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"Indomitable - Through sheer force of will, the character remains in control on the battlefield, gaining a slight increase to attack and damage while being immune to stun or knock down effects for the duration of this mode."

 

So, through sheer willpower, I make myself immune to knockdowns? Right.

I could've sworn that was "decrease" to attack/damage. I could very well be mistaken, though. Anywho, are you suggesting that one cannot put more effort into footings/stances that make their center of gravity much harder to overcome, at the cost of focus on actually offensively being effective? If you get hit, you just fall over? There's absolutely no such thing as taking a blow in a different way, or defensive-vs-offensive approaches to combat?

 

"Powerful - While in this mode, the character puts extra muscle behind each swing, gaining a bonus to damage but suffering penalties to attack and defense"

 

Yes, because that's just the way to use a sword. Swing it so hard that you reduce your own chance of connecting. Very believable.

Who said that's "the way you use a sword," and not simply a way that a sword can, potentially be used? Again, it's supposed to be impossible that one could possibly shift one's level of aggression in combat? That would mean that one's either already swinging as hard as possible as a default of proper form, or that swinging ANY harder than proper form dictates would instantly result in death, or in perpetu-missing.

 

I'll give you the supernatural nature of the war cry. But, I would question a dispute that tenacity in combat doesn't affect the morale of those nearby. If I laugh while unnecessarily slicing someone in half after disarming them, I think the nearby men are going to be a bit psychologically shaken, if only for a moment. And, of course, if you were to put the knockdown effect into the context of P:E, it works fine, since P:E is based around supernatural soul powers.

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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@tmzuk

 

the word "immersion" has a long and ill-fated history 'pon these boards. use at your own peril. josh has been quite forceful in chastising boardies for overuse o' immersion. immersion (much like realism) is not a goal in and of itself. is there a gestalt or ideal stew o' elements that leads to mythical "immersion"? perhaps, but is different for you than it is for anybody else. need to be very careful in fully explaining what you mean and how you use. 

 

am not particularly bothered by your use o' immersion in your earlier post (got kinda sucky in this most recent one,) as you did at least passing explain those qualities o' the activated abilities that interrupted your immersion, but am just gonna note that immersion is always gonna set teeth on edge of some posters and possibly some developers.

 

we feels same way 'bout "proactive." folks who use proactive like it got some special meaning deserves to be run over by an asphalt roller... very, very slowly.

 

HA! Good Fun!

Edited by Gromnir

"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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@gromnir

 

Yeah well. In my second post I quite deliberate made it sucky, because I was pissed off with people attacking a word, rather than debating what was being said.

 

I could also say: "Talents or skills that seem like absurd inventions with no believability (is that even a word?) what so ever, rubs me the wrong way. They annoy me and prevent me from feeling any connection to the ongoings on my screen."

 

I follow these forums on a fairly regular basis, but I don't post that often. One reason is that I dislike repeating what other people has already stated. But I also dislike when people resort to attacking the the choice of words instead of replying to content. Maybe there should be a sticky, where the list of words presently considered poor taste to use are listed, so that the inhabitants here do not have to see them used by some poor newcomer, unaware of the sin he or she is comitting.

 

Asphalt-rollers have many potential victims.

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@gromnir

 

Yeah well. In my second post I quite deliberate made it sucky, because I was pissed off with people attacking a word, rather than debating what was being said.

 

I could also say: "Talents or skills that seem like absurd inventions with no believability (is that even a word?) what so ever, rubs me the wrong way. They annoy me and prevent me from feeling any connection to the ongoings on my screen."

 

I follow these forums on a fairly regular basis, but I don't post that often. One reason is that I dislike repeating what other people has already stated. But I also dislike when people resort to attacking the the choice of words instead of replying to content. Maybe there should be a sticky, where the list of words presently considered poor taste to use are listed, so that the inhabitants here do not have to see them used by some poor newcomer, unaware of the sin he or she is comitting.

 

Asphalt-rollers have many potential victims.

wouldn't worry overmuch. not all posters is as welcoming and good-natured as us, but am assuring you that those who responded to you with sarcasm or seeming derision (at least in this thread) is good folks and comments were more jocular than anything else.

 

 

HA! Good Fun!

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"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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[sarcasm] Oh my. We are attacking peoples choice of words, rather than debating what is being said... That is rich. Well done. [/sarcasm]

I wasn't intending to mock your word choice; if you thought that my apologies. I do hate the word though as often used on RPG-related board, which is why I specifically didn't address it in my reply to you but in a separate post.

 

That aside... The problem about abilities is that they are quite often stupid. Pure and simple. That was especially true for Dragon Age. Take a look at a few of the two-handed talents:

 

"Indomitable - Through sheer force of will, the character remains in control on the battlefield, gaining a slight increase to attack and damage while being immune to stun or knock down effects for the duration of this mode."

 

So, through sheer willpower, I make myself immune to knockdowns? Right.

So is your problem the wording of the concept or having these power itself?

 

If it had said "Indomitable - Through battle training, skill and experience you've learned techniques and battle stances and battle strategies that improve your control of the battlefield. When this mode is activated, you gain a slight increase to attack and damage while being immune to stun or knock down effects. When the mode ends, you will be unable to reactivate it for (x turns) due to the greater stress applying these abilities have on your mind and body." (or some other "more believable" explanation) would it have been better?

 

Or would you never buy this? Should a warriors only progression be that he hits more often and with better skill while a mage learns more magic every level and raises their utility?

