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RPG Codex Josh Sawyer Q&A


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@Valorian  sorry but feel free to reread the kickstarter terms.  NEVER once did it say that because you donated money then Obsidian is REQUIRED to only follow your vision.  We all gve them money to develop a game based upon the information they provided knowing full well that it would follow their vision...which they are.  To sit here and say that this game will now suck because they are not developing a game that meets your list of requirements is kinda full of it don't you think?

 

I'm at a loss why people are upset...mainly because WE DO NOT KNOW HOW EVERYTHING WORKS.  You get a tiny piece of information, not even enough to know half of how things work, and we decide to get pissed because we THINK it will not work how we WANT it to work.

 

4 pages of people bit@hing about how the system, which none of us know how it fully works, isn't the one we wanted...which by we I mean a few of you.

 

How about we all wait until we are giving the full picture before we fill in the blanks with our own unfounded opinions.

Edited by terryrayc
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@Valorian  sorry but feel free to reread the kickstarter terms.  NEVER once did it say that because you donated money then Obsidian is REQUIRED to only follow your vision.  We all gve them money to develop a game based upon the information they provided knowing full well that it would follow their vision...which they are.  To sit here and say that this game will now suck because they are not developing a game that meets your list of requirements is kinda full of it don't you think?

 

I'm at a loss why people are upset...mainly because WE DO NOT KNOW HOW EVERYTHING WORKS.  You get a tiny piece of information, not even enough to know half of how things work, and we decide to get pissed because we THINK it will not work how we WANT it to work.

 

4 pages of people bit@hing about how the system, which none of us know how it fully works, isn't the one we wanted...which by we I mean a few of you.

 

How about we all wait until we are giving the full picture before we fill in the blanks with our own unfounded opinions.

 

NO! I want my pacifier now!

 

When's nap-nap btw?

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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No, if you pump all in one stat you will loose other stats for example: If you max your strength stat and min your accuracy stat you will miss very often. If you make one stat for magical and one for physical attacks, you will have one dump stat for a mage and one for the fighter.

I could be wrong but that's not how I understand the post by Sawyer. I read that as there will be one stat, lets call it "Damage", that will influence all damage output whether it be physical or magical. I don't know about you but that's one stat Im going to be pouring points into as it influences a gigantic portion of the entire game.

 

 

I'm probably wrong, but what I thought he was talking about was something like:

 

Intelligence: All Bonus Damage (represents knowing where to strike to be most effective with spell or steel) and all bonus healing (knows the best ways to fix what ails you)

Perception: All Accuracy Bonuses (high perception allows you to better make adjustments on the fly, etc...)

Strength: Weapons access

Dexterity: speed of attack

 

So three warriors

 

Warrior 1: Moderate Str,  mod Dexterity, Mod Int and High Per = dual wielding fighter (mod base dam sword and low base dam knife) with a flurry of strikes with sword and dagger

Warrior 2: Low Str, high dex, High Int mod, mod per  =  rapier (low base damage) wielding character hits often with critical strikes

Warrior 3: High Str, mod dex,  low int, mod per = axe (high base damage) wielding warrior with average speed and accuracy but hits indiscriminately.

 

Or something

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I'm probably wrong, but what I thought he was talking about was something like:

 

Intelligence: All Bonus Damage (represents knowing where to strike to be most effective with spell or steel) and all bonus healing (knows the best ways to fix what ails you)

Perception: All Accuracy Bonuses (high perception allows you to better make adjustments on the fly, etc...)

Strength: Weapons access

Dexterity: speed of attack

 

So three warriors

 

Warrior 1: Moderate Str,  mod Dexterity, Mod Int and High Per = dual wielding fighter (mod base dam sword and low base dam knife) with a flurry of strikes with sword and dagger

Warrior 2: Low Str, high dex, High Int mod, mod per  =  rapier (low base damage) wielding character hits often with critical strikes

Warrior 3: High Str, mod dex,  low int, mod per = axe (high base damage) wielding warrior with average speed and accuracy but hits indiscriminately.

 

Or something

Sounds reasonable to me but I have doubts about the Accuracy thing. Napkin theory crafting; Assuming the vast majority of players will stay on the critical path, that puts the mook levels +/- 1-2 levels of the players party. That lands squarely within the laughable 95% chance to cause damage. With that in mind, you will have to travel well off the critical path to encounter situations where your Accuracy is too far below the mook Defense to penetrate, making Accuracy a moot point. Now they will have to add some modifier into Accuracy to make it worth taking over pure damage output. Maybe.

