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

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I like the idea of having attacks graze the enemy, which means that misses are less often, and the game is more satisfying. There's few things more annoying than a miss.

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My only gripe is with the X use/day abilities. I find that a very articifial limitation, that is of course circumvented with rest spamming.

On a similar note, will we find ourselves running away from combat to replenish those 'per encounter' abilities?

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My only gripe is with the X use/day abilities. I find that a very articifial limitation, that is of course circumvented with rest spamming.

On a similar note, will we find ourselves running away from combat to replenish those 'per encounter' abilities?

 

These are both valid points, and I hope there's some smooth way to deal with them.


*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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Good update!

 

At least on paper, I really prefer the previous version of the Damage Type vs. Armor Type/Damage Threshold system. Of course, it could be that the newer system works better in practice, but if you decide you miss the subtler, more gradual approach of the former system, I have a suggestion on how to make it viable without confusing the player:

 

Have the game do all the calculation/spreadsheet comparison work, and just show the player the results! C'mon, this is a computer RPG, not a tabletop RPG where this would be cumbersome. For each individual fight, have the game compare all available weapons against all available enemies, and sort each combination into Good, Average, and Poor designations. Each time the player either presses a dedicated button or mouses over the appropriate part of the screen (this is merely a UI issue, the details can be worked out later) have the game tell the player how a particular weapon works against particular enemies. Have the information refresh for each encounter.

 

So for example, let's say the player is fighting against Grublorfulox the Murderator, his three Close Combat Goons, two Ranged Goons, and a Heavy Goon. You select Edair, and the game tells you that his current longsword is Good against the Ranged Goons, Average against the Close Combat Goons, and Poor against Grulborfulox and the Heavy Goon. Switching to a different weapon gives you different results.

 

Later on, you fight Grubagsdhkjg's twin half-brother Jeff, who controls two fearsome Were-socks. The game no longer displays the information about the previous fight, instead it just compares your weapons to the current enemies. Eventually, the player gets a feel for how different weapons and armors compare and no longer needs to rely on this information, but can still access it if necessary for whatever reason. And of course the more detail-obsessed player can do their own calculations rather than rely on the vaguer Good, Average, or Poor designations.

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I like the character classes and their development. Everything sounds like the rules and concepts are coming together nicely. I also know that the teaser screenshot is a work in progress, but I do want to chime in and express some thoughts. The dungeon crawl and layout is fine, and I am sure it will be pretty, but those PCs seem very tiny. I remember a post a while back about avoiding the "characters as ants" but that was literally the first thing thought of when i saw their little tiny bodies. Can we get a little meat on those bones? Maybe the ability to zoom in? Character models a little wider? Once again, as its a work in progress, I will wait patiently, but I am hoping I will be able see some character detail past just the tunic color of of BG. Keep up the good work though! I love your weekly updates!

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Hail, elves...

How DARE you, sir.  I am an aumaua, thank you very much.  :brows:

 

I'm REALLY liking the unified attack system and how it will be used for both physical attacks and magic.  I do have one question, though:  Will there be fumbles/critical spell failures?  Maybe possibly in Expert Mode or as a separate selectable option?

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We implemented that system and found that while it worked well on paper and scaled well, it was unintuitive when put into the game. It was not possible for players to make informed decisions about what weapons to use against a given armor type because doing so required making relative damage vs. DT calculations for all weapon types, i.e. having a spreadsheet open for comparison at all times.

 

This.

As a lover of the isometric RPG game style, but not a hardcore spreadsheet player type, I have a problem with the "play harder" ethos that has crept into gaming in the last decade or so.  This "play harder" ethos would have us believe that some character benefits should only be available to those players willing to dedicate endless hours of iterative/repetitive activity. While this works well in some game types (e.g. puzzle, racing, FPS) , I think it actually runs counter to the soul of an RPG.

 

In 40 years of D&D play (yes, I'm old) I've never once found myself tempted to save a player reward for the rare player that can memorize every stat in every battle. That said, I'm not opposed to rewarding player skill, even if it is a bit meta.

 

My point, and I do have one, is that any mechanism that puts a player at a disadvantage ought to be paired with a visual and/or audio clue that informs the player that he/she is operating at a disadvantage.

It is not enough to build in the mechanism and trust that the players will figure it out.

Also, given the nature of managing a party in battle, it is not enough to depend on simple onscreen damage tickers as these tend to get lost in the fray in an isometric party view.  

 

Instead, I start with the assumption that any member of an adventuring party who was involved in an actual fight would immediately get a sense for how well his/her attacks were working (based on the effect those attacks have on the enemy). I then assume that - as the party's proxy - I (the player) should also have this knowledge. Assuming this is true, the only question is "How do we let players know when there are abnormal attacks?"

For example:

1. Does a party member need to swap weapons? (Blue Elf needs a mace badly.)

2. Does a party member need to swap armor? (Red Dwarf is apparently a pinata.)

3. Is a party member getting lots of crits? (Green Magician is the envy of his party.)

 

I know it's all a bit meta and some players may prefer not to see this kind of information, but for me it makes the overall gameplay a little more engaging. Instead of pushing me out of the game to a spreadsheet (literally or figuratively), it enables me to organically see the effect of what each party member is doing and make proper tactical adjustments "in situ".

