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Update #39: Non-Core Classes, Cooldowns, Attack Resolution, Damage vs. Armor and a Tileset!

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Meh, I think that particular type of style (I wanna be a crafty, agile, master of daggers instead of a plated-out knight with a longsword and super-proper form and tactics, etc.) is kind of the heart of WHY we make video games.

 

You are not wrong, Tsuga, as far as verisimilitude, but I don't think that level of it does anyone any good. Why? Because you'd either have to forcibly make the story take place in mostly small alleys (when the player picked a Rogue), OR just tag-team out party members when specific ones were ineffective, OR everyone would be the exact same thing. Or, at least, you'd have like 3 fighters and 2 archers and a Wizard or something. 

 

Especially when you throw in soul powers and supernatural abilities. You don't really know how effective someone could be with 2 daggers, if he had different powers than someone who favored the sword had.

 

The real world is about "How do we do this the absolute best, most efficient way, with the given factors?"

 

Video games are about "How interesting could we make this situation if we weren't limited by all the real-life factors?"

 

This isn't about "Do we worry about verisimilitude, or DON'T we?". I think it's extremely important, within reason. So long as it doesn't start stepping all over the imaginative freedom that's essentially at the heart of a fictional, fantasy video game world, it should always be opted for.

 

Just because a dual-dagger guy is pretty viable in our fictional world doesn't mean we can't still maintain as much verisimilitude as possible. He probably will fight very differently than a longsword-wielding fellow. He probably won't take on 5 people at once, because he lacks the reach and weapon-stopping power required, etc. "Viable" simply means you won't be definitely obliterated. Doesn't say anything about how you have to make it work. I would imagine dual-daggers would be frustrating to stick to for someone who didn't love the fighting style.


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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Because you'd either have to forcibly make the story take place in mostly small alleys (when the player picked a Rogue)

Not necessarily. The players should be smart enough to understand that the hypothetical "average rogue" shouldn't expect to out-fight the fighters in a toe-to-toe confrontation without significant mitigating factors in their favor. This is a class-based system, after all.

...OR just tag-team out party members when specific ones were ineffective,

Again, this is a class-based system. If I know I'm going after the Foozle Lord and that he's well-nigh immune to direct magical attacks (think D&D evocations) but is only so-so against melee attacks, I'm probably going to leave the wizard in the rear with the gear for that quest.

...OR everyone would be the exact same thing. Or, at least, you'd have like 3 fighters and 2 archers and a Wizard or something.

Amongst the dedicated powergamers this might very well ring true if you set up the combat system so that this or that weapon or party configuration was head-and-shoulders superior to everything else. Perhaps I overstated my point earlier, but I'm simply concerned that the system(s) not be designed in such a way that all is equal to all, thus effectively rendering our choice of weapon (other than slashing, piercing, and crushing) essentially moot.

 

Let's take a look at two weapons that do both piercing and crushing damage: the morning star (spiked ball of iron on a solid shaft) and the spiked flail (spiked ball on a chain attached to a shaft). Here's how I'd set them up to let the choice actually matter: the morning star would do less damage and have a lesser critical, but be less fatiguing (stamina drain) to employ than the spiked flail which must be kept in constant motion during combat. The spiked flail is an inertia-dependent weapon and is not like a whip that one can simply flick out at an opponent. Provided that stamina is a matter for serious concern in P:E, this makes the choice between these two weapons significant as it involves much more than simply looking up the damage for each and choosing the greater of them.

Especially when you throw in soul powers and supernatural abilities. You don't really know how effective someone could be with 2 daggers, if he had different powers than someone who favored the sword had.

Knowing nothing about the "soul powers" at this point, I'll stipulate this as a given.

 

"Viable" simply means you won't be definitely obliterated. Doesn't say anything about how you have to make it work. I would imagine dual-daggers would be frustrating to stick to for someone who didn't love the fighting style.

This is key. It should be costly in terms of feats/skill points to make patently inferior set-ups perform on par with ones that common sense and history have shown to be better overall choices. If not, then things get silly right quick.
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http://cbrrescue.org/

 

Go afield with a good attitude, with respect for the wildlife you hunt and for the forests and fields in which you walk. Immerse yourself in the outdoors experience. It will cleanse your soul and make you a better person.----Fred Bear

 

http://michigansaf.org/

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^ Well said. I apologize if I come across as somewhat robotic at times, but I was merely trying to illustrate the fact that, while things should still be situationally better/worse, we cannot, for example, make dual-dagger folk always suck in open combat, like you're very right they would.

 

We have to pad things a little, simply because it's a game. In reality, there is no reason for the sneaky, dagger-wielding guy to even ATTEMPT to go out into open combat all the time. And there's definitely no reason for him to insist that he keep his fighting style. But, in the game, there's a reason to maintain a certain... "character,". It's aesthetics, it's mechanics, it's enjoyment in molding little aspects of the story, it's a puzzle... all these things you don't have at all in real life. Or, not in the same way, at least.

