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Update #58: Crafting with Tim Cain!

project eternity crafting tim cain

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#581
RedSocialKnight

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5 Durability is always 5 durability. It doesn't change its value. It's not like 5 hitpoints. You have 5 hitpoints, you can alter the rate at which you take damage (with a protection spell, etc.), or change your combat tactics (get farther away from the enemy) and keep on fighting in a different manner, and live. You can even take a hit and still live (see protection spell, above). 

 

There is absolutely no reason why equipment durability couldn't be handled with as much depth as a character's health. Hitting a wizard in robes, a guard in mail, and a stone golem should all have very different effects on your weapon, and a rapier and a mace should have very different effects on armor.

 

"Holy ****, that greataxe is going to cut right through my shield - better have the rogue take that guy from behind."

 

"Hammering at that guy's armor with my blade is going to dull it in no time - better just stun him with a pommel strike then scoot past him."

 

"Dragonfire? Yeah, goodbye gear - better wear the cheap stuff, or maybe go unarmored and dodge the blasts, he's pretty slow."

 

Sounds like it would add a whole other tactical level to combat, right?

 

Sounds more fun than just dropping by a blacksmith every five fights to pay a few silver, right?

 

Also:

 

But the only ways to mitigate it are to use your equipment less (avoid combat, which also isn't very fun by itself)

 

I hope very much that won't be the case with Project Eternity! One pretty big factor in how much I like an RPG is how interesting the non-combat options are, so if a game is to-fight-or-not-to-fight rather than to-fight-or-sneak-or-charm-or-trade-or-xyz, then it won't be a game for me in the first place.


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#582
Ieo

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* Removing durability as a mechanic on items.

NOOOOOOO!!!

 

Frankly, those peope who perceive maintenance as uninteresting or unenjoyable gameplay are crazy people.  It's another opportunity to make decisions about how to deploy your available resources.  In-character decision-making is basically what roleplaying is.  It's like those people who don't enjoy inventory management.  What is up with those people?

 

I, for one, will absolutely be troubled by an excess of wealth in the late game.

 

I get the feeling that a lot of the people coming on after Josh's update to complain didn't read the thread and the General posts containing arguments against their proposed implementation.

 

In sum:

 

* Tying a required mechanic to crafting (usually an optional side system) is a bad idea.

 

* Durability as primarily a gold dump (besides "making crafting more attractive") is a poor reason when there are any other number of options for economy dumps that can be actual positive content. (I don't mean "positive" as in good, but positive as more than zero-sum.)

 

* Durability makes sense in MMOs and surival-genre games. Is PE aiming to be like that?

 

* The durability mechanic as originally proposed was not intended to be real resource management because items would have "high" durability units, was not tied to the difficulty levels at all or any other nuance of combat (like being crit or relative monster level), and did not apply to unconscious party members/whatever. If durability was really a legitimate resource management tool, it should matter a whole lot more. Like every other battle, with reduced units also reducing performance long before reaching zero.

 

 

I'm definitely not the only one who suggested that if the durability mechanic was separated from the crafting system AND was tied to difficulty levels, that'd be okay. Though I'd personally mod it out ASAP because none of the IE games had that, being different types of games than MMO/survival.


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#583
Adhin

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Yeah RedSocialKnight there can be more interesting ways to handle weapons in relation 'to' durability but, ultimately, its still something you have to go out of your way to fix once it gets crap. Health, Stamina, Spells, general Abilities 'all' fix them selves on rest. I think the way durability tends to work undermines its self just due to how you have to manage it. Bethesda sort of had it right in my opinion as to an issue with durability. Your normal and you constantly working towards being crappier when it comes to durability and, prior to playing Skyrim and actually seeing what they had did I liked what they had proposed.

 

Basically they where saying you sharpen or somehow increase your weapons damage output and made it seem like it would be for a time. It would be like durability but something you physically choose. I kind of like that idea and it fits in with other consumables as a basic system of you find, make, or buy this item that has a single use. It gives a duration based buff or, in this game, number of hits (like durability) except its all in improving your weapon for that time instead of you working towards being ****.

 

Plenty of examples of this exist in RPG's such as fire oils you use on your weapon to add some fire damage for a time. Dark Souls had a lot of magical powder stuff that added fire or lightning, or you could enchant your blade with magic dmg and all that jaz. They could easily add on a sharpening stone for use on bladed weapons that minorly buffs up dmg, say +1 or +2 but also increases your critical hit range (or damage) for a set number of hits, say 20. Not sure what they could do for blunt weapons other then perhaps a lose fitted weight that'll crap out after awhile but can add needed impact to your swings. Again a simple +2 dmg but allow for better armor DR penetration or something.