 

Joke aside, these invented "talents" or "skills" or "abilities", whatever you wish to call them, are absurd and unbelievable, and therefore subtract from my immersion. Oh, I said it again. Immersion! But well, they do!

So in essence you think a game shouldn't have elements of "game" in it if they don't rigidly conform to anything that doesn't exist in the real world...but you're okay with magic and dieties walking the earth in most fantasy RPGs?

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There's a difference between realism and what is believable. The difference varies from one person to another, but in short, yes, I can make myself suspend my disbelief in regard to magic. Magic is an age-old concept, and while I never play mages, I can accept the idea. The idea of activated talents, on the other hand, I cannot force myself to look past, because they make no sense.

 

Magic, when implemented well, follows certain rules. Forgotten Realms magic, e.g., is either arcane or divine in nature. It draws from somewhere, and there's a price. Something has to be paid.

 

An activated talent such as indomitable makes no sense. If you could do something like what is described, you would do it all the time. Not doing it would be foolish. When you've mastered a certain level of swordplay or any martial art, you do not choose to make yourself less skilled. Furthermore, a skilled swordsman, or indeed any martial artists, do not spend more stamina when fighting. He or she spends less. Employing the correct stance and the correct guard makes it possible for you to make your attacks and locks with far more ease, spending far less energy. You have all your tricks at hand, all the time. Fighting in general consumes stamina. A lot of it, in fact. But fighting correctly, employing your skills and your experience does not consume more stamina. It consumes less.

 

The same goes for leadership talents. A good leader is a good leader and rarely makes him- or herself a poor leader. If anything should be activated in that regard, it should deduct from your own fighting skills. Because giving commands to and motivating your companions takes your focus away from your opponents. And, it also makes you the obvious target.

 

So a fighter should get more and faster attacks, to reflect his progress. There are certain tricks that could be implented as combat moves, e.g., disarms, tackles and sudden death attacks. They'd be nasty to be in the receiving end of, though.

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There is plenty of sense in your words, TMZUK, but there still seems to be a small disconnect.

 

You act as though, in regard to DA activated talents, stamina is a means of directly representing actual real-life stamina, when it's actually a huge abstraction used to regulate your beyond-default abilities in combat. That's why your character keeps moving and fighting even when you're "out of stamina." So, yes, you are absolutely correct that taking a different stance in real life wouldn't suddenly change your stamina pool or anything. But, the game isn't even claiming that in any way.

 

Like I said, the warcry thing (that's often seen in a lot of games) is clearly a weird, pseudo-magical exaggeration of a non-magical ability, and that's pretty weird, when you really think about it. I don't disagree with you at all in that respect. But, something as simple as wielding a two-handed greatsword instead of a short sword (or even a long sword) actually affects the rate at which you use up your actual stamina (not just abstract video game ability-controlling stamina). And something like using two-weapon fighting instead of a sword-and-shield affects your ability to defend and your ability to attack. So, why is it impossible (and only crazy and magically intangible) for you to assume a stance to gain a specific benefit at the cost of a specific detriment? That's not making yourself less skilled. It's adapting to the situation.

 

If you're in a high-altitude location where the air is thin, you do things to preserve oxygen and make sure you don't pass out. If you're protecting someone in the center of a ring of opponents, and the well-being of that person takes priority over the not-so-well-being of your opponents, then you're going to fight at a trade-off; you're going to focus on engagability (for lack of a better term) at the cost of offensive damagability. You don't care if you're actually cutting people, as long as you can knock swords out of hands and/or deflect attacks. Individually, aggressively assailing each target isn't the best way of making sure none of the targets harm the person you're trying to protect. Or, better yet, if you're fighting with a sword and large shield, and there are multiple ranged attackers present, are you simply going to ignore them and stand there fighting like you normally would? Or are you going to be more careful to keep behind your shield as much as possible, and only go for attacks at quite opportune moments? I would bet the latter. Unless you don't care about arrows coming to kill you, you're going to fight less aggressively to decrease the chances of getting riddled with arrows.

 

In a game, how is it to represent this if not with a mode? It's not a simulation... you're not directly controlling your character's every maneuver and flourish, so how do you tell the game you want to focus on simply deflecting as many attacks as possible instead of actually damaging the enemies, if not with some sort of coded indicator?

 

Are there not factors that justify altering the manner in which you approach a given situation, even with the same tools and capabilities at your disposal?

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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[sarcasm] Oh my. We are attacking peoples choice of words, rather than debating what is being said... That is rich. Well done. [/sarcasm]

 

That aside... The problem about abilities is that they are quite often stupid. Pure and simple. That was especially true for Dragon Age. Take a look at a few of the two-handed talents:

 

"Indomitable - Through sheer force of will, the character remains in control on the battlefield, gaining a slight increase to attack and damage while being immune to stun or knock down effects for the duration of this mode."

 

So, through sheer willpower, I make myself immune to knockdowns? Right.

 

"Powerful - While in this mode, the character puts extra muscle behind each swing, gaining a bonus to damage but suffering penalties to attack and defense"

 

Yes, because that's just the way to use a sword. Swing it so hard that you reduce your own chance of connecting. Very believable.

 

How about the champion talents?

 

"War cry - The champion lets out a fearsome cry that gives nearby enemies a penalty to attack. With Superiority, nearby enemies are also knocked down unless they pass a physical resistance check."