 

Is that really all we have for abilities? Sad. But FLAVA!

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Sounds reasonable to me but I have doubts about the Accuracy thing. Napkin theory crafting; Assuming the vast majority of players will stay on the critical path, that puts the mook levels +/- 1-2 levels of the players party. That lands squarely within the laughable 95% chance to cause damage. With that in mind, you will have to travel well off the critical path to encounter situations where your Accuracy is too far below the mook Defense to penetrate, making Accuracy a moot point. Now they will have to add some modifier into Accuracy to make it worth taking over pure damage output. Maybe.

 

Is that really all we have for abilities? Sad. But FLAVA!

 

 

I should be clear I made those abilities up on the spot - I have no clue what they're doing with the actual abilities, just that was the kind of thing I thought they were talking about.

 

As far as accuracy, I guess it depends on how they implement it.  I suppose accuracy could be used to overcome DT(? - as a sign of precise hits to the weak areas of the armor) instead of hit/miss (since you reminded me they seem to have a different hit/miss ratio planned).

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there is another thing that they can do that may work with attributes. they can make a set of attributes that affect each class differently but all serve as important aspects of that particular class. For example:

A warrior - master of weapons and melee fighter:
str - ability to use weapons
dex - ability to strike without missing
int - ability to know where to strike opponent. increased critical chance.
soul - ability to work soul-based damage
const - hitpoints and stamina

Monk - master of wounds and melee fighter
str - damage modifier
dex - defense modifier
int - abillity to know where to strike opponent. increased critical chance.
soul - ability to work soul-based damage
const - ability to hold wounds for longer period of time before they are applied as damage

wizard - magic user
str - ability to equip weapons and armor
dex - ability to not lose concentration or not have spell dissapate while casting
int - damage modifier
soul - knowledge of soul-based magic and ability to see enemy's weak spots. increased critical chance.
const - hitpoints and stamina

or something to this effect. the difference with this attribute-system is that it's class specific. you pick your class first and then you adjust your attributes to match what flavor of that particular class you'd like to play.

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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The most obvious being that is removes most planning from chargen, makes it impossible to make/customize a character specialized in specific weapons.

 

I mean why should a character who has say a high Agility score be able to wield a Long Sword or a Spear with equal proficiency.

Since when were spears and long swords treated differently in the IE games? Both were affected by strength in the same manner, it was the proficiencies that really affected their power in the long run, and we already know that PE will have those. 

 

It sounds a bit like Mount and Blade to me. Your ability to fight with axes and spears is not based on two different attributes (strength for axes and agility for spears for example), rather strength determines how hard you hit and agility how fast you strike. Your ability to use the various weapons (technique we could say) is determined by a "weapon proficiency" level. Which makes sense, it's about HOW you use them, not just how strong or agile you are.

Mount & Blade? Hey, try every RPG under the sun, it would be just as accurate! 

 

I don't follow how shifting from weapons specializations to ONE STAT TO RULE THEM ALL in any way reduces dump stats. Wont everyone just pump that stat now?

Not if the other stats provide similarly interesting bonuses, like more health, better accuracy, etc. It feels like this could be balanced in a lot of ways.

 

I could be wrong but that's not how I understand the post by Sawyer. I read that as there will be one stat, lets call it "Damage", that will influence all damage output whether it be physical or magical. I don't know about you but that's one stat Im going to be pouring points into as it influences a gigantic portion of the entire game.

That's assuming that the attributes can be augmented throughout level progression, which we don't know. I'm personnaly guessing that talents and abilities will have the greatest effect on combat effectiveness.

 

wrong example, perhaps a crossbow would be better.  why would more strength increase the damage of a crossbow?  higher dexterity boosts accuracy with weapons, thus increasing the chance to hit (this was even a feat with D&D).  but more damage? that would be strength, unless you have a nonphysical weapon (turn undead) or a weapon that uses mechanical operation for its strength (like a crossbow).