 

That's my 2 cents. 

 

TL;DR Damage tickers aren't enough. Use something cooler to alert us to bad situations.

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What if you simply had 3 outcomes?

 

 

1) bad/meh/good

2) meh/good/bad

3)good/bad/meh

 

"Bad" could be 50% effectiveness, before you pit the damage against DT, just like they mentioned in the update. Then, "meh" could be 75% effectiveness (or even 70 or something... room for tweaking) before DT, and good would be 100%. OR, you could even do it like... 70%/90%/110%, or 75%/100%/125%. Again, there's room for math tweaking, depending on what works and the specifically desired effect.

 

I suppose you could have something like (L/M/H):

  • slash -- good/bad/bad
  • pierce -- good/good/bad
  • crush -- good/good/good

then have the typical weapon damage trend thus: slash > pierce > crush. That way you have two counter-balancing distributions.


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

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those PCs seem very tiny. I remember a post a while back about avoiding the "characters as ants" but that was literally the first thing thought of when i saw their little tiny bodies. Can we get a little meat on those bones? Maybe the ability to zoom in? Character models a little wider?

 

This is something that needs to be done right, especially if people's screens continue to get bigger and the resolutions higher. When I watched the video the characters looked okay, but on a laptop or even a 20" screen it will be a bit hard to stand out for a character.

 

P.S. Like 55 secs into the video somebody takes a snapshot of Josh, or are there will-o-wisps in the vicinity of OE's HQ?


*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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This is something that needs to be done right, especially if people's screens continue to get bigger and the resolutions higher. When I watched the video the characters looked okay, but on a laptop or even a 20" screen it will be a bit hard to stand out for a character

 

I am glad people are playing PC games on their big screens now a days, but I actually prefer my 22" monitor. I am just hoping I can get a good look at my character without having to look at a character sheet or zoom in so far as to ruin my tactical advantage. I guess in my imagination, I had envisioned the PC version of DAO when you zoomed all the way out for tactical combat, and then zoomed out a little more so as to work with the 2D rendered backgrounds. Not zoomed out so far that I am basically playing with half inch stick figures. And to clarify, I am not describing the game as it will be, and just my first impressions of what I have seen.

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those PCs seem very tiny. I remember a post a while back about avoiding the "characters as ants" but that was literally the first thing thought of when i saw their little tiny bodies. Can we get a little meat on those bones? Maybe the ability to zoom in? Character models a little wider?

 

This is something that needs to be done right, especially if people's screens continue to get bigger and the resolutions higher. When I watched the video the characters looked okay, but on a laptop or even a 20" screen it will be a bit hard to stand out for a character.

 

P.S. Like 55 secs into the video somebody takes a snapshot of Josh, or are there will-o-wisps in the vicinity of OE's HQ?

 

I played through BGEE recently; the wider view has resulted in the characters appearing proportionately much smaller. That's probably inevitable given the nature of the game and the trend in monitor resolutions. However, if you blow up Josh's sample viewing image to the dimensions of your display, I'll bet the figures will be large enough.


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

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Rubicon: I happen to have a good old 22" too, and I love it!  :)

 

Rjshae: I did just that. I copied the image in top left corner and stretched it to fit my 22" monitor. The characters get to be a bit more than an inch tall, or max 3 cm, and they are obviously more slender than that, so I'd like to see them 1.5 times that size on me screen, that would make a nice difference.


*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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Rubicon: I happen to have a good old 22" too, and I love it!  :)

 

Rjshae: I did just that. I copied the image in top left corner and stretched it to fit my 22" monitor. The characters get to be a bit more than an inch tall, or max 3 cm, and they are obviously more slender than that, so I'd like to see them 1.5 times that size on me screen, that would make a nice difference.

 

3 cm is about the size of lead figurines used in PnP games. Possibly you'll be able to zoom in closer, but I usually like to play with as wide a view as possible. :)


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

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Sorry I can't just drop this xD

Why does the dungeon map have to be a dungeon? Put a texture on top of it... voila! (not very pretty, this one below, but it gets the point/concept across I hope):
indooroutdoor_zpsa2335022.jpg

Also, creating some sort of Adode Flash Tileset Concept Map Maker (with photoshopped tilesets) would be fun. Anyone knows how to play with Flash, please send me PM and we can try and make something?

I used these btw:

post-44542-0-00570700-1356821236_thumb.jpg

EDIT: To Obsidian, with this, using different textures. Some maps you can re-use over again, for the pathing stuff. I honestly don't think Players would notice (if it's done good enough, in essence -> not the concept I did above :p). And if we the Players would notice, it'd be better than DA2's "re-use area"-method. 
Edited by Osvir

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And if the create system where wrong weapon types give great disadvantage, you probably could expect that nasty enemies have multiple weapons or they have otherwise multiple means to hit you with different damage types. Which could mean that mixed armored parties would be best as you can change on fly whose on your party are taking hits.

Oh yes, this is indeed ingenious... having every enemy and their mother switch weapons (even if it's completely out of character) to overcome their "bad" damage type that they've been practicing with their entire lives.

