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Josh Sawyer reveals some information about Project Eternity's attribute scores

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Not sure what to think of the information just yet. 

 

I keep trying to imagine the system and I just think of RTS games such as Warcraft III.  All of the stats went towards something useful (mana, hp, attack/movement speed, physical damage numbers).  The stats of the hero did not necessarily make or break an engagement.  Instead, the abilities, the choices, and the items are what mattered. 

 

This will sound heretical, but I do not think this is an inherently bad system.  Ideally, it seems to deemphasize stats and place greater emphasis on how one uses abilities or items. 

 

I admit, I have not read every reply, so perhaps someone has a good counter point for why the system is problematic. 

Edited by Nixl
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You'll have bad builds for specific encounters, rather than universally bad builds.

I would be hesitant to say that. I'm sure if I try to optimize for least value, I can make something bad.

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

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You'll have bad builds for specific encounters, rather than universally bad builds.

I would be hesitant to say that. I'm sure if I try to optimize for least value, I can make something bad.

 

 

Yeah, possibly, I guess. If not bad, then at least not very good. Somebody who will have to run back to the rest spots a lot.

Edited by Infinitron

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That would be awesome if there was a build that replenishes Health. We can call it the Napper.


image,Gfted1,black,red.png

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I think PE's system is downright being designed for casual gamers who are amongst those who normally rage-quit D&D computer games and then blame the gameplay system instead of themselves if they make a crappy character (a fighter with low STR, derp) or they don't plan their character at generation.

D&D is filled with beginner's traps: Ways to build a character that look perfectly reasonable but actually aren't.

 

This is a flaw with D&D, not a strength. Unless you're Monte Cook, anyway.

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Monte Cook's outright admitted that he hates beginner's traps and that they put too many of them in 3 and 3.5.

 

I'll restate my refrain: the character creation screen shouldn't be the game's first puzzle.

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I'll restate my refrain: the character creation screen shouldn't be the game's first puzzle.

I'm now envisioning a game where character creation is intentionally designed to be a puzzle. And then the encounters are puzzles where the enemies are 10 levels too high and the only way to beat them is through rules abuse.

 

I'd call it Min-Max Hero.

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

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Read the manual, no puzzle in character creation then.


Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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Spoilsport. It was fun watching them pretend you could only learn the game by playing it. :lol:


image,Gfted1,black,red.png

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It sounds more like "player skill trumps character skill" to me, ie the antithesis of a cRPG.

 

 

 

 

Bull****.The player is the one playing the game and player's skill always matters. The very character creation you love so much requires player's skill and knowlege.

Not to mention tactical combat that by definition requires player's tactical input.

"player skill trumps character skill" refers to players reflexes playing a role, twitchy action combat.

There is no problem as long the player's mental skills AKA strategy and tactics are the ones tested. Else there is no point playing the game. After player creation press Start Game and watch a movie of the game playing itself. make another character and repeat. No player input required. But PE won't be that game.

Edited by Malekith
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I'm now envisioning a game where character creation is intentionally designed to be a puzzle. And then the encounters are puzzles where the enemies are 10 levels too high and the only way to beat them is through rules abuse.

 

 

 

 

Not sure if that's what Winter Voices developers were going for but...

 

"Winter Voices uses stats like willpower, perspicacity, charisma, humor, and memory.  That’s because you’re not fighting bad guys–the enemies engaged in the turn-based combat are feelings, memories and visions who drain your energy with offenses like “brood,” “cry,” and “resentment.” And there’s no way to strike back at them; with only defensive moves in your skillset, players have to evade enemies, survive for given lengths of time, and manipulate surroundings to achieve their goals. Sometimes, the only available option is to lose."

 

Started it, didn't finish. Not because of the game but because of that's what I do.

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Has Obsidian stated this somewhere? I don't think just because there supposedly are no dump-stats, you can derive that it's impossible to make very bad builds in P:E.