 

So, you just have to hit that happy combination of "Yay, I get to keep this character fighting like this!" and "Crap... in that case, this is gonna be a little tough." It's really hard to touch on it without using numbers. If, in reality, you'd be 60% less effective, I think the game could easily halve that to 30%. That's a pretty good bit. But, unless you have a party full of all the same class, that number probably won't cause your unconditional annihilation. (Example numbers, yay!)


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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Just how realistic do you want it?

Verisimilitude ranks quite high with me.  P:E need not be an exacting combat simulator, but I do think that it should retain a reasonably high degree of realism.  If all the slashing/piercing/crushing weapons are more or less as effective as all other slashing/piercing/crushing weapons, what's the point in having more than three weapons (one from each category) in the entire game?  It's merely a matter of aesthetics if two daggers are as good as two short swords or if flails are as good as maces with no significant advantages or disadvantages to speak of.

 

Does weapon selection matter from lower to higher levels, or are such choices as we make at higher levels merely a game of paper dolls?  Does my light, flanged mace go with these boots or should I go with my quarterstaff?  Yes, I'm being facetious with that last question, but not with the rest of this post.  I'm both concerned and curious about the significance of the "tactical challenges" regarding weaponsplay.

 

 

There are other ways to distinguish between weapons, different bonuses allowed, different skills linked to weapons, speed and damage differences, where you can choose faster but less damaging weapons or slower more powerful ones. Or slow weak weapons with plenty of mods/skills associated with them.

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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^ Well said. I apologize if I come across as somewhat robotic at times, but I was merely trying to illustrate the fact that, while things should still be situationally better/worse, we cannot, for example, make dual-dagger folk always suck in open combat, like you're very right they would.

If the dual-dagger fighter is fair to good (and thus still viable) while the hand-and-a-half sword fighter is good to great in open melee, then game-oriented balance has been achieved. I understand that some people really want to go for the "kewl" factor with their character and that they must be accommodated. P.E's a game--I get it. I just don't want them both to be good to great in open melee as that flies in the face of basic common sense and reduces player choice to distinctions without meaningful differences.

 

By the by, what's with your frequent use of the royal "we"? You don't appear to be an Obsidian employee.


http://cbrrescue.org/

 

Go afield with a good attitude, with respect for the wildlife you hunt and for the forests and fields in which you walk. Immerse yourself in the outdoors experience. It will cleanse your soul and make you a better person.----Fred Bear

 

http://michigansaf.org/

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Some weapons are, in fact, superior to others.  Why would a dex-based fighter dual-wielding daggers be roughly as viable as a similar fighter wielding a hand-and-a-half sword in an open field of battle?  

 

We're not making a realistic simulation.  "Is this realistic?" is a question I try to answer after I have answered, "Why would anyone want to use this?"  If I haven't answered the latter question, the answer to the former is pretty irrelevant.

 

I've previously explained the basic mechanical distinction of low damage, high speed weapons vs. high damage, low speed weapons.  Even if you're using a good damage type against the target's armor, you may still be operating at (significantly) suboptimal efficiency due to the difference between your weapons' damage and the target's DT.  If the target has relatively high DT, using low damage, high speed weapons is inefficient.  If the target has relatively low DT, using high damage, low speed weapons is inefficient.

 

Additionally, every base weapon type has an advantage that is not necessarily unique, but is not shared by most other weapons.  The examples I have given previously are the pike's extended reach and the flail's ability to negate some of the defensive bonus of a shield.

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Josh, will you consider a mechanic for players who want to attack very fast, possibly several attacks per round? If I had my choice of combat, I'd prefer to attack with lots of low damage attacks that may be like jabs in boxing, and then have ability's or gear that increase my critical attack % to hit or critical hit damage. Maybe Monks will work in that way...

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We don't really have the concept of "rounds" since we're working in real time, but certain weapons are inherently faster than others.  Weapons like daggers, stilettos, rapiers, hatchets, clubs, and flails (think of these last two as being relatively small-- no caveman clubs or Witch-King flails) are "fast" one-handed weapons and attack more frequently than larger/heavier one-handed weapons like swords, maces, battle axes, war hammers, etc.  Two-handed weapons are slower than their one-handed counterparts.

 

In terms of basic mechanics, the primary trade-off between fast weapons and slower weapons is between damage per hit and damage over time.  If the target's DT is low, the low per-hit damage of a fast weapon is not particularly important because your attack rate racks up the damage quickly.  If the target's DT is high, low per-hit damage is a bigger problem and the slower attacking weapons become much more efficient.  But because DT is a value, not an absolute property associated with a type of armor, the applicability of weapons can shift as your character and his/her gear becomes more powerful.  I.e., a DT that is problematic for Capt. Dagger at low level will mathematically become less relevant as your per-hit damage increases due to character/gear advancement.

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This is looking like a moderately complex system. I'll just have to stay tuned and see how things play out, I suppose. Thanks for the response, Mr. Sawyer. *tips hat*


http://cbrrescue.org/

 

Go afield with a good attitude, with respect for the wildlife you hunt and for the forests and fields in which you walk. Immerse yourself in the outdoors experience. It will cleanse your soul and make you a better person.----Fred Bear

 

http://michigansaf.org/

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By the by, what's with your frequent use of the royal "we"? You don't appear to be an Obsidian employee.