There can be weapons that are not affected by that attribute, exceptions to the rules.
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Hormalakh: The only problem with that is that it might break down for the effects of shared abilities (talents that many classes can pick and use)

 

how so? each attribute is class-specific and play as generalities regardless of talents. the examples i gave were ones i came up with, without much thought. the concept is more important than the specific examples.

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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So,... I guess uniform attribute bonuses was the only thing of any importance in that Q&A?

'Cause I for one am very happy about the details on crafting. Always dreaded self-crafted stuff outshining even ancient artefacts you found much later in the game.

Anyone else feel the same? No?

 

 

Okay.... :(

Edited by Quadrone
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So,... I guess uniform attribute bonuses was the only thing of any importance in that Q&A?

'Cause I for one am very happy about the details on crafting. Always dreaded self-crafted stuff outshining even ancient artefacts you found much later in the game.

Anyone else feel the same? No?

 

 

Okay.... :(

 

Heh, I created the other thread in the Game Mechanics forum so people would discuss that issue there, but it didn't really work.

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For better or for worse,...

Likely the latter. *sigh* What the heck happened to "a modernized version of the old IE games"? :bat:

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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The original quote seems to be a bit of a simplification (and an example at that) of the system by Sawyer himself. I'd wait for a more detailed explanation before talking about how a "general damage stat" is soooo retarded.

 

/just sayan.

 

 

edit: It does seem a bit strange that a single stat would influence damage from both physical attacks AND spells. Then again, how does soul magic work? Maybe you have to be fit to cast super impactful fireballs? ;P

 

How is a "magic stat" usually handled anyway? Wouldn't "pump soul" be the ultimate "typical" approach to making a powerful mage?

Edited by Merlkir

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This attribute thing does sound... odd.

Same attribute actually governs how hard I hit with an axe, how well I heal people and how how effectively I cast magic missiles?

Well, when your "power" stems from your soul, regardless of class, this kind of makes sense. Just sayin'...

 

I mean why should a character who has say a high Agility score be able to wield a Long Sword or a Spear with equal proficiency.

Well, assuming everything else about the character is blank, and the only thing significant about him is high Agility (which may not be the stat we have, but, that's a little beside the point), then I don't see why not. If he has no training with a Sword, and no training with a Spear, why shouldn't his Agility affect his overall ability to wield either weapon to the same extent? How do you quantify the exact degree of effect "Agility" (already abstracted) has on one's fighting capabilities with two different weapons? And, at what point does that nitpickiness make the abstraction of the system self-defeating?

 

We'll still have Talents (feats of old), so I'd assume that the guy with Advanced Spearery (totally a word now) and high Agility would have SIGNIFICANTLY greater skill with a spear than with a Sword (since his Swordery would be super low).

 

In other words, nobody said "Stats will totally be the main deciding factor for all your character's values in the game," so why is everyone freaking out about this? I love how Josh Sawyer answers a specific question about a single aspect of a system we don't even know the half of yet, and everyone's like "Oh crap, this whole system sounds MAJORLY flawed!!!"

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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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I love how Josh Sawyer answers a specific question about a single aspect of a system we don't even know the half of yet, and everyone's like "Oh crap, this whole system sounds MAJORLY flawed!!!"

This is the Internet. It's what we do here*. ;)

 

*particularly because our hopes for this game are so high.

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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Loved everything except the part about PE being conservative as far as new IPs go. Why??????????

 

I'd guess they'd like to avoid pulling a Torment.

A game getting great reviews and a cult following within 10 years,

but is too alien for most players and a total flop as far as sales go.

 

Most players includes me, I liked torment, but I liked BG and IWD setting more.

Familiar/boring/whatever. Hey, I'd like a real historic setting even better...

 

Well, Morrowind did it quite similiar (not at the same extent, but it was pretty alien for an classical RPG) and we all know how that ended.

I´am a little bit disappointed, that they don´t want to risk too much with the locations, but if they put a couple of places in the game, which are really unordinary and feel completly different like  the rest of the world I´am fine with that.

 

BTW, do we already know what kind of role our character will play in the world of Eternity? It would be refreshing not to be the chosen one nr. 1235 who goes out to save the whole world. A more personal story around our character, who starts to get involved into major events which are bigger them him/her while they game progress would be more to my liking, especially considering that Obsidian plans to make addons and sequels, so we have something like a continuing story over  a couple of installments.

