made, and the people who game on 15" retina displays are few and far between, they cost $1800, which if you're a gamer could be much better spent.

 

I'm set anyway, I have a 1920x1080 display, I may upgrade to 2560x1440 in 2015.

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By 2015 we'll all be playing Project Eternity 2 anyway. Just save your art assets so that the next time you want to do P:E Enhanced Edition, you can do so easily.

Edited by Hormalakh
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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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I have a feeling the majority of people will think the game looks just fine, with the choices being given (and a lot of thought seems to have gone into those options, which I appreciate).

 

I know we all like a game to look pretty on our personal screens and have a PoV that looks nice to our eyes, but honestly, I think some of you are putting a little too much emphasis on the resolution/scale issue. This isn't Peter Jackson's The Hobbit.

 

Guess I'm not very geeky in this area tho...gameplay over resolution nitpicks for me any day. :p

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“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 will be fine with game running 800*600, whatever. Tell us more about classes and stuffies. "Warriors can use Expertise", "Rogues can disengage" is very basic.

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Some people have concerns that the flank maneuver in a gridless game can become fairly difficult to judge in terms of positioning. I was wondering whether you have considered utilizing some sort of toggle-able visual cue (similar to DA:O) in allowing players to know where to position their rogues to flank.


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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The number of players who would benefit from a standard screen size of 5120x2880 (which, again, is more than double that of the highest res 27" Thunderbolt display currently available) is very small, especially considering the enormous amount of time and effort that goes into rendering out and touching up each screen. Take the Eternity screenshot we showed during the KS campaign. That's at 2560x1440. We will be rendering out many "6x6" areas (a common exterior area size in BG and IWD). That's a 15360x8640 image. We have to open that in Photoshop and adjust the brightness/contrast/color levels and surface details across the whole environment.

 

Imagine doing that with a 30720x17280 image. It's a huge amount of work, and I really do not think many players would benefit from it. Steam's last resolution survey put 1920x1080 at 29% (the highest) of all participants. People running above 1920x1200 make up only a small percentage of participants. The next biggest chunk comes at 1366x768 (18.69%), which is a really common laptop resolution.

 

http://store.steampowered.com/hwsurvey

 

call me crazy, but I love that kind of work and I would love to do anything like that. :)

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Rogue

  • Sneak Attack - This damage bonus applies whenever the rogue "flanks" an enemy or when the rogue is hidden from an enemy. Flanking means that the rogue is within a short distance of the target and on the "opposite" side of that enemy from an adjacent ally.

 

I hope there'll be some sort of flanking bonus for other classes as well.

I'm not actually terribly fond of the rogue = main damage dealer mindset prevalent in rpg's of today, but I can understand the reasoning.

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