I think the Forumspring post by Sawyer goes towards that way.

titq.jpg

Previously posted by Infinitron.

 

Now, it may still be possible to make very bad builds. But the intent seems to be for those being the exception. With valid concepts that are typically crappy characters, such as the intelligent weak fighter being viable.

 

I guess it depends how you look at it. Very bad possibly not, but I'm satisfied if there is enough potential to make average and rather powerful builds. With the former, you could get problems on higher difficulty and small groups.

Even if you can't make a weak because intelligent and charismatic fighter anymore, there will still be stat distributions that are weaker than others, and you might make bad choices with your skills and feats, by combining them bad, or choosing feats/skills that don't fit your stats or your overall build concept well. 

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I guess it depends how you look at it. Very bad possibly not, but I'm satisfied if there is enough potential to make average and rather powerful builds. With the former, you could get problems on higher difficulty and small groups.

Even if you can't make a weak because intelligent and charismatic fighter anymore, there will still be stat distributions that are weaker than others, and you might make bad choices with your skills and feats, by combining them bad, or choosing feats/skills that don't fit your stats or your overall build concept well.

I think the intent is to make it without traps, not make it foolproof. So there may indeed be corner cases such that you build a character with stats that completely contradict equipment, or you maximize penalties that the game explicitly warns you not to do.

 

Like a fighter that equips the mage tome and robes, then stocks up on heavy armor mobility feats or something.

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

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All this means is that Intelligence and Strength won't fill the same main role for two different classes, respectively, while filling the exact same secondary (in this case, roleplaying) role for both classes.

 

This relates to other arguments people have with the typical stat system. "If my Warrior can break down this door with his high Strength, why can't my Wizard break down the door with his magical potency? Surely if he can make a fireball, he can break a door, regardless of his physical Strength." So, in some games, you DO get to do such things. But then, the only difference is that the Wizard has to be highly intelligent to be powerful, and the Warrior has to be quite strong to be powerful (and effective with his melee weapon). That, and you're making 2 different skill checks, depending on class, instead of one.

 

So, what's so different about having "Potency" be a stat? The stat's abstracted anyway. A monk can have the same amount of "strength" (think broad meaning) as a burly Warrior, even if he's super lithe and his strength comes from his inner energy, rather than purely from muscle fibers. This is no different, functionally, from the Wizard and his "mental" power. Although, in a way, it's a bit silly that a Wizard needs to be a genius just to be magical. ESPECIALLY in lore like P:E's, where the manifestation of your powers comes from your soul, rather than from some minimum amount of extreme study and intention.

 

Besides, if Intelligence is linked to magic potency/capability, then are there no unintelligent Wizards in the world? Or no super-intelligent people who can't perform magic, even if they try? There are weak people who can be Warriors. And strong people who can't fight worth a crap.

 

So, yeah. A) We don't know exactly how stats will or will not interact with the non-combat (roleplaying) aspects of people (Strength, Intellect, Charisma, etc.), because we don't even have a list of stats yet, much less details on their workings.

 

And B) Who's to say there isn't a secondary layer to the character creation, like traits, that is much more fleshed out than typical games' systems so that it can cover all the roleplaying aspects of your character? You could have physique traits, intelligence-related traits, etc. Either tethered to detriments for self-balance (like Fallout's system, where you're better in some way, and worse in another, all-at-once), OR you could have a list of both benefits and detriments that you had to balance yourself, much like Shadowrun's PnP system of Edges and Flaws. You're super burly? Maybe you take Bad Eyesight to balance that out. Or maybe you have awesome eyesight, but you're not very potent at affecting people (persuasion, reaction, etc.). Maybe you're quite lithe, granting you bonuses to movement and/or stealth, etc. But, this leaves you frail/small, so you have extra chances of being knocked back/down, or being stunned, if you DO get hit.

 

The possibilities are... well, finite, but REALLY, REALLY numerous.

 

Let's think outside the box that may or may not even exist.