But since Obsidian also needs to sell some copies of the game, they need to catch the attention of the players, so I guess we´ll have to stick with the typical hero story.

 

I hold my judgment on the new stats system until we get more infos on it. They are trying to create their own IP, so it was obvious that the dont just copy the old IE system. From what I have read the new system can have some great potential and I´am very confident that Obsidian don´t plan on dumbing down the game. RPGs for the "not so gifted masses" from BioWare and Bethesda are the reasons why we have this renaissance of the classical concept of RPGs. Atleast thats why I backed the Unity Engine Games.

 

Anyway, thanks for the link OP. I hope Wasteland 2 will shorten the waiting time for Project Eternity.

Edited by TXTwilight
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In other words, nobody said "Stats will totally be the main deciding factor for all your character's values in the game," so why is everyone freaking out about this? I love how Josh Sawyer answers a specific question about a single aspect of a system we don't even know the half of yet, and everyone's like "Oh crap, this whole system sounds MAJORLY flawed!!!"

Because (again):

We would like your character concepts to be viable regardless of how you distribute your Attributes.

So if I want a tank my attributes won't matter at all. This means either:

 

- some classes are naturally great tanks while others naturally suck

 

or

 

- all classes are equally good natural tanks

 

both of which don't offer the flexibility in character building that I hoped for. Yes there are talents, and it is possible that there will be talents à la "Advanced Tankery! This tanky ability makes you a tank" and it's just herp derp and failproof and needs to die in a fire.

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My biggest worry from this is the following:

 


is the game balanced to be played without reloading (aside from play stoppages) on the first game if the player wishes?
 
A lot of that depends on the difficulty setting and the player's skill, but we aren't designing encounters to require prescience. We're trying to avoid sucker punches in fights, enemy tactics that demand a very specific combination of items, classes, spells, or abilities to overcome. While there will certainly be strategic and tactical choices that will work very poorly in certain fights, we'd rather give the player a number of ways to win a battle. If we wind up creating specific formulae or one valid strategy to win a fight, I think that takes a lot away from the player's potential enjoyment.

 

 

While the principle sounds great, I'm slightly worried that this will lead to fights being too similar. If every fight can be beaten using the same tactics then I'm not compelled to change my tactics for each encounter. This means fights can get repetitive and dull. I personally have no problem with reloading, at least it means I have to regularly rethink my tactics. 

 

I'm sure it could be done well so that this isn't a problem, but I'm still worried by it. 

Edited by Kore
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For better or for worse,...

Likely the latter. *sigh* What the heck happened to "a modernized version of the old IE games"? :bat:

 

 

Define "modernized". ;)

 

Josh Sawyer on D&D: http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3506352&userid=0&perpage=40&pagenumber=453#post417623878

 

Combat-heavy class-based systems that attempt to achieve class balance are almost universally very far away from being simulationist. I don't think there's any point in trying to squeeze simulation into a genre of systems that are so fundamentally *~ gamist ~* in their mechanics. I think some of the persistent failings of A/D&D come from an insistence on trying to do just that.
Edited by Infinitron
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Sounds reasonable to me but I have doubts about the Accuracy thing. Napkin theory crafting; Assuming the vast majority of players will stay on the critical path, that puts the mook levels +/- 1-2 levels of the players party. That lands squarely within the laughable 95% chance to cause damage. With that in mind, you will have to travel well off the critical path to encounter situations where your Accuracy is too far below the mook Defense to penetrate, making Accuracy a moot point. Now they will have to add some modifier into Accuracy to make it worth taking over pure damage output. Maybe.

 

Is that really all we have for abilities? Sad. But FLAVA!

Umm... Last time I checked causing half-damage roughly 50% of the time coupled with an extremely tiny chance to crit versus causing half-damage, say... 20% of the time and having a 15-20% chance to crit (and no chance to miss anymore) is a pretty significant difference.

 

Not to mention that all enemies won't have the same defense ratings, just because they're near your level. If a Squibling has 50% more deflection than other level X enemies, then you're going to wind up with a laughable 30% chance to miss, 50% chance to graze, and 20% chance to hit normally, and NO chance to crit.

 

I'm not seeing how being commonly able to deal some amount of damage (above 0) automatically means that the amount of damage we're actually dealing is moot, somehow rendering Accuracy just as moot. *blink blink...* o_o

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 (again):

We would like your character concepts to be viable regardless of how you distribute your Attributes.