 

Riiiight.... Some lunges our champion has, mhm? Maybe that's what the All blacks are attempting to do with their haka here?  :grin: 

 

Joke aside, these invented "talents" or "skills" or "abilities", whatever you wish to call them, are absurd and unbelievable, and therefore subtract from my immersion. Oh, I said it again. Immersion! But well, they do!

indomitable - unrealistic, not sure what they were going for (other than making an generic 'stamina sink')

powerful - partially realistic, just look at kendo rules.  you need to strike hard enough to penetrate armor or it doesn't count, now look at kendo matches, when they do go for a hit that earns them points they tend to miss more than when they are just doing light strikes.  so in real life doing a hard hit telegraphs your swing, which helps the person evade, though only doing hard hits is unrealistic.

warcry - unrealistic, warcries/chants are to intimidate your enemy, if you sound powerful and your stomps are loud you may be heavier (denser) than you appear, which tells the enemy that you are a tougher opponent.  sounds crazy, but it works, at least for old battles were you were close to the enemy.  modern equivalent would be suppression effects, loud explosions and bullets whizzing by your head makes you want to not engage.  the actual effect is because the combat mechanics aren't very robust in DA:O and they wanted to simulate psychological effects so that you weren't just sitting there hitting the enemy, which means it probably has something to do with why indomitable works the way it does, though not sure.

 

in other words they wanted a complex combat system with lots of options to keep it from getting boring, but wanted a simple combat system so that people weren't intimidated with options.  they wanted an smart and deliberate combat flow that rewarded smart decisions, yet wanted a fast paced action oriented combat that rewarded timing and micromanagement.  this is the result of such decisions, not something in between, but something that fails at both.  activated abilities aren't the problem, how they used it is.

 

as for a game with modal abilities that is realistic, try way of the samurai.  each sword had a stance that you used with it, this is effectively a modal ability, there are advantages and disadvantages to each stance, which is quite realistic.  different stances were quicker at doing different strikes, meaning that they changed how you would fight depending on if you had a high guard or a low guard.  the game lacked stamina, but used sword durability instead, high guard was generally a stronger stance, but the extra force meant that you were harder on your swords.  thus cost and benefit, realistically done aside from the fact that you couldn't just change your stance when you wanted, which is pretty much what activated modal abilities are.

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There's a difference between realism and what is believable. The difference varies from one person to another, but in short, yes, I can make myself suspend my disbelief in regard to magic. Magic is an age-old concept, and while I never play mages, I can accept the idea. The idea of activated talents, on the other hand, I cannot force myself to look past, because they make no sense.

 

Magic, when implemented well, follows certain rules. Forgotten Realms magic, e.g., is either arcane or divine in nature. It draws from somewhere, and there's a price. Something has to be paid.

 

An activated talent such as indomitable makes no sense. If you could do something like what is described, you would do it all the time. Not doing it would be foolish. When you've mastered a certain level of swordplay or any martial art, you do not choose to make yourself less skilled. Furthermore, a skilled swordsman, or indeed any martial artists, do not spend more stamina when fighting. He or she spends less. Employing the correct stance and the correct guard makes it possible for you to make your attacks and locks with far more ease, spending far less energy. You have all your tricks at hand, all the time. Fighting in general consumes stamina. A lot of it, in fact. But fighting correctly, employing your skills and your experience does not consume more stamina. It consumes less.

 

The same goes for leadership talents. A good leader is a good leader and rarely makes him- or herself a poor leader. If anything should be activated in that regard, it should deduct from your own fighting skills. Because giving commands to and motivating your companions takes your focus away from your opponents. And, it also makes you the obvious target.

 

So a fighter should get more and faster attacks, to reflect his progress. There are certain tricks that could be implented as combat moves, e.g., disarms, tackles and sudden death attacks. They'd be nasty to be in the receiving end of, though.

 

This is a good point, and I think that these issues generally go back to balancing (and making gameplay fun) non magic using classes with those that can wield spells.  What we were looking at in games like DA:O (I didn't play the sequel) were essentially superhuman (spell-like) abilities in these activated modes and also in some of the crazy attacks like scattershot or "rain of arrows".   Taken as superhuman, these abilties can make more sense, but there is no real reasoning for why fighters and rogues and do such things; unlike magic which relies on the fade as its source.

 

P:E seems to be addressing this by making all powers related to the soul; thereby allowing classes not normally associated with magic to perform superhuman or supernatural feats as a substitute for spell slinging.  For me, the fact that there is an internal, logical consistency in a system  that has all special abilities originate from the same place, goes along way toward allowing a willful suspension of disbelief.

 

 I'm not sure how you might feel about this sort of reasoning, but seems to be the direction Obsidian is taking with their modal abilities.  They are at least trying to ground these abilities in some rationale.

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Activated abilities make everyone into a mage.
You use a sword to "cast spells", but you are still in your base - a mage: you have you resource and you spend it on using powers.
Having fighters with few of those, like in 2-3.5 D&D makes for a diverse gameplay where classes cardinally differ from one another, with different playstyles and requirements(Wizards need to find spells, are more frail, more powerful, but need rest, fighters need gear and stats, can fight till kingdom come but lack in sheer damage or diversity of mages).
Having everyone have skills makes everything streamlined and to MMO-ey for my taste, where classes have to be balanced.

What's the difference between Burning Hands and a wide swipe of a sword if they both deal some damage in a cone?

 

PS: haven't read the whole topic, so perhaps someone already mentioned a point similar to mine, but still.