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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It should absolutely be possible to build a character who is bad at his class.

 

As for beginner traps, I would argue that later editions (3+) did that more often than the earlier editions did, as the earlier editions offered dual-classing as a get-out-of-jail-free card. Plus, dual-classing allowed you to mix-and-match abilities in non-stanard ways without disadvantaging your character.

 

Do you want your Necromancer to dual-wield rapiers? You can do that in 3E by taking some Fighter or Rogue levels, but that reduces your effectiveness as a Necromancer relative to your encounter level. But in 2nd edition, you could simply dual-class from Thief or Ranger and then your Necromancer ultimately pays no penalty.

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God used to be my co-pilot, but then we crashed in the Andes and I had to eat him.

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Not sure what direction this thread is taking, as I've only read the first page, but I like a few others am a bit hesitant in regard to this kind of system.

This is just as clear a case of "simulationist" vs. "gamist" as you'll find, but I'd prefer a system that tried to model physical and mental attributes in some sort of meaningfully realistic over this kind of gamist-based system. Still, the resulting lack of dump stats does sound nice, but I'm not convinced that there aren't other ways to prevent them that doesn't detract from how descriptive attributes are (when all you have is "power", "precision", "defense", etc., I'd contend that you lose a fair bit of characterization).

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Read the manual, no puzzle in character creation then.

Not true. The manual tells you what a skill is supposed to do, not how it actually shakes out in gameplay. Look at Fallout. If you've never played it, and therefore have no idea what's already in the game, Outdoorsman might sound like the perfect thing to put a bunch of points into. Then you play the game, and it barely affects anything, and you've sunk precious points into an essentially useless ability. To someone who's never played Fallout before, Outdoorsman has just as much of a chance of being useful as Guns and Energy Weapons.

 

Yes, you could ask someone who knows what the viable builds are, but that's no fun, and it limits what character concepts you can actually play without worrying about going back to the beginning.

 

And yes, starting over until you figure out which classes are viable by arsing around with numbers is bull****, and I don't care what anyone says. If you like starting over as different builds before you find the one you like, more power to you, but it should be a literal choice between which build you like playing the most, not a question of which will be the key that opens the game's lock. You should be thinking, "Hmm, well, I really like being able to dodge stuff and pick locks, so I might take the Rogue. On the other hand, I'm controlling a party, so the Paladin's group inspiration mechanics might offer a nice buff to total party effectiveness, even if I'm not too keen on roleplaying a Paladin." Et cetera. Isn't "What will I like the most?" a better question to be asking than "What will I hate the least?"

 

If trying every key on a keyring until you find one that fits sounds like a good time to you, well, bully for you, but I don't think games - casual or hardcore (which is a false if occasionally useful distinction anyway) - should be made to cater to the five people who think that not being able to get into their house is an enjoyable pastime. The rest of us would like to enter our houses and get on with our days, thanks.

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I'll just add (instead of waiting like I meant to) that while I enjoy making builds in D&D games as much as any other OCD player,

and while I dislike what I imagine is going to be the PE stat system, it's still no big deal.

 

I'm mostly in it for the story after all, companion interaction the second, stuff like that.

Stat system is pretty far far down the list of stuff that can make or break the game, skills (talents and what not) for example are way more important.

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I haven't been involved with this conversation, but I'd like to chime in.

 

It should absolutely be possible to build a character who is bad at his class.

 

I agree with this, and I feel as if it's a crucial point of contention between 'traditionalist' who want more of the 2.5e ability system and those that don't. One of the things that made IE games 'IE' games was, yes, the 2.5e ruleset, but wrapped into that was the possibility to make a ****ty character.

 

Think of rolling up a character as combat (a contest of intellect with the rule system, lets say): do you think failure should be an option? If we're talking literally about combat, I would say yes. If we're talking figuratively about character builds, I would also say yes (but I realize others wouldn't).