So if I want a tank my attributes won't matter at all. This means either:

 

- some classes are naturally great tanks while others naturally suck

 

or

 

- all classes are equally good natural tanks

 

both of which don't offer the flexibility in character building that I hoped for. Yes there are talents, and it is possible that there will be talents à la "Advanced Tankery! This tanky ability makes you a tank" and it's just herp derp and failproof and needs to die in a fire.

 

- "Viable" does not equal "same." So I'm not seeing the problem.

 

- Your attributes WILL still matter. You still have various aspects to choose between to make your "tank": Do you sacrifice all his power and accuracy for hitpoints, or do you make sure he keeps some power and accuracy to reduce the amount of time he needs to stand there absorbing damage because he can not only draw targets to him/engage them but also take them down faster in direct melee combat? Do you just get him all the prereq's for the best armor? Do you make him super Agile to dodge AOE attacks, or is he just going to get annihilated by those while being able to go toe-to-toe with individual opponents?

 

- The class is still going to matter. If you make a Wizard tank, how much effectiveness are you sacrificing from the Wizard-specific abilities and specialties not supporting melee tanking as well as a Fighter? A Wizard doesn't get Defender mode, so the Fighter's always going to be able to engage more enemies than the Wizard can. That's just one ability, and it makes a drastic difference.

 

Just because there will be differences, though, doesn't mean that making a Wizard tank isn't viable. You'd probably have to go about it differently, though. Beef up all his shield/defense-based spells, or "crowd-control" stuff. Or, maybe go with Illusion-type stuff and "absorb" lots of damage and draw lots of attention with misdirection and fake opponents.

 

If you just try to build a Wizard who's as good as a Fighter at utilizing high armor and a shield at tanking, you're probably going.

 

Again, you people seem to be confusing the meaning of the term "viable."

 

Haha, "it's possible there will be an Advanced Tankery talent"? Wow. Please allow me to get you a Jump To Conclusions mat, from the film Office Space.

 

I didn't realize we were playing the wild speculation game. Can I join in?

 

"Hey guys! There might be a talent called 'Omnipotent' that raises all your character's progressable factor values to infinity! Then the whole system would be moot! Also, the dialogue system might just ask us 'Do you want this person to die?', and then magically kill them when we click 'Yes,' instead of having us actually figure out how to cause their death, via combat or other means!"

 

How'm I doin'?

 

I mean, obviously what's possible and what's not possible isn't up to Obsidian's coherent thinking and design. So, CLEARLY, if they've announced something that COULD be potentially utterly ridiculous when coupled with outlandish other design decisions, they might just randomly draw those out of a hat and we'd all be screwed. It's not like they're designing these things with the entire, overall system in mind. They just wanted uniform stat effects, so they put that in. Tomorrow, they might just remove weapons from the game.

Edited by Lephys
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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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- some classes are naturally great tanks while others naturally suck

 

both of which don't offer the flexibility in character building that I hoped for. Yes there are talents, and it is possible that there will be talents à la "Advanced Tankery! This tanky ability makes you a tank" and it's just herp derp and failproof and needs to die in a fire.

 

How is it diferent than any IE game you can name?

 

Class>stats.  A STR10/DEX10?CON10 is still a better fighter and tank that a STR20/DEX20?CON20 wizard

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While the principle sounds great, I'm slightly worried that this will lead to fights being too similar. If every fight can be beaten using the same tactics then I'm not compelled to change my tactics for each encounter. This means fights can get repetitive and dull. I personally have no problem with reloading, at least it means I have to regularly rethink my tactics.

That's not what the text you quoted said. At all. Obsidian wants to avoid puzzle fights, where there is only one way to beat an encounter, hence the name. They want you to re-think tactics when the one you've been using doesn't work, but ideally there will be a tactic that will work and won't necessitate a complete reworking of the party composition, armament and abilities.
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So if I want a tank my attributes won't matter at all. This means either:

"Tank" may not be what he's referring to by "character concepts." He may be thinking about "intelligent fighter" as a character concept. Then you get to distribute your stats, while still making the character feel like he's smart.

 

Though we still have much to learn.

"Show me a man who "plays fair" and I'll show you a very talented cheater."
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