Edited by quechn1tlan
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The whole "Should you be doing this, or your character?" question/debate in a nutshell:You don't control your character's capabilities (not directly; you control character creation, and thus the determination of their capability values), but you control their decisions in using them.You can't actively make your character be able to swing better or do more damage, but you CAN choose the less-agile enemy or weaker enemy as a target, and let your character do the rest. You don't formulate words and decide what your character can and cannot say, but you decide what he/she DOES say.Regarding the Dragon Age activated abilities, and being a good leader or not being one: Just because your inherent ability to lead fluctuates from person to person doesn't mean there isn't a range between actively employing that ability and actively employing nothing but other abilities. For every incoming blow you expertly dodge, you weren't looking around and deciding what orders to give your party next; you were looking at the incoming blow.

There is no reason why a Warrior has to wait 15 seconds between shield bashes or a Mage can't toss out all of their spells at once.

There actually is. Sure, it's an abstraction, so it's not literally that a Warrior is physically incapable of shield bashing again for 15 seconds. But, try shield-bashing 20 times in a row, and see how well that works. And, as for magic, all non-fictitious effort-requiring tasks require time and take a toll on a person. Why should magic be any different? Can you fire an arrow AND throw an axe AND swing a sword AND shield bash a man AND issue orders AND dodge an attack all at once? No... then why should a Mage be able to do so?If he could, then Mages would rule the world, because their limitations would be SO far beyond anyone else's. That guy can fireball you AND teleport AND shield himself AND heal himself AND summon demons AND fire magic missiles at everyone in a 3 mile radius, all at once.The idea of cooldowns is very unsilly. However, their exact durations and applications might be a little silly at times.

Because those abilities in question are already consuming a resource and are finite. I don't see a problem with a Mage being able to teleport, throw fireballs, haste the party, and identify something within the timespan of a few minutes, as long as a resource(spells per day, mana, etc) is consumed by those actions. Cooldowns are worse than resource consumption because they often feel tacky and generate less strategic concerns and more spamming.

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Activated abilities make everyone into a mage.

You use a sword to "cast spells", but you are still in your base - a mage: you have you resource and you spend it on using powers.

 

This is where I sort of start to have an issue with activated abilities. Simple stances or combat styles giving concrete bonuses over time (rather than serving as single "special attacks") I can generally appreciate, but they should be less abstracted and incorporated into the lore in an interesting way. If they're too supernatural, it's unbefitting to the class in my opinion.

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Just jumping in the middle here to say that I absolutely loathe timed buffs. 3 minuite + to this and that attack/resistance. They are a pain, especially if you are forced to deal with them. Sometimes abilities are structured like timed buffs. This would be a bad thing. 

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Na na  na na  na na  ...

greg358 from Darksouls 3 PVP is a CHEATER.

That is all.

 

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Activated abilities make everyone into a mage.

You use a sword to "cast spells", but you are still in your base - a mage: you have you resource and you spend it on using powers.

 

This is where I sort of start to have an issue with activated abilities. Simple stances or combat styles giving concrete bonuses over time (rather than serving as single "special attacks") I can generally appreciate, but they should be less abstracted and incorporated into the lore in an interesting way. If they're too supernatural, it's unbefitting to the class in my opinion.

 

Even if we have a setting where everyone can tap into their inner soul power?

 

That's a good point, but I have never been too eager about this aspect of PE's premise, personally. If you think about it, that sounds a lot like the dragon shouting power system from Skyrim... which of course amounted to "every characters has special superpowers with long cooldowns, whereas mages have an extra set of more generic superpowers". I really don't like the implications of that at all:

 

1. I don't like it when you have two redundant magic systems (such as the powers from TES; hopefully PE soul stuff will be different somehow).

2. I don't like it when every viable or relevant (in the case of Skyrim's narrative) character must be a mage (whether nominally or implicitly).

 

But that's just my personal opinion.

Edited by mcmanusaur
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There's a difference between realism and what is believable. The difference varies from one person to another, but in short, yes, I can make myself suspend my disbelief in regard to magic. Magic is an age-old concept, and while I never play mages, I can accept the idea. The idea of activated talents, on the other hand, I cannot force myself to look past, because they make no sense.

 

Magic, when implemented well, follows certain rules. Forgotten Realms magic, e.g., is either arcane or divine in nature. It draws from somewhere, and there's a price. Something has to be paid.

 

An activated talent such as indomitable makes no sense. If you could do something like what is described, you would do it all the time. Not doing it would be foolish. When you've mastered a certain level of swordplay or any martial art, you do not choose to make yourself less skilled. Furthermore, a skilled swordsman, or indeed any martial artists, do not spend more stamina when fighting. He or she spends less. Employing the correct stance and the correct guard makes it possible for you to make your attacks and locks with far more ease, spending far less energy. You have all your tricks at hand, all the time. Fighting in general consumes stamina. A lot of it, in fact. But fighting correctly, employing your skills and your experience does not consume more stamina. It consumes less.

 

The same goes for leadership talents. A good leader is a good leader and rarely makes him- or herself a poor leader. If anything should be activated in that regard, it should deduct from your own fighting skills. Because giving commands to and motivating your companions takes your focus away from your opponents. And, it also makes you the obvious target.

 

So a fighter should get more and faster attacks, to reflect his progress. There are certain tricks that could be implented as combat moves, e.g., disarms, tackles and sudden death attacks. They'd be nasty to be in the receiving end of, though.