 

Personally, that's what I think I'd like to see over a durability system. Number of hit based consumables that can be applied to weapons to bolster damage/effects. What I was hoping Skyrim was going to do, sadly they just went with a wildly exploitable permanent dmg upgrade.


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#584
RedSocialKnight

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ultimately, [durability is] still something you have to go out of your way to fix once it gets crap. Health, Stamina, Spells, general Abilities 'all' fix them selves on rest.

 

"Health fixes itself on rest" is maybe the silliest accepted convention of CRPGs. You get hacked within an inch of death by swords, you spend the night in the nearest flea-ridden village inn, and in the morning you're a-ok. It's absurd, but we all accept it without blinking.

 

The classic Infinity engine games that PE is modeled on placed slightly stricter limits on the sleep-your-way-to-surgery mechanic. There were many places you couldn't rest, rest only restored a few hit points per night, and so on. Limitations of that kind are certainly the way to go if you want a tiny bit more realism in your game - whatever "realism" means in the context of swords-n-sorcery.

 

But there's no denying that the usual, streamlined heal-on-rest mechanic makes for a smoother and more stress-free experience of play. So, if you wanted to accept the same model for durability, there's no reason you couldn't have "Equipment fixes itself on rest"

 

Actually, that would makes way more sense than applying the same mechanic to health. It's perfectly reasonable to suppose that an adventurer would patch his armor and sharpens his sword every night before bed - maybe it's a stretch that metal armor could be so easily fixed, but it's still way more reasonable than to suppose he routinely regrows limbs before turning in.

 

There's a continuum here between realism and ease-of-play, and you can choose to place a game anywhere along that line. Choosing the easier path doesn't have to mean you throw out equipment durability as an aspect of combat, any more than streamlining health recovery has to mean your characters don't have HP.

 

Personally, I like "going out of my way" in an RPG. I like the long-range planning of long dungeon trips with limited healing, and I like the nail-biting feeling of "oh crap, I finally killed the dungeon boss, but now here I am six floors underground with no potions, and I'm too beat-up to fight a couple of kobolds if I run into them on the way out." So if I was making the game I would make durability something you'd have to plan for in advance - bring a spare sword for the trip home, save the broken one as scrap for the forge, etc.

 

But durability could still be just as much a robust part of tactical combat if you chose to simply have it reset after every fight.


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#585
Adhin

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I think assuming low hp means hes lost limbs or is spilling blood everywhere and rest magically fixes that is pretty silly, but its the initial part that makes it silly. Yeah resting instantly fixing anything besides basic fatigue overnight is pretty off but your not 'regrowing a limb'. Actually one of the few reasons I like there change to stamina and health as a combo system for determining your state of well being during a fight. And the repair on rest is actually something TrashMan was suggesting earlier which I agree its a nice idea. Though his never healed to full per test and had to hit up a smith for it.

 

The way I see it though, while you can have it fix in full or just mostly on rest to mitigate the irritation of manually fixing it, unlike health its not a required system for combat to actually work. And a basic durability drain that you replenish, via any method, isn't adding to much to it. You'd have to do something more interesting with it then just be secondary HP for your weapons that gets fixed easily to be meaningful.

 

As per the HP/SP system they're using I kinda hope higher difficulties don't allow full HP gain on rest unless your at an INN or someplace more comfortable you can spend a good number of days at. IE games did this to some extent but it was universal for everywhere and you had rest-till-healed (of which it would take into consideration the classes available). Basically if you didn't have someone who could heal, and you rested out in the wild your basically skipping a weeks time to fully heal up, if that. Where as an Inn, going for a nobles suit, could halve the time required due to the luxury involved not making it harder to get proper rest.

 

That said the whole idea behind there HP/SP on a mechanical level is to make it so only are resting 3 to 4 times less often. If in BG2, for instance you had 100 hp, you may have 100sp/hp in game but only a fraction (say 25%) make it to your health bar. Meaning you'll pass out the 1st few times before your health is in actual danger. Also means you can fight 3-4 times as long (not per-battle but from battle to battle) then you would normally. It's in there to not stop rest spamming but to alleviate the 'need' for it. Durability would have to fit into that too or your back to square one on rest spamming. As for ability/spells, as you lvl up they go to per-encounter uses instead of per-rest (though higher end ones still remain per-rest) which allows for extended times between rest as well.