 

Why would I say yes? Why should failure (aka a **** char build) be an option? For the same reason it is in combat: to facilitate a rewarding experience. Without the possibility of failure, how can we feel successful? I think there is a satisfaction in the optimization problem that is presented in the 2.5e ability scores system. Understanding the threshold values between bonus/malus/neutral, what to nudge above the threshold and reap the benefit of higher bonuses, and what to leave in neutral +0 (or even negative mods) bonuses. Without decisions that matter, which implies we can make both good and bad decisions regarding character builds, an attribute system falls far short of the IE experience.

 

To me, core to the IE experience was solving the optimization problem that was the 2.5e ability system. I don't expect PE to have the same system, but I did pledge with the expectation that I could fail at character creation, just as I could fail at combat. Or, to look at it the other way, that I could succeed spectacularly at creating a character. That feeling, of 'succeeding spectacularly', would not exist if I could not fail at the task as well. Sure, if all builds are viable, then I succeeded (by default) at making my character, but just like combat in which you can't lose, I'm not as satisfied by it.

 

My post is riddled with personal preference, but I tried to articulate what is lost by moving to an 'everyone wins' character attribute system. I'm sure within it's design there are gradations of how well you built a character, but without the possibility to totally screw up, making a great character build just isn't as satisfying. It takes a certain mindset to appreciate the optimization problem presented by the old 2.5e attribute system, but it's a mindset that I took as part and parcel of the IE experience that Obsidian wanted to capture with PE.

 

 

DISCLAIMER: I know we don't know specifics about this system, but I think it's important to discuss it. We seem to have a division amongst the fans: those who want the possibility to fail at building a character, and those that don't. For those of us who want failure as a possibility, I think that's because we appreciate the challenge in 'solving' a complicated problem, of working out an optimized result from a complex system of interdependent rules, and recognize that without failure as an option, success doesn't mean much.

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It should absolutely be possible to build a character who is bad at his class.

I'll say that it should be possible not as a design goal. It should be possible more because there's diminishing returns after a certain point in making sure he's not.

 

The ideal is that a player can make a character with honest effort without screwing it up. "Honest effort" being kind of weasley, I'll admit. Basically, so long as they read the descriptions and the descriptions aren't long winded, then they can make good choices. But I don't think people should have to read the manual, study it for a while, and plan several levels ahead. And they definitely shouldn't be required to be pre-cognizant about the late game enemies or availability of equipment. Jump in feet first.


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

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Tale,

 

Do you think that approach to character building was appropriate to IWD or BG1?

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*Meanwhile, Oner just waits for the damn game to come out so he can have fun with it.*


"Bones heal, chicks dig scars, pain is temporary, glory is forever."

What is glass but tortured sand?
Never forget! '12.01.13.

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it's still a shame we need to get our dev interaction via a different forum.

I know it's not something we're entitled to, but it was something I greatly enjoyed.

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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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it's still a shame we need to get our dev interaction via a different forum.

I know it's not something we're entitled to, but it was something I greatly enjoyed.

 

He's said before at some point that he can't post from his forum account from home.  So Formspring is the alternative.

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D&D is a pen and paper game and I've played it now for years. It is in my opinion not ideal for computer games, simply because some stats become so unimportant. I can't ever remember anyone in my pen & paper games playing a 3 intelligence, 3 charisma fighter, because the DM would punish them. Icewind dale 1 & 2 certainly don't punish such a build in any significant way. For all the criticism of DIablo and Torchlight, they have stat systems built for a CRPG and don't include stats the game does not include in a significant way.

Learning a game's character creation system is part of the fun, and creating characters based on it is part of the fun/puzzle solving experience. I think part of the reason people are pining for the old Dungeons and Dragon stats, is because its familiar, and they don't have to worry about learning something new. I have no problem with a new stats system, provided that the system has some logic to it. Just as a side note, I think something like "Charisma"  or "Beauty" would be better represented as a character trait (or feat chosen at lvl 1) than as an ability score.

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