 

This is a good point, and I think that these issues generally go back to balancing (and making gameplay fun) non magic using classes with those that can wield spells.  What we were looking at in games like DA:O (I didn't play the sequel) were essentially superhuman (spell-like) abilities in these activated modes and also in some of the crazy attacks like scattershot or "rain of arrows".   Taken as superhuman, these abilties can make more sense, but there is no real reasoning for why fighters and rogues and do such things; unlike magic which relies on the fade as its source.

 

P:E seems to be addressing this by making all powers related to the soul; thereby allowing classes not normally associated with magic to perform superhuman or supernatural feats as a substitute for spell slinging.  For me, the fact that there is an internal, logical consistency in a system  that has all special abilities originate from the same place, goes along way toward allowing a willful suspension of disbelief.

 

 I'm not sure how you might feel about this sort of reasoning, but seems to be the direction Obsidian is taking with their modal abilities.  They are at least trying to ground these abilities in some rationale.

 

But this is excactly what I don't get. When I play a warrior, I do NOT want to play a mage. I do not want to rely on "powers" and activated abilities. It becomes like playing a mage with swords. The abilities may not be "magic", but if they work the same way, it doesn't matter.

 

That aside, I dislike activated abilities for all classes, for mages even more than the others. That is because it makes magic "free". When you have your abilities available all the time, it feels as if there's no limit and no price. I can no longer suspend my disbelief.

 

To once more draw a comparison with the old D&D rulesets: Here powerful mages are able to cause immense destruction... But only a few times a day. Warriors, on the other hand, are able to function as warriors all the time, but they cannot kill twenty people at the time, or snuff out the life-force of a dragon with a single spell. Both are highly specialised, and unable to do much outside the battle-field. In between them there are a myriad of classes, many with abilities not related to fighting. That, in my opinion, creates a far more interesting game-play, than e.g. Dragon Age, with all it's abilities and modes.

Edited by TMZuk
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^ I just don't understand the idea that something's an ability and is active-use being your criteria for what's problematic, is all.

 

Shield bash. Does your Warrior just constantly shield bash, passively, as a function of holding a shield?

 

Trip. Is he just automatically going to try to trip everyone he comes in contact with? What if they're super awesome at swordplay, and taking the time to attempt to trip them gets you gutted?

 

I understand the improper implementation of them, or their arbitrary supernatural-ness. But, why would Warriors be devoid of active-use techniques to use when and on-whom the player chooses? I don't think their being active/activated automatically makes them just like magic.

 

In short, I fully understand your concerns and complaints, but I feel like you're attributing the faults and potential problems of improper implementation to any and all implementation of anything that isn't passive.

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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I think that mostly modal abilities are the way to go for warriors. Meaning various combat techniques and stances that have definite advantages and disadvantages. For active abilities I'd have the same treatment, static advantages and disadvantages. That way you have a reason not to use them all the time, while still giving the player something to do.

Of course it also depends on the design of abilities. I'd really love to see lots of different combat animations rather than "warrior magic". There was this mod for NWN1 that added a couple of combat styles - just visual, but I think it added a lot to the appearance of melee combat.

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i think the key issue with activated abilities is that we look to much at dragon age for what it will be like.  mages channeled their spells, during which time if disrupted the spell would fail and then it would go on CD wasting it, much like in D&D.  the difference is that spending time disrupting spells at the expense of doing damage meant that your survival goes way up, but in dragon age the mage just casts another spell (which gets disrupted), and another in a big cycle, meaning that disrupting a mage and not doing any damage = lose, while in D&D = win.  so in DA:O to deal with a mage you focus him and do as much damage as possible, just like any other battle (focus the threat), while in D&D you could change tactics and meet with greater success against a mage, this meant that mages were in fact allowed to be super powerful as they had this weakness to balance them out (ideally), in DA:O they lacked this weakness, which means balance wise they need to be just as big of a threat as a fighter, which means either the fighter needs to be beefed up or the mages gimped, and they went for the path of beefing up the fighters (and failed in my opinion).

 

so the wrong way to do activated abilities is to do them in a way that reduces tactical options, increases the need to micromanage when your characters use abilities, makes all classes feel the same.  avoid these pitfalls and you should do fine for activated abilities.

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^ I just don't understand the idea that something's an ability and is active-use being your criteria for what's problematic, is all.

 

Shield bash. Does your Warrior just constantly shield bash, passively, as a function of holding a shield?

 

Trip. Is he just automatically going to try to trip everyone he comes in contact with? What if they're super awesome at swordplay, and taking the time to attempt to trip them gets you gutted?

 

I understand the improper implementation of them, or their arbitrary supernatural-ness. But, why would Warriors be devoid of active-use techniques to use when and on-whom the player chooses? I don't think their being active/activated automatically makes them just like magic.

 

In short, I fully understand your concerns and complaints, but I feel like you're attributing the faults and potential problems of improper implementation to any and all implementation of anything that isn't passive.

 

Speaking from martial arts experience, tripping is something you do when your opponent leaves himself vulnerable to it, which someone who is super awesome at swordplay never does. You can create the circumstances yourself, but it's very hard against someone who not clearly inferior in skill.

 

Tripping would work just fine as a passive skill. It would happen more often when your opponent is lower in level/skill/dexterity/whatever than you and less often otherwise - and practically never if he's way above your level.

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But this is excactly what I don't get. When I play a warrior, I do NOT want to play a mage. I do not want to rely on "powers" and activated abilities. It becomes like playing a mage with swords. The abilities may not be "magic", but if they work the same way, it doesn't matter.