#586
Lephys

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2 things:

1) What if durability only affected, say... critical hits, with weapons? And with armor, what if it just shrank the graze range? I mean, still improve other things about durability, but, all that aside, it was just a little thought I had. Instead of degraded equipment just reducing its overall numbers, what if it only applied to certain things?

2) ... Dangit! I forgot #2! >_< Oh! got it! Okay, what if the material your equipment was made from didn't actually make it any BETTER (i.e. steel sword isn't somehow any sharper and more damaging than an iron sword), but it simply affected the durability? So, if you don't want to mess with durability, you buy mithril, for example, chain mail, to get that awesomely-designed 10-armor chainmail. OR, for a lesser price, you can get iron chainmail, which gives you 10 armor, but you've got to maintain it much more often?

These are standalone thoughts, meaning, I'm not suggesting them in lieu of anything else we've discussed so far. Anything else in combination with them is fair game.

They are just silly little thoughts I had.

#587
Adhin

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I'm generally a fan of base material not effecting damage as that has little bearings on it in the realsies. Its more of a reliability thing then anything else which makes sense with what you mentioned. Least with weapons, anyway. With armor its 'reliability' literally translated entirely to its ability to not make you dead. It's like ducted tape, its an amazing material that can work 'as good' as a vast away of other methods to hold something together... at least for the first shot then it just kinda quickly goes to crap.

 

Actually an issue I have with Skyrim setup. But then its also extremely odd that the design of a weapon in that game directly linked to its material....TES is just kinda weird like that.



#588
TrashMan

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Yeah RedSocialKnight there can be more interesting ways to handle weapons in relation 'to' durability but, ultimately, its still something you have to go out of your way to fix once it gets crap. Health, Stamina, Spells, general Abilities 'all' fix them selves on rest.

 

Meh.

Click bottun to rest or click bottun to repair.

What's the difference?

You still click a bottun...and you'll probably have to rest more often in comparison.

 

People are fine with so many thing that can easily be labeled as repatitive, boring or tedious - like inventory tetris. But suddenly, durabiltiy is bad. I don't get this.


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#589
TrashMan

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Realize I'm rambling again but 1 more off point as to why I've brought this up. In system where you have durability and 0 means its broke and you have to toss it? Only smiths can fix it for some reason but they can't fix it once its broke. It can be chipped, cracked, bent (minor bends can be fixed, just wont be as good as it was before durability wise) but once its 'broke' its screwed entirely. I just find it kinda silly, cause the only things you'd 'actually' have to take to a smith to fix usually involve it being recycled and if its broke... yeah.

 

I don't recall anyone suggesting that system.

Durabiltiy 0 means the sword broke, but a smith can still repair (re-forge) it.
 



#590
Adhin

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I know no one mentioned it TrashMan, it wasn't directed at anyone I just felt like mentioning it as it's still part of past games that have done it this kinda thing. And resting is usually a single key press, repairing is going back to town, talking to a guy, going into his services (hopefully not paging over) then hitting the repair button, then saying yes, please repair. Granted that's still not a big issue but its enough stuff extra steps and something a lot of folks forget... people rarely forget to rest, and if they do the next combat encounter they barely scrape by on or fail at and reload fixes that laps in memory.

 

Now, if you forget to repair and it shows up mid dungeon 'thats' a hassle you can't fix as easily as resting. Well, unless resting are in very specific, far drawn out areas making resting just as much of a pain. Or that idea you had with repair on rest which I think is a good way to minimize the irritation of it but I also think it's all a tad trivial to have durability in all together. It's management more then often just comes down to someones memory, nothing related to actual gameplay.

 

And for sure we'll be resting far more often then we would of had to of repaired.



#591
TrashMan

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Well, you're gonna be visiting towns anyway frequently enough, so I don't see any "tedious extra step here".

People forget to repair? Their fault.

It's no different than forgetting to rest - actually it's LESS punishing. Use your backup. Scavange from the enemy. Push on or go back.

 

The idea that everything should be "fixed easily" is one I'm 100% against. What's the point of penalties and deterrenats if they are easily fixed or ignored?

 

Some people seem to think every mechanic that isn't instant-gratification is a pain or PUNISHMENT.

Pussies. Whimps.