:cat:

 

I'd expect a zombie to pull a hammer out of its ass if the axe doesn't do the job, correct?

 

Rock golems should start hitting with karate chops to overcome their inherent proficiency for bludgeoning, no?

 

 

I don't see that single zombie is enemy which I would qualify a nasty enemy. But group of zombies could have several different kinds of weapons with them, so it would be wise to player to use several different armor types in his or her party. Or zombies could carry diseases, which would make normal armor useless against some of their special attacks, as those attacks goes against characters fortitude.

 

If we take assumption that golem's creator has not equip them with slashing or piercing weapons, then we can make rock golems be nasty enemies making their armor such that all weapon types are bad against them or make them do so much damage that even characters in good armor type against it hits can't take many.

 

And of course there could be enemies that deal only one damage type as they only wield one weapon, which would make them be in somewhat disadvantage against characters that wear armor which their weapon is bad against.

 

And if remember correctly, inventory system which they have planned has very limited number places for items that you can uses outside of the safe zones, which could make it bad idea to keep there twelve change armors, for cases where you face opponents that deal only one type of damage. And eighteen good armors probably cost rather heavy price to one keep so many in his or her stack.

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I'm sure that's a similar method they planned on doing anyways :) If they did create the backgrounds in flash though, they could make everything scale to any size without losing quality. I like to use flash for shape sculpting. I can make anything with enough reference.

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I like the character classes and their development. Everything sounds like the rules and concepts are coming together nicely. I also know that the teaser screenshot is a work in progress, but I do want to chime in and express some thoughts. The dungeon crawl and layout is fine, and I am sure it will be pretty, but those PCs seem very tiny. I remember a post a while back about avoiding the "characters as ants" but that was literally the first thing thought of when i saw their little tiny bodies. Can we get a little meat on those bones? Maybe the ability to zoom in? Character models a little wider? Once again, as its a work in progress, I will wait patiently, but I am hoping I will be able see some character detail past just the tunic color of of BG. Keep up the good work though! I love your weekly updates!

 

That's what I was talking about when I said that it looks like ToEE and I don't like it.

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I don't understand why they abandoned the old DT system.Who needs to look at a spreadsheet? If you see that your slashing weapon isn't very effective against, say, skeletons because suddenly you do a quarter of your normal damage, you pull out a hammer and see if it works any better.

Basically, if the difference is so minor that you need a spreadsheet to catch it, you don't need to switch weapons to increase your DPS by 3.8%. If the difference is noticeable, then you don't need a spreadsheet. If the old system worked well, and it felt natural, was the change really nessesary? Almost all the players won't be interested in the number crunching for the extra 1% damage. You could play the IE games without the attack rolls visible it it worked just fine.

 

I don't know exactly how the old system played and it may have been unplayable.But from Josh comment it doesn't seems so bad.

Edited by Malekith
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I don't think we can really judge the visual feel of the game unless we see some game footage first. It's really difficult to decipher anything from that screenshot. Also, all the character models are the same, so I don't understand the complaint some people are having that "the characters all look too similar." That's because they are the same. I really wouldn't ask them to change anything at this point until I've seen some game footage at the correct resolution.

 

Wait, what? Naked Lunch inspired the David Cronenberg movie "Scanners"? I... uh... I thought it inspired the David Cronenberg movie "Naked Lunch"?

 

A chapter from Naked Lunch inspired Scanners. Cronenberg also made Naked Lunch, but I haven't seen it. I hear it's quite the terrible movie.

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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When the game is ready the characters will be BG-IWD size. This screenshot was for testing how combat plays. At least this is how i understood it

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Take a good look at the first 8 seconds again~

Looks like good flow :) Paused -> Un-pause -> Mobility/Pacing/Very short combat -> Pause.

As for character size, it does look to be a little bit smaller, but if I would have a lower resolution I would get a more "zoomed" in view, right? In Baldur's Gate, with widescreen I see more, it's like being zoomed out.

P:E will also have zoom in features right? So you could play zoomed in (like the BG example) and following that zoom-in, your characters will be bigger.

UI and Portraits look to be test only currently, but having that bottom bar with some cool UI with the portraits in that position in them, might look cool (Kind of Land's of Lore UI, having the Character Portraits in the bottom).

Anyways, example:

Baldur's Gate

 

 

1Screen19.jpg

 



P:E:

 

tileset-wip-1980_zps61a636da.jpg



EDIT: Modified the P:E picture to the same size, and it looks like it's bigger?

EDIT EDIT: Looks good :D

E: The guy furthest to the left might even be Godtouched?

Edited by Osvir

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Meh, I loved the prior damage vs. armor system, like this one and sure hope it doesn't get simplified further.

 

And Vancian Lite? Well, at least I won't have to deal with full-blown Vancian or actual cool-downs. I really like that fatigue-based system somebody kept promoting on the boards, though. Quite a shame.

 

Anyway, the rest of the update is great, though, so there's that.


Proud Probatanthrope @D:OS

Tor.com: Boob Plate Armor Would Kill You (cf. "ball plate armor" - Just think about it.)

 

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