 

 

That aside, I dislike activated abilities for all classes, for mages even more than the others. That is because it makes magic "free". When you have your abilities available all the time, it feels as if there's no limit and no price. I can no longer suspend my disbelief.

 

To once more draw a comparison with the old D&D rulesets: Here powerful mages are able to cause immense destruction... But only a few times a day. Warriors, on the other hand, are able to function as warriors all the time, but they cannot kill twenty people at the time, or snuff out the life-force of a dragon with a single spell. Both are highly specialised, and unable to do much outside the battle-field. In between them there are a myriad of classes, many with abilities not related to fighting. That, in my opinion, creates a far more interesting game-play, than e.g. Dragon Age, with all it's abilities and modes.

 

 

Almost every class in D&D back to 2.0 had activated or spell-like abilities with the exception of fighters, and thieves.  And only fighters had no modal abilities. While not necessarily magical, in the case of Assassin's assassination ability, or Monk's quivering palm,   These were essentially superhuman abilities given to high level character classes to keep them relevant in the power curve to spell slingers.  

 

By the time we get to 3.5, Fighters have access to things like whirlwind attack and manyshot and modal abilities like power attack.  Add to that weapons that discharge electricity; fire, acid, or stun on hit; and you're basically delivering all sorts of magical damage while performing superhuman feats of skill.

 

The point is that in a world were magic is fairly common and wielded to devastating effect, non-magic using classes  are pretty much useless unless they can get their hands on magic or have abilities that can rival / counter what spell users have.  Whether those be active, passive, modal, or tied to some form of equipment, I really don't see the difference.  Honestly, what is the difference between a modal ability that regenerates stamina and a vampiric sword that regenerates stamina on hit?  Chance, but since a fighter is going to hit his / her target most of the time, then it really is less of a real difference the one might assume.

 

That said, from developer comments, modal abilities are going to be mostly like stances with respect to fighters, and active abilities are going to be mostly non-magical in nature.  The issue will likely be more pronunced at higher levels, but since we are only going to level 12, the proliferation of ridiculous feats might be kept to a minimum.  I think we need to see more of the system before understanding how these abilities might work.

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Also if you want to shield bash more than every 15 seconds, you should make your shield your primary weapon. Can you see it, wading into battle a shield strapped on each arm and ready for battle...?

I suppose in a way that would be a better solution to shields, actually -- make them a weapon that also does defense, just one that can be only equipped on the off hand. I do find it quite strange that you can only shield bash every twenty seconds or so. I've certainly never found myself waiting that long to do it.

 

^ I just don't understand the idea that something's an ability and is active-use being your criteria for what's problematic, is all.

At least for me, and I am in general agreement with what TMZuk's been saying thus far, it isn't that it is an ability and is active use -- it's that it is, but it (in the case of magic) feels too cheap or ubiquitous or it feels strange that it (in the case of fighting) can only be used so often or used at all.

 

Shield bash. Does your Warrior just constantly shield bash, passively, as a function of holding a shield?

As much as using a sword, yes. I'd say roughly half moving the shield around to deflect blows, half taking the chance and trying to get in a bash or slash with the shield. It's more of using it in concert with the sword (or whatever weapon you're using in your main hand). I can see some things, such as trying to actually force somebody backwards with the shield or trying to disarm them using it, as being activated -- things that take a lot of time, and open you up to potential attacks.

 

It just occured to me that if activated abilities in melee cost you something, such as not only stamina but a penalty to your defense score, that would make a lot of sense to me and would make it more obvious why you wouldn't want to do them more often.

 

Trip. Is he just automatically going to try to trip everyone he comes in contact with? What if they're super awesome at swordplay, and taking the time to attempt to trip them gets you gutted?

That's an excellent example of something that could be activated (also I also like the above passive tripping suggestion), and I would say should also make you easier to hit while you're doing it, be it activated or passive. I think it could also work as being something that you can actively try to do, but has a good chance of failure that's tied to how skilled they are.

 

I understand the improper implementation of them, or their arbitrary supernatural-ness. But, why would Warriors be devoid of active-use techniques to use when and on-whom the player chooses? I don't think their being active/activated automatically makes them just like magic.

No, it doesn't. The problem is that a lot of the time -- most of the time -- they end up being treated like magic, and it is strange and frustrating. I'd actually like having a nice array of risky maneuvers that you can choose to try. It would add something interesting, it wouldn't feel odd that the character can't do them more often, and generally I think it would be a good thing.

 

Overbearing techniques, disarming, tripping, attacking more than one opponent at once, things like that I can all see as activated abilities with ideally some penalty to defense for using that would add interesting tactical choices and not feel forced. Possibly also something to do with pinning weapon arms or imobilising the opponent, that kind of thing. More complex maneuvers such as trying to throw one opponent into another or snagging one to use as a living shield against the others could also fall into that category, I think, but would be even riskier (and perhaps difficult to implement?). Any sort of rolls or charges to break free of a crowd maybe could also.

 

I quite enjoy tactical combat, and I do think that activated abilities -- when done properly -- can add a lot to that. It's just that they often are not, and a lot of games that have them have ones that take a dive towards the cheesy and the strange. Positioning I think also can, trying not to be surrounded and all that.

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i think that you should 'set' an ability to fire should our opponent give you the opportunity, like tripping.  until it happens you fight differently and thus either do less damage or take more or some such penalty, and you do so longer the harder it is to perform the action against your opponent.  once it is done you no longer have the penalties.  i think this is far better for 99% of all non magical activated (non modal, as a fair amount of abilities should be modal for warriors) abilities.