#592
jethro

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"Endgame" Wealth:  Personally I do not believe wealth is a large problem.  In fact, I consider it 'normal' and 'expected', that it will grow over time, so attempting to artificially limit wealth would not be appreciated by me.  Can you imagine this occuring in the "real' world?  Hey! You just reached 80 so now you must liquidate your assets, pay higher taxes and live in a grass hut! Ugh!  ("Endgame" being the "real" world equivalent of "old age")  You should be wealthy in "old age" ("endgame") after a lifetime ("real" or "virtual") of hard work and saving.

 

 

Engame is not the real world equivalent of old age. You play a specific story that might have a duration from days to years to centuries (if you are immortal). Most RPGs I played would span less than a year.

 

It is not unreasonable to assume that in some of these stories the PC has a chance to accumulate wealth while adventuring and especially after defeating the main antagonist in the end who might have amassed some wealth (but that is game end, not end game). But equally likely is that his main motivation is something else (preventing worlds end, revenge, freeing a loved one, i.e. the main quest) and all his "earnings" are invested into this goal.

 

If you really want to compare it to the real world, in the real world there is always something to buy with your wealth, there is never the situation: "Ok, I have the money, but all I can do with it is swim in it" (the famous Dagobert Duck conundrum ;-)



#593
mstark

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The way I interpreted durability, as described in the original post, there were two options possible:

 

First option: Durability exists only as a money sink, as long as you remember to repair weapons every few town visits it won't have any effect on game play in any significant way. It'd help to understand how dumb such an option is if you've played Diablo 2, where repairing was literally only an extra click every so often. It wasn't tedious as it became reflexive after a while, but I ask myself, does such a mechanic really belong in a single player tactical, story driven, party-based, role playing game, where the possibilities for balancing/controlling income/outgoings are virtually endless?

 

Second option: Durability exists as a money sink, but it also has an impact on gameplay because weapons would tend to break before before going back to town, on average. This would have the effect of either a) carrying repair kits around, b) carry multiple weapons of the same type, or c) investing in the crafting skill, which would turn durability back into option #1.

 

Unless I interpreted the original post entirely wrong, other than arguing it adds abstract realism, is there any reason for such a mechanic? I strongly believe the developers made the right choice in the end. Based on the information given.


Edited by mstark, 11 July 2013 - 04:31 AM.

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#594
Sylvius the Mad

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In sum:
 
* Tying a required mechanic to crafting (usually an optional side system) is a bad idea.

How is that a bad idea? It makes perfect sense, within the world, for those skills to be related. Being good at making something helps you be good at fixing something.

Would having two separate skills with synergies be better? Maybe. But not having that shouldn't be grounds to discard the repair mechanic entirely.

* Durability as primarily a gold dump (besides "making crafting more attractive") is a poor reason when there are any other number of options for economy dumps that can be actual positive content. (I don't mean "positive" as in good, but positive as more than zero-sum.)

While I like the gold-dump aspect of item durability, the primary benefits are, I think, roleplaying based. Item degredation improves the overall credibility of the setting, and how the character deals with item degredation is a roleplaying opportunity.

* Durability makes sense in MMOs and surival-genre games. Is PE aiming to be like that?

Durability always makes sense. Stuff wears out.

* The durability mechanic as originally proposed was not intended to be real resource management because items would have "high" durability units, was not tied to the difficulty levels at all or any other nuance of combat (like being crit or relative monster level), and did not apply to unconscious party members/whatever. If durability was really a legitimate resource management tool, it should matter a whole lot more. Like every other battle, with reduced units also reducing performance long before reaching zero.

Again, I'm not claiming the durability system couldn't be better. I'm claiming that having the proposed durability system is better than having no durability system.

I'm definitely not the only one who suggested that if the durability mechanic was separated from the crafting system AND was tied to difficulty levels, that'd be okay.

I wouldn't like that at all. Having a completely stand-alone system would be too video-gamey, and would make less sense in the world.

I don't want to have to worry about item durability all of the time, but I also don't want to be able to completely ignore item durability. Again, it's just like inventory management; I don't want to do it all the time, but I do want it to be necessary on occasion.
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#595
Sylvius the Mad

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Unless I interpreted the original post entirely wrong, other than arguing it adds abstract realism, is there any reason for such a mechanic?

Abstract realism is tremendously valuable. That alone, I think, is sufficient reason to keep item durability.
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#596
Hassat Hunter

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it doesn't lead to interesting tactical or strategic decisions

This is a more reasonable objection than many I've read. Thank you.

The funny thing being here it's pretty much said by *everyone* but always countered with "You're just narrow-minded."