Haha. Sorry about that. I tend to say that a lot in the sense of "if we, the gamers, ultimately have this at our disposal in the game." For some reason using "I" in examples just doesn't feel right, sense we're discussing things as they will impact the game for hopefully a good majority, 8P. If I accidentally use it while talking about about design decisions, I apologize. We are not trying to suggest we are Obsidian, *polishes crown on expensive animal-fur robe*. 8)

 

And to the great and powerful Josh Sawyer, thank you, as always, for taking your time to provide us with informative, clarifying tidbits. Some of us *coughMyselfcough* are like design detail vampires.

 

On a compltely unrelated note, if you ever catch someone in the offices at night, crouched on your desk, feeding on an external hard drive filled with P:E goodness... that, uhh, wasn't me... o_o

Edited by Lephys

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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Dont forget that when it comes fast vs slow weapons , the slow ones will have an advantage when it comes to chasing or running away because the swing time will always reset by the time they get close enough to hit. While perhaps its not that big of a deal it might be a good idea to test if it needs some sort of compensation for faster weapons.

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They're still... refining the armor system, which is ok.

 

From an interview published yesterday:

 

"As an example, Josh has changed the armor system in the game in the last three or four weeks. He’s changed it three times."

 

Chronology.

 

They started with armor being raw damage reduction, with piercing weapons having raw armor penetration properties and with blunt weapons having percentage based penetration properties.

 

Questionable change #1) Adding the 50% AI-annihilation penalty to ceratin weapon vs armor combinations.

 

Change #2) ??  Removing the questionable change #1 perhaps.

 

Change #3) ???

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I hope he find an interesting way to get that armor stuff working. I'm still a bit on the edge on how it's been presented so far, but I'm still confident he'll deliver in the end.

 

Being more in favor of tactical differences than just damage-types I'm hoping for a more situational difference between armor-type based on surroundings. Say, light armor having an edge if you're in an open field with your back free from obstacles but gets you shredded once you're corned by some wall or other people and such. Making heavy-armored targets less prone to getting pushed out from formation would be another. I haven't really looked up all that's been said about combat mechanics, but I take it that since formations have been highlighted as an important factor they have some nifty ideas on how to shape the battlefield without it becoming a constant big pile of a random mess. I like the vision they are going for and it sure is fun watching hissing comments being thrown back and forth. I'm getting my moneys worth!

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Hey, 1 more thingie. :biggrin:

 

 

Part of this update is "attack resolution" and defenses [..Deflection (direct melee and ranged attacks), Fortitude (body system attacks like poison and disease), Reflexes (area of effect damage attacks), and Willpower (mental attacks).], so it's probably a suitable thread to post this.

 

Since generally about 90% of attacks will be grazes or full hits if combatants are similarly skilled, I was wondering about on hit effects such as poison, disease, stun etc.

 

For example, a spider bites you, then you make a fortitude defense roll and if you fail it, you're poisoned. Now, I'd suggest the fortitude defense roll be made only for a full hit, not after a graze (or with a huge fortitude/willpower/reflex bonus* if it's a graze). I love a variety of on-hit effects for monsters as it makes combat much more exciting and unpredictable, but if a defense check for the effect is triggered on 90% of attacks, it could get out of hand. 

 

 

*Or penalty for the attack value of the effect; the d&d term would be DC.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dont forget that when it comes fast vs slow weapons , the slow ones will have an advantage when it comes to chasing or running away because the swing time will always reset by the time they get close enough to hit. While perhaps its not that big of a deal it might be a good idea to test if it needs some sort of compensation for faster weapons.

 

Logically, if you are pursuing, taking an attack should slow you down briefly--allowing the defender to move out of your range. You would then need to catch up again. So it's difficult to see how you can perform consecutive attacks in that instance.


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

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Dont forget that when it comes fast vs slow weapons , the slow ones will have an advantage when it comes to chasing or running away because the swing time will always reset by the time they get close enough to hit. While perhaps its not that big of a deal it might be a good idea to test if it needs some sort of compensation for faster weapons.

 

Logically, if you are pursuing, taking an attack should slow you down briefly--allowing the defender to move out of your range. You would then need to catch up again. So it's difficult to see how you can perform consecutive attacks in that instance.

 

 

I just think that's something that's needed balancing in a lot of games. There shouldn't simply be a 3-second cooldown on your ability to otherwise instantly stop, turn about, and effectively swing your weapon at your pursuer. Versus slower opponents? Yes. That kind of tactic isn't ludicrous or nonexistent, but it shouldn't really even be feasible versus another humanoid who's just as fast and skilled as you are. Running, then turning and attacking, then running again should really be a good bit less efficient (between time wasted stopping and turning, then getting moving again, to the ease with which the pursuer will strike you with a blow with oodles of momentum behind it, etc.).

 

Obviously all that's a bit abstracted in the game, but there's a difference between abstracting a complex group of actions that all require various amounts of time to perform, and simply doing away with the amount of time required to perform any of them.


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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Soooooo....

Any news on which weapon vs armor system the game will use then?

Edited by zimcub

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