 

you could even have a que for each 'channel' as the devs have put it.  so that you could say set trip, then que up something afterwards so that it ends up being a pseudo AI script.

 

shield bash i'd have as a modal ability, but bullrush i'd have as a set ability (most people get those two confused).

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I don't disagree that tripping "could" work as a passive skill. Maybe tripping was a bad example, because you wouldn't really just go for a trip whenever you felt like it. But, my point is the context of the skill. In P:E, the "In real life, this" argument goes out the window, because, in real life, you don't have soul-stemming power that can allow you to perform enhanced physical acts, such that you could feasibly trip someone pretty much at will (even if the actual trip "effect" could still fail, based on a check) with a voluntarily timed/performed leg sweep, etc.

 

In other games, you're obviously not dealing with this scenario, exactly, and nothing explains the way in which some of the things are implemented. And yes, I'd agree that not being able to shield bash or trip someone except once per 20 seconds is silly. And it may be for that very reason that P:E isn't going with ability cooldowns. However, you obviously wouldn't (quite literally) constantly be able to shield bash. Even in reality, you're limited by the time it takes to shield bash (and be able to effectively shield bash a second time), AND the fatigue of shield bashing (which, realistically, isn't that much different from the constant fatigue of just-plain attacking with a weapon). So, that really comes down to questions like "are we going to represent fatigue?"

 

The other thing, though, is that, in an RPG with tactical (to whatever degree) combat that's controlled by the player, it's only by the token of it being a game that the player is allowed to supercede the judgement of the characters. I mean, you take almost any active-use ability, and you could feasibly work it into a passive-use system. Such things are still going to be timed/limited in use, but the difference will be that they're automatically used at opportune moments, rather than being timed by the player. And, again, because it's a game, you've got to limit your combat resources or your tactical provisions suffer. I mean, in real life, you can only do SO much before you simply cannot lift your arms to any effect any longer. And yet, lifting straight from reality into the game's combat would be a bit troublesome there (especially with a full party of people). Thus, things are abstracted and simplified. You've either got mana/stamina, time-based cooldowns, or uses-per-period (day, encounter, whathaveyou).

 

Now, the value from this discussion is that maybe, in the context of P:E, things like trip and shield bash be unlimited-use abilities (you could even put a small cooldown on them, just so they can't be horribly-infeasibly used back-to-back-to-back-to-back...), or even just a passive, statistical factor (like dodge) that gets used whenever possible, but is realistically spread out in its ultimate effective triggerings. But, again, that's the implementation of active abilities, and not the mere existence/activeness of abilities for classes such as Warriors/Fighters, in general. They have player-activated abilities because, if they didn't, what would be the point in tactical, party-based combat?

 

But, the very fact that Fighters/Warriors have active-use abilities that are finite in use and are timed/managed by the player? That's not preposterous. If the game were real life, you'd just watch everyone dispatch everyone as best they could, and you'd have no say in the matter.

 

If your Warrior is surrounded by 3 enemies, then maybe you don't want to shield-bash all three of them. So, you actively order him to shield-bash one of them, then attack another until it is dead. Then, you might try to shield-bash that first one again as it's getting back up, so that you can face the third foe without having to worry about the remaining one flanking you all the while. Sure, your Warrior COULD just shield-bash whenever the opportunity arises, but then, how do you get to make decisions about how you want to take on combat? What if one needs shield-bashing more than the other one does? Should he automatically prioritize targets, too? Again, at some point you're just a spectator.

 

That isn't to say that AI behavior can't account for some of this. But, if there's no advantage to be gained from some manual player input and decision-making (including such things as when to use a specific maneuver, and on whom), then you don't really have tactical combat. You've got a movie.

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 don't disagree that tripping "could" work as a passive skill. Maybe tripping was a bad example, because you wouldn't really just go for a trip whenever you felt like it. But, my point is the context of the skill. In P:E, the "In real life, this" argument goes out the window, because, in real life, you don't have soul-stemming power that can allow you to perform enhanced physical acts, such that you could feasibly trip someone pretty much at will (even if the actual trip "effect" could still fail, based on a check) with a voluntarily timed/performed leg sweep, etc.

 

In other games, you're obviously not dealing with this scenario, exactly, and nothing explains the way in which some of the things are implemented. And yes, I'd agree that not being able to shield bash or trip someone except once per 20 seconds is silly. And it may be for that very reason that P:E isn't going with ability cooldowns. However, you obviously wouldn't (quite literally) constantly be able to shield bash. Even in reality, you're limited by the time it takes to shield bash (and be able to effectively shield bash a second time), AND the fatigue of shield bashing (which, realistically, isn't that much different from the constant fatigue of just-plain attacking with a weapon). So, that really comes down to questions like "are we going to represent fatigue?"

 

The other thing, though, is that, in an RPG with tactical (to whatever degree) combat that's controlled by the player, it's only by the token of it being a game that the player is allowed to supercede the judgement of the characters. I mean, you take almost any active-use ability, and you could feasibly work it into a passive-use system. Such things are still going to be timed/limited in use, but the difference will be that they're automatically used at opportune moments, rather than being timed by the player. And, again, because it's a game, you've got to limit your combat resources or your tactical provisions suffer. I mean, in real life, you can only do SO much before you simply cannot lift your arms to any effect any longer. And yet, lifting straight from reality into the game's combat would be a bit troublesome there (especially with a full party of people). Thus, things are abstracted and simplified. You've either got mana/stamina, time-based cooldowns, or uses-per-period (day, encounter, whathaveyou).