[post (use the dialogue icon)]

Oh I totally agree here, it was something I wanted to implent in my own mods/games too. A weapon that can grow with you, you can upgrade with you. I definitely agree it's something that would be awesome, and would very well fit a magic weapon in PE you get nearing the end. 

If they'd said 'shiny or dirty weapons and armor can give you reaction bonuses or penalties in counters, and polishing and sharpening your weapons before a fight can bring out an extra bit of bite, and the environment (swamp, arid, etc.) and really powerful creatures can effect their condition change, and going too long without the regular bonus-giving maintenance can give you a bit of a penalty until you see smith' I think people would have reacted more positively.

The downside of it of course being, if they advertise it as such, they have to ACTUALLY IMPLENT IT. Which can be a hard task.
Or they just pull a Peter Molyneux ("Sure, I promised it, but it's the old MMORPG system you all despise. Live with it, and buy my next game!"), but I doubt that would make anyone any happier.

[Post (again, use the dialogue button)]

I agree with Lephys on item degredation? Very strongly even. What happened? Because in the other thread, it seemed more that we couldn't see eye-to-eye on anything...

#597
Adhin

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@TrashMan: LOL I mostly agree with ya I was just trying to point out why since you have a tendency to dismiss somethings existence so immensely when its not 'really the same thing'. I mean it takes more steps and you do it less often which leads folks to forget unlike resting which is a central part of combat. Durability would also be 'central' but its background instead of foreground.

 

Most people I know that forget though do tend to start remembering once its bit them in the ass once or twice. And seriously if someones forgetting 'all' the time they need to do some memory exercises, aint 'that' hard to remember. But again unlike health it's less often and not as important to combat. Not saying it shouldn't be in, Sylvius made a good point about abstract realism (lols) add to the feel of the world, and I agree with it. Just its a lesser concern overall and on a gameplay front doesn't add anything.

 

I kinda hope they come up with something else to do in the future in relation to all this instead of just letting it all go, though basic durability I don't care if it exists or not.


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#598
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it doesn't lead to interesting tactical or strategic decisions

This is a more reasonable objection than many I've read. Thank you.
The funny thing being here it's pretty much said by *everyone* but always countered with "You're just narrow-minded."

 

Well that wasn't how I interpreted the earlier arguments. But perhaps Jethro just communicated the key point clearly? Anyway, you're not really contributing anything constructive with this statement.



#599
rjshae

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Unless I interpreted the original post entirely wrong, other than arguing it adds abstract realism, is there any reason for such a mechanic?

Abstract realism is tremendously valuable. That alone, I think, is sufficient reason to keep item durability.

 

Verisimilitude is a nice aspect to have in a CRPG. But since the decision has been officially announced, I very much doubt they will add durability back in without a stronger counter-argument.



#600
Lephys

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I'm generally a fan of base material not effecting damage as that has little bearings on it in the realsies. Its more of a reliability thing then anything else which makes sense with what you mentioned. Least with weapons, anyway. With armor its 'reliability' literally translated entirely to its ability to not make you dead. It's like ducted tape, its an amazing material that can work 'as good' as a vast away of other methods to hold something together... at least for the first shot then it just kinda quickly goes to crap.
 
Actually an issue I have with Skyrim setup. But then its also extremely odd that the design of a weapon in that game directly linked to its material....TES is just kinda weird like that.


I'm now actually curious as to how functional a 1"-thick duct-tape suit of armor (just solid duct tape) would be, haha.

Also, TES crafting is quite strange. "Dude, I melted THIS metal down, and it instantly formed into the shape of a shortsword! I tried hammering it into a cutlass, but it JUST WOULDN'T RESHAPE! Even the hilt shaped itself! But then, THIS metal over HERE, it formed into a chakram, and nothing else! This is soooo weird..." :)

And, for what it's worth (no longer direct response to Adhin), I don't think the value of discussing the potential of durability implementations is solely dependent upon the odds of Obsidian putting it back into the game. If they had never even mentioned the possibility of durability being in the game, it would still be prudent to discuss potential positives and pitfalls of durability mechanic implementations, and how to improve on what's already been done.

If we can't come up with anything useful, then great. No one got hurt. We enjoyed discussing it anyway. If we can, and they don't put it in the game still, then great. If we can and they DO put it in the game... well, they're only going to do that if it's just stupendous, so you still have no worries.

I'm not seeing any negative consequences here from discussing something, just because it may or may not ever make it into the game. The only negative consequences I see come from arbitrarily avoiding discussion of it.
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