 

Now, the value from this discussion is that maybe, in the context of P:E, things like trip and shield bash be unlimited-use abilities (you could even put a small cooldown on them, just so they can't be horribly-infeasibly used back-to-back-to-back-to-back...), or even just a passive, statistical factor (like dodge) that gets used whenever possible, but is realistically spread out in its ultimate effective triggerings. But, again, that's the implementation of active abilities, and not the mere existence/activeness of abilities for classes such as Warriors/Fighters, in general. They have player-activated abilities because, if they didn't, what would be the point in tactical, party-based combat?

 

But, the very fact that Fighters/Warriors have active-use abilities that are finite in use and are timed/managed by the player? That's not preposterous. If the game were real life, you'd just watch everyone dispatch everyone as best they could, and you'd have no say in the matter.

 

If your Warrior is surrounded by 3 enemies, then maybe you don't want to shield-bash all three of them. So, you actively order him to shield-bash one of them, then attack another until it is dead. Then, you might try to shield-bash that first one again as it's getting back up, so that you can face the third foe without having to worry about the remaining one flanking you all the while. Sure, your Warrior COULD just shield-bash whenever the opportunity arises, but then, how do you get to make decisions about how you want to take on combat? What if one needs shield-bashing more than the other one does? Should he automatically prioritize targets, too? Again, at some point you're just a spectator.

 

That isn't to say that AI behavior can't account for some of this. But, if there's no advantage to be gained from some manual player input and decision-making (including such things as when to use a specific maneuver, and on whom), then you don't really have tactical combat. You've got a movie.

shield bashing doesn't normally knock people down in real life, i think that is the issue.  shield bashing is just attacking with the shield, using the shield to do something to knock someone down is more akin to the bull rush of DnD which doesn't need to use of shield realistically.  the example sounds good, but remember you have 5 others that you are controlling, so that one guy you control in order time the second knockdown at the right time gives you a 1 second window in which you have to act at most, and given that he probably get up in at most 3 seconds that means a lot of micromanaging if you can't tell your guy to do X when the opportunity arises.  that would open the window from the first knock down to the end of the second window, or 4 seconds.  you could instead have the knock down keep the guy down for 3 seconds each time it is done, no matter if he is open to it or not, which means that doing it to him early just wastes effect time at the expense of micromanagement.

 

obviously knocking someone down is more of a trip, and shouldn't be done constantly in every situation.  actively using your shield to deflect blows should, and actively using your shield to hit your opponent when you are already slapping his weapon seems pretty sound in most situations, not much different than dual wielding weapons.

 

as for setting an ability to be done when able, it opens up counterplay other than a simple can't do it sort of thing, you can have it delay the length of time it can be done or have temporary penalties before it happens so that it isn't quite so binary.  that way if an ability has a strong effect (like knock down) you don't have to make it so that all high level enemies are immune, which skews its usefulness quite a bit both suddenly and drastically.

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It doesn't have to knock them down. I'm just saying, in games, it generates an effect beyond a regular weapon strike. Why? Because, in real life, it tends to do so, as well. Sure, there's more than JUST "shield bash to stun" when it comes to shield usefulness, but I'm just using that as a single example ability. IF you want 15 distinct shield abilities in the game, then awesome. Seriously, that would be great. I'm not against that at all.

 

But, the point is, without actually simulating all the factors involved in the timing of something like a shield strike, it's going to be abstracted. Simplified. When you shield bash (in a game) and you generate a stun-type effect (or a chance at one, at least), it's assumed that, when you click "shield bash," your character intentionally does all the things necessary to make that shield bash effective. Strikes at the right time during the opponent's swing, maybe jukes with his weapon hand THEN shield bashes, etc. This is why the stun (or whatever) can also fail, via mechanics. Just like it could if it was automated.

 

In the face of abstraction, the only thing automating something like shield bash into passiveness does is limit your tactical interaction with the situation. Sure, we could make it passive, just like we could make it passive for any character using any ability to automatically attack at the opportune time. Wizards! You ONLY launch a fireball, automatically, whenever 4 or 5 enemies are clustered. Archers! ONLY fire your arrows whenever you know you're not going to hit a shield.

 

What's this? Now we have no tactics left. The characters take care of everything, and we just hope the odds were in our favor from the get-go. Next we'll have them automatically positioning themselves for the best shots and defenses, etc.

 

So, at least as far as things such as shield bash being active and not passive abilities, I fully get that. You can still have AI behaviors that "passively" utilize active abilities without your direct input, but they're still not going to be shield-bashing a foe every 2-3 seconds. They might be using their shield in combat -- knocking a weapon strike aside, catching arrows and blows with it, etc. -- but you're not going to simply swing your shield at someone with a particularly forceful might with the specific intent of delivering an effectively stunning blow with it, every single chance you get simply to swing it thusly. That's going to be tiring, and easy to dodge/compensate for if you don't do it properly and time it right, etc.

 

So, again, in the midst of the abstraction, which is there even if it's made into a passive ability and used at all the "opportune moments" (they're just abstractly estimated, since you're not actually representing all the specific motions and factors like in a 1st-person boxing game or something), the player's timing of the active ability, and his limitation in how often/many times he can use it in a given amount of time directly represents the estimated number of times (and frequency of these times) that the opportunity will arise for the character to effectively deliver this particular blow as intended, as something beyond a normal strike.

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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